Thursday, June 10, 2010

#Stocks to watch:* Banks, Talam, BCorp, Hock Seng Lee

KUALA LUMPUR: Market sentiment should perk up on Thursday, June 10 with the announcement of the 10th Malaysia Plan by the Prime Minister, putting the economy on a stronger recovery path.

Stocks which could attract interest are financial institutions as the government may take steps to liberalise the financial services sector under the 10th Plan, which stretches from 2011 to 2015.

There are plans to expand the services sector and increase its contribution to the GDP while steps are also taken to increase the productivity and attract new investments.

More details will be announced when Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers the policy speech in Parliament at 11.30am.

Other stocks to watch are Talam Corp Bhd, Berjaya Corp Bhd and HOCK SENG LEE BHD [].

Talam will no longer be on the Practice Note 17 (PN17) list effective on Thursday. It had regularised its financial condition and that it "no longer triggers any of the criteria under Paragraph 2.1 of the PN17 of the Main Market Listing Requirements".

PN17 is a classification for companies that are in financial distress. Companies in this list would have to comply with the obligations to regularise its financial conditions; otherwise delisting procedures shall be taken against it.

Talam had been admitted into the PN17 list since Sept 1, 2006. Its auditors were unable to "express their opinion on the company's audited accounts" for its financial year ended Jan 31, 2006.

Meanwhile, Najib has reiterated that the government had yet to issue the licence to Ascot Sports to operate sports betting in the country.

"The government has not finalised discussions on the licensing terms and conditions with Ascot Sports to conduct bookie operations in Malaysia," he told the Dewan Rakyat.

Ascot Sports is the private vehicle of BCorp chairman and CEO Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

Hock Seng Lee Bhd and its partner Matrik Bestari Sdn Bhd received a letter of acceptance from the Public Works Department, Sarawak to build an access road linking Samarahan to Tanjong Bako. The contract sum is RM72.5 million.

'The consortium will carry out the works of the project as an unincorporated joint venture with HSL having 90% share in the project. The payment for the project shall be made partly in kind and partly in cash in the ratio of 50:50. The payment in kind shall be in the form of land,' it said.

Meanwhile, PREMIUM NUTRIENTS BHD [], which produces edible oils and fats, and animal feed, is targeting RM200 million worth of contracts over the next six months.

Its CEO and group managing director T T Rajah said the contracts would be procured from its existing customers as well as new ones from the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States, comprising former Soviet republics.

In WIDETECH (M) BHD [], a filing with Bursa Malaysia showed Lim Hian Yu Sdn Bhd had increased its stake to 5.53 million shares or 12.35% after acquiring 2.5 million shares on May 11.

The Bank of East Asia, Ltd, meanwhile, was seen stepping up its acquisition of AFFIN HOLDINGS BHD []. The Hong Kong-based bank bought 1.6 million shares on June 4 and 7 and raised its stake to 341.2 million shares.

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