Stocks To Watch Media Prima, Matrix Concepts, MAS, MMHE, Nestle, LBS and LPI

Business & Markets 2013
Written by Ho Wah Foon of   
Monday, 08 July 2013 19:45

KUALA LUMPUR (July 8): Based on news flow and corporate announcements today, companies that may attract interest tomorrow could include Media Prima, Matrix Concepts, MAS, MMHE, Nestle, LBS and LPI.

MEDIA PRIMA BHD [] said it is one of two companies in South East Asia that has made to J.P Morgan’s Global SMid Radar list of top stocks for 3Q 2013, with market capitalization of less than US$5 billion.

The media group said in a statement J.P Morgan sees it as having dominant position with attractive yield, outpaced the industry growth and is on track with J.P. Morgan’s blended ADEX growth of 9% year-on-year for financial year 2013 (8% FY14E).

The company is seen having upside prospects in ADEX after the May 5 general elections, having the ability to raise its dividends in FY14 and FY15 after its net dividend per share of 13 sen for FY12 came in ahead of estimates.

Media Prima's group managing director Datuk Amrin Awaluddin said while the group is on track to achieve its financial targets for the year, it would continue to grow its market share through new service offerings in its online and outdoor advertising platforms.

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd announced that it has acquired two pieces of land totalling 174 hectares next to its flapship development Bandar Sri Sendayan in Negri Sembilan for RM106.8 million.

It added that the new land-bank is slated for mixed developments, with gross development value (GDV) of RM1.6 billion.

The Seremban-based company said it is expanding its landbank in Bandar Sri Sendayan because the property project is attracting buyers from both Negeri Sembilan and the Klang Valley. 

“The lands are slated for mixed development of residential and commercial PROPERTIES [] with estimated GDV of RM1.6 billion, and will enlarge the group’s remaining undeveloped landbank in Bandar Sri Sendayan to 1,350 acres,” said Matrix Concepts.

With the increased landbank, pipeline projects yet to be launched now stand at a GDV of RM4.8 billion, which will sustain the group till 2022, said Matrix Concepts.

MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [] (MAS), which has been expanding its network, will be adding two destinations to its network beginning September 1.

In a statement, the group said it will fly its passengers to Kochi, India and Darwin, Australia using its new 160-seater B737-800 aircraft.

Earlier, MAS said it will reinstate flights to Dubai beginning August 5 using the B777-200 aircraft.

MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: “Malaysia Airlines needs to grow in tandem with the growth of the region. This means investing in our fleet, in the quality of our product and services.

“As the national carrier, we have decided to operate to Dubai, Kochi and Darwin to introduce Malaysia to new markets.”

Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Bhd (MMHE) has initiated a major transformation company-wide to ensure it becomes a high-performance organisation, Bernama reported.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dominique de Soras said the transformation has a natural link to its yard optimisation programme launched a few years ago to improve asset base.

"The intention is to increase our production capacity via optimism and upgrading," said de Soras during an oil and gas vendors' dialogue in Johor Bahru today.

de Soras said the investment in transformation is comprehensive, encompassing hardware such as yard facilities and software such as process automation.

"We are further investing on uplifting the capability of our people and our reputation through rebranding and corporate culture campaign," he added.

Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd is investing RM150 million for the first phase of its new plant in Shah Alam, which will double the production capacity of its ready-to-drink (RTD) segment in Malaysia, Bernama reported.   

The factory, to be built adjacent to the company's existing factory in Shah Alam, is expected to be fully operational by May 2014.

"The facility will produce the company's RTD liquid beverages, such as Milo, Nescafe, Nestle Omega, Nestle Low Fat Milk and Nestle Full Cream," Region Head Nestle Malaysia/Singapore Alois Hofbauer told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony today.

"In the last four years, we have seen significant growth in Nestle RTD beverages…The strong surge in demand has encouraged us to invest and expand our manufacturing operations here in Malaysia," he said, adding the group has allocated RM250 million for capital expenditure this year.

LBS BINA GROUP BHD [] has inked a joint venture agreement (JV) with Hotel Rasa Sayang for a residential development project in Johor with a gross development value of RM500 million.

The company said its wholly owned subsidiary, Sinaran Restu Sdn Bhd, had on July 6 entered into the JV to develop the land measuring 1.18 acres in the state.

The company said the development site is located approximately 5 kilometers to the Custom, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ).

“The development land is strategically located within the much sought-after prime commercial area along Jalan Dato’ Dalam in center of Johor Bahru City, the “Southern Gateway” of Malaysia, which lies under the Zone A of the Iskandar Malaysia,” it said.

LBS Bina said the land is proposed to be transformed into a residential project comprises 579 units of services apartment over an estimated project period of 4 years.

LPI CAPITAL BHD [] reported a 15% rise in second quarter net profit from a year earlier as the general insurer registered higher premiums.

In a statement to the exchange today, LPI said net profit came to RM46.58 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2013  (2QFY13) compared to RM40.43 million previously. Revenue rose to RM282.4 million from RM265.03 million.

"The increase in gross earned premium is in line with the strategic planning and business efforts of the group in growing the profitable insurance business.

"The revenue from the investment holding segment increased marginally to RM0.4 million as compared RM0.3 million in the previous corresponding quarter in 2012 due to higher interest income received during the current quarter," LPI said.

Cumulative first-half net profit climbed to RM88.69 million from RM71.91 million previously while revenue increased to RM540.87 million from RM511.09 million.

For 2QFY13, LPI plans to pay its first interim single-tier dividend of 18 sen a share.

Looking ahead, LPI said it will expand its agency force and bancassurance channel.