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=MALAYSIA PRESS: News Headlines On Tuesday, April 17

KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 17) -- Here’s a roundup of local news:

*Bursa Malaysia opens up short selling to 'wider' group of investors

Bursa Malaysia has opened up regulated short selling to a wider group of investors, it said, by implementing “a clear” framework to facilitate intraday short selling as part of its strategy to boost market liquidity. With that, investors will be able to sell securities before acquiring them, within the trading day itself. Regulated short selling of shares has been made available for quite some time, but participation has been largely restricted for retail investors. - The Sun Daily

*Investors are taking nothing for granted about Malaysia’s election

Malaysia’s ruling party has never lost a general election, but a string of political shocks around the world in recent years mean investors are bracing for a range of outcomes in next month’s vote. While the ringgit is still Asia’s third-best performer this year, it lost ground this month as uncertainty increases before the May 9 vote. The nation’s 10-year bond yields climbed to the highest level in a month last week. - Bloomberg News

*Indonesia-Malaysia palm council says UK supermarket misleads consumers

The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, a palm oil board led by Indonesia and Malaysia, said British supermarket chain Iceland’s decision to remove palm oil from its own-brand food products misleads consumers. Iceland said last week that due to concerns over rainforest destruction it would remove palm oil from all of its own-brand products by end-2018, reducing demand for the vegetable oil by more than 500 tons per year. The claims being made against palm oil are “misleading the consumers on the environmental benefits of other vegetable oil,” CPOPC Executive Director Mahendra Siregar said in a letter addressed to Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland. - Reuters

*AirAsia X won't buy 'too expensive' Airbus A350: co-group CEO

Malaysia’s AirAsia X has no plans to buy the Airbus SE A350 widebody jet, the airline’s joint group CEO said Monday despite the airline having 10 of them on order. “The A350 is not an aircraft we will buy,” AirAsia X joint group CEO Tony Fernandes said in a Facebook Live chat from London. “Too expensive. Fares would go up.” AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia, placed a firm order for 10 A350s in June 2009. It later ordered 66 A330neos, an updated version of the A330s it has in its current fleet. - Reuters

*Malaysia's IHH says Fortis board declines to engage on takeover offer

Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare said Monday India’s Fortis Healthcare declined to engage with the company regarding a takeover offer, citing binding agreements made with other parties. IHH, one of Asia’s largest health care operators, bid 160 rupees ($2.45) per share to buy Fortis last week, topping a 155 rupee per share offer from Fortis’s Indian rival Manipal Healthcare Enterprises. On Monday the Malaysian firm said the Fortis board sent it a response letter indicating it was unable to engage with IHH due to binding agreements with Manipal Health Enterprises, Manipal Global Health Services and TPG Asia. - Reuters

*Malaysian stock surges after company founder apologizes to Najib

One of the world’s largest glovemakers Supermax Corp. is rallying after its founder Stanley Thai apologized to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for vocally supporting the opposition in the nation’s last general election five years ago. Supermax shares rose as much as 6.9 percent in Kuala Lumpur after Thai apologized in a news conference over the weekend. The Star on Saturday cited Thai as saying he realized it was wrong for him as a businessman to be involved in politics. - Bloomberg News

- By Kuala Lumpur Newsroom;; +60320267363
- Edited by Glen Nicol Perkinson
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