LAST_UPDATEFri, 01 Aug 2014 5pm

Catcha’s iProperty Secures US$100M Investment From News Corp Affiliate

CatchaOnline investment firm, Catcha Group announced today that REA Group (an affiliate of News Corp) has made an investment of US$100 million in its portfolio company iProperty Group for a 17.22 per cent stake.

Read more: Catcha’s iProperty Secures US$100M Investment From News Corp Affiliate

Ringgit Falls This Week as U.S. Data Signal Higher Fed Rates

Ringgit malaysiaKuala Lumpur - Malaysia’s ringgit was poised for its biggest weekly drop since January as improving U.S. data added to speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, reducing demand for emerging-market assets.

The ringgit declined along with other Asian currencies as the Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.8 percent in the best weekly performance since January. The U.S. Labor Department may report today that employers took on more than 200,000 workers for a sixth month in July. Figures issued July 30 showed the world’s largest economy rebounded in the second quarter after contracting in the previous three months.

“The ringgit and other Asian currencies are weaker because the market is predicting the Fed will raise interest rates sooner than expected,” said Wong Chee Seng, a currency strategist at AmBank Group in Kuala Lumpur. “While Asian currencies could still fall, the downside is likely to be limited as the rate differential is still in their favor.”

Graphic: Janet Yellen's Favorite Jobs Numbers
The ringgit declined 0.3 percent to 3.2065 per dollar as of 11:13 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur and earlier reached 3.2102, the lowest level since July 1, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It fell 1 percent in the shortened trading week, when markets were shut July 28-29 for a public holiday.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, increased 82 basis points, or 0.82 percentage point, to 5.77 percent for the week.

KLCI under selling pressure, falls 11pts

KLCIKUALA LUMPUR: Selling pressure picked up in late afternoon on Thursday as some investors cleared their positions as it being the month end of July.

Read more: KLCI under selling pressure, falls 11pts

Malaysia's overseas outsourcing revenue jumps 27% in 2013

OutsourcingKuala Lumpur - Outsourcing Malaysia, an initiative of the National ICT Association [PIKOM], said the country's overseas outsourcing revenue jumped 27 percent in 2013 to an overall revenue of RM1.59 billion [US$500 million] compared to the RM1.25 billion [US$390 million] in FY2012.

"This 27 per cent increase in just one year to RM1.59 billion [US$500 million] in total overseas revenues, is pretty significant for Malaysia's outsourcing industry which is still relatively small as compared to those of other regional countries," said Outsourcing Malaysia [OM] chairman, David Wong.

The positive earnings growth has been helped by various Malaysian government initiatives via the Economic Transformation Programme [ETP] and industry-wide efforts, said Wong.

Outsourcing is one of the Entry Point Projects (EPP) under the Business Services NKEA of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which focuses on areas of business such as business process outsourcing (BPO), IT process outsourcing (ITO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO).

"However, there's still a lot of room for improvement as out of this RM1.59 billion [US$500 million] in overseas revenue, only 25 percent is generated by local outsourcing players while the rest of the 75 percent is by their foreign shared services players that are based in Malaysia," he said.

From local to global

Wong said that in FY2013 OM began to monitor the domestic revenue growth for the outsourcing sector in Malaysia, which noted a RM1.77 billion [US$550 million] in revenue.

He said there were still many local outsourcing players that focused solely on business in the local market while their global counterparts (also established and operating in Malaysia) were keener on attracting and securing foreign outsourcing business.

"This is where OM is able to come in to assist Small Medium Businesses (SME)-like local outsourcing companies in assisting them to move up the value chain to improve their global attractiveness and their overseas income from in-bound outsourcing projects," said Wong.

Recently, OM embarked on a market mission to the World BPO Forum, New York, USA with a delegation of three Malaysian outsourcing companies to provide local players with the opportunity to interact with world leaders and users in the global Outsourcing industry, he said.

Wong added that in the A.T. Kearney's 2011 Global Services Location Index, Malaysia was ranked 3rd after India and China in terms of attractiveness for shared services and outsourcing; with Asian countries dominating the top 10 positions on the index.

"The domestic market in Malaysia is getting smaller by the day and unless we look outwards for business, the industry's growth will remain stagnant or decrease as neighbouring countries have started picking up the pace," he said,

Wong said the largest Malaysian outsourcing company employed only 5,000 staff while some of the larger outsourcing companies in China and Indian have more than 100,000 employees.

"Due to Malaysia's population size, it is impossible for Malaysia to compete in terms of volume-driven type of outsourcing projects that naturally require very large scale call centre capacities," he said. "Local outsourcing players must move themselves up the global value chain,"

"Malaysian players need to start specialising their business service offerings and differentiate themselves from their Asian counterparts," Wong said. "They can look into sectors such as Islamic banking, healthcare, logistics, financial services where the world is constantly looking to outsource to players who can properly service these niche markets with higher sets of skills and expertise."


Global Funds Cut Malaysian Debt Holdings in June From May Record


Ringgit malaysiaGlobal investors cut holdings of Malaysian local-currency bonds in June from a record high in May, a central bank report showed today.

Read more: Global Funds Cut Malaysian Debt Holdings in June From May Record

Wall St tumbles; Dow, S&P Turn Negative For July

UNITED STATES stocks slumped in a broad decline on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 turning negative for July on concerns over the strength of overseas economies and ongoing tensions with Russia.

Read more: Wall St tumbles; Dow, S&P Turn Negative For July

KL Shares End Easier

KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia closed lower today, weighed down by losses in selected blue-chips and heavyweights as well as lack of fresh leads.

Read more: KL Shares End Easier

Petronas Chemicals, Sime Darby weigh on KLCI

Petronas-New-LogoKUALA LUMPUR: Selling pressure on key FBM KLCI stocks pushed the 30-stock index to an intra-day low of 1,866 in volatile trade on Thursday before some mild buying support helped it erase some of the losses.

Read more: Petronas Chemicals, Sime Darby weigh on KLCI

Samsung profit hit as smartphone growth slows

Samsung Logo.svgSeoul - Profits at Samsung Electronics fell 20% in the second quarter, hurt mainly by a slowdown in smartphone sales and a strong Korean currency.

Read more: Samsung profit hit as smartphone growth slows

Nintendo shares fall more than 6%

NintendoTOKYO: Shares in Nintendo fell more than six per cent in early trade on Thursday (July 31) after the Japanese videogame giant announced it was still mired in the red.

Nintendo closed down 6.49 per cent at 11,525.0 yen on the Tokyo exchange. On Wednesday, the company said it incurred a $97 million quarterly net loss, with higher costs tied to sales of its Wii U console digging into its bottom line while sales weakened. The shortfall comes after the firm logged its third straight year of operating losses, underscoring the challenges faced by the one-time industry titan.

The maker of the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises has fallen on hard times in recent years, piling up losses as rivals Sony and Microsoft outpaced it in console sales. All three companies are also fighting off a trend toward cheap -- or sometimes free -- downloadable games for smartphones and other mobile devices.

"A recovery isn't in sight," Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, told Dow Jones Newswires in reference to Nintendo's dwindling fortunes.

The Kyoto-based firm left unchanged its forecast for a 20 billion yen ($195 million) net profit on sales of 590 billion yen for the year to March 2015.