HeiTech Padu, DRB-Hicom, Asian Pac, Astral Asia, Fajarbaru, MBSB and P.I.E

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug 9) could include: HeiTech Padu, DRB-Hicom, Asian Pac Holdings, Astral Asia, Fajarbaru Builder Group, Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and P.I.E Industrial.

HeiTech Padu Bhd’s subsidiary has won a RM37.29 million contract from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for the establishment of a transmission main intake for the Mass Rapid Transport project at the Semantan Portal here.

HeiTech said 51%-owned subsidiary Duta Technic Sdn Bhd received the letter of acceptance on July 25, and received TNB’s consent to announce the contract last Friday.

The scope of the contract includes engineering design, covering civil and structural works, and high voltage electrical equipment. It is for 602 days from Aug 12, 2016 to April 5, 2018.

Proton Holdings Bhd, which is wholly-owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd, expects to secure a partner to grow its automotive business by the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17).

DRB-Hicom said Proton is currently undertaking a request for proposal (RFP) exercise, seeking a partner.

“It must be highlighted that as part of the requirement of the RM1.5 billion loan granted by the government, Proton is currently undertaking an RFP exercise seeking a partner to Proton who can provide a strategic, operational and cultural fit on a permanent basis, with the intention to grow its automotive business,” it said.

The exercise, said DRB-Hicom, is expected to be completed in 1Q17 and its implementation is being overseen by the Task Force Committee formed by the government to monitor the turnaround of Proton.

The group also denied that it may dispose of its entire stake in Proton.

Asian Pac Holdings Bhd has proposed a rights issue of 5-year 3% irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks (ICULS), on the basis of one ICULS for every 10 shares held.

Each ICULS subscribed will come with two free detachable warrants, the property developer said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.

The exercise involves up to RM99.26 million ICULS and 198.51 million warrants. The ICULS will be issued at 100% of their nominal value of RM1.00 each.

Asian Pac said it intends to use the RM99.26 million proceeds from the rights issue to acquire new land for future development, working capital and for the expenses related to the proposals.

Astral Asia Bhd has called off the plan to expand its plantation activity by acquiring 35,000 acres of oil palm land in Sarawak.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Astral Asia said its subsidiary Astral Plantation Sdn Bhd, and vendor Sima Properties Holdings Sdn Bhd, were unable to reach an agreement on the deal.

They have decided to terminate the memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed on May 10, the filing said, adding that the RM500,000 refundable deposit will be refunded to Astral Plantation.

The MoA was for Astral Asia to acquire Paramount Estate Sdn Bhd from Sima Properties. Paramount owns 80% of Paramount Pelita Kapit Sdn Bhd, which holds the provisional leases to 13 pieces of land in Sarawak, measuring about 35,000 acres.

Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd has clinched a RM20.96 million infrastructure contract from the East Coast Economic Region Development Council.

The builder said its unit Fajarbaru Builder Sdn Bhd has been appointed as contractor for the council's KPC Port Link Road project in Kuantan Port City, Pahang.

The contract is for the construction of the main access road and primary infrastructure and utilities for the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park.

The job will commence on Aug 22 and is scheduled to be completed on Feb 18, 2018, after a period of 78 weeks.

Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) posted a 26.3% decline in net profit to RM63.01 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16), from RM85.55 million a year ago, on higher allowances for impairment losses on loans, advances and financing.

Revenue, however, gained 6.1% to RM812.52 million in 2QFY16, from RM765.78 million in 2QFY15.

For the first half of the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 (1HFY16), net profit declined 53.38% to RM97.84 million, from RM209.87 million, despite a 11.64% increase in revenue to RM1.63 billion, from RM1.46 billion.

MBSB said the group's profit before tax (PBT) for 1HFY16 fell 60.3% to RM113.819 million, from RM286.922 million in 1HFY15, mainly due to higher allowances for impairment losses on loans, advances and financing with the continuation of the impairment programme initiated by the group in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Lower profit margin, higher operating expenses and higher provision for slow-moving inventories have taken their tolls on PIE Industrial Bhd's earnings in the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2QFY16).

The group's net profit tumbled 35.8% to RM6.13 million, from RM9.55 million; the earnings decline was limited by higher gain from foreign currency exchange and a reversal of doubtful debts provision.

Quarterly revenue slipped 0.3% to RM135.89 million, from RM136.36 million in 2QFY15, as demand from existing customers for electronics manufacturing activities and raw wire and cable products fell, though this was partly offset by higher revenue achieved via its trading activities.

For the six months ended June 30, 2016 (1HFY16), its net profit more than halved to RM8.24 million, from RM19.8 million a year ago, on the same reasons affecting its quarterly earnings decline.

Revenue for the period, however, rose 3.3% to RM255.61 million, from RM247.42 million, due to more orders from new and existing customers on all manufacturing and trading activities.