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HIGH dividend payouts are fast catching on in corporate Malaysia, driven mainly by higher profitability of companies that prompts a more efficient capital management.
RHB Capital Bhd and Southern Bank Bhd released yesterday financial results that showed sharply improved profitability, and both those banks declared higher dividends.
CIMB Bhd posted strong net earnings of RM260.7mil for its financial year ended Dec 31, 2003, which more than doubled its pro forma earnings of RM130.9mil in the previous year.
MALAYAN Banking Bhd (Maybank) posted a net profit of RM1.09bil for the first half of its financial year ended June 2004, up 32% from RM831mil in the corresponding period before.
CIMB Bhd's purchase of TA Enterprise's securities business last week has somewhat triggered speculation that the long pending consolidation in the stockbroking industry could regain momentum soon.
CIMB Bhd sealed yesterday a deal with TA Enterprise Bhd to buy the latter's securities business for RM400mil, which will make it the largest stockbroking house in Malaysia.
EQUITY-BASED funds appeared to be the current favourite among unit trust management companies for their launchings with many banking on it to attract investors' interest.
UNIT trust funds, especially equity funds, are expected to attract strong money flows judging from the recovery in the equity market and improvement in the country's economic fundamentals.
OSK Research expects corporate results in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2003, to remain strong with earnings or even dividend surprises moving share prices.
WITH the current favourable market conditions coupled with ample liquidity in the financial system, many unit trust management companies (UTMCs) are enlarging their fund sizes and rolling out new funds this year.