• Muhibbah: THIS marine construction and engineering-based company expects to ride on the growth of the country's oil and gas business through its construction and supply of anchorage vessels. All ready to deliver two vessels to Terengganu-based Jasa Marine Sdn Bhd for RM56mil, Muhibbah Engineering is in negotiation with several local and foreign companies to build supply and anchorage vessels valued at several hundred million ringgit. Last month, Muhibbah Engineering was awarded a RM125.9mil project to construct and complete the proposed “marine approach” in Johor. 

    Stock watch on Muhibbah 

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  • Palette: PALETTE Multimedia is among the multinational IT companies selected to supply notebook computers under the government schools' Science and Mathematics in English programme in 2004. Palette is believed to have secured a multi-million ringgit deal to supply notebooks for that purpose. Last month, Palette signed an agreement with MK Land Bhd to develop an “e-lifestyle township” in Damansara Perdana. The company is expecting the broadband wireless business to contribute substantially to profit level this year. 

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  • Guinness Anchor: GUINNESS Anchor expects to maintain or slightly improve its revenue for the current year despite facing higher excise duties and competition from cheap imported and smuggled beer. Analysts said the consumption of malt liquor appeared to be firm despite the 5% - 6% industry price hike effective September. The recovering economy and coming Christmas and Chinese New Year festivities are expected to provide opportunities for Guinness Anchor to boost its sales through higher consumption and promotional campaigns.  

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  • Nestle: NESTLE'S revenue for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2003, inched up by 1.8% to RM2bil compared with the corresponding period in 2002, but its net profit was lower by some 21% due to impairment losses of RM28.3mil brought about by the closure of its sugar confectionery operation. Despite higher raw materials costs, Nestle would have performed better if the exceptional items, including an exceptional gain of RM34.4mil from the third quarter of 2002, were stripped out. Analysts noted a stabilisation in Nestle's consumer base and that the coming festive season would likely help boost company's sales in the coming months. 

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  • Magnum: MAGNUM'S move into Indonesia's numbers forecasting operations (NFOs) would help the company reduce its dependence on the local NFO market which has already reached maturity. The company is in discussions with certain parties to set up operations in Indonesia. Although gambling is still illegal, there are talks to relax relevant laws in Indonesia. Despite being a pre-dominantly Muslim country, Indonesia's illegal gambling activities are rife and popular, and this may provide strong competition to any legalised NFO operator. 

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