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WillScot Takes Action in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

BALTIMORE, March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WillScot Corporation (“WillScot”) (Nasdaq: WSC), the specialty rental services market leader providing innovative modular space and portable storage solutions, today reported that the company is fully operational and is immediately deploying hundreds of units in support of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WillScot is uniquely qualified to support all aspects of this pandemic through its $2.6 billion (ABV) fleet of relocatable buildings and storage units from over 120 branch locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing over 85 million square feet of temporary space, of which over 20 million is available for immediate deployment. Their temporary modular space solutions can be supplied fully furnished and range in size from 160 square feet, up to units that can be complexed together, configured up to three stories high, creating space exceeding 10,000 square feet. WillScot is configuring and deploying its units safely and efficiently to address evolving needs related to the pandemic, including testing and treatment centers, wash facilities, restrooms, mobile offices, distribution centers, storage for equipment and supplies, as well as a host of other uses.

Brad Soultz, President and Chief Executive Officer of WillScot, commented, “We are taking unprecedented steps to protect our employees and customers while actively deploying our temporary modular space solutions in every major metropolitan area in North America to help communities and companies care for the afflicted and blunt the advance of COVID-19. We have the technical expertise and the financial resources to be part of the solution and will do everything we can to help communities and companies persevere through this pandemic and continue to thrive in the future.”

The company is protecting its employees and customers by taking preventive measures, including increased cleaning protocols, social distancing, and remote work enablement to ensure seamless continuity of services. WillScot manages the most extensive branch network in the modular space industry and has implemented enhanced contingency plans to provide uninterrupted service should any locations need to close. These safeguards are allowing WillScot to fully support a diverse range of customers in communities across the United States, Canada and Mexico in their COVID-19 response efforts. You can read more about WillScot’s product offering and the steps they are taking to stay safe on its website: https://info.willscot.com/covid-19/?utm_source=usa&utm_medium=site-banner&utm_campaign=covid-19

About WillScot Corporation

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, WillScot Corporation is the public holding company for the Williams Scotsman family of companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico. WillScot Corporation trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “WSC.” WillScot is the specialty rental services market leader providing innovative modular space and portable storage solutions across North America. It is the modular space supplier of choice for the construction, education, health care, government, retail, commercial, transportation, security and energy sectors. With over half a century of innovative history, organic growth and strategic acquisitions, its fleet comprises approximately 150,000 modular space and portable storage units managed through its network of 120 locations.

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Scott Junk


VICTOR, N.Y., March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, today commented on the impact of recent northern and southern border closures in the U.S. and impact of the COVID-19 virus on U.S. market trends.

“Our hearts go out to those impacted by this terrible virus,” said Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer at Constellation Brands. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the public and private sectors in the U.S. and both countries work together to keep residents safe and healthy, while continuing to support our global economy, supply chain, and the many jobs our respective citizens depend on to make ends meet.”

Newlands continued, “Importantly, recent decisions to close the northern and southern borders of the U.S. do not impact commercial traffic, which is essential to enabling supply chain operations and the building of critical inventories needed to meet the needs of our communities. This will prove helpful as we and other companies in the consumer product goods space work to provide a bit of comfort in this otherwise difficult time.”

Newlands further commented, “In this regard, we’ve taken steps to bolster support of local off-premise retailers and distributors to meet increased consumer demand as purchasing shifts from on-premise establishments such as bars and restaurants to off-premise businesses such as grocery stores and convenience stores. We’ve seen IRI volume in off-premise accounts for our beer business increase more than 30 percent in the most recent 4-week period versus their 52-week trends. Our teams remain committed to supporting the needs of local consumers, retailers, distributors, and the economies they help bolster in this critical time. We will announce additional measures to further support our industry and communities in the coming days.”


At Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), our mission is to build brands that people love because we believe sharing a toast, unwinding after a day, celebrating milestones, and helping people connect, are Worth Reaching For. It’s worth our dedication, hard work, and the bold calculated risks we take to deliver more for our consumers, trade partners, shareholders, and communities in which we live and work.

It’s what has made us one of the fastest-growing large CPG companies in the U.S. at retail, and it drives our pursuit to deliver what’s next.

Today, we are a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. Every day, people reach for our high-end, iconic imported beer brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Corona Premier, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, and Pacifico, and our high-quality premium wine and spirits brands, including the Robert Mondavi brand family, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner brand family, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

But we won’t stop here. Our visionary leadership team and passionate employees from barrel room to boardroom are reaching for the next level, to explore the boundaries of the beverage alcohol industry and beyond. Join us in discovering what’s Worth Reaching For.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com.

Mike McGrew 773-251-4934 / michael.mcgrew@cbrands.com
Amy Martin 585-678-7141 / amy.martin@cbrands.com
Patty Yahn-Urlaub 585-678-7483 / patty.yahn-urlaub@cbrands.com
Bob Czudak 585-678-7170 / bob.czudak@cbrands.com

A downloadable PDF copy of this news release enhanced with multimedia links can be found here: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/89fcc21e-183b-4524-8822-38e1aa573c44

Malaysian banks resilient enough to weather storm in 2020 – RAM Rating

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — RAM Rating Services Bhd expects Malaysian banks are resilient enough to weather escalating headwinds on both the domestic and global fronts which pose greater downside risks to their performance this year.

Its co-head of financial institution ratings, Wong Yin Ching believed that banks have strong fundamentals and prudent risk management to weather the storm.

In a statement today, the credit rating agency said while it has maintained a stable outlook on the local banking sector this year, banks are facing heightened uncertainties and challenges in the still-evolving economic landscape. 

These include loan expansion to moderate to between 1.0 per cent and 2.0 per cent from  +3.9 per cent last year, asset quality indicators to weaken with a gross impaired loan (GIL) as well as credit cost ratios increase.

In the meantime, capital buffers to remain sturdy, while funding as well as liquidity to stay healthy and softer profitability amid slower credit growth, compressed net interest margin (NIM) and heftier credit losses.

“We expect banks to closely monitor their credit exposures amid the present challenging scenario and envisage a pick-up in rescheduling and restructuring (R&R) activities,” RAM’s co-head of financial institution ratings, Sophia Lee said.

In light of COVID-19 impacts on certain sectors and the collapse of oil prices, fresh risks may emanate from the oil and gas sector as the steep drop in oil prices threatens to derail recovery charted by the industry in the last two years.

Apart from pressures on asset quality, RAM Rating noted that Malaysian banks’ loan growth has been dwindling even before the onset of challenges brought on by COVID-19.

“For now, we have pencilled in loan growth of between 1.0 per cent and 2.0 per cent for 2020 compared with +3.9 per cent in 2019 but we highlight downside risks to our forecast given the evolving nature of the current environment,” said Lee.

In the event economic conditions worsen drastically, RAM Rating foresee that it could be challenging for the banking system to achieve even a 1.0 per cent loan growth this year.

Looking ahead, the credit rating agency said topline pressure and potentially heavier impairment charges amid the current environment could dent banks’ earnings this year. 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

GLC/GLIC Disaster Response Network extends COVID-19 assistance

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — The Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) and Government-Linked Investment Companies (GLICs) Disaster Response Network (GDRN), together with various partners, is working and coordinating GLCs and GLICs’ support in assisting the Ministry of Health (MoH) in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GDRN is managed by a Joint-Secretariat led by Yayasan Hasanah (YH) (a foundation under Khazanah Nasional Bhd) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), GDRN said in a statement today.

“The collective early contributions stand at RM40 million from several GLCs, GLICs and private sector entities to support the various humanitarian and medical-related initiatives,” it said.

Of the RM40 million, RM17 million has been pledged directly to the GDRN to support MoH to purchase medical supplies, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and ventilators.

The companies pledging to GDRN towards MoH support are Affin Bank Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP), Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, and Pharmaniaga.

Other companies that have made their pledges include Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Telekom Malaysia, TIME dotcom Bhd, Yayasan Hasanah, Yayasan Sime Darby, and Yayasan UEM.

It said the RM17 million allocation will be primarily focused on the provisions of medical supplies which include PPEs and ventilators to meet the needs of MoH, institutional hospitals and the public.

The coordination and implementation of procurement, handling, warehousing and distribution will be done through PharmaNiaga Bhd, it said.

Yayasan Hasanah managing director Shahira Ahmed Bazari said the support needed to be better coordinated to avoid duplication of efforts and redundancy of supplies.

“We hope that this platform will enable a more streamlined approach to assist MoH and the nation during this difficult time.

“Currently YH is coordinating the efforts with GLCs and GLICs under the banner of the GDRN and welcome the private sector to also extend their support towards this joint efforts,” said Shahira.

In addition, several GDRN members had early on implemented several relief support totalling approximately RM23 million and these include distribution of food supplies, hygiene kits and medical equipment to hospitals, including district health clinics, universities which are still housing students on campus, and the Surveillance Centre managed by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA). 

Several GDRN members have also mobilised their volunteers.

GDRN’s commitment to support the fight against COVID-19 will continue beyond the Movement Control Order (MCO) period as it plans to assist the vulnerable and bottom 40 per cent household income (B40) groups who have been impacted by COVID-19 in the longer term. 

This is in line with the purpose of the GDRN’s formation, which is to ensure a holistic response in the short, medium and long term in times of disasters as witnessed by its support across the country from 2013 until 2019.

While efforts through GDRN and by individual GLC, GLIC, as well as the private sector will continue, it welcomes contribution from others.

Interested parties/organisations who wish to contribute via GDRN and YH can contact YH Community development and humanitarian disaster relief head Anita Ahmad (6019-2782707, email: anita.ahmad@hasanah.org.my) and TM and GDRN Secretariat head, corporate responsibility and external stakeholders management head, Izad Ismail (6019-3366035, email: izad@tm.com.my).

The GDRN was created in 2013 through the Putrajaya Committee for GLC High Performance (PCG) with Khazanah Nasional Bhd serving as its secretariat. 

The network was deployed between 2013 and 2016 in various relief and reconstruction works, especially during major floods in Kelantan, Pahang, and Johor. 

The GDRN Secretariat is led by TM, as PCG successor entity, since 2014.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Sunway Malls offers 14-day rent free for its non-essential retailers

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Sunway Malls  is offering 14-day rent free to its non-essential retailers following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from March 18-31. 

The move is expected to benefit retailers at Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Velocity, Sunway Carnival, Sunway Putra, Sunway Big Box Retail Park, Sunway Giza and Sunway Citrine.

Sunway Malls and Theme Parks chief executive officer HC Chan said Sunway Malls was aware of the tremendous strain on the retailers in terms of revenue and cash-flow due to the mandatory trading cessation of 14 days in the government’s move to halt the spread of the COVID-19.

“The global scale of this outbreak is both unprecedented and uncharted. At times like these, everyone is losing, and each of us has the responsibility to shoulder and share the pain.

“As such, this grant is expected to bring a certain degree of comfort and relief to Sunway Malls’ affected retailers,” he said in a statement today.

Chan said the mall group would also undertake steps to ease credit control for retailers in this difficult period.

He added that Sunway Malls is still monitoring the situation closely and reviewing the developments as it unfolds.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID-19: GLCs donate RM60 mln to MoH, tax deduction approved for contributions

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Government-linked companies (GLCs) have to-date donated about RM60 million in the form of medicine, medical equipment and personal protective equipment to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The corporate sector is encouraged to emulate the generosity of GLCs in assisting national efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said.

“The government welcomes the generosity of Malaysians, both the rakyat and the corporate sector, in contributing and donating towards addressing the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said in a statement today.

In this regard, the Finance Ministry (MOF) has approved a tax deduction for contributions and donations in cash and in kind by individuals and corporates to the COVID-19 Fund and the MOH, he said.

Tengku Zafrul also said that preparations for the Second Economic Stimulus Package are underway and will take into account various stakeholders’ feedback to ensure the rakyat’s well-being, sustainability of private sector companies and the nation’s economic resilience in facing the challenges of COVID-19 and global uncertainties.

This would be in addition to the RM20 billion stimulus package announced in February.

The public is also invited to provide feedback and ideas for the upcoming economic stimulus package through the official MOF portal at http://pre2020.treasury.gov.my/, he added.

He said a number of initiatives announced in February are progressing smoothly.

Among them are service tax exemption for hotels effective March 1 and restructuring and rescheduling of loans by financial institutions for impacted borrowers, especially small and medium enterprises and B40 individuals. A soft loan fund worth RM3.3 billion has been provided by Bank Negara Malaysia.

In addition, key measures planned to take effect on  April 1 are on schedule for implementation.

“These include the proposed deferment of monthly income tax instalments for the tourism industry, the reduction in the Employees Provident Fund employee contribution and the discount on electricity. Up to March 23, 2020, a total of RM1.7 billion has been disbursed to relevant ministries and agencies, out of the total PRE2020 (Extra Economic Stimulus Package) direct government allocation of RM3.2 billion.”

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Import duty and sales tax exemption on face masks for domestic market

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has approved the import duty and sales tax exemption on face masks for the domestic market.

The government is cognisant of the difficulties faced by the rakyat in obtaining face masks due to the sharp rise in demand, said its Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“The public is encouraged to avoid excessive purchases to ensure adequate supply for all,” he said in a statement here, today.

In addition, to ensure sufficient supply in the domestic market, the government has imposed an export ban on face masks, he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency