Business

Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

Energy

Brent crude was 0.43% lower to US$56.05 per barrel at 3.52pm.

Forex

Ringgit up 0.25% to 4.1978 versus the US dollar 3.57pm.

Top foreign stories

US SEC says hackers may have traded using stolen insider information: The The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Wednesday that hackers accessed its corporate disclosure database and may have illegally profited by trading on the insider information stolen. It said the hack occurred in 2016 but it had only discovered last month that the cyber criminals may have used the information to make illicit trades. — Reuters

What is at stake for Uber in US bribery probe?: A US bribery investigation at ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc will likely go on for a year or more and could lead to snowballing legal and compliance costs if lawyers find systemic problems. — Reuters

Google to acquire HTC’s Pixel smartphone division in US$1.1b deal: Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would pay US$1.1 billion in cash to acquire the division at Taiwan’s HTC Corp that develops the US firm’s Pixel smartphones, its latest push into hardware manufacturing. Under the deal, Google will also receive a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property. The Taiwanese firm will continue to run its remaining smartphone business. — Reuters

Australia’s CBA to sell insurance unit to AIA Group for US$3b: Commonwealth Bank of Australia has agreed to sell its life insurance unit to Hong Kong-based AIA Group for US$3.1 billion, in the biggest Asian buyout of an Australian financial firm. The deal will see AIA acquiring CBA’s life insurance business in Australia and life and health insurance businesses in New Zealand. — Reuters

BYD chief expects all vehicles to be electric in China by 2030: The head of Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd expects all vehicles in the country to be electric or hybrid by 2030, a more aggressive timeframe than even Europe, as Beijing pushes ahead on a longer-term plan to shift away from petrol-engine cars. — Reuters

China hits back at US over trade, says unilateralism is ‘unprecedented challenge’: China hit back on Thursday at recent criticism from the United States about its trade practices, saying some countries’ unilateralism is an unprecedented challenge to global trade. Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng also said that foreign and domestic firms are treated equally in China and that foreign firms should not have concerns about investing in China. — Reuters

China’s Baidu launches US$1.5b autonomous driving fund: Chinese search engine Baidu Inc announced a 10 billion yuan (US$1.52 billion) autonomous driving fund on Thursday as part of a wider plan to speed up its technical development and compete with US rivals. The ”Apollo Fund” will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years, Baidu said. — Reuters

Top local stories

Great Eastern assessing options over minority stake in Malaysian ops: Singapore-based Great Eastern Holdings Ltd confirms it is assessing possible options over the sale of a minority stake in the Malaysian operations to comply with the foreign ownership rules. It said the assessment was preliminary at this stage and shareholders were told that “there is no certainty that any agreement will be entered into”. — StarBiz

SMEs growth outpaces country’s GDP growth: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for more than a third of the country’s economy, recorded recorded GDP growth of 5.2% compared with the national GDP of 4.2% in 2016. The contribution of SME GDP to the Malaysia GDP increased steadily to 36.6% from 36.3% in 2015. — StarBiz

Mudajaya fixes placement share price at RM1.15: Mudajaya Group Bhd has fixed the issue price for its 53 million shares to be placed out at RM1.15 each. The company said on Thursday that at RM1.15, it was a premium of 7.42% to the five-day volume weighted average market price of the shares up to and including Sept 20. — StarBiz

Bank Negara foreign reserves up to US$100.8b at Sept 15: Bank Negara’s international reserves rose US$300mil to US$100.80bil as at Sept 15, 2017, from US$100.5bil on Aug 30. — StarBiz