Company Notes 2017.10.13

LPI Capital Q3 FY2017 Results

“With its diversified distribution channels especially its strong agency network, Lonpac has continued to build its market share in the newly liberalised environment. Its gross premium income for the third quarter grew by 34.6% to RM416.6 million from RM309.6 million registered in the previous corresponding quarter. Lonpac’s profit before tax for the quarter under review similarly registered an impressive 20.3% jump to RM102.4 million from RM85.1 million previously. With its prudent underwriting policy and costs control measures, Lonpac managed to improve its combined ratio to a new record low of 63.9% for the third quarter of 2017, reduced from 65.0% reported in previous corresponding quarter. As a result, its underwriting profit registered a strong improvement by 19.9% to RM83.6 million from RM69.7 million previously, despite its claim incurred ratio having increased marginally to 40.3% from 38.9% previously.”

Lonpac has established a Digital Strategy Department to leverage on technology to distribute its products and to further enhance its services to our customers. We believe that investment in technology will enable us to further expand our business segment and strengthen our market position.


Zhulian Q3 FY2017 Results

We also look forward to improving the contribution from the MLM segments especially from our Thailand and Myanmar markets in order to drive growth momentum for overall Indochina market once we materialise our plan to enter Cambodia and Laos market. The Group will continue to adopt rationalisation in our business operations.


Atlan Holdings Q2 FY2018 Results

Duty free segment reported lower profit in current quarter and cumulative quarter as compared to the corresponding quarter and cumulative quarter in the previous year mainly due to lower revenue as lower demand from customers following the imposition of Goods and Services Tax at the border outlets and duty free zones with effect from 1 January 2017, coupled with higher management fee incurred. However, the decrease was partially offset by savings in transportation costs.


Top Glove Q4 FY2017 Results

The uptrend in sales revenue also came on the back of an increase in average selling prices (ASP) arising from a surge in raw material prices, as well as a strengthening of the USD over the course of FY2017. Additionally, more sales of nitrile gloves, which command a higher ASP, coupled with new capacity, also helped move sales revenue figures higher.

…the signing of a letter of intent to acquire the entire ordinary shares of Eastern Press Sdn Bhd, a printing and packaging material manufacturer for RM47.25mil. The proposed transaction is expected to provide the Group with synergistic benefits, enabling it to improve its supply chain coordination, thereby allowing for flexible planning and better delivery time in relation to the supply of packaging material for its glove products, as well as better cost and quality control.

Vitrox investing RM130mil to expand ops

According to Chu, the important growth segments are the automotive and telecommunication infrastructure industries.

“The report expects China to continue to be the world’s largest car market for the foreseeable future, and has upgraded its 2017 China forecast to 28 million units.”

“The total spending on endpoints and services will hit almost US$2 trillion in 2017.”

“We shipped out 106 units of advanced optical inspection and advanced x-ray inspection equipment for used in the electronic assembly industry. Only 1% of our shipment goes to the smart device segment. We are, therefore, not subjected to the volatility of sales in the smart device market. The second half of 2017 should see double-digit growth for all the four sectors over the same period last year and also the first half of this year.”


Choo Bee upbeat about steel price rally

“We have seen the price [of steel] really move up since July. It has hit [a five-year] high at the moment. At RM3,000 per tonne, it’s an extremely good price. It’s really a positive development for us. We’re seeing demand rising now. The construction industry is getting more active in the second half of the year. Since the third quarter, we have seen more orders coming in, and we expect the momentum to continue in the fourth quarter.”

Presently, its manufacturing segment makes up 40% of the group’s revenue, while its trading segment contributes the remaining 60%. The domestic market makes up the lion’s share or 95% of the group’s sales. Its only export market now is Singapore. Tan said Choo Bee intends to re-enter the US and the Middle East in the long run, but gave no timeline.

In the mean time, Choo Bee is looking to set up another new factory as part of its 10-year expansion plan. “Everything is still in planning stage … it will be in the Klang Valley. It will be near our existing warehouse in Kampar because we want to centralise everything. It makes more logistical sense,” Tan said. Choo Bee’s sole factory in Pengkalan, Perak, which produces about 110,000 tonnes per annum, is now running at about 75% capacity.


George Kent partners Siemens for HSR bid

Under the deal, George Kent and Siemens will form an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) pre-consortium to prepare a joint offer on the EPC level to the special purpose company which shall bid for the development, financing, construction and technical operation and maintenance of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR.


Petronas Dagangan in joint venture to install EV charging stations

Through this tripartite partnership, Petronas Dagangan commits to install 100 ChargEV stations by 2018 and will explore strategic partnerships to increase the number of ChargEV stations gradually, in tandem with market demand. Petronas Dagangan will also look into installing solar PV panels at 100 selected stations. With this, the energy used to power the ChargEV stations will be fully renewable and completely carbon-free, making it truly green.


Rubber glove exports to hit all-time high

The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma), in a statement yesterday, said it had increased this year’s export sales target to RM16.2bil amid strong demand from overseas. The figure is almost RM3bil higher than what was achieved in 2016.

“As of the present situation, all glove manufacturers are oversold and selling beyond their capacity to produce by over three or four months behind due to demand and labour shortage issues,” Margma president Denis Low Jau Foo told StarBiz when contacted yesterday.

Despite the challenges, Low said rubber glove exports from Malaysia are expected to reach close to 150 billion pieces this year. It is estimated that exports from Malaysia accounted for two-thirds of global consumption.

“This is the more recent factor apart from the continued increase in hygiene awareness among the population worldwide. In China, the government has been actively closing vinyl glove factories which do not comply with environmental regulations. Due to this, there has been a vacuum over the past few months from the reduction of producers in China today. And I expect China’s actions to continue further in the near future. Over there, it is the vinyl gloves while over here, we have the nitrile and latex rubber gloves.”

Charting Naza’s direction

The focus of the second generation was to put a framework of corporate governance and professional managers in place at the key business divisions of the group. Nasarudin says his late father had about 100 active companies when he passed away and the group had no holding company. The problem they faced was the need to consolidate everything over the past seven years and put the right structure in place.

Apart from the auto business, which accounts for 60% of group revenue, the group’s other large business interest is in property development. That division, headed by Faliq, has seen sales rise from RM200mil to about RM1bil and is said to be valued at RM3.5bil – ripe for a listing on the stock exchange. It has 400 acres of land for mixed integrated development in the Klang Valley, but the weak sentiment in the domestic market has forced it to look abroad for opportunities. “We are sitting on very strategic land bank and with Platinum Park, we are the second-largest land owner at KLCC. At KL Metropolis, we are sitting on over 70 acres. When it comes to prime land, we are taking our time in realising that value,” says Faliq.


Malaysia Airlines mulls stake sale to another carrier

“It’s the trend these days; that’s what’s happening. Other airlines, they take a portion of somebody else, get really close [working] together … what it does is it generally lifts overall value, and you have other commercial operation opportunities, maybe you can have joint purchasing, maybe you cooperate on aircraft, you have the same product line, that’s the trend where the industry is going, and it makes a lot of sense. It allows for balanced growth. If you look around the world, a lot don’t have partners in Southeast Asia.”

Bellew acknowledged that Malaysia Airlines will remain loss-making in FY17 which is within expectations. “I think we are on track to be profitable in the second half of next year.”

Malaysia addressing inaccurate claims in EU draft palm oil report

The European Parliament had also endorsed the certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) plan for Europe-bound vegetable oil exports to ensure that they are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.

Describing the draft report as the “wish list” of MEPs, Kalyana stressed that the EU Parliament has no rule-making authority. “It’s not a EU policy; it’s just recommendation from the parliament,” Mossenlechner told reporters.

The resolution calls for the EU to discontinue the usage of vegetable oils in biodiesel by 2020 on the grounds that they were allegedly produced in an unsustainable manner leading to deforestation.


Digital banking penetration to exceed 60% by 2018

This was well below the more than 90% penetration seen in South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but above the rates of Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

“Phase one of fintech disruption involved fintech start-ups disrupting the banking industry by offering their services directly to consumers, completely independent of banking industry players. However, now fintechs have realised how costly it is to acquire customers on their own, so there is a shift seen in these start-ups to providing business-to-business solutions, so they are looking for partnerships with bigger and more established banking players to offer customers a joint value proposition.”


Here’s why Malaysians can’t afford a house

Just 20 percent of new Malaysian housing launches in the first quarter were priced below 250,000 ringgit ($59,000), down from 33 percent between 2010 and 2014, according to the central bank’s “Housing Watch” website. The bulk of new homes cost between 250,000 ringgit and 500,000 ringgit. The median annual household income is estimated at around 63,000 ringgit.

Only about half of people living in Kuala Lumpur own a home, while nationwide the number was 72.5 percent at the last census in 2010. Demand is set to rise: the median age of Malaysia’s 31.7 million people is 28 years and the nation’s urban population is growing at an average 4 percent a year, among the fastest pace in East Asia, according to the World Bank.

“The focus should be on building houses which people can afford, not building expensive houses and then trying to push them, and then complaining that the banks are not giving loans,” he said. “The reason people are having problems getting loans is because the houses are not affordable. It’s beyond their repayment” ability, he said.


ABM ‘strongly refutes’ recent REHDA claim on difficulty to secure housing loans

The overall housing loan approval rates remains high at 73% of the applications in the second quarter of 2017. Furthermore, ABM said 72% of the housing loan borrowers are first-time house owners under the affordable home category.

ABM said its 27 member banks take an average of two to nine working days to process a housing loan application with complete documentation submitted by the applicant. “Therefore, the 60 to 90 days taken for loans approval as stated by Rehda is not reflective of the speedy approval process of housing loans by banks.”


Malaysians’ median monthly household income rises to RM5,228 in 2016

Seven states surpassed the national median monthly household income of RM5,228, namely, the Federal Territory (FT) Kuala Lumpur (RM9,073) FT Putrajaya (RM8,275), Selangor (RM7,225), FT Labuan (RM5,928), Johor (RM5,652), Melaka (RM5,588) and Penang (RM5,409).

On consumption expenditure, he said Malaysians spent an average RM4,033 a month, an increase of 6% from 2014. “Almost 70% was spent on four main groups, namely, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (24%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (18%), transport (13.7%) and restaurants and hotels (13.4%). The scenario is in line with the composition of a developed country’s spending pattern.”


Malaysia should ease migration policy

“In receiving countries, foreign workers can fill labour shortages and promote sustained economic growth, if migration policies are aligned with their economic needs. Inappropriate policies and ineffective institutions mean that the region is missing opportunities to gain fully from migration. These restrictive policies are partly influenced by the perception that an influx of migrants would have negative impacts on receiving economies. However, there is evidence to the contrary.”

All said, Malaysia and Singapore have the lowest international labour mobility costs in Asean, which reflect their openess to globalisation, their efforts to develop migration system that meet labour market needs and their geogrphic centrality in the region.


Minimum wage to go up

This would be the second time in three years that minimum wage levels in the country have been revised. In July 2016, The minimum salary was raised to RM1,000 from RM900 in Peninsular Malaysia, and to RM920 from RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

“We know that the minimum wages order must be reviewed at least once in two years. The review will look at the ability of the employer to pay the minimum wage which is a responsibility that is very challenging to ensure that the minimum wage policy meets all objectives”, Riot was quoted by Bernama as saying.

Company Notes 2017.07.14

Lonpac Insurance in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

The Malaysian general insurance industry registered a reduction of 2.7% in gross written premium for the first quarter of 2017. With the implementation of Phase 2 of the Liberalisation Framework effective 1st July 2017, whereby motor insurance for comprehensive cover and third party fire and theft will be detariffed, we expect Lonpac to face stiffer competition in the second half of the year as insurers operating in the new liberalised environment scramble to build
their respective market share.

 

Malaysia Airports in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

1H17 passenger traffic registered 9.5% growth with 61.7million passengers. International traffic grew by 13.0% while domestic grew by 6.8%.

Malaysia passenger traffic grew by 13.5% in June 2017. International traffic grew by 17.2% while domestic traffic grew by 10.0%.

KLIA Main Terminal and klia2 both registered double digit growth with 11.0% and 19.1% respectively over June 2016 passenger numbers.

 

Postpaid + Prepaid
Cost Management

Digi.com in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

…our 4G LTE and LTE-A network coverage reached 86% and 45% of the population nationwide, supported by 9,000 LTE sites and 8,000 km of fiber network.

Our data traffic delivery continued to show healthy 1.4 times growth year-on-year as 4G subscribers surged to 66% of total smartphone subscribers from 43% a year ago.

We will further capitalise on Digi’s robust 4G Plus network, now enhanced with LTE 900Mhz, VoLTE and VoWiFi capabilities to strengthen our products and services offering and to drive new opportunities from enterprise business and solutions.


Zhulian in a filing with Bursa Malaysia

We also look forward to improving the contribution from the MLM segments especially from our Thailand and Myanmar markets in order to drive growth momentum for overall Indochina market once we materialise our plan to enter Cambodia and Laos market. The Group will continue to adopt rationalisation in our business operations.

Top-brass change part of revamp — Malaysia Smelting

“The process of relocation is a major decision and will take much planning and time. The Butterworth smelter has been operational for over 100 years and a technology upgrade in our overall smelting process would be beneficial for the business. The Port Klang plant which was acquired last year will be retrofitted into a world-class tin-smelting facility, before we commence the licence application process [for the plant].”

“So far, tin prices have remained strong in 2017 at an average market price of approximately US$20,000 per tonne, from average tin prices of US$17,900 per tonne in 2016 and US$16,000 per tonne in 2015. Rising tin prices will have a more direct impact [on] the profitability of our tin mining division and a lesser impact on the profitability of our tin smelting division.”

“A key initiative to achieve this would be to upgrade our furnaces to that of the latest Top Submerged Lance (TSL) type which is a much more efficient process, in terms of costs and environmental care. The new TSL furnace will enable us to have an even more comprehensive and efficient smelting process and may also be expanded to handle a larger volume of feed materials, using oxygen enrichment.”


Takeover offers for KUB and Wang-Zheng ‘not fair and not reasonable’

“Based on the sum-of-parts valuation method, we have derived the estimated fair value for the entire equity interest in KUB of RM885.11 million or a fair value per KUB share of RM1.59.”

“The offer price of RM1.14 per share is not fair, taking into account that it is lower than our estimated range of value of between RM1.16 and RM1.39 per Wang-Zheng share…also represents a discount of 25.49% to the last traded price as at the latest practicable date (LPD).”

…taking into account that both KUB and Wang-Zheng shares are relatively liquid and will remain traded on the Main Market of Bursa, shareholders will have the opportunity to realise their investments in the open market after the closing date (though there is no assurance the shares will continue to trade at current price and volume levels after the closing date).


Lotte Chemical Titan dips below IPO price

“At this moment, the spread from the conversion of polyolefin into feedstock naphtha is still at US$700 per tonne. This is a very comfortable [level] for us.

“Oil prices [have] traded between US$30 and US$60 per barrel over the last three years. We believe that there will be no sudden spike in the pricing in the next two years, and we are comfortable with anything below US$60 per barrel.”

“We believe the market can absorb [the supply] of polyolefin products, and independent market researchers share a similar view.”


Lotte’s chemical reaction

Back when Lotte took the unit private, the global economic recovery was driving strong demand for the raw materials used to make plastic and synthetic fibers used in everything from appliances to automobiles. But as the years went on, Lotte Chemical did almost nothing to expand capacity — unlike its global competitors — despite having ample cash.

In the absence of investment, revenue growth slowed. Lower prices for inputs such as oil have helped prop up profit but as the sales outlook for products like cars weakens, demand for Lotte’s offerings has waned. Meanwhile, raw material prices have declined and overcapacity in China is further pressuring the industry.


Alliance says it can go it alone

“As far as we know, nobody is courting us [or] said anything about wanting to come in [and] takeover. Nothing is in the pipeline as far as we know, but we don’t know what the shareholders are doing. They could have something at their level but we have no clue.”

“Like every other bank, [the group will make] a one-time adjustment in FY18 but we don’t anticipate this adjustment to be very large as we already have a 1.2% [of total loans] regulatory reserve that has been booked to buffer the impact.”

…the adoption of MFRS 9, which will change the provisioning methodologies from incurred loss to expected loss, is expected to lead to higher credit costs for banks as they will have to make provisions for new loans upon adoption.


Tencent’s WeChat Pay seeks licence for local payment services in Malaysia

If approved, users in Malaysia will be able to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and pay for goods and services in ringgit.

At present, WeChat Pay can be used at over 130,000 shops in 13 foreign markets — including in the United States, Europe and Japan — and supports 10 currencies.

“The short-term target is still Chinese tourists. The priority is nearby countries most frequented by them, such as those in Southeast Asia.”


Najib announces four more services to be GST zero-rated

1. Pescribed services performed in connection with goods for export where the service is supplied to overseas customers.

2. Prescribed services supplied in the Free Zones, including Licenced Manufacturing Warehouses (LMW), to overseas customers.

3. Research and development services provided for overseas customers.

4. Non-recurring expenditures incurred as engineering expenses including tools and machinery used in the manufacturing process of goods.


BNM maintains OPR at 3%

“The Malaysian economy performed better than expected in the first quarter of 2017. Growth was lifted by stronger domestic demand, with additional impetus from exports.”

“Banking system liquidity remains sufficient with financial institutions continuing to operate with strong capital and liquidity buffers. The growth of financing to the private sector has improved, consistent with the pace of economic activity.”