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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Khazanah Subsidiary And Turkish Health Provider In Synergistic Partnership

1 Rabiulawal 1433

From Dalila Abu Bakar(Bernama)

 ISTANBUL, Jan 25 , 2012- The synergistic partnership between Khazanah Holdings Bhd's healthcare subsidiary, Integrated Holdings Healthcare Sdn Bhd (IHH), and Turkey-based healthcare services provider, Acibadem Saglik Yatirimlari Holding A.S.(ASYH), would see the group emerge among the world's largest healthcare services provider with 12,316 beds and revenue.

"We are currently number two in terms of number of beds and revenue of the hospital within the group around the world. But, if you look at profitability, we'll be number one," said Saglik Hizmetleri ve Ticaret A.S.Acibadem (Acibadem) founder Mehmet Ali Aydinlar at a press conference here Tuesday following IHH's purchase of a 60 per cent equity in ASYH.

He added that the group was also looking at growth in the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Russia.

Meanwhile, Khazanah Nasional managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the group was also planning for growth in India, Singapore, Malaysia and China. he added.

"In various measures and in all counts, we are among the top in the world," he added.

Azman also said that Khazanah also planned to list IHH in 2012.

"The company will put out the relevant documents in due course. We'll be consulting our partners," he said.

IHH successfully completed the 60 per cent acquisition of the enlarged share capital in ASYH from Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and family and Abraaj Capital, a leading private equity manager investing in the Middle East, Turkey, Asia and Africa.

Khazanah Nasional, through its special purpose vehicle, Bagan Lalang Ventures Sdn Bhd, also directly acquired a 15 per cent stake in ASYH.

ASYH is the 92 per cent shareholder of listed Acibadem, a leading private healthcare services provider in Turkey.

The Aydinlar family holds the remaining 25 per cent stake in ASYH.

The transaction value of the 92 per cent of Acibadem is about RM5.308 billion for the entire Class A and Class B shares.

The consideration amount for ASYH's 92 per cent stake in Acibadem is calculated by valuing 4,249,973 Class A shares at RM276.31 per share and 87,719,149 Class B shares at RM43.17 per share.

In compliance with the Turkish Capital Markets Board regulations, a mandatory tender offer will be made to approximately eight per cent of Acibadem's minority shareholders.

The acquisition consideration was made by a combination of cash and newly issued IHH shares.

This will result in the Aydinlar family and Abraaj Capital emerging as shareholders of IHH owning about 4.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent, respectively.

Khazanah, via its wholly-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV), Pulau Memutik Ventures retains a 62.1 per cent stake in IHH while Mitsui, via its wholly-owned SPV, MBK Healthcare Partners Ltd, now owns a 26.6 per cent stake.

Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and Omar Lodhi of Abraaj Capital will join the Board of IHH.

The acquisition represents IHH's first direct presence in the private healthcare space in Turkey.

ASYH is also Khazanah's first direct investment in a Turkish firm and represents another major step for the government's investment arm in growing its investments in the healthcare sector.

The addition of Acibadem to IHH's stable is very significant and adds to its impressive existing portfolio of healthcare assets that include Parkway Holdings Ltd, Pantai Holdings Bhd, International Medical University and shareholdings in India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited.

With the landmark transaction, IHH is uniquely positioned as one of the largest private healthcare providers in the world with a broad footprint of assets in Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, India and with presence in China, Brunei, Abu Dhabi as well as Central and Eastern Europe.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Aussie Private Equity Groups Looking To Asia For Funds

26 Safar 1433

MELBOURNE, Jan 20, 2012- Private equity groups are looking overseas for new sources of funding as Australian superannuation funds scale back their investment in the sector.

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) is working to attract Asian investors as part of a push to help mid-tier funds facing hard times, its chief executive Katherine Woodthorpe said.

"Australia's much more than Archer and CHAMP (private equity funds). There are whole tiers of quality smaller firms below that.

"The pulling back of the supers has been a huge concern for smaller funds," Woodthorpe told news agency AAP.

Mid-tier private equity funds managing between A$100 million and A$250 million have struggled to find local investors as super funds pared back investments and reallocated capital to larger, international players, AAP said.

Last year, two of the private equity sector's largest investors, Victoria Funds Management Corp and UniSuper, cut their exposure to the sector in a bid to streamline costs.

Quentin Jones, a partner in mid-cap fund Equity Partners, told AAP the push for greater funding from overseas would help smaller funds by easing Asian investors' concerns about their exposure to the Australian market.

"The problem offshore investors (face) is, they often have minimum cheque sizes of say A$50 million, but don't want more than a 10 per cent stake.

"For small funds like ours, that are only around A$100 million, this creates a huge problem," he said

AAP said Australia's private equity industry has seen a drop off in activity in recent years as liquidity has dried up in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The value of deals done in 2010 slumped to A$3.9 billion with only 43 new transactions in the whole 12 months, according to AVCAL data. This was down from a peak of A$24.9 billion in 2007.

Experts forecast a pick up in 2012 as cash-rich funds coming toward the end of their investment cycle go bargain-hunting in undervalued equity markets.

 Source- BERNAMA

Malaysia's Palm Oil Export Earnings To Reach RM85 Billion This Year

25 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 , 2012 - Malaysia's palm oil export earnings is expected to reach RM85 billion this year against an estimated RM80.39 billion in 2011, due to an uptrend in the price.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said production is also expected to rise to more than 19 million tonnes this year, from the 18.9 million tonnes previously.

"Palm oil production for 2012 will see an increase as planters, who have been waiting for the crop to mature, will be able to reap a harvest now as some of it does.

"This will ensure more production for the market," he told reporters after officiating the "Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar 2012", here today.

Meanwhile, in his opening speech, Dompok advised all concerned to increase productivity and fully utilise the downstream sector, to ensure Malaysia's competitiveness in the market with land becoming scarce for the planting of oil palm.

"The palm oil industry charted strong growth last year and it is imperative that we undertake measures to increase productivity and competitiveness.

"Value addition is a way forward for the palm oil industry to boost its competitiveness in comparison with other competing oils and fats," he added.

Dompok urged the industry to venture into diversified niche products, which have a higher market demand and premium prices.

"In this regard, the government encourages the industry to venture into new areas such as advanced oleochemical products, utilisation of biomass and production of phytonutrients.

"By venturing into the diversified niche downstream activities, value added industries will be further strengthened. This is indeed the way forward for the industry," he said.

In a separate note, the Malaysia Palm Oil Board director-general Choo Yuen May said the crude palm oil (CPO) price may remain firm this year, due to the steady Brent crude oil price, arising from geo-political instability in producing countries and in the Middle East.

She said uncertainty in weather conditions in major soybean oil producing countries, may lend support to the CPO price.

Soybean oil is the closest competitor to CPO.

"Demand for B5 implementation in the central region in Malaysia, which is expected to reach 120,000 tonnes, will also be a factor pushing up the CPO price," she added.

Choo said production will increase this year, supported by favourable weather conditions, higher fresh fruit bunch yields and an increase in the total maturing areas.

 Source- BERNAMA

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Investors Advised To Invest In Fixed Income

18 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR Jan 12, 2012- Investors are advised to invest more in fixed income or bonds, compared to equities in the current economic situation.

Citibank Malaysia's Head of Investment Strategist and Research, Wealth Management Products, Steven Yong said a defensive strategy with a larger portion of fixed income seems to be better for the cautious investor during the first half of this year.

"Fixed income is expected to do well in the first quarter," he added.

Yong said investors could focus on the emerging market debt as the economies of these countries were healthier.

While recommending fixed income for defensive investment, he said there were also opportunities in the equity markets in Asia.

"The equity markets in Asia are undervalued. This creates opportunities for investors but they have to be selective," he added.

He said the region is expected to record a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of six per cent this year compared to less than two in the developed countries.

"The Asian economies are performing much better than those of the developed countries.

"Investors need to remember that regardless of the global and domestic economies, markets and political environments, they should remain conservative yet nimble in their asset allocation.

"Investors should remain invested but investment portfolios must be properly balanced to withstand volatility," he added.

Yong also said that gold would continue to have a positive outlook on the back of investment demand. He projects gold prices to average around US$1,950/oz in 2012.

He also sees a lot of growth in the local unit trust industry with local funds performing very well.

Meanwhile, he said, oil prices would likely be supported over US$100/bbl by several factors, including geopolitical risks and expectations of more liquidity tranches to come via monetary policy.

Yong expects Malaysia to record a growth of six per cent in its GDP for 2013.

Interest rates he said, will either remain flat or be lowered before year-end while inflation would be around 2.7 per cent for 2012.


Friday, January 6, 2012

OSK Revises Time dotCom To "Neutral"

11 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 , 2012- OSK Research has revised downwards Time dotCom Bhd to "neutral" from "buy" based on an unchanged sum-of-parts fair value of 70 sen.

In a research note Thursday, it said the recommendation did not factor in the contribution from the recently acquired Global Transit Communications Sdn Bhd, Global Transit Ltd and Applied Information Management Services Sdn Bhd pending further guidance from the management.

"We expect limited price upside, even after including the implied valuations of the three companies," it said, adding that Time dotCom also proposed to acquire Global Transit Singapore and Global Transit Hong Kong.

It said the acquisitions were made to enter the international submarine cable business, tap into the regional wholesale customer base, strengthen the global bandwidth business and diversify into the high growth data centre and managed services business.

"Management reckons that earnings should grow at the mid-teens level, fuelled by the wholesale data segment.

"It (Time dotCom) believes the business will outpace the annual bandwidth price erosion of 15-20 per cent and mitigate the cannibalisation of voice revenue," OSK Research said.

 Source- BERNAMA

HSBC Cuts 2012 GDP Forecast For Malaysia To 3.7 Per Cent

11 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 ,2012- HSBC has reduced its 2012 gross domestic product forecast for Malaysia to 3.7 per cent from five per cent due to slower global growth which will continue to dampen exports.

HSBC said it, however, expected the domestic demand to hold up relatively well, supported by a solid employment outlook and monetary and fiscal stimulus as well as more projects would commence under the Economic Transformation Programme, and help to shore up the economic growth.

It said the global cooling should help reduce inflationary pressure by slowing growth and reining in international commodity price inflation.

"Hence, we expect inflation in Malaysia to moderate, although there are upside risks to food inflation owing to the floods in Thailand and the potential farm labour shortages caused by crackdown on illegal workers," it said.

The bank said given the weaker global economic conditions, Bank Negara Malaysia has started to sound more dovish of late.

 Source- BERNAMA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HLIB Maintains "Hold" Call On Telekom Malaysia

9 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 , 2012- Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) is maintaining a "hold" call on Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), with an unchanged target price of RM4.54 per share, given the recent price rally.

"The stock is likely to continue attracting investors due to its defensive nature amid strong swings in global equity markets," said HLIB in a research note today.

The research firm said the nation's largest integrated solutions provider has budgeted between RM2.7 billion and RM3 billion in capital expenditure (CAPEX) for this year as it continued to roll out high speed broadband (HSBB) access to more areas.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Fahim To Develop Halal Integrity Management System In Ningxia Muslim Region

8 Safar 1433

From Ng Che Yean(Bernama)

 YINCHUAN, Jan 2, 2012- Fahim Technologies Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company, is expanding its halal integrity management solution service to Ningxia, north-west China's Muslim autonomous region.

Executive Chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi, of Ibrahim Holdings Bhd, the parent company of Fahim Technologies, said Fahim worked together with the Ningxia provincial government to develop Ningxia as the first hub for its halal integrity management solution in China via a joint-venture company, Ningxia Fahim International Halal Industry Co Ltd.

He said the Chinese authorities need to address the people's misperception about food products safety in China, while China's central government thinks that Ningxia should take the lead in the halal industry.

The Halal integrity management solution could help build up credibility and confidence in safety and quality of food products in China, he said.

"Food safety is a critical issue for China," he told BERNAMA.

Ibrahim said the Ningxia Hui Autonomous government was excited over Fahim's introduction of the solution and it was keen to cooperate with the company to develop the system.

He said the joint-venture entity comprising Ningxia Fahim International Halal Industry, Fahim Technologies and Ningxia Autonomous Region government-owned Ningxia Comprehensive Agricultural Investment Co Ltd was established specially to develop products for the Muslim market.

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi attended the joint-venture company's launch.

"Our target is not only Muslims but also non-Muslims. I was told by some Chinese people that they preferred halal food products to allay food safety concerns as halal in Chinese literally means pure and good," he said.

Halal integrity management solution is an integrated monitoring system which can track halal products inflow from the source to end-users (farm to fork) throughout the entire value chain and monitor halal status of products to ensure safety and product quality.

The system was developed by an IBM team in Melbourne and sponsored by Fahim Technologies over the past three years.

Ibrahim said Ningxia would be the first hub to apply Fahim's Halal integrity solution and would expand to other provinces and to global level with strong support from its partner, IBM.

"Where there is an IBM branch, there is potential to be the next hub, and eventually the solution will go global," he said.

Fahim Technologies, Ningxia Fahim International and IBM China Company Limited signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec 29 to cooperate in the halal products safety control system.

Currently, about 85 per cent of the raw materials for halal food products in Malaysia were imported from countries like New Zealand, Australia and india, but Malaysia can be the leader in halal management system by providing solutions and experience to help other countries and companies develop their food safety management, he added.

Ningxia Fahim is the company's second joint-venture company in a foreign country. The firm has formed a 50:50 joint venture in Jordan.