EcoWorld, Sime Darby, E&O, Superlon, Ranhill and IOI Corp

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 27): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept 28) could include: EcoWorld, Sime Darby, E&O, Superlon, Ranhill and IOI Corp.

Eco World Development Group Bhd's (EcoWorld) third quarter net profit was almost five times higher at RM44.58 million, compared with the RM9.39 million it recorded a year earlier.

The group attributed the higher earnings for the quarter ended July 31 (3QFY16) to higher sales from launched projects during the quarter. Revenue rose almost 60% to RM727.34 million from RM454.28 million.

For the first nine months of the FY16, net profit was about four times higher at RM99.93 million, compared with RM24.26 million it netted in the same period of FY15. Revenue rose 76% to RM1.81 billion from RM1.03 billion.

Sime Darby Bhd is reducing the disposal price for its 10% stake in property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) by 5.5% to RM323.3 million from RM342.2 million.

Sime Darby president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said the new price better reflects the current outlook of the property sector.

On June 3, the conglomerate announced that it was disposing of the 10% stake in E&O — comprising 125.98 million shares at RM2.60 each and 48.8 million convertible warrants at 30 sen each — to Paramount Spring Sdn Bhd.

In a filing today, Sime Darby said it is lowering the disposal price of the shares to RM2.45 each, but the disposal price of the convertible warrants stays at 30 sen each.

Paramount Spring is a private investment vehicle of E&O group managing director Datuk Seri Terry Tham Ka Hon. It was reported then that the disposal would result in Tham upping his stake in E&O from 11% to 21%.

Thermal insulation materials maker Superlon Holdings Bhd's first quarter net profit jumped 57% to RM6.05 million from RM3.86 million a year earlier, due to favourable exchange rate movements, growth in margin from growth in sales volume, and lower material costs.

Revenue for the quarter ended July 31 climbed 16% to RM25.63 million from RM22.11 million.

The group, which had just paid a 2.5 sen interim dividend on Aug 4, did not propose any further payout.

Ranhill Holdings Bhd has proposed to sell to Singapore-listed SIIC Environment Holdings Ltd a 60% stake in Ranhill Water (Hong Kong) Ltd (RWHK) for 273.9 million renminbi (RM169.11 million).

According to its bourse filing, Ranhill said it has, together with its wholly-owned subsidiary Ranhill Water Technologies (Cayman) Ltd (RWT Cayman), which is the holding company of RWHK, signed a sale and purchase agreement with SIIC and Asia Wisdom Investments Ltd, which is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of SIIC for the proposed divestment.

As part of the terms, RWHK will undertake an internal restructuring prior to the completion of the divestment, by transferring its 51% interest in Ranhill International Trade (Hong Kong) Investment Ltd and its 100% interest in Ranhill Venture (Hong Kong) Ltd to RWT Cayman.

Following the internal restructuring, RWHK, together with its remaining subsidiaries and joint venture, will be the assets involved in the proposed divestment.

Greenpeace activists have blocked operations of IOI Corp Bhd at Rotterdam port, accusing it of forest destruction and child labour, Reuters reported.

Ten activists are blocking IOI, one of the world's biggest producers and traders of palm oil, from accessing its refinery, and the Greenpeace ship Esperanza is preventing oil from being unloaded from incoming tankers, Greenpeace said.

In April, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil withdrew IOI's 'sustainability certification' after allegations the company had illegally chopped down rainforests in Indonesia and planted palm crops on peatland.

But the body announced in August that IOI had satisfied conditions for the suspension to be lifted, a move that has sparked sharp criticism from environmental groups.