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=MALAYSIA PRESS: News Headlines On Thursday, February 15

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15) -- Here’s a roundup of local news:

*Malaysian Wealth Fund Is in Talks to Sell Turkish Insurer

A unit of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund plans to sell its Turkish health-insurance business to focus on its home market, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Khazanah Nasional’s Avicennia Capital hired Barclays Plc to manage the disposal of its Istanbul-based health, life and personal-accident provider, said two people, who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential. Avicennia, which expects as much as $300 million from the sale, will invite potential investors later this month, one person said. The potential sale of Acibadem Sigorta, formally known as Acibadem Saglik ve Hayat Sigorta AS, comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year pushed a range of measures including cheaper health insurance and tax breaks to bolster his support and boost economic growth that slowed in the wake of July’s failed coup. Turkey’s health-insurance premiums increased 19 percent in 2017 to 5 billion liras ($1.3 billion). - Bloomberg News

*Sime Darby's Africa ambitions stall pending new deforestation rules

When Malaysia’s biggest plantation company Sime Darby leased 220,000 hectares of lush forest in northwest Liberia in 2009, executives said they had found a much needed new frontier in global palm oil development. Undulating hills, a tropical climate and plenty of untouched land made the West African country’s interior ideal for palm oil growers running out of room in Southeast Asia. Nine years later, however, Sime Darby Plantation has planted only 10,000 hectares in Liberia and has not laid a seed in two years, stalled by uncertainties over new environmental standards. “We are losing money. We have to balance our books or there is no future,” said David Parker, the head of Sime Darby Plantations in Liberia. In its earnings report for the financial year ending in June 2017, Sime Darby said it had filed a 202 million ringgit ($51.3 million) impairment - a permanent reduction in the value of the asset - on its Liberia operations. - Reuters

*Yinson to issue RM1.5b Islamic bonds to refinance loans and fund working capital

Yinson Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiary is issuing RM1.5 billion worth of mudharabah bonds to refinance its outstanding financing facilities and sukuk facilities, and fund its working capital, equity contribution and capital expenditure for new projects. Yinson said Yinson TMC made a lodgement with the Securities Commission Malaysia today to establish the sukuk mudharabah program. The program would have a perpetual tenure with the first issuance to be made within 60 business days. - The Edge Markets

*Bursa extends trading hours, contract months for crude palm futures

Malaysia's derivatives exchange said it would extend the trading hours, tenure of contract months and position limits of its crude palm oil futures contract effective Feb. 26, according to a document posted on its website on Wednesday. Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange said it would lengthen its second trading session by 30 minutes, beginning at 2.30pm instead of 3.00pm (Malaysia time). It is also extending the tenure for contract months for CPO futures to one year of serial months followed by alternate months up to 36 months ahead. The current tenure is six serial months, followed by up to 24 alternate months. - Reuters

- By Kuala Lumpur Newsroom; kleditorial@nikkeinewsrise.com; +60320267363
- Edited by Glen Nicol Perkinson
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