Isnin, 21 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

RM6bil Mid Valley Southkey taking shape in JB


JOHOR BARU: Shopoholics in the Southern region will be thrilled as a new mall similar to Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur will be set up here.

The RM6bil project named Mid Valley Southkey Megamall will be about 30% smaller than the megamall in Kuala Lumpur but will feature a similar design.

IGB Corp Bhd group managing director Robert C.M. Tan said that the project was a joint venture between IGB and Johor based Selia Pantai Sdn Bhd who had a 30% stake in the project.

"The first phase of the mall has officially started today and we expect the building to be completed by end of 2016.

"While the new mall may be slightly smaller than the original Mid Valley Megamall, it will have many enhanced features," he said adding that a lot of improvements had been incorporated based on mistakes made in the construction of the first mall.

Tan said that Mid Valley Southkey Megamall would be built within the Southkey township area and would be built on 36 acres.

"Once completed, the mall will be largest shopping mall in Johor," he said adding that the integrated development will include eight 30-storey tower blocks, four office blocks and one serviced apartment with 180 units.

The megamall itself will have six levels with about 12,000 parking bays for visitors.

"We target to receive an average of 2 million visitors in a month but we are still studying the local demographics to see what kind of outlets will be roped into the project.

"The mall will however include a cineplex, bowling alley and other similar leisure facilities that are available at the Mid Valley Megamall," he said adding that three hotels including Cititel Johor Baru, Boulevard Hotel and The Gardens hotel would be included in the project as well.

"The Gardens hotel will be built in the second phase of the project as we plan to build another version of The Gardens Mall in Johor as well," he said.

Meanwhile, Selia Pantai founder and group chief executive officer Datuk Mohamed Zaini Amran said that a lot of improvements would be done to the infrastructure leading to the mall.

"The road from Bakar Batu to Jalan Tebrau will be widened to six lanes and we will also be building direct ramps from the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) leading into the megamall and exiting as well."

Palm oil rises to 1-1/2 month high


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm futures jumped on Monday to their highest in 1-1/2 months, lifted by
gains in the U.S. and Chinese soy markets after positive economic data from the Asian giant signalled growing demand for food and fuel.
    The U.S. soyoil contract for December rose 0.5
percent in late Asian trade, while the most-active January
soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange
rose 1.5 percent.
    The palm market generally tracks soyoil, a competing
vegetable oil used as a substitute for the tropical oil. 
    "The market is up on the back of China and U.S. soybean oil
markets," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage. 
    "Now it's holding at 2,400 ringgit, which is a strong
short-term support level," the Kuala Lumpur-based trader added.
    Demand for palm was also seen steady, lending support to
    Exports of Malaysian palm oil during Oct. 1-20 rose three
percent to 1,026,488 million tonnes, cargo surveyor data showed
early Monday, boosted by buying from Europe and China.
    Another cargo surveyor, Societe Generale de Surveillance
showed exports rose 8 percent compared to the same period a
month ago. 
    By Monday's close, the benchmark January contract 
on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had extended the
morning's gains to stand up 1.5 percent at 2,437 ringgit ($769)
per tonne. Prices earlier rose to 2,446 ringgit, the highest
level since Sept. 9.
    Total traded volume stood at 25,240 lots of 25 tonnes each,
much lower than the usual 35,000 lots.
    Technicals are bearish. Malaysian palm oil faces resistance
at 2,449 ringgit per tonne and may retrace to 2,406 ringgit,
Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said. But he added that a rise
to 2,461 ringgit could confirm a break above resistance, leading
to a new resistance target of 2,491 ringgit.  
    Gross domestic product in China's giant economy rose 7.8
percent from a year earlier, its quickest pace this year, giving
a boost to commodity markets including oil. 
    "The positive outlook in China's economy is likely to
support demand for the commodity," Phillip Futures analyst Tan
Chee Tat said in a note on Monday, noting that China is the
world's second-largest palm oil consumer after India.
    Palm oil prices have climbed 5 percent so far in October,
fuelled by optimism that output volumes in Malaysia, the world's
second-largest producer, may not surge as much as estimated. 
    Traders and planters say despite being expected to be the
highest-producing month this year, October's pace may show only
a tiny increase, leaving stocks below the 2-million-tonne mark.
    Stocks now stand at 1.78 million tonnes.
    Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer, kept its
export tax for crude palm oil unchanged at 9 percent for
November, an official at the industry ministry said. Malaysia
will keep its tax at 4.5 percent.  
    Investors also await the release of nearly three weeks of
delayed USDA data, including export sales figures likely to show
nearly 3 million tonnes of soybeans were sold to overseas
    In other markets, oil fell on Monday amid pressure from
strong supplies, with losses limited by expectations that the
U.S. Federal Reserve will delay reining in its money-printing
programme until next year, helping shore up the demand outlook.
  Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1011 GMT
  Contract        Month    Last   Change     Low    High  Volume
  MY PALM OIL      NOV3    2432   +40.00    2417    2432     388
  MY PALM OIL      DEC3    2439   +40.00    2417    2443    3984
  MY PALM OIL      JAN4    2437   +36.00    2418    2446   13307
  CHINA PALM OLEIN MAY4    6154  +170.00    6058    6186  652638
  CHINA SOYOIL     MAY4    7258  +108.00    7216    7290  683474
  CBOT SOY OIL     DEC3   41.89    +0.21   41.67   42.09    5668
  NYMEX CRUDE      NOV3   99.79    -1.02   99.77  100.95    4777
  Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne
  CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound
  Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne
  Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel

 ($1=3.17 Malaysian ringgit) - Reuters

Brazil gears up for big oil auction, Petronas participating


RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil geared up on Monday to sell production rights to its largest-ever oil discovery in a landmark auction that sparked widespread nationalist protests even though most of the world's premier energy companies opted to stay away.

Malaysia's state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bmd, or Petronas, and Japanese trading house Mitsui Co <8031.T> are other qualified bidders

The government deployed more than a thousand troops around the beach front Rio de Janeiro hotel where the auction will take place, cordoning off streets to prevent protesters from disrupting an event that President Dilma Rousseff has billed as a crowning achievement of an energy plan aimed at ending poverty and vaulting Brazil to the ranks of developed nations.

On offer are production rights to Libra, a massive offshore field that holds between 8 billion and 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to Brazil's oil regulator and Dallas-based oil certification company Degolyer & MacNaughton. Brazil estimates it will receive at least $400 billion in taxes and other revenue from Libra over 30 years, as well as about $7 billion up front from signing fees.

The auction will be the first under a three-year-old legal framework that expands state control over Brazil's most prolific oil region, the so-called subsalt reserves off the coast of Rio that hold billions of barrels of oil under a thick layer of salt beneath the ocean floor. Under the new law, Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras <PETR4.SA> must lead development of the fields as operator.

Rousseff, who helped conceptualize the framework when she served as energy minister under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, hopes the windfall from Libra and other subsalt fields will pay for schools, hospitals and other social services that are badly needed in a country known for its income inequality.

"Libra and the subsalt are going to transform our economy like shale oil and gas are transforming the U.S. economy," Energy Minister Edison Lob√£o told Reuters on Sunday as he arrived at the heavily protected hotel where the auction is scheduled to take place.

"This is opening a new chapter in our history," he said.

Libra is one of a flurry of offshore oil strikes made starting in 2007 in the Santos Basin off Brazil's southeastern coast. If its size is proven, Libra holds enough oil to almost double Brazil's existing reserves or supply every drop of world crude demand for up to 19 weeks.

Yet despite the government's goals and promises, many are against the sale, even though Brazil's new production-sharing model gives the government a direct share of future output.

Oil unions are on strike against it, demonstrators have taken to the streets, and some groups have gone to court to try to stop the auction, calling it a sell-out of precious national resources to foreign interests.


Most major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N>, Chevron Corp <CVX.N> and BP Plc <BP.L>, declined to participate, concerned government rights to dictate investment and development decisions will turn the tens of billions of dollars needed to explore and develop Libra into a loss.

Only 11 companies signed up for the auction, a quarter of the "more than 40" that the head of Brazilian oil regulator ANP, Magda Chambriard, had predicted.

With qualified bidders dominated by Chinese and other Asian state oil companies, some warn that Brazil is staking its future on the good will of foreign governments.

Others worry Libra will further hobble Petrobras, which is already financially overstretched with the world's largest corporate spending plan. Petrobras must take at least 30 percent in any winning group and is selling or delaying potentially more lucrative projects to raise cash to develop Libra.

"Libra's potential is huge and Rousseff is staking a lot its sale," said Cleveland Jones, a geologist with the Brazilian Petroleum Institute at Rio de Janeiro State University. "Unfortunately she put the future of the industry on hold for five years to prepare for this sale and the conditions that led to that sale have changed."

With Brazil's decade-long commodities boom over, economic growth sluggish, inflation high and new U.S. shale oil and gas output raising questions about the future of high long-term oil prices, Libra looks less attractive than two to three years ago.

Unlike previous auctions, Libra is also a production-sharing contract. The winner will be the group that gives Brazil the biggest cut of "profit oil" to sell on its own account. Profit oil is oil produced after paying initial investment costs.

The minimum bid is 41.65 percent. While Brazil has said it expects 75 percent or more, it has also set up a new state company to sell its share of the oil and have a direct say, and partial veto, over how and when Libra will be developed.

State-owned companies such as CNOOC <0883.HK> from China dominate the list of qualified bidders. China National Petroleum Corp <CNPET.UL>, India's Oil and National Gas Corp <ONGC.NS>, Colombia's Ecopetrol SA <ECO.CN>, Malaysia's state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bmd <PETR.UL>, or Petronas, and Japanese trading house Mitsui Co <8031.T> are other qualified bidders.

France's Total SA <TOTF.PA> and Royal Dutch Shell Plc <RDSa.L> paid to get in, but there is a good chance that some of the companies that signed up will not make bids, said Christopher Garman of the Eurasia Group consultancy.

Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS SA <GALP.LS> and Spain's Repsol SA <REP.MC> also signed up, but they have already sold part of their Brazil units to China's Sinopec <600688.SS>. Repsol said on Monday it will not bid in the auction.- Reuters


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