PETALING JAYA: Sometimes size does not matter. This was made clear in 2011's biggest winners on Bursa Malaysia, in terms of percentage.
Last year was distinctly one of lower liners. Investors who had held on to the top 20 smallish counters on Bursa would have found themselves making gains ranging from 100% to 700%.
While many of the penny stocks rose throughout the year, the party firmly engaged into gear in October, when the king of the lower liners, Harvest Court Industres Bhd, razzled and dazzled the market.
Not surprisingly, the biggest winner for the year, even despite its designation by Bursa, was the controversial and petulant Harvest. It is involved in the timber processing business, mainly in the making of timber doors.
At its peak, it rose more than 2,500% from its year-low of eight sen to RM2.14, mainly on the back of the emergence in the company of the prime minister's son, Mohd Nazifuddin Najib.
In a bid to counter the excessive speculation, the stock exchange designated the counter in mid-November. Not long after that, Nazifuddin also resigned from the company. Since then, the counter has been languishing. Nonetheless, it is still up some 762% year-to-date, closing at 99 sen on Friday.
In terms of biggest winner by price, Nestle (M) Bhd came up tops, with a gain of RM12.86 to RM56.20, or 30%. Coming in second was Petronas Dagangan Bhd, the country's largest petrol station operator with over 900 stations.
Other penny stocks that had seen their prices shooting through the roof last year were Wijaya Baru Global Bhd, Digistar Corp Bhd, Versatile Creative Bhd, M-Mode Bhd, Tricubes Bhd, Sanichi Technologies Bhd and JMR Conglomeration Bhd, among others.
Tricubes, a Practice Note 17 company, came into prominence last year with its share price jumping to a year's high of 32.5 sen on April 22 after the company was awarded the 1Malaysia e-mail project by the Government.
Last month, Bursa deferred Tricubes' suspension and delisting following an application by the company for an extension of time to submit a regularisation plan.
Tricubes was also in the limelight in mid-November, following an announcement that the Royal Malaysian Police had appointed the company the collection agent for traffic summonses. After the announcement, the stock closed at a six-month high of 26 sen.
Meanwhile, of the top 20 losers on Bursa in terms of percentage, the losses ranged from 40% to 80%. The biggest loser was Supportive International Bhd, which was down by 81% to 29 sen from RM1.51 a year earlier.
In mid-2011, Supportive entered into a tripartite cooperation and implementation agreement with China Telecom Co Ltd and Bank of Changsha Co Ltd to jointly develop, construct and operate the Hunan Tianyi intelligence community service platform in China. The cooperation was for a period of 10 years.
The biggest loser in terms of price was Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, which fell RM2.92 to RM2.77 on the back of the weak global semiconductor outlook. This was followed by MISC Bhd, which fell RM2.89 to RM5.47. In November, MISC exited its container shipping liner business, citing difficult operating conditions.
The exit process involved the withdrawal from various trade alliances and termination of related service and operational contracts. It also entailed the disposal of the group's liner-related assets.
Three Practice Note 17 companies made it onto the losers list. They were Vastalux Energy Bhd, Mithril Bhd and Ngiu Kee Corp (M) Bhd.
Trading in Vastalux Energy Bhd shares was suspended on Dec 29, and its management is now appealing against the delisting of the stock on Jan 3.
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