Ancom, KNM Group, MBSB, Star Media, TNB, Dayang and Ire-tex

KUALA LUMPUR (May 12): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus on Monday (May 15) may include: Ancom Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Malaysia Building Society Bhd, Star Media Group Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd and Ire-tex Corp Bhd.

Ancom Bhd is teaming up with two Indonesian companies and a Thai firm to bid for consulting services and advertising media work for Jakarta’s mass rapid transit (MRT) project.

Ancom said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Puncak Berlian Sdn Bhd has entered into a preliminary agreement with PT Alternatif Media Group, PT Avabanindo Perkasa and Thailand-listed VGI Global Media PCL to set up a consortium to bid for the tender.

The consortium members will jointly prepare the request for proposal or any other similar document required by MRT Jakarta, in order to become a participant of the project tender.

The consortium, Ancom said, is expected to expand the earning base of its media division, should the consortium be successful in securing the project.

KNM Group Bhd has bagged a RM159 million contract to undertake engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) works for the 300,000-litre per day Impress ethanol plant — expansion (IEL Phase 2) project in Chachaengsao Province, Thailand.

Its wholly-owned subsidiary KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd (KNMPS) and its 74%-owned subsidiary KNM Projects (Thailand) Co Ltd (KNMPT) have collectively secured the contract from Thailand's Impress Ethanol Co Ltd (IEL).

IEL is a manufacturer and distributor of alcohol/ethanol or fuel from agricultural products and it is effectively a 72%-owned subsidiary of KNM. The construction duration of the IEL Phase 2 project is about 18 months.

KNMPS previously built the IEL Phase 1 project, involving 200,000 litres per day of fuel-grade ethanol production plant for IEL.

The proposed acquisition of Asian Finance Bank Bhd (AFB) by Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is "looking good", said MBSB president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman today.

Ahmad Zaini said the merger is likely to happen this time around.

"So far, we are talking. Nobody is backing out. From the discussion, it looks like they are still interested," he told reporters after MBSB's annual general meeting here today.

MBSB has completed due diligence on the proposed merger, he added. Bank Negara Malaysia has given until June 21 for the two parties to complete the negotiations.

Star Media Group Bhd has signed a deal to dispose of its 128.46 million shares or a 52.51% stake in Singapore-listed Cityneon Holdings Ltd for S$115.61 million (RM360.18 million) or 90 cent per share.

In a filing with the Singapore Stock Exchange today, Cityneon said Star Media’s wholly-owned subsidiary Laviani Pte Ltd has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Lucrum 1 Investment Ltd for the disposal.

Lucrum 1 is 76%-owned by Massive Right Investments Ltd, 15.5%-owned by Philadelphia Investments Ltd and 8.5%-owned by Mutual Power International Ltd.

Post-disposal, Star Media plans to utilise RM359.6 million of the disposal proceeds for future investments and general working capital within 24 months, and the remaining RM585,000 for the expenses incurred for the disposal.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) via its wholly-owned subsidiary, TNB International Sdn Bhd (TNBI), has completed its 50% interest acquisition of one of Britain’s largest portfolios of operating solar power assets with a combined net installed capacity of 365 MW.

“The acquisition, with an enterprise value of circa £470 million, achieves a key objective of TNB’s five-year international expansion plan to acquire up to 250 MW capacity of renewable energy projects by 2020,” it said.

The acquisition was through Vortex Solar UK Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of a TNB joint venture, Vortex Solar Investments S.a.r.l. (Vortex), which acquired a 100% interest in the portfolio.

TNB has a 50% shareholding in Vortex, whereas Beaufort Investments S.a.r.l. holds the remaining 50%.

Vortex Solar UK signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement in January with a subsidiary of Terraform Power Inc to acquire the solar portfolio which includes 24 solar photovoltaic farms, Britain’s third largest solar power business, said TNB.

TNB has funded the acquisition through US$750 million sukuk proceeds issued by the company in October last year, said TNB.

Post-acquisition, TNB’s international renewable energy portfolio will have a combined net installed capacity of 252 MW, following acquisitions in power companies in India and Turkey in 2016.

Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd intends to divest 37.5% of its 98% stake in Perdana Petroleum Bhd by way of dividend-in-specie.

Dayang said upon completion of the exercise, its shareholding in the subsidiary will be reduced to 60.5%. Dayang, which acquired Perdana Petroleum in 2015, is divesting its stake to maintain the subsidiary’s listing status.

Dayang said the proposed dividend-in-specie would improve Perdana’s public shareholding spread as well as serve as a reward to Dayang’s shareholders and provide them with an opportunity to invest directly in Perdana at no cost.

The boardroom tussle between two groups of feuding shareholders of Ire-tex Corp Bhd has moved up a notch, with police reports filed against existing and present directors of the company.

In one of four filings with Bursa Malaysia today, Ire-tex said its subsidiary Ire-tex Malaysia Sdn Bhd yesterday lodged a police report against its non-independent non-executive director Kong Hon Kay and group chief operating officer Christopher Purcell over payments totalling RM1.8 million made to OGL Asia Resources between June 2015 to Oct 2016.

The payments by Ire-tex Malaysia were approved by Kong and Purcell.

"In answering questions from the special review committee formed by the board to review the profit leakages of Ire-tex, payments to OGL were explained by Kong and Purcell as payments for 'sales commission to specified persons known to senior management'. (However,) Ire-tex has an existing sales team which already attends to customers and has not engaged OGL to do any sales or marketing for the company," said Ire-tex.

Separately, Ire-tex received a letter from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department informing it that a police report made by its former executive director Derick Soo Tee Wei on Jan 17, has been classified as a criminal breach of trust case and investigation papers pertaining to Zoomic Automation (M) Sdn Bhd have been opened.

Recall that in 2015, Ire-tex’s auditor UHY Chartered Accountants had presented a qualified opinion on the group’s financial statements for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014 in relation to a RM16.5 million purchase of machinery by Zoomic from Future Rank Sdn Bhd, which is a related party of Ire-Tex. "The case is still under investigation," said Ire-Tex.

Further, Ire-Tex said it has received a letter from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department informing the group that the police had called three witnesses to assist in the investigation while waiting for bank statements from the bank.

The probe pertains to a police report made by its executive director Felix Chin Wui Choong on March 15 this year, concerning the removal of funds from the group in June and July 2014 which he alleged were not for any purpose of the group.

The status of the case is under investigation, Ire-Tex said, where investigation is being conducted to prove the involvement of former director Datuk Tey Por Yee, who resigned on Feb 25, 2015, and Future Rank.

In the fourth filing with Bursa, Ire-tex announced that it yesterday lodged a police report regarding a claim made by Kong in connection with an alleged police report. The group has requested that the police investigate this unauthorised withdrawal of funds from the group, it said.