Public Bank up ahead of 1Q earnings

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KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank and its foreign shares were among the major gainers at the midday break on April 14 ahead of the first quarter earnings due after market close. Extended buying support for Proton, which will officially launch its Exora on April 16, and buying of  Bursa also helped support the 100-stock KLCI, which was off its morning best. Bursa is scheduled to announce its results by April 17. Instead, lower liners and penny stocks saw active trade, as reflected by the average price per share traded. At 12.30pm, the KL Composite Index was up 5.82 points or 0.62% to 947.23. Turnover was 819.18 million shares valued at RM545.33 million. There were 308 gainers, 186 losers and 201 counters unchanged. Asian markets were mostly lower Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.49% to 1,867.50, Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.89% lower at 8,844.59 and Shanghai’s Composite Index eased 0.11% to 2,510.83 but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.91% to 15,334.64. Light crude oil fell 69 cents to US$49.36 but crude palm oil third-month futures rose RM8 to RM2,298. Among the major gainers, Public Bank foreign rose 20 sen to RM8.45 and Public Bank 15 sen to RM8.40.  Maybank added 10 sen to RM4.10, BCHB five sen to RM7.80 and AMMB four sen to RM2.81. Tenaga rose five sen to RM6.55 ahead of its earnings results on April 15.  Maybank Investment Research expected Tenaga to return to the black in 2Q, with a core net profit of about RM450 million and a smaller net forex loss of around RM135 million. “Demand contraction may have seen its worst in 2Q. With stronger ringgit and lower coal prices, earnings are likely to expand in the second half”, it said. Proton rose 12 sen to RM2.37 while Johor Land added 11 sen to RM1.53 after receiving a takeover offer from its major shareholders at RM1.55 per share. KNM was the most active with 64.3 million shares done, rising 2.5 sen to 48.5 sen. Shangri-La fell the most, down 27 sen to RM1.71 while MAS gave up eight sen to RM3. Box Pak lost 14.5 sen to 92.5 sen, MISC foreign and Chin Tek 10 sen each to RM8.55 and RM6.30.