NFO stocks drop as Putrajaya outlines plan to reduce special draws

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 8, 2018.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Shares in number forecast operators (NFOs) fell as the government outlined its plan to reduce the number of Tuesday special draws beginning next year.

Shares in Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd fell as much as 4.6% in the afternoon session before paring its loss to close at RM2.29 yesterday, down nine sen or 3.78% from Monday’s closing, making it one of the top losers on Bursa Malaysia. A total of 2.25 million shares were traded, while its market capitalisation stood at RM3.09 billion.

The NFO stock hardest hit yesterday by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s announcement was Magnum Bhd, which fell as much as 5.9% in early trade to end the day down nine sen or 4.11% at RM2.10, valuing it at RM2.99 billion. It was also one of the top losers on Bursa. A total of 2.02 million shares crossed hands.

Other NFO-related stocks like Berjaya Assets Bhd (BAssets) managed to escape unscathed, closing up 0.5 sen or 1.47% at 34.5 sen yesterday, with a market cap of RM882.6 million. A total of 95,900 shares were traded.

BAssets’ 65%-owned subsidiary Natural Avenue Sdn Bhd is the exclusive agent for the Sarawak Turf Club’s Special Cash Sweep Number Forecast Lotteries in Sarawak.

Shares in Olympia Industries Bhd, meanwhile, closed unchanged at 11.5 sen yesterday, valuing it at RM112.58 million. The stock saw 824,600 shares change hands.

Olympia’s wholly-owned Diriwan Corp Sdn Bhd and Lotteries Corp Sdn Bhd organise and manage number forecast pools and public lotteries.