Stocks to Watch Masterskill, MISC, NCB, DGSB, plantation firms

Business & Markets 2012
Written by Surin Murugiah of   
Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:00

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 7): The FBM KLCI could trend upwards on Thursday and extend it gains further following some positive vibes at global markets on Wednesday.

The euro and world shares gained on Wednesday as investor expectations grew that the acute financial problems in Spain and a deteriorating economic outlook would prompt the region's central bank to respond with more stimulus measures, according to Reuters.

Though the European Central Bank (ECB) is not widely expected to cut rates when it meets later in the day, it could signal a readiness to take some action as early as next month, given the escalating crisis in the eurozone, it said.

Among the stocks that could be in focus on Thursday are Masterskill Education Group Bhd, MISC BHD [], NCB HOLDINGS BHD [], Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd (DGSB) and PLANTATION []-related counters.

Masterskill plans to diversify into other education segments, with plans to launch international schools and offer more business and hospitality courses as part of its turnaround plan by January 2013, said group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara.

"We are planning to start intakes as soon as January next year, provided we get to approvals needed in time," he said after the group's annual general meeting on Wednesday. He also said Masterskill was interested in potential partnerships with parties that would enhance the value of the company rather than selling the group itself.

"We are not interested in selling the entire business, not on a holistic level but in terms of a single business unit. For example, what is so wrong about owning 51% of our Ipoh branch, while another party holds 49%," he said.

Santhara quashed rumours that the group was interested in selling a stake to national investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. However, he did admit to be in talks with several keen parties which were interested in the group.

DGSB's unit Diversified Gateway Bhd had secured a one-year contract worth RM20 million from by D.G.Kom Sdn Bhd (DGKOM) to supply system and network equipment and support services to DGKOM's project.

DGSB said that its unit had on Tuesday accepted a Letter of Award (LoA) dated May 29 from DGKOM for the contract from May 29, 2012 to May 28, 2013. The company said the contract was expected to contribute positively to its earnings for the financial year ending March 31, 2013 and beyond.

Meanwhile, MISC Bhd is not looking to sell its 15.7% in port operator NCB Holdings Bhd, said its president and chief executive officer Datuk Nasarudin Md Idris. Speculation of MISC selling its block has been rife, especially after the shipping giant announced its intention to exit the liner business in late November last year.

"We have no plans to sell our stake… Yes we got out of the container business as it was bleeding, but the stake in NCB gives us handsome dividends," Nasarudin after its annual general meeting of MISC's wholly-owned unit Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MHB) on Wednesday.

Plantation-related counters could see some sustained interest on Thursday, after most advanced on Wednesday on improving crude palm oil (CPO) prices, on the back of rising regional demand and hopes of measures to contain the eurozone debt crisis. CPO prices recovered after having fallen below the RM3,000/tonne mark on Monday, with CPO futures rising RM37 to RM3,003/tonne on Wednesday.