Rabu, 23 April 2014

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The Star Online: Business

Alam Maritim falls after placement below market price

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 06:48 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR:  Offshore support vessel (OSV) operator Alam Maritim fell in early Thursday trade when it resumed trading after announcing the placement of 123 million new shares at RM1.35 each.

At 9.39am, Alam Maritim fell six sen to RM1.59. There were 9.98 million shares done.

The FBM KLCI was down 2.95 points to 1,864.40.  Turnover was 376.71 million shares valued  at RM182.03mil. There were 181 gainers, 227 losers and 270 counters unchanged.

Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan and his associate, Paul Poh, are buying the shares, accounting for a 15.53% stake at RM1.35 per share.

Affin Research has maintained its Buy call on Alam Maritim with a target price of RM1.83 and likes the group for its undemanding valuation and strong earnings growth.

The research house is mildly positive on the exercise, adding Quek and Poh are astute investors.

"Their entrance reinforce our positive view on Alam's business prospect and the placement provides the much needed capital to fund Alam's expansion plan," it said.

Banks lead KLCI lower in early trade

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 06:27 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Mild selling of bank stocks including AmBank and RHB Capital, plantations and Malaysia Airports pushed the FBM KLCI into the red early Thursday with analysts expecting profit taking to continue.

At 9.11am, the KLCI was down 1.55 points to 1,865.80. Turnover was 183.88 million shares valued at RM73.04mil. There were 143 gainers, 124 losers and 196 counters unchanged.

BIMB Securities Research said the KLCI was supported by foreign buying on Wednesday where there was a net inflow of RM74mil.

"With regional markets retreating yesterday, we reckon the gravity pull on the KLCI to become stronger today and expect some profit taking with the 1,860/65 as the immediate support level," it said.

Petronas Dagangan fell  24 sen to RM30.40 with 100 shares done.

Among the banks, AmBank fell seven sen to RM7.16 and RHB Cap five sen lower  at  RM8.46 in razor thin trade.

As for plantations, Keck Seng lost 25 sen to RM7.17and PPB Group six  sen to RM16.14.

Infrastructure-property  based Gamuda lost six sen to RM4.54.

Alam Maritim fell three sen to RM1.62. A unit of Hong Leong Group and another firm agreed to subscribe to 123 million new shares for RM166mil or RM1.35 a share.

TAS Offshore rose eight sen to RM1.44 with 6.55 million shares done. TAS Offshore's third quarter net profit doubled year-on-year on the back of higher revenue to the completion and delivery of several vessels.

Pharmaniaga  jumped 26 sen to RM4.61. CIMB Equities Research has started coverage of Pharmaniaga with an Add rating and target price of RM6.50, which is 51.2% above the last traded price of RM4.30.

NZ central bank raises rates, signals more tightening

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 05:32 PM PDT

WELLINGTON: New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates on Thursday and signalled that it would keep tightening monetary policy in the coming months as the central bank tames inflation pressures which have been brewing as the country's economy strengthens.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted its official rate by 25 basis points to 3.0 percent in a widely expected move, continuing its tightening path mapped out last month, when the central bank took the lead among developed nations in raising rates in the current cycle.

"It is important that inflation expectations remain contained. To achieve this it is necessary to raise interest rates towards a level at which they are no longer adding to demand," RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement.

"The speed and extent to which the OCR will be raised will depend on economic data and our continuing assessment of emerging inflationary pressures, including the extent to which the high exchange rate leads to lower inflationary pressures."

Thursday's move takes rates to a three-year high, and the RBNZ stuck to its guidance that more rate hikes lay ahead, while adding that it would assess the extent to which a historically strong New Zealand dollar lowers inflationary pressures.

The RBNZ has said it expects to raise rates by roughly 200 basis points through late 2015 as post-earthquake reconstruction in the Canterbury region, a booming housing market, high terms of trade, and increasing migration to drive the economy.

The RBNZ said it estimated that the economy grew by 3.5 percent in the year to March. It has forecast growth of 3.0 percent for 2014, up from 2.3 percent in 2013.

The New Zealand dollar gained around a third of a cent to a high of $0.8621 after the announcement, but interest rate futures <0#NBB:> were barely moved.

Analysts said there were no surprises from the RBNZ, which looks to have its focus on getting the jump on future inflation.

"We are forecasting further hikes of 25 basis points each in June, July, and December this year - although we admit that the July hike is a very close call," said Westpac economists in a note.

Markets are pricing 109 basis points of hikes in the next 12 months, but a sedate reading of consumer inflation and a stubbornly strong currency have raised speculation that the RBNZ may take a steady approach to rate rises.

Data last week showed annual inflation at 1.5 percent in the first quarter, softer than expected and below the RBNZ's target mid-point around 2 percent, bolstering the view that further rises will be gradual.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar has rallied since the RBNZ began raising rates last month, lifting the currency to a life-time high against a currency basket and around 2.0 percent higher than the central bank's forecast.

Lower imported price pressures resulting from a continuously strong "kiwi" dollar may curb the need to take rates to 3.75 percent by year-end, the median rate in the Reuters poll taken ahead of Thursday's policy decision.

New Zealand is also facing an ongoing fall in global prices for dairy products, the country's largest export product, which could lower the country's terms of trade from a 40-year high hit late last year and also take some heat off the RBNZ to tighten down the line. - Reuters

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