BHIC, Parkson, AirAsia, Sapura Energy, Astro, Affin, Greenyield and Plenitude

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Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus tomorrow (April 28) could include Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd, Parkson Holdings Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Affin Bank Bhd, Greenyield Bhd and Plenitude Bhd.

Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC) said it is unaware of any arrangements leading to the unusual trading of its shares. It was responding to the claim by the National Patriots Association (Patriot) in a statement on April 15 that BHIC shares were sold at low prices, despite there being higher offers.

“We would like to clarify that the BHIC board of directors and its major shareholders have confirmed that they are neither aware nor involved in any arrangements leading to any unusual market activity of BHIC’s share price on those dates mentioned by Patriot in the article,” BHIC said, referring to a Focus Malaysia article published on April 15.

The article cited Patriot as saying that BHIC shares were sold at low prices two days in a row, on April 13 and 14.

Parkson Holdings Bhd‘s Cambodian unit has been ordered to pay US$144.5 million (about RM629.75 million) in damages to its lessor, Hassan (Cambodia) Development Co Ltd (HCDC), as well as forfeit its security deposit and advance payments, following a lawsuit that HCDC initiated against the unit.

The unit is Parkson (Cambodia) Co Ltd (PCCO), which is wholly-owned by Parkson’s 67.96%-owned subsidiary, Parkson Retail Asia Ltd (PRA). The multi-million damage PCCO has to pay is “the rental fee for the whole period of the lease under the lease agreement” between PCCO and HCDC, according to Parkson.

This is on top of the security deposits and advance of US$4.49 million that it has to forfeit. The verdict was delivered by Phnom Penh Municipal Court of First Instance on April 22, 2020, Parkson said.

AirAsia Group Bhd posted a load factor of 80% for the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20), beating its expectation of 77% and despite the weak travel demand due to travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline said this was achieved through proactive capacity management, mainly in February and March, with AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia Thailand seeing the most notable cuts.

The group’s consolidated air operator certificates (AOCs) saw a steady load factor of 78%, while the number of passengers fell 21% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 9.9 million amid an 11% capacity cut.

Sapura Energy Bhd said it has taken internal austerity measures to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and low oil prices, with its leadership team to take a 50% cut in salaries with immediate effect.

Its president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin said it is imperative for the senior management to “take the hit” in order for the group to protect its more vulnerable employees.

“In the past year, we have done a lot of work to strengthen the company, including growing our top line and improving efficiencies in the way we operate,” Shahril said. “However, Covid-19 and low oil prices have impacted our financial strength.”

“To sustain our business, we need to implement immediate austerity measures to preserve our cash flow,” he said in a statement.

The austerity measures also include the readjustment of employees’ salaries between 5% to 45% across the board effective after Ramadan, as well as a workforce rationalisation.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Allo Technology Sdn Bhd have announced a strategic partnership whereby Astro will offer its unique bundled broadband and content offering to new and existing residential areas connected by Allo Technology.

The offering, which will provide residents with high-speed broadband connections, as well as Astro’s best-in-class content, is part of Astro’s support of the government’s National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), Astro said.

Allo Technology is a subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Affin Bank Bhd is reclassifying its final dividend for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 as an interim dividend, while also cutting the initial seven sen declared to five sen per share.

It noted that in view of the Movement Control Order (MCO), there is uncertainty in determining when it should convene its annual general meeting seeking to seek shareholders’ approval for the proposed final dividend, and thus facilitate timely dividend payment.

Affin added that it aims to continuously provide a base level of return for its shareholders with the newly classified interim dividend, as well as maintain its capital and liquidity.

Greenyield Bhd has refuted claims made in an article published on the Facebook social media platform and Telegram messaging app.

The firm, which deals with agricultural and horticultural products and services, said information found in the article titled “GREENYB (0136) — Unsung hero for Gloves and condoms!” is wrong as it is not a latex producer.

The article claims that the company is the largest latex producer on Bursa Malaysia, and soon the whole of Malaysia, among others.

Plenitude Bhd will be closing the operations of three of its hotels and downsizing operations of other hotels it owns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plenitude said the hotels it is closing are Mercure Penang Beach, Penang, The Gurney Resort Hotel and Residences, Penang, and Travelodge Ipoh.

“With domestic and worldwide travel restrictions, the company’s hotels have suffered a significant decrease in business, and the company has no alternative but to downsize its business and operations.


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