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SC rejects Lotte Chemical Titan ex-director’s review application

PETALING JAYA: The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has dismissed the review application submitted by Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd’s former non-executive non-independent director for the alleged breaches of Bursa Malaysia’s rules upon its listing.

Last December, the regulator dismissed the company’s review application and maintained its decision to reprimand and impose penalties amounting to RM2.19 million on the group, its executive directors and advisers.

The company said in a Bursa Malaysia filing today that the sanction imposed will include a penalty of RM220,500 in addition to the reprimand imposed.

However, the company said that this incident has no material effect on its business operations or financial condition.

To recap, the SC reprimanded and fined the company, its two executive directors and reporting accountant Ernst & Young on July 9, 2018 for failure to inform the SC of material developments prior to the company’s listing.

The SC had also reprimanded and fined the principal adviser to the company’s listing exercise Maybank Investment Bank Bhd for its failure to carry out appropriate due diligence on the company.

Its share price closed 0.68% or 3 sen lower at RM4.41 today with 583,300 shares changing hands.


Malakoff Corp nearly triples earnings in Q4

PETALING JAYA: Malakoff Corp Bhd saw its net profit nearly triple to RM85.48 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (Q4), from RM29.7 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

This was due to improved contribution from Tanjung Bin Energy (TBE) coal plant, lower depreciation of C-inspection costs, operation and maintenance costs, net finance costs coupled with higher contributions from associates investments, the group said in Bursa Malaysia filing today.

Revenue for the quarter increased 5.2% to RM1.89 billion, compared with RM1.79 billion in the same quarter a year ago primarily due to higher energy payment recorded from Tanjung Bin Power and TBE coal plants on the back of higher applicable coal price.

For the full year, its net profit declined 7.26% to RM274.43 million, from RM295.93 million a year ago, while revenue slightly up by 3.1% to RM7.35 billion, from RM7.13 billion previously.

On its prospects, Malakoff said it is currently exploring opportunities in the renewable energy sector particularly on hydro, biogas and waste-to-energy, in line with the government’s greater push for renewable energy.

The group said it will also be participating in the government’s open tender for the third round of the 500MW large scale solar (LSS3) projects, which was announced recently.

Based on the foregoing, the group expects performance to remain satisfactory for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019, it added.

As at 2.35pm, the group’s share price up 1.71% or 1.5 sen to 89 sen with 4.62 million shares changing hands.


Top Glove prices US$200m maiden exchangeable bonds

PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd has priced its maiden exchangeable bonds in the principal amount of US$200 million (RM814 million) on Wednesday, via its subsidiary Top Glove Labuan Ltd.

The bonds have a tenure of five years and will mature on March 1, 2024. The bonds include an exchange option which enables bondholders to exchange their bonds for the company’s shares at an initial exchange price of RM6.20 per share.

The bonds, which were priced at an exchange premium of 20% with a coupon of 2% per annum, is the company’s inaugural offering in the international capital markets and marks the first exchangeable conventional bonds priced out of Malaysia, after almost a decade.

“Raising funds via the issuance of exchangeable bonds will enable us to refinance existing loans at a lower annual interest rate. This in turn, helps us to enhance our working capital and strengthen our financial position,” said executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai.

“Exchangeable bonds also enable investors to participate in the equity of our company upon exchange and allow them to benefit from an appreciation in the future share price,” he said in a statement today.

Top Glove said benefits of the bonds include lower funding costs due to the equity optionality embedded in the instrument; mitigation of exposure to fluctuating interest rates due to the fixed nature of the coupon under the bonds, resulting in a more efficient cashflow management; and diversification of funding sources.

The bonds also allow the group to naturally hedge its US dollar denominated funding instrument against the group’s revenue from its export business, which is mainly denominated in US dollar.


Anglo American profits rise on metals output, price rises

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BAE Systems warns of risk from German stance on Saudi arms

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BAE Systems posts improving annual profits

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AMMB’s Q3 profit surges 59.8% on higher lending, recoveries

KUALA LUMPUR: AMMB Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 jumped 59.8% to RM349.88 million from RM218.98 million a year ago, propelled by higher lending volume, lower cost base and increase in recoveries.

Its revenue rose 6.5% to RM2.30 billion compared with RM2.16 billion in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

For the nine-month (9M FY19) period, the group’s net profit grew 19% to RM1.05 billion from RM878.72 million a year ago, while revenue for the year jumped 6.6% to RM6.79 million from RM6.37 million in the previous year.

AMMB told Bursa Malaysia that its total income expanded 2% for 9M FY19. Net interest income grew 5.9% to RM1.95 billion, supported by a consistent expansion of its loan base.

Non-interest income dropped 4.7% to RM1.02 billion due to markets volatility and weaker sentiments, resulted in lower contributions from markets, funds management and investment banking. This was partially cushioned by higher fee income from corporate banking and business banking, coupled with better outcomes from general and life insurance businesses.

The group recorded a net recovery of RM33.4 million in 9MFY19 against an impairment charge of

RM32.9 million in the same period last year, aided by several large corporate recoveries. Gross impaired loans ratio improved 8 basis points to 1.62% and loan loss cover rose to 116.8%.

AMMB’s gross loans growth rose 4.2% to RM100.4 billion for 9M FY19, while customer deposits grew 11.4% to RM106.8 billion.

As at end-December 2018, the group’s financial holding companies common equity tier 1 ratio and total capital ratio stood at 12% and 15.7%, respectively.

“We have also achieved a few large corporate recoveries, providing additional boost to our earnings. Our return of equity (ROE) has improved to 8.2% (9MFY18: 7.2%), and I believe we are well on track to achieve our FY19 ROE target of 8.5%,” AmBank group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said in a statement.

He noted that the positive outlook for Malaysia will underpin a loans growth of about 4.9% for the banking industry in 2019.

“Our loans and customer deposits growth has been particularly encouraging and we remain committed in propelling growth in our target segments. Our costs have been well contained as we continue to invest for growth. We have increased our liquidity buffers and strengthen our capital positions.”

He said the group is also targeting to conclude the sale of retail non-performing loans by March 31, 2019, which it has announced earlier. This is part of AMMB’s initiatives to improve its capital position and focus its resources on newer vintage delinquent loans.

At 2.40pm, AMMB’s share price was trading 14 sen or 3.1% higher at RM4.59 on 969,500 shares done.


Public Bank proposes 37 sen dividend for Q4

PETALING JAYA: Public Bank Bhd has proposed to declare a second interim dividend of 37 sen for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 despite its net profit declining 5.4% to RM1.41 billion against RM1.49 billion in the previous corresponding period.

Revenue for the quarter, however, grew 5.3% to RM5.63 billion from RM5.35 billion.

Together with the first interim dividend of 32 sen per share, the bank’s full-year dividend for 2018 amounts to 69 sen or a total dividend payout of RM2.7 billion, representing 47.9% of its net profit for 2018.

Public Bank’s full-year net profit rose 2.2% to RM5.59 billion from RM5.47 billion a year ago on the back of a 5.7% increase in revenue to RM22.04 billion from RM20.86 billion.

“2018 was marked by a more moderate economic growth, with increased head-winds on both global and domestic fronts and banks were faced with a more challenging business climate. Against this backdrop, the Public Bank group was able to sustain stable profitability due to its continuous efforts to drive its loans and deposits business, coupled with the group’s strong asset quality and prudent cost management,” said Public Bank founder Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow (pix).

The bank achieved 4.2% loan growth in 2018 and its lending strategy remained focused on consumer financing for the purchase of residential properties and passenger vehicles, as well as extension of credit to small and medium enterprises for purchase of commercial properties and working capital.

Its total customer deposits achieved growth of 6.2% to RM339.2 billion in 2018. The deposit growth contributed to the group’s strong funding position, as reflected in its gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 79.0% as at the end of 2018.

Public Bank continued to maintain a low gross impaired loans ratio of 0.5%, well below the domestic banking system’s gross impaired loans ratio of 1.5%.

“Further, the Public Bank group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood high at 126.0% as at the end of 2018. Including the RM1.8 billion regulatory reserves that the group had set aside, the group’s loan loss coverage ratio would be 237.5%. This has provided the group a strong buffer to weather any uncertainties ahead,” said Teh.

After the payment of the second interim dividend, the group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio will stand at 13.1%, 13.7% and 16.3% respectively.

In 2018, Public Bank’s overseas operations contributed 9.7% to the group’s overall pre-tax profit, largely contributed by Public Financial Holdings td Group in Hong Kong and Cambodian Public Bank Plc.

Looking ahead, Public Bank expects the overall outlook for the domestic banking sector to remain stable underpinned by resilient private sector activity.

“There will be continued growth opportunities for the domestic banking industry underscored by ongoing demand for affordable housing and the growing small and medium enterprises,” said Teh.

Public Bank’s share price gained 6 sen or 0.24% to close at RM25.06 today on 4,402,500 shares done.


Public Bank’s FY18 net profit up 2.2pc to RM5.59b

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Public Bank Bhd’s net profit rose to RM5.59 billion in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), up 2.2 per cent from RM5.47 billion achieved in the previous year. Revenue increased to RM22.04 billion in…