Stocks To Watch IRCB, Hwang-DBS, CIMB, Ekovest, FGV, Hibiscus

Business & Markets 2013
Written by Ho Wah Foon of   
Friday, 27 December 2013 19:22

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 27): Based on news flow and corporate announcements today, IRCB with a strong turnaround in performance may lead others in attracting interest on Monday (Dec 30).

Integrated Rubber Corporation Bhd (IRCB) posted a strong turnaround in its third financial quarter ended October 13, 2013, with a net profit of RM27.6 million.

This was a reversal from the net loss of RM9.9 million in the third quarter of the previous year, and a loss before tax of RM28 million in the second quarter of the current financial year.

As a result, earnings per share stood at 4.66 sen for the third quarter of the current financial year.

Revenue for the quarter was RM35.2 million, compared to RM33.6 million a year ago.

But for the nine months to October 2013, the rubber glove company still registered a loss. The losses totalled RM10.5 million, compared to a loss of RM18.0 million in similar nine-month period a year ago.

The PN17-status company, which recently completed its financial regulation plan, said its improved performance was due mainly to higher contribution margin from the nitrile gloves after a change in product mix and some currency gains.

Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Bhd’s net profit jumped 47% to RM13.5 million for its first quarter ended 31 October 2013 from RM9.2 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

The group reported revenue of RM132.6 million for the quarter, up 17% from RM113.4 million in the previous year.

“The increase in operating revenue of the group is mainly attributable to the higher fund management fee income generated by the investment management segment and increase in gains arising from securities trading activities,” said the group.

Its stockbroking, investment management and commercial banking segments had recorded improving pre-tax profits for the quarter, but were partly offset by lower profits from the investment banking and moneylending segments.

The group believes that it will “perform satisfactorily” for the remainder of its financial year.

CIMB Group Bhd announced that it has appointed Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz as CEO of CIMB Investment Bank Bhd with effect from Jan 2, 2014. He will also be the Head of CIMB Group's investment banking division and co-head its corporate clients solutions division.

Zafrul was most recently CEO of Maybank Investment Bank Berhad. His previous positions include group director at Kenanga Holdings Berhad, CEO of Tune Money Sdn Bhd, head of investment banking at Citigroup Malaysia.

Tengku Zafrul is known to have led Maybank's multi-billion purchase of regional brokerage Kim Eng in Singapore and doubled earnings from its investment bank while he was with Maybank.

Tengku Zafrul also sits on the boards of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia.

United U-Li Corporation Bhd announced that its wholly-owned unit, United U-Li Goodlite Sdn. Bhd, has entered into a distributorship agreement with OPPLE Lighting CO Ltd of China to sell and distribute its lighting products in Malaysia and Brunei from Jan 1, 2014.

United U-Li told Bursa Malaysia, Shanghai-based OPPLE is the “No. 1 consumer lighting brand in China” with “several hundred million USD sales turnover and 7000 employees worldwide.

Ekovest Bhd, a construction firm with a growing presence as a toll concessionaire, aims to acquire more land in Greater Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Malaysia.

Managing director Lim Keng Cheng said the company's appetite is focused on these two locations due to their potential for infrastructure developments such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), and thus it would help to lift property prices.

Currently, Ekovest has planned projects with a gross development value (GDV) of RM4 billion in Kuala Lumpur, on top of its newly-launched RM1.63 billion EkoCheras mixed development.

Ekovest, also concession holder of the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), said it is awaiting the government's response regarding the DUKE 3 project.   

Lim said: “We’ve actually submitted many proposals and there are many alternatives, not just DUKE 3.”

Ekovest was recently awarded a RM1.18 billion contract from the Government to expand the existing DUKE highway under the DUKE 2 phase which adds 2 more links to Sri Damansara and Jalan Tun Razak.

Lim said that although the DUKE project is currently losing money, it is expected to breakeven in 2017.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is looking for more asset acquisitions to improve its profitability, said group president and CEO Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah to Bernama.

Speaking to the media after FGV's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today, he said the group would acquire assets to enhance its downstream and upstream activities.

"We are currently reviewing all the proposals coming to our table. We are at the discussion stage with them," he said.

At the EGM, FGV had obtained shareholders' approval to acquire a 51% equity interest in Felda Holdings Bhd (FHB) from Koperasi Permodalan Malaysia Bhd for RM2.2 billion or RM19.61 per FHB share.

FGV expects an eight per cent revenue growth annually in the next eight years beginning in 2014 with the integration of FHB under its stable of companies.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd announced that Bank Negara Malaysia has approved its issuance of CRPS-2013 for the amount of up to RM500 million to non-resident investors.

The approval granted is deemed lapsed if Hibiscus uses the proceeds raised from the proposed private placement of CRPS-2013 for purposes other than for investment(s) in the oil and gas sector within Malaysia and outside Malaysia.