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Friday, October 23, 2009

Bursa Chat - News Highlights 23.10.09

IJM Corp Bhd (IJM MK, Hold, TP: RM3.64) hopes to win more highway jobs in India under the recently announced new national highway programme for roads, said Datuk Krishnan Tan. “(Under the new programme), the packages are going to be substantially larger and we will be bidding for some of them”, he said. Indian road, transport and highways minister Kamal Nath this month set a target of 7,000km per year across all states, which translates into roughly 20km per day. Kamal Nath was quoted as saying that in the next 10 months, there will be about 11,000km of roads and contracts costing Rs1 lakh crore (US$20bn) to be awarded. (BT)
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Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, unit of Digi.Com Bhd (DIGI MK, Hold, TP: RM20.10).has committed RM75m to roll out its Turbo 3G mobile and broadband service in Sabah over the next 3 years. Digi said that so far, coverage has been expanded to cover some 95% of the population in Kota Kinabalu. The company expects to progressively activate existing mobile subscribers on Turbo 3G, starting with Sabah and Penang yesterday, followed by Klang Valley at a later date.
(Malaysian Reserve)
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Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM)(T MK, Buy, TP: RM 3.98) is on track to commercially launch its high-speed broadband (HSBB) retail service in the 4 initial areas of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam by the end 1Q10. TM said to date, physical work had been completed at four exchanges and in progress at 44 exchanges, out of 95 exchanges to be covered by the initial rollout. It said by the end of 2012, about 1.3m premises would have access to HSBB services, in accordance with the completion of the first phase of the project agreed by the government. TM group CEO Datuk Zamzamzairani said as at end of 2Q09, the government had reimbursed it a total of RM665m work completed. He said the retail service trials were scheduled to begin with 150 households involving TM employees residing in the 4 areas by mid-
November 2009. Following that, in January 2010, additional 300 selected households within the same area will be involved. (Financial Daily)
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Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS MK, Sell, TP: RM2.00) and Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) have signed a strategic cooperation framework in order to strengthen their business relationship. MAS managing director Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said the collaboration would lead to better resource sharing, multi-hub network as well as expediting their international development progress such as enabling MAS to reach those destinations that it doesn’t fly to (in China). He said the collaboration would also enable its cargo arm, Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo), to have access to HNA Group’s global network and increase its market share. MASkargo managing director Shahari Sulaiman said MASkargo and HNA would start discussions to explore each other’s networks. (Financial Daily)
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Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will give incentives in the form of cash to airlines that continue to bring in additional passenger traffic to Malaysia. The quantum of the monetary incentive is still unclear but MAHB managing director/CEO Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad is looking to announce details before the year is out. The suggestion to reward airlines in search of new growth by MAHB appears to be timely as it will not just make airports in Malaysia more competitive but also allows them to attract more airlines to operate in the country. It also helps airlines that are struggling due to the economic downturn. This monetary incentive proposal is being considered despite the fact that Malaysian airport charges are already the lowest in the region. The new cash incentive is meant for all airlines that operate from the country and from all the 39 airports in Malaysia but it is for new business only. All the existing incentives will also remain intact, such as the waiver for landing charges for new flights for 3 years. (Starbiz)
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Maxis Communications Bhd to double its wireless broadband user base by year-end, following the launch of its new broadband campaign, Something for Everyone. “Our sales have improved more than 100% year-to-date compared with last year. Next year, we expect to outperform this year’s performance,” senior general manager and head of broadband said. According to the draft prospectus lodged by Maxis Bhd, the company added about 31,000 mobile broadband subscribers in the first six months of 2009. Its broadband subscription totalled 171,200 or about 21% marker share, as at June 30. The new broadband packages ranged from as low as RM8 per day to RM48 per month. (StarBiz)
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evident from the “hot-selling” models- Persona, Saga and Exora. On the contest, Shukor said it had successful met its objective as car sales for June and July increased impressively to 14,065 units and 15,809 units respectively and this has placed Proton in the top spot for Malaysian car sales for the said months. (Financial Daily)
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Green Packet Bhd (GPB) is set to secure a worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) broadband licence in Singapore, making it the first Malaysian company to directly hold such a licence in the city-state. Under the sealed deal yesterday, the original WiMAX licence holder Singapore based Pacnet Internet Corporations (S) Pte. Ltd. will transfer its facilities-based operator’s (FBO) licence and wireless broadband access (WBA) spectrum right to GPB group. GPB’s wholly owned unit Packet One Sdn Bhd (P1) inked the transfer and agreement with Pacnet for the transfer of the FBO licence and WBA spectrum right to newly incorporated Packet One (S) Pte Ltd (P1 Singapore) for US$2.04m (RM6.94m) cash. GPB said the transfer would enable P1 Singapore to operate wireless broadband access telecommunications systems in the island-republic, as well as offer supplementary bandwidth to which existing telecommunications providers to minimise network congestion. P1 CEO Michael Lai said the WiMAX operator’s entry into Singapore to become a multi-market player would enable it to offer a robust alternative to complement mobile operators and compelling proposition for both its individual and corporate customers via roaming services. (Financial Daily)
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The domestic advertising expenditure (adex) this year is expected to be lower than the RM6.2bn posted in 2008 but the advertising industry is expected to perform better in 2010, said Malaysian Advertisers Association president Peter Anthony Das. He said total adex was expected to drop this year due to a lack of major events and the economic slowdown. “I hope the
total ad spending this year would be better than the RM5.4bn in 2007 as companies are pushing for sales by year-end and on improving market sentiment,” he said. (Financial Daily)
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The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister plans to propose the sale of biodiesel with less palm oil content to reduce government spending for the initiative, known as the B5 mandate. Under the mandate, the government has set a January 2010 deadline to sell B5 biodiesel, a mixture of 5% palm oil and 95% diesel. Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said a more realistic alternative would be to revise downwards the blend ratio. "I' ll be proposing to the Cabinet to bring down the B5 mandate to B3 or B2. The B5 mandate, if it were to be fully implemented, would cost around RM240m to RM250m. This is a problem because ordinary diesel is already being subsidised by the government," he said. Malaysia had planned for the B5 mandate to be rolled out in stages, starting from February this year with government vehicles, followed by the industrial and transport sectors. (BT)
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Stocks rally Thursday, blue chips led a bigger stock market rally, as better-than-expected results from four components pushed the Dow industrials above 10,000 again and reassured investors about the ongoing corporate reporting period. Investors took in stride announcements from the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration' s pay czar regarding curbing executive pay. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.3% (+131 pts, close 10,081.31), according to early tallies, closing at 10,081.31. The S&P 500 index rose 1% (+11 pts, close 1,092.91). The Nasdaq composite gained 0.7% (+14 pts, close 2,165.29). U.S. light crude oil for December delivery fell 18 cents to US$81.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, edging off a one-year high. (CNN Money)
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U.S. leading economic indicators rose in September for a sixth straight month, showing the economy is likely to expand into early 2010. The Conference Board’s gauge of the economic outlook for the next three to six months climbed a greater-than-forecast 1%, contributing to the biggest six-month gain in 26 years. More than US$2trn in government stimulus programs worldwide have revived growth from the U.S. to China, signalling the worst global recession in the post-World War II era has come to an end. The leading index over the past six months was up 11.8% at an annual rate, the biggest gain since 1983. Eight of the 10 indicators in today’s report contributed to the gain, led by the difference between short- and long-term borrowing costs, an increase in consumer expectations, lower jobless claims and higher equity prices. (Bloomberg)
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U.S. initial jobless claims rose more than forecast, a reminder that the labor market will be slow to recover. Initial jobless applications rose by 11,000 to 531,000 in the week ended Oct. 17, from a revised 520,000 the prior week that were the fewest in nine months, the Labor Department said in Washington. The number of people collecting benefits fell, while those receiving extended benefits increased. The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less volatile measure, fell to 532,250 last week from 533,000. Continuing claims decreased by 98,000 in the week ended Oct. 10 to 5.92m, in part reflecting those that have used all their benefits without finding another job. The number of people collecting extended payments climbed to 3.86m in the week ended Oct. 3 from 3.83m a week earlier, report showed. (Bloomberg)
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The European Central Bank (ECB) advised the European Union (EU) to coordinate internationally on rules to regulate hedge funds, saying the current proposals could put Europe at a disadvantage. “The ECB urges the Commission of the European Communities to continue the dialogue with its international partners, in particular the United States, to ensure a globally coherent regulatory and supervisory framework,” the Frankfurt-based ECB said in a legal opinion published on its Web site. The EU’s proposals would require hedge-fund managers and private-equity firms overseeing at least 500m euros (US$737.8m) to report to regulators. The directive is one of several measures the EU has proposed in the wake of the worst financial crisis since World War II. (Bloomberg)
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U.K. retail sales unexpectedly stagnated in September for a second month as Britons spent less on food and clothing, a sign the country is struggling to escape the recession. Sales were unchanged from August, the first time sales haven’t risen for two months in almost a year, the Office for National Statistics said in London. The median forecast was for a 0.5% gain, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 30 economists. Sales climbed 2.4% from a year earlier. Rising unemployment and the credit squeeze are discouraging Britons from shopping. Today’s report may signal that weakness in the economy is persisting as the Bank of England considers whether to increase its 175bn-pound (US$291bn) bond- purchase program. Food sales slipped 0.1% and textile, clothing and shoe sales fell 0.5% in the month, the statistics office said. Sales at non-specialized stores rose 0.5% and household goods stores showed an increase of 0.3%. (Bloomberg)
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Chinese officials may be preparing to reduce monetary stimulus that propelled growth to 8.9% in the third quarter and led the world out of recession. The economic expansion the government reported yesterday exceeded the 7.9% gain in the previous three months and pushed stocks lower around the world on concern the central bank may tighten monetary policy. On the eve of the release, the cabinet signaled that inflation concern will play a greater role in setting policy. (Bloomberg)
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