Company Notes 2018.02.02

Lotte Chemical Titan Q4 FY2017 Results

The delivery of Polyolefin products in China and Malaysia is expected to be slightly reduced by the Lunar New Year festive holidays. However, the demand from other SEA countries is expected to remain stable. Olefins and Derivative is expected to be better in view of upcoming regional crackers turnaround from March 2018 and active restocking by China supported by higher derivative margins for Styrene Monomer and Ethylene Glycol.

Can a $1.2 Billion casino lure Asian tourists to the Catskills?

Empire Resorts is not technically part of the Genting group, a conglomerate that operates cruise ships, manufactures paper and runs palm oil plantations in addition to its hotel and casino businesses. Instead, a private investment company controlled by Lim owns more than 90 percent of Empire shares. Last year, Empire reached an agreement to use Genting’s Resorts World brand and participate in its Genting Rewards Alliance loyalty program in exchange for a single-digit percentage of net revenue, according to an Empire filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Kim Teck Cheong is here to stay, says Lau

“I’m very positive [about our growth] as we are now in [the] consolidating stage and even though the profitability may not recover as fast as what I would want it to, at least I know I have a plan and direction for the company. I’m not running away, I’m still around, I’m still the same person and I’m still working on it and I think shareholders should ride with me,” said Lau. Our customers have demonstrated they are supportive of us [with the contracts offered].”

As of end-FY17, the group had 7,355 sale and distribution points covering over 84 districts, of which it distributes more than 200 third-party brands for 37 brand owners. The distribution of third-party brands contributes about 90% to the group’s revenue, while the remaining 10% is contributed by its own line of frozen, dry and bakery products under its Orie, Bamble and Creamos brands. The group’s revenue is contributed mostly from its Sabah operations at 68%, followed by Sarawak at 23%, Brunei 5% and Labuan 3%.


Better earnings visibility, prospects for Cypark

Listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia in 2010, from a pure construction player, Cypark has today transformed itself into an integrated environmental engineering and technology provider, which Daud deemed it as “resilient to any other economic cycle”. Daud highlighted that the company had undergone a business transformation shortly after its listing. Cypark had diversified into environmental engineering and solutions, renewable energy — WTE and solar, as well as green technology.

“We have to stay competitive and be innovative with our products as even big companies such as Petronas, MRCB, and Malakoff want to enter this industry,” said Daud, adding that Cypark will be replicating the floating solar plant model, and it aims to bring down the cost of making it by 10%. Due to the scarce availability of land, Daud opined that Cypark wants to offer something that is very sustainable. “As a tropical country, we are blessed with a lot of reservoirs and they have no economic use,” said Daud. Hence, Cypark had offered to lease the space from the reservoirs, from the local authorities, and dams to place its floating solar plant.


PeterLabs aims to execute tech-based portfolio this year

“Fatfish Ventures is a technology venture group and it invested in PeterLabs to enhance our value through its network and resources. Fatfish Ventures is the master of adding value. Fatfish Ventures knows how it can identify the technology trend, the major consumer behaviour trend and invest in the major trend which could help the company.”


TMC Life Sciences on acquisition trail

TMC needs to grow in size in order to achieve greater economies of scale, and that an acquisition of a complementary business would better enable such a goal.

Quek said that the group is planning to finance between 30% and 40% of the RM1.2 billion Thomson Iskandar Medical Hub in Vantage Bay, Johor. The hospital, which will be equipped with an initial 500 beds, is expected to be completed in 2020.

With the expansion of its Tropicana Medical Centre in Kota Damansara from 200 beds to 600 beds, TMC hopes to see an increase in patients, especially as connectivity is improved to the hospital via the Kota Damansara mass rapid transit station and the completion of the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway.

Malaysia’s capital will adopt ‘smart city’ platform from Alibaba

City Brain was first adopted by the government of Hangzhou, Alibaba’s home city, in 2016 to help run operations more efficiently. That’s quite a nebulous scope of work, but essentially the service pulls in all kinds of data — including video feeds, social media and traffic information — which is then processed to provide information that helps to manage daily activities. That could be responding to a traffic accident, or providing the data to redesign parts of the city to reduce vehicle congestion.

Company Notes 2017.09.29

Kein Hing International Q1 FY2018 Results

…stronger customer demand for parts/metal components used in TV, fridge, printer and automotive industries.

…the impact from the overhead incurred by the new factory located in Hai Phong, Vietnam as it has yet to achieve the optimal production and sales, higher depreciation charge from new machines invested and the escalating labour costs as a consequence of constraints in labour supply in Malaysia Operation coupled with the wage inflation experienced in Vietnam Operation.


Poh Huat Resources Q3 FY2017 Results

…shipment to the US continued to gain strength following the successful launch of several ranges of panel-based bedroom sets in the previous quarters.

While orders from our North American importers remained strong, we noted a shift in the product mix to the middle and affordable segments of the market.

Our operations in Malaysia incurred higher raw material costs, particularly for boards, solid wood, hardware and finishing materials which have increased markedly over the last few months.

Competition in the market place has also turned keener as consumers demand for trendier and more competitively priced items. We have experienced downward pricing pressure on our products due to competition from other manufacturers. Furniture also has to cater for changing demographics particularly for millennials and younger families who have lower spending power and whom are more comfortable with online purchases and ready-to-assemble products. We have aligned ourselves to respond to these changes by working closely with our customers to develop trendier, market oriented products for the marketplace.


Bison Consolidated Q3 FY2017 Results

Operating expenses were higher in tandem with the increased business volume and the continuous outlets expansion by Bison which also entailed the recruitment of more talents.

Bison is on course in its new stores opening and during the nine-months period under review, there is a net increase of 44 outlets. Bison ended the third quarter with 338 outlets verses 276 as at 31 July 2016.


Comintel Q2 FY2018 Results

For SIMS segment, we will continue to re-organise and to mitigate losses through cost cutting amidst the softer demand experienced by SIMS segment over the past years.

For our renewable green energy project in Kuang, we have passed Initial Operation Date (IOD) with TNB. We expect to complete the Commencement Operation Date (COD) with SEDA in October 2017. Barring any unforseen circumstances, we are expecting the FiTCD (Fit-in-Tariff Commencement Date) to be in October or November 2017. We are hopeful with the commissioning of our advanced gasification green energy system at our Kuang plant, will open a new corridor for us to tap on quickly the vast potential of the demand for our green energy generation system in the region.


LKL International Q1 FY2018 Results

The Group’s venture into the distribution of medical devices in the current FY represents its strategic efforts to diversify its revenue stream within the healthcare sector to cater for evolving market requirements, and offer higher value products to enhance its product portfolios.


Superlon Q1 FY2018 Results

The lower profit before tax is mainly due to the decrease in total gross profit generated from lower volume of sales and higher cost of materials. The lower other income recorded and higher other operating expenses also contributed to decrease in net profit before tax.


VS Industry Q4 FY2017 Results

With the Group’s vertical integration capabilities, it has received substantially higher box-build orders from key customers, particularly during the second half of the financial year ended 31 July 2017. The trend of rising orders is expected to sustain going into the next financial year. To cope with the potential new orders from existing and new customers, the Group has added more production space by constructing a new factory cum warehouse.

On its operations in China, the Group’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, V.S. International Group Limited, has recently completed a Rights Issue raising proceeds of HKD105.8 million which shall be used to expand the operations in China and tap into its growing domestic sales.


A-Rank Q4 FY2017 Results

…due to a higher provision of income tax after the special export incentive brought forward had been fully utilised and there was an overprovision of deferred tax in the corresponding quarter last year.


George Kent Malaysia Q2 FY2018 Results

George Kent announced in September the securing of a tender to supply and deliver 650,000 water meters to the Water Supplies Department (“WSD”), Hong Kong. This is the second consecutive time the Group has been successful in the bid which was made under the Group’s subsidiary, George Kent International Pte. Ltd. George Kent will supply the DN15 Brass PSM-T water meter worth US$6.86 million (RM 28.72 million) to WSD within two years in 24 shipments.

To-date, George Kent is the only company that has successfully secured large water meter contracts consecutively from both Hong Kong and Singapore water authorities at the same time, which are renowned for their stringent standards in water meter evaluations


O&C Resources Q4 FY2017 Results

The Group has been facing challenges in its core business of manufacturing and marketing of condoms and baby products, in view of rising raw material prices and operational costs for the past few years. Taking cognizance of this, the Group has made efforts to improve our financial performance and position which include, among others, the Group’s acceptance of a construction contract which led to our Group’s diversification of business to include the construction business. At the same time of maintaining on the existing business undertakings, the Group has also expanded its initial foray in the construction business to include the property development business as well.


Kim Loong Resources Q2 FY2018 Results

As at 31 July 2017, the Group’s total planted area is 14,920 hectares. The age profile of mature area can be analyzed as follows: a) < 3 years (Immature) : 5%; b) 3 – 6 years (Young mature) : 13%; c) 7 – 15 year (Prime mature) : 28%; d) 16 – 20 years (Old mature) : 48%; e) > 20 years (Pre-replanting) : 6%

During the current YTD, the Group has carried out replanting of about 130 hectares.


Cypark Resources Q3 FY2017 Results

We plan to increase our investment in renewable energy projects and expect to have a bigger revenue contribution from the sales of green power. By year 2020, the Renewable Energy segment is expected to contribute more than
RM300 million of recurring revenue.

The launch of our country’s second bidding exercise for Large Scale Solar (LSS) by Suruhanjaya Tenaga in February 2017 has opened up more new opportunities for large, non-subsidised national RE scheme. Cypark currently has been given first right to undertake the turnkey EPCC, management & operation contract to develop 15MW (dc) solar plants by the winners of the first LSS tender.

We are also confident to secure more government contracts for landfill closures and new sanitary landfill projects. We believe that we have strong competitive advantage based on our solid track records of successful completion of 18
landfill closure projects covering total area of about 600 acres nationwide and our success in constructing and operating 1000 tpd sanitary landfill in Negeri Sembilan which is one of the country’s largest and most modern
facilities. We have also submitted many tenders and proposals worth more than RM2 billion and are optimistic that some of the tenders are at advance stage of negotiations which will be likely secured in 2017.

Perak Transit in transition to stronger growth path

“To develop a bus terminal is not easy as we must get approvals and land title from the state and federal authorities.” The land public transport commission often allows only one express bus terminal per council, according to Cheong. He noted that it was necessary to have one bus terminal as part of township development, for instance Kampar.

“We will concentrate on building more terminals instead of focusing on the express or stage buses and our petrol stations, as terminals are long-term assets with recurring income while the value of buses depreciates very quickly.”


Hai-O expects 1Q’s growth momentum to continue

The group plans to roll out new collections of shoes, bags, leatherwear, women’s accessories and eyewear under the “Infinence” brand name this year. The group has also allocated RM10 million for capital spending and has identified suitable shoplots and warehouses for further expansion in its East Malaysian distribution channels.

On overseas expansion, Hew said the group is exploring the Vietnamese market due to the large population there, though the decision to go in or not largely rests on whether the Vietnamese government approves direct-selling licence applications from foreign companies.

“We are discussing with our principal suppliers from China to work out trade settlements using alternative currencies such as renminbi,” he said, as some 40% of the group’s purchases are imports denominated in US dollar.


My EG’s GST monitoring launch set for end-2017

“However, it said all issues have been resolved. MyEG has so far installed 5,000 dongles in Klang Valley in F&B outlets and is targeting to install nationwide by year-end (our earlier target was June 2017).”

“We also expect the company to benefit from selling the compulsory foreign workers’ insurance to the employers. MyEG said it will ensure the welfare of foreign workers, by making sure their salaries are paid and there is no worker abuse by the employers.

“In the next one year, MyEG is targeting to place out 100,000 foreign workers. In our earnings forecast, we assume a more conservative average of 5,000 foreign workers monthly or 60,000 foreign workers annually.

“This would help MyEG generate an average annual revenue of RM60mil. We assume 50% net profit margin for the matching services (in line with the 50% net profit margin from existing foreign worker services) and an annual net profit of RM30mil.”


Asia File to spend RM30mil on foodware production

“We spent about a year to research the demand for disposable foodwares and found the domestic market to be strong. We have invested in the raw materials which we were able to purchase at a very good price. This will enable us to sell competitively and generate good profits.”

…the new products would be marketed under the ABBAWARE.

Lim said that while there was familiarity with the raw materials used in production, the sales and marketing for the products would be a new uncharted area to explore.

Hidden taxes, forex rules deter German business from Malaysia

Hidden taxes, which include non-deductible taxes on refurbishment, maintenance, legal services, and company vehicles, add to the overall corporate tax rate, said MGCC president Peter Lenhardt. “If you look at the cost of refurbishment, there is a tremendous impact on the bottom line of any business, so a lot of them don’t see any reason to spend on maintenance,” he told reporters at the launch of the AHK World Business Outlook 2017.

Lenhardt added that another economic risk which is not unique to Malaysia is the lack of qualified labour. He noted that there is a lack of industrial involvement in vocational training which creates a gap where the workforce is not fully trained to operate in high tech facilities.


Taxmen set their sights on digital economy

“Their profits are subject to corporate income tax as long as the operations are carried out [here]. In short there are no specific corporate rules for taxing the digital economy. The same treatment applies to both the digital and traditional economy. For foreign companies they would only fall within the ambit of Malaysia’s CIT if they have a taxable presence or a permanent establishment here, for example having personnel in Malaysia who are performing the services here.”

“The key determinant would be where the transfer of ownership of the goods take place. [If] it is in Malaysia and the value of the goods exceeds RM500,000 per year, then the foreign company is required to register [for GST] in Malaysia. [If] the goods are imported into Malaysia via air courier services, and [if] the value of the goods does not exceed RM500, then the goods are given relief from GST. Therefore where consignments are kept below RM500, Malaysians can buy goods from overseas which are not subject to GST, and if the goods exceed RM500, this would be collected by the courier service before or upon delivery.”


Taxing digital economy players a daunting task?

“For example, when you buy a product from a foreign e-commerce provider, you use your credit card and the money goes to an offshore bank account, and if the goods sent to Malaysia are not subject to customs duty at the point [of delivery], then the income that the foreign provider makes from providing the goods or services goes overseas, perhaps in [the] Cayman Islands or [the] Netherlands where they may have tax breaks. So that income leaves Malaysia and the foreign company providing the service is not present in Malaysia, so they are not subject to Malaysian income tax. When it comes to GST, there may be a supply of goods and services, but when you have hundreds of thousands of consumers [purchasing goods or services] through digital platforms, [it becomes difficult to track]. So how do you impose tax? [One possibility] is since most of the purchases are done through credit card, they may come up with a new mechanism where the credit card company collects tax due on the goods or services on behalf of the government.”


BNM to implement NSFR ‘no earlier than 2019’

“The NSFR, which complements the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) that was phased in since 2015, looks for banks to have the liquidity to support their business in the longer horizon. It will help strengthen the liquidity management of the financial system.”

“In addition to that, we are aware of the level of competition in the market today which would encourage the banks to remain competitive with respect to their product offerings, as well as the pricing of their products. We don’t think it (NSFR) will be a factor that could change the pricing of the loans.”

Company Notes 2017.06.30

On earnings calls

Magni-Tech Industries in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

The garment segment accounted for about 89.1% and 95.3% of the Group’s revenue and profit from operations respectively.

Garment revenue surged by 38.8% which was mainly due to higher sale orders received and to a moderate extent aided by favourable foreign exchange movements.

Packaging revenue increased by 1.7% mainly despite the cessation of SIPP’s business in Q4-FYR 2017.


LKL International in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

…the lower revenue generated from medical/healthcare beds segment due to economic slowdown generally. Local market continued to contribute a significant portion amounting to 67.03% of the total revenue.

The fully automated Computer Numeric Control (“CNC”) punching machine (TruPunch 2000) which was acquired and completely installed is now fully operational, whereas the CNC laser tube machine (TruLaser Tube 5000 Fiber) is expected to be operational in the Q2 FY2018. These machines will increase the operations efficiency and process accuracy with less wastage, as well as reduce the dependency on manual labour.

The joint venture with T.M.I Solutions (Pvt) Ltd to distribute selected Nihon Kohden products has commenced its business in Q1 FY2018.


Hai-O Enterprise in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

The successful strategy transformation which focused on smaller consumer products and targeted recruitment strategy have continued attract more young entrepreneurs to join in as distributors.

Despite higher sales generated from patented medicine, it was offset by the drop in sales of duty-free goods. The drop in duty-free products’ sales was mainly due to the imposition of more stringent rules by authority on duty-free trade in border town.

The success in re-branding of its key beverage product “Min kaffe” during the year had attracted many consumers and boost up the sales of this product. The intensive member retention program and member recruitment campaign carried out during the year had resulted monthly average new members increased by about 5,000.

The implementation of CRM system which provided E-commerce platform had helped to increase distributors’ productivity and efficiency.


Hiap Tech Venture in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

The outlook of the steel industry in Malaysia in 2017 remain positive if China remains committed and steadfast in cutting its steel output capacity and other proactive actions which will prevent the dumping of cheap steel exports to Malaysia.

The majority of steel products produced locally is destined for infrastructure and construction sector applications. Hence, the outlook for the steel industry in Malaysia very much depends on the growth and performance of this sector. The construction sector is expected to maintain its robust performance with a targeted double-digit growth of 10.3% through new construction works valued at RM138 billion in 2017.


KM Loong Resources in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

We foresee an increase in FFB production from young mature areas and strong FFB yield recovery in Keningau region in where about 50% of the Group’s planted mature area is located. We expect the FFB production to be potentially 20% higher comparing the quantity achieved in the FY2017.


NTPM in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

…we would have felt the full impact on the cost arising from the raise the minimum wage for employees in Peninsular Malaysia by RM100 to RM1,000 per month, and to RM920 from RM800 for employees in East Malaysia starting from 1 July 2016, the recent increased volatility in the foreign currency exchange rate, pose a challenge for the Group to contain and monitor its manufacturing cost.


Subur Tiasa in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

In view of prevailing tight supply of logs in the market as the result of the forest management and timber certification initiated by the authority, timber prices are expected to sustain. The higher tax premium on timber imposed by state authorities will impact the performance of timber division.


Cypark Resources in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

…the implementation of Net Energy Metering Programme by SEDA will provide us with new opportunity to expand our renewable energy project portfolio. Cypark currently has been given first right to undertake the turnkey EPCC, management & operation contract to develop 15MW (dc) solar plants by the winners of the first LSS tender.

Our Biogas to Energy project will start to contribute to our revenue once our Fully Anaerobic Bioreactor System (FABIOS) in Ladang Tanah Merah is commissioned in 2018. We also plan to expand our biogas activities to include Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME).

…focus our research & development resources in developing business opportunities from energy storage, exportable Biomass Solid Fuels (BSF) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects.

…confident to secure more government contracts for landfill closures and new sanitary landfill projects. We believe that we have strong competitive advantage based on our solid track records of successful completion of 18 landfill closure projects covering total area of about 600 acres nationwide and our success in constructing and operating 1000 tpd sanitary landfill in Negeri Sembilan which is one of the country’s largest and most modern facilities.

…our current successes have made Cypark as the preferred partner for many world renowned green technology providers such as Hitachi (Japan), TESCO (Japan) and Ciel Terre (France).

On logistic services

Tasco shareholders approve venture into cold chain business

“The expected RM110mil revenue contribution represents about 15%-20% of our overall top line based on our revenue last year. We consider this to be a conservative projection, as we did not include the value that could be generated via the synergy created between the new cold chain segment and our other existing business segments. We believe that the acquisitions that have been approved by our shareholders would position us as one of the best end-to-end logistics solutions providers.”


Tasco develops global distribution hub in DFTZ for Renesas

“Whatever [Renesas] produces is sent to our KLIA warehouse to be integrated. We have something like a factory where we do ‘pick and pack’, and from there we distribute [the products] globally.

“The warehouse is actually temperature-controlled. It is how we will expand our dry service menu into the cold service menu — not just for food and beverages or pharmaceuticals, but also for semiconductors.

“Malaysia still carries very good conditions to be a regional hub. [However,] we see operations getting more sophisticated and need many things to cope [with that].”

“Our focus for the Westport land is making it a regional hub. We would like to promote it to existing customers.”


On banking

Non-performing loans to rise — S&P

The household debt-to-GDP ratio was 88.4%, while corporate debt was about 110% of GDP in Malaysia.

“The rate hikes are expected to lead to a higher NPL ratio among local banks to between 1.8% and 2%, up from a near-historical low of 1.6%.”

“Malaysian banks in general [have focused on] protecting their bottom line, but we do have our doubts about how sustainable this approach can be in the future. The banks need to grow, and they have constant requirements to invest in compliance and technology.


Banking sector consolidation faces many stumbling blocks — S&P

“We have a saturated banking sector. There are a lot of cannibalisation and duplication in the sector as a whole. So, there is a clear need for consolidation, which has taken place at a very slow pace.”

The sector’s net interest margins have been trending downwards consistently for the last five or six years, adding that profitability has been declining.


On corporate development

U Mobile ends network sharing deal with Maxis

Maxis said the termination is a convenience option available to U Mobile under the NSA. The termination will take place in stages over a period of 18 months with completion on Dec 27, 2018. U Mobile is not obliged to compensate for terminating the NSA as the company has an option to review the NSA after five years from the agreement’s commencement date.

“For FY17, the impact is going to be minimal, but it can be material moving forward. Assuming the fee to be stagnant at FY16’s level, that would be almost RM1 billion from FY19 through FY21.”

U Mobile was seen as a winner in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s spectrum reallocation exercise last year, where it was allocated 2x5MHz of the 900MHz frequency and 2x15MHz of the 1,800MHz frequency for 15 years effective July 1 this year. The spectrum used to belong to Maxis and Celcom.


Bumi Armada climbs on Armada Kraken first oil

“Achieving first oil on the Armada Kraken FPSO is an important milestone, as we work to deliver oil to our clients, EnQuest plc and Cairn Energy plc, and work towards receiving the charter income for Bumi Armada.”

The Armada Kraken is the third of four FPO projects Bumi Armada is starting up this year. “She is our first ever heavy oil production facility and has the largest liquid handling capacity in our fleet (460,000 barrels of liquid per day) and she marks Bumi Armada’s entry into the North Sea as a production facilities owner, operator and duty holder.”


Gamuda stands to gain from booming construction sector

…to benefit from the booming construction sector in Malaysia, given its dominant roles in the MRT and other rail-based projects.

…to ride on the next infrastructure/property boom in Penang via its project delivery partner role in the Penang Transport Master Plan.

“…there would likely be a lag effect before more meaningful earnings contribution, as land acquisition and actual mobilisation of machinery could be slower than expected for a project like the ECRL.”

Gamuda’s order book is still 50% lower than management’s target of RM10bil per annum.


Alibaba ups its stake in Southeast Asia’s Lazada with $1 billion investment

“That [valuation] is quite a significant uptick and overall that reflects the great performance and traction that Lazada has seen. It also reflects that Alibaba continues to be extremely positive about this region, doubling down on Southeast Asia and seeing the potential.”

“The e-commerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped, and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us. We will continue to put our resources to work in Southeast Asia through Lazada to capture these growth opportunities.”