Share prices of immigration system ‘front runners’ rally ahead of tender closing

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 23, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The share prices of e-government service providers Scicom (MSC) Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and HeiTech Padu Bhd — reportedly the front runners for Putrajaya’s multibillion-ringgit Integrated Immigration System (IIS) — rallied yesterday as investors bet on their prospects ahead of the tender closing date next month.

Scicom closed nearly 8% or seven sen higher at 96 sen after hitting an intraday high of RM1.15. Some 24.72 million shares were traded, about nine times higher than its 200-day average trading volume of 2.78 million shares.

At the current price, the company is valued at RM341 million — a far cry from its 52-week high of RM1.85 on Aug 20, 2018.

Over the weekend, The Edge Malaysia weekly reported the IIS tender, which commenced in mid-May and is scheduled to close next month, is likely to be awarded to a single company. Besides, Scicom, HeiTech Padu and Iris are said to be in contention for the contract which will replace the current Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMS) set up in the 1990s.

HeiTech Padu currently holds the contract to maintain MyIMMS, which is set to expire in August 2020.

Investors’ interest in HeiTech Padu is even more intense. Its share price has rocketed by a third for two cumulative trading sessions, putting it within the range of a 15-year high and valuing the company at some RM130 million.

The counter closed 1.6% or two sen higher at RM1.28 yesterday with some 14 million shares traded.

Last Friday’s trading was even more frenzied as its share price spiked 31.25% or 30 sen higher to RM1.26 on the back of some 24 million shares traded — more than 21 times its 200-day average trading volume of 1.12 million shares, attracting an unusual market activity query by Bursa Malaysia over the sharp rise.

In a bourse filing yesterday, HeiTech Padu said it was not aware of any developments, rumours or announcements that could have resulted in its steep share price movement.

The counter traded at 34 sen a week before last Christmas.

Iris was also active, with 49.16 million shares traded — more than twice its 200-day average trading volume of 19.99 million shares. The counter closed nearly 7% or a sen higher at 15.5 sen, with a market capitalisation of RM459.8 million.

Iris’ one-year high was 18.5 sen on April 23, while its year low was 13 sen on Dec 20, 2018.

According to Bloomberg, Scicom is tracked by two analysts. One analyst has a “buy” call and the other a “hold”, with a consensus target price of 94 sen.

There is no coverage of HeiTech Padu and Iris.