Business & Markets 2013
Written by Ho Wah Foon of theedgemalaysia.com
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:30
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11): Based on news flow and corporate announcements today, the stocks that might excite investors include water and index stocks, Astro, Stemlife, Narra/HL Industries, CBIP and LFE.
Water-related and infrastructure stocks may get excited with news that Selangor’s water services restructuring exercise will be resolved by year-end. And this will clear the way for Langat 2 project to go ahead.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim assured this yesterday, following Putrajaya’s affirmation on the longstanding issue, reported fz.com.
The federal government has been pressuring the state to sign the development orders needed to commence the Langat 2 water treatment plant project. But the state has insisted it will only consider the treatment plant project when the restructuring exercise is completed.
In a letter dated Sept 9, Energy, Green TECHNOLOGY  and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili stated that the ministry has evaluated the arguments and facts presented by the state government.
Abdul Khalid added that the ministry is confident that deadlock pertaining to the restructuring will be completed before Dec 31.
Selangor had previously made three bids to take over the management of the water services industry from all four water concessionaires in Selangor - Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding (Splash).
The most recent offer was made on Feb 20, when the state government offered RM9.65 billion to take over all the water assets.
Index linked stocks may react to positive news arising from the industrial production and manufacturing sales data in July, were released by the government today.
Malaysia’s real GDP growth is expected to expand by 5.0% y-o-y in 3Q 2013, faster than +4.3% recorded in the 2Q, after the data show industrial production growth strengthened to 7.6% y-o-y in July.
RHB Research said a sustained growth in domestic demand and an improvement in external demand for the country’s exports would help the third quarter GDP.
The rebound in industrial activities in July pointed to an improvement in economic activities, it said.
Manufacturing sales rebounded to grow by 3.8% y-o-y in July, after falling by 2.0% in June, and compared with -2.5% in May.
Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd reported a 5% rise in second quarter net profit from a year earlier mainly on the pay-television (TV) operator’s significantly lower finance cost.
Astro said net profit rose to RM98.83 million in the quarter ended July 31, 2013 (2QFY14) from RM94.47 million. Revenue climbed to RM1.19 billion from RM1.07 billion.
This (revenue increase) was mainly due to the increase in subscription revenue and advertising revenue of RM89.3 million and RM12.4 million respectively.
Astro’s cumulative 1HFY14 net profit however fell to RM212.97 million from RM216.75 million. This came on higher revenue of RM2.31 billion versus RM2.05 billion.
The firm plans to reward shareholders with a dividend of two sen a share for the quarter in review.
Looking ahead, the group said its Astro B.yond conversion and targeted customer acquisitions will have an impact on the firm's profit margins in FY14.
Astro said it believes that the group will continue to be cash generative. Given its financial strength, the company said it will be able to invest in its growth strategy and pursue progressive dividend policy.
STEMLIFE BHD ’s two shareholders have sold a total of 19.92% stake in the company to Singapore-listed stem cell specialist Cordlife Group Ltd.
StemLife told Bursa Malaysia today that Cordlife had purchased the stake comprising 49.3 million StemLife shares from Datuk Low Su-Shing and Datuk Lim Oi Wah on September 3 this year.
This makes Cordlife the single-largest shareholder in StemLife, pushing Tan Sri Vincent Tan's Berjaya Corp Bhd's 12.12% to the second spot.
NARRA INDUSTRIES BHD  and HONG LEONG INDUSTRIES BHD , both controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, have been suspended from trading early today.
Narra and Hong Leong Industries said the suspension is in conjunction with an announcement.
Narra manufactures furniture and offers interior-design services while Hong Leong Industries' businesses include electronic component, motorcycle and ceramic tile production.
Prior to the trading suspension, Narra shares closed at 70 sen. Hong Leong Industries was at RM5.40.
Benalec Holdings Bhd said its subsidiary, Spektrum Kukuh Sdn. Bhd, which has entered into a binding term sheet with two parties to build a crude oil storage and private jetty, is finalising the terms of the agreement.
Spektrum had earlier in the year entered into a binding term sheet with The State Secretary, Johor Inc and 1MY Strategic Oil Terminal Sdn Bhd to undertake the reclamation works and sale of 1,000 acres of land off the coast of Tanjung Piai, Johor, for the purpose of constructing and operating a crude oil and petroleum storage facility together with a private jetty.
“The parties are in the midst of finalising the terms and conditions of the sale and purchase agreement,” Benalec told Bursa Malaysia today.
CB INDUSTRIAL PRODUCT HOLDING  Berhad (CBIP) announced that Modipalm Engineering Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBIP, has been awarded a contract worth a total of RM50.3 million.
It said the contract is from PT Rafi Kamajaya Abadi, a subsidiary of TDM BHD , for a “continuous sterilisation palm oil mill” project in Nanga Pinoh Melawi, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
The award is expected to contribute positively to the earnings of CBIP for the financial years ending 31 December 2013, 2014 and 2015, said the company.
LFE Corp Bhd has returned to the black with a net profit of RM25.35 million for its fourth quarter ended July 31 (4QFY13), a reversal from a RM27.6 million loss posted in the previous corresponding period.
Revenue rose 157.5% to RM32.45 million, as compared to RM12.6 million recorded in previous year.
Profits for the current quarter is mainly due to the recognition of revenue upon certification of work done for the projects in Middle East countries, while the significant increase in revenue was due to higher revenue achieved from overseas market in the CONSTRUCTION  sector, it said.