- A + A NEW YORK/BENGALURU (June 29): US stocks fell on Wednesday with a gloomy first-half of the year approaching its end, marred by concerns of an aggressive monetary policy that risks pushing the economy into a recession. Investors fretted over the impact of hefty rate increases on the US economy, as data showed the GDP contracted in the first quarter amid a record trade deficit, following a Tuesday report that showed consumer confidence hit a 16-month low. With just one more day to end the second quarter, the benchmark S&P 500 was on track for its biggest drop in the first half of a year since 1970, while the Nasdaq Composite looked set for a record slide over the same period. Investors are now bracing for the latter part of the year, anticipating the impact of rising prices, higher yields and a hawkish Federal Reserve on the economy at large, as well as on second-quarter company earnings. "There are concerns that we're ahead of ourselves in terms of … [Read more...] about Wall St falls in choppy trading on rate hike, growth concerns
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden and Finland took a step closer to joining the NATO military alliance after Turkey's decision to drop its objections, but there may still be snags to overcome as some critics say the deal hands a foreign policy veto to Ankara. The three countries reached a breakthrough agreement after more than four hours of talks on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday. While Sweden and Finland will be given "invitee" status at the Madrid summit, their applications need to be approved by all NATO's 30 current members, a process that could yet stall. "Sweden can have problems again with Turkey," Swedish daily SvD wrote. "Because if Turkey isn't happy that Sweden is living up to its part of the agreement, the Turkish parliament can stop Sweden again," the paper said. Speaking on Swedish radio, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said those fears were overblown. "I think we have worked through this so much that we don't need to be very worried … [Read more...] about NATO deal with Turkey greeted with caution and concern in Sweden
- A + A MADRID (June 29): World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart said she is skeptical that the U.S. and global economies can dodge a recession, given spiking inflation, sharp hikes in interest rates and slowing growth in China. Reinhart, who returns to Harvard University on July 1 after a two-year public service leave, said it was historically a tall order to reduce inflation and engineer a soft landing at the same time, and recession risks are clearly a "hot topic" at the moment. “What worries everybody is that all the risks are stacked on the downside," Reinhart told Reuters in a remote interview, citing a series of adverse shocks and moves by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates after a decade and a half of ultra-low and negative rates. The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 affected mostly a dozen advanced economies and China at that time was a big engine of growth, but this crisis is far broader and China's growth is no longer in the double … [Read more...] about World Bank’s Reinhart ‘skeptical’ global recession can be avoided
Members of South Korea and U.S. Special forces take part in a joint military exercise. - A + A SEOUL (June 29): Joint drills by the United States, South Korea and Japan have a "sinister aim" toward North Korea and are part of a dangerous prelude to the creation of an "Asian version of NATO", North Korean state news agency KCNA said on Wednesday. The reports on KCNA appeared hours before leaders of South Korea and Japan are due to attend NATO's annual summit as observers for the first time. They will also meet U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss North Korea, the first such trilateral summit since 2017. The three countries will also conduct a combined missile detection and tracking exercise near Hawaii in August, called Pacific Dragon. "The U.S. is getting hell-bent on the military cooperation with its stooges in disregard of the primary security demand and concern by Asia-pacific countries," KCNA said. In a similar statement over the weekend, the … [Read more...] about Cooperation by U.S. and allies a step toward ‘Asian NATO,’ N.Korea media says
Reuters filepix for illustration purpose only - A + A KUALA NERUS (June 29): The Ministry of Health (MOH) received a total of 528 complaints on illegal dental practitioners throughout the country from 2017 to 2021. MOH senior director (Dental Health) Dr Noormi Othman said of these complaints, 377 or 71.4% involved fake braces; 58 (11%) on dental veneers (crowns) and 93 (19.6%) on dentures, tooth extraction and teeth whitening. "The number of complaints rose between 2017 and 2019 but decreased during the 2020-2021 period. The drop might be due to increasing public awareness of bogus dentists or enforcement of the Movement Control Order (PKP) which restricted their activities. "However, we are concerned that the transition to the endemic phase will see their activities rising again," she told reporters, adding that Kuala Lumpur and Selangor recorded the highest number of complaints. Earlier, Dr Noormi launched the "Say No To Fake Dentist!" 2022 campaign, … [Read more...] about MOH receives 528 complaints on bogus dental practitioners
- A + A KUALA LUMPUR (June 29): Property developer Glomac Bhd's net profit jumped almost threefold to RM15.11 million for the fourth quarter ended April 30, 2022 (4QFY22) from RM5.46 million a year ago — despite weaker revenue — as project margins improved. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group reported that revenue fell 37% to RM73.59 million for 4QFY22 from RM116.03 million a year ago due to lower construction activities. Earnings per share for the quarter grew to 1.97 sen, from 0.71 sen previously. The group proposed a dividend of 1.5 sen per share, up from one sen previously, subject to shareholders approval at its upcoming annual general meeting. For the full FY22, the group's net profit grew 29% to RM36.49 million from RM28.22 million in FY21, despite revenue dropping 29% to RM259.49 million from RM366.91 million. "Performance was impacted by the pandemic lockdowns in CY2021, but profitability was partly lifted by cost saving initiatives implemented … [Read more...] about Glomac 4QFY22 net profit jumps almost threefold as project margins improve
Jerome Powell (Bloomberg filepix) - A + A (June 29): Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US economy is in “strong shape” and the central bank can reduce inflation to 2% while maintaining a solid labour market, even though that task has become more challenging in recent months. He also vowed to ensure rapid price increases don’t become entrenched, saying that “we will not allow a transition from a low inflation environment to a high inflation environment”. “We hope that growth will remain positive,” Powell said during a panel discussion Wednesday during the European Central Bank’s annual policy forum in Sintra, Portugal. Household and business finances are also in solid shape, and “overall the US economy is well positioned to withstand tighter monetary policy.” Raising interest rates without sparking a recession “is our aim and we believe there are pathways to achieve that,” Powell said, reiterating comments he’s made this month after the Fed on June … [Read more...] about Powell says US economy in strong shape, Fed can avert recession
- A + A KUALA LUMPUR (June 29): Cypark Resources Bhd denied allegations made by a viral report circulated in various blogs and websites that the company is concealing information deemed pertinent to public investors. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Cypark said the anonymous article, titled “The Mystery of Cypark Resources Berhad”, is ”irresponsible” and contains “wrongful, inaccurate and/or false accusations or information”. Cypark is of the view that the article was “purposely written with malicious intent and misled the investors/stakeholders”. “The board wishes to inform that the company’s fundamentals and all the contractual rights under all the various concession agreements remain solid and valid,” it said. “The company reserves all rights to act on any malice statement and the board will take necessary steps or legal avenues to address them,” it added. The said article raised several matters including Cypark’s ongoing project delay, interest expense, … [Read more...] about Cypark denies viral article’s allegations of concealing information pertinent to investors
This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 13, 2022 - June 19, 2022. - A + A STARTING out as a waste management and environmental company before venturing into the renewable energy (RE) space, Cypark Resources Bhd has been the proxy for the RE theme play, given its exposure to the niche landfill-sanitisation market and the fact that it is the only company of its kind in Malaysia. While there have been ups and downs for Cypark since it was listed about 12 years ago, the last three weeks have been arguably the most challenging period for the company, which intends to convert solid waste into electricity. Its share price plunged 55% to 31 sen on June 10, from 69 sen on May 20. Concerns have been raised over the delays of Cypark’s ongoing projects, including its floating solar plant in Tasik Danau Tok Uban (DTU) in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, and its solid waste modular advance recovery and treatment waste-to-energy (SMART WTE) plant in Ladang … [Read more...] about Should Cypark shareholders be worried?
A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here . You can listen to an audio version of the newsletter by clicking the same link. London (CNN Business) A growing number of investors have come to the conclusion that a recession in the United States is probably looming, fueling a sharp sell-off in stocks and bonds as Wall Street braces for impact. What's happening: A shallow recession late this year or early next year is "becoming the consensus view," David Bianco, DWS chief investment officer for the Americas, told reporters this week. While there's agreement that the Federal Reserve needs to continue to aggressively pull back support for the economy to tamp down decades-high inflation, traders have been increasingly concerned that the central bank could accidentally go too far, triggering a new wave of job losses and throwing growth into reverse. But Fed officials … [Read more...] about Who’s right about a recession — markets or the Fed?