Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NEM steers away from race-based affirmative plan

Very ambitious and strong commitment to change
KUALA LUMPUR: The New Economic Model (NEM) proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak takes a fresh approach to the country’s affirmative action and targets to more than double the income per capita of Malaysian households by 2010.( good!though I doubt it can happen so soon!)
In unveiling the proposals for the NEM prepared by the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), Najib said that the renewed affirmative action policy in the NEM would focus on raising income levels of all disadvantaged groups. ( this is the correct and long awaited move)
“It will focus on the needs of all our people — those living in the long houses in Sabah and Sarawak and poor rural households in Semenanjung Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia), who often feel disconnected from the mainstream economic activity,” he said at the opening of the Invest Malaysia 2010 here on Tuesday, March 30.
According to the NEAC report, the focus of the NEM should be on the bottom 40% of Malaysia’s income strata — both individually and regionally as this group was disadvantaged and required special attention. This 40% of the households earn less than RM1,500 per month.
One of the three objectives under the NEM is to raise income per capita of Malaysian households that currently is US$7,000 (RM22,890) to US$15,000 by 2020, said Najib.
He said that it would be no easy task to achieve the goals set by the economic model but the rewards would be great.
Another salient observation from the NEAC report is that 80% of the workforce has education up to the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level.( yes, a lot of dropouts even Chinese before SPM )“This is not in line with a high-income economy,” the prime minister said. “Creating a high-income nation will mean higher wages throughout the economy. Even wages for blue-collar workers will be based on them acquiring higher competencies, with their performance more readily benchmarked against international competitors. With more skills, comes greater responsibility, and better, higher paying jobs.”
The NEAC, headed by Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz, handed the report and recommendations for the formulation of the NEM to Najib. It would now be discussed by the various stakeholders in the government which include the component parties of Barisan Nasional, before being incorporated into the 10th Malaysia Plan scheduled to be unveiled on June 10 in parliament.
The final blue print for the NEM would only be firmed up in August when the 10th Malaysia Plan is approved.
Najib said that the renewed affirmative action policy would be market-friendly, merit-based, transparent and must be based on needs and not race.( hopefully WHATEVER POLICY CHANGE ,this time will be REAL!)
“For instance, one important consideration will be developing a competitive and transparent tender process, with set and clear rules for the whole bumiputera community, made of both Malay and other indigenous groups. This is set out as a common-sense enhancement of our policies for a new economic reality and where inclusiveness is a key component in our new economic model. In practice, this approach will mean greater support for the bumiputeras — a greater support based on needs, not race,” he said.
Apart from creating a higher-income economy, the other two principles of the NEM are sustainability of the economic activities and inclusiveness that will ensure no one is left out of the wealth-creation process.“
There is little value in pursuing a future based entirely on wealth creation. Pursuing growth that depletes resources and displaces communities will have dire consequences for future generations. This is a false and futile choice,” he said.( TRUE,VERY TRUE!)
He also realised that there would be some opposition to the NEM as it required a change in mindset.“
In the short term, there will be entrenched opposition. Some economic sectors may experience adverse effects. The process of change is never easy, and there will be painful moments. But for the long-term strength of our nation, we cannot afford to duck these issues any longer,” he said.In assessing the results of the NEM, Najib said that it should encompass the whole spectrum of measuring wealth such as equity ownership, other financial and non-financial assets, and access to wealth-creating opportunities such as long-term concessions and contracts.“
Even in measuring ownership, it should go beyond equity to include other properties, business assets such as retail, landed properties, commercial building, intellectual property and other services as well as managerial positions,” he said.


CIMB: Investors in talks for bad debt unit
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB MK, Buy, TP: RM15.25) is in talks with three foreign investors interested in buying stakes in a unit set up to manage its bad debt, CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said. CIMB aims to conclude its first agreement by the end of this year. “We are looking at selling down at least 51%,” Nazir said. The South-East Asia Special Asset Management Bhd unit had about RM8.4bn worth of bad debt when it was created in October to gradually purge the estimated RM14bn of non performing loans inherited from Bumiputra-Commerce Bank and Southern Bank before the merger into CIMB in 2006. (Malaysian Reserve)

TNB: Eyes second quarter profit boost
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) (TNB MK, Buy, TP: RM9.90) expects a strong second-quarter profit after electricity demand surged, and had doubled its full-year demand growth forecast, CEO Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said. TNB saw a 13.8% increase in power demand in the second quarter from a contraction of 7.6% in the equivalent period a year earlier. “Due to this, we think that we are going to exceed our initial estimate of 3% demand growth for the full year. My guess is that it will be 6%-7% for the full year,” Che Khalib said. (StarBiz)

Hong Leong: Returns with the same RM7.10 a share offer for EON Cap
Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLBB) (HLBK MK, Hold TP: RM8.71) has returned with the same cash offer for EON Capital Bhd (EON Cap) – RM7.10 a share or RM4.9bn for the latter’s entire assets and liabilities. The price is the same as its first offer made previously which values EON Cap at 1.4 times book value based on shareholders’ funds of RM3.6bn as at 31 Dec 2009. According to a statement from Bursa Malaysia, HLBB requires EON Cap’s board to confirm that EON Cap agrees to certain conditions regarding the offer on or before Apr 5. These include EON Cap and HLBB each submitting their respective applications to the finance ministry and relevant authorities for approval based on the offer price before Apr 9. (Financial Daily)

Genting: ‘Aggressively’ looking at investments in the US and elsewhere
Genting Bhd (GENT MK, Hold, TP: RM6.37) is aggressively looking at a variety of potential investments in the United States and other countries, said its head of strategic investments and corporate affairs, Datuk Justin Leong. The company is “looking at investments” quite “aggressively” as the markets open up,” he said, but declined to delve into specifics. He
said Genting was cautiously optimistic about the global financial environment. (Financial Daily)

IJM: Bidding for RM4bn worth of projects
IJM Corporation (IJM MK, Hold, TP: RM4.30) is bidding for projects worth RM4bn, giving it a strong possibility of boosting its total orderbook past the RM4bn mark from the current RM3.6bn, said its CEO Datuk Krishnan Tan Boon Seng. “With improving economic conditions, there should be opportunities to increase the order book. Certainly by year end we will
cross the RM4bn mark,” he said, adding that IJM would be sticking to its core business and continue to operate in its traditional markets. He also said there have been concerns about the lack of news flow in the infrastructure industry in Malaysia but believed the situation would change in a month or two. (Financial Daily)

Axiata: To announce first dividend payout since Telekom demerger
Axiata Group Bhd (AXIATA MK, Hold, TP: RM4.15) will be announcing its dividend policy by 3Q2010 en route to its maiden dividend payout since being demerged from Telekom Malaysia Bhd (T MK, Hold, TP: RM3.54) in April 2008. Axiata’s move to pay dividends will be financed by its sale of an 18% stake in its Indonesian subsidiary PT XL Axiata Tbk, which is expected to raise between RM1.83bn to RM2.02bn. Axiata is inclined to use the proceeds for consistent dividends and lowering its borrowings. CEO Datuk Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said there will be divestment of non-core businesses in Iran, Thailand and Pakistan. (Malaysian Reserve)

Parkson: To invest RM220m this year
Parkson Holdings Bhd plans to invest about RM220m this year for expansion, up from RM180m in 2009, said CEO Datuk Albert Cheng. He said a total of RM150m to RM170m would be invested in its biggest market China and RM20m to RM25m for Malaysia. “We would invest around RM20m for our market in Vietnam,” he said. Cheng said the company was expecting an increase of 15% to 20% in its retail space this year for its stores in Malaysia, China and Vietnam. (Financial Daily)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


CIMB: Well capitalised to support overseas units
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB MK, Buy, TP: RM15.25) will not need to raise capital even if it were to inject equity into its subsidiaries in Indonesia and Thailand, as the Malaysian banking group is well capitalised, said its group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak. He said the banking group had a total risk-weighted capital ratio in excess of 15% currently and hencewas in a comfortable position to support its overseas subsidiaries PT Bank CIMB Niaga and CIMB Thai Bank. "Both CIMB Thai and Niaga also have ample capabilities to fund their operations via bonds as opposed to equities," Nazir said. (Financial Daily)
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB MK, Buy, TP: RM15.25) has applied for new banking licences in Vietnam and Cambodia in a bid to strengthen its regional presence. The group already operates in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. "That's all for the moment, but CIMB does have strategies for all other Asean markets," group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak
said when asked if the group planned to expand to other countries. (BT)( will it be too late to buy now?)
IOI: Unilever has no plans to end supply contract
Unilever says it will not cancel palm oil supply contracts with IOI Corp Bhd (IOI MK, Hold, TP: RM5.21) and that it is confident the planter will address concerns over logging forests raised by a green group. IOI had dismissed the report by Friends of the Earth that it cleared rainforests on Borneo Island to expand, saying the allegations were inaccurate. "We believe IOI is a very responsible supplier and are confident that if there is truth in the current allegations, IOI will address them," Unilever head of sustainability Jan-Kees Vis said in an e-mailed response. (BT)

Astro’s wholly owned subsidiary, Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (MBNS), has successfully migrated to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) licensing regime. In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, Astro said it had secured new licences from the government for new content applications service provider, network service provider and network facilities provider under the CMA. Astro said the migration was on “terms that are no worse off to MBNS” and did not have any material effect on the business and operations of the group. (Financial Daily)
Proton: Government will not divest Proton to foreign companies
The government has no intention of divesting its equity in Proton Holdings Bhd as it does not want the national car manufacturer to be controlled by foreign parties. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said Proton was currently negotiating assembly and product joint venture possibilities with several original equipment manufacturers. However, he said the discussions did not involve equity participation but a strategic partnership to enable Proton to
become more innovative, domestically and internationally. (Malaysian Reserve)
Bolton: Acquired land in Jalan Peel for RM39m
Bolton Bhd entered into a deal with Intrapuri Sdn Bhd to acquire a piece of land in Jalan Peel, Kuala Lumpur for RM39m cash. It will develop medium high-end service apartments on the 2.2ha property, with an estimated gross development value and gross development cost of RM280m and RM220m respectively. Development of the property is expected to commence on completion of the proposed acquisition and after obtaining all the approvals from relevant authorities, with an estimated development period of five years. (BT)

Monday, March 29, 2010


Timber stocks, Proton in focus

Written by Joseph Chin
Monday, 29 March 2010 10:21

KUALA LUMPUR: Timber stocks advanced in the early session on Monday, March 29 on expectations of higher prices as demand from Japan picks up .
Hwang DBS Vickers Research, on the stock market outlook, said even though key US equity barometers ended flat on Friday, it said there may be incremental buying interest coming in to lift share prices, ahead of the much anticipated Invest Malaysia 2010 conference to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday."
Hwang DBS Vickers Research said there could be rotational trading activity in CONSTRUCTION [registerQuotes("CONSTRUCTION", "CONSTRUCTION_span");] counters today following a news article speculating that Bina Puri (and its unlisted joint venture partner UEM Group) is on the verge of clinching the third package to build a new low cost carrier terminal valued at RM1.1 billion. Bina Puri and its partner might have beaten other contenders such as Sunway Construction, MRCB, Fajarbaru and Gadang Holdings-PPC joint venture, it said.
Timber stocks were the gainers, with Cymao up 24 sen to 90 sen but with only 200 shares done, Subur Tiasa rose 24 sen also to RM2.52, Jaya Tiasa 17 sen to RM3.92, Lingui 16 sen to RM1.36, Ta Ann 15 sen to RM5.95 while WTK added 11 sen to RM1.34.( ANY CHEAP AND UNDERVALUED TIMBER STOCKS THAT HAVEN'T MOVE?) ---cut & paste from the edge


IOI Corp: IOI refutes NGO’s claim on unsustainable plantation
IOI Corp Bhd (IOI MK, Hold, TP: RM5.21) has rebutted the allegations of unsustainable plantation activities in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, by Western non-governmental organisation Milieudefensi. Milieudefensie, the Dutch branch of the international organisation Friends of the Earth, in a Mar 15 report, made several allegations including instances of potential land conflict, unauthorised plantation development on forest land, encroachment on peat land and open burning. IOI said a thorough investigation into all the allegations established that Milieudefensie’s field research had been highly selective and limited. “A clear action list and timeline has been set by IOI to address the remaining points raised by Milieudefensie,” IOI added. (StarBiz)

Axiata: Indonesia’s XL share sale nets US$554m
Malaysian telecoms firm Axiata (AXIATA MK, Hold, TP: RM4.15) has raised 5.1trn rupiah (US$554m or RM1.8bn) from the sale of shares in its Indonesian unit XL Axiata, XL’s president director said. Axiata is reducing its stake in XL Axiata, Indonesia’s No.3 mobile phone provider, to 68.5% through the share offering from currently 86.5%, in order to increase the free float and improve liquidity. The 1.53bn shares in XL Axiata were priced at 3,300 rupiah a piece, at the top end of the indicated range, and the share offering was 3 to 4 times oversubscribed, XL Axiata president director Hasnul Suhaimi said. (Financial Daily)

Bina Puri: RM1.1bn LCCT job almost in the bag
Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, together with its joint-venture partner UEM Group Bhd, is close to securing the third package of Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) worth some RM1.1bn, sources say. The JV is expected to receive the letter of award soon. The new project would be a boost to Bina Puri’s future earnings and order
book which currently stands at RM2.3bn, stretching over the next three years. (The Edge)

Alam Maritim: Bags charter contracts worth RM83.2m
Alam Maritim Resources Bhd said its unit Alam Maritim (M) Sdn Bhd has landed two charter contracts totalling RM83.16m from unidentified established oil majors to provide an accommodation vessel and an accommodation work barge. The three year charter for the accommodation vessel had a contract sum of about RM39.96m after which there is a two year
option to extend the charter on a yearly basis. The charter contract for the accommodation work barge had a contract sum of about RM43.2m, with a primary period of 13 months with options to extend for two more years. (Malaysian Reserve)

Unisem: US$60-70m for capex
Semiconductor manufacturer Unisem (M) Bhd is allocating between US$60-70m (RM198.6-231.7m) as capital expenditure (capex) for its current fiscal year to expand capacity and capitalise on rising demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) components ad products. Unisem chairman and managing director Jon Chia Sin Tet said about 75% of the capex would
go to expanding production capacity at its manufacturing site in Chengdu, China by building more factories. The remaining 25% will be used to augment the assembly and test capacity at its factories in Ipoh, Malaysia and Batam, Indonesia. “We will embark for organic growth in 2010 to 2012” Chia said. Unisem has no immediate fund-raising plans, Chia added.
(Financial Daily)

Bumi Armada: Talk of listing
Talk of an initial public offering (IPO) of T Ananda Krishnan’s oil and gas support services company, Bumi Armada Bhd, has surfaced again, after years of speculation. Parties familiar with the situation said some investment banks, both local and foreign, have been pitching for the advisory, placement and underwriting work for Bumi Armada’s IPO. Leading the pack, they said, is CIMB Investment Bank. However, other industry sources have not ruled out a sale of part of the company to private equity players, instead of the IPO route. (StarBiz)

Alliance: Shortlists 8 for CEO post
Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd is considering a candidate from among eight individuals to replace Datuk Bridget Lai as its chief executive officer (CEO), sources said. The bank hopes to send the name of the chosen candidate to Bank Negara Malaysia for approval before the end of next month. Out of the eight candidates, three are Malaysian, three Singaporean and the rest foreigners from other countries. Alliance Bank is also on the lookout for senior management as it looks to partially reorganise the bank's management structure. (BT)

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Positive start to Supreme Toto 6/58 GAMING
• 6/58 average revenue per draw at RM800k
Berjaya Sports Toto’s (BST) new lotto game, Supreme Toto 6/58 (6/58) recorded average revenue per draw of approximately RM800k since it was launched three draws ago on 20 Mar 2010 with a maiden jackpot of RM10.9m (Figure 1). This was within expectations as Mega Toto 6/52 (6/52) and Super Toto 6/49 (6/49) recorded similar revenue per draw when their jackpot was approximately RM10m (Figure 2 & Figure 3).
• Average lotto revenue per draw more than 30% higher
Since 6/58 was launched, BST recorded average lotto revenue per draw of RM1.5m (Figure 4). The incremental average lotto revenue per draw was approximately RM500k (6/58 average revenue per draw of RM800k less discontinued 6/49 average revenue per draw of RM300k) or some 30% higher. Lotto revenue per draw will trend higher as the last total jackpot offered was only RM18m when the total minimum jackpot is RM13.9m (Figure 5). This is especially so when the jackpots snowball to levels way higher than the minimum.
• Non-lotto revenue will also benefit
Lotto revenue comprised only 7% and 10% of FY08 and FY09 gross NFO revenue and grew RM132.4m y-o-y but was outpaced by non-lotto revenue which grew RM321.9m y-o-y or two and a half times more (Figure 6). Increased visits to outlets driven by large jackpots also
resulted in higher non-lotto sales. With larger jackpots going forward due to the high 6/58 minimum jackpot of RM8.9m, we foresee non-lotto revenue growth as well. With the competing Magnum 4D Jackpot being struck on Sunday, this will only help BST’s cause (Figure 7).

• Maintain Buy and RM4.91 TP( I will sell by then.)
As only three draws have passed, we leave our earnings estimates unchanged for now. Our RM4.91 TP is premised on end-FY11F DCF utilising 7.9% WACC and 1.5% TGR. We forecast that investors will also receive 27 sen single tier DPS (4QFY10F: 4 sen single tier, FY11F: 23
sen single tier) between now and end-FY11F translating into 17% upside potential. With 681 outlets (Magnum: 485, Da Ma Cai: 343), BST is the single largest NFO operator in Malaysia and is well poised to secure the sports betting license.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Axiata: XL bookbuilding favourably received
The bookbuilding exercise of PT XL Axiata Tbk, Axiata Group Bhd’s (AXIATA MK, Hold, TP: RM4.15) Indonesian operations, has been received favourably by investors, according to a news report. According to FinanceAsia, the shares of XL have received much interest because of the indicative price range was set at a steep discount to Indonesia’s number two mobile company, PT Indosat Tbk. Quoting sources, FinanceAsia said the order flow was bolstered by the fact that the deal would be open to qualified institutional buyers in both Malaysia and Indonesia, which are not typically tapped for international offerings. (Financial Daily)

TM: To announce UniFi pricing
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) (T MK, Hold, TP: RM3.54) will announce its much-anticipated pricing structure for its nextgeneration high-speed broadband service, “UniFi”, which was launched with the promise of a “world of faster, richer and more reliable online experience.” TM Chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie said the pricing would be made available on TM’s
website. (Financial Daily)

Plantation: Malaysia to launch long delayed biofuel mandate
Malaysia has asked petroleum companies to bear the extra cost of selling diesel blended with palm oil from June next year to kickstart sales of the green fuel after a four year delay. Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said that the green fuel, a blend of 5% palm and 95% diesel, will be introduced in stages in the central states on the mainland. Eventually, the mandate will be extended to other Malaysian states and will take up half a million tonnes. Dompok said the government will bear the cost of developing six petroleum depots with blending facilities at a cost of RM43.1m. (Financial Daily)
Telecommunication: Lower broadband rates from Telekom and more community internet centres Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced six initiatives to encourage broadband usage among Malaysians, including a reduction in rates on broadband packages from Telekom Malaysia. The initiatives will benefit some 17m internet users in the country and boost broadband coverage. The measures would be implemented under the National Broadband Initiative (NBI). Among the initiatives are to set up community broadband centres at a cost of RM60m, to have e-kiosks at community centres and sub-district offices at a cost of RM4m, to set up 873 new telecommunications towers, and Telekom to make broadband packages together with netbooks with rates reduced from RM50 to RM38 a month. (NST) ( we are waiting far too long.)
Banking: BNM to issue 7 more banking licenses
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will issue seven more banking licences – five for conventional banking and two for Islamic banking. Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the central bank was in the final stage of assessing the applicants which comprised not only global banks but also Islamic insurance companies. The five conventional licences would be issued to those from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. “Sometime in May or early June, the announcement will be made,” she said. (Financial Daily) (good, more the better.)
Economy: Khazanah and EPF to hasten GLCs divestment
The government has directed Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to hasten the divestment of their equity holdings in government linked companies (GLCs) to make the capital market more attractive to foreign fund managers, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. However, he said the reduction of holdings in GLCs by the government’s investment arm and EPF would not undermine national interest as it was protected by the government holding a golden share in strategic investments as well as regulators keeping an eye on what the companies do. (Financial Daily) (sure or not ?then better look out for small and medium size glc company。)
Economy: Economy could grow up to 5.5%, says BNM
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) expects the economy to grow between 4.5% and 5.5% this year with higher consumer
spending, increase in business investment and improvement in exports to Asia. Furthermore, there is potential upside for
the economy to surpass the projection as gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2010 itself is estimated to
surpass that of fourth quarter last year, according to BNM Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The projected local growth in
2010 is based on the expectation of a “gradual and uneven” global economic recovery which is still facing downside risks
mainly in the advanced economies. (Malaysian Reserve)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Mah Sing: On track to meet RM1bn sales targetMah Sing Group Bhd is on track to achieve its RM1bn sales target this year, having hit sales of RM516m in the first three months. Managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the achievement was three times the RM170m sales registered in the previous corresponding period. He said the company had gone on an acquisition trail last year to secure prime landand expected to see some results this year. The group has landbank with a GDV and unbilled sales of about RM6bn, which provides earnings visibility for about six to eight years. (StarBiz)( This is the stock I hold for quite sometime, somehow attached to its good news,finding it difficult to let go!)
Alliance: Two more top executives quit A month after Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd group CEO Datuk Bridget Lai resigned her position, two other top executives have submitted their resignations. In its confirmation, Alliance Bank said the two were Sachi Ratnajoothy, executive vicepresident/ CEO of Alliance Investment Bank and head of financial markets at Alliance Bank, and Lok Eng Hong, the head of dealing, equity markets at Alliance Investment Bank. “We confirm that Sachi and Lok have recently tendered their resignations from the bank for personal reasons to pursue their own interests,” it said. (StarBiz)( resignations again!)
EON Cap: BNM clears directors’ resignationEON Capital Bhd confirmed the resignation of two of its independent directors, including its chairman, Tan Sri Syed Anwar Jamalullail, with immediate effect after obtaining clearance from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). According to its filing to Bursa Malaysia, the resignations of Syed Anwar and Yeo Kar Peng came into effect last Monday, Mar 22. In a separate statement, EON Cap said it had received BNM’s clearance for the resignations of its 4 independent directors. As such, the resignation of the two other directors Datuk Dr Mohd Shahari and Rodney Gordon Ward, has yet to come into effect. (Financial Daily)( resignations....)
Ho Hup: Tan Sri Tong Yoke Kim emerges as substantial shareholderIn yet another twist to the Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd saga, Tan Sri Tong Yoke Kim who controls 19.3% of Bina Puri Holdings Bhd has emerged as a substantial shareholder in Ho Hup with 7.3% interest. According to a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Tong acquired 7.4m shares in Ho Hup in an off-market transaction on Mar 10, 7 days before the company held an EGM which saw the removal of seven directors and the effective control of the founding Low family. The emergence of Tong as a substantial shareholder in Ho Hup is bound to raise eyebrows, given that it had just crossed a major hurdle in resolving its boardroom tussle. (Financial Daily)( my once favourite stock in trading, missing the good timeloh.)
Masteel: Second tranche of private placement at RM1.015 a shareMalaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd (Masteel) has fixed the second tranche of its private placement shares which comprise 5.8m shares of 50 sen each at an issue price of RM1.015 a share. The issue price represented a discount of 3.82% to the five day volume weighted average market price (VWAMP) of its shares up to and including March 22, 2010. The issue price of its second tranche is the same as the price of its first tranche of placement shares, although this had represented a 7% discount to the five day VWAMP up to and including March 2. (Financial Daily)(out of the steel's stock, I had never touch masteel,always bypassed it to choose cscsteel, annjoo, kinsteel)
Construction: Three Acts to be amended by 2011 Three Acts in the construction industry will be amended by early 2011 following liberalisation of the services sector, Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said. The Acts are the Quantity Surveying Act 1967, the Engineers Act 1967 and the Architect Act 1967. The services sector is to be fully liberalised by 2012 to attract more foreign direct investments into the country and it is expected to contribute 60% to the gross domestic product. Shaziman said the Acts need to bestandardised for the benefit of all parties, such as standard guidelines on regulations for foreign companies in the local construction field. (Malaysian Reserve)
Economy: PM sees higher FDI after coming admin reformMalaysia should see increased foreign direct investment (FDI) this year after the government implements administrative reforms, the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak said. The country's new economic model, to be announced later this month, would include unspecified administrative reforms that should result in a "marked improvement" in FDI, Najib toldan investment forum in Hong Kong. He also reiterated an earlier statement that Malaysia's GDP growth should hit 5% or more this year. The country's economy shrank by 1.7% last year. Najib is scheduled to unveil initial details of a new economic model to boost growth and win back foreign investment at the annual "Invest Malaysia" conference organised by Bursa Malaysia on Mar 30. (Financial Daily)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


AmBank Group, a unit of AMMB Holdings Bhd (AMM MK, Buy, TP: RM5.24), plans to bolster its Islamic banking and financial services in the region as part of its expansion drive. "But we will expand on our own and will not buy any stakes in other banks or seek partners. Malaysia is already known as a leader in Islamic banking and we should continue to lead," Chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said. The bank has not decided which country it plans to venture into, but Indonesia, where it has a stockbroking business, could be a possible destination. (BT)
AmBank Bhd, a unit of AMMB Holdings Bhd (AMM MK, Buy, TP: RM5.24), sold RM1.42bn of bonds, less than planned, as it balances its assets and liabilities. It may sell a further RM1bn in private placements after meeting with investors later this month. “Demand was very strong but some investors’ expectations on pricing we thought were unrealistic, so we said we’re not interested,” chief financial officer Ashok Ramamurthy said. AmBank said in February it may sell as much as RM3bn of senior debt for the first time as it seeks to lower interest rate risk and boost its capital adequacy ratio. (Malaysian Reserve)
KNM: Offer price may be reduced
KNM Group Bhd (KNMG MK, Hold, TP: RM0.90) has not extended BlueFire Capital Group Ltd’s (Bidco) exclusivity period for due diligence but still aims to conclude talks in four weeks, raising speculation that a revised lower offer price could be in the offing for the takeover. KNM said although it had not extended the period, which expired yesterday Mar 22, it had agreed to wrap up negotiations with the parties involved by Apr 16. “An announcement will be made on the outcome of such discussions when they are concluded,” KNM said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia. (Financial Daily)

UEM Land Bhd has fixed the issue price of its rights issue at 80 sen per rights share, representing a 44.1% below its fiveday volume-weighted average market price up to Mar 19 of RM1.43. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, UEM Land said the issue price was 34.4% below the theoretical ex-rights price of UEM Land shares of RM1.22. The rights issue will involve
the issuance of about 1.2bn rights shares and will raise RM971.3m. The rights shares were issued on the basis of one rights share for every two shares held as at 5pm on Apr 5. (StarBiz)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Wessex Water Ltd, subsidiary of YTL Power International Bhd (YTL MK, Buy, TP: RM2.5), is expected to start work on the ambitious project of rehabilitating the highly polluted Klang and Gombak Rivers in Selangor and treating the water to make it safe for drinking at the latest by early next year. It made a successful bid with I-Berhad for a portion of the entire project and will be working in the lower reaches of the Klang River, between Puchong and Shah Alam. Managing Director Gareth Jones said its portion of the project will cost between RM400m and RM600m. The entire project valued at about RM15bn will span 15 years. (BT)
Axiata Group Bhd (AXIATA MK, Hold, TP: RM4.15) told Bursa Malaysia that the book-building process for the sale of a 20% stake in its Indonesian unit PT XL Axiata Tbk would start on Monday, Mar 22. “Axiata has determined an indicative price range of 3,000 to 3,300 rupiah per share for the purpose of approaching eligible institutional/sophisticated investors under the book-building exercise,’’ it said. Axiata currently owns an 86.5% stake in XL Axiata and could receive about RM2bn, assuming that all 1.7bn shares offered are sold at the higher end of the indicative price range. Axiata believes that through the book-building exercise, it can achieve a more representative pricing for the XL shares. (StarBiz)

Sunway Holdings Bhd (SGW MK, Buy, TP: RM2.00) expects record profits in 2010 as it plans to tender for jobs worth up to RM16bn globally, said a top executive. The firm, ranked seventh among local builders with a market value of US$268m (RM884.4m) said its construction orderbook is expected to grow by one-third to RM4bn this year, partly boosted by the
Malaysian government's roll-out of public sector contracts. "Market conditions have improved
over the last six months and we are confident of securing some projects that we have tendered locally," managing director Yau Kok Seng said. (BT)
Perdana ParkCity Sdn Bhd has shortlisted seven companies to build a RM250m hospital in Desa ParkCity in Bukit Menjalara, Kuala Lumpur. They are Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd, unit of Sunway Holdings Bhd (SGW MK, Buy, TP: RM2.00), Crest Builder Holdings Bhd, Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd, UEM Construction Sdn Bhd, Bina Puri Construction Sdn Bhd, Ahmad Zaki Construction Sdn Bhd and Japanese giant Obayashi Corp. Tenders will close this Friday and the contract will be awarded in April or May based on merits, technical expertise and track record. Construction will start by May or June and be completed in 2012. (BT)
Low-cost carrier AirAsia Group (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.67) expects to carry some 27m passengers this year, up from the 24m passengers achieved last year. AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said AirAsia, together with its long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X will be able to achieve 27m passengers as load factors remain strong and signs of economic recovery are underway. "We will use the new plane deliveries this year to continue driving our initiative of becoming a full-fledged Asean carrier this year," Fernandes said. (BT)

PLUS Expressways Bhd, the country's largest toll highway operator, is eyeing more highway concessions in the Asia Pacific region as part of its expansion plans. Its managing director Noorizah Abd Hamid said the company is in talks with several countries in the region to build new highways or upgrade and maintain existing facilities. Noorizah cited Vietnam as a country with great potential due to its burgeoning population and surging economic growth. "We have the potential to go abroad either to be an equity holder of a concession, (participate) on a joint venture basis or start from scratch by building a new highway altogether," she added. (BT)

Friday, March 19, 2010


TM: Has spent RM1.9bn on HSBB so far
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) (T MK, Hold, TP: RM3.54) has spent about RM1.9bn and the government some RM900m to date in rolling out the high-speed broadband (HSBB), group chief executive officer Datuk Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said. TM is putting in RM8.9bn while the government is contributing RM2.4bn on an incurred claims basis based on project milestones reached by TM in the RM11.3bn project. “We are expecting to get about 750,000 premises passed by end of this year,” he said adding that physical work for 44 out of 95 exchanges nation wide would be completed by year end. (Malaysian Reserve)

Petra Perdana: Gets nod for workboat funding
Petra Perdana Bhd (PETR MK, Sell, TP: RM1.18) said funding for a 169-crew workboat named Petra Sovereign has been approved. Executive director Shamsul Saad said in a statement the RM49m financing would cover 80% of the purchase price and the repayment was expected to be within 5 years. “The vessel, which is part of our fleet renewal programme, will be used in Malaysian waters for brownfield maintenance services,” he said, adding that the fleet renewal was on track to be completed by year-end. (StarBiz)

Berjaya Corp: Will assemble BYD cars elsewhere if necessary
Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp), which has won a deal to assemble the Chinese marque BYD for the Asean market, says it will manufacture the cars elsewhere if the group could not obtain the manufacturing licence locally. “The government has to think properly whether they want it here, because Malaysia needs more investment,” said BCorp chairman and CEO Tan Sri Vincent Tan. There is currently a freeze on new manufacturing licences for the production of petrol-powered vehicles below 1.8litres. “We think we have a strong case with very compelling economic reasons for the government to grant us the approval,” he added. The company hopes to assemble a mix of small and medium-sized cars. (Financial Daily)

Berjaya Retail: To be listed either in June or July
Berjaya Retail Bhd (BRetail) will be listed either June or July this year with the exercise raising RM50m for future expansion, said Berjaya Group chairman and CEO Tan Sri Vincent Tan. He said the listing, which initially targeted for the first quarter of the year, was delayed to enable to synchronise the fiscal year-end of Singer (M) Sdn Bhd and 7-Eleven (M)
Sdn Bhd. Pursuant to the listing, Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) would sell Singer to BRetail for RM360m and 7-Eleven for RM600m. The number of BRetail shares to be distributed would range from 337.6m to 471.9m depending on BCorp’s share capital. (Financial Daily)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Wah Seong Bhd (WSC MK, Buy, TP: RM3.40) submitted its bid to buy over Italian company Socotherm SpA three weeks ago, said deputy managing director Giancarlo Maccagno. The wahresults of the tender, which has attracted four other parties,would be known by end-April. Maccagno declined to reveal the cost of the acquisition, which would be funded internally.
“We believe we are strong contenders for this bid as we are in the same business of pipe-coating and would derive tremendous synergies if both companies merged,” he said. “We are also bidding for RM5.3bn worth of projects,” Maccagno added. (StarBiz)

Pos Malaysia Bhd has set its 2010 key performance indicator (KPI) targets where it has projected a revenue of RM930m for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2010, a 3% increase over FY09’s achievement. Other KPI targets for the year include a dip in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to RM110m and lower return on assets
(ROA) of 3.3% to 4%. “The group’s growth for 2010 will be underpinned by strategic alliances with other postal operators and global integrators, higher sales of motor insurance and new financial services offered,” it said. (StarBiz)

Templeton Asset Management Ltd’s unit Templeton Emerging Markets Group has emerged as a substantial shareholder with a 5% stake in KSL Holdings Bhd after taking up part of a placement of new shares by the property outfit. KSL announced the issuance of 35.1m shares at RM1.18 a piece on Feb 25. In a joint statement, Templeton Asset Management executive chairman Mark Mobius said the fund was impressed with KSL’s position as a leading Malaysian
property developer with a strong track record and an experienced management team. (Financial Daily)

Ho Hup Construction Bhd shareholders voted out all the directors linked to deputy chairman Datuk Vincent Lye Ek Seang and replaced them with a group that effectively help the founding Low family regain control. However, it is said that this may not be the end of the tussle and there may be more manoeuvrings including legal ones in the months ahead. 55.9% of shareholders voted to remove the seven directors. In their place, six new directors – Tan Sri Kamaruzzaman, Hew Thin Chay, Yusob Md Tasir, D Felix Dorairaj, Slamat Hamzah and Chow Seck Kai – were voted in. About 55.8% of shareholders voted to pass the resolutions. According to an observer, 118 shareholders, proxies and corporate representatives were present. (Financial Daily)

Malton Bhd plans to develop a RM2.5bn commercial and residential project in Kuala Lumpur on a parcel of land owned by Ho Hup Construction Company Bhd. The proposed development would be carried out over 10 years, and is expected to comprise of shopping complexes, shop offices, office towers, service apartments and hotel. Malton’s unit Pioneer Haven
Sdn Bhd is solely responsible to meet the cost of the proposed development. Ho Hup’s unit Bukit Jalil Development Sdn will receive 17% of the gross development value with a minimum RM265m while the remaining 83% would go to Malton’s unit. (Malaysian Reserve)

Top Glove Corp Bhd unveiled plans for two new factories costing RM70m to meet expected increase in demand after quarterly profit doubled recently. Dubbed “Factory 22” and “Factory 23”, the new facilities would be part of an on going expansion exercise to increase capacity by 8.3bn pieces a year once the expansion is completed by May 2011. Apart from
Factory 22 and Factory 23, other expansion plans includes adding more production lines in existing factories. (Malaysian Reserve)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Wah Seong: May buy pipe-coating business in Nigeria
Wah Seong Corp Bhd (WSC MK, Buy, TP: RM3.40) is in talks to acquire a venture in Nigeria to tap demand for its products amid increased exploration. The company may provide technical assistance and later take up an equity stake in Orleans Group, a pipe coating business based in the West African nation, deputy group managing director Giancarlo Maccagno said. Maccagno declined to reveal the cost of the acquisition, which would be funded internally as the company
has RM400m in cash reserves. Wah Seong may look at expanding its gas compressor business, he added. (Financial Daily)

Hong Leong: Yet to revive EONCap bid
Rin Kei Mei has won shareholders’ support to appoint seven directors but it may be too early for him to declare victory as Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLBB) (HLBK MK, Hold, TP: RM8.71) has yet to revive its offer to take over the group’s asset and liabilities. A HLBB official said the banking group was currently reviewing its plan to acquire EONCap. “Following EONCap’s EGM, HLBB is currently reviewing its position and thus will not at present be resubmitting its offer to acquire
the entire assets and liabilities of EONCap,” the official said. (Financial Daily)

TM: Inks licensing deal with English FA
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) (T MK, Hold TP: RM3.54) has signed a licensing agreement with the England Football Association to be the official England telco licensee in Malaysia. The partnership with the FA, which runs through to the end of 2010, will give TM the exclusive use of the England crest and England player imagery in the telco category in Malaysia. “This partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to create an exciting marketing campaign for our customers and football fans here in Malaysia” said TM chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie in a statement. (Financial Daily)

Pharmaniaga: EPF denies plans to buy a stake
The Employee Provident Fund Board (EPF) has denied that it is interested in acquiring a part or the whole of UEM Group Bhd’s 87% stake in Pharmaniaga Bhd, as reported by an English-language daily. An official with the EPF said there was nothing further to comment as “this is not true.” Meanwhile, UEM Group said it was unable to comment on any speculation. Nevertheless, it is understood that several parties are interested in buying UEM’s stake in Pharmaniaga.

Water: PFI of RM10bn for Klang River cleaning project
The RM10bn Klang River cleaning project, which is part of the river’s RM50bn rehabilitation and development project, is expected to be funded via a private financing initiative (PFI). Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that a detailed briefing on the project would be held on Mar 29. “We will come up with a detailed briefing whereby all the four
companies involved and the state will discuss the scheme and how to allocate the task of cleaning up the river,” he said. (Financial Daily)

Water: PAAB to seal Perlis, Perak water deals by end-May
Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) will complete the takeover of water assets in Perlis and Perak by end-May as part of the national initiative to regulate the water services industry. “Things are moving very fast in these two states at the moment and we expect the agreements to be signed at least by the end of May,” a source said without divulging the value of the deals. PAAB has said it planned to wrap up the deals in all states by mid-year although CEO Ahmad Faizal Abdul Rahman said that “he didn’t like deadlines.” (StarBiz)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

US market 16.3.2010

Mixed finish for stocks
Stocks ended mixed Monday, fighting back from big losses, as investors weighed Moody's warning about the United States' AAA rating and a proposed bank regulation bill ahead of Tuesday's Federal Reserve meeting. Stocks had tumbled through the early afternoon, but managed to trim losses by the close. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2%
(+17.5 pts, close 10,642.5). The Nasdaq lost 0.2% (-5.5 pts, close 2,362.2) and the S&P 500 lost 0.1% (+0.5 pts, close 1,150.5). U.S. light crude oil for April delivery fell US$1.44 to US$79.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNmoney)
Higher industrial production points to more investment
Industrial production unexpectedly rose in February, due in part to gains in demand for computers and semiconductors that signal the pickup in U.S. business investment is being sustained. Output climbed 0.1%, the eighth consecutive increase, as utility use and mining increased, figures from the Federal Reserve showed yesterday in Washington. Economists forecast industrial production would be unchanged after increasing 0.9% the prior month, according to the median of 60 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates in the survey ranged from gains of 0.5% to a 0.7% decline. (Bloomberg)
Manufacturing in New York expands for eighth month
Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in March for an eighth straight month, indicating factories are sustaining production and lifting the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to 22.9 this month, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, from 24.9 in February. Readings
above zero signal growth in the so-called Empire State Index that covers New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. The report showed orders, sales and employment increased in March, a sign that manufacturing gains may last for months and help spur the rest of the economy. Factories added workers to payrolls in the first two months of 2010 after companies replenished inventories that were drawn down at a record pace last year. Economists forecast the New York Fed’s index would decrease to 22 according to the median of 40 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 15 to 29. (Bloomberg)
Homebuilder index declined to 15 in March
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly declined in March, a sign the housing recovery is having trouble gaining momentum. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence dropped to 15 this month from 17 in February, the Washington-based group said yesterday. A reading below 50 means most respondents
view conditions as poor. The report showed traffic of prospective buyers dropped to a one-year low, indicating an extension of a tax credit for purchases is sparking little interest. Projections of record foreclosures this year, a lack of job growth and an end to Federal Reserve purchases of mortgage-backed debt are hurdles for the real estate market. The builder confidence index was forecast to hold at 17, according to the median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Projections ranged from 15 to 19. The index, first published in January 1985, averaged 15 last year. (Bloomberg)

Europe: Employment in record decline
The number of people employed in the 16-nation Eurozone fell by a record 2.7m last year, as the economic crisis took itstoll, official figures showed. There were 347,000 fewer Eurozone employees in 4QCY09, according to the European Unionstatisticians Eurostat, a sign that the payroll losses were losing pace at least. Employment fell in the Eurozone fell by 1.8%
last year, after a rise of 0.9% in 2008. In the 27-nation EU as a whole, over 4.02m fewer people were in gainful employment. (AFP)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Stock Updates
After a better-than-expected 4Q09 for BIMB (BIMB MK, MYR1.23, Hold), we revise our estimates to reflect the change in financial year end to December, making the December 2010 FY an 18-month period. We lift our earnings estimates for FY10 and 2011 to MYR236.9 mln and MYR186.0 mln from MYR127.2 mln and MYR151.5 mln for FY10 and FY11 (Jun) respectively. We tweak our 12-month target price to MYR1.40 (vs. MYR1.30). / Alexander Chia


We maintain our Buy recommendation on Faber (FAB MK, MYR1.90), but lift our 12-month target price to MYR2.10 (from MYR1.60) after raising our earnings estimates. We like Faber for the improving outlook of its Facilities Management Services (FMS) operations that have been strengthened by the infrastructure maintenance and FMS contracts in Abu Dhabi./ Kum Seng, Wan


We keep our Hold call on MTD Capital (MTD MK, MYR3.40), and raise our 12-month target price to MYR3.60 (from MYR2.80) after lifting our earnings estimates. We keep our call after 9MFY10 (Mar) results, as we believe its 21% share price increase over the past two months has adequately reflected its improving earnings outlook in FY11, which includes maiden earnings
contribution from the South Luzon Expressway. / Kum Seng, Wan


Though Seacera’s (STB MK, MYR0.40) 2009 earnings were ahead of expectations, and its earnings outlook is improving due to higher demand for homogeneous tiles and packaging materials, we maintain our Hold recommendation. This is due to its small capacity and market share, which limit its earnings growth prospects. Its capacity expansion. We keep our 12-
month target price at MYR0.41. / Kum Seng, Wan

Thursday, March 4, 2010

AXIATA,SPSETIA,MRCB & other business news

Axiata Group Bhd (AXIATA MK, Buy, TP: RM4.15) is considering a dividend payout from 2011 onwards as its balance
sheet has improved on the back of improving business conditions. This would be its first payout to shareholders since its
listing in 2008 after the demerger from Telekom Malaysia. Also, the group’s Indonesian unit, XL Axiata has a free float of
0.2% as Emirates Telecommunications Corp controls another 13.3% stake in the Indonesian firm. “We have said back at the
end of 2008 that we are open at possibility in increasing the float up (to) 15% to 20%. It is something that we are always
looking at,” said the CEO, Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Ibrahim. (StarBiz)
* * * * *
SP Setia Bhd (SPSB MK, Buy, TP: RM4.05 ) has increased its sales target for the financial year ending October 31,
2010 (FY10) to RM2bn from RM1.65bn, on the back of a jump in sales of RM608m in the first quarter. The group
recorded its record high sales of RM1.65bn in FY09. According to its president and CEO, almost all of the RM2bn target will
come from the local market and 10% will come from its projects in Vietnam. Its total 10 ongoing projects in Malaysia have a
GDV of RM26bn that would last for 10 to 20 years on 3,900 acres of land. (StarBiz)
* * * * *
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is making a conditional takeover offer for the shares it does not already own in
Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) at RM1.50 cash apiece, after it triggered the general offer (GO) following its
subscription of 171.47m rights shares last year. MRCB said following its subscription of the rights shares, EPF’s shareholding
in MRCB rose to 33.8% or 461.52m of RM1 each. EPF intended to maintain MRCB’s listing status and would explore various
options to rectify the company’s public shareholding spread. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Pharmaniaga Manufacturing Bhd (PMB) has had its manufacturing licence revoked following a routine audit by the
pharmaceutical services division of the health ministry. In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, Pharmaniaga however did not
reveal the reason. It said the cessation of production would not have a significant financial impact on the group as the other
business lines were not affected. “The company is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the issues raised are addressed
expeditiously for the re-issuance of the licence to enable the plant to resume production as soon as possible,” it said, without
saying what the “issues” are. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Malaysian Bulk Carriers Bhd (Maybulk) is eyeing potential vessels to grow its fleet as the global financial crisis has
resulted in lower vessel prices. The company will be looking for available second hand vessels instead of ordering new
vessels. On newly built vessels, the company is waiting for the market to correct itself. Maybulk’s fleet currently consist of 13
of its own vessels and two vessels on long term charter. In view of the fleet expansion, Maybulk may declare lower dividends
for shareholders as the company conserves its cash reserves to finance the expansion plan. (Malaysian Reserve)
* * * * *
Faber Group Bhd is targeting revenue to grow between 12% and 15% this year. The company’s focus will still be on
overseas operations as it was the major contributor to the integrated facilities management (IFM) segment last year. “We will
be moving according to our roadmap which is to enhance operations in United Arab Emirates and India. We are also looking
at diversifying and expanding our business into the IFM segment which is the major contributor to company revenue,” said
managing director Adnan Mohammad. (Malaysian Reserve)
* * * * *
Malaysia will miss its output target of 18.1m tonnes because of a shortage of foreign labour even as yields recover, a top
industry official said. Industry regulator Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad said Indonesian
plantation workers make better pay at home as more oil palm estates start up there while employers in Malaysia have trouble
hiring because of a stricter work-permit process. Sabri said the industry was in talks with the government to get more “flexible
work permits” for foreign labourers who make up about two-thirds of the half a million estate workers in Malaysia. Many of the
returned Indonesian labourers subsequently get jobs in plantations in Indonesia’s Kalimantan province. (Financial Daily)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, a wholly owned unit of CIMB Group Holdings (CIMB MK, Buy, TP: RM15.25) gets nod from
the Vietnam Securities Commission for its subscription of equity interest in Vinashin Shipbuilding Finance Company
Securities LLC, (VFC Securities). The approval was obtained on Feb 23, CIMB said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. VFC
Securities will change its name to CIMB Vinashin Securities LLC with immediate effect. VFC is wholly owned by Vietnam
Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), the largest shipbuilder and an industrial conglomerate in Vietnam. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Public Bank Bhd (PBB) (PBK MK, Buy, TP: RM14.50) has no plans to raise fresh capital this year despite some quarters
expressing concern that its capital ratios may decline upon the implementation of enhancements to the Basel III framework,
said its chief operating officer, Leong Kwok Nyem. The Basel Committee announced that it had approved the consultation of a
package of proposals to strengthen global bank capital and liquidity regulations, dubbed as Basel III. Leong said that the bank
was comfortable with its capital levels. Its risk weighted capital ratio rose to 14.2% as at Dec 31, 2009. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Sime Darby Property Bhd, a subsidiary of Sime Darby Bhd, (SIME MK, Hold, TP: RM8.30) is awaiting approval from the
state and federal governments for its proposed 10,861 acre Selangor Vision City (SVC) development. The SVC is
located along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway from Lagong to Bukit Jelutong, and 3,450 acres of the total 10,861 acres have
been developed. The entire SVC project will have an estimated GDV of RM10bn, and will focus on the Bukit Jelutong City
Centre and an environmentally-friendly township named Elmina East, which has an estimated GDV of RM6bn. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will raise interest rates in a measured, gradual way in order to keep supporting the
economy, governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz said. Zeti said that inflation pressures remained modest and the central bank
would not rush to withdraw policy support. “Interest rates will continue to be supportive of growth. Current rates were brought
down to these levels because of the extraordinary circumstances to avert a fundamental recession,” Zeti said. She also added
that a change to banks’ reserve requirements was not likely to be part of the normalisation process unless there is fundamental
situation of excess liquidity in the system. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
The government will emphasize on promoting more domestic private investments through public-private partnership
(PPPs) under the 10th Malaysia Plan instead of depending on foreign direct investments to ensure future growth.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said domestic private companies have upgraded
themselves to be at par with international standards and that it’s time to provide opportunities for local investors to support
sustainable economic growth. He added that the government will continue to place emphasis on infrastructure development to
propel the country’s economic transformation via private sector participation in PPP policies. (Malaysian Reserve)
* * * * *
Malaysia’s government said exports may grow this year at twice the pace it predicted earlier, citing rising global
demand for palm oil and electronics. Overseas shipment may increase 6% or 7% this year, more than a previous forecast of
3.5%, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamad said. “The recovering global economy would contribute to
increased demand for Malaysian exports such as electrical and electronic products, furniture, rubber products as well as
commodities,” he said. (Malaysian Reserve)
* * * * *
Related Posts with Thumbnails