Wednesday, July 21, 2010

#Stocks to watch:* Public Bank, DiGi, Lion Diversified, Silver Bird, auto stocks

KUALA LUMPUR: Key regional markets including Bursa Malaysia are expected to advance on Wednesday, 21, as sentiment is underpinned by the second day of gains on Wall Street.

U.S. stocks rose for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, with the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 12.23 points, or 1.14%, to 1,083.48.

The 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.53 points, or 0.74%, to 10,229.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 24.26 points, or 1.10%, to 2,222.49.

The gains on Wall Street were powered by Goldman Sachs and bargain hunting for beaten-down homebuilders and raw materials companies, according to Reuters.

At Bursa Malaysia, stocks to watch include PUBLIC BANK BHD [] and DiGi.Com which announced their second quarter earnings on Tuesday. Other companies to watch include Lion Diversified Bhd, SILVER BIRD GROUP BHD [] and MISC BHD [].

Public Bank posted net profit of RM734.08 million in the second quarter ended June 30, up 20% from RM610.74 million a year ago, underpinned by strong growth in net interest and financing income, higher non-interest income and lower loan impairment allowances.

Revenue was at RM2.68 billion, up 14% from RM2.35 billion a year ago. Earnings per share were 20.96 sen versus 17.7 sen. It declared an interim dividend of 25 sen a share compared with 30 sen a year ago. The 25 sen dividend would result in a total payout of RM657 million.

DIGI.COM BHD [] reported net profit of RM278.41 million in 2Q, up 18.7% from RM234.46 million a year ago, boosted by its postpaid and data revenue.

Revenue was 10.8% higher at RM1.33 billion compared with RM1.20 billion a year ago. Earnings per share were 35.8 sen compared with 30.2 sen. It declared a second interim dividend of 35 sen single-tier exempt dividend per share of 10 sen each.

Malaysia's vehicle sales are expected to hit a record high of 570,000 units this year. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has raised its annual forecast on vehicle sales to 570,000 this year, exceeding the previous record of 552,316 units achieved in 2008, in view of the healthy growth in the first half of this year.

Silver Bird had proposed to place out 19.5 million new shares under a placement exercise at 70 sen per share. The new shares, which will be 5.3% of the enlarged capital, would be issued to qualified placees later.

The issue price of the placement shares has been fixed by the board at 70 sen per placement share representing a discount of approximately 7.89% to the five-day WAMP of Silver Bird shares up to July 19 of 76 sen," it said.

In MISC, its tanker arm AET Inc Ltd is buying four new 320,000 dwt very large crude carriers (VLCCs) for US$430 million from Korea's Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd (DSME). The tankers will be paid fully through AET's own and scheduled for delivery between December 2012 and October 2013.

LION DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS BHD [] said its unit Excel Step Investments Ltd will meet the bondholders of its US$132.11 million exchangeable bonds due 2012.'' The prolposed Aug 27 meeting is to remove the put option exercisable on Nov 16 this year while the maturity date remains on Nov 16, 2012.

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