KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 26): The FBM KLCI finished 5.01 points or 0.28% higher at 1,820.87 points today, as investors picked up positive leads on selected government-linked blue chips.
Started on a low note, the KLCI had a steady climb towards the end of the trading session, thanks to gains in heavyweights such as MISC Bhd (up 3.4%), Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank, up 1.6%), Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV, up 1.2%), Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM, up 1.72%), and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd (up 1.1%).
“The overall sentiment today was not bad. Counters like MISC were up, after posting new corporate developments (it announced signing a RM4 billion LNG carriers charter contract with Petroliam Nasional Bhd few days ago).
“Maybank too, could have benefited, because investors are expecting higher dividends from government-linked corporations,” Danny Wong, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd’s chief executive officer, told theedgemarkets.com.
Maybank today reported that it posted a higher net profit of RM6.72 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014, from RM6.55 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose to RM35.71 billion, from RM33.25 billion.
It plans to reward shareholders with a dividend of 33 sen a share for 4QFY14, bringing full-year dividends to 57 sen (FY13: 53.5 sen) — which translates into a 6.22% yield.
Meanwhile, TM had announced yesterday (Wednesday, Feb 25) that it had received the go-ahead from the government to begin working on the second phase of the high-speed broadband and suburban broadband (SUBB) projects, which will have a total investment value of RM3.4 billion, spread over 10 years.
Nevertheless, Wong said the better-performing stocks today were the mid-liners, as they brought cheer in the latest season of earnings report, given there have been a number of midcaps announcing double-to-triple digit jumps in their latest quarter profits.
“Some of these stocks have shown very encouraging results, especially the ones that came from low bases. These second liner (stocks) were running today,” he said.
Today’s gainers trumped decliners at a bigger margin than in the past few days, with 503 stocks having closed higher today, against 347 counters that had ended lower. A total of 1.89 billion shares, valued at RM2.03 billion, changed hands.
Wintoni Group Bhd (up 5.41%) was today’s most active stock, followed by Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd (up 3.7%) and Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd (5.6%).
The biggest gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Danainfra Nasional Bhd’s retail bond and Inari Amertron Bhd’s warrant B.
Many key Asian indices closed higher today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.08%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished 0.5% higher, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.15%, and Korea’s Kospi crept up 0.13%.
However, Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.43% today.
Reuters reported Asian shares prices edged away from five-month highs on Thursday, while the dollar steadied after slipping on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's indication that the U.S. central bank is in no hurry to hike interest rates.