Monday, November 30, 2009

Autos Update: IMPORT duty removed for vehicles from Asean countries under AFTA

The government is planning strategic joint ventures between Proton Holdings and original equipment manufacturer(OEM) in a move to increase the national car maker's long-term competitiveness, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said.

On duty for cars imported from Asean countries, Mustapa said it would be abolished on January 1, 2010 under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Import duties would also be reduced or abolished under the Free Trade Agreements which the government has negotiated or signed with several countries.

More reading: TheStar
Duty structure (from MAA): Here

The conclusion from CIMB research test drive of Perodua’s new MPV, the Alza, is that it should expand the MPV pie and not eat much into the sales of other MPVs except Toyota Avanza. Considering the size, pricing and capacity of the Alza, we think that the Avanza 1.3L and 1.5L are likely to be the models more affected by Alza’s launch. The Alza should not pose head-on competition for Proton’s Exora as it is not as spacious as the Exora and targets a somewhat different market segment.

Stocks to watch: Axiata, Maxis, Wah Seong, LCL

KUALA LUMPUR: Stocks on Bursa Malaysia are expected to kick off the new month on a firmer note on Tuesday, Dec 1 after a choppy session as investors are encouraged by the latest development in the debt-laden Dubai and also a firmer close on Wall Street.

The volatile trading, which was evident among blue chips, especially those in the top 100 stocks could be due to some funds restructuring their portfolios. Companies with exposure to Dubai and Vietnam also saw some selling pressure but this could ease off.

On Wall Street, US stocks rose on Monday, Nov 30, helping the Dow post its fifth straight monthly gain, on hopes that possible fallout from Dubai's debt woes will be contained, according to Reuters.

Shortly before market close, Dubai's largest company said its planned restructuring of some units involved US$26 billion in debt, easing some concerns about the size of Dubai's financial problems.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34.92 points, or 0.34%, to end at 10,344.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 4.14 points, or 0.38%, at 1,095.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.16 points, or 0.29%, at 2,144.60.

The rout at Dubai came about after its government had announced last week that state-owned conglomerate Dubai World and its primary property subsidiary Nakheel wanted banks to delay debt repayment for six months. Dubai World had US$59 billion of liabilities as of August.

Stocks to watch include Axiata Group Bhd, Maxis Bhd, WAH SEONG CORPORATION BHD [] and LCL Corp Bhd

Axiata's net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009 surged 118.9% to RM503.67 million from RM243.89 million a year ago, boosted by higher contributions from Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd and its overseas operations.

The company reported on Nov 30 that its revenue for the period, which rose 3.1% to RM3.38 billion from RM3.27 billion a year earlier, was due to higher contribution from Celcom and Axiata (Bangladesh) Ltd (AxB). Clcom and PT Excelcomindo Pratama Tbk (XL) continued to be the main contributors of the group for the quarter.

Maxis reported net profit RM615 million in the 3Q and a 2% increase in revenue on-quarter to RM2.15 billion. It declared an interim single-tier tax exempt dividend of six sen per share, payable on Jan 15, 2010. Its entitlement date is Dec 31, 2009.  Total mobile subscriptions rose to 11.7 million, contributing to the increase in revenue.

Wah Seong Corp's pipe coating business unit secured a US$162.86 million (RM551.15 million) contract from Chevron Australia Pty Ltd to provide pipeline coatings for the Gorgon project. The contract involves coating some 850 km of pipes, with completion expected in 2012.

The Gorgon project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (Operator), ExxonMobil and Shell, to develop the Greater Gorgon gas fields, located between 130km and 200km off the north-west coast of Western Australia.

Interior fit-out company LCL Corp posted net loss of RM25.39 million in the 3Q, compared to net profit RM9.74 million a year ago due to continuous costs overrun for its Dubai projects.  Its revenue fell 61% to RM57.78 million from RM147.9 million in 2008;

LCL reported its trade receivables amounted to RM221 million while monies due for contract works from customers totalled RM154 million.

Since it was not tendering for new jobs in Dubai, LCL had incurred additional cost in right-sizing its operations, which were workers' compensation, logistics and premature termination of accommodation arrangement.

It said delayed payment from clients could also worsen the situation as it would need to bear additional operational and financing costs associated with project financing facilities procured for the projects.

YTL Corp could show some recovery after the 42 sen fall to RM7.05 on Monday in the absence of any negative news.

Written by Surin Murugiah 

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Market Makes Late Move to Higher Ground

Stocks spent the afternoon trading with modest losses after rolling over in the early going, but they managed to make a late push into positive ground during the final hour of trade. The move was led by the financial sector, which actually had been unable to provide a lift to the broader market for most of the session.

Financial stocks outperformed the broader market with relative ease for the entire session. The sector settled with a 2.7% gain, which is more than triple the gain of the next best performing sector, utilities (+0.8%). The financial sector's strength came as banks (BKX 44.48, +1.44) rebounded from the previous session's slide, which came amid concerns regarding the exposure of banks to possible defaults by Dubai World, the corporate flagship of Dubai. Concerns over the matter persisted this morning as reports indicated that the central bank of the United Arab Emirates did not say that it would provide support specifically to Dubai.

However, Dubai World released word this afternoon that its talks with banks revolve around the treatment of roughly $26 billion in debt, a number that is much smaller than what had previously been considered. That recognition propelled financials higher so that they closed at their best levels of the session. The news also quelled some of the broader market's concern and helped it climb out of the red to settle near its own session highs.

The greenback oscillated amid concerns coming from Dubai. However, the Dollar Index surrendered its midsession gains and fell to a fractional loss, which also helped give support to the broader market.

Retailers still struggled, though. Their weakness stemmed from word that sales were soft during "Black Friday." As a group, retailers finished 0.5% lower, dragging the consumer discretionary sector to a 0.4% loss.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Picture of Day: Stock Pulse

Stocks to watch: KNM, GBH, Favelle Favco, Mamee

KUALA LUMPUR: Investors will again have to brace for a volatile week ahead starting Nov 30 as investment sentiment is expected to be impacted by the worries about a possible default from a Dubai state-owned conglomerate.

On Wall Street, stocks fell as investors sold financial and commodity-linked sectors which were most sensitive to economic uncertainty.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.48% to end at 10,309.92. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 1.72% to 1,091.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.73% to 2,138.44.

At Bursa Malaysia, the last batch of the corporate results for the quarter ended Sept 30 will be released on Monday

Last Thursday, the 30-stock FBM KLCI lost 0.39 point to close at 1,270.61 as investors took profit ahead of the long weekend. Market breadth was weaker, as losers beat gainers 401 to 267 gainers.

Stocks to watch on Monday include KNM Group, Goh Ban Huat, Favelle Favco and Mamee-Double Decker.

KNM's third quarter net profit fell 69.1% to RM31.92 million from RM103.42 million a year ago, while revenue declined 38.6% to RM458.35 million from RM746.2 revenue shrank amid a slower global economic landscape.

It attributed the weaker performance due to the global economic slowdown and the full effect of intangible asset amortisation after acquiring Borsig.

KNM also said the memorandum of agreement with Sofinter SpA to set out the commercial terms for its boiler business joint venture had lapsed as mutually agreed by the parties.

In Goh Ban Huat, it sank deeper into the red with net loss of RM11.26 million against RM335,000 a year ago due to one time stock write off of RM1.2 million, stocks provision of RM4.3 million and higher administration expenses.

Favelle Favco's net profit jumped to RM7.168m versus RM2.311m a year ago. The improvement in net
profit was mainly contributed by improvement in margin from sales of cranes.

As at Nov 20, its outstanding order book is RM495 million of which 58% is from oil and gas cranes for the offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities. The rest are from the shipyard, CONSTRUCTION [] and wind turbine industry.

Favelle Favco, which had cash of RM95.7 million, said it would  continue to execute and deliver its existing order book secured in hand. However, it cautioned the outlook appeared challenging although it expected to maintain market share from its diversified customer base.

Mamee-Double Decker reported its net profit rose nearly 86% to RM12.1 million from a year ago, underpinned by improved consumer spending and also favourable sales mix. Revenue rose only 2.84% to RM113.86 million.

As for Guinness Anchor, its net profit fell 43.5% to RM26.75 million from RM47.32 million a year ago due to lower demand for its malt liquor beverages during the difficult economic conditions. Revenue fell 17.7% to RM300.97 million from RM365.8 million.

Written by Joseph Chin

Friday, November 27, 2009

DUBAI Crisis: Panic Sell or Weakness Buy?

Dubai World, with $59 billion of liabilities, is seeking to delay debt payments, sending contracts protecting against default rose 116 basis points to 434 basis points yesterday, the most since they began trading in January, ranking it the sixth highest-risk government borrower, according to credit-default swap prices from CMA Datavision in London. 

The swap contracts pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a company fail to adhere to its debt agreements. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point and is equivalent to $1,000 a year on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.  

Back in BURSA, we saw construction companies which have projects in Dubai being sold off last week (Gamuda, IJM, Zelan ...). Besides, it also drag down the other construction stocks as well (SUNWAY, E&O, SPSETIA ...)

BURSA may require few days to absorb the bad news (which actually started last week on construction sector). However, UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, said it expects the U.A.E. will prevent a default by Nakheel. Dubai is one of seven sheikhdoms in the U.A.E. that includes Abu Dhabi, which holds 8 percent of the world’s oil reserves and bought $5 billion of bonds sold by Dubai on 25 Nov through state-controlled banks.

Therefore, the risk of contagion and new credit crunch was low as Middle East is not the vital engine of growth to drive the recovery of global economy. Dubai World’s more than 70 creditors face the prospect of writedowns on as much as $60 billion of debt if they haven’t unloaded their holdings and the state-owned company fails to win additional support from Abu Dhabi. The number of banks impacted is not global and wide scale as been seen in the sub prime crisis. Those banks should be able to write down safely.

Like the old saying: Greed when people fear. It will be good strategy to buy on weakness if you see oversold signal in stocks provided there is no more "shocking" news release from finance sectors in coming days.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Picture of Day: 认清自己, 方能克敌

Know the purpose of your investment and types of stock going to buy are utterly essential.

Book to share part#1: 炒股的智慧

华尔街有两位炒手不断交易一罐沙丁鱼罐头,每一次甲方都用更高的价钱从乙方手里买 进,这样双方都赚了不少钱。一天,甲决定打开罐头看看:一罐沙丁鱼为什么要卖这么高价钱?



有一個記者靠拋硬幣在十字坐標上畫線,正面就升一格,反面就降一格,拋了幾十遍後畫出一條曲線。他稱這是一隻股票的走勢圖,請一位著名的技術分析專家研 究。該專家非常興奮:此股極具上升潛力!他再三詢問股票名稱,記者如實相告;專家盛怒之下,拂袖而去。後來,這個回味無窮的故事上了《華爾街日報》。 

什麼時候會高興?什麼時候會生氣?大體來說,受到讚揚會高興,受到批評會生氣。股票也差不多吧?被追捧時會升,被拋售時會跌。人們為什麼買股票?因為股票 在升,在升!人們為什麼賣股票?因為股票在跌,在跌,跌! 所以股票看上去很簡單:不是上,就是下,否則就是不動。有第四種運動方式嗎?暫時還想像不到。可如果炒股真的簡單到“二十天均線穿過五十天均線是最佳買入 點”的話,大家還起早貪黑地上班幹嗎?全民皆股算了,呵呵。炒股就是鬥爭,與天鬥其樂無窮,與地鬥其樂窮,與莊鬥其樂無窮;經驗和技巧固然重要,站在人性 高度上戰天鬥地更是其樂無窮。

性討厭風險,所以小賺就跑,小賠時卻不忍割肉;人發財心太急,所以下注大,賠光也快;人好自以為是,所以執著於自己的分析,忽略了股票真實的走向;人好跟 風,所以常常丟掉自己的原則;人好報復,所以猶如賭徒一般,輸了一手,下一手下注就加倍,再輸,再加倍,於是剔光頭的時間又加快了。 

有辦法嗎?有!不然那些專以炒股為生的同類豈不要餓死? 聽聽索羅斯的話:市場是愚蠢的,你也用不著太聰明。你不用什麼都懂,但你必須在某一方面懂得比別人多。

A really nice book, just finish the first part.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stocks to watch Sime Darby, MAS, MMC, Puncak Niaga, Genting

Bellwether indices in the region closed mostly higher yesterday. The Shanghai Composite Index rebounded by 2% after slumping the day before on fears of a government clampdown on bank lending.

However, at home, the FBM KLCI was trading mostly sideways. The index was in the red for the better part of the day but losses were limited. The benchmark index ended the day just one point lower at 1,271.


Sime Darby’s net profit for the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2009 (1QFY10) fell 21% to RM684.64 million from RM866.98 million, underpinned by lower average crude palm oil (CPO) price.

Revenue was 11.13% lower at RM7.74 billion compared with RM8.705 billion a year earlier.

However, moving forward Sime Darby’s earnings is expected to improve as CPO prices are already on the uptrend. Yesterday, CPO  closed RM4 higher at RM2,482 per tonne from RM2,478 on Tuesday. Sime Darby closed three sen higher at RM8.98 yesterday.

MAS shares might extend its losses today after announcing a net loss of RM299.6 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009 versus RM38.1 million profit in the same period last year. The counter closed six sen lower at RM3.10 yesterday.

Despite early signs of improvement in passenger and cargo traffic, the national carrier said the outlook for the fourth quarter continues to be challenging as yields remained under pressure.

MMC Corporation Bhd’s shares are also expected to see some movement today after the company terminated the memorandum of understanding with Dubai World to jointly develop areas in south Johor.

The plan was for MMC and Dubai World to develop a maritime centre masterplan that would comprise oil terminal activities, drydocks, a shipyard, including conventional cargo handling facilities. MMC closed at RM2.50 yesterday.

Water concessionaire Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd might come under close watch today after the Selangor state government said it would not pay compensation to Puncak's subsidiary Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).

The state government said Puncak should not have included the compensation into its recently-announced quarterly and nine-month results and called for the concessionaire to rectify the matter and be "responsible" towards its shareholders.

Investors should also monitor other Selangor water-players, namely KUMPULAN PERANGSANG SELANGOR [] Bhd (KPS) as the Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd’s (PAAB) due diligence on all four state water companies nears completion. The due diligence is expected to conclude by next week.

Puncak closed three sen higher at RM3.24 while KPS gained five sen to end at RM1.48 yesterday.

Genting Bhd may draw investors’ interest today after reporting a sterling third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009 net profit of RM371 million against a loss of RM40 million a year ago.

The gaming giant said in a statement that while the global economy continues to show signs of recovery, it remains cautiously optimistic of its prospects. Genting closed three sen lower at RM7.08 yesterday.

Written by Isabelle Francis and Yong Yen Nie

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Plenty of Positive Catalysts, but Modest Gains Follow

A new 52-week low for the Dollar Index and a generally pleasing batch of economic data helped stocks make their way higher. However, buyers lacked the potency to push through resistance near 2009 highs as participation lacked ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Renewed pressure against the U.S. dollar sent the Dollar Index to a 1.1% loss, its worst single-session percentage drop in nearly four months. The drop also put the Dollar Index at a fresh 12-month low, but gave a broad lift to the equity market.

Participants were also generally pleased by the latest dose of data, which showed that personal income for October increased 0.2% and personal spending for October increased 0.7%. Respective increases of 0.1% and 0.7% had been widely expected. Core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for October made a month-over-month increase of 0.2%, which exceeded the 0.1% increase that had been forecast.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending November 21 fell more than expected to 466,000, which marks the first time in one year that initial claims fell below 500,000. Meanwhile, continuing claims fell more than expected to 5.42 million, which marks a multimonth low. However, the decline in continuing claims still stems mostly from the expiration of unemployment benefits.

New home sales spiked a surprisingly strong 6.2% in October to an annualized rate of 430,000. The consensus had called for a mere 0.4% increase.

The only disappointing piece of data came from the latest durable goods orders report, which showed that orders fell 0.6% in October. The consensus had called for a 0.5% increase. Orders less transportation fell 1.3%, but had been expected to increase 0.7%. The considerable misses were countered by news that orders and orders less transportation for the previous month were revised higher to reflect an increase of 2.0% and 1.8%, respectively. That's double what had initially been reported.

Amid the largely positive dose of data and the dollar's dramatic drop, materials stocks made the strongest gains. The sector settled 1.5% higher.

Gold was a primary source of support for the materials sector. The yellow metal finished 1.7% higher at $1185.50 per ounce after setting a new record high near $1190 per ounce.

Oil prices also benefited from dollar weakness. Crude prices had started the session in negative territory, but rebounded to finish with a 2.6% gain at $77.96 per barrel. A slightly smaller-than-expected inventory build of 1.02 million barrels helped the move, but enthusiasm for that figure was initially mitigated by a larger-than-expected build of 1.0 million barrels of gasoline.

Financials made up the only sector in the S&P 500 that failed to make a gain. The sector lost 0.2% as participants continued to push against shares of diversified financial services players, which lost 0.9% as a group.

Despite broad-based gains, the S&P 500 was unable to push through resistance near 1113, which marks its 2009 high. Stocks were still able to close near session highs, though their gains were modest.

There wasn't much behind this session's move, however. Trading volume didn't even break 800 million shares on the NYSE. That's the lowest level in three months, but it shouldn't come as much of a surprise since U.S. markets are closed tomorrow in observance of Thanksgiving.

Treasuries had a solid session as the benchmark 10-year Note turned a loss of nearly 10 ticks into a gain of roughly 10 ticks. That put the yield on the Note down to 3.26%, which is its lowest level in one month. The rebound was helped by strong results from an auction of 7-year Treasuries. The auction produced a yield of 2.84% and attracted a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.76. That is above the previous auction's bid-to-cover ratio and that of recent averages.

Streamyx Revenge: New Upgrade Promotion (Until 31 Dec !) 睇你死没

TMnet has couter attack P1 with the new upgrade promotion below:


Detail link: Here
You can upgrade through TM online system: Here
I just upgraded for my own pacakge :)

Nice, users always get more benefit if there is fair competition in the ISP industry like mobile industry few years back (still remember the MAXIS HOTLINK prepaid card that cost RM2xx last time :) )

Please note:
This promotion is only applicable for existing Streamyx customers who have served a minimum period of 1 year. Promotion end 31 Dec 2009, act now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Flat Finish as Headlines Fail to Inspire

There were plenty of trading catalysts this session, but participants were generally subdued and left stocks to trade with moderate losses in light volume ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The stock market spent virtually the entire session in negative territory after stocks had logged solid gains in the previous session. Unlike the previous session, though, the dollar bounced between moderate gains and losses before it finished flat. Overseas markets also offered little support as they were hampered with weakness; the Shanghai Composite closed 3.5% lower due, in part, to concern for a lack of market-supportive measures from the country's officials.

Upon a second look, U.S. GDP was determined to have expanded at a 2.8% rate in the third quarter. That was in step with expectations, but it marked a considerable downward revision to the 3.5% increase that was posted as part of the advance GDP estimate.

Despite expectations for the downward revision, the Fed raised its GDP target for 2009 to the range -0.4% to -0.1% from the range -1.5% to -1.0%, according to the minutes from the November 4 FOMC meeting.

Though there is no empirically proven corollary between consumer confidence and spending, participants showed a short-lived, positive response to news that the November Consumer Confidence Index improved to a better-than-expected reading of 49.5. Retailers showed some strength early, but settled the session flat.

However, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO 15.01, +0.47) was a strong performer after it posted third quarter adjusted earnings that met expectations. Discount retailer Dollar Tree (DLTR 51.33, +2.23) brought in better-than-expected earnings and issued in-line guidance.

The biggest earnings announcement came from Dow component Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 50.19, -0.83), however. The company posted in-line earnings that reflected its preannouncement and affirmed an in-line outlook, which it had recently raised. Still, the lack of positive surprises in the report left it to lag for the entire session.

Financials proved to be the biggest drag on trade, though. The sector fell 0.8%. Bank stocks had been under pressure in the early going after Financial Times reported that the Federal Reserve has asked nine of the nation's largest banks to outline how they intend to repay TARP. Though regional banks (-0.3%) and diversified banks (-0.4%) were able to limit their losses, diversified financial services institutions (-1.5%) suffered. Even Bank of America (BAC 16.10, -0.19) couldn't be helped by news that analysts at Fitch placed the lender's Individual Rating on Rating Watch Positive.

At the other end of the performance scale was telecom. The sector finished 1.0% higher, but its lack of weight in the broader market kept it from providing any real leadership. Nonetheless, its gains extended its 2.6% advance in the previous session.

Health care was also a solid performer. The sector closed with a 0.8% gain. Dow component Merck (MRK 36.22, -0.20) failed to participate in the advance, but announced to investors a new $3 billion share repurchase program.

Treasuries found support after a directionless start. In turn, the benchmark 10-year Note advanced 12 ticks, which lowered its yield to 3.30%. The advance followed results from an auction of 5-year Treasuries. The auction fetched a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.81, which is the highest bid-to-cover of the year for the maturity.

Trading volume on the NYSE failed to eclipse 1.0 billion shares for the second straight session. The low level of participation is expected to continue through this week, due to the observance of Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Picture of Day: 进股的大忌

Stocks to watch Proton, MISC, KSL, Faber, TA Global, DNP

KUALA LUMPUR: Trading on the local bourse got off to a slow start this week despite the country's better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) numbers in the third quarter, which contracted 1.2% year-on-year.

Stocks are still expected to trade mostly sideways after last week's consolidation, according to an OSK Research report. The stock market closed 3.5 points lower at 1,270.9 points on Nov 23.

However, more data coming from the US later this week on home sales, unemployment and consumer confidence may boost investor sentiment if things appear to be looking up.

Stocks to watch on the local bourse include PROTON HOLDINGS BHD [], MISC BHD [], KSL HOLDINGS BHD [], FABER GROUP BHD [], UTUSAN MELAYU (M) BHD [], BOUSTEAD HOLDINGS BHD [], TA Global Bhd and DNP HOLDINGS BHD [].

Proton Holdings Bhd yesterday announced improved results for its second quarter ended Sept 30, 2009. It also hinted at an announcement involving a strategic tie-up "very soon" although it declined to provide further details.

The national car-makers posted a net profit of RM82.06 million, double that from RM43.81 million reported in 2Q08.

MISC Bhd has proposed to raise RM5.21 billion via a renounceable rights issue of 743.97 million new shares on the basis of one rights share for every five shares at an issue price of RM7 each.

Despite a poorer performance in its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009, MISC expects its earnings from long-term charters in the LNG and offshore businesses to cushion the downward pressure on falling rates in petroleum, chemical and container shipping.

KSL shares will also be in focus following the Federal Court ruling on Nov 23 on a legal case involving its subsidiary KSL Realty Sdn Bhd.

The Federal Court dismissed KSL Realty's application to review a decision by another court panel that disallowed the company from appealing the Court of Appeal's decision to overturn a High Court decision in favour of KSL Realty against Danaharta Hartanah.

The four-year court battle has been ongoing over parcels of land measuring 1,516 acres in Johor.

Faber Group Bhd (FBG) is also in focus following its RM142.1 million one-year contract to upgrade and develop infrastructure facilities at Madinat Zayed Zone-1 in Abu Dhabi, with renewal options.

Assuming the contract is renewed annually for an additional four-year period, the total contractual sum will amount to RM710.5 million. The contract is expected to contribute positively to the group's earnings for the year ending Dec 31, 2009.

Malay-language news group Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd announced a rise in net profit to RM8.28 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30,2009 from RM33,000 a year earlier due to lower costs.

Utusan saw higher pre-tax profit of RM10.1 million on-quarter against RM300,000 in 2Q09. Revenue rose 5.7% qoq from RM84.7 million mainly due to higher higher advertising revenue.

Meanwhile, Boustead Holdings Bhd, saw net profit picking up 84% to RM86.2 million in 3Q ended Sept 30, 2009 from the preceding quarter. However, this is still significantly lower from the RM164 million a year earlier. Its revenue also showed a slight pick-up of 11% from 2Q09 to RM1.42 billion.

TA Global Bhd, the newly-listed property development arm of TA ENTERPRISE BHD [] is also in focus as its leaders announce plans to look beyond hotels and commercial buildings in Canada and Australia.

Shares of TA Global made its debut yesterday, at an opening price of 50 sen per share. It closed at 47.5 sen on a volume of 38.73 million.

DNP Holdings Bhd, which posted a 22.6% rise in net profit to RM9.8 million for the first quarter ended September, has acquired 9.4 acres of leasehold land in Pekan Penaga in Petaling Jaya worth RM56 million to expand its landbank.

The group expects to see an improvement across the board for its property development and manufacturing divisions as the economy exhibits signs of recovering.

Written by Melody Song

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Dollar's Drop Brings Back Buyers

A drop by the dollar brought buyers in from the sidelines after stocks had fallen for three straight sessions. Early support helped the S&P 500 come within just a couple of points of a new 2009 high, but resistance at current highs left stocks to gradually pare gains for the remainder of the session.

The Dollar Index erased its gains from the previous two sessions with a 0.6% fall. Indian Prime Minister Singh offered support for the greenback, but comments by Chicago Fed President Evans and St. Louis Fed President Bullard stirred selling pressure against the currency. Evans made it known that he thinks near-zero interest rates will remain well into 2010, while Bullard wants to keep the Fed's Mortgage-Backed Securities program active beyond the first quarter of 2010.

There weren't many market-moving headlines for participants to digest this session, though the latest home sales figures proved pleasing. Existing home sales for October made a sharp 10.1% month-over-month spike, which lifted sales to an annualized rate of 6.10 million units. The consensus had called for a 2.3% monthly increase to an annual rate of 5.70 million units. The stronger-than-expected increase in sales took supply down 7.0 months, the lowest since February 2007.

All 10 major sectors were able to put together solid gains as a result of broad-based support. Telecom settled with the best gains; it advanced 2.6% after AT&T (T 26.78, +0.76) received positive coverage by Barron's.

The energy sector had been a leader in the early going. It had benefited from broader market support and a sharp rise in oil prices, which were also bolstered by the dollar's downturn. However, energy surrendered some of its advance to finish with a 1.6% gain as oil prices pulled back to settle with a fractional gain at $77.52 per barrel.

Gold prices maintained steady strength, though. The precious metal ascended to a new all-time high at $1174.00 per ounce and closed with a 1.6% gain at $1164.80 per ounce. That sent gold stocks up 2.1% and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD 114.29, +1.35) up solidly.

Treasuries were able to resist an early selling effort and finish fractionally higher. That put the yield on the benchmark 10-year at 3.35%, while the yield on the 2-year stands at 0.72%. Treasuries came into closer focus with the results of a $44 billion auction of 2-year Treasuries. The auction drew a yield of 0.80% and a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.16, which is better than recent averages.

Overall trading volume on the NYSE was well below the 50-day moving average of 1.28 billion shares. The light action is expected to continue with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up on Thursday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Picture of Day: 决战股市,散户必修

Example (i can think of):
勇 : Gpacket
力: Kfima, RCE, Gopeng
危: lityan
攻: TA
择: ONG, food related stocks

You are welcome to provide feedback as well ;)


Submitting Merchant Bank
Company Name
Stock Name
Date Announced

Instrument Type
Preference Shares
Irredeemable Cumulative Preference Shares
Listing Date
Issue Date
Issue/ Ask Price
MYR 0.5000
Issue Size Indicator
Issue Size in Unit
Maturity Date
Revised Maturity Date
Exercise/ Conversion Period
2.00 Year(s)
Revised Exercise/ Conversion Period

Exercise/ Conversion Ratio
Mode of satisfaction of Exercise/ Conversion price
Tendering of securities
Settlement Type/ Convertible Into
Physical (Shares)
Exercise/ Strike/ Conversion Price
MYR 0.5000

Remarks :
Tenure : 5 years commencing from and inclusive of the date of issue.

Conversion period/status :
(a) The ICPS will not be convertible from the date of issue until the end of year 3 from the date of issue;

(b) Commencing after the end of year 3 from the date of issue until the maturity date, the ICPS is convertible into ordinary shares of the Issuer at the Conversion Price; and

(c) Mandatory conversion of all outstanding ICPS held by ICPS holders by the Issuer at Maturity Date

No cash outlay is required by the holders of ICPS for the conversion of ICPS into ordinary shares.

Redemption of Preference Share:

i) Redeemable Preference Shares:
A company may issue this type of shares on the condition that the company will repay the amount of share capital to the holders of this category of shares after the fixed period or even earlier at the discretion of the company. Section 80 of the Companies Act, 1956 deals with the redemption of preference shares.

ii) Irredeemable Preference Shares:
The preference shares, which do not carry the agreement of redemption are known as irredeemable preference shares.

iii) Convertible Preference Shares:
This type of shares enjoy the right to the holder to get them converted into equity shares according to the terms and conditions of the issue.

iv) Non-convertible Preference Shares:
The holders of these shares do not enjoy the right to get the shares converted into equity shares. Unless otherwise stated, Preference shares are non-convertible.

v) Participating Preference Shares:
The holder of this type of preference shares enjoy the right to participate in the surplus  profits, if any, after the equity shareholders have been paid dividend at a rate fixed in the AGM. So the shareholders get additional dividend with their normal dividend.

vi) Non-participating Preference Shares:
These shares carry only a fixed rate of dividend without any right to get additional dividend. Unless otherwise stated, The preference shares are non-participating.

vii) Cumulative Preference Shares:
The cumulative preference shares carry the right to a fixed amount of dividend. The holders of these shares are entitled to get dividend out of future profit if current year’s profit is insufficient for the same. So, the dividend on these shares accumulates till the final payment.

viii) Non-cumulative Preference Share:
In this case the dividend for the shareholders does not accumulate. If there is no sufficient profit, this type of preference shareholders will not get any dividend. In this case, the dividend will be lapsed and there will be no arrear dividend.

Stocks to watch: AirAsia, TM, Uzma, Sino Hua-an

KUALA LUMPUR: The third-quarter GDP data for Malaysia, which beat expectations, should provide some support for investors to nibble on equities for the coming trade-shortened week, starting Nov 23.

Hovever, the continued weakness on Wall Street could check the buying interest after US stocks fell for a third straight day on Friday following weaker-than-expected results from Dell and homebuilder D.R. Horton.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.14% to 10,318.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.32% to 1,091.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.50% to 2,146.04.

As for the Malaysian economy, the worst is over as GDP contracted moderately to 1.2% in the 3Q, mainly due to a decline in the manufacturing sector. However, the economy showed signs of recovery after shrinking 3.9% in 2Q and 6.2% in 1Q.

As for corporate news, there were some positive results from AIRASIA BHD [], TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD [], PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BHD [] and PPB GROUP BHD []. Meanwhile, UZMA BHD [] reported successful drilling in Mongolia while in Sino Hua-An, Lembaga Tabung Haji had continued to increase its stake.

Other earnings expected this week are from Sime Darby, IOI Corp, KL Kepong, MAS, Axiata and Proton.

AirAsia Bhd posted net profit of RM130.07 million in 3Q from net loss of RM465.53 million a year ago  as revenue improved and it reported forex translation gain.

Its 3Q revenue rose 4% to RM739.67 million from RM707.91 million while earnings per share were 5.30 sen versus loss per share of 19.6 sen. Core operating profit was RM34 million, a reversal from a loss of RM82 million in 3Q08. The strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar has resulted in a translation gain of RM102 million during the quarter.

In Telekom, its operating profit before finance cost rose 186.1% to RM212.3 million from RM74.2 million a year ago. The better peformance was mainly due to higher revenue, lower depreciation charge in current year quarter and loss on disposal of an equity investment in 3Q08.

PLUS Expressways Bhd reported net profit of RM311.5 million vs RM241.75 million. It has thus far achieved 28.1% lane-kilometre growth against the target of 30% growth in lane kilometre
by end 2009.

Toll collection in 3Q was higher by RM61.7 million or 11.4% as compared to the third quarter 2008. The increase was mainly due to higher contribution from PLUS of RM55.0 million attributable to a traffic growth of 14.2% in the current quarter as a result of the high travelling during the Hari Raya festive. Total revenue for 3Q of RM815.2 million was RM98.0 million or 13.7% higher than a year ago.

In PPB Group, 3Q net profit rose surged 187.5% to RM595.1 million from a year ago due mainly to a higher profit contribution of RM943 million from its associate Wilmar International Ltd as well as improved results of its sugar refining operations.

Uzma reported it has successfully completed the Baiyin Chagan Da-9 drilling in Inner Mongolia. The drilling consist of five wells cluster aimed mainly at establishing a pattern for further field development and one strategic well at the neighboring field, Da-13 to extend UZMA's vision in looking ahead for more opportunities to develop into the future.

In Sino Hua-An, LEmbaga Tabung Haji bought six more million shares from Nov 16 to 18, increasing its stake to 7.29% or 81.8 million shares.

Written by Joseph Chin

Friday, November 20, 2009

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Stocks Slip Amid Lack of Positives

A lack of positive catalysts and a stronger dollar weighed on stocks for the entire session and helped hand the market a fractional loss for the week.

An earnings miss last evening from Dell (DELL 14.29, -1.58) had already put participants in a dour mood, while weakness in overseas markets also weighed on things -- Asia's major indices slid amid reports that policymakers are talking about the possibility of imposing capital controls, while Europe's bourses moved lower following discussions of withdrawing liquidity measures from European Central Bank (ECB) President Trichet.

The U.S. dollar finished with a gain of just over 0.4%, about half of what it had sported at its session high. Its strength proved burdensome for the broader market for the entire session, though there were a few advancers.

Pharmaceuticals were able to advance 1.2%. That helped the health care sector finish with a 0.6% gain. Utilities (+0.2%) and consumer staples (+0.1%) were the only other two sectors to advance.

Energy was the worst performing sector. It fell 0.9%, due to broader market pressure and a 0.8% drop in oil prices, which took oil to $76.83 per barrel.

Gold was able to break free from the grip of a stronger dollar, however. The yellow metal had been in negative ground in the early going, but settled with a 0.6% gain at $1148.40 per ounce.

Still, general weakness among stocks gave the S&P 500 its third straight loss and a weekly decline of 0.2%, its first of the month. Stocks are up roughly 1.1% month-to-date, though.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All Eyes on Airasia: Q3 result and dual listing in Thailand

PETALING JAYA: Several regional airlines have incurred huge losses in the third quarter of this year although demand for passenger air travel is trickling in, and it will be interesting to see what financial numbers the local carriers will report this week and next.

For AirAsia Bhd, analysts are upbeat that its financial results for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2009 will be good but they cannot say the same for Malaysia Airlines (MAS), even though the latter is expected to show better financial numbers for its fourth quarter.

“AirAsia’s financial numbers for Q3 should be pretty strong,’’ said an analyst. The airlines’s passenger growth in Q3 was said to be stable, with load factor at about 75.4%.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, in an SMS reply, said Q3 was always the weakest quarter “but we are happy with the results’’. The airline will release its results today.

For the first half-year ended June 30, AirAsia’s net profit was RM342mil on revenue of RM1.37bil. For Q2, it was RM139mil and RM657mil respectively. Analysts project RM513mil net profit and RM2.7bil sales for the full year.

Updates: AirAsia records net profit of RM130m in 3Q

Dual Listing

AirAsia has plans for a dual listing in Thailand to achieve its vision of becoming a full-fledged Asian airline, the New Straits Times reported Friday.

"The plan is to list AirAsia group in Thailand and later on in Indonesia. The performance of both associates is dramatically improving and we are working on a suitable structure to inject them into a common shares," Tony Fernandes, AirAsia's chief executive, was quoted as saying by the daily.

According to the daily, AirAsia is currently in discussions with lead arranger CIMB Group to map out its listing details.

"It is still too early to provide details and when and how many shares will be floated. But we are looking at issuing new shares," Fernandes said.

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Closing out the day

Stocks closed lower as a stronger dollar put downward pressure on equities and other riskier investments, including commodities. Additional downward pressure came from a BOA-Merrill downgrade of chipmakers. Materials, energy and industrial stocks were among the hardest hit. NYSE breadth was 25-6 negative, NASDAQ breadth was 21-5 negative.

Gold and crude oil futures skidded as the dollar index rose. Treasuries moved higher. Economic data was a mixed bag: the Philadelphia Fed Index, Leading Indicators and mortgage foreclosures rose; weekly Initial Jobless Claims were flat.

Stocks are slightly above their intraday lows and all three indices are down more than 1 percent heading into the final hour. A stronger dollar and disappointing economic data convinced traders to take profits this morning. Profit taking could continue into the close unless an unexpected bit of good news hits the wires. Dow Chemical (DOW) and Whirlpool (WHR) are down 4%. Apple (AAPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are down 3%. GameStop (GME) is up 2%. The Put/Call Volume Ratio is at 1.02 while the Put/Call Open Interest ratio is at 0.92.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stocks to watch: Maxis, RHB Cap, AZRB, Talam

KUALA LUMPUR: Maxis Bhd will be the focus of investors' attention as it makes it debut again on Bursa Malaysia, minus it overseas operations, on Thursday, Nov 19.

Investors will also focus on domestic news and corporate developments following the lacklustre closing on Wall Street overnight.

US stocks snapped three days of gains on Wednesday, Nov 18 following worrisome outlooks from two major software makers and a surprising drop in home CONSTRUCTION [] last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average 0.11% to 10,426.31, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 0.05% to finish at 1,109.80 while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.48% to end at 2,193.14.

Stocks to watch on Thursday include RHB CAPITAL BHD [], AHMAD ZAKI RESOURCES BHD [] (AZRB) and Talam Corp Bhd.

On Maxis, Kenanga Investment Research accorded a fair value of RM5.50 for the shares. The research house said its discounted cashflow value of RM5.50 implied a FY10F multiple of 16.8 times and a yield of 4.7%.

"This is a slight premium to DiGi’s 16 times and yield of 6% which is deemed justified given Maxis’ leadership in the mobile space and profitability," it said.

The IPO raised RM11.2 billion, with the final selling price fixed at RM5 per share for institutions and RM4.75 for retail investors.

RHB Cap's net profit fell 6.6% to RM334.81 million in its 3Q ended Sept 30, 2009 (3QFY09) from RM358.34 million a year ago, partly due to higher allowance for losses on loans and financing, and other operating expenses.

AZRB secured a project from the Public Works Department worth RM309.37 million to build a complex along Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, Kuala Lumpur.

In Talam, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was quoted as saying the state government would go ahead to acquire the company's RM391.7 million debt which was owed to several of the state agencies.

YTL Corp Bhd is restructuring its two real estate investment trusts (REITs), repositioning its Malaysian-listed property trust as a pure global hospitality entity and turning its Singapore-listed REIT into a retail-centric concern.

Written by Joseph Chin

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Dollar's Decline Does Little for Stocks

Despite weakness in the U.S. dollar, stocks spent nearly the entire session mired in weakness. Losses remained contained, however.

Participants showed indifference to renewed selling against the greenback, which took the Dollar Index back toward the 52-week lows that it set earlier this week. It settled with a 0.4% loss.

Though the dollar spent the entire session in the red, the broader market struggled to shake free from its own spell of weakness. Large-cap tech issues were among the primary laggards; that caused the Nasdaq to trail the other headline indices.

Financials helped lead the broader market on a late charge back toward the neutral line, though. The sector had outperformed for the entire session and was able to finish with a 0.9% gain. Its strength was rooted in banking issues. As such, the KBW Banking Index advanced 1.4%.

Zimmer Holdings (ZMH 58.03, +1.28) helped the health care sector put together a solid 0.4% gain. Shares of the medical equipment and supplies company were upgraded by analysts at UBS.

Several consumer staples stocks ripped higher late in the session amid news from Daily Telegraph that Reckitt Benckiser is close to announcing a cross-border transaction that is suspected to involve a consumer staples play. The consumer staples sector settled flat, though.

Though the dollar's drop did little for stocks, it helped prop up precious metals prices. Gold futures hit another new all-time high of $1153.40 per ounce, but settled fractionally higher at $1141.20 per ounce.

Oil prices oscillated. Bullish inventory data drove oil prices up more than 1% in midmorning trade, but it then rolled over in midafternoon trade. Crude managed to rebound and close up 0.5% at $79.52 per barrel.

The latest dose of economic data indicated that consumer prices for October increased 0.3%, which is a bit stronger than the 0.2% increase that had been widely expected. Core prices increased 0.2%, which is also bit stronger than the 0.1% monthly increase that had been widely forecast.

Housing starts for October came in at an annualized rate of 529,000, which is below the rate of 600,000 that had been widely expected. Meanwhile, building permits came in at an annualized rate of 552,000, which is a slower pace than the annualized rate of 580,000 that economists, on average, had forecast.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maxis Relist: Dominance in Malaysia’s Phone Market May Limit Stock

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Maxis Bhd., Malaysia’s largest mobile-phone operator, may climb in its trading debut tomorrow after institutional investors bid for 3.7 times more stock than was offered in the $3.3 billion share sale. The lack of growth prospects may limit further gains.

“There is some pent up demand coming from local fund managers that will definitely push up the price at the opening bell,” said Pankaj Kumar, who manages 1.9 billion ringgit of assets as chief investment officer at Kurnia Insurans (Malaysia) Bhd. He expects the shares to rise to as high as 5.30 ringgit when the market opens tomorrow.

Maxis, controlled by 71 year-old billionaire Ananda Krishnan, joins China Minsheng Banking Corp. and Sands China Ltd. in raising at least $12.7 billion from Asia’s equity markets, aided by the steepest stock rally in six years. The company is only listing its domestic operations and the number of mobile- phone subscriptions exceeds the nation’s population by about 4 percent, according to the latest estimates on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Web site.

“Given that the market is already saturated, growth will be lackluster, which is normal for a telco in a matured market,” said Johan Tazrin Ngo, managing director of Amara Investment Management Sdn. “You would not buy Maxis for growth.”

Share Price

The company priced the stock at 4.75 ringgit apiece for individual investors and 5 ringgit a share for institutional investors, raising 11.2 billion ringgit ($3.3 billion) for its parent Maxis Communications Bhd., which will use the money to expand operations in India and Indonesia. Malaysia’s stock exchange said yesterday it set the reference price for trading of Maxis shares at 5 ringgit.

With an estimated market capitalization of more than $11 billion, Maxis will become the third-biggest phone company in Southeast Asia, ranking it behind Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, according to Bloomberg data.

“You need to have it in your pocket because it’s such a big stock” that will be included in the MSCI indexes, said Lye Thim Loong, who helps manage $500 million of assets at Avenue Invest Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur.

The MSCI indexes are widely used by fund managers worldwide as a benchmark to gauge the performance of their investments. Changes to the MSCI indexes can spur investors to buy a stock if it’s included, or sell stocks that are reduced in weighting.


Maxis plans to pay out 75 percent of its annual profit in dividends, according to its prospectus last month. On Oct. 28, smaller rival Digi.Com said it will raise its dividend payout ratio to 80 percent next year from 75 percent this year.

Maxis is “attractive” because it could be paying dividends of as high as 50 sen a share, implying a yield of 10 percent, according to Amara’s Ngo. That would be the highest among its Asian peers, Bloomberg data show.

Starhub Ltd. in Singapore offers a dividend yield of about 9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yield for MobileOne Ltd. is about 7.4 percent, the data show, while Digi offers a dividend yield of about 7.3 percent.

“Investors buy stocks for either growth, dividends or both,” said Ngo. “In Maxis’s case, it can only be dividends.”

Maxis is fairly priced at 5.30 ringgit to 5.80 ringgit a share, according to Jeffrey Tan, an analyst at OSK Research Sdn. in a report on Oct. 29. That values the stock at least 12 percent more than the 4.75 ringgit a share paid by individual investors and 6 percent more than the 5 ringgit apiece paid by institutional investors.

Yvonne Choo, an analyst at PM Securities Sdn. values the stock at 5.26 ringgit a share, rating it a “buy.” ECM Libra Sdn. values Maxis at 6.10 ringgit a share.

Southeast Asia

The IPO is the biggest in Southeast Asia, according to CIMB. It is also more than double the amount Petronas Gas Bhd., the state-controlled natural gas company, raised in 1995.

Maxis controls about 40 percent of Malaysia’s mobile-phone market, making it the biggest wireless operator in the country, followed by Celcom Malaysia Bhd. and Digi.

Maxis Communications, which was taken private by Krishnan in a 16 billion ringgit buyout deal in 2007, decided to float its domestic unit after Prime Minister Najib Razak encouraged it to re-list to attract more investors to Malaysia.

Krishnan is Malaysia’s second-richest person, with wealth estimated at $7 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The billionaire also owns Astro All Asia Networks Plc, Malaysia’s biggest pay-television operator, and has stakes in real-estate, marine transport and oil and gas companies.

Stocks to watch: MRCB, Daibochi, Dialog, STAR

KUALA LUMPUR: Stocks could undergo more volatility again on Wednesday, Nov 18, with some buying of selected counters but the underlying tone could be cautious with investors quick to take profit as the day progresses.

Investors should look to sell into strength stocks which had exceeded their target prices and await fresh opportunities.

On Tuesday, key Asian markets, especially Bursa Malaysia started off on a strong note but worries about the strength of the global economic recovery and how much further can the rally continue, saw the 30-stock FBM KLCI falling into the negative zone. Only very late fund buying managed to push it into the positive zone but the broader market was cautious.

This was also seen on Wall Street. US stocks rose to fresh 13-month highs on Tuesday, Nov 17 as upbeat broker views on improving prospects for two Dow components offset disappointing holiday spending outlooks from Target and Home Depot, according to Reuters.

Even so, the underlying tone was negative as investors fretted about the strength of the recovery and the recent rally, and more stocks fell than rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30.46 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 10,437.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index  edged up 1.02 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,110.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 5.93 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,203.78.

Stocks to watch include MALAYSIAN RESOURCES CORP []oration Bhd (MRCB), Daibochi Plastic and Packaging Industry Bhd, DIALOG GROUP BHD [], STAR PUBLICATIONS (M) BHD [], AMMB HOLDINGS BHD [] and Kumupulan Jetson Bhd.

MRCB posted net profit of RM10.02 million for its third quarter (3Q) ended Sept 30, reversing from a loss of RM26.81 million a year earlier.

Daibochi announced a dividend policy to distribute at least half of its earnings. The packaging
company's net profit rose nearly four times in the 3Q ended Sept 30, 2009. It has already declared total net dividends worth nine sen, representing 41% of earnings, so far this fiscal year.

Daibochi serves the recession-proof food and beverage, and fast moving consumer good industries.

Oil and gas (O&G) player Dialog announced a a 2-for-5 bonus share issue after reporting year-on-year earnings growth of 43%. Bulk of the bonus issue would be financed from its revaluation reserve account, while the remainder from its retained profits. At yesterday's close of RM1.35 per share, the bonus issue is equivalent to a share dividend worth 40 sen.

Star Publications (M) Bhd expects to get RM111 million in profit under a proposal to develop its Section 13 property in Petaling Jaya via a joint venture.

AMMB agreed to go ahead and buy Malaysian Assurance Alliance Bhd's general insurance business for a lower price, but without the acquisition of the 4.9% stake in MAA Takaful Bhd. The
price for the general insurance business had been lowered to RM180 million from RM254.8 million.

Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd is undertaking a RM15 billion development project, which comprises the Matrade Centre, residences, offices, a shopping mall and a hotel, on a 65-acre plot of land in Jalan Duta, under a privatisation deal with the government.

Jetson shares had climbed in recent weeks on expectations it would secure part of the development project.

US Market Commentary: After Market Close Stocks Overcome Slow Start for Solid Finish

The major indices overcame broad losses to finish incrementally higher as the U.S. dollar handed back a portion of its gains this session. The greenback's pullback helped materials stocks offset weakness among retailers.

After falling to a fresh 52-week low in the previous session, the Dollar Index rebounded as much as 1% before easing back to a 0.5% gain. The greenback's bounce gave the equity market an excuse to take a breather after setting new 2009 highs in the previous session. However, stocks showed a willingness to push even higher as the dollar pared its gains; in turn, stocks trimmed their losses to find higher ground late in the session.

Materials stocks garnered particular support late. The sector settled with a 0.9% gain after being down nearly 1%. The sector's turnaround stemmed from a rebound in commodity prices, which took the CRB Commodity Index to a 0.2% gain, and news from a regulatory filing that showed George Soros added 1 million shares of Potash (POT 110.60, +6.42) to his existing stake.

Though the materials sector showed strength, it didn't hold much sway with the broader market; the sector represents a mere 3.6% of the S&P 500's overall market weight. Still, the advance by materials stocks helped mitigate weakness among retailers. Shares of retailers slid 1.4%, even though Home Depot (HD 26.99, -0.66), TJX Companies (TJX 38.91, -0.61), Saks (SKS 6.67, +0.26), and Pacific Sunwear (PSUN 3.88, -1.13) all bested earnings expectations. TJX even went on to raise its earnings outlook, while Home Depot delivered an upside forecast. Pacific Sunwear's outlook proved displeasing, though; that resulted in the stock's sharpest single-session percentage slide of the year.

Though stocks settled the session with fractional gains, each of the three major indices was able to book new 2009 closing highs. The Nasdaq Composite was led by large-cap tech issues, while wireless services stocks provided leadership to the S&P 500. The Dow was led by Exxon Mobil (XOM 75.03, +0.60), which was upgraded by analysts at Barclays.

Data did little for stocks for the second straight session. Producer prices increased 0.3% in October, but that is a slower pace than the 0.5% increase that had been expected. Core producer prices fell 0.6% in October. A 0.1% increase had been expected.

Meanwhile, industrial production for October increased 0.1%, which is weaker than the 0.4% that had been expected. Capacity utilization came in at 70.7%, which is essentially in step with the consensus.

Among the day's economic speakers, Reuters reported that Richmond Fed President Lacker said that sluggishness in pockets of the economy should not deter the Fed from beginning to remove its extraordinary level of support. Though not a new observation, Lacker said he expects the economy to grow at a reasonable rate next year. He did indicate, though, that he won't look at the removal of monetary stimulus until economic growth is strong enough and well-enough established.
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