Brexit may impact Malaysian PLCs in UK property and casinos

KUALA LUMPUR: Britain’s move in the event to exit from the European Union (EU) may impact only a handful of Malaysian public-listed companies (PLCs) which are involved in property developments, regulated assets and casino operations.

Maybank Investment Bank Research said on Wednesday a potentially slower UK economy (or even a recession) and a weaker British pound resulting from a Brexit would be negative but the impact on Malaysian PLCs would be limited to just a few.

Within its research coverage, major Malaysian investments in the UK are in property developments (Battersea by SP Setia, Sime Darby), regulated assets (YTL Power), casino ops (Genting Malaysia (GENM), and renewable energy (KNM Group).

“A potentially slower UK economy could affect future take-ups at Battersea but positively, the project has locked in sizeable sales (which have yet to be recognised) totaling £1.6bil or 18.3% of its total project gross development value. But, a weaker pound should result in lower Malaysian ringgit profits (from the foreign exchange impact and margins). 

“Based on our sensitivity analysis, a 10% weakness in the £/Ringgit from our base case would impact our financial year 2017 net profit estimates for SP Setia/Sime by -3.5%/-1.1%, our revalued net asset value (RNAV) estimates by -1.5%/less than -1%,’’ the research house noted.

A potentially slower UK economy should not impact demand much at Wessex but it could affect visitors/collections at Genting Malaysia’s UK operations, it noted. A potentially weaker pound should result in lower translated ringgit profits and investment values. 

Based on the research firm’s sensitivity analysis, a 10% weakness in the £ /Ringgit from its base case would impact net profit estimates for YTL Power/Genting Malaysia by -7%/-0.8% and its RNAV estimates by -5%/-0.5%.

As for KNM’s Peterborough project, it added that a slower UK economy should not significantly impact the project’s financials. Maybank Research said it have yet to reflect any earnings impact from this project in its forecasts for KNM.

Global markets are increasingly jittery ahead of the Brexit referendum on June 23 after recent polls suggest that the odds are tilting towards a “leave”, rather than a “remain” outcome.
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