Barefoot Investor: Media Highlights : CIMB, Maybank drop merger talks, Lion seeks foreign partner for steel ops, AirAsia places firm order for 200 A320 Airbus aircraft, Masteel to invest RM100m on new rolling mill, UMW's O&G division's earnings have to stabilise first before listing, Eversendai fixes prices for IPO

CIMB, Maybank drop merger talks
The country's two largest banks, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, have each aborted plans to pursue a takeover of RHB Capital Bhd (RHBCap), a move sources said was due to concerns about pricing. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's (ADCB) move last Friday in selling its 25% stake in RHBCap to sister company Aabar Investments at a hefty RM10.80 a share had set the valuation bar too high. At RM10.80, or 2.25 times RHBCap's book value, it was an almost 11% premium over its share price of RM9.75 last Friday. CIMB and Maybank, which had separately been looking to do a deal involving share swaps, had each indicated that they would not overpay for RHBCap as it was not vital for their growth plans.(BT)

Lion seeks foreign partner for steel ops
The Lion group is expected to consolidate its steel business soon, in order to pave the way for the entry of a foreign strategic partner to help grow its steel operations, sources said. It is learnt that the Lion group has started meeting steel players from various countries, including China’s Baosteel Group, which have shown interest in its steel operations. “The talks are still in the preliminary stage, no decision has been made yet. The foreign partner will eventually participate in the entire steel business,” the source told The Edge Financial Daily yesterday. “It is not that they (the Lion group) want to sell out of the steel business.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, reported that Baosteel Group, the world’s third largest steel producer by output, is in talks with Lion group to acquire a stake in Amsteel Mills SB. The report, quoting two people familiar with the matter, indicated that the size of the Amsteel stake to be acquired by Baosteel has yet to be finalised. (Financial Daily)

AirAsia places firm order for 200 A320 Airbus aircraft
Airasia Bhd placed a firm order with Airbus for 200 A320 Neo aircraft, which is the largest order for the aircraft manufacturer. Altogether, AirAsia has now placed firm orders for 375 A320 family aircraft, with 89 already in service on the carrier's fast-growing pan-Asian network. In addition, the carrier's long haul affiliate AirAsia X is also an all-Airbus customer having placed orders for 38 widebody aircraft. The order for the 200 aircraft makes AirAsia the biggest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line worldwide. Its A320 Neo aircraft will be powered by CFM International’s new LEAP-X engines. AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said on Thursday, 23 June with this historic deal, AirAsia had secured its future with the ability to meet the huge growth potential offered by the Asian market. (Financial Daily)

Masteel to invest RM100m on new rolling mill
Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd (Masteel) plans to invest RM100m in a new rolling mill to tap into the expected rise in demand for steel products in the country. Its managing director Datuk Seri Tai Hean Leng said the new rolling mill will have an annual production capacity of 180,000 tonnes. The plant will be adjoining the group's existing melt shop at Bukit Raja, Klang, Selangor, making it a fully-integrated steel milling facility. Masteel currently has a meltshop with an annual capacity of 550,000 tonnes at Bukit Raja producing upstream billets, and a rolling mill at Petaling Jaya that produces 350,000 tonnes of downstream steel bars. (BT)

UMW's O&G division’s earnings have to stabilise first before listing
UMW Holdings Bhd will list its oil and gas (O&G) division only when the division's earnings are stable enough to make it attractive to investors, said president and group chief executive officer Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir. He said the O&G unit, which had already obtained approval to be listed from the Securities Commission (SC), would return to the black this financial year ending 31 Dec, 2011. The group had delayed the listing of its O&G unit a few times since it received the SC's approval in 2008. Previous news reports said the company was waiting for the right time and value before listing the division. (StarBiz)

Eversendai fixes prices for IPO
Eversendai Corp Bhd has fixed its retail price under its initial public offering (IPO) exercise at RM1.62 per share and institutional price at RM1.70 per share. The prices were fixed following the completion of its bookbuilding exercise for the institutional portion. It is to be listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on 1 July. The IPO involves 232.19m shares, of which there will be a public issue of 160.7m new shares and an offer for sale of 71.49m existing shares, it told Bursa Malaysia yesterday. (StarBiz)


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