- Non-national vehicles ride high
- Miner Anglo American plunges into US$1.5bil net loss in 2012
- Eurozone back to trade surplus in 2012
Posted: 15 Feb 2013 05:39 PM PST
PETALING JAYA: The non-national motor vehicle segment in Malaysia is poised for positive growth at the expense of the national makes this year, according to CIMB Equities Research.
"A key underlying theme in the auto sector is the ongoing strength of the non-national segment, which has benefited from the lower costs associated with the Asean supply chain network and the increasingly discernable taste of Malaysian car buyers for better-quality vehicles and product offerings.
"We expect the non-national car segment to reach the 50:50 threshold with the national marques in 2013," it said in a report yesterday.
CIMB noted that despite the total vehicle sales in the country reaching "market saturation" point at over 600,000 units a year, it still believes that growth of the more profitable non-national segment is expected to continue.
"This is the key driver to our earnings estimates for our auto companies in 2013.
"Looking at the breakdown of 2012's unit sales, growing strength of the non-national segment is supported by Asean integration, where the regional supply chain network lowers costs and duties while making components more exposed to the US dollar than the yen," it said.
Total vehicle sales in Malaysia grew 4.6% to a record last year, with total industry volume (TIV) at 627,753 units. It was also the third consecutive year that the TIV had surpassed the 600,000-unit level, according to data from the Malaysian Automotive Association.
It has forecast the TIV to grow to 640,000 units this year.
CIMB also noted that energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs) were a prime component of the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) and will be a segment offering potentially significant demand in terms of per km fuel costs.
"All three major Japanese marques (Toyota, Honda and Nissan) are well-positioned in this area. Honda is making Malaysia its regional manufacturing hub.
"To date, EEVs have been priced way above the RM50,000 threshold. (The year) 2013 could (one) where we see EEVs become a lot more affordable since they are the main focus of the upcoming NAP," it said.
CIMB also said the market share of national marques was at saturation point, despite there still being some growth in the multipurpose vehicle (MPV) segment.
"Proton and Perodua are carving out a niche in the passenger MPV segment judging from their 9.7% unit sales growth in 2012 compared with a 0.8% decline in their passenger car sales. This is the most price-sensitive segment since it is popular with large families.
"This should continue to be a bright spark in 2013 for national car manufacturers while they address the loss of market share in the passenger car segment," it added.
Posted: 15 Feb 2013 05:35 PM PST
LONDON: Miner Anglo American posted an annual net loss of US$1.49bil after taking a US$4.6bil hit on the value of its Minas-Rio iron-ore project in Brazil and platinum assets.
The loss after taxation compared with a net profit of US$6.17bil in 2011, Anglo said in a results statement.
That was Anglo American's first net loss in more than a decade as the London-listed miner was also hurt by a sharp fall in global commodity prices.
The dire news comes one day after its Anglo-Australian rival Rio Tinto posted a 2012 net loss of US$2.99bil due to hefty writedowns on its Mozambique coal and aluminium businesses.
That marked Rio's first net loss since becoming a dual-listed company in 1995 and was also due to a dip in commodity markets.
Anglo added yesterday that its operational profit, stripping out exceptional items such as the impairment charge, dived 44% to US$6.16bil.
That was broadly in line with analysts' expectations. Group sales, meanwhile, fell 5.9% to US$28.8bil.
And the company also hiked its full-year shareholder dividend by 15% to 53 US cents per share, citing confidence in the underlying business.
"As a result of markedly weaker commodity prices, ongoing cost pressures and an operating loss in our platinum business, Anglo American reported an underlying operating profit of US$6.2bil, a 44% decrease," said outgoing Anglo chief excecutive Cynthia Carroll.
Anglo had already revealed late last month that it would take a US$4bil hit on the value of its Minas-Rio iron-ore mining project in Brazil owing to delays that had sent costs soaring.
"We recorded impairments totalling US$4.6bil (post-tax) in relation to Minas-Rio and a number of platinum projects that are uneconomical, which is disappointing," added Carroll.
"In platinum, we completed our review in January 2013 and have put forward proposals to create a sustainable, competitive and profitable platinum business." — AFP
Posted: 15 Feb 2013 05:35 PM PST
BRUSSELS: The eurozone posted a 2012 trade surplus of 81.8 billion euros (US$108bil), more than reversing a deficit of 15.7 billion euros in 2011, official data showed.
For December, the eurozone had a trade surplus of 11.7 billion euros, down from 13 billion in November, as exports fell 1.8% and imports dipped 3%, the Eurostat agency said.
For the wider 27-member European Union (EU), December showed a trade deficit of some 700 million euros after a deficit of 1.9 billion euros in November, as exports dropped 1.9% and imports were down 1.6%.
For 2012, the full EU suffered a trade deficit of 104.6 billion euros, improving from a deficit of 162.7 billion in 2011.
Eurostat said that for the January–November 2012 period, the EU deficit on energy increased to 388.6 billion euros from 354.6 billion a year earlier, while the bloc enjoyed a surplus in manufactured goods of 330.8 billion euros, up from 224.9 billion.
Among member states for the same period, powerhouse Germany had the biggest trade surplus at 174.6 billion euros, followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and the Czech Republic.
Britain had the largest deficit at 152.9 billion euros, with France, Spain and Greece next. — AFP
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