Regional Notes 2018.04.13

Indonesia’s newest unicorn now wants to take on the big boys

Indonesia has an e-commerce market that McKinsey & Co. says can be one of the fastest-growing in the world, part of a digital economy adding $150 billion a year to gross domestic product by 2025.

Internet businesses present an attractive alternative to consumers struggling with inflation and worsening traffic congestion. Bukalapak’s aim is to profit by bridging between buyers and sellers scattered across more than 700 islands.

Pharmaniaga’s Indonesian business ‘doing very well’

“There are currently no vaccine plants in Malaysia. We are on the right track to make sure that the facility is made available. We are currently in the process of doing feasibility studies. We expect to have our first commercial batch by 2024,” Farshila said, adding that the plant would be ready between 2020 and 2022.

Moving forward, Pharmaniaga also plans to continue reducing its dependency on its concession business, which contributes 49% to total earnings currently. It plans to do this by having a better share in the private sector.

“We are also now aggressively registering our products in the EU region. We have managed to register two products so far. EU has a different set of standards but we are in compliance with that,” she said.

Pharmaniaga currently has more than 200 products, with more than 60 of them halal-certified. According to its annual report, the group expects to receive halal certification for more than 150 pharmaceutical products by the end of 2019.

The pharmaceutical group has a 10-year concession agreement with the health ministry, which began on Dec 1, 2009. The concession enables the group to supply and distribute pharmaceutical products to medical institutions under the ministry via its logistics and distribution division until 2019.

HKMA intervenes to buy local currency, first time since ’05

With record foreign-exchange reserves, the HKMA is in a strong position to defend its city’s currency, and there’s no evidence that the trading band is under sustained speculative attack. The authority’s deputy chief executive Howard Lee said Friday morning that the banking system has ample liquidity and can cope with capital outflows, which are within expectation. He said interest rates are likely to rise incrementally and gradually.

The intervention is still significant because the HKMA’s purchases have the potential to boost borrowing costs by draining liquidity. That would signal the end of an era of ultra-cheap money that made Hong Kong the world’s least affordable market for housing and propelled equities to all-time highs.

Singapore favors ‘organic’ policy in move toward open banking

The transition towards “open banking” can be more successful if it takes place without the regulator mandating action, said David Hardoon, Chief Data Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. “You can come and say ‘thou shall do it’ but then nothing happens effectively,” Hardoon said in a Wednesday interview.

The MAS’s policy differs from the approach taken in Europe and Japan, where regulators have set deadlines for banks to give access to their client data to rivals and to fintech firms. In Europe, banks have until 2019 to comply with the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which obliges them to share client account data.


BNM governor urges industry players to drive RPP promotion

“One such area is through the publication of open application programming interfaces, better known as open APIs. Based on our interaction with the banking community, there is interest for this among our banks. BNM’s survey last year indicated that more than 50 per cent of banks in Malaysia view open API as a high priority. Thus the industry should leverage on open API to facilitate collaboration with financial technology firms to introduce innovations and facilitate new use cases to enhance the RPP’s value proposition to businesses and consumers.”

“Of the Malaysian adult population of 24 million, we estimate that about 10 million do not use online banking, while two million remain unbanked. We look to the industry, both banks and non-banks, to come up with new and imaginative ways to accelerate the onboarding of these underbanked and unbanked segments of our society.”

Company Notes 2017.08.18

Media Prima Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group incurred an LAT of RM138.4 million for 2QFY17 mainly due to the impairment of investment in an associate of RM142.4 million.

…lower advertising and newspaper sales as the shift to digital media significantly affected the Group’s traditional media business. While the Group has ventured into new digital and consumer-based business initiatives to complement its traditional media segments, these initiatives are still undergoing a gestation period.

Digital Media – The proposed acquisition of RAHSB will enable access to resources and competencies to drive growth in digital business by acquiring expertise in digital content curation and digital content marketing. The acquisition of RAHSB increases content monetisation opportunities for the key market segments by leveraging on the Group’s audience base, big data initiative and traditional media platforms to strengthen the newly acquired business further.


Eversafe Rubber Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group plans to increase its export sales and geographical footprint to various overseas markets. The new markets the Group intends to expand to will primarily be outside the ASEAN region, with a focus on the South American region. The Group is in the midst of finalising the details of a joint venture agreement with its business partner to establish a tyre retreading plant in South America and also to market and distribute the retreaded tyres.


AHB Holdings Q1 FY2018 Results

AHB has increased its R&D resources and plans to continue to introduce new dynamic furniture programs and new products to improve financial performance. AHB is also diversifying its market base, including improving the local market share of the office furniture market.


Batu Kawan Q3 FY2017 Results

Profitability of the Group’s oleochemical business will be lower in view of stocks write-down, challenging and difficult market environment. As for the Chemicals division, profit from the chlor-alkali business is projected to be higher due to better prices while the restructured sulphuric acid business should contribute a modest profit.


Kuala Lumpur Kepong Q3 FY2017 Results

Financial performance of the oleochemical business was significantly impacted by the high volatility of the price of its raw material, crude palm kernel oil (CPKO), during the current quarter which had created mismatch in the selling price of oleo products against its raw materials purchase price. Customers additionally, are exercising higher prudent buying strategy in light of market conditions. This had resulted in the write-down of RM60.3 million in stocks with most of the oleo products had lower or negative contributions.


Hup Seng Industries Q2 FY2017 Results

…the development of new market such as China over the past has also started to bear fruits contributing to the pleasant growth.

Domestic sales registered a drop of 2% mainly due to some problem in East Malaysia market. However, this decline was more than offset by a 20% growth in export sales propelled by higher demand from existing distributors due to concerted effort of promotion activities as well as contribution from a new distributor in China whom the Group nurtured since 2016.


Ornapaper Q2 FY2017 Results

The key factors affect the group’s performance include mainly raw material costs (such as kraft liner, test liner, medium paper and etc), operationg cost, demand for the packaging products and the ability to cope with the change. The recent upward trend of raw material costs has resulted in increase of production cost.

The sales volume and average selling price for corrugated cartons and boards has increased by 4.97% and 8.76% respectively compared to the preceding quarter.


Pharmaniaga Q2 FY2017 Results

Although earnings were impacted by the temporary closure of production lines, this will subsequently enable the Group to move forward with the commercialisation of new products as some of the products were approved ahead of schedule. This is certainly testament to the Group’s strong research and development initiatives.


LTKM Q1 FY2018 Results

The decrease in earnings was due mainly to the drop in egg prices and increase in cost of major raw materials namely corns and soybean.


Taliworks Q2 FY2017 Results

The high trade receivables particularly the amount owning by SPLASH continues to be a major concern as it has long been outstanding due to the uncertainties in the Selangor water restructuring exercise.


Paramount Q2 FY2017 Results

Education institutions have gone into a price war in an attempt to hold their respective market positions and compete for new students.

With the enlarged K-12 segment, comprising Sri KDU and the R.E.A.L Education Group, offering premium and more affordably priced alternative private and international schools respectively, Paramount Education is now able to reach a wider segment of the K-12 market. Sri KDU’s excellence in quality education continues to be reinforced. Following the success of PISA in 2012, Sri KDU International School achieved the International School Quality Mark (ISQM) Gold Award this year, the first in Malaysia and third in Asia to procure this award.


Press Metal Aluminium Q2 FY2017 Results

Aluminium price continues to increase as more and more production cuts are being announced in China according to the government supply reform policy. As a result, the China smelting production is expected to slow down and the world’s supply and demand will tilt towards a deficit situation which will support long term aluminium price performance.

Our smelting operations will continue to run at full capacity for the remaining of the year with demand continues to be well supported.


IFCA MSC Q2 FY2017 Results

As the trend of businesses moving online to the cloud starts to pick up momentum, the Group has started to invest in the next generation of solutions for the property industry with a strong focus on prop-tech. This initiative is expected to leverage the depth of experience of the Group in the property sector over the last 30 years, and combine it in a partnership with a leading cloud technology provider.

As at 30 June 2017, the Group has unbilled orders in hand amounting to RM28.22 million, an increase of RM 4.44 million from the previous quarter, showing an upward trend in the order book.


HSS Engineers Q2 FY2017 Results

The decline was compensated by newly secured projects in 2017 including East Coast Rail Line (“ECRL”) scheme design and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail.

The Group has put in place a series of future plans as follows:- (a) Geographical expansion into ASEAN, Middle East and India regions; (b) Continuous enhancement on its three (3) existing core services (i.e. engineering services, project management and Building Information Modeling (“BIM”) services) and proposed venture into a fourth (4th) core service i.e. facility management; and (c) Venturing into the provision of support services to the water and power generation sectors which are expected to continue receiving strong government support given their strategic importance to the country.


Dialog Group Q4 FY2017 Results

As a leading integrated technical services provider to the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, DIALOG remains confident that its business model is well structured and can withstand the current oil price volatility and currency movements. The Group’s financial track record has proven that DIALOG’s business is well risk-managed and sustainable.


S P Setia Q2 FY2017 Results (Press Release)

Sapphire By The Gardens, comprising a residential tower with 345 units of apartments and GDV of AUD376 million in Melbourne’s Central Business District (“CBD”) witnessed a strong take-up rate of 70% during the launch weekend on 17 June.

Moving forward into the second half of 2017, the Group will focus more on the local market with emphasis given to the launches of mid-range landed properties in the Klang Valley…The strategy is to launch more of the landed properties in the Group’s flagship townships where the underlying demand for such properties by owner occupiers are still strong.


Three-A Resources Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group has positioned itself strategically to leverage on the expansion of production facilities especially the completed Maltodextrin product Plant no. 3 and also the acquisition of lands located in the vicinity of the existing production facilities.


Shangri-La Hotels Malaysia Q2 FY2017 Results

Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur is expected to deliver revenue and profit growth for the full year 2017, supported by stronger food and beverage business over the second half, with the continuing benefit of its recently fully upgraded banqueting facilities and all-day dining restaurant. Hotel Jen Penang successfully completed its major renovation, with the hotel’s full inventory of renovated rooms back in operation at the end of June 2017. This will allow the hotel to drive improvements in occupancy and room rates during the reminder of 2017.


Aemulus Q3 FY2017 Results

Sales growth in the Far East region has been encouraging. The double digit revenue growth target set by the Group for this region remain unchanged.

Orders for products continue to stream in from our customers in the enterprise storage segment.

The combined revenue from the enterprise storage, smartphone and tablet segments constitute close to 90% of the Group revenue


Century Logistics Q2 FY2017 Results

The Group will leverage its extensive customer base and internal strength which the Group has put in place that focuses on providing value added logistics solutions while maintaining cost efficiencies. Following the ongoing synergy process, the Group also intends to tap into the extensive network and infrastructure of its major shareholder, CJ Logistics Group. The Group is currently setting up the necessary infrastructure to roll-out its parcel delivery operation and expects to commence the operation soon.


Vitrox Q2 FY2017 Results

…the increase in revenue recorded for Machine Vision System (MVS) and Automated Board Inspection (ABI). Revenue from MVS and ABI have recorded an increase of 45% and 31% respectively against the corresponding period of preceding year. The increase was mainly due to higher demand from widen customer base and positive acceptance of our products.


Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Q2 FY2017 Results (Press Release)

… higher sales volume and a one off trade discount adjustment in Singapore. This improvement was achieved despite trade loading last year in Malaysia during June 2016 prior to the price increase in July 2016.

“Our premium brands Somersby cider and Kronenbourg Blanc are growing double-digit, improving our brand mix and overall revenue. In Malaysia, our draught stout Connor’s is also growing double-digit as well and reaching new consumers with the ‘Connor’s Challenge’ campaign. In Singapore, our Asahi Super Dry sales are also very encouraging.”


Allianz Malaysia Q2 FY2017 Results

The increase in gross earned premiums of the life insurance operation was mainly contributed by growth in premiums from agency and bancassurance channels.

The higher expense ratio is due mainly to investment in digital assets and provision for impairment on insurance receivables.

The second phase of motor and fire detariff commenced in July 2017 where insurers have the flexibility to deviate pricing for the motor and fire portfolios within certain regulatory allowances. The pricing for both lines of business is expected to move towards a risk-based pricing approach. Competition is expected to intensify for the general insurance business.

The general insurance subsidiary has taken key initiatives to remain competitive in this environment including building a technical pricing model, active portfolio, and claims management as well as disciplined expense management.

The life insurance subsidiary will focus on strengthening its distribution channels through the professionalization and increased the productivity of its agency force. It will generate growth from its investment-linked business with rider attachments which cater for customers’ protection needs.


JcbNext Q2 FY2017 Results

Pending the acquisition of new businesses and/or investments, the Group’s future prospects will depend on the performance of its associated companies in Taiwan and Malaysia, quoted investment in Hong Kong, foreign exchange rates, and operating activities in Malaysia and Japan. The Group will derive income primarily from the provision of consultancy services, dividend income from its quoted investments and rental of office space.


Tasco Q1 FY2018 Results

Contribution from export cargoes of printed circuit boards, E&E, capacitors, semiconductors as well as aerospace customers boosted the higher revenue of AFF business. For Ocean Freight Forwarding (“OFF”) division, strong shipments contribution by a solar panel customer, especially export shipments to New York & Savannah of USA, coupled with increased export to Japan of an aerospace customer significantly uplifted OFF revenue performance. New customers of furniture manufacturers of OCM business also contributed higher revenue to OFF division…Trucking division posted a revenue increase of RM3.0 million (15.2 per cent), largely as a result of an increase in a new secured E&E account in the central region as well as increased distribution of an FMCG customer and inbound cross border business from Thailand.

On 12 July 2017, we completed our acquisition of Gold Cold Transport Sdn. Bhd. (“GCT”), thus marking our official foray into cold supply chain logistics business. Hence, the results of GCT will be consolidated into our accounts with effect from our second fiscal quarter this year. Our acquisition of MILS Cold Chain Sdn. Bhd., on the other hand, is still pending approval from the relevant authorities.


Pos Malaysia Q1 FY2018 Results

…the recent upbeat economic sentiments, globally and domestically, are supportive of the growth of e-Commerce, the key driver of the Pos Malaysia’s revenue growth. Furthermore, the Government’s continued progress in rolling-out the Digital Free Trade Zone incentives is also positive for the continued growth of e-Commerce and its ecosystem in Malaysia.

…traditional mail business to remain challenging due to the structural decline in mail volume driven by the continued shift into digital and mobile communications platforms.


Notion VTec Q3 FY2017 Results

The accounting profit is affected by losses mainly arising from Notion Thailand and Notion International, Johor due to insufficient orders covering the higher overheads but there are new orders from new customers in the coming quarters.

The camera continues to be on a decline…


Hong Leong Industries Q4 FY2017 Results

Malaysian Newsprint Industries Sdn Bhd (“MNI”), an associated company had commenced creditors’ voluntary winding-up proceedings. Arising thereto, the Group had made a one-off full impairment provision of RM172 million which is the Group’s carried amount of investment in MNI as at 30 June 2017. Going forward the Group is no longer required to equity account for the future results of MNI. In the event of any residual value from the liquidation process, the Group will recognize any recoveries in future periods.


ELK-Desa Resources Q1 FY2018 Results

The Group will continue to strategically operate in the underserved niche market and focus on growing the small value second hand car financing segment. The business strategy will also be constantly reviewed to ensure the Group continues to stay relevant in the industry and at the same time keeping the credit risk exposure within the tolerance level.

…the furniture business will continue to be affected by the sluggish consumers’ sentiments and the current soft economic environment. However, the Group will continue to grow the furniture business and focus on ensuring the operational efficiencies in the various divisions (i.e. retail, wholesale, export, and manufacturing).


Tune Protect Group Q2 FY2017 Results

“Gross Written Premiums is up by 11.3% which was driven by our motor, offshore oil, and engineering, as well as Middle East travel businesses.”

“More importantly, we are excited to announce that we’ve secured a new airline partner. Our partnership with Cambodia Angkor Air marks the 4th airline partnership with Tune Protect and is slated to commence in 3Q2017. This is definitely a silver lining for Tune Protect, as we ride out the storm. Securing another airline partner in the region is a huge milestone for us as it brings us closer to our vision of becoming a leading travel insurer in ASEAN.”

…due to increase in net claims mainly from Motor class of general insurance business, offset by a minor improvement in share of profits from overseas ventures.

“To alleviate the higher costs of motor claims that continue to impact our Malaysian general insurance business, we have redirected car repairs to non-franchise panel workshops to minimise the cost. We are also revising the way we evaluate franchise vehicles that have higher loss exposure and reviewing Beyond Economic Repair level to curb total loss exposure.”

With the intensified competition on the back of the liberalization of Motor and Fire businesses, our strategies for the coming months will concentrate on providing further online accessibility and product differentiation via risk-adjusted pricing.


Kawan Food Q2 FY2017 Results

The construction of the new plant at Pulau Indah is progressing accordingly to the revised schedule. The new factory is expected to be commissioned in the second half of the year. The research and development activities are continuing for new products which are planned to be manufactured at the new factory.

Thong Guan eyes to list unit on HK’s GEM

Ang is increasingly frustrated with the low market valuation of Thong Guan, saying it is an unjustified discount to its local rivals, which he hopes would eventually be corrected with a spin-off of its F&B arm and leaving the parent focused on the plastic packaging business.

“Last year, the F&B division contributed about RM4.5 million in profit and we expect this to grow to RM5 million this year. The PVC food wrap business recorded a profit of RM6 million in 2016. If we combine the two, we have a RM10 million profit company.”

“China has the largest market for organic noodles in the world. And the people there are growing more affluent, preferring to buy imported food products because they know regulations for imported food are very stringent. And there is a big market for baby noodles in China. So far, there is no organic noodle for babies in China and we would be among the first to go with that concept. I believe it would work. People want to start [letting] their kids [like and eat healthy food] when they are young.”

“Under China’s food regulations, products for children more than seven months old are categorised as infant food where certain vitamins and minerals are necessary. Our baby noodle products did not meet those requirements. So, we are changing the packaging of these baby noodle products in order for them to enter China.”

“We are actively looking for potential acquisition targets in the nanotechnology stretch film and max-stretch film business in Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia, [but the] market is good now. When the market is bad, then it is a good time to move in. We are also looking at companies that can provide complementary strengths like producers of plastic raw materials. We have been in talks, but we are not in a hurry [to complete any M&A transaction]. We can sit on top of the mountain and watch, and still grow our existing business.”


Sasbadi to ‘unleash’ non-academic segment’s potential

“Most of the products we sell target students. However, students have many needs, for example they want to read fiction too. We also want to target books for adults such as for self-improvement and other hobbies. There are [basically] many other segments we can look into.”

“We have mature technology that can be exported. So we are identifying partners who have good content and good branding in the local market, with good reach in terms of distribution, but lack the technological advantage. That’s where we can come in and collaborate. I believe this kind of collaboration will enable us to get access to good markets abroad.”


Gamuda’s IBS parts-making capacity to double by end-2018

Gamuda Bhd will see its annual manufacturing capacity of industrialised building system (IBS) components more than double to 8,000 units, with the completion of its second facility in Banting by end-2018.

“With the second factory coming online [by the] end of next year, we will be able to produce a total of 8,000 of 1,000-sq ft units per year. The current facility manufactures solid walls which are heavy and unsuitable for taller buildings. The new facility will be able to produce double walls, which are lighter and more suitable for taller buildings.”

“But when IBS is made mandatory, demand will rise and factories will ramp up their capacity. I am confident that there will be more IBS manufacturers coming up when demand picks up.”

Malaysia’s medical inflation at double-digit pace

Malaysia’s healthcare inflation stood at 11.5% in 2016 and is projected to rise to 12.7% this year, the survey shows. The pace is much faster than the average of 10.7% in Asia last year, and the rate is projected to ease to 10.2% this year. In fact, Malaysia is the third-highest among the 11 Asian countries surveyed, after India’s 14% and Indonesia’s 13.1%.

Among the reasons for the growing inflationary pressure on medical costs, the top three are utilisation medical services as more people are falling sick, the growing ageing population, and the costly advancement of medical technology.

“As medical care becomes more and more expensive, premiums [for medical insurance] will likewise increase.”