Sime Darby, Maybank weigh as KLCI extends slide

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia was among the two worst performing stock markets on Wednesday while key Asian and European bourses trekked high and oil prices climbed.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 3.99 points or 0.23% to 1,743.93. Turnover was 3.07 billion shares valued at RM2.30bil. There were 344 gainers, 453 losers and 492 counters unchanged.

The other worst performing market was Thailand where the SET Index fell 0.38% to 1,714.91.

Upbeat earnings reports helped drive global stock markets to record highs on Wednesday, as investors turned their focus to a US Federal Reserve meeting for fresh insight on the outlook for monetary policy in the world's biggest economy, Reuters reported. 

The ringgit was flat against the US dollar at 4.2320 while it fell 0.74% to the pound sterling to 5.6283 and shed 0.06% to the Singapore dollar to 3.1097 and edged up 0.01% to the eurpo at 4.9250.

Sime Darby fell 11 sen to RM9.09 and erased 1.23 points from the KLCI. 

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the issuer rating for Sime to Baa3 from Baa1. The rating outlook is stable.

On Oct 27, Sime Darby received approval from Securities Commission to list its plantation (Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Baa1 stable) and property businesses (Sime Darby Property Bhd) as standalone entities. The company expects the demerger to be completed by end-2017.

"The downgrade for Sime Darby reflects a significant reduction in its scale and cash flow, and in particular, a weakening in its business profile, because it can no longer benefit from the diversification afforded by its plantation and property businesses, which are more profitable than the rest of its operations," said Jacintha Poh, a Moody's vice president and senior analyst.

Maybank fell five sen to RM9.20 and erased 0.87 of a point, RHB Bank lost seven sen to RM5.01, Public Bank was down two sen to RM20.44, Hong Leong Bank was flat at RM15.94 but AmBank added five sen to RM4.33.

Ekovest was battered, tumbling 21 sen to 95 sen, the lowest since January this year, as investors dumped the stock following the negative corporate news. Its call warrants CE fell 0.5 sen to 6.5 sen, CD was unchanged at five sen.

Ekovest to fork out RM764mil cash for 62% stake in IWC at RM1.50 a share. UOB Kay Hian Research cut Ekovest to Sell, TP RM1.04.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT continued to slide, down 96 sen to a fresh recent low of RM38.24, Nestle fell 50 sen to RM88 and Ajinomoto 28 sen to RM19.60.

Globetronics lost 19 sen to RM6.40 after Maybank Investment Bank Research retained its sell call on Globetronics with a lower target price of RM5.59 as it lowered its core net profit estimates for the lower average selling price (ASP) for the sensors. 

As for telcos, Telekom fell the most, down 17 sen to RM6.18. Digi three sen lower at RM4.97, Maxis rose four sen to RM5.99 and Axiata one sen higher at RM5.40. Time dotCom 14 sen higher at RM9.32.

Curde palm oil for third month delivery egded up RM6 to RM2,821 per tonne. IOI Corp added two sen to RM4.48, PPB Group four sen to RM16.82 while KL Kepong was flat at RM24.60.

US light crude oil rose 63 cents to US$55.01 and Brent added 48 cents to US$61.42. Petronas Dagangan added 14 sen to RM24.10, Petronas Gas four sen higher at RM18.08 and Petronas Chemical flat at RM7.37.

Press Metal continued its rally, up 29 sen to RM4.72 and its warrants 25 sen higher at RM4.30.