Bursa exceeds earnings forecast by 35%

By C.S.Tan
  • Business
  • Thursday, 16 Feb 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Bhd reported a net profit of RM81.3mil for the year ended Dec 31, 2005, surpassing the RM60.3mil it forecast at the time of its initial public offering (IPO) in February last year. 

The company announced a final gross dividend of 10 sen a share following an interim gross dividend of 10 sen that was paid earlier. These are apart from the capital distribution of 83 sen a share in December. 

Yusli Mohamed Yusoff

Chief executive officer Yusli Mohamed Yusoff pointed out that Bursa produced a total shareholder return of 88% for investors who successfully subscribed to the shares at RM3 each last year. 

This outstanding total shareholder return is based on the dividends paid and payable for its 2005 financial year, cash distribution and appreciation in its share price that closed at RM4.68 yesterday. 

Yusli told a media briefing yesterday that improvements in the financial results were achieved in spite of the “challenging market conditions” last year. 

One aspect of these conditions was a significant withdrawal of retail investors from trading or investing in stocks. 

Yusli said retail participation in the market formed only 29% of trading value – an eight-year low – compared with 71% by institutional investors last year. As a group, individuals accounted for only a third of total turnover versus about 50% in previous years. 

“We would like to draw retail investors back into the market,” he added. In doing so, Bursa will work closely with the brokerages. The research sponsored by Bursa for small listed companies, for instance, was working well. 

Chief operating officer Omar Merican said more products would be introduced for retail investors who formed a growth sector of customers. The country has a young population and each year, there are half a million new investors. “They should shift their savings into good investments,” he said. 

Yusli observed that as investors' sentiment improved, market velocity improved from 25% last year to 30% up to Feb 10. “We hope the current volume of trading can be sustained,” he said. 

On the likelihood of selling the head-office building, he said discussions had started with the authorities. There will, however, be a delay in the sale. 

Chief financial officer Khairussaleh Ramli said while the company owned the building, the Government owned the land. The proposed sale would have to be discussed with the Government. The building has a value of about RM265mil, including a capitalised lease of RM46mil. 

On regulated short-selling, Yusli said he was in favour of it but this was still under discussion with the authorities. 

 BURSA :  [Stock Watch]  [News]

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