CapitaLand’s President And CEO To Step Down June 2013
After serving 17 momentous years at the helm since heading Pidemco Land in 1996, Liew Mun Leong, president and chief executive officer of CapitaLand, is bidding goodbye to the property giant. His departure, scheduled in June 2013, comes after two extensions to his appointment – a three-year extension in 2008 and a further two years in 2011. CapitaLand announced on 22 June that Liew has notified its board that he will not seek a further extension when his current appointment ends. Veterans in the property industry are impressed by Liew’s work at CapitaLand. Liew introduced real estate investment trusts to the local market, pioneered the highly popular executive condominium concept and most importantly, brought CapitaLand’s business overseas. On his plans after stepping down, Liew said that he may make his own investments, or help other government-linked companies (GLCs) and non-GLCs by sharing his experience with them. An independent headhunter has been appointed to look for a successor for Liew
Significance: Though Liew’s decision may not come as a surprise, investors will probably be concerned over the leadership change, particularly for a group which has been under pressure from policy headwinds and whose share price weakness has led to diminishing market capitalization, from 2008’s $16.1 billion to $11.2 billion last week.
Maxi-Cash Gains 30% To Close At $0.39 On Debut
Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corporation, the first pawnbroker to be listed in Singapore, made a strong debut, reaching an intra-day high of $0.40 on 22 June. Also among the actives, it closed the trading day at $0.39, a 30 percent jump from its initial public offering (IPO) price of $0.30. Billing itself as a recession-proof stock, Maxi-Cash saw its IPO heavily subscribed by the public, who applied for 199.13 million shares out of the 2.25 million available. Parent company Aspial Corporation said at its first quarter results announcement that it expects its Maxi-Cash unit “to perform better in 2012 compared to last year”. Maxi-Cash returned to profitability last year recording net profit of $3.11 million from a loss of $1.26 million in 2010 and $4.7 million in 2009.
Significance: Based on a note by Phillip Securities, the current low interest rate environment allows Maxi-Cash to enjoy a comfortable interest rate margin for pawnbroking profit. Still, a decrease in gold price, an increase in interest rates and an increase in overheads that is not accompanied by expansion would negatively affect the stock price.
Firms Flag Losses On Weak Business Conditions
Over the past week, several listed companies sounded profit warnings, citing weak business conditions, higher costs and stalled deals as the main culprits. The latest to issue a profit guidance warning that it is expecting to report a loss is Loyz Energy. Higher operating expenses arising from the addition of oil and gas business and a one-time specific provision for doubtful receivables are weighing down the company’s performance. Before Loyz Energy, there were Avi-Tech Electronics, Novo Group, C&G Environmental Protection Holdings and United Food Holdings, all issuing profit warnings based on preliminary financial figures available.
Significance: While some companies are expecting a loss for only a quarter, the unpredictable economic situation stemming from the sovereign debt crisis spreading in Europe, a slowdown in China, and a sluggish US recovery may continue to weigh on corporate results.