#Stocks To Watch* Battered stocks, Public Bank, plantations, Digi and SP Setia

  • After Karpal’s death, DAP rep tells AG to drop bid for jail time
    After Karpal’s death, DAP rep tells AG to drop bid for jail time

    SHAH ALAM, April 17 — The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) should symbolically withdraw its recent bid for custodial sentence against late DAP veteran Karpal Singh after his death today,  state... …

  • Best leads for MH370 search will be exhausted in about a week, says Abbott
    Best leads for MH370 search will be exhausted in about a week, says Abbott

    The best leads in the underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be exhausted in about a week, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), as search efforts continue in the Indian Ocean. Abbott said authorities would need to rethink their approach if the mini-submarine,... …

  • Opposition MPs censure Karpal’s critics for insensitive remarks
    Opposition MPs censure Karpal’s critics for insensitive remarks

    Pakatan Rakyat MPs have condemned remarks by certain critics of the late Karpal Singh, saying their insensitive remarks and stupid logic have no place in a modern educated society like Malaysia. On former Perkasa deputy president Zulkifli Noordin's comment that Allah had killed off Karpal who had rejected the implementation of hudud laws in... …

  • Karpal makes last journey home to Penang
    Karpal makes last journey home to Penang

    Amid tears of sorrow, a coffin bearing Karpal Singh's remains was loaded onto a van for his final journey back to Penang today. The 73-year-old, popularly known as the Tiger of Jelutong, died early this morning after the Toyota Alphard he was in collided with a five-tonne Mitsubishi Canter. Karpal's remains had been brought to the Raja... …

  • Anwar pays tribute to defender of human rights
    Anwar pays tribute to defender of human rights

    Malaysia has lost a selfless, courageous and noble defender of  fundamental liberties, said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a tribute to his political comrade and lawyer Karpal Singh, who died in an accident this morning. Anwar, who found out about Karpal's passing at 3am today, said that Malaysia had lost an illustrious hero and... …

  • Nurul Izzah’s husband appoints relative as member of reconciliation committee
    Nurul Izzah’s husband appoints relative as member of reconciliation committee

    Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar's husband, Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar Raja Salim, has appointed his relative as a member of a reconciliation committee for the couple's ongoing divorce case, The Star Online reported today. According to the report, Raja Ahmad Shahrir proposed Mohd Fauzi Mustaffa for the position today. The report said Raja... …

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): If investors could ignore the current political risk in Malaysia, stocks to watch on Thursday (Feb 7) may include battered index-linked big cap stocks, Public Bank, Digi, plantations and SP Setia.

Malaysia has to hold its 13th general election by end-April 2013. And for this reason, the stock market has experienced three pre-election scares since late January – including the one today.

Marred by election risk, the FBM KLCI was hit by another round of sell-off on index-linked stocks by funds. It fell as much as 1.4% at mid-afternoon despite gains across regional markets. Analysts said investors also cleared their positions ahead the long weekend-Chinese New Year break (Feb 9-12).

At 5pm today, the benchmark dived 19.21 points or 1.19%, to close at 1,614.14.

Beaten down blue chips with large foreign holdings such as KLK, BAT, Nestle, HLFG, HLB, Digi, PPB, GAB and Axiata may regain some composure if election fear fades off. The bashing may cause value of quality stocks to emerge and bargain-hunting may help boost prices of some stocks.

However, with Reuters reminding the market of political risk in Malaysia through its report today, these stocks and other index linked stocks may sink further.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s ruling BN coalition is expected to win a tight race but the opposition is well placed to undermine Najib's standing, Reuters said in its political risk report.

An opinion poll released in January by a respected university put the coalition ahead of the opposition by 5 percentage points, with 21% of those surveyed still undecided.

If the market behaves in a normal manner, Public Bank Bhd – one of the few quality stocks that rose slightly today -- may lure some trading interests due to improved results.

The banking group reported a 9% year-on-year rise in its fourth quarter net profit. It said net profit came to RM992.47 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2012, against RM913.39 million a year earlier while revenue also grew by 9% to RM3.63 billion from RM3.32 billion.

"The improved earnings was mainly due to higher net interest income and lower loan impairment charges resulting from strong loans and deposits growth and stable asset quality, higher net fee and commission income partially offset by higher other operating expenses," Public Bank said.

Public Bank's full-year net profit rose 5% to RM3.87 billion from RM3.68 billion a year earlier and revenue was up 10% to RM14.06 billion from RM12.76 billion.

The group expects to sustain its strong market position within the retail-loan segment due to growth in consumer credit and small- and medium-sized enterprises loans. It sees opportunities in residential property loans due to government initiative to increase home ownership.

On the back of a high inventory, plantations counters may wonder whether they should dance with the launch the long-awaited biodiesel 10% blend (B10) tomorrow, a move expected to slash palm oil inventory by one million tonnes.

The launch will see the use of B10 in the vehicles of the Ministry of Plantation, Industries and Commodities. Eventually, it is expected to be used by commercial vehicles.

Local palm oil stock levels hit historical high at 2.63 million tonnes at the end of December 2012.

The implementation of the B10 is expected to boost crude palm oil prices, currently at about RM2,400 per tonne.

Digi.com Bhd, whose share plunged 26 sen to RM4.66 today, may continue to fall if investors are not happy with its results.

The company posted a net profit of RM245.52 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012, down 37.72% from RM394.23 million a year before on the back of higher depreciation and amortisation charges.

Digi announced a 5.16% hike in revenue for the same quarter to RM1.63 billion compared to RM1.55 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.

“4QFY12 service revenue was sustained by strong data performance in the quarter whilst voice revenues were slightly lower than previous quarter. The slight reduction in voice revenues in 4QFY12 was anticipated; mainly driven by continuous data shift and competition,” said Digi.

For the full FY12, Digi reported a 3.88% drop in net profit to RM1.21 billion from the previous year on the back of a 6.66% surge in revenues to RM6.36 billion.

But Digi declared a fourth interim dividend of net 2.5 sen, bringing total dividends for FY12 to 26.3 sen.

On its outlook Digi said: “We believe industry revenue growth still will be around 5% and that the group can deliver higher growth in the range of 5% to 7%”.

SP Setia Bhd, whose share price also took a beating today, is proposing a mixed-development project on 194.65 acres of land in Gombak, with estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.24 billion.

The giant property group said it has proposed a joint venture between its subsidiary Rockbay Streams Sdn Bhd – the project’s developer – and land-owner Cash Band Bhd.

The development, to take six years, will comprise residential and commercial properties on three parcels of leasehold lands in Gombak. Under the proposal, Rockbay Streams will pay Cash Band at least RM200 million.

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  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …

  • My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind The Malaysian Insider
    My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind

    Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, who died in an accident early this morning, was in Kuala Lumpur to visit his son Gobind Singh Deo who was ill. A distraught Gobind said he was informed of the accident at 2.15am today, and he and his wife rushed to the scene where he saw his father's mangled car and his father's body. "My brother Ramkarpal was... …

  • Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper The Malaysian Insider
    Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper

    A wreck hunter is confident that the search teams had pinpointed the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and believes that the black boxes will be located soon, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports. David Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries told the ABC's 7.30 programme yesterday, he was confident that, because of their... …