Saturday, 29 October 2011

Media Prima, Puncak Semangat in early talks

KUALA LUMPUR: Media Prima Bhd is in preliminary talks with privately-held Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd, which is looking at converting all analog televisions (TVs) into the digital ones by 2015.

Puncak Semangat, owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, has been bidding for the conversion job from the government for the last three years.

"We cannot comment much on that. It's still in preliminary talks. Actually what I am doing here is evading your question," Media Prima chief operating officer for television networks Ahmad Izham Omar said at a press conference after announcing the content line-up for four of its TV stations for next year.

The conversion of all analog TVs to digital is expected to cost about RM2 billion, a study done in 2000 revealed.

The government is expected to announce the winner next year, but industry sources said the government has more or less confirmed that the tycoon has got the job.

Puncak Semangat has gone on a recruitment drive, looking for talent through collaboration with private colleges and universities.

For next year's content line-up, Izham said that their four stations, namely TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9 are expecting an increase. He did not share any number.

This year, Media Prima's TV stations took the top spot with 49 per cent viewership, followed by Astro 38 per cent and RTM channels at 13 per cent.

"Media Prima is committed to screening high quality local content helps to encourage and nurture the local content development industry.

"We have continually developed multimedia and interactive content that resonates with the IT-savvy generation. We believe in changing. Therefore, we are changing the landscape of content to be more interactive and innovative," added Izham.

Earnings trip at Tenaga

The group's results were dragged down largely by the very poor fourth quarter results, a net loss of RM453.9 million

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB)'s net profit for the year ended August 31 2011 fell by 84.3 per cent to RM499.5 million, its lowest in 13 years, after the national utility company booked higher operating cost to buy energy-related commodities.

TNB had to spend more to buy oil, distillates and coal to cushion the limited supply of gas. Gas is the mainstay energy, accounting for 60 per cent of the country's power ge-neration capacity.

Last year, group level net profit stood at RM3.2 billion.

TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the following quarter will be a challenge for TNB as it grapples with limited gas supply and more expensive alternate fuel and coal to ensure continued supply of electricity.

"There's nothing much we can do as gas volume is low and fuel costs five times more than gas. Electrici-ty demand in 2012 is expected to grow by four per cent but it will be a challenging year," Che Khalib told reporters yesterday at TNB's headquarters.

The group's results were dragged down largely by the very poor fourth quarter results, a net loss of RM453.9 million, compared with a net profit of RM555.2 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Quarterly revenue, however, climbed to RM9.1 billion from RM8 billion previously on higher sales of electricity.

TNB spent a total of RM3.3 billion on fuel costs last year, comprising gas, coal, oil and distillates.

Meanwhile, Che Khalib said talks between TNB and Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Bhd) on compensation issues due to the shortage of gas to TNB and industries are ongoing .

"The industry cannot sustain when the supply of gas is low. We just don't have enough gas. The stakeholders (the government, TNB, Petronas and the independent power producers) are having discussions but there is no solution yet," said Che Khalib.

He added that negotiations are ongoing on how it can assist TNB in relieving the utility's as well as other industries' burden.

KL tin price may surge to US$22,200

The Kuala Lumpur Tin Market (KLTM) is expected to stage a better performance next week, with higher demand from the Japanese, European and local buyers, dealers said.

A dealer said the metal's price is likely to surge to around US$22,200 a tonne next week.

“We expect tin price to move higher as the prices of all metals have spiralled due to the Eurozone agreement to help debt-laden Greece.

"We expect to see demand for the metal with active buying activities," he added. For the week just-ended, the metal closed US$300 higher at US$22,000 a tonne from US$21,700 a tonne yesterday.

The four-day week saw KLTM staging steady performance, recording gains on most of the days except on Thursday as there was no buying activity at all, partly due to the Deepavali public holiday on Wednesday. The KLTM opened the week with a US$150 gain to US21,850 a tonne and the metal was traded at US$22,400 high a tonne on Tuesday and US$21,850 low a tonne on the first day trading for the week.

Total turnover for the week dwindled to 176 tonnes from 205 tonnes last week.

The premium between the KLTM and the LME stood at US$285 a tonne compared to US$790 a tonne on Friday. -- Bernama

Rubber mart to improve on tight supply

The Malaysian rubber market is expected to improve next week as supply remains tight due to the rainy season and floods in Thailand, dealers said.

A dealer said the euro debt crisis will, however, continue to affect the market. "Traders are awaiting the solution to the eurozone debt crisis," he said.

During the four-day trading week, the market was mixed and its performance was affected by the rainy season and floods which as a result saw tight supply of the material. Traders were also monitoring the eurozone financial crisis.

For the week just ended, the Malaysian Rubber Board's official physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 rose 13.5 sen to 1,231 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk fell 5.5 sen to 793.5 sen per kg.

The unofficial closing price for SMR 20 gained 22.5 sen to 1,226 sen per kg while latex-in-bulk dropped 3.5 sen to 794.5 sen per kg. -- Bernama

KL bourse expected to strengthen next week

Share prices on Bursa Malaysia are expected to extend gains next week on heightened global risk appetite boosted by good news from Europe and the US economic outlook, dealers said.

“Going forward next week, we expect investors to price in the stronger US and Europe economy as well as the reduced banking crisis risk in both continents,” Affin Investment Bank's Head of Retail Research, Dr Nazri Khan told Bernama today. The private sector investors recently agreed to make a 50 per cent cut in Greek bonds and it is expected to boost the firepower of the eurozone rescue fund to US$1.4 trillion (US$1=RM3.13) while the US third quarter gross domestic product data rose 2.5 per cent. “These will push the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) index to a possible 1,524 level, which is FBM KLCI high made in 2008 before the subprime crisis,” he added.

In line with the positive trend on regional markets, Nazri said the traditional year-end rally has started and is likely to last before Chinese New Year 2012.

Meanwhile, TA Securities senior technical analyst Stephen Soo said the benchmark index is expected to strengthen next week, boosted by rising appetite in riskier assets.

“We foresee the positive sentiment globally will further help properties and construction stocks to slightly recover after their recent losses,” he added.

However, OSK Research director/research head Chris Eng said the market is still in defensive position and investors remain cautious amid the uncertain global economic outlook.

"There is a possibility the market will dip if the index reaches the 1,500 level, due to selling pressure," he added. Meanwhile, during the whole trading week, the local bourse was in a positive movement with the benchmark index ending Friday's trade with 10.89 points at 1,481.82.

Bursa Malaysia was closed on Thursday for the Deepavali holiday.

On a week-to-week basis, the FBM KLCI advanced 42.99 points to 1,481.82 compared to last Friday's closing at 1,438.83.

The Finance Index gained 339.47 points to 13,420.59 while the Plantation Index rose 177.75 points to 7,494.68 and the Industrial Index added 77.35 points to 2,714.66.

The FBM Emas Index rose 310.41 points to 10,117.36, the FBM70 Index advanced 418.94 points to 10,959.65, the FBM Ace Index gained 112.46 points to 4,072.95 while the FBMT100 added 307.83 points to 9,935.99.

Total weekly volume declined 6.033 billion shares worth RM7.097 billion from 7.391 billion shares worth RM6.584 billion last week.

Main Market turnover fell 4.674 billion units worth RM6.941 billion from 5.491 billion units worth RM6.362 billion on Friday.

Warrants turnover slipped to 471.509 million units valued at RM30.039 million from Friday’s 659.107 million units valued at RM32.675 million.

Volume on the ACE market dwindled to 775.248 million units worth RM111.181 million from 1.194 billion units worth RM164.173 million last week. -- Bernama
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