Barefoot Investor: November 2010

A Study on possible merger between the country's top two national car companies has been completed, International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

Miti is setting a date by the year-end to discuss a third-party's research findings on the possible merger between Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd.

The study was carried out by Frost & Sullivan.

"We hope to view the report together with the Economic Council before presenting it to the Prime Minister," Mustapa said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said a consolidation of resources between Proton and Perodua should be considered to overcome overcapacity in the local automotive industry.

Mustapa was speaking to reporters at his ministry's monthly meeting and Innovation and Quality 2010 forum yesterday.

The minister thanked Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat, who will retire as Miti's secretary-general on December 5 this year.

Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, the deputy secretary-general (trade), will succeed him from December 6.

A graduate in economics from the University of Malaya, Abdul Rahman started his career in Miti in 1975.

With more than 30 years of experience in the field of international trade and industry, he served in various positions, including deputy trade commissioner in New York, director of trade in Taipei, trade commissioner and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission in Bangkok.

Abdul Rahman was also director of export promotion bureau at Matrade, director of industries, as well as Miti's senior director of policy and industry services division and deputy secretary-general (industry).

On his retirement plans, Abdul Rahman said: "I will redeem all my Enrich points and go for a long holiday with my family.

"I want to take a break and then will look into opportunities. I might be interested to be involved in activities related to welfare and NGOs (non-governmental organisations)." (Business Times)


As I observe the market indices track on my monitor, FBM KLCI down 4.70 points to 1,491.25. weighed by losses including at Public Bank, Maybank, Genting and Petronas Chemicals.

Losers edged gainers by 413 to 190, with a total volume shares: 469,595,100.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi in a note Nov 30 said the January and May 2010 downturn periods in the global markets also affected Malaysia, adding that there could be another similar downward period emerging for the world markets.

Due to the lower US markets last night, the FBM KLCI could be in an initially softer mode today, with selling activities that may see late selective local buying activities to maintain the FBM30index mainly, he said

Lee said the FBM KLCI had broken above the previous 1,524.69 all-time 2008 high to create another new peak at 1,531.99 on Nov 10, and that a correction low may have been formed next at 1,474.02 on Nov 29.

“Global market trends may have turned volatile, but some confidence appears to have returned to the local bourse since last Wednesday and yesterday.

“The local market is still unstable with poor breadth. As such, intraday trade if the market dips but sell on strength at (or near) close,” he said.

QSR was the top loser at mid-morning and fell 58 sen to RM5.68, while its parent Kulim lost 30 sen to RM11.78 and KFCH lost eight sen to RM3.86 after the rejection of the takeover offers for QSR.


Malaysian state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. will pay the government a dividend of about 30 billion ringgit ($9.5 billion) this fiscal year and focus investment on extending the life of the nation’s reserves, Chief Executive Officer Shamsul Azhar Abbas said.

The dividend -- approaching the $10.5 billion payout by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, a company with sales almost four times larger -- will be unchanged from the past two years. After net income fell 23 percent in the 12 months ended March 31 because of declining energy prices, Shamsul said the company needs to invest more to boost domestic oil and gas production.

“We expect to maintain the dividend at the same amount for the current financial year ending March 2011,” Shamsul, 58, said on Nov. 8 in an e-mailed reply to questions from Bloomberg News. “Over the years, we have been able to uphold our obligations to return value to our shareholders while at the same time maintaining healthy capital expenditure levels.”

Petroliam Nasional, known as Petronas, manages all the petroleum resources in the country, Southeast Asia’s biggest oil and gas producer after Indonesia. Shamsul said on July 1 he plans to increase capital spending 7.8 percent this year to 40 billion ringgit, following two years of falling production.

Malaysia’s government, which had a budget deficit at a 22- year high of 7 percent of gross domestic product last year, depends on oil and gas revenue for 40 percent of its income, according to a finance ministry report on Oct. 15.

Ratings Risk

Shell, based in The Hague, paid its 2009 dividend on sales of $278.2 billion. Kuala Lumpur-based Petronas reported 12-month sales equal to about $70 billion.

If it can’t cover its dividends and investment spending from its cash-flow this financial year and next, “then we’ll take this as an indication that the government may strip Petronas’s cash reserves in the event of a sovereign crisis,” Arnon Musiker, a Sydney-based Fitch Ratings analyst, said in a telephone interview. “We could reduce Petronas’s foreign currency rating by one notch to the Malaysian sovereign.”

Malaysia has crude oil reserves to last 24 years and natural gas for 38 years, the finance ministry said on Oct 15. Production fell to the equivalent of 1.63 million barrels of oil in the year to March 31 from 1.66 million a year earlier, according to Petronas’s 2010 annual report.

“Our domestic investments are primarily aimed at boosting the country’s maturing reserves, maintaining our production rate and prolonging our reserves life,” said Shamsul.

Riskier Debt

Shamsul became CEO in February, replacing Hassan Marican, who led the company for 15 years. He joined Petronas in 1975 and holds a master’s degree in energy management from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Shamsul stepped down in January 2009 as chief executive of subsidiary MISC Bhd., the world’s biggest owner of liquefied natural gas tankers. MISC shares rose 44 percent on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange during Shamsul’s tenure, seven times faster than the benchmark KLCI index.

Investors regard Petronas’s debt to be a riskier bet than similarly-rated ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil producer, the spreads on the state-owned explorer’s bonds and credit-default swaps show. Petronas and ConocoPhillips are rated A by Fitch, the sixth-highest rank, and one level above the Malaysian government itself.

S&P ranks Petronas’s debt A-, the same as Malaysia and its seventh-highest investment grade. The company’s stand-alone credit profile, or its rating independent of the sovereign, is three notches higher.

Government Intervention

“The company remains sensitive to government intervention,” Standard & Poor’s said in a Nov. 4 report. If Petronas can’t cover its investment needs and dividend payouts from cash generated from its operations, this may “pressure” its credit profile, S&P said.

The extra yield over similar-maturity Treasuries investors demand to own Petronas’s $3 billion of 5.25 percent bonds due August 2019 is 125 basis points, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc prices on Bloomberg. That’s wider than the extra yield of 79 basis points for ConocoPhillips’ $2.25 billion of 5.75 percent notes due February 2019, Hapoalim Securities USA Inc. prices show.

Credit default swaps insuring Petronas’s debt against default have fallen 10 basis points this month to 80 basis points, higher than the swaps on ConocoPhillips at 39 basis points.

Debt Load

Petronas has the equivalent of $15.3 billion of bonds and loans maturing through 2026, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cash and cash equivalents were 100 billion ringgit and borrowings 51.3 billion ringgit on June 30, according to the fiscal first-quarter earnings statement.

“If oil prices don’t remain above fiscal 2010 levels and the operating margin that all oil and gas companies face continues to decline, Petronas may need to borrow money or use existing cash reserves to continue paying dividends at current levels,” Andrew Wong, a Singapore-based credit analyst at S&P, said in a telephone interview.

Crude in New York averaged $78.64 a barrel this year as of Nov. 26, or 30 percent more than a year earlier, boosting Petronas’s profit. Net income in the three months ended June 30 rose 60 percent to 12.3 billion ringgit, the company said Oct. 4. Petronas is due to report second-quarter earnings today.

A recovery in oil prices and proceeds from a share sale by the petrochemicals unit of Petronas may help fund exploration. Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd. raised $4.1 billion in Malaysia’s biggest initial public offering this month. About 72 percent of the proceeds will go to the parent, according to the sale document released Nov. 1.

Petronas Chemicals

Petronas Chemicals shares fell 0.6 percent to 5.37 ringgit at 10:50 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. The stock started trading Nov. 26.

Malaysia Marine & Heavy Engineering Bhd., a rig-building arm of Petronas-controlled MISC, raised $646 million in a share sale in October. The parent has a total of six units on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange, including Petronas Dagangan Bhd., Petronas Gas Bhd. and KLCC Property Holdings Bhd.

Shamsul said it’s too early to plan listings of more units and ruled out the possibility of selling shares in Petronas itself.

“As the national corporation vested with the entire ownership and control of Malaysia’s petroleum reserves, Petronas remains a key national asset of strategic importance,” he said. “Listing of Petronas as a group is not a consideration.”

Shamsul said the government understands Petronas’s spending needs and financial commitments.

“Dividends to the government are decided by the board, taking into account a number of factors, including the financial performance of Petronas, its capital expenditure requirements and other financial commitments,” Shamsul said. “Over the longer term, payments will still be decided based on those factors, taking into account investment requirements to sustain our business growth. This is well understood by our shareholder.”
(Source: Bloomberg)


Johor Corp (JCorp), the ultimate shareholder of KFC Holdings (M) Bhd (KFCH), has turned down takeover bids for the fast-food company from US-based private equity firm Carlyle Group and tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad.

In separate announcements to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Kulim (M) Bhd said it had rejected the offer from Carlyle, while QSR Brands Bhd said it had turned down the revised offer from Idaman Saga Sdn Bhd (a vehicle of Halim) which teamed up with KUB Malaysia Bhd and CVC Capital Partners Asia III Ltd.

JCorp has a 53% stake in Kulim, which in turn, owns a 57.5% stake in QSR. QSR has a 50.6% stake in KFCH, the local franchisee of the KFC and Pizza Hut brands owned by Yum! Brands Inc. KFCH operates these brands in Malaysia, Singapore and India.

JCorp's rationale for not selling QSR and KFCH was for the simple reason that it saw longer term value in these assets.

The board views the businesses of QSR and its subsidiaries as part of the key entities within the Kulim group, Kulim said.

As QSR and its subsidiaries are currently experiencing robust growth, the board believes that more value can be realised in the long term and therefore the companies should be retained within the group, it said.

JCorp's rejection of the offers, however, raises the question, why were the bids made in the first place?
Since speculation of a takeover bid for KFCH first surfaced early this month, share prices of QSR and KFCH have gone up by 18.8% and 6.5%, respectively.

Carlyle and Idaman Saga had been in competition for the control of QSR's entire business, including the undertakings of all its subsidiaries, since early this month.

Both were offering RM6.70 apiece for the shares in QSR. At that price, the offer was said to value QSR at about 20 times its forward earnings.

While Carlyle had pitched its offer to parent company Kulim, Idaman Saga and its allies pitched theirs directly to QSR.

The original offer made by Idaman Saga and its partners was RM5.60 for each QSR share. The group raised its offer to RM6.70 apiece yesterday to match the offer made by Carlyle, only to be turned down.

Trading in Kulim, QSR and KFCH shares was suspended for half a day yesterday afternoon. Trading in the counters will resume today.
(Source: The Star Online)


According to the Hwang DBS Vickers Research, it has a high conviction Buy on BOUSTEAD HOLDINGS BHD as the major rerating catalyst is in property The research house said on Tuesday, Nov 30 that Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) is finalising two lucrative government land deals – (i) 60 acres of Jalan Cochrane land, and (ii) 245-acre Batu Cantonment army base in Jalan Ipoh.

“We estimate these projects could add RM2.05/share, raising our SOP value to RM10.35. This excludes its recent rights to reclaim valuable land in Penang.

“The recent RM1bn MTN program suggests these land deals are imminent. Valuations remain a bargain at 8x FY11F PE and 1.1x P/NTA, coupled with 6.0% yield,” it said. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)


French retailer Carrefour, which announced its decision to not sell its Malaysian business, may have found a new local partner.

Sources told Business Times that Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin, former minister of rural and regional development, has a stake in Carrefour Malaysia.

Carrefour in Malaysia is operated by Magnificient Diagraph Sdn Bhd.

Reports showed that Abdul Aziz is the chairman of Carrefour in Malaysia and was earlier the adviser to the retailer.

Malaysian regulation requires that foreign hypermarkets have a 30 per cent local shareholder.

Numerous attempts by Business Times to reach Abdul Aziz to confirm this information failed.

An official from Carrefour declined to comment when asked if its chairman Abdul Aziz was indeed a shareholder in the company.

A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) revealed that the shareholding structure has not been updated.

Its previous local shareholder Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd, which sold its stake in mid-January 2010, is still shown as a shareholder.Syarikat Pesaka Antah bought the 30 per cent stake in 2005.

Syarikat Pesaka Antah has not been removed from the shareholder list despite the fact that the information on a new director was updated on the SSM documents, following the appointment in April 2010.

Magnificient opened its first Malaysian Carrefour outlet in 1994. Its 30 per cent shareholder then was Datuk Ishak Ismail, former managing director of KFC Holdings Bhd.

Ishak reduced his shareholding in Magnificient to 15 per cent before divesting the remaining stake in 2000.

SSM filings also showed that in the financial year ended December 31 2009, Carrefour made a net profit of RM14.84 million on the back of RM1.61 billion in revenue.

This compares to a net profit of RM33.15 million and a revenue of RM1.59 billion in the year ended 2008.

As at October 2010, Carrefour has the licence to operate 21 hypermarkets and six superstores.

It now operates 18 hypermarkets and five superstores.

Read more: Aziz Shamsuddin Carrefour's new partner?


Jingle bell, jingle bell.. jingle to "Jipaban".. Hey guys and gals, christmas is around the clock.. and it seems we have less than a month to shops...

But guess what? Had you ever heard about Jipaban ?? yea... its Jipaban!  This site is so cool. It is an online shopping that has 105 stores and 3602 products. So nice, cute and pretty stuff there..,

Well, if santa clause is with me now, I definitely gonna grab this special christmas gift to my best friend "Kiu May Gee" for the jacket. Especially the  Nikitta Biker BLACK version of their all time hit at Tracyeinny's. Why gonna send this gift to her? Well.. she has always wanted to have a nice and comfortable jacket that could match with her office wear. She having time to find the best jacket and I guess this jacket will be the one that could fulfill her christmas wish.. !

So, guys and gals. What are you awaiting for. Just go and have a check at now. Its Jipaban.. my 2010 Santarina !!! yeah !!


The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) ended lower in the absence of buying interest.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark index closed lower at 1,486.91 points, down 5.14 points or 0.34%. It had opened 4.07 points lower at 1,487.98 today.

Turnover stood at 503.5 million shares worth RM957.1mil. Losers were ahead of gainers 521 to 145 with 220 unchanged.

On Bursa Malaysia, Chin Tek topped the gainers' list, appreciating 19 sen to RM8.85.

Other gainers included Widetech, Kumpulan Powernet and Ralco.


Shares of Manulife Holdings Bhd fell 7% to RM2.90, which was significantly below its takeover offer price of RM3.22 in late morning on Monday, Nov 29.

At 11.41am, it was down 22 sen to RM2.90 with 10,000 shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 6.72 points to 1,485.33. Turnover was 432.51 million shares valued at RM812.69 million.

On Nov 16, The Edge FinancialDaily reported independent adviser, AmInvestment Bank Bhd said the takeover offer for Manulife Holdings Bhd at RM3.22 per share by Manulife Century Holdings (Netherlands) BV was “not fair and not reasonable”.

“We advise and recommend that you reject the offer,” AmInvestment said, adding that the valuation of the insurer was too low.

AmInvestment had said the RM3.22 offer price represented a 17.9% to 22.6% discount to Manulife Holdings’ sum-of-parts value (SOPV) of between RM3.92 and RM4.16 a share.
Against peer valuations, the offer price which translates into a price to SOPV multiple of 0.82 and 0.77 times for Manulife Holdings, is lower than the average 1.64 times price-to-embedded value (EBV) multiple of regional players.

The independent adviser also highlighted that Manulife Holdings’ price-to-SOPV multiple was below the average price-to-EBV ratio of 1.21 times for transactions involving insurers in the region.


Asian stocks fluctuated as escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula tempered gains after Europe agreed a bailout for Ireland.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, retreated 0.6 percent in Sydney as mounting concern over Korean tensions drove oil and metal prices lower. Korea Exchange Bank slumped 5 percent in Seoul as South Korea’s President said patience only invites more provocation from North Korea. Sony Corp., Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, rose 2.2 percent in Tokyo after European government officials threw debt-strapped Ireland a lifeline.

“Global thematics are driving markets right now,” said Jason Teh, who helps manage about $2.6 billion at Investors Mutual Ltd. in Sydney. “You’ve got the Irish bailout on the one hand and, meanwhile, the threat of war on the other side of the world, which is causing jitters. Any optimism also gets harder to price in with the market being more expensive after recent rallies.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 129.06 as of 11:13 a.m. in Tokyo, with about the same number of stocks gaining as falling. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.4 percent in Wellington.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.2 percent. The index lost 0.8 percent on Nov. 26 in New York as a stronger dollar weighed on commodity prices and banks declined amid mounting concern about Europe’s debt crisis and escalating tensions in Korea. Markets were open for half a day following the Thanksgiving holiday. (Source: Bloomberg)


Liquidnet Holdings Inc., an operator of a trading platform for investors to buy and sell large blocks of shares, said it will begin trading of Malaysian equities today to take advantage of the nation’s growing equity market.

The introduction of Malaysian stocks is the eighth country Liquidnet has added in 2010, bringing the company’s global reach to 38 equity markets around the world, according to a statement by the New York-based company. Liquidnet started trading of equities in Israel, New Zealand, Mexico, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia this year.

The Malaysian exchange is handling the most trading since May 2009 after a daily average of 1.66 billion ringgit ($530 million) in stock changed hands in the month ending Nov. 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Turnover for the bourse has risen for the past five consecutive months, the data show. (Source: Bloomberg)


The Australian dollar declined to the lowest level in almost eight weeks against the greenback as concerns military action in Korea will escalate damped demand for riskier assets.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped against most of their major counterparts after South Korea resisted China’s call to resume six-party talks following last week’s exchange of artillery fire between South and North Korea. Demand for the so- called Aussie also fell after a report today showed Australian business profits declined last quarter.

“People don’t want to keep buying the Aussie due to the Korean situation as it is not only a commodity currency, but also an Asian currency,” said Marito Ueda, senior marketing director at FX Prime Corp., a foreign-exchange margin company in Tokyo.

Australia’s currency fell to 95.85 U.S. cents as of 12:28 p.m. in Sydney, the lowest since Oct. 5, from 96.45 in New York on Nov. 26. The Aussie slid to 80.69 yen from 81.12 yen.
New Zealand’s dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, declined 74.60 U.S. cents from 74.99 cents, after reaching 74.48 cents, the lowest since Oct. 28. The kiwi was at 62.67 yen from 63.06 yen.
(Source: Bloomberg)


Shares of SCOMI GROUP BHD [ ] fell in early trade on Monday, Nov 29 after it reported net losses of RM166.48 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, in contrast to the net profit of RM22.97 million a year ago.

Scomi fell four sen to 35.5 sen with 6.98 million shares done while Scomi-WA three sen to 15.5 sen with 4.28 million units transacted.

The FBM KLCI fell 14.37 points to 1,477.68. There were 83.84 million shares done valued at RM128.75 million. Losers hammered gainers 242 to 62 while 110 stocks were unchanged.

The company said on Friday, Nov 26 the losses were due to lower revenue from its core business while there was a potential impairment and costs amounting to RM52.6 million and provision of RM109.7 million. (Source: The Edge Online by Joseph Chin)


Trading of securities of Berjaya Corp Bhd was halted for one hour from 9am on Monday, Nov 29 after announcing the joint venture between its subsidiary Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd and Singapore's Kim Eng Holdings Ltd.

Trading resumes at 10am, a circular from Bursa Malaysia.

Under the proposal announced late Friday, Interpac Securities Group’s entire stockbroking and related businesses in Malaysia would be incorporated into the SPV, valuing the business at RM142 million -- total net assets of RM100 million and business goodwill of RM42 million.


 Genting Hong Kong Ltd has completed the signing ceremony for its US dollar denominated seven-year floating rate term loan and revolving credit facility of US$600mil.

Genting Hong Kong believes this was an opportune time to undertake such a refinancing exercise given attractive terms and pricing, as well as, to strengthen its key banking relationships within the region.

The facility was secured against the company's eight-vessel Asian fleet. Net proceeds from the facility would be used to pay down existing indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.


Gamuda Bhd (5398), one of Malaysia's biggest construction groups, plans to bid for more work in the Middle East after completing its third project there.

On October 30, Bahrain's Sitra Causeway Bridges was officially opened by Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Salman Al Khalifa.

The RM650 million causeway was completed and opened to traffic two months earlier ahead of schedule.

"All the lessons and experience gained during the project would certainly be valuable to Gamuda in future.

"This is another success added to Gamuda's portfolio. This will certainly gave us more confidence to apply for more projects on both the local and international scene," said Gamuda international projects director Datuk Chua Soon Poh during a visit to the project recently.
The new four-lane dual carriageway is 4.2km in length compared to the previous dual-lane causeway bridges measuring 3.2km long.

The causeway is Bahrain's largest project so far to cater the country's expanding urban development and to reduce traffic congestion coming from Saudi Arabia to Mina Salman and vice versa.

Gamuda started work in November 2006 after beating nine other international companies in an open tender.

The work involves replacing existing causeway bridges with new structures on a revised alignment adjacent to the existing causeway.

The new causeway structures are predominantly post-tensioned concrete designed and constructed to last at least 120 years.

These requirements were met through extensive use of stainless steel reinforcement in the most exposed parts of the concrete structures.

The causeway includes a 200-metre northern marine bridge and a 400-metre southern marine bridge. It has interchanges at Nabih Salleh, Umm Al Hassam and Sitra junction. There is also an underpass at Umm Al Hassam junction.

The bridges also ferry water and gas mains, electricity and fibre optic cables and treated sewage effluent pipes.

A major challenge was how to deal with the environment.

"The challenges include managing traffic obstacles and preserving environment as Tubli Gulf situated between Bahrain and Sitra Island is known for its rich marine and bird life." Chua said.

Complying with Bahrain's laws and construction standards were also challenging.

"The new experience included massive infrastructure and relocation of utility works for the setting up of high and low voltage cables, sewage, gas and irrigation networks," Chua said.

The causeway is the third Gamuda projects in the Gulf. In June last year, Gamuda completed Qatar's 42km Dukhan Highway worth some RM760 million .

It is also building the RM3.3 billion new Doha International Airport in Qatar and work is due to be done by February next year.

Read more: Gamuda seeks Mideast jobs


MALAYSIAN palm oil should fall to RM2,600 by June 2011 on higher output in Southeast Asia and a decent soya crop but the pace of decline will be slower than the market expects, thanks to unusually low stocks, a key analyst said last Friday.

The forecast by LMC chairman James Fry represents a fall of 20.6 per cent from current palm oil futures, which closed at RM3,276 a tonne on Thursday, and takes into account palm oil's higher than usual premium over diesel.

"It is hard to see why this gap should widen since biofuel demand can adjust downwards. A normal crude palm oil to diesel gap of US$150 (RM471) by June means RM2,600," London-based Fry told an industry meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"Weak output and high exports imply low stocks till mid-2011, pushing spot CPO above soya oil prices. After that, output and stocks should grow strongly."

Front-month crude palm oil has gained 30 per cent this year on fears that heavy rains induced by La Nina will hurt output in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia, outpacing US soya oil's rise of 24 per cent.

That means crude palm oil futures will have to remain in backwardation, which will prompt overseas buyers to delay purchases, Fry said.

Competing soya oil will increasingly fill global vegetable oil demand, given a recent surge in palm prices and the approach of the northern hemisphere winter, when the tropical oil solidifies.

Soya oil will be attractive to buyers as South American planting has not been so much affected despite the warnings about the La Nina-driven drier weather potentially sapping yields, Fry said.

"South American output is still uncertain, but a special factor is the impact of Argentine politics," he said, referring to the world's biggest exporter of soya oil and one of the top suppliers of soya beans. "Farmers may delay bean sales in the hope of cuts in export taxes."

Although palm oil output and stocks will be tight for the next few months, new areas, mainly in Indonesia, that are coming into production due to a commodities boom in 2007 and 2008 will add at least 3.5 million tonnes to total output, Fry said. - Reuters

Read more: Analyst: Palm oil likely to drop to RM2,600 by June


On Bursa Malaysia, KNM Group Bhd staged a technical rebound. Its daily price trend rebounded to close at 51 sen on Friday, posting a week-on-week gain of 7 sen, or 15.91 per cent.

The following are the readings of some of its technical indicators:

Moving Averages: KNM's daily price trend stayed above all its 10-, 20-, 30-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. It continued to stay below its 200-day moving averages.

Momentum Index: Its short-term momentum index continued to stay above the support of its neutral reference line last week.

On Balance Volume (OBV): Its short-term OBV stayed above the support of its 10-day moving averages.

Relative Strength Index (RSI): Its 14-day RSI had since stayed above the 50 level. Its technical reading stood at the 66.40 per cent level at the market close last Friday.


The consolidation of key heavyweight index-linked counters sent the FBM KLCI below its critical support of 1,500 points last week. Selected second liners continued to display interesting plays. KNM was one of these lower liners, posting a week-on-week gain of 15.91 per cent.

Chartwise, KNM's monthly price trend staged a two-month rebound in moving out of its recent congestion phase, edging to its five-month high of 51 sen.

Its weekly price trend rebounded to the underside of its intermediate-term downtrend (See KNM's weekly price trend A3:A4) on Friday.

KNM's daily price trend staged a technical breakout of its intermediate-term downtrend (See KNM's daily price trend C1:C2) on Thursday and continued to stay above it at the market close on Friday.

Its daily, weekly and monthly fast MACDs (moving average convergence divergence indicators) continued to stay above their respective slow MACDs at the market close on Friday. Thus, it augurs well for its near-term perspective.

Its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) stood at the 66.40 per cent level on Friday. Its 14-week and 14-month RSI were at the 50.50 and 40.94 per cent levels respectively.

With the technical breakout of the downtrend resistance (C1:C2) on its daily price chart, KNM's daily price trend has the potential to extend its recent technical rebound towards the intermediate-term resistance level of 70 sen.

The subject expressed above is based purely on technical analysis and opinions of the writer. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell.


The listing is targeted for mid-2011 but there are details to be sorted out, including the name the listed company will carry, says its chairman

Independent power producer Jimah Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd is planning to go public in what could be one of the bigger initial public offerings (IPO) of 2011.

A merchant banker has been hired but there are many details yet to be finalised.

"The listing is targeted for mid-2011 but there are details to be sorted out including the name the listed company will carry," its chairman Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja'afar said.

He expects Jimah to raise "hundreds of million ringgit" from the IPO.

"A lot of the funding is by project financing and we just need a capital base," he said, adding that the equity portion could be about 30 per cent.

"The reason we are listing is because we have been invited by the Energy Commission to bid for an additional 1,000 megawatts (MW)," Tunku Naquiyuddin told Business Times in an interview.

1,000MW, we have to have our capital structure right. And to get the capital structure right, we thought (going) public was one of the ways," he added.

He was quick to point out that Jimah was not raising money from the IPO to help settle borrowings.

In 2005, the company raised RM6.1 billion in Islamic funds to part-finance the construction and commissioning of its two 700MW plants in Jimah.

"The loans are being paid off as we are progressing, which is according to schedule. And we have an excellent cash flow as well," he said.

Tunku Naquiyuddin hopes to maintain control of Jimah after its listing.

A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) shows that Jimah has an issued capital of RM5 million. Jimah Teknik holds 70 per cent of the company, Jimah O & M Sdn Bhd owns 10 per cent and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) the remaining 20 per cent.

It had yet to determine how much TNB will have after the listing.

Jimah has two 700MW power plants. The first commercial operation date was on January 1 2009 and the second on July 1 2009. Both coal-fired units supply the electricity to TNB.

The plants are located in Mukim Jimah in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan and is capable of accommodating up to three additional units of 700MW each.

In the financial year ended December 31 2009, Jimah made a loss after tax of RM435.73 million on the back of RM1.04 billion revenue.

Tunku Naquiyuddin feels that Jimah will move into positive territory in the current financial year.

"We have been operating at nearly full capacity for a good six months now," he said.

A 1,000MW unit could take five years to build from planning to completion.

"As we understand, there are two players invited - Jimah and Malakoff Corp Bhd's Tanjung Bin," he said.

The plant, to be ready in 2016, will be a super critical plant, which he said is more efficient and has less emissions.

Read more: Jimah Energy plans listing


OSK Research said Ann Joo’s 3Q net profit plummeted to RM10.4 million but this was well within its estimates.

In its research note issued on Monday, Nov 29, it said the poor numbers were attributed to lower steel prices and demand, which were further worsened by escalating material costs.

OSK see an improvement in 4Q, and think the recovery may be limited. Compounded by another delay in commissioning its blast furnace and the lack of major earnings surprises, the stock’s expensive valuation versus its peers warrant no change in our NEUTRAL recommendation, with its target price revised up slightly to RM2.76 on rolling over its valuation to FY11.

OSK Research pervious target price was RM2.64 while the last traded price was RM2.86.


SHARE prices are expected to be range-bound this week amid an underlying cautious sentiment due to external factors, particularly China's monetary policy, said a dealer.

He said China would probably raise the Required Reserve Ratio (RRR) and rumours surrounding this, had caused further concern in the market.

We will also be looking at the US economic numbers pouring in next week. Coupled with global uncertainties, such as the Korean conflict and euro debt woes, it is expected to continue influencing the market, he added.

On the local front, the dealer said there would not be any major market moving factor and this would give it a positive momentum.

Meanwhile, Affin Investment Bank's Head of Retail Research, Dr Nazri Khan said, he expects the local stock market to continue consolidating sideways in the range of between 1,490 to 1,510 this week, albeit with more cautious trading.

Barring any close below 1,460, we view any weakness as an opportunity to re-enter cheaper, as the monthly uptrend line remains sound and intact.

For the week just-ended, the FBM KLCI Index closed at 1,492.05, down 14 points from 1,506.05, previous Friday. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI closed at 1,489.86, rising 8.45 points from 1,481.41 previously.

The Finance Index dwindled 151.16 points to 13,605.32, the Industrial Index lost 24.26 points to 2,851.26 and the Plantation Index narrowed 91.51 points to 7,667.23.

The weekly volume increased to 6.179 billion shares valued at RM11.315bil compared with the 4.56 billion shares worth RM6.166bil, transacted the previous week.

The main market turnover rose to 5.078 billion shares worth RM11.129bil from 3.932 billion units valued at RM6.006bil previously. Bernama


KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of South East Asia's largest initial public offer (IPO) to-date, Petronas Chemicals, made their debut Friday on Bursa Malaysia at RM5.71, up 51 sen or nearly 10% above the IPO price of RM5.20.

Today's listing marked the second time this year national oil company Petroliam Nasional has gone down the IPO route.

Last month, the company's heavy engineering unit Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering, made its debut on the stock exchange.

Petronas Chemicals would replace gaming company Berjaya Sports Toto on the 30-stock FBM KLCI next Monday.(Source: The Star Online)


TORONTO (Market Leader) -

As previously reported, a 24% increase in the value of gold didn't stop George Soros, John Paulson and Paul Touradji from buying it. According to the data provided by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the biggest volumes of gold were bought by Soros Fund Management LLC, Paulson & Co. and Touradji Capital Management LP. The total volume of the precious metal owned by the 3 companies is 2088 tons, which is roughly equal to the volume produced by the USA in 10 years.

And while the Fed Reserve and other central banks around the world have already poured into the global economy over $2 trillion, in their turn investors are getting more active in buying up the stable assets. At this point 50% of the total gold reserve is in the hands of private investors.


TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures hovered near $84 a barrel in Asia on Friday, holding recent gains on a retreat in the dollar, but trade was slow after the Thanksgiving Day holiday the previous day.


* NYMEX crude for December delivery was up 9 cents at $83.95 a barrel by 0021 GMT.

* Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, all New York Mercantile Exchange crude trade on Thursday is combined into Friday's official session.

* Earlier this week, oil prices dropped to near $80 after North Korea's artillery barrage against a South Korean island boosted the dollar's value and reduced the appetite for riskier commodity assets.


* European shares rose on Thursday, with heavyweight mining shares boosted by rising metals prices and bid interest in Capital Shopping Centres lifting the real estate sector. [.EU]

* The euro remained under pressure on Thursday on turmoil surrounding euro zone debt but held above a two-month low against the dollar after a push to the downside was stemmed largely by corporate demand. [USD/]

* Gold was little changed on Thursday, lacking strong impetus due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday but backed up by some safe-haven buying amid Europe's debt crisis and heightened tensions between North and South Korea. [GOL/]


KUALA LUMPUR: Stone Master Corp Bhd is venturing into China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation business following the proposed acquisition of a 51% stake in JinZhou Everthriving Logistics Co. Ltd for RM25 million.

Stone Master said on Friday, Nov 26 it had entered into a heads of agreement with Sino Achieve International Ltd to acquire the stake via a share swap by a group of identified Stone Master shareholders.

It added Jinzhou supplies and transports LNG and has a large number of client resources with annual output value reaches over 100 million renminbi. Jinzhou owns 50 large LNG transport tankers, with transport capability ranked as top three in the industry.

Stone Master said Jinzhou is a China foreign joint venture company between Sino Achieve International and Everthriving Investment Group Co. Ltd in Beijing.


As I looking at my pc to observe the Petronas Chemicals shares at2:30pm for afternoon trading session. I noticed that its price starts to decline and futher down. Its price dropped from 5.460 (2:30pm) to 5.410(3:32pm). Volume traded at this hour is 5,505,745.

KLCI index was now 1,489.13. A dropped of 7.26pts. FBM KLCI was in a red. Probably its still worried about the issue of China's efforts to rein in inflation and the debt crisis in Europe.


KUALA LUMPUR: Shares, QSR BRANDS BHD [] and Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd rallied in early trade on Friday, Nov 26 after the proposed acquisition of QSR at RM6.70 a share.

At 9.10am, QSR was up 59 sen to RM6.20 with 1.01 million shares done and its warrants, QSR-WB gained 29 sen to RM3.17.

Kulim rose 36 sen to RM12.36 with 404,400 shares done while KFC Holdings Bhd added 10 sen RM4.04.

Carlyle Asia Investment Advisors Ltd has offered to Kulim to acquire all its shares in QSR at RM6.70 a share. Its offer trumps Tan Sri Halim Saad’s offer of RM5.60 a share for QSR.

The bid for all of QSR’s 290.034 million shares values it at RM1.94 billion.

The FBM KLCI rose 2.37 points to 1,498.86. There were 187.46 million shares done valued at RM854 million. Gainers led losers 140 to 66 while 97 stocks were unchanged.


Hong Kong stocks may trade in a narrow range on Friday, ending a volatile week on a bearish mood, as investors remain wary about more measures from China to cool its accelerating inflation rate.

The Hang Seng Index .HSI edged up 0.13 percent on Thursday at 23,054.68, but turnover fell to a two-month low, as most investors preferred to stay on the sidelines. The HSI may trade at between 22,800 to 23,150 on Friday, Wong added. Global stock markets inched up on Thursday in thin volumes with the U.S. shut for the Thanksgiving holiday. [ID:nLDE6AO0QR] Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's

Nikkei .N225 rose 0.4 percent and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 fell 0.2 percent as of 0058 GMT.(Source: Reuters)


When market starts to open at 9am, this Petronas Chemical share price been shooting up to reach price at 5.720 from its reference price of 5.200. However, as I continue to monitor its movement in about 1 hour. Its price start to slow down and been stable at 5.560 before further drop at 5.550. It is the top volume for this morning with a percentage change of 6.54


According to the Hwang DBS Vickers Research said on Friday news (26th Nov). Its outlook report for Friday, counters such as Petronas Chemical, Kulim, CONSTRUCTION, Genting as well as Airasia could attract a lot of action to Bursa Malaysia. Based on the report, (a) Petronas Chemicals Group, an integrated petrochemical manufacturer with a market capitalization of RM41.6b based on an institutional offer price of RM5.20, which is making its debut listing;

(b) Kulim, which has received a new offer to buy over its entire stake in QSR at an indicative price of RM6.70 per QSR share. QSR, in turn, is the parent company of KFC Holdings;

(c) CONSTRUCTION [] companies like Bina Puri and TRC after a media report said they are in the running to bag LRT extension jobs which would be awarded soon; and

(d) AirAsia and Genting Malaysia following the release of their buoyant set of financial results Thursday evening.
( Source: The Edge Online)


Oh no, Gold price has went down. What shall we do now? Is this sentimen still bullish or bearish??

Well, according to REUTERS news today 2010-11-25 03:05:10 GMT
*Gold falls, Vietnam grants more gold import quotes

* U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving holiday (Updates prices, adds quotes)
Gold edged down in thin trade on Thursday after encouraging U.S. jobless claims data calmed some worries about economic growth, but concerns over tensions on the Korean peninsula could offer some support.

Bullion barely reacted to news that Vietnam's central bank has granted additional quotas for domestic companies to import gold between now and the year end, but dealers noted buying on dips from consumers in Asia. [ID:nHAN445223]

Spot gold eased $4.42 to $1,369.29 an ounce by 0240 GMT - well below a lifetime high around $1,424 struck in early November. It had hit an intraday low around $1,367 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures fell $4.5 to $1,368.5 an ounce. U.S. markets are shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Asian currencies rose for the first time in four days, rebounding after an exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea triggered losses yesterday.

The Asia Dollar Index, which tracks Asia’s 10 most-used currencies excluding the yen, rose 0.4 percent as of 4:15 p.m. in Hong Kong, having yesterday closed at an eight-week low. South Korea’s won dropped more than 3 percent today before recovering the bulk of its slide after the government pledged to stabilize financial markets.

“Asian currencies were rattled a bit by the incident between North and South Korea,” said Brian Jackson, an emerging-market strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong. “It does seem that there was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction and now people think the situation may not be as bad.”

The won declined 0.4 percent to close at 1,142.25 per dollar in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier touched 1,172.50, the weakest level since Sept. 9. Malaysia’s ringgit rose 0.2 percent to 3.1315 as of 4:30 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, following a 1.1 percent slide yesterday, and the Thai baht gained 0.1 percent to 30.04. Taiwan’s dollar was steady at NT$30.80, after climbing as much as 1.3 percent.

The won trimmed its losses after the finance ministry said today the government will supply “ample” liquidity to keep financial markets stable and will act on “herd” behavior. South Korea scrambled fighter jets and returned fire after North Korea yesterday lobbed shells at an island near their border, killing two soldiers and setting houses ablaze in the worst attack in at least eight months.

Taiwan Production

Taiwan’s dollar erased earlier gains on suspected central bank intervention to check appreciation. A government report yesterday showed industrial production climbed 14.4 percent in October from a year earlier, more than the 13.1 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Taiwan’s stabilization fund, central bank and Financial Supervisory Commission are ready to enter the markets to ensure stability amid increased tension between North and South Korea, the Taipei-based Commercial Times reported today, without saying where it got the information.

“The strong economic growth will continue to push the Taiwan dollar higher and put pressure on the central bank to slow the currency’s rally,” said Tarsicio Tong, a currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan in Taipei.

The Asia Dollar Index declined in each of the last two weeks as Ireland entered talks to secure financial aid, spurring concern Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and bolstering demand for dollars. Ireland’s debt rating was lowered two notches yesterday by Standard & Poor’s.

‘Risk-Off Day’

Yuan forwards traded near a four-week low and China’s currency weakened 0.1 percent. Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards were little changed at 6.4990 per dollar, reflecting bets the currency will strengthen 2.3 percent in a year from the spot rate of 6.6510.

“It’s a risk-off day today, with the Korea situation and the European debt crisis,” said Patrick Perret-Green, the Singapore-based head of foreign-exchange and rates strategy at Citigroup Inc. “In this environment people do not want to trade.”

Elsewhere, the Philippine peso gained 0.5 percent to 43.960 versus the greenback and Indonesia’s rupiah rose 0.2 percent to 8,958. Singapore’s dollar was little changed at S$1.3098. (Source: Bloomberg)


Hana Financial Group Inc. will sign a contract tomorrow to buy a controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank from Lone Star Funds for as much as 4.75 trillion won ($4.2 billion), a deal that would be the biggest acquisition for Hana.

“Price negotiation is over now and we’ll sign the contract tomorrow,” Kim Seung Yu, chairman and chief executive officer of Hana, said in a phone interview today before traveling to London to meet Lone Star’s founder John Grayken. Funding of the purchase will be a “no problem” for Hana, the chairman said.

Hana, South Korea’s fourth-largest financial company, climbed to an almost 14-month high in Seoul trading on speculation it would beat Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to the deal. Kim has been seeking an acquisition to challenge bigger local competitors, while Lone Star has been trying to sell Korea Exchange Bank for more than four years.

“Hana shares have been discounted because of weak marketing capacity and profitability compared with bigger rivals,” Shim Kyu Sun, a banking industry analyst at Hi Investment & Securities Co., wrote in a note to investors. “The KEB purchase will improve such weakness.”

Shim raised a six-month estimate for Hana’s shares to 53,000 won and kept a “buy” recommendation.

Shares Surge

Seoul-based Hana surged 7.3 percent to 39,700 won, the highest close since Oct. 1, 2009. Korea Exchange slipped 0.8 percent to 12,250 won. The benchmark Kospi Index lost 0.2 percent.

ANZ Bank won’t make a counter-bid for the stake in Korea Exchange Bank, said a person with knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified before a statement from the Melbourne based lender that may come tomorrow.

“We’ll make an announcement after Hana and Lone Star sign an agreement,” said Stephen Ries, a spokesman for ANZ Bank. He declined to comment further. ANZ had been studying KEB’s finances since at least August.

Hana acquired SeoulBank for 1.15 trillion won in stocks in 2002, its third bank acquisition following Chung Chung Bank and Boram Bank after the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.(Source: Bloomberg)


Oil rose from the lowest level in a week after the U.S. economy grew more than previously estimated in the third quarter, adding to signs inventories may shrink.

Crude reversed earlier declines as the dollar weakened against the euro, making commodities priced in the U.S. currency cheaper for investors. Oil has dropped 7.9 percent after reaching its highest level this year on Nov. 11, prompting futures purchases.

“On a price standpoint, we’ve come down quite a bit very quickly so we are finding support around $80,” said Anthony Nunan, an assistant general manager for risk management at Mitsubishi Corp. in Tokyo. “It got cheap enough that people are buying. People still think the U.S. needs more like 3 percent growth to add jobs but it is moving in the right direction.”

Futures gained as much as 63 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $81.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The January contract was at $81.70 at 3:29 p.m. Singapore time.

U.S. crude stockpiles probably declined 2 million barrels last week, dropping to their lowest level in three months as refinery demand increased with the end of seasonal maintenance, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report today.

Yesterday, oil fell 49 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $81.25, the lowest settlement since Nov. 17. Prices are up 3 percent this year. Crude climbed to its highest intraday price this year of $88.63 on Nov. 11.


The revised 2.5 percent increase in U.S. gross domestic product compares with a 2 percent estimate issued last month and a 1.7 percent rise in the second quarter, figures from the Commerce Department showed yesterday in Washington. Consumer purchases rose at the fastest pace since the last three months of 2006.

The U.S. is the world’s largest oil consumer. The country used an average of 19.3 million barrels a day of fuels in the four weeks ended Nov. 12, up 3.7 percent from last year, Energy Department data show.

“There were relatively good numbers out of the U.S. in terms of GDP and a little bit of dollar weakness, and that’s certainly helping crude go higher,” said Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney.

The Dollar Index, operated by Intercontinental Exchange, fell as much as 0.3 percent to 79.44, reversing two days of gains on sovereign-debt default concern in Europe. The index measures the greenback against six major currencies.

Brent crude for January settlement rose as much as 57 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $83.82 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Yesterday, it dropped 71 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $83.25.

U.S. Inventories

The American Petroleum Institute reported late yesterday that U.S. crude-oil stockpiles increased 5.19 million barrels to 357.7 million.

The industry funded group said gasoline supplies dropped 499,000 barrels to 214.1 million. Distillate fuel inventories, including diesel and kerosene, fell by 311,000 barrels to 157.3 million barrels.

U.S. crude inventories probably declined 2 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, last week from 357.6 million a week earlier, according to the median of 16 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report today. It is scheduled to be released at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. (Source: Bloomberg)


NEW YORK: U.S. stocks sank on Tuesday, Nov 23 as investors dumped risky assets on escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula and as euro-zone debt worries mounted.

South Korea warned of retaliation if North Korea took more aggressive steps after Pyongyang fired artillery shells at a South Korean island, in one of the heaviest attacks in the area since the Korean War ended in 1953. The iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY.P) fell 5.4 percent.

The unexpected flare-up increased investor anxiety. The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, Wall Street's fear gauge, rose 12.3 percent, its largest daily percentage gain in more than three months.

Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial in Boston, said the news reminded traders how easily markets can be disturbed by geopolitics.

"As we move into 2011, (U.S. President Barack) Obama is going to be a lot less focused on domestic policy -- where we have gridlock -- and more focused on foreign policy, and confronting some of these regimes. That might mean higher geopolitical risk premiums going forward," Kleintop said.

Ireland's unsteady situation hurt the euro, which also had contributed to the slump in stocks. The equity market's tight link to the euro has broken of late but resurfaces in times of turmoil. Investors remain concerned about a widening debt crisis on the continent.

The European Union urged Ireland to adopt an austerity budget on time to unlock promised EU/IMF funding, while Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen rebuffed calls for a snap election and insisted the budget would go ahead as planned on Dec. 7. [ID:nLDE6AL2AG].

An index of U.S.-traded shares of Irish companies .BKIE fell 4.9 percent.

"Now we have sovereigns in trouble being bailed out by essentially super-sovereigns," U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini told Reuters Insider. "But there's not going to be anybody coming from Mars or the moon to bail out the IMF or the euro zone."

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI lost 142.21 points, or 1.27 percent, to 11,036.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 .SPX fell 17.11 points, or 1.43 percent, to 1,180.73. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 37.07 points, or 1.46 percent, to 2,494.95.

Declining stocks far outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 7 to 2, while on the Nasdaq, three stocks fell for every share that rose.

The energy sector .GSPE of the S&P 500 led declines, down 1.9 percent as U.S. oil futures prices CLc1 fell 0.6 percent to settle at $81.25 a barrel.

Oil giants Chevron (CVX.N) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), each down about 2 percent, accounted for 15.5 percent of the drop in the Dow industrials.

The S&P 500 has found strong support around the 1,175 area. The 23.6 percent retracement of the index's 2010 low-to-high gain, last week's low and its 50-day moving average all coincide near that level. (Source: The Edge by Reuters


Asian stocks traded softer on Tuesday, as investors feared Ireland's debt crisis could spread, raising the specter of losses by exposed U.S. banks.

The main Wall Street indices fell as initial optimism over Ireland's debt bailout gave way to concerns about the government's future and problems elsewhere in the euro zone. But tech stocks gained some reprieve as the tech-heavy Nasdaq bucked a weaker trend, helped by broker upgrades for chipmaker SanDisk and chip-gear makers Amkor Technology and Teradyne.

North Korea on Tuesday afternoon reportedly fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island. News of the shelling kept equity markets on edge and weighed on the won currency.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index [.FTFCNBCA 6593.54 -131.87 (-1.96%)] slipped 0.2 percent. Trading was subdued with Japanese financial markets closed for the Labor Day national holiday.

Seoul shares dipped 0.7 percent amid growing European debt worries and as investors wait to see how U.S. Thanksgiving holiday sales turn out.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) [.KS11 1944.34 --- UNCH (0)] was down 15.4 points at 1,928.9.

Declines in auto stocks weighed on the market. Hyundai Motor lost 3.0 percent, on concern deepening labour disputes could lead to production disruption at the country's largest automaker. Its affiliate Kia Motors shed 1.5 percent.

Ssangyong Motor gave up early gains and finished 4.5 percent lower after India's Mahindra & Mahindra signed a deal to buy the money-losing automaker for 522.5 billion won ($464 million).

But financials advanced broadly, led by Hana Financial. Its shares jumped as much as 12 percent before trimming gains to end 5.7 percent higher, on news the country's No.4 financial group by assets has decided to buy a controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) for $4.1 billion.

Analysts said a Hana-KEB combination was expected to benefit Hana as KEB had little overlaps with Hana in terms of business strength.

Technology issues advanced, with LG Electronics, the world's No.3 handset maker, gaining 0.4 percent. Shares in LG Display, the world's No.2 flat panel maker, advanced 1.8 percent.

A 1 percent gain in the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the cost of shipping key commodities, boosted shipping issues. STX Pan Ocean added 1.2 percent and Hyundai Merchant Marine rose 0.7 percent.

Australian stocks eased 1.2 percent to a seven-week low, undermined by offshore concerns about euro zone debt and weakened Chinese demand for metals.

Banks and miners led the way lower, with Westpac down 1.9 percent at A$21.31 and National Australia Bank losing 1.8 percent at A$23.56.

Top miner BHP Billiton retreated as copper prices fell in Shanghai, with the shares down 1.7 percent to A$43.14.

On its second day of trading, rail-freight business QR National extended gains that it had made on debut, rising 0.4 percent to A$2.66. Its debut on Monday was underpinned by support from offshore hedge funds.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index [AU;XJO 4589.068 -54.464 (-1.17%)] fell 54.4 points to 4,589.1, its lowest close since October 1, and breaking through support at 4,600. The index rose 0.3 percent on Monday.

Shares in grocery wholesaler Metcash rose 0.7 percent after the company said it would proceed with its takeover of the struggling Franklins supermarket chain, challenging opposition from the competition regulator.

Qantas shares settled 0.4 percent higher after the airline said it would resume flying its Airbus A380 fleet from Saturday. Its A380 fleet has been grounded since Nov 4 when an engine partly disintegrated in flight.

Ten Network shares lost 3.3 percent after Australia's richest woman, Gina Rinehart, emerged as a 10 percent shareholder, just a month after billionaire James Packer snapped up an 18 percent stake in the free-to-air TV network.

China's Shanghai Composite extended Monday's losses, slumping nearly 2 percent [CN;SHI 2828.2822 -56.0888 (-1.94%)] as miners, property and financial stocks dragged.

Poly Real Estate lost 1.9 percent and Vanke fell 1.4 percent.

Property developers underperformed amid reports that some Chinese trust firms have halted property-related loans after the country's banking regulator ordered trust firms to submit risk, compliance reports on such lending.

Among lenders, Agricultural Bank of China fell 1.1 percent and China Everbright Bank declined 1.8 percent.

Resource-linked stocks also headed south, with Jiangxi Copper down 4.9 percent and Zhongjin Gold slipping 3.0 percent.

Taiwan's key TAIEX share index [.TWII 8328.63 22.5098 (+0.27%)]back tracked from early gains to end down 0.55 percent at 8,328.63, following a decline in Chinese shares.

Tourism shares led declines, down 1.88 percent, chemicals fell 1.6 percent. The electronics sub-index lost 0.5 percent and the financial sub-index shed 0.8 percent.

Hong Kong stocks retreated 2.5 percent at one stage, as selling gathered pace following reports of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index[HK;HSI 22896.14 -627.88 (-2.67%)] slumped 572 points to 23,952.7.

Local developers extended losses after the government last week unveiled measures aimed at curbing fast-rising property prices. Cheung Kong lost 1.0 percent and Henderson Land fell 1.8 percent.

BaWang International Group slumped 3.9 percent after the Chinese herbal products maker and trader issued a profit warning, saying turnover for July to October dropped by 31 percent from a year earlier.

Oriental Watch slipped 4.6 percent. The watch trader said it was raising funds through the issuance of 50 million shares at a discount.

Shares of Li & Fung fell 1.6 percent on news the global consumer goods exporter would buy most of the assets of Oxford Apparel, adding to its U.S. onshore menswear platform. Its shares had gained more than 2 percent on Monday.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore's STI [.FTSTI 3140.3 -50.62 (-1.59%)]and Malaysia's KLCI [MY;KLCI 1491.43 -11.77 (-0.78%)] tracked the region's bourses lower.

Thailand's benchmark SET [TH;SETI 1019.19 --- UNCH (0)] lost 0.9 percent in tandem with the weak performance in other Asian markets.

Shares in Thai telecoms group Shin Corporation fell more than 8 percent to a two-week low as the stocks traded ex-dividend.

PTT Exploration and Production was in focus. It signed an agreement with two Canadian subsidiaries of Statoil ASA to buy a 40 percent stake in an oil project in Canada for $2.28 billion.
(Source: Reuters with CNBC)


Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) said on Tuesday it signed an agreement with two Canadian subsidiaries of Statoil to buy a 40 percent stake in an oil project in Canada for $2.28 billion. he transaction would be completed through the purchase of a 40 percent interest in the Kai Kos Dehseh Oil Sands Project (KKD), while Statoil would retain a 60 percent stake in the project and would be the managing partner and operator.

KKD, in western Canada's Alberta province, is a significant oil sands deposit covering an area of 257,200 acres (104,100 hectares) with an estimated 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen and an expected life of more than 40 years, PTTEP said.

PTTEP said it would use cash and debts to finance the acquisition.

PTTEP, the flagship in the exploration and production business of top energy firm PTT, ranks among Asia's top 10 explorers and competes with big Chinese oil firms such as CNOOC and Sinopec.

As part of a global expansion drive, PTTEP has been aggressive in buying new gas and oil assets at home and abroad to increase reserves and capacity to meet rising domestic demand.

PTTEP has invested in more than 40 oil and gas exploration and development projects in 13 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. (Source: CNBC)


The benchmark FBM KLCI slipped into the red at mid-day following some selling pressure in several key blue chip counters. At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 4.76 pts to 1,498.44.

Digi lost 42sen to RM24.38, PPB shed 38sen to RM18.42 while KYM lost 13sen to RM2.07.

HwangDBS Vickers Research Sdn Bhd said in its morning report with Wall Street finishing mixed last night its key equity indices ended between -0.2% and +0.6% at the closing bell there was no obvious overnight lead for the Malaysian bourse today.

"As such, the benchmark FBM KLCI may just move sideways ahead, possibly showing a marginal upward bias," it had said. The trading of securities in Sunway City and Sunway Holdings have been suspended from 9 am today until Wednesday, 5pm pending a material annoucement.

Crude palm oil 3-month futures were up RM8 to RM3,192 per tonne.

Nymex crude oil lost 58 cents to US$81.16 per barrel.

The ringgit was quoted at 3.1149 to the US dollar.
(Source: The Star)


KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI extended its losses in late afternoon trade on Tuesday, Nov 23, in line with the weaker key Asian markets as worries about the debt crisis in Ireland spilling over to Europe.

Reuters reported Seoul's military and media reports saying North Korea on Tuesday fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island, setting buildings on fire and prompting a return of fire by the South.

Key Asian markets fell, with China and Hong Kong posting declines of between 1.4% and 2.57%.

At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI fell 7.97 points to 1,495.23. Turnover was 601.27 million shares valued at RM955 million. Losers beat gainers 614 to 116.

DiGi extended its losses on worries about rising competition. It fell 42 sen to RM24.38.

PPB lost 38 sen to RM18.42 after reporting lower earnings while BAT shed 34 sen to RM44.82 and KLK fell 16 sen to RM19.86.(Source: The Edge Online)


* Gold ticks up on euro strength
* Gold seen rangebound, seeks direction[ID:nSGE6AL013]
* Coming Up: U.S. Chicago Fed index Oct; 1300 GMT

(Updates prices, adds quotes)

SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Gold ticked higher on Monday as the euro gained after Ireland's rescue deal, helping the metal resist pressure from China's move to tighten its economy.

China's steps to rein in inflation could dim gold's appeal in the world's second-largest consumer after India, but dealers said a drop in bullion prices from all-time high levels were attracting purchases from other consumers in Asia.

Spot gold added $6.60 an ounce to $1,360.75 an ounce by 0244 GMT, still well below a lifetime high around $1,424 an ounce struck in early November. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose $7.7 to $1,360 an ounce.

Spot gold is technically neutral as it hovers within a range of $1,340-$1,365 per ounce, and a further development of the chart is necessary to confirm its next directional move, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

"Gold has dropped from $1,400 and it seems there's buying interest around at these levels," said Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

"Asian people are still happy to buy gold. For the time being, gold is neutral, trading on either side," said Leung, adding that gold could be under pressure if China did raise interest rates.

The euro, Asian stocks and commodities got a fillip on Monday after global financial authorities agreed to bail out debt-swamped Ireland and protect Europe's wider financial stability.

The size of Ireland's aid by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund has yet to be negotiated, but is likely to be smaller than Greece's 110 billion euros bailout last May. One source said it could total 80 to 90 billion euros.

A strong euro helped offset worries about China's move to tighten the economy. The People's Bank of China announced on Friday that it would increase required reserves by 50 basis points, its fifth such announcement this year, in a fresh attempt to keep a lid on inflation.[ID:nL3E6MJ0N8]

In the physical sector, premiums for gold bars in Singapore were steady at 70 cents to the spot London prices.

"It's a pretty slow start but we do see some buying around from Indonesia and Thailand as well as physical offtake," said a dealer in Singapore.

iShares Silver Trust , the world's largest
silver-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose to
another record of 10,814.62 tonnes by Nov. 19. For details of
the ETF's silver holdings, click on:

The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , said its holdings rose to 1,289.336 tonnes by Nov 19 from 1,286.299 tonnes on Nov 18. The holdings hit a record at 1,320.436 tonnes on June 29. (Source: Reuters)


KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of RCE CAPITAL BHD climbed in early trade on Monday, Nov 22 after it reported stronger earnings in the the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2010 and expected earnings to improve.

At 9.13am, RCE rose 2.5 sen to 65 sen with 2.17 million shares done.

The FBM KLCI was up 2.72 points to 1,508.77. Turnover was 63.71 million shares done valued at RM43 million. There were 168 gainers, 46 losers and 95 stocks unchanged.

RCE Capital’s earnings rose 65% to RM31.24 million in the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2010 underpinned by stronger demand for its new Syariah-based financing products and expected its performance to improve for the rest of the year.

RCE, which provides personal loans and consumer-financing services to public and private sector employees, had announced revenue rose 24.6% to RM74.62 million from RM59.88 million a year ago. Earnings rose to RM31.24 million from RM18.91 million.
(Source: Joseph Chin, The Edge Online)


Kuala Lumpur Composite Index

Stocks on Bursa Malaysia fell 0.46% to close at 1496.65 points on continuous selling pressure. The Finance Index lost 52.24 points to 13664.38 points, the Properties Index added 2.58 points to 987.30 points and the Plantation Index eased 17.36 points to 7725.06 points.

The market traded within a range of 13.13 points between an intra-day high of 1500.34 and a low of 1487.21 during the session. Actively traded stocks include JOTECH, SAAG, KBUNAI, TIMECOM, KNM, IJMLAND-WA, IJMLAND, TIGER, SCOMI, and JCY.

Trading volume declined to 1123.90 mil shares worth RM1737.08 mil as compared to Tuesday's 1325.30 mil shares worth RM1735.73 mil.

Market Thoughts

US stocks ended higher on i) talk that Ireland will accept financial aid and ii) a strong debut by General Motors' share. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 173.35 points, or 1.57 percent, to close at 11,181.23. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 18.10 points, or 1.54 percent, to 1,196.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 38.39 points, or 1.55 percent, to 2,514.40.

On the back of the positive sentiment in the US and Europe, we believe the FBM KLCI will trade with a positive bias today.

Futures Kuala Lumpur Index

FKLI were traded higher in Thursday morning. Spot-month contracts rose 0.50 points to 1489.50. At midday, the spot-month FKLI futures increased 0.50 points to close at 1489.50 points.

At the close, the FKLI ended higher with the spot-month FKLI contract rose 6.50 points to close at 1495.50 points. Turnover was lower at 6761 lots compared to 7449 lots in the previous trading day.

Open interests slipped to 21356 contracts from 22594 contracts previously. The underlying FBM KLCI index dropped 6.89 points to 1496.65 at the close.

Futures Crude Palm Oil

FCPO benchmark of Feb11 contract opened at RM3190 per ton on Thursday. At the close of Thursday, Dec10 contract added RM64.00, Jan11 contract gained RM63.00, Feb11 contract moved up RM53.00, and Mar11 contract increased RM51.00.

Volume rose to 41,879 lots from 27,757 lots a day ago, while open interests increased to 77,197 contracts from 74,871 contracts previously.
(Source: JF Apex Securities Bhd)


KUALA LUMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index (FBM KLCI) held on to its earlier gains at mid-day, finishing up 4.04 pts to 1,500.66.

Among the gainers, Nestle added 16 sen to RM43.36, Genting was up 16sen to RM10.24 while Kulim, which requested for a trading halt of its shares from 9.30am, added 16 sen to RM13.54 just before its suspension.

QSR Brands and KFC were also among the top gainers before the counters requested for trading halts from 9.30am pending a material announcement.

QSR was up 29 sen to RM5.76 while KFCH added 28 sen to RM4.25 prior to the suspension.

"Following yesterday's 6.9-point drop which apparently was caused mainly by Maybank (as the stock went ex-dividend for 44 sen per share, thus contributed to a 4.8-index point decline) we expect the benchmark FBM KLCI to bounce up today and cross the psychological mark of 1,500," Hwang DBS said in its morning note to clients before the market opened.

Essentially, sentiment will likely get a boost from the overnight surge on Wall Street where major U.S. indexes jumped between 1.5% and 1.6% at the closing bell lifted by hopes that Ireland's debt crisis is about to be resolved while the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery, Hwang noted.

Crude palm oil 3-month futures were up RM39 to RM3,279 per tonne.

Nymex crude oil lost 31 cents to US$81.54 per barrel.

The ringgit was quoted at 3.123 to the US dollar.
(Source: The Star Online)


Kuala Lumpur Composite Index

Stocks on Bursa Malaysia rose 0.12% to close at 1501.56 points amid cautious sentiment. Market sentiment was cautious because of the recent volatility and investors chose to wait on the sidelines for fresh leads. The Finance Index lost 0.21% to 13788.07 points, the Properties Index fell 0.81% to 999.19 points and the Plantation Index added 0.02% to 7772.93 points.

The market traded within a range of 6.52 points between an intra-day high of 1503.56 and a low of 1497.04 during the session. Actively traded stocks include JOTECH, KNM, KBUNAI, TIME, RAMUNIA, HUBLINE, CNI, SALCON, TEJARI and POHKONG.

Trading volume declined to 1086.85 mil shares worth RM1256.45 mil as compared to Friday's 1724.70 mil
shares worth RM2393.77 mil.

Futures Kuala Lumpur Index

FKLI were traded higher in Monday morning. At the opening, Nov10 contract gain 3.50 points to 1494.50 and Dec10 contract increased 2.00 points to 1494.00. At midday, the spot-month FKLI futures dropped 1.50 points to close at 1489.50 points.

At the close, the FKLI ended higher with the spot-month FKLI contract rose 7.50 points to close at 1498.50 points. Turnover was lower at 7379 lots compared to 12037 lots in the previous trading day.

Open interests slipped to 23804 contracts from 24470 contracts previously.
The underlying FBM KLCI index rose 1.75 points to 1501.56 at the close.

Futures Crude Palm OilFCPO benchmark of Feb11 contract opened at RM3311 per ton on Monday. At the close of Monday, Dec10 contract added RM2.00, Jan11 contract gained RM26.00, Feb11 contract moved up RM17.00, and Mar11 contract increased RM24.00.

Volume declined to 23,282 lots from 29,159 lots a day ago, while open interests slipped to 73,634 contracts from 74,477 contracts previously.


Kuala Lumpur Composite Index

Stocks on Bursa Malaysia fell 0.92% to close at 1499.81 points on continuous selling pressure, after falling as much as 1.7% earlier, as investors opted to offload their holdings after global equity markets slumped on lingering concerns over eurozone debt and speculation that China may raise interest rates.

The Finance Index lost 0.36% to 13816.61 points, the Properties Index fell 2.07% to 1007.38 points and the Plantation Index eased 1.09% to 7771.76 points. The market traded within a range of 24.47 points between an intra day high of 1512.53 and a low of 1488.06 during the session. Actively traded stocks include TIME, ESCERAM-WA, KBUNAI, JOTECH, KNM, AXIATA, HUBLINE, DRBHCOM, TIMECOM and SALCON. Trading volume increased to 1724.70 mil shares worth RM2393.77 mil as compared to Thursday's 1576.62 mil shares worth RM2279.65 mil.

Futures Kuala Lumpur Index

FKLI were traded higher in Friday morning. Spot-month contracts rose 0.50 points to1513.00. At midday, the spot-month FKLI futures dropped 12.50 points to close at 1500.00 points.

At the close, the FKLI ended lower with the spot-month FKLI contract weaken by 21.50 points to close at 1491.00 points. Turnover was higher at 12037 lots compared to 6698 lots in the previous trading day.
Open interests increased to 24470 contracts from 24260 contracts previously. The underlying FBM KLCI index dropped 13.89 points to 1499.81 at the close.

Futures Crude Palm Oil

FCPO benchmark of Jan11 contract opened at RM3333 per ton on Friday. At the close of Friday, Nov10 contract dropped RM55.00, Dec10 contract missed RM55.00, Jan11 contract lose RM43.00, and Feb11 contract slipped RM44.00.

Volume declined to 29,159 lots from 33,441 lots a day ago, while open interests increased to 74,477 contracts from 73,537 contracts previously. (Source: The Edge)


MALAYAN BANKING BHD said it was continuously seeking and assessing various propositions and opportunities that would help achieve its vision to be a regional financial services leader.

It said on Wednesday, Nov 10 that the objective of such opportunities was to help create shareholder value. “If and when a suitable and definite opportunity materialises, the Maybank group shall make the relevant announcements of any material information at the appropriate time,” it said.

Maybank was commenting on a report in The Edge FinancialDaily that the banking group was interested to acquire OSK HOLDINGS BHD in a move to beef up the former's investment banking arm.

(Source: The Edge Online)


The Beauty of Being Small
We visited Malaysia Steel Works (KL) (Masteel) last week and gather thatManagement is hopeful of riding on a long list of projects announced by theGovernment, especially with its expansion plans well under progress. We suspect Masteel may report a surprise surge in 2H, in tandem with its efforts to import cheaper scrap metal by containers and its smallish size enabling easiermaneuvering of sales during a weak market. Therefore, we are upgrading our call toTrading BUY resulting from the higher earnings, with our new fair value tagged atRM1.22.

Dropping in on Masteel. We brought a small group of Institutional Investors to visitMasteel’s office and rolling mill in Petaling Jaya last Friday. The company’s MD cum CEO,Dato’ Sri Tai Hean Leng, took opportunity to give an overview of Masteel’s operation, andthe company’s and steel industry outlook.

Plant expansion well in progress. After spending some RM60m to RM70m over the pasttwo years to modify its furnace and billet caster, management expect billet capacity toprogressively increase from 450,000 tonne per year (tpy) to 650,000 tpy in FY12 by deployin stages 130mm billets instead of the originally 120mm. The company has also identified a plant near its existing rolling mill to embark on its downstream expansion plan. As the said plant only requires minimum modification conversion to install a new rolling facility, thecompany has identified three machine suppliers from China to expedite the delivery of therequired machines. Management is targeting to increase its rolling capacity to 500,000 tpy upon full commissioning in FY12m, hoping that this would be on time to ride on the stringof public infrastructure and building projects announced by the Government recently.

Time to show that “small is beautiful”. While we expect weak financial performance from steel mills in 2HFY10, Masteel’s management suggests that the company’s salestonnage is encouraging. Dato’ Sri Tai also said the company has been endeavoring toimport containerized scrap metal after the liberalization of the scrap market since end-2008. Although we are surprised at the possible increase in sales volume, we think Masteel may have benefited from being centrally located in the catchment areas of steeldemand. Also being a smaller mill, the volume it produces is way easier for the market toabsorb. We also suspect that management may have accumulated enough experience in dealing with cheaper scrap imports by container, which are normally priced at aboutUSD20 discount compared to bulk imports. Therefore, we are revising upwards our FY10estimates by 62.7% to RM42.4m and FY11 numbers by 7% to RM47.5m. As its earningsmay exceed market expectation, we upgrade our call to Trading BUY, with a new targetprice of RM1.22, derived from 5x PER and 0.59x P/NTA on rolling over to FY11 figures. (Source: OSK Research)


Futures Kuala Lumpur Index
FKLI were traded higher in Wednesday morning. At the opening, Nov10 contract gain 1.50 points to 1510.00 and Dec10 contract increased 3.50 points to 1513.00. At midday, the spot-month FKLI futures increased 5.50 points to close at 1514.00 points.

At the close, the FKLI ended higher with the spot-month FKLI contract rose 2.00 points to close at 1510.50 points. Turnover was lower at 2854 lots compared to 2862 lots in the previous trading day.

Open interests increased to 21477 contracts from 20742 contracts previously. The underlying FBM KLCI index rose 1.03 points to 1507.60 at the close.

Futures Crude Palm Oil
FCPO benchmark of Jan11 contract opened at RM3100 per ton on Wednesday. At the close of Wednesday, Nov10 contract dropped RM18.00, Dec10 contract missed RM12.00, Jan11 contract lose RM3.00, and Feb11 contract slipped RM5.00.

Volume rose to 16,325 lots from 12,719 lots a day ago, while open interests slipped to 71,259 contracts from 71,293 contracts previously.


KUALA LUMPUR: CI Holdings Bhd reported respectable a year-on-year revenue and earnings growth of 24.1% and 43.2% to RM153.63 million and RM11.8 million respectively for 1QFY11, which were within its and consensus forecast.

OSK Research said the hearty numbers were mainly attributed to the strong growth of non-carbonated and isotonic drink sales. Despite spiraling raw material prices,

“EBIT margin improved by 1.2 percentage points y-o-y on better cost efficiency, higher other operating income and a stronger ringgit against the US dollar. In view of the in line results, we maintain our FY11 and FY12 earnings forecasts at RM45.3 million and RM52.9 million respectively. Maintain BUY, at a TP of RM4.78,” it said.
(Source: The Edge Financial Daily)


Stocks to watch: Property stocks, Kulim, Pansar, CI Holdings

KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets may be range bound on Thursday, Nov 4 after the US stocks closed marginally higher in volatile trade following the Federal Reserve's plan to buy US$600 billion (RM1.85 trillion) in Treasuries.

Most markets had already priced in the plan to buy the bonds, though earlier expectations were US$500 billion as the Fed took steps to boost the struggling economy.

Both the Dow and Nasdaq closed at levels not seen since 2008 while the S&P ended at a six-month high. The gains were preceded by an erratic session in which equities zigzagged up and down as the Fed announced a plan to buy $600 billion in Treasuries. The size of the plan was greater than had been anticipated but less than many hoped.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 26.41 points, or 0.24%, at 11,215.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 4.39 points, or 0.37%, at 1,197.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.75 points, or 0.27%, at 2,540.27.

At Bursa Malaysia, property stocks may stage a mild pullback in a knee jerk reaction to Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) caution to lenders against irresponsible lending practices which would contribute to the build-up of excessive leverage among households.

BNM is imposing with immediate effect the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 70% for the third house financing facility taken by a borrower as it seeks to curb "excessive investment and speculative activity in the residential property market".

The central bank said on Wednesday, the move was expected to moderate the excessive investment and speculative activity in the residential property market which has resulted in higher than average price increases in such locations.

Economists said there could be a pullback on property stocks following the imposition of the LTV ratio, which they said was necessary.

Kulim Bhd is undertaking a corporate exercise which involves the proposed share split of one 50 sen share into two 25 sen shares.

Kulim would also undertake a one-for-one bonus issue after the share split. Kulim also proposed to issue free warrants on a one-for-eight basis after the share split and bonus issue.

Its shares rose 22 sen to close at RM10.66 with 1.61 million units done on Wednesday.

Pansar Bhd will resume trading Thursday after Bursa Malaysia Securities uplifted the company from the PN10 classification. The company had completed its restructuring scheme.

Its additional 238 million new ordinary shares of 50 sen each at an issue price of 50 sen will be listed and quoted.

CI Holdings Bhd's earnings jumped 43% to RM11.77 million in the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2010 compared with RM8.22 million a year ago, boosted by higher revenue as its beverages division recorded strong growth.

The company said revenue rose 24% to RM153.38 million from RM123.78 million. Earnings per share were 8.29 sen versus 5.79 sen.

MAH SING GROUP BHD [] is undertaking two land acquisition deals valued at RM166.53 million as it moves to expand its landbank in the Klang Valley.

Mah Sing said the two pieces of land in Ampang and Cyberjaya had a combined gross development value (GDV) of approximately RM1.2 billion.

GUINNESS ANCHOR BHD []'s (GAB) net profit for its first quarter ended Sept 30, 2010 (1QFY11) jumped 44.6% to RM38.7 million from RM26.7 million a year earlier, on continued gains from the 2010 FIFA World Cup festivities in July and speculative buying prior to the Budget 2011.

GAB's pre-tax profit rose 44.31% to RM51.64 million from RM35.79 million a year earlier on the back of a 21.82% increase in revenue to RM366.63 million from RM300.97 million. Earnings per share (EPS) soared 44.91% to 12.81 sen from 8.84 sen a year earlier.

Meanwhile, GAB will hold its AGM at Sime Darby Convention Centre, KL at 11am Thursday.

Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG) will raise questions on how much more continuous improvement will the board will be able to make in enhancing its earnings amid challenging economic environment and impact of economic growth on the malt liquor market.

Lingui Developments Bhd will hold its AGM at 10am. The MSWG raise questions on performance of plywood and veneer division in short to medium term.

MSWG expects the weak housing markets in Japan, US and possible anti-dumping duties by South Korea to have an impact as these markets account for 70% of group's total plywood exports in 2010.

MSWG to also ask if the board will commit to fix tenure for long-serving independent directors as three independent directors have served more than 20 years.
( Source: The Edge Malaysia written by Joseph Chin)


3rd Nov 2010

Uzma subsidiary gets RM15m O&G contract extension
UZMA BHD ’s subsidiary has secured a RM15 million contract from an oil and gas company for the extension of a low pressure system (LPS) service. Uzma said on Tuesday, Nov 2 that Uzma Engineering Sdn Bhd’s contract would include the supply of equipment, manpower and consultancy.
(Source: Financial Daily)

Unisem 3Q net profit doubles to RM51.53m
UNISEM (M) BHD saw its earnings doubled to RM51.53 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2010 (3Q10) from RM25.83 million a year ago but cautioned about a moderate decline in 4Q due to inventory adjustment in the industry. It said on Tuesday, Nov 2 that revenue climbed 30.7% to RM370.69 million from RM283.52 million.
(Source: Financial Daily)

Boustead to raise RM1bil for acquisitions, reduce borrowings
Boustead Holdings Bhd will raise up to RM1bil via a guaranteed medium term notes programme largely for acquisitions and to pare down borrowings, said deputy chairman and group managing director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin. “The initial funding will be about RM600mil, the balance will be issued at a later stage as and when we require the funds,” he said.
(Source: Star Biz)

Steel association members to invest RM5bil
The nine members of the newly-formed Malaysia Steel Association (MSA) will invest RM5bil in the next three years to boost their capacity by 3.2 million tonnes a year.
“This will make us one of the biggest steel manufacturers in the Asean region,” its president Tan Sri William Cheng said. MSA members had to-date invested about RM14.5bil in the local steel industry, he said at the
launching of the association yesterday.
(Source: Star Biz)

Futures Kuala Lumpur Index
FKLI were traded lower in Tuesday morning. At the opening, Nov10 contract lose 2.50 points to 1511.50 and Dec10 contract slipped 3.50 points to 1511.50. At midday, the spot-month FKLI futures dropped 5.00 points to close at 1509.00 points.

At the close, the FKLI ended lower with the spot-month FKLI contract weaken by 5.50 points to close at
1508.50 points. Turnover was lower at 2862 lots compared to 5488 lots in the previous trading day.
Open interests increased to 20742 contracts from 20213 contracts previously. The underlying FBM KLCI index dropped 3.09 points to 1506.57 at the close.

Futures Crude Palm Oil
FCPO benchmark of Jan11 contract opened at RM3086 per ton on Tuesday. At the close of Tuesday, Nov10 contract added RM8.00, Dec10 contract gained RM8.00, Jan11 contract lose RM2.00, and Feb11 contract unchanged RM0.00.
Volume declined to 12,719 lots from 14,307 lots a day ago, while open interests maintained to 71,293 contracts from 71,293 contracts previously.


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