Bursa Malaysia rises unexpectedly, volume hits all-time high

Most Bursa Malaysia indices rose unexpectedly on Monday after market reopened, with average daily trading volume hit over RM7 billion in value, the highest ever in history.

Ringgit bounced back from 3.9850/9880 to the US dollar in morning trade to settle at to settle at RM3.9505, although analysts expected the currency to come under pressure after the shock election outcome.

Analysts said the key FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ended in green territory as investors regained confidence after the setting up of Council of Elders and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s pledge to boost stock market.

They added that there was also strong buying support from local funds.

Local institutions bought net RM238.2 million while foreign funds sold net RM682.6 million.

The index closed at 1,850.42, 3.91 points or 0.21 per cent higher than Tuesday’s close, a day before the 14th General Election.

Volume jumped to 6.58 billion units valued at RM7.31 billion from 2.35 billion units valued at RM2.80 billion on last Tuesday.

Recent highs of trading volume were on November 30, 2017 (RM6.029 billion in value) and on May 31, 2016 (RM6.68 billion).

FBMKLCI rebounded after early jitters in the morning and later gained momentum to hit its intraday high of 1,875.92 points around 4.30pm before ending lower to 1,850.42.

Press Metal Aluminium Holding Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Genting Bhd and Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd were the main drivers to push the index to close higher.

MIDF Research head Redza Rahman said more than RM2 billion worth of trading volume were concentrated on CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Felda Global Ventures Bhd and GamudaBhd shares.

He said among the factors that influenced the investor's market confidence in the market was Dr Mahathir’s pledge to boost local stock markets.

The appointment of advisors or the Council of Elders shows that the government is serious in improving the country's governance.

Stock market analyst NazarryRosli said local institutional funds supported the stock market, causing most indices to close in green territory.

He, however, expected some profit taking to take place in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia Small Cap Index closed at 14,854.37 points, 2.08 per cent higher than Tuesday.

Other indices such as Finance, Technology, Consumer, Plantation and Real Estate Investment Trusts also closed in positive territory.

Indices such as FBMT100 and FBM70 however ended in red at 12,686.12 points and 15,152.96 points respectively.

By –New Straits Times

Xerox Scraps $6.1 Billion Fujifilm Deal in Victory for Icahn

Xerox Corp. called off a $6.1 billion takeover by Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and parted ways with its chief executive officer, handing a major victory to activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason.

In an agreement with the two investors, which together own about 13 percent of Xerox, the U.S. office equipment supplier said CEO Jeff Jacobson will step down along with several other board members. John Visentin is expected to take over as CEO while Keith Cozza, the CEO of Icahn Enterprises, will become chairman.

Fujifilm on Monday said it “disputes Xerox’s unilateral decision” and is “reviewing all of our available options, including bringing a legal action seeking damages.”

The settlement marks the end of a tumultuous fight between Xerox and Icahn over a transaction that would cede control of the once-iconic American innovator synonymous with office copy machines to a Japanese company. As part of a deal proposed in January, Xerox would first merge with a joint venture it operates with Fujifilm in Asia, and the Tokyo-based company would ultimately take over slightly more than 50 percent of the combined entity.

Icahn and Deason opposed the Fujifilm transaction from the start. Deason sued Xerox in February to block the proposal, accusing Jacobson of acting without authorization to strike a deal that preserved his job at shareholders’ expense. The lawsuit also claimed that the company’s board breached its fiduciary duties.

“Fujifilm will urge the Xerox board of directors to reconsider their decision,” the Tokyo-based company said Monday in an emailed statement.

Icahn’s Activism

Last week, Icahn and Deason repeated their calls for Xerox to scrap the transaction, fire Jacobson, hire a new CEO, and have the board resign. The pair said they would be willing to consider any offers for the company of $40 a share or more.

Icahn has increased his activism over the past few months as he focuses his energies back on shaking up corporate targets after spending part of last year advising U.S. President Donald Trump on his regulatory agenda. He announced two more nominees for SandRidge Energy Inc.’s board on Friday, signaling he’s not interested in a proposed settlement of his fight to take control of the oil and gas explorer. Icahn also reached a deal with Newell Brands Inc. that would give the billionaire investor seats on the board and see the Crock-Pot maker accelerate its transformation plans.

Fujifilm shares rose 1.3 percent at 1:44 p.m. in Tokyo trading on Monday, giving the company a market value of $20.2 billion. Xerox closed 2.9 percent higher at $30.17 on Friday in the U.S. for a market capitalization of $7.7 billion.

"It’s not bad for Fujifilm that Xerox ended the deal,” Tomoichiro Kubota, a market analyst at Matsui Securities Co. said by phone. “From the beginning, the market was not accepting the deal as a good one since they don’t see big growth potential in Xerox.”

Separately, Fujifilm said it’s acquiring the stakes it doesn’t already own in drugmaker and distributor Toyama Chemical Co. from Taisho Pharmaceutical. Toyama Chemical will be combined with its Fujifilm RI Pharma unit effective Oct. 1, Fujifilm said in a statement Monday. Nikkei earlier reported Fujifilm was expected to acquire the stake for as much as 70 billion yen ($640 million).

Audited Financials

In its statement late Sunday, Xerox cited Fujifilm’s failure to provide audited financials for the joint venture on time, among other issues, for the decision to terminate the merger agreement. Bloomberg earlier reported on the cancellation of the transaction.

Fujifilm had said last week it intended to resume discussions with Xerox on a potential combination on “superior terms,” but it hadn’t received a new proposal from the U.S. company. Fujifilm has also said it was appealing a U.S. court injunction blocking the takeover.

“We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm," Icahn said. "With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox."

Xerox said it believes that the transaction cannot reasonably be expected to be completed under the circumstances, particularly given the court injunction and that shareholders didn’t support it on current terms, as well as unresolved accounting issues at Fuji Xerox.

“The board also considered the potential instability and business disruption during a proxy contest. Absent a viable, timely transaction with Fujifilm, the Xerox board believes it is in the best interests of the company and all of its shareholders to terminate the proposed transaction and enter a new settlement agreement with Icahn and Deason," it said.


JPMorgan Seeks Majority Stake in China Fund Management Venture

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it plans to take a majority stake in its Chinese fund management joint venture, the second move by the U.S. bank in the past week to take advantage of Beijing’s commitment to open its financial markets to foreign firms.

The New York-based bank is seeking the higher stake in Shanghai-based China International Fund Management Co., which it set up together with Shanghai International Trust & Investment Co. in 2004, according to a statement Monday.

China pledged last month to allow foreign firms to own as much as 51 percent of their securities, fund management, futures and insurance joint ventures. During a visit to China last week, JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon expressed hope that mounting trade tensions won’t derail the U.S. bank’s plans to expand in the world’s second-largest economy.

The U.S. bank last Thursday submitted an application to acquire a majority stake in its Chinese securities venture, following similar moves by UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. JPMorgan also has corporate banking operations in China and owns a 49 percent stake a commodity futures joint venture, according to the bank’s China website.

China’s 113 fund management firms, including 45 Sino-foreign JVs, oversaw a total of 11.6 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) by the end of December, according to the Asset Management Association of China. JPMorgan currently has a 49 percent stake in its fund management venture, which has about 190 billion yuan of assets under management.

JPMorgan said the plan to take a higher stake in its fund management venture is subject to agreement with its partner and the relevant authorities.

From – Bloomberg

SoftBank's Son Eyes Another $100 Billion for Fund 2.0, Sources Say

Masayoshi Son, the founder and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., is already thinking about his next $100 billion venture -- a version 2.0 of the world’s biggest technology fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Japanese entrepreneur has held preliminary discussions with investors about committing to a second fund as early as 2019, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The people said the planned fund would likely draw a wider pool of investors than the first one, in which most of the contributions came from sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A representative for SoftBank declined to comment.

The fund is likely to be similar in size to the almost $100 billion that was raised for the first Vision Fund, the people said. About $45 billion of the current fund has been deployed on investments ranging from Uber Technologies Inc. to a stake in Nvidia Corp., the people said. No final decisions have been made and the billionaire businessman may also decide against the plan, they said.

“I’m not sure where he can find more good investment opportunities,” said Dan Baker, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Management Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. “That seems like a lot of additional capital.”

At an event in Tokyo on Tuesday, Son said that the second fund would be launched soon.

“Vision Fund 2 will definitely come, it’s just a matter of when,” Son said. “Sometime in the near future.”

Son didn’t give a specific time-line or scale, but he did talk at length about how he makes investments. He invoked the mindset of Yoda, the green Jedi master from the “Star Wars” films.

“Yoda says use the force,” he said. “Don’t think, just feel it.”

He continued: “Every time my team does due diligence, they do it for one, two, three months and do a deep dive. But my first insight in the first few minutes is sometimes more meaningful than detailed calculation.”

“You do it so many times, you don’t even need to think,” Son said. “You can just feel it.”

SoftBank shares slid 1.7 percent in Tokyo trading and are down about 5 percent this year.

From –Bloomberg

Hedge Fund Titan Tepper Signs $2.3 Billion Deal for Carolina Panthers

Hedge fund titan David Tepper agreed to pay $2.3 billion for the Carolina Panthers, a record price for a National Football League franchise, according to people familiar with the deal.

Tepper, who has a net worth of about $10 billion, signed the all-cash transaction Tuesday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The price eclipses the $1.4 billion Terry Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. Tilman Fertitta paid $2.2 billion for the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Alibaba Group’s Joe Tsai bought 49 percent of the Brooklyn Nets at a valuation of $2.3 billion.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a Tepper spokesman, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Sherman Financial Group LLC founder Ben Navarro and Alan Kestenbaum, a billionaire who made his fortune turning around metals and mining companies, also made bids for the team.

Tepper is a minority owner of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. League rules mandate that he sell his stake.

The team’s owner, Jerry Richardson, put the franchise up for sale amid allegations of sexual and racial harassment.

From –Bloomberg

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