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Thursday, 7 December 2017 | MYT 4:02 PM

Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

Energy

Brent crude was 0.11% higher to US$61.29 per barrel at 2.50pm.

Forex

Ringgit down 0.25% to 4.0863 versus the US dollar at 2.59pm.

Top foreign stories

Asian currencies drift as investors shy away from risk: Most Asian currencies drifted on Thursday, with investors shying away from risk ahead of key central bank meetings next week and due to political uncertainty in the Middle East. Market players expect the mood to be cautious in the run up to next Thursday, when both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are expected to hold policy meetings. — Reuters

Sharp to seek all-Japan OLED alliance to counter S.Korea’s Samsung, LG: Japan’s Sharp Corp will ask the government to help it form an alliance with rival Japan Display Inc in OLED technology to better compete with South Korean makers, its chief executive said after Sharp’s shares returned to the bourse’s first section after a year’s absence. — Reuters

CEO: HSBC has 3-year headstart on foreign investment banking rivals in China: HSBC has a three-year headstart on its foreign investment banking rivals in China because of the British bank’s unique position of having management control of its securities venture there, chief executive Stuart Gulliver said on Thursday. — Reuters

Bitcoin to start futures trading, stoking Wild West worries: Bitcoin fans are salivating over the potential of long-awaited legitimacy for the cyptocurrency when futures trading launches this weekend, but experts worry the risks associated with bitcoin’s Wild West-like nature could overshadow the debut. The first bitcoin future trades kick off Sunday at 2300 GMT on Cboe Global Markets Inc’s Cboe Futures Exchange, followed a week later by CME Group Inc’s CME. — Reuters

IMF: China’s growth objectives clash with financial stability goal: China should prioritise financial stability above development goals, as pursuit of regional growth targets and helping firms avoid heavy job losses had led to a surge in debt, particularly at local government level, the International Monetary Fund said. — Reuters

China’s SITC aims to buy logistics firms in South-East Asia in 2018: Chinese shipping conglomerate SITC International Holdings Co Ltd is looking for logistics firms to buy in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, CEO Yang Xianyang said on Wednesday. However, he said none of the talks are in final stages. — Reuters

Top local stories

Gamuda eyes order-book replenishment of at least RM6b: Gamuda Bhd is eyeing an order-book replenishment of at least RM6bil over the next two years, said MD Datuk Lin Yun Ling, adding the company’s current order-book stands at around RM8bil which will see it through for the next three years, — StarBiz

Sapura Energy posts Q3 loss of RM274m: Sapura Energy Bhd posted a net loss of RM274.4mil in its third quarter versus a net profit of RM158.06mil a year ago on lower contribution from its engineering and construction and drilling segments as well as lower share of profit from joint ventures. Group revenue declined 42% to RM1.28bil. — StarBiz

PNB sells Santos Place in Australia for A$370m: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has sold the Santos Place in Brisbane, Australia, for A$370mil to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. PNB bought the building in 2010 for A$290mil. — StarBiz

State Street: Fast and furious ringgit needs to take pit stop: After going from last to first in Asia, the Malaysian ringgit may be headed for a break -- before resuming its rally.
Momentum indicators, including slow stochastics, show the ringgit is overbought. The currency has surged 3.6% against the dollar in the past month, the best performer as oil prices climbed and the central bank signaled a potential interest-rate increase. - Bloomberg

Malaysia retail sales down 1.1% in Q3: Retail sales in the country contracted 1.1% in the third quarter, as rising cost of living eroded the purchasing power of Malaysians, said Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) in a report. The figure was lower than RGM and the Malaysia Retailers Association forecasts for an expansion of 4.0% and 2.9%, respevtively. For the first 9 months of the year, retail sales grew 1.9% versus a year ago. — StarBiz

Project delivery partner for HSR likely to be known by Q1 2018: The winner of the bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR)’s project delivery partner (PDP) will likely be known by the first quarter of next year, said MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd commercial director Tonny Yeap said, adding the deadline to submit the PDP tender proposal is end-January 2018. — Bernama

MQ Tech to offer casino marketing services: MQ Technology Bhd is teaming up with Vivo Tower, a casino marketing agency, to offer casino marketing services for the Star Vegas Resort & Club in Poipet, Cambodia. Vivo Tower owns the licence to operate the casino in the resort owned by Donaco Holdings (HK) Pte Ltd. — StarBiz