Jumaat, 15 Februari 2013

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Non-national vehicles ride high

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.

Miner Anglo American plunges into US$1.5bil net loss in 2012

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

Eurozone back to trade surplus in 2012

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

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Organisers hope to rake in more than RM500,000 from charity golf meet

Posted: 15 Feb 2013 06:14 AM PST

THE National Cancer Society of Malay-sia (NCSM) and Lions Club of Subang Jaya is expecting to raise more than RM500,000 for its inaugural charity golf tournament and charity dinner at Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam on March 3.

According to Lions Club of Subang Jaya president Datuk Ong Theng Soon, all the proceeds would go towards upgrading NCSM's Cancer Treatment Centre (CTC) equipment based in Tung Shing Hospital.

"We hope that every Malaysian will be able to afford treatment with the state-of-the-art equipment that is provided here to achieve better cancer control.

"The upgrading of CTC's equipment is necessary in order to provide better treatment facilities for patients and improve the quality of treatment for cancer survivors,'' said Ong, who signed an agreement with NCSM president Dr Saunthari Somasundaram in Kuala Lumpur recently.

"The cancer treatment machine is between RM8mil and RM10mil and we hope that it can help prolong the lives of patients,'' said Dr Saunthari.

A table with a seating of 10 people at the charity dinner is RM2,000 while the entry fees for each golfer is RM500.

There are also sponsorship packages with Platinum sponsor package priced at RM50,000 followed by Gold Sponsor (RM20,000) and Silver Sponsor at RM10,000.

Those interested to join the dinner or tournament can call Charlene at 03-2072 8150 or Simon Ng at 019-600 0862.

Swimmer breaks three record en route to bagging overall champion title in Selangor meet

Posted: 15 Feb 2013 06:14 AM PST

PROMISING swimmer Shaun Yap Kah Choon hogged the limelight in the Milo-Selangor Age group swimming championships at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre in Shah Alam recently.

The youngster, representing Pade, not only won four gold medals but also splashed his way to a new national record and two meet records in the boys' Group One category during the three-day championships.

The 17-year-old Shaun, a member of the national training squad, clocked a blistering 29.12 and rewrote the old national record of 29:46 in the boys' 50m breaststroke.

His two other state records came in the 100m breaststroke and 200m breaststroke events. In the 100m breaststroke, Shaun was timed 1:03.71, erasing the old record of 1:07.80 set by Sinkov Dimitriy in 2006.

In the 200m breaststroke, Shaun, an A-level student at Help Academy, clocked 2:22.76 and chipped almost eight seconds from the old record of 2:30.06 held by David Lim since 2003.

Shaun also won another gold medal in the 100m individual medley. For his outstanding performance, Shaun was named as the overall champion in the boys' category.

Shaun, who trains under Paul Birmingham, was delighted with his results in the championships.

"I am also happy to be presented with the overall champion award. I hope to do well in other coming competitions as well,'' said an excited Shaun.

Besides his achievements on home soil, Shaun also did well in the Western Australia State Open and age-group championships in Perth last month.

He won two silvers (100m breaststroke in the Open and age-group categories while his bronze medals came in the 200m breaststroke in both the categories.

He had reasons to be extremely pleased with his results in Australia.

"I clocked personal bests in the three events (50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events). I am looking forward to improving my timings in the coming championships and represent Malaysia in international competitions,'' said Shaun.

In the girls' category, the overall champion was Nadia Adrianna Redza who won seven gold medals and four silver medals in the girls' Group Two age group.

Nadia also got her name into the record books with three state records. Her records came in the 200m breaststroke, 400m individual medley and 100m breaststroke events.

In the 200m breaststroke, Nadia, a promising talent in the Selangor Amateur Swimming Association (Sasa) development programme, clocked 2:38.00 and erased the old mark of 2:44.50 held by Raja Azlina Izzah since 2006.

Former international Marilyn Chua's 5:19.84 record, set in 1994, in the 400m individual medley was also erased by Nadia with an impressive 5:13.83. Nadia's third record was 1:15.26 in the 100m breaststroke, chipping the old record of 1:16.56 set by Raja Azlina in 2006.

The championships, organised with support from Milo and Trend Masters, had three groups — Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 — and was a platform for Sasa to evaluate their swimmers.

Selangor chief coach Ong Jin Kooi was pleased with the performance of the junior swimmers.

"The results are certainly encouraging. The championships was the first for the season.

"They clocked impressive times. We are confident they will improve their times in the coming months. They have a series of competitions coming up.

"We have spotted some new talents and that's encouraging. They will get the chance to join Sasa training programmes,'' said Jin Kooi.


Overall champion: Shaun Yap

Group 1

Novice: Edward Chang (KSAS) 4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze

State: Shaun Yap (Pade) 4 gold

Group 2

Novice: Khoo Ghee Shaun (Stingray) and Adam Darwisy Tan (Pade) - 3 gold, 1 silver.

State: Yeap Zheng Yang (Stingray) 7 gold, 1 silver

Group 3

Novice: Neo Xue Wen (Chempaka) - 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze

State: Jeremy Khoo (Pade) - 7 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze


Overall champion: Nadia Adrianna Redza

Group 1

Novice: Kwong Jia Yuin (Sri KL Sharkies) - 8 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze

State: Phee Jinq En (KSAS) - 3 gold, 1 silver,

Group 2

Novice: Ho Kit Ying (SJCC) - 6 gold, 1 silver

State: Nadia Adrianna Redza (Pade) - 7 gold, 4 silver

Group 3

Novice: Anna Jobling (Piranhas) - 7 gold

State: Rosaling Pang (KPGC) - 7 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze

Overall team champion: 1. Pade Supersharkz 2,471 points; 2. Kelab Shah Alam Selangor 624 points; 3. Chempaka 458 points.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Prince to headline Montreux Jazz Fest with pricey concerts

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 10:44 PM PST

GENEVA (Reuters) - Prince returns to the Montreux Jazz Festival in July to give three concerts at the 47th edition, the first after the death of founder Claude Nobs, organisers said on Thursday.

The American singer and musician is booked to give three shows on July 13, 14 and 15, the Swiss festival said in a statement.

"Groovy, funky and the undisputed master of improvisation, Prince's performances are all unique and unpredictable," it said of the 54-year-old viewed as a pioneer of online music distribution and maverick in the business.

Prince first appeared on the famed Montreux stage in 2007, then showed up at 3 am to jam with his band at a late-night jazz cafe along Lake Geneva. He gave two back-to-back shows on the same night in 2009, drawing fans from across Europe for a rare appearance on the continent.

Tickets go on sale on Friday morning, at a whopping 175 Swiss francs(standing) and 395 francs for a seat.

"We consider him one of the headline acts," festival spokeswoman Emilie Loertscher told Reuters.

The rest of the line-up will be announced on April 18.

Nobs, who founded the Montreux Jazz Festival nearly 50 years ago, died in January at age 76 after several weeks in a coma following a skiing accident.

The Swiss impresario immortalised by rock group Deep Purple as 'Funky Claude' in the song Smoke On The Water, lured the biggest stars of the music world including Miles Davis, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin to the annual event.

Epic Records regrets rapper's lyrics about slain civil rights figure

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 08:10 PM PST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Epic Records has apologized to the family of Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder spurred the U.S. civil rights movement, over a graphic reference by rapper Lil Wayne and promised to delete the lyrics upon its release, the company said on Thursday.

Epic Chairman L.A. Reid told the family it was regretful that a remix of the song Karate Chop by rapper Future, in which Lil Wayne likens the beating of African-American Till to sex, had been leaked on the Internet.

"He (Reid) apologized to me and our family and stated the song is being pulled," said a post on the Facebook page of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation on Wednesday. Mobley, who died in 2003, was Till's mother.

The song reportedly first appeared online over the weekend.

"Mr. Reid stated the song was leaked out and he had not heard the lyric," the statement added. "He is a man of integrity that values our family's legacy and wouldn't allow such a heinous usage of Emmett Till's name or dishonor his memory."

The foundation, which was founded by Till's cousin Airickca Gordon-Taylor, said that it had yet to hear from Lil Wayne.

Reid, an African American, is one of the music industry's highest-profile executives and was a judge on the Fox singing competition The X Factor for two seasons.

Till, from Chicago, was beaten and murdered in 1955 at the age of 14 for allegedly whistling at a white woman in the village of Money, Mississippi, where he was visiting family.

An all-white jury acquitted two white men of Till's murder, sparking national outrage. The trial is credited with mobilizing the civil rights movement and drawing attention to racial injustice and violence in the American South.

Epic Records called the song an "unauthorized remix" and promised to delete the reference from the official version.

"Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version," the record company said in a statement.

Epic Records is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a division of Sony Corp

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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Council members and MCA reps visit the underprivileged in Kulajaya

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 04:31 PM PST

KULAIJAYA: Kulaijaya MCA branch chairman Thai Jiin Pier hopes that the Kulaijaya Municipal Council (MPKu) will continue giving financial assistance to the needy to celebrate festivities.

He said there were many poor families and eligible recipients living in and around the Kulaijaya district who would appreciate the help.

"In the spirit of 1Malaysia, we should help the needy to celebrate the festivities," said Thai.

He was speaking after making house-to-house visits in the area with the council members led by MPKu chief Mohd Rofiki A. Shamsuddin and deputy chief whip Chai Kuek Sen, recently.

A total of 28 eligible recipients received gift baskets and RM100 ang pow packets to usher the Year of the Snake.

Chai said the MPKu's three groups visited the recipients in three different zones in the Kulaijaya district selected by the council members from the different zones.

"This effort is a yearly affair by us and the list is never repeated to ensure fair distribution," he said.

Meanwhile, housewife Tan Ai Fong, 52, and husband Pang Ah Tee, 62, were elated when council members visited their house bringing a gift basket and ang pow.

The wheel-chair bound Tan whose legs were amputated due to diabetes said she was glad to be selected as one of the recipients for this year Chinese New Year handout.

Gaming company remembers the elderly for CNY

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 02:56 PM PST

KUANTAN: In conjunction with the Year of the Snake, Sports Toto (M) Sdn Bhd brought some festive cheer to 450 needy senior citizens.

Each of the recipients, aged 60 and above, were given a mini hamper and an ang pow packet.

Teruntum assemblyman Datuk Chang Hong Seong was present to hand out contributions accompanied by Sports Toto senior area sales executive Chin Choy Fook.

Chang urged more private firms and individuals to come forward to lessen the burden of the poor and less fortunate.

He said senior citizens should not be forgotten as they had contributed much to the nation during their younger days.

"As such, they must never be neglected as all of us will grow old too and deserve special care and attention," he said.

Meanwhile, Chin said the campaign was also to mark its 25th anniversary this year.

He said a total of 17,000 recipients in 41 cities and towns nationwide would benefit from the initiative.

"The number of recipients has increased gradually over the years from about 10,000 in 1989 to an estimated 17,000 this year.

"The total expenditure for this year's campaign is about RM900,000," he said.

Chin said the company hoped to promote and uphold the values of respecting and caring for senior citizens in the society.

He said the campaign would continue in the years to come, in addition to other initiatives to complement the Government's efforts in reaching out to the poor and needy.

Malacca has achieved its target in reducing food waste sent to disposal centres

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 02:57 PM PST

MALACCA: Malacca is set to emerge as the benchmark state and training centre for food waste separation in the country based on the success of the pilot project implemented in the state.

Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Zaini Md Nor said the project had achieved its target in reducing the amount of food waste sent to the garbage disposal centre in the last two years.

"Through this programme we have succeeded in reducing 30 tonnes of food waste from being sent to the garbage landfill in Krubong here," he said after the "Promotion of Efficient Solid Waste Management System in Malaysia" seminar here, recently.

The seminar was opened by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

Zaini said during the two-year period, a total of 14 programmes under the food waste composting method were undertaken with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).

He said the research revealed that 40 to 45 percent of garbage in the landfill were organic food waste.

"Therefore, all stakeholders should take the initiative to implement food waste composting programmes in their communities," he said.

Zaini said that the programme should not only be concentrated in residential areas and villages but also be extended to factories, prisons and schools.

Earlier, Mohd Ali urged the local authorities in the state to procure food waste composting machines worth RM10,000 per unit to produce organic fertiliser.

He said through this method, the local authorities could slash down the cost of managing their botanic.

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