Regional Notes 2018.04.27

Grab’s acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia drives into problems

Go-Jek won’t, of course, take all the Uber alums, but these conditions certainly put it in a good position to cherry pick critical new hires to fill out its business outside of Indonesia. Other Grab rivals, including well-funded logistics startup NinjaVan, food delivery companies Deliveroo and FoodPanda, bike-sharing startups, and even the likes of Facebook, WeWork, Google and Netflix are understood to have hastily arranged interviews with Uber’s departing Southeast Asia staff in a bid to suck up new talent. That’s precisely the scenario that Grab is trying to avoid.

Integrating the ‘unbanked’ into a cashless society

In Malaysia, the population of the unbanked stood at 8% or two million of the country’s 24 million adults, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in its Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2017. While this may seem small in comparison to regional neighbours such as Indonesia and the Philippines whose unbanked make up more than half the population, there is still a need to address this segment if Malaysia aims to be a full-fledged cashless society.

Lotte Chemical Titan sees no margin pressure ahead

“Our business is a margin game. As long as there is demand coupled with a limited supply, our margin will be maintained. Currently, there is limited supply capacity, and there are no new plants coming on stream until 2019.”

The group is looking to build a naptha cracker with a capacity of one million tonnes, next to its existing plant in Merak, Cilegon, Banten province of Indonesia. The mega project, estimated to cost between US$3 billion and US$4 billion, will take about three to four years to complete. Indonesia remains a crucial market for the group, as it is a net importer of petrochemicals backed by a huge population of nearly 300 million.

“When we sell in Indonesia and Malaysia, we enjoy a slight premium over international prices. [So] we are looking at duplicating our Malaysian facilities in Indonesia, and increasing the capacity as well.”


Hap Seng to buy Mercedes’ commercial vehicle business

Hap Seng said it and MBM will jointly undertake a stock take in respect of the fixed and current assets to determine the final purchase consideration. The group opines that the proposed acquisition will enable it to participate in the wholesale distribution of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso commercial vehicles in a growing domestic market.

On completion, Hap Seng Trucks will be responsible for handling the import, assembly, wholesale distribution and after-sales services of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso commercial vehicles in Malaysia. However, the business transfer is conditional upon Hap Seng obtaining the licence to import complete knocked down components from the international trade and industry ministry, which is required to carry on the business.


Nestle Malaysia hopeful to achieve RM400m sales from new products in 2018

Last year, the food and beverage manufacturer’s new products launches contributed about RM380 million sales. Hofbauer pointed out the company’s sales target contribution from new products would derived about 10 per cent of its domestic sales. Hofbauer said Nestle will also be allocating RM180 million in capital expenditures to grow its culinary and confectionery products as well as to enhance infrastructure manufacturing.

Currently, domestic consumption contributes about 80 per cent of Nestle Malaysia’s sales, while remaining 20 per cent for export market. “We export to over 50 countries including in the Middle East and South East Asia to Nestle’s affiliates,” he said, noting that the export value constitutes about RM1 billion. Nestle Malaysia manufactures and markets more than 500 halal products and the country is the biggest Halal producer for Nestle.


PetDag upgrading petrol stations and opening 15 new stations

The company, which has a capital expenditure of RM300mil for the year, has seen its previous and ongoing promotions boost fuel and non-fuel sales, with its retail segment continuing to be its highest revenue contributor.

“We have the largest network in Malaysia today with about 1,045 stations. The key focus for us will not be to grow the network much, although we are looking at opening 10 to 15 new stations. We are focusing more on upgrading our existing stations and particularly our convenience stores to boost sales. In 2017 and moving into 2018, we already have initiatives to assist dealers face the challenging market. We are revising the licence fee, providing better royalty programmes and offering better sales incentives for our dealers.”

“The volatility (in crude oil and pump prices) impacts working capital and gains or losses on inventory. To manage this, we are pushing for ultimate efficiency in managing inventory – our inventory holding days are now between four and four-and-a-half days.”

In the commercial segment, the company holds about a 70% share of Malaysia’s aviation jet fuel market, and recently secured deals with three more international airlines.

Intraday short selling measures claims first victim – Unisem

“To a certain extent, perhaps IDSS would exaggerate the downward pressure on stocks, but it won’t be severe. Regulated short selling (RSS) has already been in the Malaysian market for a while. In the latest measure, Bursa Malaysia further allows the PDT to do IDSS, which simply means they need to close out their positions within the day.”

RSS involves borrowing shares of a company’s stock and selling it with the hope it can be bought back at a later date at a lower value. Meanwhile, naked short selling involves betting that the stock will go down in price without actually borrowing the stock or finding out if there is available stock to borrow in order to short it. This can cause further volatility or leave a stock open to manipulation. RSS was banned in Malaysia in September 1997, but was reintroduced in 2007. Investors can participate in RSS so long as they have a stock borrowing and lending agreement approved by the Securities Commission.

Company Notes 2017.08.25 (Part 2)

Amway Malaysia Q2 FY2017 Results

…driven by positive momentum among Amway Business Owners (ABOs) and higher qualifiers in response to the 40th anniversary sales and marketing programmes. Notwithstanding this, the Group revenue has shown a general decline in light of softer consumer confidence levels.


FACB Industries Q4 FY2017 Results

The bedding operation in Malaysia recorded lower profit before tax as a result of declined revenue and gross profit margin which was affected by higher raw material costs. The stainless steel fittings operation’s reduced loss before tax was attributable to better average selling price. Loss in associates in China was mainly due to impairment loss on plant and equipment in the power business.


WCE Holdings Q1 FY2018 Results

The West Coast Expressway (WCE) Project involves the development of a 233 kilometres tolled highway from Banting, Selangor to Taiping, Perak (including 40 kilometres of highway to be constructed later). The WCE Project is a build-operate-transfer project with a concession period of up to a maximum of 60 years. The total project cost is approximately RM5,900 million and revenue from toll collections from certain sections are expected to commence late 2018. The Construction Commencement Date was set on 25 August 2014. Currently, the construction is ongoing. The Company is also participating in the construction of the WCE as the IJMC-WCEHB Joint Venture has been appointed as the Turnkey/Engineering and Procurement Contractor for the WCE highway project.


Box-Pak Malaysia Q2 FY2017 Results

The main challenge faced by the Group in the current financial year is the sharp and continous increase in paper cost (since the end of 2016) and the rising competition in Malaysia and Vietnam. Since the end of the previous financial year, average cost of the main paper materials used by the Group has increased by more than 8% and is expected to increase further.

The Vietnam government has in August 2017 announced further increase in minimum wage in Vietnam of approximately 6.5%-7.0%, effective 1 January 2018.


Uchi Technologies Q2 FY2017 Results

There were no significant changes to the cost structure where material consumption made up the highest percentage of the Group’s expenditure at 55%, followed by employee benefit expense at 26%, depreciation and amortization at 8%.


Pelikan International Q2 FY2017 Results

The discontinuation of printer consumable business and the point of sale services will cut the losses contributed by these business units to the Group going forward. The Group shall continue to enjoy higher sales in the next quarter from the “back to school” peak season in Europe. This was already apparent in July sales in the key German markets whereby the sales were much higher than planned.


MBM Resources Q2 FY2017 Results

Although the Division’s alloy wheel plant continued to incur losses in current quarter, its quantum has lessened as various measures taken thus far are showing effect.

The market environment is expected to remain challenging in the coming quarters. Among the factors would be intense competition, uncertainties in the industry environment and strict hire-purchase approvals. The Group will continue to improve the production efficiency at its manufacturing plants and to secure higher volume to achieve more sustainable margin. Cost structure review and new model launches by Perodua and Volvo in the coming quarters are expected to contribute positively to the Group’s performance


Matrix Concepts Q1 FY2018 Results

Additionally, the Group‟s investment properties comprising Matrix Global Schools and d‟Tempat Country Club have attracted increasing patronage, as reflected in its revenue uptrend since the previous financial year ended 31 March 2017 (FY2017). Together with the newly commenced 34-acre X Park and d‟Sora Boutique Business Hotel, as well as potential future investments, these properties would position Bandar Sri Sendayan as a leading community-focused township that aims to provide wholesome living experience for everyone.


Chin Hin Group Q2 FY2017 Results

The Company had on 18 July 2017 entered into a conditional share sale agreement (“SSA”) with the vendors of Atlantic Blue Sdn Bhd (“Atlantic Blue”) for the proposed acquisition of 45% equity interest in Atlantic Blue from the Vendors (“Sale Shares”) for a total cash consideration of RM24.75 million (“Proposed Acquisition”). Atlantic Blue controls approximately 10% of the market share of solar projects in Malaysia, by way of mounting over 30 MW of solar panels on rooftops for residential and industrial buildings across the country. The Proposed Acquisition will enhance the group’s solar income stream. Moreover, the Proposed Acquisition were pursued on the premise of Profit Guarantees on the Target Companies’ profit after taxation of RM20 million within 24 months from the date the purchase consideration is satisfied.


WCT Holdings Q2 FY2017 Results

The Engineering & Construction Division of the Group is expected to continue to build on its strong order book, after having secured a few new contracts amounting to approximately RM2 billion in the last financial year ended, backed by the Government’s emphasis on infrastructure development and spending. With a higher proportion of infrastructure related jobs, the Group expects the overall construction margin to improve.


OldTown Q1 FY2018 Results

As at 30 June 2017, the Group has a total of 231 café outlets; 191 in Malaysia, 9 in Singapore, 26 in Indonesia, 1 in Australia, 3 in China and 1 in Hong Kong.

We market, sell and distribute our products under OLDTOWN brand name in approximately 17 countries…For FYE 2018, we expect strong growth from export market driven by China, Australia, USA, Indonesia and Philippines.


Hap Seng Consolidated Q2 FY2017 Results

Automotive Division will have 10 autohauses in the second half of 2017 with the opening of another 2 new autohauses in Iskandar, Johor Bahru and Puchong South. These 2 new autohauses together with the Bukit Tinggi, Klang autohaus that was officially opened in April 2017 would enable the division to expand further its market coverage and contribute positively to its future performance.


Bintulu Port Q2 FY2017 Results

The handling of LNG vessel calls and cargoes will still be Bintulu Port main revenue contributor. Other cargoes that would contribute to the positive growth in 2017 include palm oil, palm kernel and containerized cargoes.

Samalaju Industrial Port was ready for commencement of Phase 1 operation from 1st June 2017 and is expected to contribute positively towards the revenue growth of the Group. The cargoes include among others Alumina, Manganese Ore, Silica Quartz and Coke.

Though there will be growth in terms of revenue, the expenditure to be recognised relating to amortisation of lease concession assets, other concession infrastructures and equipment as well as the SUKUK finance charges at Samalaju will give a downward impact on the overall performance of the Group.


Kelington Group Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group continues to enjoy a healthy orderbook replenishment rate. Year-to-date, the Group has clinched new projects worth approximately RM180 million. Including the orderbook carried forward from the previous year, the Group has an orderbook on hand of RM342 million, of which RM205 million remains outstanding. The progress billing of the outstanding orderbook will contribute positively to the Group’s financial performance.

Over the longer term, the newly established Industrial Gases division will be positively impacted by the recently secured long-term 10-year contract with a major photovoltaic manufacturer. Contribution from this contract is expected to commence in the next financial year ending 31 December 2018. The Group aims to grow this business further, which will add a stable and recurring income stream to the Group.


Yee Lee Q2 FY2017 Results

Our aerosol can business segment’s profit margin was also affected by the increase in tin plate prices where the full cost of the increase was not immediately passed on to their customers.

The higher selling price of cooking oils and sales of the Ribena and Lucozade products have offset the substantial drop in sales of other beverages such as bottled water and energy drinks.

Although the sales of tea was higher in this quarter, the sales volume is still insufficient to cover its plantation costs.

On 11 August 2017, our principal, Suntory Beverage and Food Malaysia Sdn Bhd has voluntarily recalled five flavour of Ribena Concentrate products with specified expiry dates due to suspected exposure to air during bottling process that may potentially deteriorate in quality earlier than the expiry date. Others ready-to-drink Ribena products are not affected. Based on its brand reputation and quality commitment, the Board foresees that this recall is a temporary setback and sales of these affected products will normalise once the recall has been completed. All the products recall expenses will be borne by the principal.


Gabungan AQRS Q2 FY2017 Results

The revenue for the current quarter was mainly from the work progress for the Sungai Besi – Ulu Kelang (SUKE) Highway, PR1MA Homes in Kuala Kuantan, Gambang, Pahang and Pusat Pentadbiran Sultan Ahmad Shah (PPSAS).

The Group’s monetization programme through the disposal of its selected landbank, aimed to improve the Group’s working capital position and to repay bank borrowings, will significantly reduce its finance cost and lower its total borrowings by the end of 4Q17. From 1Q18 onwards, the Group expects finance cost to reduce drastically.

The Group envisions to further increase the Construction Order Book by another RM1 billion to RM1.4 billion by the end of the Financial Year 2017 which will continue to contribute to the Group’s revenue and profit sustainability.


Uzma Q2 FY2017 Results

The joint venture between Uzma Energy Venture (Sarawak) Sdn. Bhd. and EQ Petroleum Developments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (the “Contractors”) had achieved first oil from Tanjung Baram Fields (as disclosed in note (v) below) on 18 August 2015. Pursuant to the Small Field Risk Service Contract signed with Petroliam Nasional Berhad, the Contractors are responsible for incurring costs for development and production of petroleum from the Tanjung Baram Fields, and will be reimbursed for the costs incurred. The Contractors will also receive remuneration fee, linked to performance variables, for a contract period of nine years.


Frontken Q2 FY2017 Results

While the Group’s subsidiary in Indonesia is one out of four companies that possess an API certification to enable it to carry out repairs and rectification works or tender for projects from large oil companies for blowout preventer repairs, we are concerned that the overall operations in that country will continue to be impacted by the oil and gas downturn, coupled with lower than expected GDP growth and weakened consumer spending.


Kian Joo Can Factory Q2 FY2017

Average cost of paper rolls used by the Group has increased by more than 8% and is expected to increase further. Cost of aluminium materials has also increased in tandem with the aluminium price quoted on London Metal Exchange. Cost of tin plate has also increased.

The revision in minimum wage rate in Malaysia (since July 2016) and Vietnam (since January 2017) has increased the production cost of the Group. The Vietnam government has in August 2017 announced a further increase in minimum wage by approximately 6.0% – 7.0%, effective January 2018. The prospect of possible implementation of employment insurance in Malaysia may add further burden to the escalating production cost.


Country Heights Q2 FY2017 Results

The health division, GHHS Healthcare, which have a combined western and eastern practices continues to be the key opinion leader in the preventive healthcare industry. GHHS Healthcare will focus on raising its platform to be perceived as a centre for medical tourism with increased international health tourists especially from the Indonesian market and a new focus on the China market.


PPB Group Q2 FY2017 Results

On the back of rising world prices for wheat, the outlook for the flour business is expected to be challenging. However, we are confident that stronger flour demand in the second half of the year would mitigate the margin erosion pressure. Amidst a competitive and changing industry landscape, the animal feed business is difficult although the division is expected to maintain its performance given a bullish broiler market. In summary, the Grains and agribusiness segment performance will be affected by the aforesaid factors.


Sunway Construction Group Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group’s outstanding order book amounts to RM4.3 billion with RM1.0 billion new order book as at end June 2017. The tender book value is now more than RM14 billion with majority of jobs tendered under the civil/infrastructure division. In addition, SunCon at present is in discussion with our parent company for several potential projects.

Call for GDP to be measured in USD

“The GDP grew 5.8% in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17) … but it grew in ringgit. If we calculated in [the] US dollar, it would be about -3.3% because the ringgit has devalued by 9%.”

“We do business in the world market, so we must bench up. [In order] to become a developed country, [the] GDP should be based on the dollar, not ringgit. As such, our per capita in dollars is not growing.”

“The statistics show good export in 2H17 because of a weaker ringgit which means we become more cost-efficient, and labour and operation costs become cheaper. However, that is not so good. We must be competitive, efficient and productive. We have [a] quality product to compete to gain market share but ringgit devaluation is not our effort, so it is not a good way to gain market share.”


Measuring GDP in USD not relevant or appropriate

“In other words, the GDP reflects only the changes in the quantity of goods and services produced in the country. This compilation of GDP is consistent with international standards as stipulated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The department of statistics’ surveys and compilations are wide-ranging and inclusive of all sectors of the economy.”

“In view of this internationally-accepted standard, I wish to point out that [the] GDP measured in US dollars is not relevant for a matured and sophisticated economy like Malaysia, nor is the GDP measured in USD appropriate for an economy that is not dollarised in any sense. In any economy that is ‘dollarised’, there would be a loss of policy independence and flexibility, hence undermining a nation’s sovereignty.”

Maybank eyes RM160m spending from Amex gold card

“Our credit card billings have an average of RM3 billion monthly, driven by a total of 1.9 million customers in the credit card segment.” Maybank is the leading credit card issuer in Malaysia with more than 20 per cent market share as at July 2017.