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  • Business
  • Saturday, 18 Jan 2003

  • TNB:: FOREIGN exchange gains of RM214mil to boost earnings in the first quarter of the current financial year – that's OSK Investment Research's prediction for the giant utility company, in view of the weak yen. In November 2002, the Japanese currency, at RM3.1067 per 100 yen, was 3.5% lower than in the preceding quarter. It is expected to contribute the bulk of earnings in the first quarter. The research house is looking at a growth of 6% in revenue from a 5.6% rise in electricity demand, although operating margin remains under pressure due to higher fuel costs. The counter has been outperforming the benchmark barometer by 3% since the beginning of the year. 

  • Gamuda: ANALYSTS gave the thumbs up to Gamuda Bhd's decision to sell its 44% stake in Dyna Plastics Sdn Bhd to stay focused on its forte: construction and infrastructure. UT Securities said manufacturing was never in line with Gamuda's core business, and the disposal would halt further losses. Dyna Plastics made a loss of RM16.6mil in the last financial year; the company, acquired in 2000 for RM68mil, produces batteries for portable electronic and telecommunication devices. According to Multex Global Estimates, which polled 22 research houses, the consensus forecast for Gamuda is sales of RM1.4bil and net profit of RM269mil for the current financial year ending July. 

  • CAHB: Indonesia-based 51%-owned unit PT Bank Niaga is expected to contribute RM40mil–RM45mil to Commerce Asset-Holding Bhd in the current financial year. Coupled with lower loan loss provisions on the domestic front, net profit of the Commerce group, on which Affin UOB Securities has a buy recommendation, is projected to grow by more than 30% in 2003. However, single-digit loan growth is expected to cap operational growth. An analyst said the non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio had fallen to 10% on a gross basis as of November, from 10.9% in September and 11.1% in June. The lower NPLs came from the successful restructuring of a few large corporate NPLs in the last quarter, he added. 

  • UDA: UT Securities said it preferred to see what plans Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) has for UDA Holdings Bhd before committing itself. UDA owns extensive land-bank and manages several large shopping complexes in Kuala Lumpur, including the Bukit Bintang Plaza, Pertama Kompleks and Sinar Kota. MRCB will pay RM88mil cash (or RM2.50 a share) for Landas Utama Sdn Bhd – which will give it a 25% stake in UDA – and assume its debts of RM132mil. UDA reported a lower net profit of RM12mil for the nine months ended September, compared with RM21.8mil in the previous corresponding period. Revenue, however, rose to RM367.8mil from RM343mil. 

  • Hunza Properties: PROPERTY developers are definitely becoming more innovative in their efforts to boost sales, especially after CIMB Securities' latest quarterly survey found that fund managers are shunning the sector. This week, Hunza Properties Bhd announced it was teaming up with American International Assurance Co (AIA) to sell 550 bungalows in Bukit Bayu in Sungai Petani, Kedah. Under an investment-linked policy, the purchaser is promised a potential cash return of up to 100% of the purchase price at the end of a fixed tenure of 37 years. For the financial year ended June 2002, Hunza reported net profit of RM7mil on sales of RM56mil, compared with RM8.9mil and RM57mil respectively in 2001. 

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