Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM) is offering the remaining units from 21st of july 2009 to the 27th!

By the Star

It has set maximum limit of 20,000 units per account holder

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will offer the remaining 1.6 billion Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM) units, including those initially set aside for bumiputras, for subscription by all Malaysians from July 21.

President and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said to ensure a fair distribution to the public, a maximum limit of 20,000 units had been set per account holder during the offer period from July 21-27. The limit would be void after the offer period.

“Thereafter, investors can subscribe for the ASM units without any maximum investment limit, depending on the amount of units left.

“Sales of the additional ASM units are based on a first-come, first-served basis,” he told reporters here yesterday.

ASM is an equity-income fund aimed at providing unitholders with a long-term investment opportunity that generates regular and competitive returns through a diversified portfolio of investments.

According to Hamad, the remaining 1.6 billion ASM units are from the 3.33 billion units launched in April.

Of the 3.33 billion units, bumiputra investors were allocated 50%, Chinese 30%, Indians 15% and other races 5%.

However, only the allocated units for the Chinese and Indian investors were fully subscribed and it has now been three months since the fund launch.

“We will continue to hold seminars and talks on the benefits of investing to encourage more bumiputra participation in our unit trust products,” Hamad said.

PNB has confirmed that excluding Amanah Saham Bumiputera, there were some 6.6 billion units that have not been taken up by bumiputra investors.

These are from unit trusts such as ASM, Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020, Amanah Saham Didik, Amanah Saham Nasional dan Amanah Saham Nasional 2.

On the 1Malaysia Unit Trust as proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last week, Hamad said an announcement would be made soon.

Meanwhile, a PNB spokesman said it was not aware of any practices of its agents such as banks on reserving ASM units for selected customers.

“We are not aware of such practices nor do we encourage this,” the spokesman said, referring to the latest ASM annual report which revealed that in the top bracket of unitholders, there were only 296 individuals holding a whopping 264 million units.

This translates into an average of 893,068 units per person.

* On how to make purchase of the ASM unit thrust, you can approach the authorised agents such as Maybank, CIMB, RHB and Pos Malaysia. The satistic of ASM Fund's return.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Construction a comeback with govt spending on infrastucture like the proposed LRT?

By The Star

More than a year after the local construction industry was hit by deferred projects coupled with high material costs, its prospects appear to be on the mend, say industry players.

“We can definitely look forward to better times, especially with cheaper material prices now,” Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) group managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan told StarBiz.

Shahril said he believed the Government would be “efficient” in rolling out projects under the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) and stimulus packages which were key to the survival of the sector.

MRCB’s ongoing projects were “going well”, he said, adding that the company, largely involved in construction and property, had several projects under tender of which “one or two” fell under the RM67bil stimulus packages. Its current construction order book stands at close to RM3bil.

Last year was a difficult one for the construction industry with the change in government in certain states which subsequently thwarted certain infrastructure plans.

Coupled with the surge in prices of materials like steel, which peaked at RM4,000 per tonne and crude oil which hit a record of US$147 per barrel, many construction companies were struggling to keep margins afloat.

Steel prices have since softened to around RM2,000 per tonne last month while crude oil is about US$60 per barrel now, translating possibly into healthier margins for the players.

A clearer political direction is also apparent under the administration of new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Execution is now the order of the day,” CIMB Research told clients in a recent construction sector update.

“We believe things are getting better but we urge the Government to be ‘quicker’ in the implementation of more of the announced projects,” Prinsiptek Corp Bhd managing director Datuk Foo Chu Jong said.

The smallish construction company which has an order book of about RM400mil to RM500mil was “in discussions” with the relevant parties on several infrastructure projects and hoped to secure “some soon”, he said without elaborating.

In its update, CIMB Research identified 12 mega construction projects worth up to RM80bil, of which RM30bil to RM35bil was for the Klang Valley light trail transit extension and upgrade project, also known as the “highlight” project of the government’s pump-priming over the remaining 9MP period.

It identified MRCB, IJM Corp Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, UEM Builders Bhd and WCT Bhd as potential winners of this huge project, citing their cost efficient measures and track record.

The Bakun power transmission project is another mega project to look out for with CIMB saying that the project may take off “sooner than later” as cost had come off from RM14bil to RM9bil on lower steel prices.

MRCB was at the forefront for this project given its experience in undertaking major power transmission in the country, it said.

Najib said early this month that as at June 19, RM9bil worth of projects had been awarded under the Government’s RM67bil stimulus packages to stimulate economic growth. Of this, RM3bil had been disbursed.

* Now is already 2009, will Najib execute the long awaiting proposed lrt project. From Cheras to Kota Damansara, extension of Sri Petaling Lrt to Puchong. I think this is the most anticipating infra project that malaysian & investor are waiting. I'm planning to get a piece of gem in Puchong but the traffic is massive, the proposed lrt in Puchong is a pain killer to the highways but are there enough space for a said proposed LRT station around IOI mall?