Thursday, September 6, 2012

20120906 1037 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Maxis and Astro Malaysia Holdings will team up to develop and co-market consumer packages for their existing and potential customers, with the first phase of products to be launched by year-end. Maxis will be the fibre broadband service provider to expand Astro's B.yond IPTV service footprint and Astro will be the IPTV service provider for all Maxis fixed and wireless platform. As at end of June, the mobile operator has 9,352 Home Fibre Internet and more than 27,000 Home Wireless Internet subscribers. Astro Malaysia CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan said, "Our collaboration with Maxis gives us an additional 1.3 million fibre homes passes as immediately addressable market for Astro B.yond IPTV," she said. From the 1.3m fibre homes passes, more than 1m are Astro subscribers. Maxis joint chief operating officer Mark Dioguardi said the plans to launch its own IPTV services have been called-off and Maxis will now offer Astro's IPTV contents to its customers. (BT)

SP Setia president and chief executive officer  Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin is optimistic that the Battersea redevelopment would fetch good sales given that it is located in Chelsea, which is  relatively London's most expensive area. Redevelopment of the iconic Battersea Power Station (BPS) by a Malaysian consortium is expected to begin in April, after a soft launch in January. There were several failed attempts to redevelop the site by previous owners but Liew is confident that the consortium will not fail like others before it. For one, the consortium's scheme comes with good public amenities and transport solutions. Sime Darby chief operating officer Datuk Abdul Wahab Maskan suggested that the consortium had paid reasonably cheap for the site given that the £400m (RM1.98bn) price tag is equivalent to just 5% of the project's expected GDV. (BT)

Palm-oil stockpiles in Malaysia, the world’s biggest producer after Indonesia, probably climbed 7% in August to the highest level in 11 months as exports lagged behind output, according to a survey.  Stockpiles increased to 2.14m metric tons from 2 million tons in July, according to the median in the Bloomberg survey of two analysts and three plantation companies. That would be the highest level since 2.16m tons in September last year. Output climbed 0.5% to 1.7m tons on- month, while exports rose 9.5% to 1.42m tons, the survey showed. The Palm Oil Board releases the data on Sept. 10.  (Bloomberg)

PPB Group Bhd believes the business model of its 18.3% owned  Wilmar International  is sound and expects the latter's financial performance to improve once market conditions turn around. PPB managing director Lim Soon Huat  said on Wednesday that "we are confident  about the medium to long term prospects of Wilmar". "Do not forget, Wilmar had four years of good earnings. We have been in the commodities business for long time, and we have the experience to address and mitigate uncertainties," he said at a briefing. (StarBiz)

PPB Group Bhd does not have plans for merges and acquisitions presently but is focusing on growing its core activities, said managing director Lim Soon Huat. "We want to expand our core business, whether they are in existing or new markets. That is reflected in our capital commitments, and our investments in China, Vietnam and Indonesia - flour mills. And our cinema expansion. We want to do what we know best," Lim said. (StarBiz)

Lynas Corp Ltd expects the production of rare earth concentrates at  its advanced materials plant in Malaysia to reach 11,000 tonnes by the first quarter of next year. Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis  said the production will kick off upon full completion of the first phase of construction, which is expected to be by the end of this year. He said the second phase, which will be fully completed by the second quarter of next year, will see a substantial production, accounting for 60% to 70% of the full capacity.  "We anticipate by the end of next year, we will be running at full capacity, producing 22,000 tonnes per year," he said. (BT)

Malaysia has given the go-ahead for the country’s first plant to process  rare earths, granting a licence to  Lynas Corporation to start processing the materials.  Lynas said the  Malaysia Atomic Energy Licensing Board on Wednesday issued a temporary operating licence for the plant, which is near the eastern coastal town of Kuantan.  The company had been trying to get a processing plant off the ground in peninsular Malaysia since 2002. (Financial Times)

Affordable housing will be one of the highlights in Budget 2013,  said Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai. The Deputy Finance Minister said among the initiatives being looked into was the enhancement of low-cost home development projects, particularly the My First Home Scheme. Lim said the Government had proposed to increase the limit of house prices under the scheme from RM220,000 to RM400,000 to fulfill the needs of those earning below RM3,000. “Over 70% of Malaysians live and work in urban areas  and easing their financial constraints will be highlighted in the upcoming Budget,” he added. (Star)

AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has dismissed reports that his airline is eyeing Serbian airline JAT Airways and is trying to make Belgrade a hub. Bloomberg reported that the budget airline may take over JAT Airways, citing reports in the Vecernje Novosti newspaper. Serbia has been trying to sell JAT Airways for several years with the most recent suitor, Baltic Aviation Systems, withdrawing its bid last December. (Malaysian Reserve)

The EPF unit Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd will invite partners to develop the RRI land in Sungai Buloh into a township. Kwasa Land said, as the master developer, it would undertake the first step by conducting a pre-qualification exercise to get the right partners to undertake the Kwasa Damansara township. The township project will cover 2,330 acres (943 ha) of prime land and Kwasa Land's emphasis is to ensure it obtains the "right developers with the required track record and expertise to undertake its massive parcels of mixed development projects". The township is a mix of residential, commercial, recreational, institutional and educational facilities which when ready, will serve a target population of 150,000.  Developers are invited to visit the Kwasa Land corporate website at to download the form for the Pre-Qualification exercise. The closing date for all submissions is noon, Sept 26, 2012. (Starbiz)

Perodua says there is a need to introduce the end-of-life vehicle policy to address vehicle safety and roadworthiness issues. Managing Director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh today urged the government to consider the policy. "During recent discussions with the government, the automotive industry proposed that the policy should be implemented voluntarily before making it compulsory," he told reporters when asked on Perodua's wish list for Budget 2013. Aminar also hoped the government would come up with certain standards and provide training to vehicle mechanics who cannot offer quality service. Workshop operators must ensure that their employees at least have a certificate in car repair and maintenance work to provide quality service to customers and at the same time  protect their sovereign rights, he said. The government should also introduce laws and regulations on how to run used-car and vehicle licence business for consumers' benefit. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister, will table Budget 2013 in Parliament on Sept 28. (Bernama)

Bolton Bhd plans to launch three high-end properties, with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM850m, over the next six months, said its executive chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya. The projects are the final tower of serviced apartments and a 500,000 sq ft retail mall at The Wharf in Puchong, Selangor (GDV: RM340m), 71 condominium units at its 51G Kuala Lumpur project (GDV: RM210m) and 118 bungalows at Tijani Ukay, Kuala Lumpur (GDV: RM300m). (Sun)

KUB Malaysia  expects to return to the black this financial year ending December 2012 with the sale of its entire stake in A&W Restaurants (Thailand) Ltd Co and A&W (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. Group managing director Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Wan Ahmad said the conglomerate has appointed merchant banker CIMB to evaluate proposals from several bidders for the A&W stake, which are all from Malaysia. "We expect to reach a decision by end of the year and then exit the food business for good. After that, KUB will focus on consolidation. "As for A&W, the eventual winning company must have the financial capability, be involved in the food business and has a clear business expansion plan," Wan Mohd Nor said. He denied that one of the bidders is government-owned equity firm Ekuiti Nasional Bhd. KUB, which took over the A&W franchise 12 years ago, owns 40 outlets in Thailand and another 20 in Malaysia. It has, however, been operating A&W at a loss since then. KUB has RM350m worth of contracts in hand with a 40% gearing, which will be  trimmed once it sells A&W. (BT)

Westports Malaysia is poised to handle about 9m teu containers when its new 600m wharf is ready by 2014, said CEO  Ruben Emir Gnanalingam. Ruben said Westports is confident of handling 7m teu this year compared with 6.4m  previously, mainly due to its cargo volume between Asia and Europe. (Bernama)

TNB: Wins Bangladesh power job
Tenaga Nasional’s (TNB), proposal has been selected by the Bangladesh Power Division for the installation and operations of a 1,320MW coal-fired plant in that country. The power plant, to be installed at either Anwara in Chittagong or Maheshkhali at Cox’s Bazar, would be through a joint-venture company owned by the Power Development Board and TNB, Bangladesh’s "New Age" newspaper reported, quoting unnamed officials. It said the plant would run on imported coal. A delegation, led by the Power Division’s additional secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain, will visit Malaysia this month to finalise the memorandum of understanding on the installation and operations of the plant, the officials said. China and Thailand power generation companies have also submitted proposals to the Power Division for the project. A Power Division official told New Age they preferred the Malaysian proposal as it met the criteria set by the ministry. (Business Times)

Malaysian Resources Corporation: Government looking to acquire EDL highway
The government is looking to acquire the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) from MRCB for RM1.2bn. EDL has been severely impacting MRCB’s earnings and may be finally relieved from it. The price tag is able to cover the RM1.04bn bonds issued but short of 100m as the project’s total equity was valued at RM1.3bn. (StarBiz)

IGB REIT: Raises RM838m in IPO
IGB Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) raised RM837.5m in an initial public offering after pricing units at the top of the marketed range, said 3 people with knowledge of the matter. The trust, an arm of property developer IGB Corporation, sold units to institutional investors at RM 1.25 each, said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. IGB had marketed the shares at RM1.15 to RM1.25 apiece. (StarBiz)

Bandar Raya Developments: In JV residential project, GDV of RM600m
Bandar Raya Developments (BRDB) is teaming up with landowner Garuda Mega Sdn Bhd to undertake a residential development project in Sungai Long, Selangor. BRDB said on Wednesday its unit Raintree Forest Sdn Bhd had inked a JV agreement with Garuda Mega for the project with a gross development value of RM600m. The agreement is to build bungalows, semi-detached houses and apartments on Garuda Mega's land, measuring 25.97ha. Phase one is targeted to be launched in 2Q 2014. The landowner's entitlement would be 23% of the net development value and it could opt for either cash or units or both. The directors of Garuda are Datuk Chee Hong Leong and Chee Chik Eng. (StarBiz)

Magna Prima: Buys 20 acres in Shah Alam for RM100m
Magna Prima’s wholly-owned subsidiary Magna Ecocity Sdn Bhd (MESB) is to acquire 20 acres in Seksyen 15, Shah Alam for RM100 m. The vendor of the land is PCM Bina Sdn Bhd, which will receive RM70m cash plus a 30% stake in MESB valued at RM30m for the transaction. The 20 acre plot in question is still an industrial property, but the Petaling Land Office has approved the variation of land use from “industrial” to “commercial”. The land will be developed into a mixed residential and commercial project which will comprise 244 terraced three storey shop offices and 1,620 serviced apartments. The project has a GDV of RM1 billion with a development cost estimated at RM676.62m excluding the cost of acquiring the land. (Financial Daily)

Ingenuity Solutions: Chin rejects Ninetology offer, seeks to be on board
Chin Boon Long, the substantial shareholder of Ingenuity Solutions Bhd, has declined Ninetology Marketing Sdn Bhd offer for his shares in the ACE Market company. He told a press conference here on Wednesday that he will hold on to his Ingenuity shares for another two years and his next course of action is to seek a board representation at Ingenuity. (Business Times)

Glove: ANRPC sees higher rubber output
Natural rubber (NR) production in Association of Natural Rubber Producing Counties (ANRPC) this year is set to rise by 4.9% to 10.83m tonnes from 10.33m tonnes in 2011. Its secretary-general, Datuk Dr Kamarul Baharin Basir, said ANRPC members produced about 93% of the global NR. He said Thailand was still the largest producer with 34.82% followed by Indonesia (28.8%), Malaysia (9.71%), India (8.67%) and Vietnam (7.91%). (StarBiz)

Plantation: MPOB and Italy's Maccaferri in CPO recovery
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Italy's Maccaferri are collaborating to develop the oil separation and recovery process technology for palm oil mills. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said on Wednesday that Maccaferri had the technology for oil recovery and primary separation of water and immiscible oils. He said the technology had been used in the oil and gas industry during oil spills and also in steel mills where there was a fraction of free floating oil on water. (StarBiz)

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