AAX, AMMB, Reach Energy, Alam Maritim, UMW Holdings, Bursa and Eka Noodles

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, stocks that may be in focus tomorrow (Jan 30) could include: AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), AMMB Holdings Bhd, Reach Energy Bhd, Alam Maritim Resources Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, construction and property players, Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Eka Noodles Bhd.

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) will suspend trading of its shares tomorrow from 9am to 5pm, pending a material announcement, the long-haul budget airline told Bursa Malaysia today.

Reuters reported today that AAX (fundamental: 0 ; valuation: 0.3) is set to announce a rights issue of shares as early as Friday, to try and close a growing cash-flow gap, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The airline's CEO Azran Osman-Rani, and chief financial officer Chew Eng Loke, are also likely to leave the company, the sources said.

AMMB Holdings Bhd (AMMB) has confirmed its group managing director Ashok Ramamurthy would be stepping down as part of a planned transition, re-affirming a report by The Edge Financial Daily today.

The banking group told the stock exchange today, that it had also commenced the process of identifying a replacement for the position.

AMMB also clarified its managing director of wholesale banking Pushpa Rajadurai; and its managing director of wholesale banking, products Kok Tuck Cheong; as well as its group chief financial officer Mandy Simpson, have existing contracts and are continuing to serve the group in accordance with these contracts.

Reach Energy Bhd is optimistic of completing its qualifying acquisition (QA) this year, and has shortlisted 10 potential targets in the oil and gas (O&G) sector.

CEO and managing director Shahul Hamid Mohd Ismail said Reach Energy (fundamental: N/A; valuation: N/A), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is concentrating on possible acquisitions within Asia Pacific.

"We are looking at matured oilfields in known regions," he told reporters, after the company's annual general meeting here today.

Alam Maritim Resources Bhd (fundamental: 1.6; valuation: 1.2) has won a RM10 million contract to provide air/saturation diving services for inshore repair and maintenance project in Kedah.

The firm did not reveal the awarding party, except to say it is “a reputable local main contractor”.

The contract was secured by the marine transportation support services firm’s wholly owned subsidiary, Alam Maritim (M) Sdn Bhd, with a contract period from Feb 15, 2015 to Mar 31, 2015.

The company said the contract value is expected to contribute positively to its earnings and net tangible assets from financial year Dec 31, 2015.

UMW Holdings Bhd may garner interest, following UMW Toyota’s target to sell 2,000 units of Lexus luxury vehicles by the end of this year.

The firm also aims to capture 50% of the market share for the small luxury SUV segment in the country.
Its president Datuk Ismet Suki said the firm is uncertain over how the Goods & Services Tax (GST) would impact prices of its vehicles, given the weak ringgit against the US dollar.

As a result, the automotive company is unsure it can realise any savings from the consumption tax and pass it on to consumers, though it assured it would pass them on if there was any.

UMW Toyota is a joint venture company of UMW Corp Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a subsidiary of UMW Holdings.

Construction players and property developers may garner investor’s interest, as house prices in Malaysia are expected to rise about 3% after the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented starting this April.

Property consulting firm Rahim & Co executive chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman said, although transactions on residential properties were GST exempted, building materials would be taxed under the GST.

Even so, he said the property market was expected to be stable on the back of steady growth, despite signs of a slowdown seen.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd reported a 57% rise in its fourth quarter net profit, from a year earlier, as the bourse operator and regulator saw higher equities and derivatives trading income. Lower staff cost, besides depreciation and amortisation, also supported bottom line.

Bursa (fundamental: 2.7; valuation: 0.9) said in a statement that its net profit rose to RM53.14 million in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014 (4QFY14), from RM33.84 million. Revenue was higher at RM128.48 million, compared to RM113.93 million.

The group plans to pay a dividend of 18 sen a share in 4QFY14, bringing its total dividends this year to 54 sen.

One of Eka Noodles Bhd’s production plants in Sarawak caught fire two days ago, causing the company an estimated RM3 million in damages.

The company said an examination of the site, which was rented by a third party, revealed part of the building and some machinery leased to the third party, were consumed by the fire.

Eka (fundamental: 0.35; valuation: 0) said the incident will have no financial impact on the group, as the building and machinery are covered by insurance.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)