• Malakoff: MALAYSIA'S largest independent power producer (IPP) is set to retain its number one spot over the next few years. It currently controls 25% of the total IPP capacity in the country. AmResearch in its notes said Malakoff's share price had performed within its expectations and outperformed the KLSE by 30% last year. The research unit has set a target price of RM5.10 over the next 12 months. Malakoff shareholders can also look forward to a gross dividend per share of at least 20 sen per share. The IPP has a 75% stake in Segari Energy Venture and GB3, which owns the 1,303MW Lumut Power Plant and the 440MW LPP Block 3 as well as a 20% stake in Port Dickson Power plant. 

  • IJM: WITH the positive outlook for the construction industry this year, IJM will be one of the major beneficiaries among the construction bigwigs. The industry's pace of growth last year is set to spill over with the likelihood of a further pump-priming exercise this year. Most leading construction players have also secured multi-billion ringgit order books, to last over the next two to three years. OCBC Securities said IJM would be busy over the next three years with its order books hitting RM2bil. The listing of plantation arm, IJM Plantations Bhd, which would help to realise the value of its investment and allow the company to expand without affecting IJM's financial position. 

  • HLB: THIS banking group's strength lies in its strong consumer segment with a market share of 14.6% in motor hire purchase, 7.2% in consumer credit and 4.5% in residential mortgages. AmResearch in its notes described the bank's low market share in the corporate loan segment as “a blessing in disguise” as it helped to contain the level of non-performing loans in that sector. Hong Leong Bank, which is the sixth largest bank in Malaysia in terms of assets and shareholders' funds, is currently the only banking group without a merchant bank subsidiary. However, there is talk that the group is interested to buy Utama Merchant Bank Bhd from Utama Banking Group Bhd. 

  • Ranhill: THE uphill task for Ranhill is to aggressively bid for more projects both locally and abroad to replenish its order book and sustain its earnings momentum this year. The group is believed to be bidding for RM5bil to RM6bil worth of new projects including domestic hospital and road projects, and water supply projects in India and Middle East. Ranhill's proposed takeover of EPE Power from Time Engineering will allow the group to venture into the power industry and gain expertise in the construction of power plants. 

  • Ta ANN: MANY have raised concerns over this timber group's move to diversify into property development following its acquisition of 3.6ha in Kuching. Property development business would not give any synergy to the group's existing timber operation. However, OSK Research, while not in favour of this move, said the acquisition could provide great investment value for Ta Ann as the land is located near the city centre. The research unit said: “Although the move can negatively impact Ta Ann's stock, we urge investors not to over-react.”  

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