Stocks to watch: Silver Bird, MAS, Proton, Ekovest

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Business & Markets 2012
Written by Joseph Chin of   
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:04

KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): Blue chips could extend their gains on Thursday, as regional market sentiment would receive the boost after the European Central Bank provided 530 billion euros (US$711 billion) of cheap funding for banks.
The ECB's Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) has been a major factor behind the rally in European equities since the turn of the year.
A total of 800 banks borrowed money at the tender, the second round of three-year funds, with demand exceeding the 500 billion euros expected by traders polled by Reuters.
At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI was up 12.92 points or 0.83% to close at 1,569.65, its highest since July 2011.
However, the losses from MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [] (MAS) and PROTON HOLDINGS BHD [], which were expected by the market, could have some impact.
SILVER BIRD GROUP BHD [], which resumes trading on Thursday, cautioned investors in the trading of its securities after the auditors have expressed a disclaimer opinion on the company’s latest audited accounts for the financial year ended Oct 31, 2011.
Silver Bird Group suspended its group managing director, Datuk Tan Han Kook and two other key executives effective Feb 24 as it undertakes an internal inquiry into allegations of irregularities in the company’s accounts.
Meanwhile, MAS posted net losses totaling RM1.277 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2011 versus net profit of RM225.92 million a year ago as it severely affected by high fuel costs and non-fuel expenses.
Proton posted heavier net losses of RM88.20 million in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2011 compared with the net loss of RM60.10 million a year ago due to a decline in year-end sales.
Sime Darby reported net profit of RM1.10 billion in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2011. For the first half, it reported a 42% increase in net profit to RM2.175 billion from RM1.531 billion in the previous corresponding period.
Kencana Petroleum Bhd has secured a RM74 million contract from ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia (EMEPMI) to fabricate the substructure for a platform off Terengganu.
Mah Sing Group Bhd expanded its land bank with the latest acquisition of 157 acres (63.4 ha) in Bandar Kundang, Gombak for RM40.94 million about RM6 per sq ft. It proposed to build a self-contained, secured lifestyle township named M Residence 2@Rawang with a gross development value of about RM650 million.
Ekovest's earnings soared 615.82% to RM11.31 million for its second quarter ended Dec 31, 2011, from  RM1.58 million a year ago, due to increased revenue from its CONSTRUCTION [] arm.
Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd posted net losses of RM13.33 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2011 compared with net profit of RM8.99 million a year ago. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2011, it was still profitable, with net profit of RM24.53 million, or down 12.6% to RM24.53 million from RM28.09 million in FY10.
Poultry-based TEO SENG CAPITAL BHD [] posted a 12.95% increase in its profits to RM7.15 million for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2011, from RM6.33 million a year ago, underpinned by larger sales of eggs and better prices.