News in brief

DRB-Hicom Bhd said it would be appointed the main dealer for Mitsubishi Fuso CV and Chevrolet vehicles. 

In a circular to Bursa Malaysia, DRB-Hicom said DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd had agreed to appoint it as the main dealer for Mitsubishi Fuso CV, effective Jan 1 this year, while Hicomobil has agreed to appoint it as Chevrolet’s main dealer, effective April 1. – AFX-Asia 

GENTING OIL & GAS LTD, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Genting Oil Salawati Pte Ltd, has proposed to acquire 49.99% of the participating interest in the Pearl-operated Indonesian West Salawati production sharing contract. 

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Genting Bhd said the deal, signed with Pearl-Oil (Salawati) Ltd, was awaiting necessary approvals from the Indonesian Government. 

GENTING BHD has acquired 49.99% of the participating interest in the Pearl-operated Indonesian West Salawati production sharing contract. 

In a circular to Bursa Malaysia, it said the deal is pending necessary approvals from the Indonesian government.  

No other details were given. – AFX-Asia 

Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd plans to set up its second rolling mill to produce steel sections in two years. 

Once the RM120mil mill, located on 8ha in Bukit Raja, Klang, comes on stream by 2007, it is expected to produce 150,000 tonnes of steel sections largely for the export markets. 

Managing director and chief executive officer Tai Hean Leng said after the launch of the company's prospectus in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that about 50% of the products would be exported, mainly to Singapore and Thailand. 

In conjunction with its initial public offering, the integrated steel manufacturer is issuing 23.297 million new 50 sen shares at an issue price of RM1.30 per share. – Bernama  

Astral Asia Bhd said its wholly-owned subsidiary Tasja Sdn Bhd has secured a RM37.5mil contract from the Health Ministry. 

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, the company said the contract was for the rebuilding of Sultanah Aminah hospital in Johor Baru over a period of two years. 

The company said that with the contract its profits from the construction sector should contribute positively to the 2005 financial year. – AFX-Asia 

Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd has agreed to sell its Brazilian unit Maginco Verde Ltda to an unnamed buyer for RM8mil.  

In a circular to Bursa Malaysia, Jaya Tiasa said the disposal would result in a loss of RM21.2mil for the financial year ending April 2005.  

It said the disposal came in line with plans to divest its Brazilian operations due to continuing losses and poor future prospects. – AFX-Asia 

Suiwah Corp Bhd, mainly involved in the retailing and consumer sectors, said it was proposing to transfer its entire capital of 60.96 million shares from the second to the main board of Bursa Malaysia. 

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, the company said the proposed listing transfer would enhance its prestige and reputation among customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.  

“It is also expected to further enhance the group's credit standing among its bankers and suppliers,” it added. – AFX-Asia 

Supermax Corp Bhd is to schedule a special shareholders' meeting to vote on proposed changes to its employee stock option scheme (ESOS), said advising bank AmMerchant Bank Bhd. 

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, it said the company would seek to limit participation in the ESOS to employees who had been with the Supermax group of companies for at least three years. The ESOS is currently open to employees who have served with the group for one year. 

It was also seeking to increase the maximum allowable allotment of options to all categories of eligible employees, AmMerchant said. The proposed increase was being made in light of the company's earlier-announced bonus issue, it said.  

It said the company wished to reward only longer-serving eligible employees of the Supermax group through the ESOS. The changes require amendments to the company's articles of incorporation. 

The date for the proposed EGM has not yet been set. – AFX-Asia 

Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd said it has agreed to buy Constant Knight (M) Sdn Bhd, the registered owner of a piece of industrial land in Mukim of Serendah in Selangor, for RM7.6mil cash. 

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia, it said the site measured approximately 60 acres and had a leasehold of 99 years, expiring on March 22, 2094.  

The acquisition would be financed by internally-generated funds, it said, adding that it would be used for its future business expansion. – AFX-Asia Bhd has appointed deputy chairman Arve Johansen chairman effective Jan 12. 

Johansen has served as deputy chairman since January 2000. He succeeds Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, who resigned. – AFX-Asia 

AFFIN Merchant Bank Bhd has appointed Datuk Dr Sheikh Awab Sheikh Abod, 44, its new president and chief executive officer, effective from Jan 3. 

It said in a statement Awab was deputy chief executive in Malaysia International Merchant Bankers Bhd (MIMB), a subsidiary of the EON Bank Group. 

Awab holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, an MBA from Northeastern Oklahoma State University as well as a PhD in Economics. – Bernama 

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