Stocks to Watch* Genting, Mah Sing, BLand, Gabungan AQRS, Tradewinds Plantations, Takaso

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): The FBM KLCI could trend upwards on Thursday, building on its momentum from a day earlier when Asian equities rose on the back of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) easing its monetary policy.

Asian shares rose on Wednesday and the yen fell to a one-month low after the BoJ eased monetary policy, the latest central bank to offer stimulus to help the global economy find a firmer footing, according to Reuters.

The BoJ said it would increase its asset buying and loan programme, currently its key monetary easing tool, by ¥10 trillion to ¥80 trillion (RM3.09 trillion), it said.

Among the stocks that could be in focus on Thursday are the Genting group; MAH SING GROUP BHD []; BERJAYA LAND BHD [] (BLand); Gabungan AQRS Bhd; Tradewinds PLANTATION [] Bhd; and TAKASO RESOURCES BHD [].

Reuters on Wednesday reported that Southeast Asian gambling group Genting was looking to cut its near 10% stake in Australia's Echo Entertainment, offering 39.6 million shares through broker Citigroup, sources said on Wednesday.

Citing sources, Reuters said Genting through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong built its stake in Echo, the owner of the only casino in Sydney, earlier this year and had sought regulatory approval to increase its holding.

"Genting was looking to sell the shares, equal to about 4.8% of Echo, at A$3.99 (RM12.77) per share, a 2.7% discount to the closing price of A$4.10, three sources with knowledge of the sale said. The stake is worth around A$158 million," it said.

Mah Sing said it was still shopping around to acquire land worth at least RM1 billion in gross development value (GDV) by the end of this year.

"So far we this year we have acquired land worth RM3.62 billion in GDV, but we have set a target of at least RM5 billion by the end of the year. So we're still looking out for more land," said Mah Sing group managing director cum group chief executive Tan Sri Datuk Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

"Our business model is such that we have a quick turnaround so we must keep replenishing our landbank," Leong added.

The group currently has a landbank size of around 1,200 acres with GDV and unbilled sales of RM18.04 billion.

BLand's wholly-owned unit Berjaya Kyoto Development Kabushiki Kaisa (Berjaya Kyoto) will manage the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts in Kyoto, Japan.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group said the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto will be its signature and flagship development in Japan, spanning five acres with an estimated built-up area of 8,106 sq m.

It will feature a banquet hall, restaurants, bar, swimming pool, fitness gym and other amenities. The hotel will be within the Higashiyama-ku area.

Gabungan AQRS unit Gabungan Strategik Sdn Bhd has landed a subcontract worth RM303.49 million from Syarikat Muhibah Perniagaan & Pembinaan Sdn Bhd.

In a filing Wednesday, Gabungan AQRS said the contract was for substructure & superstructure and others related works in respect of Package V1: CONSTRUCTION [] and completion of viaduct guideway and other associated works from Sg Buloh to Kota Damansara Station for the Project Mass Rapid Transit Lembah Kelang: Jajaran Sungai Buloh-Kajang.

It said the project was expected to be completed by February 2016. The company said the project was expected to contribute positively to its earnings for the financial years during the contract period.

Tradewinds Plantations said it intends to acquire up to 50,000ha in additional plantation land in the next 5 years.

Datuk Wira Syed Abdul Jabbar, chairman for the group, told reporters after Tradewinds Plantations's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Wednesday that it will be looking at acquiring land both locally and overseas.

"We're open to any location. The land size must be good, the area has to be good and the price has to be good," added Tradewinds Plantations chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt.

Shareholders for the group unanimously approved its latest acquisition today which is to acquire a 60% stake in Retus Plantation Sdn Bhd (RPSB) from Tradewinds Malaysia Bhd, a major shareholder of Tradewinds Plantations.

The deal will effectively increase Tradewinds Plantations current plantation landbank size from 141,430ha to 151,866ha once the deal is completed come Sept 29.

The acquisition will be settled in cash for a consideration based on 60% of RPSB's net tangible asset value (NTAV).

According to Chan, the purchase price for RPSB will be around RM135 million, based on RPSB's NTAV as at Aug 31, 2012.

Bursa Malaysia Securities queried Takaso over the unusual market activity (UMA) in the trading of the company's shares.

It said on Wednesday that the query was regarding the sharp rise in the price and high volume of the shares recently.

Takaso was the second most actively-traded counter on Wednesday, with 40.54 million shares done. The stock rose 3.5 sen to 26.5 sen.