Strong 2Q earnings likely for metal-based players


UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) Research analyst Hazmy Hazin said listed aluminium,(pic) ferroalloy and tin players could offer an attractive trading opportunity for investors, as the strong earnings may have yet to be fully reflected in the companies’ share prices.

PETALING JAYA: Aluminium, ferroalloy and tin players are expected to post stellar earnings for the second quarter of 2022 (2Q22), thanks to higher production after the lockdown and the spillover effect of the record-high commodity prices from 1Q22.

UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) Research analyst Hazmy Hazin said listed aluminium, ferroalloy and tin players could offer an attractive trading opportunity for investors, as the strong earnings may have yet to be fully reflected in the companies’ share prices.

“Most of the companies under our coverage sell forward at least two to three months ahead so they managed to lock in the favourable prices before the prices trended downwards.

“Prices have eased entering into the second half of 2022, mainly due to the weak market sentiment caused by the fear of recession.

“While sentiment may remain fragile in the near term, we believe this presents a good buying opportunity as China’s gradual lifting of its lockdown will stimulate demand and support prices accordingly,” Hazmy said in a building materials sector update yesterday.

Looking ahead, Hazmy said the prices for the selected commodities have bottomed as current spot prices could be below some of the global producers’ cash production costs.

UOBKH Research maintained its “overweight” view on the building materials sector.

Its top pick for the sector is Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, with a target price of RM7.40 per share.

The research house’s other preferred picks are Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd and OM Holdings Ltd.

Hazmy pointed out that skyrocketing electricity costs and declining commodity prices, amid the rising rates and fear of economic slowdown, have led some global producers to cut or exit the market.

For example, many major tin smelters in China have decided to halt production in July.

As a result of the decision, about 13,500 tonnes of refined tin – representing 4% of global production – will not be produced in June to July 2022.

Hazmy said the production cuts would form a significant support for the commodity prices and provide Malaysian smelters low-cost advantage over global peers.

“Given the power-intensive nature of the smelting business, OM Holdings and Press Metal have significant advantage over global peers as they offer substantially lower costs, given their access to eco-friendly low-cost hydropower in Sarawak.

“The use of hydropower, solar panels and waste heat recovery helps to reduce their carbon footprints too. China’s strict environmental requirements will push more small producers to withdraw from the market.

“Hence, local smelters may fill the void left by some global players exiting the market.

“This was reflected as Malaysian smelters were the second biggest suppliers to the United States for ferrosilicon in the first four months of 2022,” said Hazmy.

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