Thursday, November 9th, 2017

 

Tech stocks pull Wall Street lower amid tax bill worries

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 ― Wall Street opened lower today and the Dow lost 100 points as tech stocks pulled back and skepticism over a Republican tax overhaul plan weighed. A US Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one already in the House of…


Arc @ Cyberjaya owners win suit against developer

SHAH ALAM: The Shah Alam High Court has ruled in favour of a class-action lawsuit representing 137 unit owners of serviced apartment project The Arc @ Cyberjaya seeking the return of outstanding rentals against its developer Maju Puncakbumi Sdn Bhd.

Judge Datuk Roslan Abu Bakar delivered the decision in chambers today.

The court awarded the owners RM3.97 million being the outstanding rentals up till May 2017; 8% interest on the outstanding rentals; agreed liquidated damages; general damages, aggravated damages of RM10, exemplary damages; 5% interest on the overall damages and costs of RM15,000. It allowed an interim stay for vacant possession of the units.

The Arc @ Cyberjaya is a RM700 million freehold development, which was launched in 2011, comprising four blocks of serviced apartments with an average price of RM350,000 per unit and four blocks of office towers.

Incorporated in 2009, Maju Puncakbumi offers commercial and residential property development services. The company is based in Subang Jaya and operates as a subsidiary of Meda Inc Bhd.

Vincent Lim Chang, the lawyer representing the owners, told SunBiz that the court granted the owners summary judgment, which is a decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial.

It was reported that the owners were given an option to sign up for a guaranteed rental return (GRR) scheme, which promised a fixed rental income for up to 25 years, when they signed the sale and purchase agreement. The scheme, with an annual return rate of 8%, is offered in packages lasting six, 10 or 25 years.

On Oct 6, Meda told the stock exchange it denies promising a fixed rental income of up to 25 years to the apartment owners who initiated the class-action lawsuit against its subsidiary. Meda said according to an option agreement between owners and Maju Puncakbumi to exercise their option for a GRR, there is a fixed term of three or four years (depending on the unit), and the option to renew the agreement for up to 20 years was on Maju Puncakbumi.

In a stock exchange filing today, Meda said: “Our solicitors advised that we have a good case to appeal in this matter. Therefore, we have given instructions to our solicitors to appeal this matter to the Court of Appeal.”

Maju Puncakbumi’s lawyer, when met at the courthouse, claimed that some of the owners have seen the developer and settled their disputes.


SP Setia’s third quarter earnings jump 88.88%

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 jumped 88.88% to RM253.22 million from RM134.07 million a year ago mainly due to contribution from Phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station project.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today the group said the project in London contributed an effective share of RM149.2 million in sales. Its other projects in Shah Alam, Semenyih, Cyberjaya, Rawang, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Baru and Penang also contributed to its profit.

Revenue for the quarter fell 33.33% to RM842.49 million from RM1.26 billion a year ago due to a short-term transitional effect on its overall revenue recognition following a strategic move to reposition launches in the previous financial year in response to market demand.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2017, net profit rose 29.09% to RM494.72 million from RM383.24 million a year ago while revenue fell 19.09% to RM2.58 billion from RM3.19 billion a year ago.

SP Setia achieved sales of RM2.82 billion for the nine months, with local projects contributing RM1.66 billion or 59% and international projects contributing RM1.16 billion or 41%.

President and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen said although total sales achieved were within expectations, the local market remained subdued and the underlying demand was strong for selective products and locations.

“However, we are pleased to note that the demand in international markets has picked up, demonstrated by the higher current nine months sales, which exceeded last year’s 12 months sales,” he said in a statement today.

SP Setia has unbilled sales of RM7.05 billion, anchored by 31 projects and remaining land bank of 5,384 acres, with a gross development value of RM79.82 billion as at Sept 30, 2017.

SP Setia’s share price closed unchanged at RM3.30 today with a total of 538,100 shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM9.94 billion.


Mokhzani exits Sapura Energy

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir has sold 384.97 million shares in Sapura Energy Bhd, marking his exit from the oil and gas firm, some five years after the merger of Kencana Petroleum Bhd and Sapuracrest Petroleum Bhd.

A filing with Bursa Malaysia showed that the ordinary shares of RM1 each, which were held by Khasera Baru Ltd, were sold on Tuesday.

Mokhzani has been progressively paring down his stake in the group over the years.

In 2014, he sold 190.3 million shares in Sapura Energy, which was then known as SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.

The company’s share price fell 1.35% or 2 sen to close at RM1.46 today with a total of 9.22 million shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM8.75 billion.


Sunzen aborts business plan after due diligence issues in Ecolite

PETALING JAYA: Sunzen Biotech Bhd aborted plans to buy a 70% interest in Ecolite Biotech Manufacturing Sdn Bhd for RM12 million on issues arising from due diligence conducted on Ecolite and its subsidiaries.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia Sunzen said it was clarifying an announcement made on Nov 7, 2017 stating it does not intend to proceed with the proposals, which included a diversification into manufacturing and trading of Chinese traditional medicine.

The company did, however, state that should those issues be resolved to the satisfaction of the company it may reconsider them after due and careful deliberation by the board.

The company’s share price was down half a sen to 31.5 sen, with some 111,000 shares traded.


SCH ends one of three MoUs

PETALING JAYA: SCH Group Bhd has terminated its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dataran 888 Sdn Bhd in relation to the collaboration on the excavation, removal, distribution and sale of quarry sand and other related deposits from flood mitigation ponds located in Kuala Lumpur.

SCH had in May entered into three separate MoUs with Sewara Engineering Sdn Bhd, Stigma Impiana Sdn Bhd and Dataran 888 respectively.

SCH said the company and Dataran 888 Sdn Bhd have mutually agreed to terminate the MoU.

“The termination of MoU would not have any financial impact to SCH group,” SCH said in a stock exchange filing today.


Aeon suing WCT’s unit to renew lease for Aeon Mall Bukit Tinggi

PETALING JAYA: Aeon Co (M) Bhd has filed a suit against WCT Holdings Bhd’s unit Gemilang Waras Sdn Bhd at the Kuala Lumpur High Court to renew its lease for Aeon Mall Bukit Tinggi.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Aeon said it is seeking court intervention to stop Gemilang Waras and those tied to the company from terminating the lease agreement dated Nov 23, 2007 and from trying to evict the company or its tenants from Aeon Mall Bukit Tinggi, pending the court’s decision.

Aeon is looking to maintain the status quo of Gemilang Waras and Aeon Co, as well as a declaration that its lease has been renewed and/or specific action to compel Gemilang Waras to take all necessary steps to renew the lease and/or damages or any other relief the court deems fit.

The suit is not expected to have any material financial or operational impact on Aeon Co for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017.

“The company had sought legal advice on the matter. Any further updates or development on the above suit will be made in due course,” Aeon said in a stock exchange filing.

Aeon closed unchanged at RM2 today with 150,400 shares traded.


Hovid shareholders advised to accept takeover offer

PETALING JAYA: Independent adviser AmInvestment Bank deems the takeover offer for Hovid Bhd at 38 sen a share and 20 sen a warrant as “fair” and “reasonable”, advising shareholders to accept the offer.

In an independent advice circular filed with Bursa Malaysia, AmInvestment Bank said the offer is fair as the share offer price of 38 sen per share represents a premium of 35.7% to 58.3% to its equity value of 24 sen to 28 sen.

The warrant offer price of 20 sen per unit is 100% to 233.3% higher than its value range of 6 sen to 10 sen.

Meanwhile, the offer is considered reasonable as the share offer price represents a 13.7% to 21.6% premium to its five-day to one-year volume weighted average price. For the warrants, the premium ranges between 10.8% and 45%.

Last month, Fajar Astoria Sdn Bhd and Hovid Bhd managing director David Ho Sue San launched the takeover offer to take Hovid private for 38 sen a share and 20 sen a warrant.

The offer will remain open for acceptances until 5pm on Nov 20. Hovid’s share price was unchanged at 36.5 today, with some 750,400 shares changing hands.


Ringgit ends higher as Bank Negara maintains rates

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 ― The ringgit was upbeat today, ending higher against the US dollar, buoyed by the fact that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) left key interest rates unchanged on Thursday. At 6pm, the local unit traded at 4.2050/2080 against the…


MyEG proposes to diversify into foreign workers’ accommodation programme

PETALING JAYA: MyEG Services Bhd proposes to diversify its existing principal activities to include the foreign workers' accommodation programme (FWAP).

The group told Bursa Malaysia that it entails the setting up and management of centralised and integrated living quarters or hostels throughout the country to house foreign workers.

MyEG is currently involved in the development and implementation of the electronic government services project and other related services.

The proposed diversification follows several related developments that had been announced previously.

It believes the proposed diversification complements the group's existing foreign workers permit renewal business as the future rental income derived from the FWAP is expected to provide a new source of recurring income stream.

MyEG stressed that the group will not undertake any construction activities on its own, as it will outsource such nature of activities to contractors and professional consultants such as designers and engineers.

Its shares were unchanged at RM2.16, on some 2.18 million shares done.