Friday, June 4, 2010

#Stocks to watch:* AirAsia, Paramount,PLUS, Oriental Food

KUALA LUMPUR: Markets are expected to see downside pressure on Wednesday, June 2 after the overnight slide on Wall Street, extending the losses for the second day.

On Wall Street, stocks fell on Tuesday as energy shares slid after the latest failed attempt to halt the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. government announced a criminal probe into the disaster. Investors punished shares of companies directly involved with the spill and losses accelerated into the close following the news of the investigation.

Stocks to watch on Wednesday are AIRASIA BHD [], Paramount Corp Bhd, Oriental Food Industries Holdings Bhd and PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BHD [].

AirAsia Bhd has received an extension of the investment allowance incentive for another five years to June 30, 2014. The incentive is backdated from July 1, 2009.

With the extension, AirAsia is entitled to claim an income tax exemption in the form of an investment allowance of 60% on qualifying capital expenditure (capex) incurred within the period, which can be set off against 70% of statutory income for each year of assessment.

Paramount Corp Bhd, via its subsidiary Omni Assets Sdn Bhd (OASB), has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Cyberview Sdn Bhd and Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd for the purchase of a 50.01-acre parcel of land in Cyberjaya for RM78.42 million cash.

Paramount said the purchase would be funded via its internal funds and bank borrowings. The freehold land within the Cyberjaya flagship zone is currently a vacant site, and is designated for residential use.

Oriental Food Industries Holdings Bhd has adopted a dividend policy of paying at least 35% of net profits to shareholders, starting from the financial year ending March 31, 2011 (FY11).

The manufacturer and exporter of snack food and confectionery has proposed final dividends comprising two sen per share tax-exempt and two sen per share franked-dividend less tax for FY10. It had earlier declared three interim tax-exempt dividends totalling six sen per share for FY10.

Oriental Food said the total dividend payout for the year amounted to RM5.7 million, representing about 46% of the group's unaudited net profit of RM12.4 million.

PLUS Expressways Bhd group registered higher traffic volume in April, with the Linkedua Expressway (Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing) and Elite Expressway (North-South Expressway Central Link) recording the most growth.

PLUS said Linkedua Expressway's passenger car units (PCU) totalled 1.76 million, representing a 22.8% increase from a year earlier. Year-to-date, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing's PCU amounted to 6.74 million, growing by 22.5% year-on-year.

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