Nestle, AirAsia, Velesto, EcoFirst, Paragon Globe, Samaiden, Ageson, MGRC, MHB, FGV and IJM Plantations

Nestle, AirAsia, Velesto, EcoFirst, Paragon Globe, Samaiden, Ageson, MGRC, MHB, FGV and IJM Plantations
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 7):  Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, companies in focus on Thursday (April 8), may be as follows: Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd, Paragon Globe Bhd, Samaiden Group Bhd, Ageson Bhd, Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Bhd (MGRC), Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MHB), FGV Holdings Bhd and IJM Plantations Bhd.

Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd has invested a total of RM150 million to set up a plant-based meal solutions manufacturing facility in Shah Alam. The facility, which is the first in ASEAN and one of the only two in Asia, will cater to the rising demand for plant-based food and will supply local demand as well as exports. Nestle Malaysia chief executive officer (CEO) Juan Aranols said Malaysians are becoming interested in exploring alternatives to meat consumption, either because of health reasons or for environmental considerations.

AirAsia Group Bhd, Southeast Asia's largest low-cost airline, has established a new entity within the group to provide consulting services on setting up a low-cost carrier (LCC), according to sources. Called AirAsia Consulting Sdn Bhd, the new entity will provide consulting services to interested parties who wish to set up a new LCC under a new brand, which will be franchised out by AirAsia, sources told theedgemarkets.com. AirAsia is currently working with a potential client who is interested in the franchise model, they added.

Velesto Energy Bhd said its unit Velesto Drilling Sdn Bhd has bagged a contract worth US$17.68 million for the provision of jack-up drilling rig services. Velesto said VED has received a letter of award from Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB) and Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Limited (SSPC). Both SSB and SSPC operate as a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC. It said the contract is for VEB’s jack-up rig, namely NAGA 4 — a premium independent-leg cantilever jack-up drilling rig that has a drilling depth capability of 30,000 feet and has a rated operating water depth of 400 feet.

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd is acquiring a 51% stake in BCM Holdings Sdn Bhd, the owner of 4.18 acres of freehold land in Sungai Besi, for RM81.6 million. The purchase consideration comprises RM1.63 million cash and the issuance of 228.5 million new EcoFirst shares at 35 sen apiece or RM79.97 million, the group said in a statement. The issuance of the shares, it said, will result in the vendors of the stake — Yeoh Siok Choo and Tan You Tiong — becoming substantial shareholders in Ecofirst with a combined 20% stake.

Paragon Globe Bhd has proposed a rights issue to raise up to RM56 million to help pay for a property acquistion in Johor and fund the construction of a medical centre in Selangor. The rights issue of up to 746.62 million shares will be issued on the basis of four rights shares for every one existing share held on an entitlement date to be announced later

Samaiden Group Bhd has proposed a bonus issue of up to 105 million warrants on the basis of one warrant for every two existing shares. The exercise price of the warrants of RM1.20 represents a discount of 24.57% to the five-day volume weighted average market price of Samaiden shares of RM1.5909.

A forensic audit by Ferrier Hodgson MH Sdn Bhd revealed that the RM23.7 million construction cost incurred by former Ageson Bhd unit Prinsiptek (M) Sdn Bhd (PMSB) for a construction project in Sentul here did not commensurate with the progress billing issued by the project’s quantity surveyor. Ageson said the surveyor certified that only RM2.8 million worth of preliminary works and RM8.6 million of piling works had been done as at Nov 22, 2017.

Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Bhd (MGRC) said it has entered into a private label and right of use agreement with Eostre Bhd for the latter's procurement of the former's know-how to research, design, develop and provide genetic screening tests and other products under private label for sale to customers. MGRC said the total contract sum amounts to RM7 million based on invoicing during the contractual agreement. Eostre is currently operating the business of marketing and direct sales of healthcare products under various brands.

Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MHB) said its unit Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd (MHB) has received an arbitration notice from Boskalis Malaysia Sdn Bhd over the delay in the load out exercise. Boskalis, among others, was required to make available a vessel for the load out of the topside based on an agreed schedule, but had served the notice to MHB claiming that there was a delay in the load out exercise onto the vessel and that it had allegedly incurred demurrage and standby costs.

The Federal Land Development Authority’s (Felda) efforts to take over FGV Holdings Bhd and realise its recovery plan are in progress. Former FGV chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad, who is also a shareholder of Koperasi Permodalan Felda Malaysia Bhd (KPF), said FELDA might negotiate with two other FGV shareholders, namely the Pahang and Sabah State governments which own 5% and 4% of FGV shares respectively. Felda and KPF together currently own 81% of FGV.

Tan Sri Krishnan Tan has resigned as a non-executive director of IJM Plantations Bhd due to heavy commitments and involvement in other boards. Krishnan, 68, who had served as non-executive director since December 1993, will be replaced by his brother Velayuthan Tan effective today. Velayuthan, 66, had retired as the CEO and managing director of IJM Plantations in May 2010.

S Kanagaraju