Companies in the news - Ambank Group, SKP Resources, China Automobile, Magna Prima and Axiata

KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Based on corporate
announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus on Monday (July 18) could include: Ambank Group, SKP Resources, China Automobile, Magna Prima and Axiata.

AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank Group) will reduce its base rate and base lending rate by 20 basis points (bps) to 3.8% and 6.65% respectively, from July 19, following Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)'s decision to cut the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25bps on Wednesday (July 13).

In a statement, AmBank Group and AmBank (M) Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said rate reduction will not impact the banking group's performance and will benefit borrowers.

He said while BNM's decision to reduce the OPR was unexpected, the move comes at the right time as Malaysia's gross domestic product's year-on-year growth slowdown in the first quarter of 2016 is evidence that headwinds continue to pose a challenge to the market, and soft consumer sentiment as well as low investor confidence is likely to continue affecting domestic growth.

While deposits will be less attractive moving forward, consumers can explore other investment opportunities, such as unit trusts and other wealth management products, which can potentially yield higher earnings, according to Sulaiman.

SKP Resources Bhd has clinched a four-year contract worth RM500 million per annum — or RM2 billion in total — from its major customer Dyson Ltd to manufacture an electronic consumer product.

However, SKP Resources said in a bourse filing it would be axing its five-year RM400 million per annum contract that was awarded by Dyson in May last year, for manufacturing cordless vacuum cleaners to "optimise limited labour resources following the government's move to freeze the hiring of foreign workers".

Meanwhile, it assured that its five-year RM600 million per annum contract to manufacture "a specific model of cordless vacuum cleaners" for the same customer — announced in September last year — remains unchanged.

China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd (CAP)'s managing director (MD) Li Guo Qing has ceased to be a substantial shareholder in the company after disposing of a 6.2% stake in the auto parts maker.

CAP said Li, 36, disposed of 72.13 million shares through its private vehicle — Guotai International Holdings Ltd — via an off-market trade on June 20, 2016.

Following the disposal, he should still control 41.4 million shares or a 3.57% stake in the company.

Li, a Filipino, was appointed as CAP's MD on April 4, 2012. He controlled 113.53 million shares or a 9.77% stake in CAP as at March 31, 2016, according to its Annual Report 2015.

Magma Prima Bhd's CEO Cheah Len Khoon has resigned from his post with immediate effect.

The property developer said Cheah, 61, left the company on amicable terms to pursue other business interests.

His resignation came barely 4½ months after his appointment. Cheah was appointed to the post on March 3 this year.

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) raised its stake in Axiata Group Bhd to 14.89% from 14.72% after receiving shares from Axiata's dividend reinvestment plan (DRP).

Mobile-telecommunication network provider Axiata said in a statement the EPF had last Monday (July 11) received some 30.3 million shares under the DRP. Including the additional shares, the EPF owned 1.33 billion shares or a 14.89% stake in Axiata.

Axiata's announcement on EPF's stake in the company followed a statement yesterday (July 14) on Axiata's corporate reorganisation, which, among others, will see Axiata's subsidary Celcom Axiata Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly take on the role of regional CEO for Southeast Asia at the group level.