KUALA LUMPUR: The strong flow of corporate news could provide some buying impetus to the market on Friday, Sept 30 as the third quarter draws to an end. However, again the external factors from the US and Europe would continue to influence buying interest.
On Wall Street, stocks erased early gains and the Nasdaq turned negative on Thursday as weakness in semiconductor shares weighed on the overall market and optimism over a German vote to beef up the euro zone's bailout fund faded.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 122.72 points, or 1.11%, to 11,133.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 6.10 points, or 0.53%, to 1,157.16. But the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 9.48 points, or 0.38%, to 2,482.10.
At Bursa Malaysia, among the stocks to watch are RHB CAPITAL BHD  and OSK HOLDINGS BHD , CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, ASTINO BHD  and ALAM MARITIM RESOURCES BHD . Eastern and Oriental Bhd will hold its shareholders’ meeting on Friday.
RHB Capital and OSK Holdings have submitted applications to Bank Negara Malaysia for approval to commence negotiations for a possible merger between the two groups. The plans were to start talks for a possible merger of businesses between the RHB banking group and OSK investment banking group.
Interestingly, MALAYAN BANKING BHD  and CIMB had earlier indicated interest in RHB Capital but these plans were put on the backburner due to valuations.
In an unrelated development, CIMB said it was acquiring a 70% stake in SICCO Securities Public Company Ltd (SSEC) from the Siam Industrial Credit Public Company Limited (SICCO) for RM78.43 million cash.
As for Astino, its earnings surged to RM15.08 million in the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2001 from only RM1.37 million a year ago following an improvement in demand for its PVC doors and metal roof sheeting. Revenue rose 28.5% to RM115.60 million from RM89.90 million mainly due to the increase in the demand of the group’s products. Earnings per share were 11.40 sen compared with 1.08 sen.
For the financial year ended July 31, its net profit rose 69.3% to RM34.92 million from RM20.62 million a year ago. Its revenue increased 25.1% to RM419.17 million from RM334.83 million.
Alam Maritim secured two contracts to provide vessels with a total value of RM32 million. Its unit Alam Maritim (M) Sdn Bhd had received letters of contract extension from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd to provide two anchor handling tug supply vessels valued at RM23.32 million. Its unit also received a letter of award from Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd to provide one workboat valued at RM8.68 million.
TENAGA NASIONAL BHD  (TNB) says it has no knowledge of any plan to break up the power company into three units to reform the energy sector. It said this “was never discussed with TNB and that TNB has no knowledge of this matter”.
VS Industry could see some selling pressure after it posted net losses of RM3.95 million in the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2011 following a writedown in the assets of its Indonesian subsidiary compared with net profit of RM9.28 million a year ago. For the financial year ended July 31, 2011, earnings rose 14.1% at RM27.72 million compared with RM24.29 million in FY10.