MAHB, Fiamma, Lafarge, and plantation companies

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 23): Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, stocks in focus tomorrow (Dec 24) could include: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Fiamma Holdings Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, plantation companies, and banking companies.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) may miss a year-end deadline to issue a Certificate of Practical Completion (CPC) for klia2's main terminal building.

The CPC is the final certification that will mark a handover of responsibility for the terminal from the main contractors to the airport operator.

At the EGM today, MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the airport operator was still unable to issue the CPC to the main contractor - a joint venture between UEM Construction Sdn Bhd and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd (UEMC-Bina Puri JV).

He said the UEMC-Bina Puri JV failed to comply with certain criteria including "some minor testing of the facilities and documentations".

The UEMC-Bina Puri JV was expected to receive the CPC from MAHB by year-end.

Fiamma Holdings Bhd's wholly owned subsidiary has acquired two pieces of land located at the fringe of the Sungai Besi Industrial Hub for RM48.98 million.

The firm's wholly-owned unit Fiamma Properties Sdn Bhd today entered into a sale and purchase agreement with the administrator of the estate of Hoh Kuan @ Ho Kwan for the said land, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The freehold land measuring some 1.6 acres was intended for both residential and commercial development purposes.

Fiamma said the acquisition was to cater for the future expansion of its property development activities and to enhance its future earnings.

Lafarge Malaysia Bhd has, through its wholly owned subsidiary Associated Pan Malaysia Cement Sdn Bhd, purchased a cement mill and ancillaries from Lafarge Ciment (Romania) for €10.663 million (RM45.95 million).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the firm said the sales and purchase agreement was finalised today.

It added that the cement mill is now unused in Medgidia, Romania.

Plantation companies will be closely watched as crude palm oil prices may continue to rise if palm oil inventory declines amid strong demand.

Bloomberg reported Malaysian palm oil rose for a fifth straight session on Tuesday to its highest in more than one week with prices underpinned by expectations that excessive monsoon rains would derail supplies amid strong demand.

Investors in the palm oil market are keeping a close watch on the weather with forecasts calling for widespread rains and flooding in parts of Malaysia, the world's second largest producer.

"It is getting bad to worse on the production front as in some areas it has been raining continuously for days, which will disrupt production," said one Kuala Lumpur-based trader as quoted by Bloomberg.

A decision by the Malaysian government to keep exports of crude palm oil duty-free until end-February may also boost demand, it added.