Sona, Iris, BToto, IHH Healthcare, AirAsia, Poh Huat, DiGi, Maxis and NWP

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Sept 20) could include: Sona, Iris, BToto, IHH Healthcare, AirAsia, Poh Huat, DiGi, Maxis and NWP.

Sona Petroleum Bhd said Lim San Peen and Datuk Mohd Anwar Yahya of PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Sdn Bhd (PwC) have been appointed joint liquidators of the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The SPAC also planned to distribute 97% of the monies held in its cash trust account to eligible shareholders by November.

The balance 3% of the monies will be distributed within two years from the first distribution, said Sona.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Sona said as at today, the total gross amount of monies held in the cash trust account is RM543.25 million. This is equivalent to a gross distribution value of 49.38 sen per share (excluding tax and other distribution cost).

Iris Corp Bhd plans to tie up with a China-based property developer to undertake its 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) project in Putrajaya.

The company today entered into a memorandum of understanding with Qingjian International Group Co Ltd (QIGC) to set up a special purpose joint venture company (SPV).

"Iris and QIGC have agreed to discuss in good faith and mutually agree upon the terms and conditions to incorporate the SPV," it said in a filing today.

"The parties have agreed to define their roles, shares and interests in relation to the SPV and the project," it added.

Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd's (BToto) net profit fell 18.9% to RM58.74 million or 4.36 sen a share in its first financial quarter ended July 31, 2016 (1QFY17) from RM72.47 million or 5.39 sen a share a year ago, mainly due to the results of H.R. Owen Plc as well as the foreign exchange effect recognised by a foreign subsidiary company during the current quarter under review.

This was partially offset by the improved results reported by its principal subsidiary Sports Toto Sdn Bhd.

Revenue grew 8.2% to RM1.44 billion in 1QFY17 from RM1.33 billion in 1QFY16, mainly attributed to the results of Sports Toto and H.R. Owen.

The gaming firm also declared a first interim dividend of 4 sen per share for the financial year ending April 30, 2017 (FY17), payable on Oct 18. This amounted to RM53.9 million, representing 91.8% of the group's net profit for 1QFY17. The entitlement date has been fixed on Oct 7.

IHH Healthcare Bhd said today its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Parkway Pantai Ltd, has accepted a multi-currency banking facility that amounted to RM5.44 billion.

In a bourse filing, IHH Healthcare said the facility is a multi-currency facility involving Singapore dollars, Hong Kong dollars and US dollars, for a total amount equivalent of S$1.8 billion.

It said Parkway Pantai inked the agreement to accept the facility on Sept 15.

It said the unsecured multi-currency five-year revolving credit facility would be used for refinancing an existing RM1.87 billion facility, corporate funding, working capital, and for investments and project financing.

AirAsia Bhd has set up a subsidiary in Singapore, which will enable it to provide airlines operation services and aviation related management services in the country.

According to its bourse filing today, the low-cost airline said it has incorporated AirAsia Pte Ltd as a wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore via its unit AirAsia Investment Ltd last Friday (Sept 16).

"The principal activity of the company is airlines operation services. In the course of its business operations, the company will also act as a management services company dealing with relevant authorities and service providers in Singapore," it added.

Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd is buying a detached warehouse cum office-showroom in South Dandenong, Victoria, Australia for A$4.25 million (RM13.27 million) cash, to expand its business to Australia.

"We have operational bases in Malaysia, Vietnam and South Africa. As part of our expansion plan, we intend to expand [our] operational bases to other countries," it said in a bourse filing.

"The demographics and traditions of the Australians are similar to their Western counterparts in North America and the United Kingdom, where our products are well accepted," it added.

Although it noted the population of Australia is relatively smaller compared to its traditional markets, Poh Huat said the affluent major cities' residents in Australia provide good opportunities for it to expand its presence in the relatively untapped market.

DiGi.Com Bhd fell 3.02% to close at RM4.81 today on news that its Norwegian parent planned to reduce its stake.

In an article by Bloomberg last Friday, it was reported that Oslo-based Telenor ASA, which owned a 49% stake in DiGi, is reviewing options for its stake in the latter amidst fierce domestic competition.

Quoting an unnamed individual, however, the news wire said the review is at an early stage, and no final decision has been made. The article also mentioned that Telenor may explore a joint venture with Asian carriers or a sale of its stake if it does not find the right partner.

Maxis Bhd's indirect shareholder Saudi Telecom Co was reported to be exploring options for its stake in Malaysia's second largest wireless carrier by market value.

Bloomberg, quoting people with knowledge of the matter reported that Saudi Telecom is gauging interest in its 25% holding in Binariang GSM Sdn Bhd, which is the controlling shareholder of Maxis. The Riyadh-based company may consider selling the stake to a Malaysian pension fund or another financial investor.

The Binariang holding gives Saudi Telecom an effective 16.2% interest in Maxis valued at about US$1.8 billion (RM7.45 billion), according to Bloomberg. Binariang also owns a majority stake in Indian wireless carrier Aircel Ltd, which is merging with larger rival Reliance Communications Ltd.

NWP Holdings Bhd is confident that it will succeed in its new venture into the construction sector, making it the group's main revenue contributor in the next few years.

"We have talent in place already, and our clients are government bodies like SPNB (Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd) and PR1MA (Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia) Bhd," said NWP executive director Datuk Seri Nelson Kee Soon Ling at the sidelines of the group's extraordinary general meeting today.

"Time will tell," Kee said, adding that NWP may require another two to three years to materialise yield from the construction segment, but assured that this will soon be the main revenue contributor to group.