Rabu, 2 Oktober 2013

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The Star Online: Business

Harn Len upbeat on proposed land sale


PETALING JAYA: Harn Len Corp Bhd, whose share price soared recently following a proposal to sell its land in Sabah for RM184.6mil, is planning to use the proceeds to retire debts and dish out a dividend.

It was the prospect of a dividend payout that had gotten investors chasing the stock, dealers said.

But executive chairman Tan Sri Low Nam Hui told StarBiz that the company had not decided on the quantum of the dividend payout yet.

He said the money gained from the land sale would be utilised to pay off its debts, which stood at RM145.26mil as at Dec 31, 2012, while the remaining portion would be distributed in the form of dividends to its shareholders.

"We plan to use the remaining money for a future dividend payout, but have yet to decide on the quantum at this point," he told StarBiz in a telephone interview.

Low pointed out that by paring down its debts, Harn Len, a Johor-based plantation company, would save about RM10mil in annual interest payments.

To recap, the relatively low-profile company had come on the radar of investors after it sold plantation estates in Lahad Datu totalling 2,410ha to Boustead Holdings Bhd for RM184.6mil.

Harn Len said it would enjoy a gain on disposal of RM143.2mil from the sale.

The stock touched a 10-year peak of RM1.10 on Sept 30, while its one-year average price was 82.5 sen.

Assuming that it pays off its entire borrowings of RM145.26mil from the total proceeds of RM184.6mil, that would leave the company with RM39.34mil in cash.

That amount, in turn, works out to 21 sen per Harn Len share, the potential amount of dividends that can be distributed.

It last declared a two-sen dividend for the full year of 2011. Due to weak crude palm oil prices, Harn Len had reported close to RM4mil in losses in the financial year 2012 (FY12) and has been in the red for the last two quarters of FY13.

Asked if Harn Len was looking at more land disposals, the 95-year-old Hakka-speaking Low said that while it was not looking to sell its core assets, he did not rule out unlocking the value of its non-core assets, including land in Johor, where prices have appreciated in recent times.

Low said it chose to sell the land in Sabah because it wanted to focus on its operations in Sarawak, where it has a more significant landbank.

Harn Len has 9,967ha of largely plantation land in Sarawak and another 4,240ha in Pahang.

According to Low, the company has another 10,000ha of greenfield land in Sarawak on top of the 9,967ha which had been planted, although this is not reflected in the company's 2012 annual report.

"We have plans to increase our landbank there more aggressively going forward, as we seek to focus more in that state."

In Johor Baru, Harn Len owns a 25-storey office-cum-hotel building, where its headquarters is located. It also has six units of double-storey shop houses and some vacant land in the city.

He also said the company had taken necessary measures to maintain its expenses.

Harn Len said in Bursa filings that the proceeds of the sale from the Sabah land would see it enjoying an increase in earnings per share by about 0.76 sen for FY13 ending Dec 31. Loss per share for its first half ended June 30 was 5.27 sen.

Its net assets per share, meanwhile, stood at RM1.32 as at June 30.

UMW Oil and Gas indicative retail price at RM2.80 per share (Update)


KUALA LUMPUR: UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd has set an indicative retail price at RM2.80 per share under its listing exercise on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, valuing the company at RM6.05bil.

In its prospectus issued on Thursday, it said the IPO would involve up to 843.18 million shares of 50 sen each, comprising of an offer for sale of up to 231.38 million existing shares and a public issue of 611.80 million new shares.

Based on the public issue of 611.80 million new shares, this would enable it to raise RM1.71bil.

The offer shares are in conjunction with the listing of the entire 2.162 billion shares, which would see its market capitalisation at RM6.05bil.

Under the listing exercise, the institutional offer is up to 648.60 million IPO shares to Malaysian and foreign institutional and selected investors, including Bumiputera investors at the institutional to be determined by bookbuilding.

The retail offering of 194.58 million IPO shares would be for eligible directors and staff  and Malaysian public at the retail price of RM2.80 per share.

The tentative listing date is Nov 1.

On its dividend policy, UMW O&G said while it does not have any fixed policy, "we intend to adopt a policy of active capital management".

Genting, UMW, Sime Darby weigh on KLCI in early trade


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips slipped in early Thursday trade, in line with the lacklustre key regional markets as investors awaited the resolution to the US government debt woes.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.74 of a point to 1,769.61, dragged by losses in genting Bhd, UMW and Sime Darby.

Turnover was 115.25 million shares valued at RM28.69mil. There were 85 gainers, 59 losers and 144 counters unchanged.

BIMB Securities Research expects the market to continue to remain sideways as investors are staying cautious over the outcome of the US shutdown. Expect to see immediate resistance at 1,776/80 while support at 1,767/62.

It said local institutions were net buyers at RM57.5mil and foreigners net buyers at RM8.4mil while local retailers were net sellers at RM65.9mil.

Hong Leong Bank fell the most, down 18 sen to RM13.96 with 100 shares done, UMW and Genting lost six sen each to RM11.44 and RM10.36 while Sime Darby shed four sen to RM9.47.

BAT was the top gainer, adding 50 sen to RM63 while Mudajaya rose seven sen to RM2.87.

Public Bank gained eight sen to RM17.80 and Maybank four sen higher at RM9.85.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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