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Axiata, Digi.com, Leform, Boustead, Pos Malaysia, AEON Credit, Sime Darby Property, MAHB, Capital A, Hibiscus Petroleum, Public Bank, CIMB, FGV, MSM Malaysia, AMMB, Bank Islam, Serba Dinamik, Mah Sing, BCorp and Pesona Metro

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): Here is a brief recap of some corporate announcements that made news on Wednesday (Nov 30): Axiata Group Bhd, Digi.com Bhd, Leform Bhd, Boustead Holdings Bhd, Pos Malaysia Bhd, AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Capital A Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, FGV Holdings Bhd, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) and Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd.

The merger of Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.com Bhd’s telco operations have been completed. With the merger completion, Axiata and Telenor now have equal ownership of 33.1% each in the newly-merged entity named Celcom Digi. Through the combination of scale, competencies, financial strengths, and experiences in serving the diverse needs of Malaysian consumers, Celcom Digi presents a solid proposition to propel the nation’s transition towards a digitally enabled high-income society. Axiata Group Bhd’s chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said Celcom Digi is strategically poised to invest in network expansion and support the growth of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem.

Leform Bhd made a subdued debut on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday with its opening share price of 19.5 sen against its initial public offering (IPO) price of 23 sen. The counter closed 5.1% lower than its IPO price, at 18.5 sen. Upon market close, Leform’s trading volume stood at 115.62 million shares and was ranked fifth on Bursa’s Top Active list on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the company’s dividend policies maintain a payout ratio of not less than 20% of its annual audited net earnings. Leform managing director Law Kok Thye said that the RM71.5 million proceeds raised will enable its business expansion plan.

Boustead Holdings Bhd has appointed Izaddeen Daud as its group chief executive officer effective Dec 1, 2022, taking over the leadership from Datuk Seri Mohamed Shazalli Ramly. Izaddeen’s appointment was in line with the Boustead Group’s Senior Leadership Succession Programme. Prior to his appointment, Izaddeen was Boustead’s deputy group managing director from March 1, 2021. He also served as an acting CEO for Boustead Properties Bhd from July 2020 to February 2021.

Tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s daughter Sharifah Sofia is stepping down as a non-executive director of Pos Malaysia Bhd. Her resignation will be effective Dec 20, 2022. Sharifah Sofia was appointed to the board on April 13, 2018. After serving on the board for almost five years, Sharifah Sofia is set to pursue interests in emerging market investments, an industry she was exposed to earlier, having started her career as a summer analyst in Morgan Stanley, Singapore.

The AEON Consortium — comprising AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd, AEON Financial Service Co Ltd (AFS) and MoneyLion Inc (MLI) — has announced the appointment of Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz as the chief executive officer of its digital bank that is expected to launch by end of 2023. The Edge reported in October that the former managing director of wholesale banking at AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank) was set to join AEON, following market talks about her possible move to the digital bank made rounds since June.

Sime Darby Property Bhd anticipates the group’s sales momentum to continue into the financial year ending Dec 31, 2023 (FY2023), albeit weaker due to the global economic uncertainties in the year ahead. Sime Darby Property group managing director Datuk Azmir Merican said during the property developer’s third quarter of FY2022 (3QFY2022) results briefing that in line with the expected weaker sales momentum in FY2023, Sime Darby Property’s full-year sales target for the upcoming financial year will be lower than what the group will achieve in FY2022. Touching on the headwinds the group expects to weather through in FY2023, Azmir named three core challenges: the continued labour shortage, high building material prices, as well as the interest rate upcycle.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recorded 8.34 million passengers across its network of airports in October 2022, amounting to 71.1% of 11.68 million passengers recorded in the pre-pandemic period of October 2019. The number of passengers in October 2022 was also more than double the 4.1 million passengers recorded in October 2021. The improvement was contributed significantly by traffic recovery in Malaysia, which accounted for 65% of the total figure. Passengers in Malaysia totalled 5.42 million, from 1.31 million a year ago and representing 63.2% of October 2019 levels. This is the second consecutive month where MAHB’s Malaysia traffic exceeded five million passengers.

Capital A Bhd, formerly AirAsia Group Bhd, posted a wider net loss of RM901.31 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022, compared with RM887 million a year earlier, as the group was impacted by a share of loss from associates and foreign exchange losses. This was despite revenue rising by over six folds to RM1.96 billion from RM295.89 million, following the relaxation of travel restrictions, including testing, quarantine and entry requirements. Besides recording a loss of RM226.8 million from associates, Capital A was also severely affected by forex losses to the tune of RM531.2 million — including 2.89 billion baht (RM360 million) recorded by its associated company Asia Aviation Public Company Ltd — due to the depreciation of local currencies against the US dollar.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd has entered into its maiden long-term debt facility agreement with four banks — HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, Bank of China Malaysia Bhd, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (M) Bhd and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd — to raise US$120 million (RM533.7 million). The facility — comprising a US$99 million term loan and a US$21 million revolving credit facility — will be used primarily to drive organic growth plans for current producing and development assets as well as to fund working capital requirements.

Public Bank Bhd's net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022 rose 16.8% to RM1.59 billion from RM1.36 billion a year earlier due to higher net interest income and lower loan impairment allowance. Net interest income was 16.5% higher at RM338.1 million while its loan impairment allowance was 70.4% lower at RM228.5 million, partially offset by 10.4% higher other operating expenses of RM101.5 million. Quarterly revenue increased to RM5.5 billion from RM4.81 billion. The bank declared a second interim dividend of four sen per share, payable on Dec 23.  

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd posted a net profit of RM1.41 billion for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022 versus a net loss of RM100.59 million a year ago. Apart from stronger net interest income, it is worth noting that the banking group incurred a whopping RM1.2 billion goodwill impairment, which was triggered by the prolonged impact of Covid-19 in Thailand, in the previous corresponding quarter that dragged CIMB into the red. Its net interest income after modification loss grew 9.3% to RM2.98 billion for the quarter under review, from RM2.73 billion.

FGV Holdings Bhd registered a near 40% year-on-year fall in net profit in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022, dragged down by losses incurred in its sugar producing business. Net profit fell to RM241.67 million from RM399.39 million a year ago, although revenue grew 16% to RM6.18 billion from RM5.32 billion, thanks to higher palm oil prices. The group, which controls a 51% stake in MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, said the sugar segment suffered an erosion in margin mainly attributable to high input costs of raw sugar, freight, natural gas and the weakening of the ringgit despite the increase in overall average selling prices. Its plantation segment was also affected by lower fresh fruit bunch production, and increase in manuring and labour costs as a result of the minimum wage implementation.

AMMB Holdings Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2022 rose 35.6% to RM435.40 million, from RM321.04 million a year earlier, on the back of higher loan growth and net interest margin expansion. revenue for the quarter edged up to RM1.18 billion from RM1.12 billion a year ago. The banking group declared an interim dividend of six sen per share, with a dividend payout ratio of 23%.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd's net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022 jumped 40.57% to RM142.86 million from RM101.63 million in the same period last year mainly due to higher net income offset by higher total overheads. Bank Islam also saw higher tax expenses following a special one-off tax which took effect for the year assessment 2022, as per the Finance Act gazetted in 2021. Additionally, net allowance for impairment on financing and advances, financing was lower at RM24.9 million, a decrease by 9.1 million or 26.7%.  Quarterly revenue climbed 25.12% to RM933.68 million from RM746.22 million a year earlier.

Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd's net loss swelled to RM104.6 million for the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2022, from RM42.11 million a year earlier, dragged by losses across all of the group's segments bar its education and training segment, as well as RM67.24 million in corporate expenses and consolidation elimination. Revenue declined 73.28% year-on-year to RM213.58 million from RM799.35 million, due to the group's segments recording drops in contributions across the board.

Mah Sing Group Bhd's net profit grew 17% to RM47.06 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022 from RM40.16 million a year earlier, on the back of stronger revenue, partially offset by higher cost of sales. Revenue grew 84% to RM671.12 million from RM364.57 million, but cost of sales more than doubled to RM531.76 million from RM254.75 million. The property developer achieved RM640 million new sales during the quarter, the highest quarterly sales recorded since 2017, while unbilled sales stood at RM2.29 billion, providing more than one year of future property revenue visibility.

Diversified group Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) narrowed its net loss to RM16.42 million for the first quarter of FY2023  from RM59.31 million in the same quarter a year ago, as most of its business segments showed better performance. Group revenue for the July-September quarter came in at RM2.24 billion, up 62% from RM1.39 billion previously. The segments that performed better under the group were the retail-food, property, hospitality and services segments, following the resumption of international and domestic travel, and further relaxation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures.

Construction outfit Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd has received a takeover offer from major shareholder Wie Hock Kiong to acquire 278.03 million shares or a 40.01% stake in the group at a price of 19 sen per share or RM52.83 million cash in the event of full acceptance of the offer. The mandatory takeover offer comes after the 62-year-old acquired an 80% stake in Kombinasi Emas Sdn Bhd from his younger brother Wie Hock Beng, who is also the managing director of Pesona Metro, for RM18.09 million. Kombinasi Emas, which will be wholly-owned by Hock Kiong, controlled a 41.54% stake in Pesona Metro as at Nov 17.

https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/axiata-digicom-leform-boustead-pos-malaysia-aeon-credit-sime-darby-property-mahb-capital

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