Monday, April 22nd, 2019

 

Riyadh to ‘stabilise’ oil market after US move to end Iran waivers, says minister

RIYADH, April 22 — Riyadh is committed to “stabilise” the oil market after a US decision to end sanction exemptions for Iran’s customers, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said today. “The kingdom reaffirms its…


Trump says Opec can step up output after Iran waivers

WASHINGTON, April 22 — US President Donald Trump said today that Saudi Arabia and other Opec nations could “more than make up” for any drop in Iranian oil supplies to global markets now that his administration has decided to end waivers that…


Bandar Malaysia revival sparks renewed buying of construction stocks

PETALING JAYA: The revival of the Bandar Malaysia project, which came as a surprise to the market, sparked a fresh round of buying interest in construction and building materials stocks on Bursa Malaysia today.

The construction index saw a jump of 16.52 points or 8.15% to 219.2 points against broad-based FBM KLCI’s flat close at 1,622.06 points.

Cement player Tasek Corp Bhd was the top gainer, surging 66 sen or 12.8% to RM5.81 on 31,100 shares done. Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, another supplier of the commodity, was up 31 sen or 13.3% to RM2.64.

DWL Resources Bhd, which announced its plan to bid for infrastructure contracts with Gadang Holdings Bhd, rose 37 sen or 28.2% to RM1.68. Gadang, meanwhile, gained 23 sen or 32.2% to 94.5 sen.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government welcomes the commitment by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp Sdn Bhd (CREC) to make an advance payment of RM500 million, in addition to the original deposit sum of RM741 million to be paid within 60 days from the date that the government officially reinstates the Bandar Malaysia project.

IWH and CREC were the winners of the Bandar Malaysia project before their status as the master developer was scrapped in May 2017.

Shares of Tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo-linked Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) and Ekovest Bhd and hit limit-up today. At market close, both counters soared 30 sen to RM1.32 and 97 sen, respectively.

Tan is the executive vice-chairman of IWCity and executive chairman of Ekovest. IWCity is a subsidiary of IWH.

Gamuda Bhd and WCT Holdings Bhd rose 27 sen and 13 sen to RM3.35 and RM1.08 respectively, while steel player Ann Joo Resources Bhd increased 21 sen to RM1.86.

PublicInvest Research sees the revival of Bandar Malaysia as a positive surprise, saying it undoubtedly brightens the prospects of the local construction sector.

“Reinstatement of this project is an obvious shot-in-the-arm, particularly to the local construction sector. Given the greenfield nature of this project, players exposed to the initial infrastructure-based phases (access roads, earthworks, water and sewerage treatment plants, substantial piling works) could be sizeable opportunities.”

While maintaining a “neutral” call on the construction and property sectors at this juncture, the research house said trading opportunities abound, particularly for construction-related stocks.

PublicInvest Research said within its universe, big names like Gamuda, IJM Corp Bhd and WCT could be beneficiaries for the construction works.

Specialist contractors are also set to be winners such as Advancecon Holdings Bhd for earthworks, Econpile Holdings Bhd and Pintaras Jaya Bhd for piling, as well as Lafarge and Tasek.

“Other beneficiaries in our view are Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, which was the joint-venture partner under the Bandar Malaysia Integrated Transportation Terminal and MMC Corp Bhd for the potential revival of Bandar Malaysia MRT 2 underground stations.”

PublicInvest Research also highlighted that back in 2016, IWH-CREC signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of international Chinese and Malaysian banks to provide funding for investors in the Bandar Malaysia project which included local banks such as CIMB Bank, Malaybank, RHB Bank and Affin Bank.

“As such, we do not discount the participation of local banks to fund the development.”


Bandar Malaysia revival sparks renewed buying of construction stocksv

PETALING JAYA: The revival of the Bandar Malaysia project, which came as a surprise to the market, sparked a fresh round of buying interest in construction and building materials stocks on Bursa Malaysia today.

The construction index saw a jump of 16.52 points or 8.15% to 219.2 points against broad-based FBM KLCI’s flat close at 1,622.06 points.

Cement player Tasek Corp Bhd was the top gainer, surging 66 sen or 12.8% to RM5.81 on 31,100 shares done. Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, another supplier of the commodity, was up 31 sen or 13.3% to RM2.64.

DWL Resources Bhd, which announced its plan to bid for infrastructure contracts with Gadang Holdings Bhd, rose 37 sen or 28.2% to RM1.68. Gadang, meanwhile, gained 23 sen or 32.2% to 94.5 sen.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government welcomes the commitment by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp Sdn Bhd (CREC) to make an advance payment of RM500 million, in addition to the original deposit sum of RM741 million to be paid within 60 days from the date that the government officially reinstates the Bandar Malaysia project.

IWH and CREC were the winners of the Bandar Malaysia project before their status as the master developer was scrapped in May 2017.

Shares of Tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo-linked Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) and Ekovest Bhd and hit limit-up today. At market close, both counters soared 30 sen to RM1.32 and 97 sen, respectively.

Tan is the executive vice-chairman of IWCity and executive chairman of Ekovest. IWCity is a subsidiary of IWH.

Gamuda Bhd and WCT Holdings Bhd rose 27 sen and 13 sen to RM3.35 and RM1.08 respectively, while steel player Ann Joo Resources Bhd increased 21 sen to RM1.86.

PublicInvest Research sees the revival of Bandar Malaysia as a positive surprise, saying it undoubtedly brightens the prospects of the local construction sector.

“Reinstatement of this project is an obvious shot-in-the-arm, particularly to the local construction sector. Given the greenfield nature of this project, players exposed to the initial infrastructure-based phases (access roads, earthworks, water and sewerage treatment plants, substantial piling works) could be sizeable opportunities.”

While maintaining a “neutral” call on the construction and property sectors at this juncture, the research house said trading opportunities abound, particularly for construction-related stocks.

PublicInvest Research said within its universe, big names like Gamuda, IJM Corp Bhd and WCT could be beneficiaries for the construction works.

Specialist contractors are also set to be winners such as Advancecon Holdings Bhd for earthworks, Econpile Holdings Bhd and Pintaras Jaya Bhd for piling, as well as Lafarge and Tasek.

“Other beneficiaries in our view are Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, which was the joint-venture partner under the Bandar Malaysia Integrated Transportation Terminal and MMC Corp Bhd for the potential revival of Bandar Malaysia MRT 2 underground stations.”

PublicInvest Research also highlighted that back in 2016, IWH-CREC signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of international Chinese and Malaysian banks to provide funding for investors in the Bandar Malaysia project which included local banks such as CIMB Bank, Malaybank, RHB Bank and Affin Bank.

“As such, we do not discount the participation of local banks to fund the development.”


Bandar Malaysia revival may not bode well for glut-hit property sector: AmResearch

PETALING JAYA: AmInvestment Bank Research (AmResearch) said the revival of the Bandar Malaysia project may not bode well for the property sector, which is already facing oversupply.

AmResearch said private developers may face tremendous competition from the proposed 10,000 affordable homes in Bandar Malaysia given the units’ strategic location, public transport connectivity and potentially subsidised pricing.

“This massive integrated development will add more floor space to the already oversupplied residential, commercial, office and retail segments in the Klang Valley,” it added.

The research house said the saving grace is that Bandar Malaysia may stimulate new demand if it is able to draw major international financial institutions, multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies to locate their regional headquarters there, including Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba and Huawei.

PublicInvest Research opined that the impact of Bandar Malaysia will be muted given the current oversupply of commercial space and soft demand due to affordability and financing issues.

“That said, the spillover effect (i.e. high value job creations) from the development should be positive to spur the demand especially the high-end segment in the long term.”

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that the Bandar Malaysia project will include the construction of a People’s Park, 10,000 units of affordable housing, bumiputra participation throughout the project, and priority for the use of local content in the construction process in line with the government’s policy of a people-centric development.


Seacera says unaware of its largest shareholder’s RM30m injection pledge

PETALING JAYA: Seacera Group Bhd’s largest shareholder Datuk Tan Wei Lian has not engaged the group on his proposal to inject RM30 million or more.

“Accordingly, the management and the board of Seacera are unable to confirm on the veracity of the article (about Tan’s pledge),” Seacera said in a filing with the stock exchange.

Seacera added that without further information, the group is unable to assess on whether the implementation of such proposal is viable and adequately comprehensive to address its current financial concerns.

Even if the RM30 million fund injection is available, Seacera said it is still far from sufficient to resolve the group’s liquidity concerns considering its total liabilities of close to RM100 million against cash and cash equivalents of merely RM5.47 million as at Dec 31, 2018.

Meanwhile, Seacera announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Duta Skyline Sdn Bhd has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with OCR Group Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary Amazing Symphony Sdn Bhd to jointly develop Seacera’s 501.5 acres of freehold land in Ulu Langat.

Under the JV agreement, the two parties will develop a mixed development with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of up to RM10 billion over a period of 30 years.


AirAsia keen to buy digital platforms to boost digital business

SEPANG, April 22 — AirAsia Group Bhd is keen to acquire digital platforms abroad to boost its digital business segment. AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said: “For sure…some will be M&A (merger and acquisition),…


Axiata’s Ncell goes to court over RM1.44b capital gains tax bill

PETALING JAYA: Axiata Group Bhd’s indirect 80% owned subsidiary Ncell Private Ltd has filed a writ petition with the Supreme Court of Nepal against the Large Taxpayer Office (LTPO) in relation to the 39.06 billion rupee (RM1.44 billion) capital gains tax slapped against it.

Ncell was ordered to pay the tax by today.

Axiata said in a statement that Ncell had on April 21 filed a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to the Supreme Court against the LTPO, Inland Revenue Department of Nepal and the Ministry of Finance of Nepal.

The writ petition is against LTPO’s letter dated April 16, which was issued to Ncell as a follow-up to the full written order of the Supreme Court on April 9 in relation to its oral order dated Feb 6 on a public interest litigation.

Axiata said the Ncell application was accepted by the Supreme Court today.

“Ncell’s writ to the Supreme Court asserts that the LTPO has not complied with the procedure as stated in the country’s Income Tax Act for making a tax assessment and has instead used the Supreme Court’s order dated April 9 to substitute the amount that the LTPO had previously assessed for TeliaSonera Norway Nepal Holdings AS and levied it on Ncell,” it said.

The full written order on April 9 had stated that the LTPO should conduct an assessment to determine the outstanding tax amount to be paid in relation to the indirect transfer of an 80% stake in Ncell by TeliaSonera to Axiata Investments (UK) Limited through the sale of Reynolds Holdings Limited.

The LTPO was given three months to conduct the assessment. The Supreme Court’s order also stated that the responsibility to pay tax lies with Ncell and Axiata.

Axiata was the ninth top loser on the bourse today, falling 3.96% to close at RM3.88 with 4.11 million shares traded.


Oil prices gain as US ends waivers for Iranian crude

NEW YORK, April 22 — Oil prices gained today as the Trump administration ended waivers for countries that had been importing Iranian crude in spite of US sanctions. Near 1250 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at…


Futures pull back ahead of earnings; oil stocks jump

NEW YORK, April 22 — US stock index futures dipped today as investors returned from their Easter break and took a cautious stance at the beginning of what is expected to be the busiest week of the first-quarter earnings season. The S&P 500…