Amprop, Parkson, Datasonic, BHIC and Astro

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 30): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus tomorrow (Tuesday, March 31) could include the following: Amcorp Properties (Amprop), Parkson, Datasonic, BHIC and Astro.

Amcorp Properties Bhd (Amprop) entered into a subscription and shareholders’ agreement (SSA) on March 27 with Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd and two other parties, for the acquisition of two London properties for £308 million (RM 1.68 billion).

The property player said in an announcement on Saturday (March 28) that the parties would undertake a mixed-used redevelopment on the property.

Subsequently, Amprop (fundamental: 2.40; valuation: 2.40) suspended the trading of its shares from 9am till 10am today.

Amprop said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, SNL Ltd, had inked the SSA with Hubbard Investments Pte Ltd, HPL (Southbank) Pte Ltd and Clan Bankside Quarter (Jersey) Ltd.

Hubbard is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd, while HPL (Southbank) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hotel Properties Ltd.

Clan Bankside Quarter (Jersey) Ltd is jointly controlled by Montrose Land & Development Ltd and Tarras Park Properties Ltd, which is in turn a wholly-owned subsidiary of Buccleuch Estates Ltd.

The estimated total gross development value of the proposed redevelopment of the property is expected to exceed £1 billion (RM5.46 billion).

Parkson Holdings Bhd (fundamental: 1.8; valuation: 2.4) has requested a trading suspension of its securities on Bursa Malaysia, following an announcement made by the company’s Hong Kong-listed entity.

The retailer said on Bursa that trading of its securities was to be suspended from 2.30pm to 5.00pm today, pending an announcement by the company.

This came after a trading halt announcement by the company’s 52.71%-owned subsidiary, Parkson Retail Group Ltd (PRGL), which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange on the same day.

The trading of PRGL’s shares on the HKEx was halted with effect from 1.02pm today, “pending the release of an announcement, in respect of inside information of the company”.

Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC) has secured an additional contract from the federal government, in relation to the in-service support (ISS) for two submarines for the navy worth RM531.2 million.

In a filing today, BHIC (fundamental: 0.45; valuation: 1.8) said the additional contract value was for the extension of the ISS contract period, which was supposed to expire on Nov 30, 2015, to May 31, 2017.  

It said the ISS contract will have a material effect on the earnings of BHIC group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015, and will contribute positively to its future earnings.

BHIC had on Sept 3 last year, announced it had finalised the negotiations with the Malaysian government for the ISS for two submarines for the navy worth RM1.3 billion.

The job was secured through Boustead DCNS Naval Corporation Sdn Bhd, a 60:40 joint venture between BHIC Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (60%) — a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHIC, and DCNS SA.

Datasonic Group Bhd has bagged a RM32.57 million contract for the maintenance services for personalisation process at the Nasional Registration Department (JPN).

The company said in a filing today that it had on March 23 (last Monday), received the letter of award from the Home Ministry (KDN). The job is for two years, starting from May 1 this year to April 30, 2017.

Fitch Ratings has today revised its outlook on Sime Darby Bhd's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to negative, from stable, but affirmed the IDRs and the company’s senior unsecured rating at ‘A’.

Fitch said the revision in the outlook to negative followed a sharp increase in Sime Darby (fundamental: 1.0; valuation: 0.9)'s fund from operation (FFO)-adjusted net leverage to about 2.5 times in the first half of its financial year ending June 30, 2015 (FY15), compared to FY14’s 1.52 times.

It said it was well above the 1.75 times level, at which Fitch would consider negative rating action.

While Fitch expected the increase in leverage after the debt-funded acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), the agency now estimated the deleveraging process would take longer than initially expected.

Fitch also affirmed the rating on the company's US$1.5 billion sukuk issue at 'A'.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd saw its net profit jump 25.7% to RM139.97 million in the fourth financial quarter ended Jan 31, 2015 (4QFY15), from RM111.39 million a year ago, driven by higher subscription, lower installation costs and lower marketing and distribution costs.

Astro (fundamental: 1.1; valuation: 2.1) also declared a fourth interim dividend of 2.25 sen per share and a final dividend of 2 sen per share, bringing the full year dividend to 11 sen per share — a 22% increase over financial year ended Jan 31, 2014 (FY14) payout of 9 sen.

Astro said its revenue for 4QFY15 rose 7% to RM1.35 billion, from RM1.26 billion in 4QFY14, mainly due to an increase in subscription and other revenue of RM56.2 million and RM40.4 million respectively, offset by a decrease in advertising revenue of RM8.5 million.

For the whole of FY15, net profit rose 15.9% to RM519.37 million or 9.99 sen per share, compared with RM447.95 million or 8.62 sen per share in FY14; while revenue grew 9.2% to RM5.23 billion, from RM4.79 billion.

(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.)