Friday, July 23, 2010

#Stocks to watch:* UEM stocks, Alam Maritim, Southern Acids, Sarawak Cable

KUALA LUMPUR: Stocks are expected to advance on Friday, July 23, hopefully recoup their losses from the previous day as sentiment may have turned positive after the firmer overnight close on Wall Street.

The major indices on Wall Street closed between 2% and 2.7% higher, reversing losses from a day earlier after testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke soured investors on the economic outlook.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 201.77 points, or 1.99%, to 10,322.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 24.08 points, or 2.25, to 1,093.67. The Nasdaq Composite rose 58.56 points, or 2.68%, to 2,245.89.

Reuters reported earnings from economic bellwethers 3M, UPS and Caterpillar catapulted U.S. stocks on Thursday as investors shed some of their fears about the strength of the recovery.

The parade of prominent names reporting profits continued after the market's close. Microsoft Corp reported a 48 percent rise in quarterly profit late on Thursday. In regular trading its shares rose 2.9 percent to $25.84, but they were down 0.2 percent after hours.

Stocks to watch at Bursa Malaysia include companies in the UEM Group, SOUTHERN ACIDS (M) BHD [], Sarawak Cable, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd and BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (M) [] Bhd.

UEM Group Bhd, a government-linked group, has aggressively set 'stretch' targets of RM30 billion in revenue and RM3 billion in net profit in 2015.

Managing director and CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the group would look to achieving its targets via organic growth and acquisitions.

He also said that the government-linked conglomerate would bid on the Kuala Lumpur mass rapid transit (MRT) project, if it were open to tender.

The favourite for the MRT contract is currently the joint venture (JV) entity of MMC-Gamuda. Other possible contenders may include IJM Corp Bhd, SUNWAY HOLDINGS BHD [] and WCT Engineering Bhd.

Analysts said MMC-Gamuda are aiming for the role of chief contractor and also for the tunneling works, which are valued at an estimated value of RM14 billion, out of the total contract sum of RM36 million.

The JV entity submitted the proposal for development of a RM36 billion MRT system within the city centre, which was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as part of the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

MMC-Gamuda also looks to be a strong contender for the tunneling works through their prior experience in undertaking the works for the STORM water tunnel project and the Kaohsiung MRT system in Taiwan.

Alam Maritim can heave a sigh of relief over its two vessels -- MV Setia Aman and Setia Ulung ' which were released after a court order. MLC Barging Pte Ltd had discontinued the main admiralty suits in rem.

Southern Acids will resume trading from Friday following resolution in status of appointment of interim receivers and managers.

Sarawak Cable entered into a MoU with Sarawak Energy Bhd and Syarikat SESCO Bhd to acquire Sarwaja Timur Sdn Bhd from SEB and Sesco.

Sarwaja Timur manufactures, fabricates, galvanizes and sells steel structures and wants to expand into new businesses, amongst others, the fabrication of tower for power transmission line.

The move will complement the company's existing core business in the manufacturing and trading of power cables and wires; and enable the Company to become a one-stop supply centre for power cables, wires and transmission tower, being the key components in power transmission line projects.

Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd, which sells Mercedes-Benz cars, reported net profit of RM5.88 million in the'' the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, down 46% to RM5.88 million from the RM10.89 million a year ago where there was a one-off refund on duties. It declared an interim dividend of 5.0 sen a share compared with RM1.25 a year ago.

BAT posted net profit of RM185.84 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, a decline of 21% from RM201.24 million a year ago.

Revenue was RM993.87 million versus RM977.65 million a year ago. Earnings per share were 65.10 sen versus 70.5 sen. BAT declared an interim dividend of RM1.13 a share, which was the same as a year ago. The RM1.13 dividend a share totalled a payout of RM322 million.

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