Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

 

Verizon launches cheaper unlimited plan to compete with rivals

NEW YORK, Aug 22 — Verizon Communications Inc said today that it was introducing a cheaper unlimited mobile data plan with some limits as it tries to lure customers away from rival wireless carriers. The plan, to be introduced tomorrow, is…


Indonesia central bank surprises with rate cut in bid to spur growth

JAKARTA, Aug 22 — Indonesia’s central bank on Tuesday cut its benchmark policy rate for the first time since October, unexpectedly pulling the trigger in a bid to boost sluggish lending and growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. In…


Bursa Companies Latest Quarterly Result (22 Aug 2017)

Bursa companies in focus

Name Quarter Quarter Date Revenue (RM ‘000) Net Profit (RM ‘000) EPS (RM) Dividend Profit Change % APPASIA 2 2017-06-30 7,723 20 0.01 0.000 +101.3% INSAS 4 2017-06-30 111,552 34,791 5.24 0.000 -4.7% ANNJOO 2 2017-06-30 490,746 28,619 5.68 6.000 -69% UMWOG 2 2017-06-30 139,908 -50,986 -2.36 0.000 +24.2% BPPLAS 2 2017-06-30 73,833 1,627 0.87 0.000 -68.7% EATECH 2 2017-06-30 113,400 -36,715 -7.28 0.000 -401.2% MAYBULK 2 2017-06-30 70,694 -10,754 -1.08 0.000 +73.3% ZELAN 2 2017-06-30 11,495 -5,449 -0.64 0.000 -173.8% DNEX 2 2017-06-30 49,108 11,929 0.68 0.500 -86.7% INARIRead More


Scomi to maintain O&G business

KUALA LUMPUR: Scomi Group Bhd, which is to merge with Scomi Energy Services Bhd (SESB) and Scomi Engineering Bhd (SEB), plans to keep oil and gas as its core business but develop the renewables and chemicals business which do not contribute much to the group right now.

“We’ve spoken about renewables, we are very positive about renewables and also we are positive about chemicals. In the last three years, we’ve developed certain products which, in terms of knowledge or expertise, we acquired through oil and gas (O&G) and leveraged it on other industries,” CFO Mukhnizam Mahmud told reporters at SEB’s AGM today.

“We are getting a bit of inroads in certain markets or industries and then hopefully that will take off because it is asset light and very scaleable. That’s what we like about the chemicals business,” he said.

In terms of renewables, the group’s focus will be on solar projects in Malaysia and hydro projects in Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan. It is also looking at some wind projects overseas, including Myanmar.

He said the renewables business currently does not contribute significantly to the group but is expected to be sizeable in the future as it is bullish on the sector. The group currently has one large scale solar project for 30MW in Kedah which is expected to contribute by end of 2018.

Mukhnizam said O&G will remain its core business after the privatisation exercise for about two years after which the composition might change depending on how it performs in renewables and chemicals.

In terms of the rail business, he said the exercise will give the group a bigger balance sheet, which will provide strength in looking at future rail projects. He said SEB’s balance sheet is currently a bit “stretched”.

Ongoing rail projects both in Malaysia and overseas (Brazil) will continue and will not be affected by the privatisation exercise. It will also continue exploring opportunities overseas for monorail projects. Its current outstanding orderbook is US$700 million (RM2.9 billion) for O&G and RM1.9 billion for rail.

On Monday, Scomi announced that it is merging the group with two listed subsidiaries, SESB and SEB via a share swap deal with free warrants. Scomi owns 65.65% of SESB and 72.33% of SEB.

“Essentially we are taking both SESB and SEB private by way of member’s scheme. We are trying to consolidate and just have one listed company and one single balance sheet to manage our challenges,” Mukhnizam said.

He said the shareholders of SESB and SEB will become shareholders of Scomi, giving them exposure to the other businesses under the group. He said there will be no management changes for now but expects to carry out some reorganisation once the exercise is completed in March 2018.

The privatisation exercise will also see Scomi divesting some non-core assets, especially in oilfield services, in order to pare down debts and develop the renewables and chemicals businesses. It is targeting to raise US$50 million or more from the divestment.

On the court case with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, Scomi country president for Malaysia Zubaidi Harun said it has not affected the group’s ongoing rail projects nor its prospects for new rail projects.

“We don’t think it is a problem. Even during the dispute, we actually sought out a contract from MRT and have delivered 150 buses. The dispute does not preclude us from bidding for projects including government projects. Similarly overseas, we have not been affected… the dispute does not have that much impact,” he said.

Scomi’s share price rose 13.04% to close at 13 sen with a total of 16.39 million shares traded upon resumption of trading in the afternoon session. Its market capitalisation stood at RM247.40 million.


Hock Seng Lee’s Q2 net profit falls 21%

PETALING JAYA: Hock Seng Lee Bhd’s (HSL), which has an orderbook value of RM3 billion, saw its net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 decline by 21.11% to RM9.53 million from RM12.08 million.

Revenue dipped slightly to RM106.39 million from RM107.05 million due to lower contributions from its construction and property development segments.

“With a record order book of RM3 billion in hand, the group is now busy on work execution. Nevertheless, the group will continue to bid for projects that are related to our core business in infrastructure works,” the company’s board said in a Bursa Malaysia filing.

The board said the group’s procurement initiative will be undertaken in line with its prudent project management strategies, while also taking into consideration the capacity and capabilities of the group.

Its board is also of view that the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative along with other industrialisation and urbanisation forces could provide it with contract opportunities in key SCORE growth node towns of Tanjung Manis, Mukah and Samalaju and the major cities of Sarawak.

HSL’s managing director Datuk Paul Yu said in a separate statement that many of its new and big ticket projects, such as the likes of its section in the Pan-Borneo highway, are in early stages of work.

“While we are busy executing contracts across the state, we are also experiencing some pressure on margins as demand for materials, labour and sub-contractors has pushed up operating costs,” he said.

The Sarawak based company has bagged new projects worth RM558 million. These include a wastewater and a school project in Miri, a vocational facility (PPKS) in Mukah and a collector road in Samalaju.

In the first half on this year, HSL completed works such as high priority projects in the SCORE region, namely a water treatment plant in Mukah, an administrative building for Samalaju Port and infrastructure works at the Samalaju Industrial Park worth RM RM137 million.

The group also expects its property development division to “make a greater impact” on the business this year.

Its ongoing projects for the property development sector are worth some RM340 million which is expected to contribute to its bottom line.

HSL’s net profits for the first six months declined by 26.61% to RM 20.80 million from RM28.34 million recorded in the same period last year.

The group also saw a 15.14% decline in its revenue for the first half of the year to RM211.57 million from RM249.31million in the first half of 2016.

HSL has declared an interim dividend of 1 sen. HSL’s shares fell by 2.03% to RM1.45 with some 611,500 shares changing hands. Its market capitalisation stood at RM769.8 million.


Petronas Dagangan ‘to continue to outperform’

PETALING JAYA: Kenanga Research has retained its “outperform” call on Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag) given its resilient business volume and the weekly pump price review, which should help the group mitigate inventory cost shock to ensure better earnings.

The research house said PetDag reported yet another satisfactory performance in the second quarter 2017 (2Q17) results with sales volume rebounding 3% sequentially on the back of high traffic volume for the school and Hari Raya holidays.

“Nonetheless, traffic flow is expected to come off in 3Q17 following the high base in the preceding quarter. This is unlikely to be alarming as the stable MOPS (Mean of Plats Singapore) price movement should sustain profit margin if not push it higher,” said Kenanga.

Its price target for PetDag is maintained at RM26.70 per share. Risks to its call include sharp drop in business volume and a sudden plunge in MOPS within a short time.

Meanwhile, HLIB Research said PetDag’s 2Q17 core net profit came in at RM253.8 million, bringing 1H17 core net profit to RM485.4 million, accounting for 49.3% of HLIB and 51% of consensus.

“While the company’s balance sheet remains solid, no near-term catalysts are present while volume growth outlook remains muted in the longer term,” said HLIB, which is maintaining its hold call on PetDag.

It said volume growth outlook for the retail segment (especially petrol sales) remains muted as demand for car fuel could moderate due to the recent start of Mass Rapid Transit operations, which encourage public commuting.

The commercial segment volume outlook is also subdued as economic growth is increasingly driven by services while industrial growth is expected to be steady.

Cost optimisation remains the main focus of the group so that it aims to operate in a leaner condition in order to ride through difficult times in the economy.

Risks include further weakness in consumer sentiment, while the volatility of MOPS pricing which might affect group’s product gross margins.

“We lower our target price to RM24.64 from RM26.70 as we now peg to a lower FY18 PER (price-earnings ratio) of 24 times (from 26 times previously) to account for weaker long-term volume growth outlook,” said HLIB.

PetDag shares closed unchanged at RM24 today with 193,100 traded.


IKEA to establish regional centre for Asean in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer headquartered in the Netherlands, will invest RM908 million to establish its regional distribution and supply chain centre for Asean in Malaysia.

The centre, which will adopt the structure and technology of IKEA’s biggest regional distribution centre in Germany, will also be among the top 10 largest regional distribution centres of IKEA Group globally.

The new centre will manage an inventory of 9,500 stock keeping units (SKUs) worth RM6.6 billion annually. IKEA’s new 100,000 square metre specialised warehouse will utilise its integrated ICT systems and automation to reduce the dependency on labour and significantly increase the efficiency and accuracy of its inventory management processes.

The establishment of the regional distribution and supply chain centre in Malaysia will strengthen its role in supporting IKEA’s growth in the Asean region. IKEA’s retail stores in Malaysia are among IKEA’s most visited stores globally. The centre will serve 12 retail stores in Asean, which will increase to 20 stores by 2026.

On congratulating IKEA, International Trade & Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the project, which resulted from continuous engagements and facilitation by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), represents a significant milestone for both IKEA and Malaysia.

“IKEA’s decision of selecting our country as a base to support retailers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and India underscores the strategic fit of this country in supporting IKEA’s overall growth strategy in the Asean region,” Mustapa said in a statement.

The establishment also adds momentum towards making Malaysia a regional distribution hub and preferred logistics gateway to Asia as outlined in the National Logistics and Trade Facilitation Masterplan and National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR), he added.

“Deployment of technology in the logistics chain has been identified as the key factor in strengthening the capabilities of logistics service providers towards enhancing trade facilitation mechanisms. Thus, IKEA’s high-flow and automated warehouse is certainly well-aligned to this agenda,” said Mustapa.

The Malaysian government has also been actively encouraging large local conglomerates and multinationals to set up their regional establishment in Malaysia through various business models, including the Principal Hub (PH) scheme that allows companies to centralise their global activities such as procurement and distribution.

Such establishments bring along many multiplier effects to the country, ranging from creating high-value jobs, incurring high business spending, intensifying usage of local ancillary services, increasing the flow of foreign exchange as well as strengthening the value chain in targeted industries.

To date, MIDA has approved a total of 26 PH projects since its introduction in May 2015. Over the next 10 years, these projects are poised to contribute RM16.8 billion in business spending, utilise local ancillary services worth RM2.2 billion and generate more than 1,800 high-value jobs for Malaysians.

Among the renowned companies that have been accorded with the PH scheme are Honeywell, Super Group, Avago Technologies, Lotte Chemical Titan, Daikin and Sharp.


UMW-OG bags RM113m contract from Repsol

PETALING JAYA: UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW-OG) has been awarded an RM113 million contract for the provision of jack-up drilling rig services for Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia Limited.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, UMW-OG said UMW Offshore Drilling Sdn Bhd (UOD) was awarded the contract by Repsol. UOD is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMW Malaysian Ventures Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMW-OG.

The contract is for the provision of drilling rig services for Repsol's drilling programme and UMW-OG has assigned its UMW Naga 5 for the contract. The one-year contract comes with a one-year extension option, and work is expected to commence in the middle of September.

UMW Naga 5 is a premium independent-leg cantilever jack-up drilling rig that has a drilling depth capability of 30,000 feet and has a rated operating water depth of 400 feet.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net assets of the group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017 and the financial periods thereafter during the contract period.

Meanwhile, UMW-OG's net loss for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 narrowed to RM50.99 million from RM67.25 million a year ago due to higher rig utilisation rate and lower losses from oilfield services.

Revenue for the quarter rose 7.61% to RM139.91 million from RM130.01 million a year ago due to improved revenue from both the drilling and services segments.

For the six months ended June 30, 2017, net loss widened to RM155.10 million from RM132.32 million a year ago due to lower time charter rates and reduced foreign exchange gain on translation.

Revenue for the period fell 1.61% to RM214.19 million from RM217.69 million a year ago due to lower revenue from both segments.

Drilling services reported lower revenue due to lower time charter rates from new drilling contracts secured while oilfield services reported lower revenue due to continued soft demand for oilfield services.

For drilling services, UMW-OG expects full utilisation of all seven jack-up rigs by next month but warned that there are potential risks of off hire for some of the rigs, as some of the contracts are short term in nature.

“While asset utilisation is improving for the second half of 2017, the charter rates continue to remain soft, in line with prevailing market rates,” it said in a separate filing yesterday.

For oilfield services, the group does not expect demand for oil pipes threading, inspection and repair services to recover significantly for the rest of 2017 as oil companies continue to use existing threaded stocks. Repair works also continue to experience low volume.

The group expects 2017 to remain challenging due to the low time charter rate environment.

UMW-OG's share price fell 4.48% to close at 32 sen, with a total of 16.25 million shares traded. It has a market capitalisation of RM691.84 million.


Nova MSC bags RM14.8m contract from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority

PETALING JAYA: Nova MSC Bhd's wholly-owned subsidiary Novacitynets Pte Ltd (NCN) has been awarded a S$4.71 million (RM14.8 million) job from the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore, to upgrade and provide maintenance support of Development Application Exchange (DAX) System.

The contract will run from Aug 22, 2017 to Jan 10, 2020 or as mutually extended, followed by one year warranty and two years maintenance to be renewed annually.

The contract is expected to contribute positively for the software services providers financial year ending March 31, 2018. Nova MSC's shares were untraded today.


[HOT] Deal Called Off? AMMB & RHB Bank to Scrap Merger

RHB AMMB 2

KUALA LUMPUR: AMMB Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd called off their proposed merger due to valuations issues, sources said. Earlier, Bloomberg reported the two Malaysian lenders had difficulty reaching agreement on terms, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private Companies could announce as soon as today that they’ve decided to end talks about a combination. Shares of both lenders were suspended from trading in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. AMMB’s largest shareholder is Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, which has a 24% stake,Read More