Following are the main stories in Malaysian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
THE STAR (www.thestar.com.my)
* Despite rising oil prices and chaos in the Middle-East and Japan, some Penang-based electronics companies expect this year to be “comfortable” due to the growing demand for their niche products and a growing global consumer electronics and medical market.
* Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd plans to invest substantially in a new motorcycle assembly plant in Seberang Prai, managing director Harada Shoichi said.
NEW STRAITS TIMES (www.nst.com.my)
* Barely 24 hours after Sarawak chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud announced that the state assembly will be dissolved, two opposition parties - Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) - are set to sever ties, SNAP president Edwin Dundang said.
BUSINESS TIMES (www.btimes.com.my)
* Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) , the country’s largest fixed-line phone company, is confident of achieving growth annually over the near to medium term, even though it is experiencing one of its most challenging periods ever.
* Elections in Sarawak will help boost the share price of timber and oil and gas companies from the state, though analysts say that the outcome of the election itself could be a major driver for the equity market in Sarawak.
THE SUN (www.sun2surf.com)
* Pakatan Rakyat are under no illusion that they can replicate their 2008 performance in the coming Sarawak election, Democratic Action Party (DAP) deputy chairman Tan Seng Giaw said.
* Gold investment accounts are fast gaining popularity among investors as they are comparatively cheaper to invest in than physical gold, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Bhd chief executive officer Jamelah Jamaluddin said.
THE EDGE FINANCIAL DAILY (www.theedgemalaysia.com)
* Could Boustead Holdings Bhd be considering a real estate investment trust (REIT) soon? Analysts said a potential REIT exercise would help Boustead unlock the substantial value of its investment assets and, at the same time, raise funds for replenishing its land bank.
THE MALAYSIAN RESERVE (www.themalaysianreserve.com.my)
* US-based banking firm JP Morgan is on an expansion drive in Malaysia in anticipation of more business this year, in line with the group’s strategy to corner a larger market share in rising Asia, said JP Morgan senior country officer for Malaysia Clement Chew.
* Just before the nuclear crisis in Japan, one speaker at a closed forum on renewable energy bad commented that Malaysia’s foray into the nuclear domain for power generation is more a question of “when” rather than “if”.
($1=3.118 Malaysian Ringgit)
Kuala Lumpur Newsroom