Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tune Ins lower after stabilisation measures ended

Tune Ins Holdings fell four sen yesterday to RM1.30, five sen below its listing price of RM1.35, aftre the firm's underwriter ended its stabilisation measures for the shares. "During the stabilisation period between Feb 20 and 26, we had undertaken stabilising actions where a total of 31.5m Tune Ins shares were purchased at a price range of RM1.33 to RM1.35, said RHB IB. (Starbiz)

More people in their 30s reading NST

More people between the ages of 30 and 39 are reading the New Straits Times (NST), according to Nielsen Media Index as of the end 2012. Another notable fact is that at least one-third of NST readers are Chinese, as the Nielsen figures show that there was a 35% increase to 73,000 Chinese readers per issue last year from 54,000 previously. The readership of English dailies as a whole remains stable at 8.5% in 2012 with 1.35m readers, from 8.2%in 2011. NST's readership was 236,000. Readership of Malay dailies fell to 32.9% last year with 5.23m readers per issue. Harian Metro retains its lead among the Malay dailies at 21.1% with a reach of 3.35m readers. (BT)

Euromobil Launches Audi A6 Hybrid

Euromobil Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the DRB-HICOM Group and official importer as well as sole distributor of Audi in Malaysia, today launched the all-new Audi A6 hybrid, the latest Audi entrant in the executive and upper luxury car segments. The car was officially unveiled by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Mohd Khamil said Euromonil has achieved 40% growth in sales of Audi cars in 2012. The A6 hybrid is available from RM280,000 on the road without insurance and ready for test drives at all Euromobil showrooms. (Bernama)

HSL to pay out bumper dividend

Hock Seng Lee announced dividends totalling 20% for FY12, its highest ever dividend payout since its listing in 1996 following record profits. The company proposed a final dividend of 10% and a special dividend of 3% for FY12. The company paid an interim dividend of 7% to shareholders last October. The company has some 30 projects in hand worth over RM1.95bn, with RM1.05bn outstanding. (Financial Daily)

KL-Singapore HSR would consist express city-to-city and transit service

Pemandu CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala said that KL-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) would consist of two services, a express city-to-city and transit service. He said the express service will immediately connect KL directly with Singapore while the other will connect smaller towns such as Muar and Batu Pahat along the way.

He said that the KL-Singapore HSR has the potential to see the connectivity between the two cities flourish in a similar manner as the London-Paris HSR has done. He added that the ultimate aim of the HSR is to connect Penang with Bangkok and to China's rail network connecting to Beijing. (Star Biz)

MBf Holdings to be delisted

MBf Holdings CEO Tan Sri Dr Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin's acquisition of more than 90% interest in the company will result in its delisting from the stock exchange soon. In a statement, MBF said its joint offerrors, who hold more than 90% equity interest, have no intention of maintaining the listing status of the company. (Financial Daily)

Stanworth is MD of JTI Malaysia

JT International Bhd (JTI Malaysia) has appointed Robert Stanworth as its managing director with effect from Mar 1. He replaces Shigeyuki Nakano, who is assuming a new role with Japan Tobacco Inc. Stanworth, was previously general manager and managing director of JTI Germany. (BT)

MAS to buy 10 B737-400s from AAR, partner

AAR Corp, a supplier of avionics products, and its joint-venture partner have completed the sale of 10 Boeing 737-400 aircraft to Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), which the latter announced in November last year. According to AAR, the aircraft have been on lease to MAS since they were acquired by AAR's joint venture in July 2007. In November last year, MAS said it had entered into an aircraft sale agreement with the seller, Bank of Utah, for buyback acquisition of the 10 used B737-400 aircraft. (BT)

MAS eyeing new destinations in the region, particularly in China and India

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is eyeing new destinations in the region, particularly in China and India, said group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya. He also said Firefly plans to fly more routes into Indonesia, Singapore and south Thailand. Ahmad Jauhari said MAS was trending in the right direction in terms of business. "Our business plan seems to show positive result including the fourth quarter results." (Bernama)

MAS to spend RM128m on 6 new aircraft

Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS said it will spend RM128m purchase six new aircraft for its operations in Sabah and Sarawak. MAS will buy six DHC-400 aircraft from Viking Air Ltd, it said in a statement.(BT) 

Government to announce cut in car import duties from Japan and Australia today

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry will announce a cut in car duties from Japan and Australia on Thursday. Its minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said on Wednesday the reduction would be over three years for car models originating from the two countries. Speaking at the investKL media briefing, he said more details would be released on Thursday. (Starbiz)

EPF buys stake in Britain's second largest private healthcare provider

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) together with two other parties has bought into Britain's second largest private healthcare provider early this month as part of its diversification strategy. The RM3.28bn acquisition comprised 12 out of the 38 hospitals belonging to the Spire Healthcare Group spread across Britain. The other parties in the consortium are the affiliated investment funds of Och Ziff Capital Management Group, Moor Park Capital Partners and GWM Group. (Star Biz)

Meydan appproach WCT-Arabtec for an amicable settlement

The arbitration process between WCT-Arabtec JV (50:50) and Meydan LLC for the alleged breach of contract relating to the Nad Al-Shaebe Racecoure in Dubai received a proposal for the parties to consider withdrawing all pending legal cases and proceed with negotiations for an amicable settlement. WCT-Arabtec JV have yet to receive the proposal. (BMSB)

Puncak appoint HLIB as adviser

Puncak Niaga has appointed Hong Leong Investment Bank as adviser to the Selangor state's government's offer to takeover the group's water assets. Puncak has written to KDEB giving KDEB seven days to (1) provide a written confirmation on the approvals obtained from Pengurusan Asset Air Berhad (PAAB), the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Golden Shareholder of Syabas ie the MOF, and (2) clarification on certain aspects of the offers which were unclear. (BMSB) . 

SIME: CPO to trade at RM2,700-RM2,800 in H2

Sime Darby Bhd expects average crude palm oil prices to trade in the range of between RM2,700-2,800/mt in 2H13. The company said the latest report from Dorab Mistry talks about a 4% surplus production versus demand but things can change and CPO or palm product prices are very much dependent on a number of factors. The company added that the world's population is growing and the contribution of palm oil into the overall edible oil production is increasing. Also, CPO has a price advantage versus soya oil and there are many positive elements today that work in favour of palm products. (Sun Biz)

TM earnings rose 6.1% to RM1.26bn

Telekom Malaysia's earnings rose 6.1% to RM1.26bn in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012 from RM1.19bn in FY11 due to higher revenue, recognition of deferred tax income and unrealised forex gain. TM said normalised profit after tax and minority interest, excluding mainly the gain on deferred tax income and unrealised forex gain, stood at RM881.0m, an increase of 38.8% against RM634.8m in 2011. TM's revenue rose 9% to RM9.99bn from RM9.15bn in 2011, outstripping industry growth and highest since the demerger in 2008. (StarBiz)

Kindly refer to our note for detailed analysis. 

CIMB Political News - 28 February 2013

Datuk Seri G. Palanivel informed the Prime Minister yesterday of concerns over Barisan Nasional’s (BN) purported lack of action against “racist bigots” here, MIC’s S. Vell Paari has said, adding that his president will call a meeting with party leaders soon before announcing any further action. Vell Paari, the son of MIC’s longest-serving president Datuk Seri Dr S. Samy Vellu, had last week penned a scathing letter to Palanivel, demanding the party push for action against individuals like Muslim academic Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali.
  • The MIC strategy director had argued that the racially-charged remarks often made by the two were contradictions of the prime minister’s 1 Malaysia philosophy and if continued unchecked, could create civil war in Malaysia. (Malaysian Insider)

Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday said a RM12.4m case brought by 60 British investors against a former Umno treasurer will be handled and investigated by the authorities. He said this matter had been outstanding for the past four or five years, saying that the investors had even approached him for assistance.Sixty British nationals had sued former Umno treasurer Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi and his IT company, Doxport Technologies Sdn Bhd, for allegedly misappropriating US$4m in 2009.
  • The investors have set up a website, which said that several British lawmakers have written to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak about the case. Azim — who served Bank Simpanan Nasional as chairman from 1999 to 2009, and the World Savings Bank Institute as vice-president from 2006 to 2009 — is also tied up in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal as the chairman of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the main developer of the trans-shipment project. (Malaysian Insider)

The 13th general election will be fought on a virtual battleground, with social media playing a greater role in political campaigns. "I can confidently predict that this will be Malaysia's first social media election," PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. "We have already seen it (social media) serve as a catalyst for politicians to get engaged online, and that can only be a good thing," he said. Najib, who has a strong social media presence with more than one million followers on Twitter and Facebook, also launched his Instagram account under the handle "najib_razak". (Sun)

The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which contributed to the opposition's 2008 election gains, has criticised Pakatan Rakyat's manifesto, which indicated "zero commitment" to solve problems in the Indian community. Hindraf de facto leader P. Uthayakumar claimed the opposition was trying to deny there were problems. He said in contrast, BN, which had realised the problems after the 2008 polls, was already working to solve them. (NST)

The Pakatan Rakyat said its newly minted manifesto is a "dynamic" document that continues to evolve, and is not set in stone. PKR VP Tian Chua said the coalition is still holding talks with several organisations to fine-tune its offer to the people. (Sun)

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 28 February 2013

Malaysia attracted RM162.4bn in approved investments last year (RM154.6bn in 2011), which is the highest amount of investments ever despite the uncertain global economic conditions, said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Of the total investments approved, RM127.6bn (78%) were contributed by domestic investments (DDI) and RM34.8bn (22%) came from foreign investments.
  • Of the total investments approved, services accounted for 72.4% (RM117.6bn), manufacturing was 25.3% (RM41bn) while primary sectors were at 2.3% (RM3.8bn).
  • The investments approved were in 6,442 projects and are expected to generate 182,841 job opportunities. (Bernama) 

Malaysia recorded RM139.5bn in realised private investment last year, surpassing by 9.1% the targeted investment of RM127.9bn, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. Compared with 2011,the realised private investment grew 24.8% from RM111.8bn, he said. The government expects to maintain the investment growth at above 20% for this year. (Bernama, Malaysian Reserve)

The E&E industry’s sluggish performance last year had caused the drop in investments in the manufacturing sector, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. The E&E industry had experienced a “steep drop” in investments approved to RM4bn in 2012 (RM20bn in 2011).
  • He attributed the drop to the global cycle for E&E products and the new minimum wage policy which kicked in this year. “By definition, Malaysia is no longer competitive in attracting labour-intensive industries,” he said.
  • “We expect some recovery in investments in E&E in 2013,” he added. (Malaysian Insider) 

Malaysia could expect Foreign direct investments (FDIs) to increase to about US$12bn (RM37.2bn) this year from around US$10bn in 2011, as the global economy was expected to pick up, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. "Expect more interest from China and Singapore this year," he said, following the interest both countries showed in the growth corridors.
  • On the outflow of investments, he admitted there has been a wide gap with the inflow of investments in recent years but that reflects the accelerating interest of Malaysian companies to grow their businesses abroad.
  • "Direct Investment Abroad has exceeded net FDIs but that is not totally unwelcome. Investments abroad by Petronas, Khazanah Nasional and our banks have earned dividends," he added. (Starbiz, BT)

PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Wednesday launched the 1Malaysia Mobile Market (PB1M), a federal government initiative to bring essential goods direct to the middle- and low-income consumer in a move to stave off price increases. The mobile market is a 16-tonne bus modified for the purpose and will be accompanied by several small modified lorries.
  • Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said that the government had proposed an allocation of RM3m to launch the PB1M.
  • For a start, the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA) planned to introduce the mobile market in the northern, central and southern zones, he said.
  • The prime minister had requested that two more mobile markets be put into operation by April at the latest. (Bernama)

The RM5bn Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal project is progressing on schedule, with the first phase slated for completion in 1Q14, said Johor Petroleum Development Corporation chief executive Mohd Yazid Jaafar. The massive project is being jointly developed by a local company, Dialog Bhd, with Royal Vopak and the Johor Government. The project, expected to be completed in 2017, will have a jetty with a 24-metre-deep water to enable very large crude carriers to berth. (Bernama)

The Job Outlook Report by shows Malaysian employers have a bright job outlook for 1Q13. According to the report, 36% of the respondents are expecting to increase their hiring in the next 12 months, up from the 23% in 1Q12.
  • Among the 36% who indicated they were expanding the most are sales, marketing, accounting, and manufacturing. Less than 5% of the respondents (vs. 9% in 1Q12) acknowledged that they are not hiring in the foreseeable future. (Bernama)

InvestKL is in talks with at least five multinational corporations (MNCs) from the US, Europe and Japan to woo them to make Kuala Lumpur as their regional hubs. In total for this year, InvestKL is targeting to attract another 10 large MNCs, adding to the 17 which had confirmed their interest since the agency was set up 18 months ago, said its CEO Zainal Amanshah. (BT)

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) will announce an eventual cut in car import duties from Japan and Australia in a press conference today. Its minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the cuts in these duties would happen "over the next three to four years".
  • Cars which come from Asean are imported duty-free such as the cars coming from Thailand now have zero import duty, he said.
  • "We have two trade agreements which are going to materialise in the next three to four years - Australia and Japan. Import duties including cars and other items coming from these countries will be zero come 2016. We will definitely prepare our local automotive industry to face this landscape and the expected increase in competition," he said.
  • The government is expected to initially reduce the current import duty of 30% on all types of new vehicles from the two countries to 22% effective this year, sources familiar with the matter said. (Starbiz, NST)   

CIMB Global Economic News - 28 February 2013

US pending home sales rose 4.5% mom in Jan (a revised -2.0% in Dec), exceeding consensus of 3.0%. (Bloomberg)

US durable goods orders fell 5.2% mom in Jan (a revised +3.7% in Dec). Analysts had expected a reading of -4.0%. Excluding transportation, the measure rose 1.9% mom (a revised 1.0% in Dec), almost 10 times better than the 0.2% expected by the market. (Bloomberg)

The US MBA mortgage applications index fell 5.0% wow in the 22 Feb week (-2.0% in the earlier week), whilst the refinance index lost 3.0% wow (-2.0% in the earlier week). (Bloomberg)

The European Commission’s index of executive and consumer sentiment rose to 91.1 in Feb from a revised 89.5 in Jan. Economists had forecast an increase to 89.9. A gauge of sentiment among European manufacturers improved to -11.2 from -13.8 in Jan, whilst the indicator of services confidence rose to -5.4 from -7.7. Consumer sentiment increased to -23.6. (Bloomberg)

An economic survey by the government projected India's economy to grow between 6.1%-6.7% in the fiscal year that begins 1 Apr, gathering pace from an expected 5.0% expansion this year. The economy had expanded 6.2% in the last financial year, the weakest in about a decade. The survey showed the government would contain its fiscal deficit within the projected 5.3% of GDP this fiscal year and 4.8% next year. It projects inflation to ease to between 6.2% and 6.6% by the end of Mar and moderate further in the next fiscal year. (WSJ)

While soaring land revenues and profits taxes swelled Hong Kong’s public coffers to a bumper HK$64.9bn (US$8.37bn) fiscal surplus in 2012/13, the coming fiscal year that begins on 1 Apr will likely see a HK$4.9bn deficit. (Reuters) Australia's triple-A rating appears secure despite high household debt and banks' high reliance on foreign funding, Standard & Poor's said. While the economy had benefited substantially from mining, S&P said Australia had some robust credit fundamentals which supported its AAA rating. (Channel News Asia)

The Thai government will double its budget for infrastructure development over the next seven years to THB4tr, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Kittiratt Na-Ranong. The cabinet yesterday endorsed a master plan to develop various infrastructure projects over the next seven years, allowing the Finance Ministry to borrow THB2.2tr baht for the projects. Mr Kittiratt, however, said that sum will only be enough to finance major transport routes within the master plan. The government will need another THB2tr to finance the rest, he said. (Bangkok Post)

The Bank of Thailand may raise this year's economic growth projection from 4.9% in line with the improving local and regional economies, says governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul. (Bangkok Post)

Thailand's exports rose 16.1% yoy in Jan (13.5% in Dec), amplified by severe flooding that devastated industry in late 2011, underscoring still-soft global demand. Imports jumped a much-higher-than expected 41% yoy in Jan (4.7% in Dec), resulting in a record trade deficit of US$5.49bn versus Dec’s US$2.37bn deficit. (Bernama, Bloomberg) 

With rice exports moving sluggishly, Thailand’s Commerce Ministry will propose that the National Rice Policy Committee revise down its pledged price from THB15,000 a tonne to THB13,000 or THB14,000 a tonne for white paddy rice in Apr's second-crop harvest season. (The Nation)

The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue raised PP94.74bn in Jan, increasing by 11.3% yoy from PP85.15bn but falling short of the month’s target of PP100.93bn by 6.1%. (Philippine Daily Inquirer) Business receipts of the services sector in Singapore rose 4.2% yoy in the fourth quarter last year. (CNA)

Economic Update - Manufacturing investments chugging along

Manufacturing investments surged 47.9% qoq to RM9.1bn in 4Q12 (RM6.2bn in 3Q12) but declined 52.3% yoy due to a high base effect. This took full-year approved investment in the manufacturing sector to RM41.1bn, down 26.8% from RM56.1bn in 2011, largely pulled down by lower E&E investment approvals. The foreign to domestic investment share was 50.8:49.2. For 2013, we forecast moderate manufacturing approvals of RM43bn, taking into account domestic and external developments: 1) a gradual global recovery, and 2) political clarity given the looming domestic general election.

UMW Holdings - Another strong performance

Target RM14.45 (Long Term: Out perform)

With core EPS accounting for 102% of our full-year forecast and 103% of consensus estimates, FY12 results came within expectations. It would have been better but for Perodua’s disappointing 4Q12, where unit sales were down 10% yoy. The O&G division compensated for this.

Tan Chong Motor Holdings - Hit by interest expense

Target RM5.38 (Long Term: Neutral)

Coming in at 89% of our full-year forecast and 86% of consensus estimates, TCM's core FY12 EPS was below expectations due to a jump in 4Q12 interest expense. However, revenues and operating profits were in line.

Mah Sing Group - Nailing profit and sales targets

Target RM2.07 (Long Term: Neutral)

Mah Sing's final results were in line with our expectations but ahead of consensus as net profit made up 99% of our forecast and 108% of consensus numbers. It also delivered its RM2.5bn target for new sales. For 2013, Mah Sing is aiming for RM3bn sales.

Jaya Tiasa Holdings - A weak harvest in 2Q

Target RM1.92 (Long Term: Neutral)

Jaya Tiasa's 1HFY6/13 results were below expectations as it made up only 29% of our full-year forecast and 16% of consensus numbers. The main culprits were lower-than-expected FFB output and weak timber prices.

Genting Plantations - CPO price dampens 4Q results

Target RM8.94 (Long Term: Neutral)

Genting Plantations’ final core net profit results lagged our and consensus forecasts by 6% on the lower-than-expected CPO price. The average price was RM2,784/t – RM110/t below our projections due to the weaker-than-expected CPO price achieved in 4Q.

Eksons Corporation - Still getting a pulping

Target RM0.98 (Long Term: Neutral)

Surprisingly poor plywood demand from the region hammered Eksons in 9MFY3/13. Annualised net profit came in below our expectations, at 77% of our forecast. We look to US housing for signs of recovery.

BIMB Holdings - Impacted by irregular items

Target RM3.75 (Long Term: Out Perform)

BIMB’s FY12 net profit missed expectations as it only accounted for 87% of our forecast and 91% of the consensus number. This was because of (1) accounting changes that removed a RM28m gain on stake sales in 9MFY12 from earnings and (2) a higher tax rate of 31%.

Telekom Malaysia - Bolstered by lumpy items

Target RM5.70 (Long Term: Neutral)

FY12 core net profit is 10% and 7% above CIMB and market estimates, respectively, from booking in lumpy revenues in 4Q. TM's operational performance met our expectation. TM has guided for muted FY13 EBIT growth due to margin pressures, while expecting capex to ease a little. TM declared a final DPS of 12.2 sen to total 22 sen for FY12 or 90% payout, consistent with its policy and above our estimate of 20 sen. We cut our FY13-14 EPS by 3-9% to reflect opex pressure and reduce our DCF-based target price (WACC 8.9%) by 7% to factor in its subdued KPIs. TM remains a Neutral as it faces rising competition and cost pressures.

DRB-Hicom - Interim vulnerability

Target RM3.27 (Short Term: Trading Buy)

With 9MFY13 core EPS at only 27% of our full-year forecast and 20% of consensus, DRB's 3QFY13 was significantly below expectations because of its vulnerability to the aggressive pricing environment at the end of 2012 when the industry cleared inventory. We cut our EPS forecasts by 9-27% to reflect this event and cut our recommendation to Trading Buy. The stock is not an Outperform because earnings have disappointed since the takeover of Proton and DRB is vulnerable to election risk. Nevertheless the shares are trading below NTA and the re-rating catalyst of finding a foreign partner for Proton remains apparent. Our NTA-based target price remains unchanged.

Sime Darby Bhd - Lower prices cut 2Q harvests

Target RM10.20 (Long Term: Neutral)

At 48% of our full-year forecast and 45% of consensus numbers, Sime’s 1HFY6/13 core net profit was within our expectations but slightly below consensus numbers. Better CPO prices and higher property sales are expected to sustain earnings on a hoh basis. An interim dividend of 7 sen was announced, in line with expectations. The briefing left us slightly more positive due to indications of better sales order prospects for the industrial division though this is tempered by up to RM50m potential provision for its Indian oil and gas project in 4Q. We keep our SOP-based target price and earnings forecasts intact. We remain Neutral on Sime due to the near-term challenging prospects.

CIMB Daybreak - 28 February 2013

What’s on the Table...
  • Sime Darby Bhd - Lower prices cut 2Q harvests
  • DRB-Hicom - Interim vulnerability
  • Telekom Malaysia - Bolstered by lumpy items
  • BIMB Holdings - Impacted by irregular items
  • Eksons Corporation - Still getting a pulping
  • Genting Plantations - CPO price dampens 4Q results
  • Jaya Tiasa Holdings - A weak harvest in 2Q
  • Mah Sing Group - Nailing profit and sales targets
  • Tan Chong Motor Holdings - Hit by interest expense
  • UMW Holdings - Another strong performance
  • Economic Update - Manufacturing investments chugging along
News of the Day...
  • Government to announce cut in car import duties from Japan and Australia today
  • EPF buys stake in Britain's second largest private healthcare provider
  • MAS eyeing new destinations in the region, particularly in China and India
  • Malaysia attracted RM162.4bn in approved investments last year (RM154.6bn in 2011)
  • US pending home sales rose 4.5% mom in Jan (a revised -2.0% in Dec)

Click here for the full PDF report 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Moody's Investors Service taking a cautious view on KL-Sfpore high speed rail link

Despite creating a lot of excitement on both sides of the border, Moody's Investors Service is taking a cautious view on the high speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur until more details are released. The company's vice president senior analyst Christian de Guzman said, "It is definitely creating a lot of buzz but we prefer to be cautious about this. For one thing when you look at the high speed rail, we still do not know a lot of details. We do not know where in Singapore the rail link will be located, which could influence how successful this project is. The exchange of KTM land has already happened. Will there be another land exchange if you wanted to restore rail services to the middle of the city of Singapore?" He added that the general elections in Malaysia posed uncertainty as no one really knows if there is going to be a change of government later in the year. (Bernama, Malaysian Reserve)

Naza Euro unveils Citroen DS5, DS4 at new flagship centre

Naza Euro Motors yesterday unveiled the highly-anticipated Citroen DS5 and DS4 at its new Citroen Glenmarie 3S centre. The DS5 and DS4 are the first models launched by Naza Euro following its appointment as the local distributor for Citroen in January. The new cars and the RM3.5m flagship centre signal the beginning of a new era for the French brand here, said Naza Group joint executive chairman SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin. "The DS5 and DS4 will herald a new era for the Citroen brand in Malaysia. Both models are inscribed with Citroen's DNA of innovation and distinction. "These models will be targeted at those looking for something bold and unique with a striking design and high standards," Nasarudin said at the launch. (BT)

BCorp auto unit to list on Bursa's main market

Berjaya Corp (BCorp) will list its 75.4%-owned Bermaz Motor on Bursa Malaysia's main market via Berjaya Auto (BA). A key part of the proposed listing will see BA buying all Bermaz shares from BCorp and other shareholders for RM504m, or 79 sen each. This will be paid via the issuance of 720m new BA shares at 70 sen each. Upon completion of the proposed Bermaz acquisition, BA will make an initial public offering involving a public issue of 82.8m new BA shares at a price to be fixed later. This will represent 10.3% of BA's enlarged issued and paid-up share capital of RM401.4m comprising 802.8m shares. Bermaz is the local distributor of Mazda vehicles. (BT)

Lafarge unfazed by capacity rise

Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd is confident that a combination of environmentally sustainable products, continued growth in the construction sector and exports will help the company maintain its position as Malaysia's largest cement producer. Responding to comments about over capacity, CEO Bradley Mulroney said that local cement producers cannot stand still in terms of capacity or they would not be able to cope and lose their market share. However, he said price instability was bad for the market because it impacts the industry's ability to service clients efficiently. He said Lafarge Malayan was in a slightly different position because of its ability to balance between domestic and export markets and therefore has more flexibility compared to its competitors to manage capacity. (Star Biz)

Malindo Air starts flying in end-Mar

It's all go for Malindo Air after it received the air operators licence from the Malaysian government to operate in the country. Sources said Malindo can now start selling tickets for its low fare operations. It will start flying at end-March. (StarBiz)

MAS expects better results for 1Q

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which is in the midst of fund-raising, expects its 1Q financial results due 31 Mar 13 to be better than last year, group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said. "The first quarter normally has been a softer quarter traditionally because December tends to see strong travelling activity," he said. As for the full year 2013, he said it was "too early to say" but added that the national carrier was putting in all the initiatives to achieve the desired results. Ahmad Jauhari said the fourth quarter ended 31 Dec 12 seemed to have had particularly strong results. "We achieved a load factor of 77.3%," he said, adding that the full financial results will be announced by the end of this month. The airline transported 3.7m passengers during the quarter, of which 1.4m were domestic and 2.3m international travellers. It recorded a load factor of 81.4% per cent for Dec 12 alone. (BT)

Palm Oil Outlook Seen Bearish by Mistry on Oilseed

Palm oil probably will drop this year after Asian producers boosted acreage and global oilseed supplies rose, said Dorab Mistry, a Godrej International Ltd. director. The expansion of palm estates will increase output, while bad weather that disrupted soybean supplies in 2012 will prompt farmers to ramp up harvests this year, said Mistry, “High-price spirals always lead to a strong supply response, we are seeing one in 2013,” Mistry said. “The cyclical bull market in commodities also made palm plantations extremely profitable and that led to aggressive expansion of acreage. These two factors have created a bearish outlook for palm oil for 2013.” He added. (Bloomberg)

MACC insists Ahmad Zubir's case should go to trial

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deemed as premature an application by Sime Darby Bhd former president and group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshi to drop the criminal charges against him over the award of native land in Sarawak. MACC deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais instead insisted at the High Court today that the case should go to trial, where salient evidence on the charges against Zubir would be adduced. Morais was responding to an application by Zubir, for the charges against him to be dropped. At the application hearing yesterday, Zubir's lawyer Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden submitted that the charges against his client were groundless, defective and flawed, in addition to being an abuse of the court process.(Nst)

Windfall for FGVH shareholders

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) will pay 64% from its net profit as dividends for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012 (FY12) to its shareholders, according to group president and chief executive Datuk Sabri Ahmad. The FGVH board of directors has recommended a final dividend payment of 8.5 sen per share on the 3.648bn shares under the single-tier system amounting to RM310m. Earlier, FGVH, the world’s third largest oil palm estate operator, paid an interim dividend totalling RM211m, or 5.5 sen per share, on Oct 22 last year. “This figure (64% from net profit for dividends) is higher than what we have indicated in the FGVH prospectus. (Starbiz)