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Malaysia's Stock Index Falls, Led by IOI; DRB-Hicom Slides

Updated : 18-12-2006
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Angus Whitley
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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysian stocks fell as some investors bet recent gains were excessive. IOI Corp. and Malayan Banking Bhd. were among the biggest decliners.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index lost 7.72, or 0.7 percent, to 1081.6 at the 5 p.m. close in Kuala Lumpur. The measure, which has jumped 11 percent in the past two months, has climbed 20 percent this year.

``It's really profit-taking,'' said Johan Tazrin Ngo, who manages $136 million in investments at Kenanga Investment Management Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur. ``As we move toward year-end, a lot of fund managers just take some money off the table.''

DRB-Hicom Bhd. fell after the New Straits Times said the car assembler may pay 1.6 billion ringgit ($451 million) for a stake in unprofitable Proton Holdings Bhd. Padiberas Nasional Bhd. dropped after the rice importer said it's not aware of a takeover offer by shareholder Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.

IOI Corp., the world's largest oil-palm grower by market value, lost 50 sen, or 2.7 percent, to 18.1 ringgit. Maybank, the nation's biggest lender, declined 10 sen, or 0.8 percent, to 11.8 ringgit.

DRB dropped 3 sen, or 1.9 percent, to 1.57 ringgit. DRB may pay 9 ringgit for each Proton share, buying almost 33 percent of the state-controlled carmaker, the New Straits Times reported on Dec. 16. Proton, Malaysia's biggest carmaker, gained 5 sen, or 0.8 percent, to 6 ringgit.

No Bid

Padiberas, Malaysia's monopoly rice distributor, fell 10 sen, or 4.9 percent, to 1.93 ringgit.

Padiberas said it's ``not aware nor has any knowledge'' of a plan by Syed Mokhtar to bid 2.50 ringgit a share for the rest of the company, as reported by the New Straits Times on Dec. 14.

Syed Mokhtar may hold his Padiberas Nasional shares through Budaya Generasi (M) Sdn., which owns about 31 percent of the rice importer, the New Straits Times said.

Tanjong Plc, a power producer and gaming company, jumped 40 sen, or 3.1 percent, to 13.4 ringgit after the company reported its highest quarterly profit in at least eight years.

Profit in the three months ended Oct. 31 soared to 152.6 million ringgit from 86.4 million ringgit a year earlier, the company said on Dec. 15 after the market closed. Sales rose to 669 million ringgit.

Mayban Securities Sdn. said Tanjong's results were above expectations and raised its earnings forecast for this fiscal year by 11 percent, reiterating a ``buy'' rating on the stock.

Sime Darby Bhd. declined 10 sen, or 1.4 percent, to 7.15 ringgit. The company, which is leading the contract to build the 9 billion-ringgit state-owned Bakun dam, said it hasn't been informed by the government that it can take ownership of the project.

``We don't have anything officially on that,'' Sime Darby Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Zubir Murshid said by phone today.

The Edge magazine said today the government had granted the company permission.

The smaller Second Board index fell 1.6 percent to 89.48. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Emas Index dropped 0.7 percent to 7047.59.

The following stocks also rose or fell. Stock symbols are in brackets after company names.

AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA MK) declined 3 sen, or 2.1 percent, to 1.43 ringgit. Southeast Asia's biggest discount airline signed contracts valued at $1.6 billion to buy engines and pay for their maintenance. AirAsia agreed to buy 86 engines with a list price of $500 million from CFM International Inc., and signed a 20-year contract worth $1.1 billion with General Electric Co. for their service and repair, it said.

KAF-Seagroatt & Campbell Bhd. (KAF MK) dropped 14 sen, or 9.6 percent, to 1.32 ringgit. The Malaysian stock broker said it received a 1.3 ringgit-a-share cash offer from AKKA Sdn. for the remaining 22 percent of KAF-Seagroatt it doesn't already own.

SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd. (SCRES MK) fell 5.5 sen, or 7.9 percent, to 64 sen. The oil and gas services company swung to a loss in the fiscal third quarter. The net loss was 38.7 million ringgit in the three months ended Oct. 31, compared with a profit of 15.3 million ringgit a year earlier.

TA Enterprise Bhd. (TAE MK) declined 2 sen, or 2.6 percent, to 74.5 sen. The stockbroker and property developer said fiscal third-quarter profit in the three months ended Oct. 31 fell 9.7 percent to 23.5 million ringgit from a year earlier.


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