Tuesday, February 12th, 2019


Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince's visit

NEW DELHI,  Feb 12 — Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure during a visit to India and Pakistan in coming days as part of his efforts to wean the Saudi economy off oil…

Wall St gains on trade optimism, progress to avert govt shutdown

NEW YORK, Feb 12 — Wall Street rose today, fueled by a tentative deal reached by US lawmakers to avoid another partial government shutdown and optimism that the United States and China could reach an agreement during their ongoing trade talks….

Velesto bags RM115m contract extension for North Malay Basin

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Velesto Energy Bhd (VEB) announced that its unit has received a contract extension from Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia B.V. (Hess) for the provision of a high pressure high temperature jack-up drilling rig and…

Practical Valentine’s Day gifts for couples to enjoy together

FEB 12 — It’s that time of the year again, when thinking of presents becomes extremely difficult and people are spending a lot just to impress their significant other. Do you have this problem of not knowing what to give your partner for…

Guan Eng: TRX detoxified, 1MDB ghosts being exorcised

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM40 billion Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project has been “detoxified” as part of a review conducted on all government-related projects by the Pakatan Harapan administration, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the government believes all of its investments should go through rigorous analysis in line with the principle of competency, accountability and transparency.

He added while the government does the necessary detoxification of assets, it must allow these assets to proceed and not allow them to become collateral damage to the past excesses of the previous government.

“This project is the symbol of the successful isolation and quarantine of those projects which had certain issues so that those unconnected and unrelated can proceed based on market laws and the best international practices.

“So, rest assured, that TRX is detoxified. It has now been cleaned up and is moving forward as a world-class, international, global project. This government is committed to rooting out corruption at all levels. This should be a signal that for those investors coming here, rest assured, your investments are protected by the rule of law,” Lim said at the launch of The Exchange TRX and development facility signing ceremony here today.

“The review that we conducted on TRX showed that the government is able to recover all of its opportunity cost and investment made into TRX because of the global and best practices adopted by the present government,” he noted, adding that the continuation of this project shows that this administration does honour the government’s past agreements and welcome bona-fide investments into Malaysia.

“We are slowly but surely exorcising the ghosts of 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) which have tainted Malaysia as the destination for business and investment.”

The Exchange TRX today secured RM2.15 billion in financing facilities for five years from a consortium of banks, comprising Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, Malayan Banking Bhd, Standard Chartered and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Lim said the willingness of the four financial institutions to provide financing facilities to the project demonstrates how far TRX ahead has gone and how much progress has been made since the Pakatan government took office.

Formerly known as the Lifestyle Quarter, The Exchange TRX is a 17-acre mixed used development within the larger 70-acre international financial district TRX development. It is being developed by a 60:40 joint venture between Australian developer Lendlease and the Finance Ministry’s wholly owned TRX City Sdn Bhd.

The Exchange TRX will comprise a hotel, a grade A office, residential apartments, retail and leisure offerings, all integrated with a new 10-acre city park.

The gross development value of The Exchange TRX is estimated to be in the excess of RM9 billion with TRX City’s net investment amounting to RM1.2 billion funded by land injection in to the joint venture. Lendlease will invest RM2.1 billion.

Lendlease CEO for Asia Tony Lombardo said despite the scandal revolving around 1MDB-linked TRX, it has done its own due diligence for the project, while the Finance Ministry has also “detoxified” the project.

Lendlease has in its pipeline 18 major urbanisation projects across 10 cities worldwide worth A$71 billion (RM207 billion).

“Landlease deals with governments around the world, so corporate governance and driving that global standard around governance is so crucial to us. What you’re seeing is the confidence of international investors which believe in this project,” said Lombardo.

He added that banks coming onboard the project with financing facilities, coupled with HSBC moving its head office to TRX, also signified confidence in this location.

Meanwhile, construction for the mall is expected to be completed in 2021, while the hotel and office will be completed in 2022. Construction of The TRX Residences is expected to start in the middle of this year and will take four years to complete. TRX will start opening its doors to its first tenant in the second quarter of this year.

E&O loses RM318m in market cap on cash call news

PETALING JAYA: Investors reacted negatively towards Eastern & Oriental Bhd’s (E&O) proposed fund raising exercise of up to RM550.3 million with its share price tumbling 24 sen or 22.02% to a multi-year low of 85 sen today.

The heavy selling pressure led to RM318 million of its market capitalisation being wiped off.

It was the top fourth loser on Bursa Malaysia today on 36.7 million shares done.

On Monday, E&O announced a proposed fund raising exercise which would raise proceeds of RM250 million to RM550.3 million, to fund its Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) Phase 2 project in Penang and repay bank borrowings.

“Although the company seems to have identified a taker for the placement shares, we think investor sentiment on E&O may turn cautious given the magnitude of the equity call,” RHB Research said in its report today.

The research house, however, noted that the need for financing is understandable, based on the funding requirement for the reclamation and infrastructure capital expenditure on STP 2A, 2B and 2C, as well as working capital to kick-start new high-rise projects such as The Conlay (GDV: RM900 million), which is slated for launch at the end of 2019, and The Peak (GDV: RM280 million) in 1H 2020.

“We believe that as a result of tight cash flow, slow high-end property sales and weak market sentiment, the maiden launch of STP 2A’s Plot 14 has been delayed until 1H 2020,” it added.

The total proceeds of around RM350 million to RM400 million from the fund raising exercise would be about 24-28% of the stock’s current market cap. After factoring in the impact from the placement and rights issue, RHB Research reduced its target price to RM1 from RM1.24 previously.

It maintained E&O’s net profit estimates but reduced its earnings per share (EPS) forecasts due to the expected dilution from the placement and rights issue.

PublicInvest Research maintained its “neutral” call on E&O but reduced its target price to RM1 from RM1.30 previously.

“This comes as a negative surprise as we had believed earlier that the group would raise funds by disposing non-strategic assets and/or get more strategic partners for its STP Phase 2 development. Based on illustrative issue price of RM1.12, our RNAV (revalued net asset value) could be diluted from RM4 per share to RM2.80 to RM3.30,” it said.

Meanwhile, Affin Hwang Capital, which maintained its “buy” call on E&O with RM1.55 target price, believes the long-term prospects for the group remain good, despite the short to medium term impact of the fund raising exercise on investor sentiment.

“We believe the overhang from the equity issuance will dampen sentiment on the stock in the short to medium term, but the long-term prospects for E&O remains good with the scheduled completion of 253-acre STP 2A by September 2019,” it said.

“We gather that the entrepreneurs and substantial shareholders Datuk Seri Tham Ka Hon (owns 20.6% stake) and Datuk Tee Eng Ho/Tee Eng Seng (owns 15.2%) will likely undertake to subscribe for their rights issue entitlement. This will show the entrepreneurs’ commitment and shore up support for the proposed equity issuances,” it added.

Power bank buying guide

FEB 12 — Whether it's for emergencies or for travel, a power bank has become an essential item. Here's a handy guide to help choose the right power bank for you. With millions of Malaysians owning smartphones, a power bank has now become a…

Supermax Q2 net profit rises despite higher latex prices

PETALING JAYA: Supermax Corp Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 rose 6.22% to RM38.14 million from RM35.90 million a year ago, despite higher nitrile latex prices, and advertising and promotion (A&P) expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Supermax said the higher A&P expenses was in line with the group’s efforts to promote its brand of contact lens products, Aveo.

Revenue for the quarter rose 14.64% to RM385.10 million from RM335.91 million a year ago underpinned by global sales of its natural rubber and nitrile rubber gloves, which increased 14.6% from a year ago.

The increase was attributed to the commissioning of the new replacement lines at its Perak plant and full quarter contribution from Plant 10 and Plant 11.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 1.5 sen for the quarter under review, payable on April 18, 2019.

For the six-month period ended Dec 31, 2018, Supermax saw its net profit increase 16.1% to RM74.08 million from RM63.80 million a year ago while revenue rose 16.08% to RM752.15 million from RM647.94 million.

The group expects the global market for disposable gloves to remain vibrant for both the natural rubber and nitrile variants, driven by factors such as rising healthcare awareness and healthcare reforms mandating its use in the medical and non-traditional sectors.

“Global demand continues to grow at a rate of 8-10% per annum. These positive factors continue to augur well for the company and the industry as a whole,” it said.

In Perak, commercial production at the rebuilt plant commenced in July last year while construction works for its 12th plant had also commenced, and will further add to the group’s production capacity.

For the contact lens division, the group said it has set up its production operations and is bringing its products to more global markets, after securing necessary certifications and approvals from various overseas authorities.

This little-known credit card has one of the best petrol cashback rates

FEB 12 — If your fuel of choice is from BHPetrol, read on to see how you can get 10% cashback every month with this credit card. Even with the lower prices of petrol today, many Malaysians should still look for a good cashback credit…