Friday, December 14, 2012

20121214 0951 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Axiata Group is set to strengthen its foothold in Cambodia through a merger between Hello Axiata Company Ltd and Latelz Company Ltd, which it acquires for a consideration of US$155m (RM473m). In a statement, Axiata announced that its Cambodian arm had entered into a sales and purchase agreement to acquire shares of Latelz, owned by Timeturns Holdings Ltd based in Cyprus. Post merger, Axiata will hold a 90% stake in the combined entity and emerge as one of the largest operators in Cambodia in terms of subscribers and revenue. The company said: “Unique subscriber penetration in Cambodia is currently below 40% with an expected double digit growth of around 10% over the next 3 years. As such, the headroom for growth is now and with this merger, Axiata will have a head start with a significantly strengthened entity and clear market leadership.” The acquisition of Latelz will be financed by Axiata's internal generated funds and/or existing financing facilities and is not expected to have any material effect on the gearings and net assets of the Axiata Group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2012. (StarBiz)

AirAsia has placed a new order for 100 A320 family aircraft, bringing the total orders with Airbus to 475. Thirty-six of the new planes will be fitted with the current engine option, with deliveries running up to 2016 - two in 2013, four in 2014, 22 in 2015 and eight in 2016. The remaining 64 planes with the new engine option will be delivered beginning 2017 with eight deliveries, 14 in 2018, 15 in 2019, 14 in 2020 and 13 in 2021. AirAsia is already expecting the delivery and leases of 34 planes in 2013 - 10 for Malaysia, eight for Thailand, nine for Indonesia, three for Philippines and four for Japan. (Financial Daily)

Jaks Resources Bhd said its subsidiary JAKS Hai Duong Power Co Ltd has agreed to terminate the contract to develop a 2 x 600MW coal-fired power plantin Hai Duong , Vietnam. (BT)

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd and  Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd will replace  AirAsia Bhd and  Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Bhd in the FTSE Bursa Malaysia  Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. (BT)

KUB Agrotech Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of  KUB Malaysia Bhd, is banking on its maiden RM50m palm oil mill to generate almost RM130m in revenue annually by 2015. The construction of the mill, which will be built in Mukah, Sarawak, is also aligned with the company's mission  to increase its landbank of up to 28,000ha for the development of oil palm plantations. KUB Agrotech chairman Datuk Gumuri Hussain did not dismiss the possibility of the company acquiring land overseas for the development of oil palm plantations.  "We have in our very own strategic plan to expand our landbank, which is not confined to acquiring land in the country but also abroad. (BT)

DiGi, which enjoys a 25% share of the smartphone market, expects to see a rise in the number of its customers with the much anticipated  Apple-iPhone 5 which will hit the Malaysian market Friday. Its Head of Internet and Services Product Marketing, Praveen Rajan, said they have been seeing very encouraging response since they opened up for pre-order for the iPhone sale via DiGi's online store. He said the postpaid and prepaid plans offered by DiGi were expected to bring in more sales due to the affordable pricing structure. He said DiGi postpaid plan starts from as low as RM60 per month and the phone pricing starts from RM2012. DiGi said the iPhone 5 will be available at six key locations for DiGi stores in the country including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. (Bernama)

Navis Capital Investments Ltd could make a second attempt to take SEG International Bhd (SEGi) private.  On Apr 25, the private equity firm and SEGi group managing director Datuk Seri Clement Hii made a general offer to privatise SEGi, the country's second largest private education group by sales, at RM1.74 per share and RM1.214 per outstanding warrant. Minority shareholders have generally brushed aside the offer. The mother shares yesterday closed at RM1.87 each while the warrants closed at RM1.38 per unit. Navis has started buy the warrants at above its own offer price and market observers suspect that the private equity firm intends to convert the warrants into mother shares to help push its shareholding to above the 75% threshold. Navis and parties acting in concert with the private equity currently control about 70.% of the company. This month alone, Navis Capital has bought some 300,000 warrants from the open market. Hii, one of the parties said to be acting in concert with Navis, told B T that he is not aware of any fresh general offer bid by the private equity firm. "I believe that they are buying on the open market as they feel that the current price is attractive enough to increase their stake," said Hii. (BT)

Petronas has awarded a production sharing contract for  Block SB311 offshore Sabah to a partnership of ConocoPhillips Sabah Gas Ltd, Shell Energy Asia Ltd and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd. In a statement, Petronas said the block, measuring 1,046 km2, was located in the central part of the Sabah. “Basin in water depths ranging from 50 to 100 metres. The area is located within a proven hydrocarbon fairway with key discoveries such as Kebabangan, Kinarut, and Erb West,” the firm said. Under the terms of the contract, ConocoPhillips will operate the block with a participating interest of 40% while Petronas Carigali and  Shell Energy Asia will each own a 30% interest in the block each. The three parties are committed to drill two wildcat wells, acquire 400 line km of new 2D seismic data and re-process existing 3D seismic data on the block under the contract. (StarBiz)

Axis-REIT Managers plans to buy about RM350m worth of properties next year. It is setting sights on industrial properties in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, the Klang Valley, Selangor and Seberang Prai in Penang. "The current environment for growth for the REIT  industry is going to be challenging next year because yields have dropped so far. Besides, mall owners are not willing to sell for now. Fortunately, it's easier in industrial properties," said CEO George Stewart Labrooy. (Financial Daily)

Malaysia's overall media advertising expenditure (adex) rose to RM10.1bn in the first 11 months, up from RM9.6bn in the same period a year ago. According to the Nielsen Media Research Adex, advertisers spent RM5.4bn on television advertising compared with RM4.9bn in the corresponding period last year. During the period, newspapers' adex revenue dropped slightly to RM3.91bn from RM3.95bn recorded in 2011. Among the newspaper companies, The New Straits Times Press (NSTP) group's adex revenue improved to RM1.2bn from RM1.1bn previously. The group's market share rose by 4.1% to 31.5%, compared with 30%  last year. Leading the adex growth in the group was the Malay daily Harian Metro with revenue of RM535m, compared with RM473m the previous year, followed by its Sunday version  Metro Ahad with revenue of RM110m compared with RM94m. Adex in free-to-air TV stood at RM2.8bn compared with RM2.7bn, while pay-TV commanded RM2.5bn in adex, higher than the RM2.1bn it captured
over the same period last year. Nielsen also noted that outdoor adex grew steadily from a revenue of RM108.2m to RM129.3m this year.(BT)

UEM Land Bhd, started marketing  RM600m sukuk, its first issuance of syariah-compliant Islamic bonds, two people familiar with the sale said. The company was seeking to price the five-year sukuk to yield 4.25% to 4.4%, said the people who asked not to be named as the information is private. That's as much as 114 basis points above similar-maturity non-Islamic government debt, according to Bank Negara Malaysia index. The issuance is its first under a RM2bn bond programme disclosed by Malaysian Rating Corp on Dec 3. UEM Land, which was helping develop Iskandar Malaysia, would use the proceeds for syariah-compliant corporate purposes, the company said in an e-mailed to Bloomberg News on Dec 6, without elaborating. (Starbiz)

KNM Group Bhd has signed a shareholders cum joint-venture agreement with HMS Oil and Gas Sdn Bhd to form KNM HMS Energy Sdn Bhd (KHE) to secure opportunities in the upstream oil and gas (O&G) sector in Malaysia.KNM will hold a 70% stake in KHE with the balance 30% being held by HMS, KNM said in a Bursa Malaysia’s filing. (Starbiz)

AirAsia X intends to increase the flight frequency from  Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, Taipei and Chengdu effective May 1, 2013 to strengthen its market positioning. The company announced that its daily flights to Melbourne will increase to nine flights weekly by 1 May and subsequently to 12 flights weekly by 1 July. Daily flights to Taipei will hit 10 weekly flights effective 1 May and with double daily flights commencing 1 July. Flights to Chengdu will increase from its current five flights weekly to six by 1 May and daily flights by 1 July. (Malaysian Reserve)

Mycron Steel Bhd will agree to continue buying 50% of its raw material needs from Megasteel Sdn Bhd and the other half from abroad provided its three conditions are met, its top executives said.  International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had reportedly told Mycron in a meeting earlier this month that the Government would still require it to procure hot-rolled coils (HRC) from Megasteel, the country's sole producer of the material, and import the rest, which is the current practice. The decision is said to have been a blow to local cold-rolled coil (CRC) makers as most steel players are in the red, while industry utilisation rates remain depressed at a paltry 31%. HRC is the raw material for making CRC, which can either be scrap-based or iron ore-based. The latter is of higher quality and used for various applications in the automotive, petroleum, palm oil, and electronic and electrical industries. Mycron chairman and major shareholder Tunku Datuk Yaacob Tunku Abdullah said after the company's AGM yesterday that it had agreed “in principle” with the ministry based on three conditions consistency of product quality from Megasteel; a rollback of duty-exemption on imported CRC, essentially making it more expensive; and an independent audit to ensure that Megasteel does not enjoy any transfer pricing advantage between its upstream and downstream operations.“If those three conditions are fulfilled, we are comfortable with the 50:50 purchase policy,” he said. Although the final decision rests with the minister, Yaacob said he was optimistic Mycron's conditions would be met. According to industry executives, an announcement is due to be made in the coming weeks on the new steel policy by Mustapa. This is likely to take place before the end of the year as the regulation will take effect on Jan 1, 2013. (Starbiz)

The  Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) should not to play the industry’s “God” by selecting which companies’ pockets to fatten with arbitrary awards, said DAP federal lawmaker Tony Pua. He insisted here that the regulator should have auctioned off the 4G-LTE broadband spectrum instead of awarding a comparatively large block to logistics tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary. He scoffed at MCMC chairman Datuk Mohd Sharil Tarmizi’s claim that the award of 40MHz to Syed Mokhtar’s Puncak Semangat was to “introduce additional competition”, saying his explanation defied logic as the eight existing players in the industry was adequate to offer a surfeit of consumer choice. “By international standards, eight players are more than sufficient to generate a highly competitive environment. Most other developed nations have far fewer than eight players in the industry, and yet remain highly competitive and innovative." According to The Edge on Tuesday, Shahril defended the MCMC’s award of the largest share of the high speed 4G-LTE broadband spectrum to Puncak Semangat, which Pua had on Monday criticised for its “zero track record” in the field. (The Malaysian Insider)

Genting in UK ops revamp, while Quek purchases more casinos
Genting Group is revamping its operations in London where more casino-friendly laws are being weighed alongside potential job creation, while Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan’s Rank Group awaits the final go-ahead for a deal that would unseat Genting as the largest UK casino operator. Genting is revamping The Fox Poker Club in Shaftesbury Avenue, a poker-only club, into a full casino even as London legislators contemplate legislative changes that would allow easier casino licences movement between UK localities. Rank still needs the Competition Commission’s clearance for its GBP205m (RM1bn) purchase of 26 Gala Coral casinos. (Financial Daily)

Melewar looking to sell Siam Power
Melewar Industry Group could sell its power generation arm, Siam Power Generation Co Ltd, which operates a 160MW combined cycle co-generation gas-fired power plant in Rayong, Thailand. The sale is likely to come after April 2013, when G Steel, one of Melewar’s customers, completes a restructuring exercise and commences buying electricity from Siam Power again. Siam Power could fetch a better price with an impending ruling that removes a cap and allow the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to acquire power from small power producers like Siam Power. (Financial Daily)

Petra Energy proposes renounceable rights issue
Petra Energy has proposed a rights issue of up to 107.25m new ordinary shares on a basis of one rights share for every two existing Petra shares held, with the issue price and entitlement date to be determined later. The company intends to raise a minimum of RM102m and will be used to fund its participation in a petroleum development and production project at the Kapal, Banang and Meranti cluster of small fields inoffshore Terengganu. (Malaysian Reserve)

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