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KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus for Thursday (May 23) may include: KUB Malaysia Bhd, Sunway Bhd, MAA Group Bhd, Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd, Multi Sports Holdings Ltd, Seacera Group Bhd, Pos Malaysia Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd.

To improve its finances, KUB Malaysia Bhd is looking at laying off part of its 270-strong staff within the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 (FY19), its president and managing director Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Zin told reporters today.

The group is also in advance stages of negotiations with a buyer to sell its palm oil mill in Sarawak, on which it has bank borrowings, to improve cash flow and eliminate losses from the mill.

Sunway Bhd recorded a 13.8% year-on-year rise in its first quarter net profit to RM136.41 million from RM119.89 million a year ago, on stronger contributions from most business segments — except quarry, and trading and manufacturing — despite a fall in revenue.

Revenue for the three months, which ended March 31, 2019 (1QFY19), retreated 12.3% to RM1.12 billion from RM1.28 billion, as its business segments, other than its property investment and healthcare segments, recorded lower revenue.

MAA Group Bhd clarified today that the offer price made by Melewar Industrial Group Bhd to privatise MAA is not set in stone, as the rules of the Takeover Code issued by the Securities Commission do not impose any restriction on offer price revisions under the proposed selective capital reduction. It was responding to news reports that suggest the offer is fixed.

As such, the joint offerors may, at their discretion, propose a revised offer price, if all parties involved (including the independent adviser and the shareholders of the company) are given sufficient time to consider the revised offer price, prior to the extraordinary general meeting, it said.

Oil and gas firm Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd faces yet another setback as its wholly-owned major subsidiary, Kota Laksamana 101 Ltd (KL101), has defaulted on its instalment payments to the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (Exim Bank).

On May 17, KL101 received a notice of demand for the outstanding US$2.65 million (approximately RM11.08 million) owing under a 2014 facility agreement. The default may aggravate the group’s current financial concerns, said the Practice Note 17-company.

IOI Corp Bhd’s net profit tumbled 88.12% to RM245.8 million in the third quarter ended March 31 (3QFY19), from the RM2.07 billion a year earlier, due to forex losses and lower plantations earnings. This is despite quarterly revenue rising 8.67% to RM1.89 billion from RM1.74 billion previously.

For the cumulative nine months ended March 31, IOI’s net profit declined 80.66% to RM585.1 million, from the RM3.02 billion a year ago, while revenue retreated 0.56% to RM5.65 billion from RM5.62 billion.

UMW Holdings Bhd registered a 17% rise in net profit to RM86.5 million in its first quarter of the financial year 2019 (1QFY19) from RM74.08 million a year ago, as revenue climbed on stronger contributions from all three of its core business segments.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2019 (1QFY19) rose 15% to RM2.77 billion from RM2.42 billion, driven primarily by its automotive segment, where revenue grew 15% to RM2.16 billion, from RM1.88 billion on higher vehicle sales.

Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX)’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 (1QFY19) fell 26.5% to RM11.93 million from RM16.24 million a year ago, on lower earnings from its core business segments. Quarterly revenue decreased by 3.03% to RM68.95 million, from RM71.11 million a year ago.

PN17-company Multi Sports Holdings Ltd has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with construction firm Southern Score Sdn Bhd (SSSB) today which will entail the transferance of its listing status to a new entity to be set up by both parties. This is part of Multi Sport’s proposed restructuring plan to regularise its financial position.

Another PN17 company, Seacera Group Bhd, has been a served a letter of demand for payment of RM19.28 million by AmBank Islamic Bhd, in respect of total amount outstanding and due payable under the Murabahah Tawarruq Term Financing-I and Cashline-i.

The tile manufacturer is required to make the full settlement within seven days from May 15, 2019, failing which AmBank Islamic shall proceed with necessary actions against the company. Seacera is seeking legal advice on the matter.

Pos Malaysia Bhd suffered a net loss of RM141.13 million in its fourth quarter ended March 31, 2019 (4QFY19) — compared with a net profit of RM29.03 million a year ago — which resulted in the group posting its first ever full-year loss. Revenue fell 8.94% to RM594.68 million from RM653.08 million.

For the full FY19, the group posted a net loss of RM165.75 million, versus a net profit of RM93.25 million in FY18, due to widening losses in its mail segment and RM39.6 million of impairment charges from the loss of goodwill in Pos Logistics. Revenue declined 4.75% to RM2.36 billion from RM2.47 billion.

Perdana Petroleum Bhd narrowed its losses in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 (1QFY19) to RM32.94 million from RM66.66 million year ago, thanks to higher utilisation rate of its vessels and a foreign exchange (forex) gain, compared with forex losses in 1QFY18. Quarterly revenue rose 53.2% to RM25.7 million from RM16.78 million.

Velesto Energy Bhd slipped into the red in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 with a net loss of RM22.22 million compared with a net profit of RM5.02 million a year earlier, as it only booked other operating income of RM494,000 during the quarter, compared with RM22.95 million previously.

The higher figure in the year-ago first quarter, said Velesto, was mainly due to a net foreign exchange gain of RM18.2 million arising from an early settlement of a revolving credit. The switch to losses was despite Velesto achieving a 4.32% increase in quarterly revenue to RM127.03 million from RM121.76 million last year.

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