Monday, January 28th, 2019


MRCB secures RM323m highway job

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has bagged a RM323 million contract for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) privatisation project package CA2.

MRCB told the stock exchange that its wholly owned subsidiary MRCB Builders Sdn Bhd had acknowledged receipt and agreed to the terms and conditions stipulated in the letter of acceptance from Turnpike Synergy Sdn Bhd dated Jan 18 for the construction and completion of mainline and other associated works from CH.2400 To CH.4200.

The letter of acceptance was received on Jan 23.

MRCB said the completion date of the project is April 3, 2020, being 14 month from the date of site possession on Feb 4.

“The project is expected to contribute positively to the earnings of MRCB for the financial years 2019 and 2020,” it added.

FTSE 100 edges lower after downbeat China data; Ocado rallies

LONDON, Jan 28 — Britain's FTSE 100 inched lower today as worries over a slowdown in China offset relief over the reopening of the US government, while Ocado rallied on a report of a deal with Marks & Spencer. The blue-chip index had dipped…

HSBC expects ringgit to trade 4.15 against US dollar in Q1

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — HSBC Malaysia is expecting the ringgit to trade around the 4.15 level against the US dollar for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, following the pause in US interest rate hikes and better oil prices forecast. Global markets…

Senai Airport records 13% passenger growth in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Senai International Airport handled 3.52 million passengers last year, a 13% increase from the number of passengers recorded in 2017.

Md Derick Basir, CEO of Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB), the airport operator, said growth was mainly driven by domestic passengers with an increase of 234,650 passengers while international passenger traffic rose by 37% to 600,000 in 2018.

“Growth was fuelled by the southern region’s rigorous economic activities, escalating demand for business and corporate travel, as well as the leisure sector,” he said in a statement today.

Commercial aircraft movement grew 8% with a total of 32,574 landings and takeoffs compared with 2017.

“The rise in total passenger traffic in 2018 was mainly attributed by the introduction of new routes including Seoul by Jin Air, Sanya and Haikou by Malindo Air, as well as Alor Star and Ipoh by AirAsia.

“In addition, the increase in flight frequencies to existing sectors such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and Bangkok had also contributed to the growth,” he said.

Md Derick added that SATSSB had also collaborated with industry players including tourism bodies and airlines to promote Johor as a destination, ultimately to encourage the demand for more air connectivity.

“For 2019, Senai International Airport aims to handle 3.76 million passengers,” he added.

Foreign buying on Bursa edges higher

PETALING JAYA: Foreign funds mopped up RM455.1 million net of local equities last week, a slight increase from the preceding week.•

“•Offshore investors continued to enter Bursa for the third uninterrupted week, the longest weekly foreign net buying streak seen since April 2018,“ MIDF Research said in its weekly fund flow report today.

As the local bourse reopened after the Thaipusam holiday, global investors rushed to buy local equities at a tune of RM158 million net, marking the third straight day of net inflows standing above RM100 million.

It was also notable that the FBM KLCI closed above 1,700 points for the first time since late November 2018, bucking the trend of other major Asian markets which dipped such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.•

The momentum of foreign net inflows on Wednesday slowed down to RM29.5 million as global growth worries were revived at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Risk sentiment was dampened further by the rumour on the cancellation of the meeting between US president Donald Trump’’s administration and Chinese trade officials due to the lack of progress on forced technology transfers but was refuted by US presidential adviser Larry Kudlow.

•Nonetheless, the level of foreign net buying reached above the RM100 million mark at RM105.6 million on Thursday as positive corporate results from the US soothed investors’ nerves that the US economic recovery was still on track.

•Foreign net inflows gained momentum to hit RM162.1 million on Friday as the overnight rally in US chipmakers outweighed comments from US Commerce Secretary stating that the US and China are still far away from achieving a resolution on trade.

The participation rate of foreign investors was stronger last week, indicated by the average daily traded value (ADTV) which jumped by more than 30% for the week to reach RM1.3 billion, the highest in eight weeks.

AME Elite seeks Main Market listing

PETALING JAYA: AME Elite Consortium Bhd is planning an initial public offering (IPO) on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd.

According to its draft prospectus, its IPO of up to 128.13 million IPO shares represents up to about 30% of the enlarged issued share capital of the company.

The exercise will comprise a public issue of 85.42 million new shares and an offer for sale of up to 42.71 million existing shares involving a retail offering of 17.08 million shares and institutional offering up to 111.05 million IPO shares.

AME is an industrial property developer and services provider with core expertise in the design-and-build of industrial parks as well as construction of customised large manufacturing plants, complemented by its offerings in engineering services and property investment and management services in Malaysia.

It expects to use the gross proceeds from the public issue for future industrial property development and investment projects including land acquisitions and joint ventures, working capital for its i-Park @ SAC development project and to complete the expansion of its precast concrete fabrication capacity.

AME disclosed that it is in preliminary discussions with certain land owners in and outside Johor on potential acquisition and development opportunities.

“However, we have not identified or committed to any acquisition and development targets.”

To maintain its cost competitiveness, it will continue to identify reasonably priced land as well as assess and monitor the process of tendering and contract negotiation, the group said.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2018, AME reported a net profit of RM78.22 million, 37% higher than the RM57.1 million it made a year ago, while revenue grew 14.2% to RM341.32 million from RM298.96 million.

Net profit margin rose to 22.92% from 19.1%.

Maybank vaults into list of world’s top 500 brands

PETALING JAYA: Maybank has made it into the world’s top 500 brands for the first time, after it was named in Brand Finance’s Global 500 Brands – the only Malaysian bank and one of two Malaysian brands to be included in this prestigious listing.

Maybank achieved a brand valuation of US$4.2 billion (RM17.3 billion), a 32% increase from last year’s valuation of US$3.16 billion according to its statement today.

Maybank said the group also maintained its position as the top bank brand in Malaysia for the fifth year running, improving its previous rating of “AAA-” to “AAA”.

At the same time, it registered an increase in the Brand Strength Index (BSI) to 86/100 this year from 82/100 previously. BSI is a key driver that contributes to brand valuation and determines the strength of a brand.

Maybank was among only eight Asean brands listed in the global ranking. It was placed 494 in the world’s top 500 most valuable brands list.

Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the recognition was a reflection of Maybank’s sustained efforts in building closer relationships with its stakeholders and focusing on delivering consistent value through all its products and services.

“It is definitely a great honour for Maybank to be listed among the top brands in the world today. We believe it also demonstrates how a homegrown brand from Malaysia is defining new standards and raising the bar in the global stage with support from all its stakeholders.”

Farid added that Maybank’s strategy in developing a meaningful brand experience was centred on its mission to humanise financial services, as well as its commitment to being at the heart of communities where it operates.

“While we will continue to strengthen our brand positioning across all our engagement channels, we are also focusing on providing next-generation customer experience given that technology is rapidly influencing our lifestyles and the way people do banking today,” he said.

Brand Finance in its annual survey, values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. The results of this analysis are then ranked with the world’s 500 most valuable brands featured in the Brand Finance Global 500 report.

Scomi to dispose of entire stake in French unit

PETALING JAYA: Scomi Energy Services Bhd’s unit Scomi Sosma Sdn Bhd is planning to dispose its entire stake in Scomi Anticor SAS to Vink + Co GMBH Handelsgesellschaft UND CO KG for US$3.7 million (RM15.2 million).

Incorporated in France, Scomi Anticor is involved in the business of manufacturing and selling niche production chemicals primarily in Congo, Nigeria and Gabon.

The sale of Scomi Anticor is expected to result in a gain of US$2.3 million for Scomi Energy. The original acquisition in Scomi Anticor was undertaken in August 2006 for a total consideration of approximately RM4.9 million, it told the stock exchange today.

The proceeds from the sale will be utilised for working capital requirements and repayment of borrowings of the group.

The gain on sale of Scomi Anticor is expected to have a positive impact on the group’s financial results for the financial year ending March 31.

The proposed transaction is expected to be completed by Jan 31.

SWS Capital plans rights issue, private placement

PETALING JAYA: SWS Capital Bhd is planning to purchase the entire stake in Ee Jia Housewares (M) Sdn Bhd for RM64 million to expand its plasticware segment and gain immediate access into Ee Jia’s profitable business.

Ee Jia is involved in the trading and marketing activity of plasticware and utensils. The principal activities of its subsidiary companies are investing in landed properties and collecting rental, trading and marketing of plasticware and goods.

SWS told the stock exchange today that the proposed acquisition will also provide the group the opportunity to participate in Ee Jia’s future earnings, including the profit guarantee of two years with at least RM5.6 million for each year.

The purchase consideration will be satisfied via a combination of RM20 million in cash and issuance of 55 million shares in SWS at an issue price of 80 sen each.

The cash consideration will be funded via proceeds to be raised from the proposed renounceable rights issue of irredeemable convertible preference shares (ICPS) of up to 547 million new ICPS on the basis of two rights for every one existing SWS share held.

Based on the issue price of 7 sen per rights ICPS, the group is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to RM38.29 million. The remaining of the proceeds will be used to reduce the group’s bank borrowings.

SWS also proposed a private placement of up to 143 million new ICPS in SWS at an issue price to be determined later, representing up to about 26.14% of the rights ICPS to be issued.

For illustrative purposes, based on the assumed issue price of 7 sen per placement ICPS, SWS is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to about RM10.01 million for the repayment of bank borrowings and working capital.

Bursa Malaysia closes lower on continued selling

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed lower today on continued selling activities in selected heavyweights and lower liners, in tandem with most regional peers, dealers said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended Monday’s trading at 1,697.50, down 3.53 points or 0.20% from Friday’s close of 1,701.03.

The barometer index moved between 1,693.63 and 1,705.50 throughout the day, after opening 4.38 points higher at 1,705.41.

Market breadth was negative with 550 losers and 301 gainers while 355 counters were unchanged, 718 untraded and 44 others suspended.

Total volume eased to 2.25 billion shares, worth RM1.94 billion, from Friday’s 2.48 billion shares, valued at RM2.05 billion.

M&A Securities Sdn Bhd chief dealing officer R. Sundararajah said although investor’s sentiment was expected to boost the FBM KLCI, following the end of the US government shutdown on Friday, worries re-emerged as a new round of high-level US-China trade talks was set to begin later in the week.

Besides, he said China’s slowing economy is a great concern and will have an immediate negative impact on equity markets in this region.

“The local bourse could end up weaker towards the end of the week as investors might want to take profits and trim their holdings in view of the long weekend ahead.

The market will be closed on Friday for the Federal Territory Day public holiday.

“We expect the market to be supported at around 1,685 level with resistance noted at 1,720 for the rest of this week,” he told Bernama.

Among heavyweights, Maybank was flat at RM9.66, Public Bank added two sen to RM24.82 while TNB fell six sen to RM13.58, Petronas Chemicals lost seven sen to RM8.62 and CIMB eased two sen to RM5.66.

Of actives, Sapura Energy rose half-a-sen to 28.5 sen after the proposed exploration & production strategic partnership with Austria’s OMV Aktiengesellschaft (OMV AG) was approved by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting today.

Other actives included Bumi Armada which fell 1.5 sen to 21.5 sen and VS which shed half-a-sen to 80 sen.

The FBM Emas Index was 31.72 points lower at 11,754.24, the FBMT 100 Index decreased 28.76 points to 11,640.10 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell 41.25 points to 11,6840.48.

The FBM 70 dipped 53.29 points to 13,927.00 and the FBM Ace Index declined 71.36 points to 4,393.09.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services fell 18.10 points to 17,618.43, the Industrial Products and Services Index was down 1.14 points to 163.05 but the Plantation Index gained 10.72 points to 7,312.89.

Main Market volume dropped to 1.69 billion shares, valued at RM1.84 billion, against Friday’s 1.76 billion shares worth RM1.93 billion.

Warrants turnover narrowed to 325.40 million units, worth RM71.40 million, against 397.69 million units, valued at RM75.17 million, transacted on Friday.

Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 226.61 million shares, valued at RM33.23 million, compared with 324.47 million shares, worth RM51.60 million, recorded on Friday.

Consumer products and services accounted for 306.35 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (221.86 million), construction (105.55 million), technology (100.07 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (47.82 million), property (79.70 million), plantations (28.26 million), REITs (29.02 million), closed/fund (16,500), energy (657.14 million), healthcare (33.30 million), telecommunications and media (53.61 million), transportation and logistics (19.63 million) and, utilities (16.88 million). — Bernama