Aeon Credit, Axiata,TM, Utusan, PLB, Scomi, Systech, Mitrajaya, Mexter, Gamuda, Berjaya Land, Hiap Teck Venture, ML Global, Iris, Integrated Logistics and Jaycorp

KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): Based on corporate announcements on Bursa Malaysia and news flow today, companies that may be in focus on Friday (March 24) could include the following: Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Utusan Melayu Malaysia Bhd, PLB Engineering Bhd, Scomi Group Bhd, Systech Bhd, Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd, Mexter Technology Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd, Hiap Teck Venture Bhd, ML Global Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Integrated Logistics Bhd and Jaycorp Bhd.

Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd plans to make a one-for-two bonus issue of 72 million new shares at an issue price of 50 sen each, to reward shareholders.

At the same time, it is also proposing to raise RM432 million via a rights issue of three-year minimum 3.5% irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks (ICULS), on the basis of two ICULS for every one existing Aeon Credit share held.

Proceeds from the rights issue will be used to repay bank borrowings and for working capital. As at Feb 28, 2017, it has total bank borrowings of RM5.26 billion.

Malaysia’s two telco giants, Axiata Group Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) have quashed rumours that both companies are en route to a merger.

“In view of news articles building on the said speculation, Axiata wishes to specifically deny that it is currently engaged in any discussions with TM on a possible merger,” Axiata said.

Separately, TM also “confirms that it is not currently in discussion with Axiata as purported in the article.”

Utusan Melayu Malaysia Bhd is teaming up with two Indian companies — Krishna Industrial Corp Ltd, Coimbatore Institute of Technology — and a local firm, Primainfo Technologies Sdn Bhd, to venture into the business of information and technology in Malaysia.

The MoU is effective for a period of three years.

PLB Engineering Bhd’s 60%-owned subsidiary PLB Terang Sdn Bhd has been awarded a contract to develop a large-scale solar photovoltaic plant of 20 megawatt in Penang at the levelised price of 40.8 sen per kilo-Watt hour (kWh) for 21 years.

Scomi Group Bhd has taken up a 30% interest in renewable energy company Strong Elegance Sdn Bhd to provide itself an avenue to undertake new businesses related to the construction and development of solar photovoltaic plants.

Scomi said the remaining interest in Strong Elegance is held by Synergy Generated Sdn Bhd (40%), which owns and operates a five megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Setiu, Terengganu, and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (30%).

Systech Bhd, whose share price has hit a one-year high of 29 sen, plans to acquire 51% of Singapore-based Postlink Pte Ltd for RM9.8 million.

Postlink is involved in the mailing house, transport, design and information system service business.

Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd’s 60%-owned unit Mitrajaya Equipment Resource Sdn Bhd is acquiring a 0.86 hectares plot of leasehold land in Sepang for RM4.22 million.

The acquisition, Mitrajaya said, was from Visible Profit Sdn Bhd, and will enlarge its property division's landbank for future developments.

Mexter Technology Bhd is raising up to RM14.31 million through a private placement of shares to fund its expansion into healthcare services, in which it intends to venture into the mother and child healthcare segment by setting up a postpartum care centre in Plaza VADS, with a capacity of 33 beds.

ACE Market-listed Mexter said it is proposing to undertake a private placement of up to 20% of its share capital to fund its expansion as it seeks to diversify its earnings base and reduce its reliance on its existing core businesses in information technology-based solutions and services.

Mexter expects the proposals to be completed by the third quarter of this year.

Gamuda Bhd, which saw its share price hit an all-time high today, reported a 4% growth in net profit in its second financial quarter ended Jan 31, 2017 (2QFY17) to RM166.26 million from RM160.11 million a year ago, on higher revenue.

It also said the better earnings was due to cost savings enjoyed from the near completion of underground works of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Line 1.

Quarterly revenue jumped 62% to RM853.88 million from RM527.43 million a year ago, mainly due to higher work progress of underground and elevated works of the KVMRT Line 2 (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya).

For the cumulative six-month period, Gamuda's net profit rose 2% to RM328.41 million from RM321.35 million a year ago, while revenue climbed 31% to RM1.36 billion from RM1.04 billion.

Gamuda said the 43% rise in revenue for its property division in 1HFY17 to RM515.08 million from RM359.31 million a year ago was mainly attributed to the higher sales of its Vietnam properties.

On prospects, Gamuda expects to post a good performance this year on the steady earnings of its expressway concessions division and the ramping up of works for KVMRT Line 2.

Berjaya Land Bhd plans to acquire 70% of Hotel Integrations Sdn Bhd (HISB), which specialises in providing consultation and related services in the hotel industry, for RM1.36 million.

Its wholly-owned subsidiary Berjaya Vacation Club Bhd entered into a share purchase agreement with HISB to gain a controlling stake in it, Berjaya Land said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

HISB also does market analysis and feasibility studies, provides technical assistance services, hotel pre-opening/take-over services and hotel operations management services.

Hiap Teck Venture Bhd posted a net profit of RM3.9 million, for the second quarter ended Jan 31, 2017 (2QFY17), from a net loss of RM22.81 million a year earlier mainly due to improved margins and higher other income.

Quarterly revenue, however, was down 2.17% to RM269.13 million from RM275.09 million a year ago on lower sales volume for the trading division.

For the cumulative six-month period ended Jan 31, 2017 (1HFY17), it has a net profit of RM2.95 million compared to a net loss of RM60.03 million a year ago.

Revenue was 7.5% lower at RM548.52 million in 1HFY17 from RM592.47 million last year.

Going forward, Hiap Teck said the outlook for the steel industry in Malaysia will remain volatile due to the widening of the import-export gap, shrinking market share and growing capacities in ASEAN countries.

ML Global Bhd’s unit Delta Gallery Sdn Bhd is partnering with Alaf Cahaya Development Sdn Bhd to develop a leasehold plot in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, into a mixed project with an estimated gross development value of RM270 million.

The plot measures 18,965.72 sq metres. ML Global plans to develop 74 commercial units and 398 service apartments on the land, over five years.

ML Global said the land sits on a strategic location, surrounded by several mature townships and is easily accessible via Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil and Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong.

Iris Corp Bhd said it is being sued by Roxwell Group Sdn Bhd over an alleged commission payment related to the build, own and transfer (BOT) passport contract in the west African nation of Guinea.

Iris said Roxwell has named it and four others, Datuk Tan Say Jim, Su Thai Ping, Hamdan Hassan and Sylla Ibrahima Sory as the defendants.

The High Court has fixed April 11 for case management of the suit.

Iris said Roxwell  is seeking a commission payment of RM 169.48 million under an agreement signed in 2011 between the two parties, based on the formula of 15% on the reported value of the build-operate-transfer passport contract awarded by the government of Guinea to Iris in 2013.

Iris acknowledged that it had agreed to pay Roxwell a commission of 15% for any sale of plant, equipment, machinery or asset arranged by the latter.

However, it said the project does not involve the sale of plant and equipment and no deposit was received from Guinea.

Integrated Logistics Bhd’s wholly-owned unit IL Solar Sdn Bhd has received approval to construct a large-scale solar photovoltaic plant in Bandar Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, which has the capacity to produce 10 megawatts of electricity.

It has also signed a 21-year power purchase agreement with Tenga Nasional Bhd at a levelised price fixed at 43 sen per kilo-Watt hour, with no increase throughout agreement period.

The plant will start commercial operations by Jan 1, 2018.

Jaycorp Bhd’s net profit in 2QFY17 contracted by 24.3% to RM4.63 million from RM6.11 million a year earlier due to lower operating profit.

Jaycorp's revenue in 2QFY17, however, grew 5.4% at RM79.56 million from RM75.48 million in 2QFY16.

In 1HFY17, Jaycorp's net profit fell 12.7% to RM10.09 million from RM11.56 million in 1HFY16, whereas revenue was marginally higher by 1% at RM153.64 million versus RM152.17 million last year.

"The furniture industry remains the group's core business. The group will continue to focus on controlling cost structure and exploring new markets for products in order to achieve better profits and business growth," Jaycorp said with regards to its outlook.