#Hot Stocks* Plantation counters boosted by Indonesia’s higher CPO export tax

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Plantation counters emerged as the top gainers and top turnovers on Tuesday, lifted by expectation that Indonesia’s higher crude palm oil (CPO) exports may shift some buyers to Malaysia.

Malaysian palm oil futures gained today on expectations that Indonesia's higher CPO export tax may shift some buyers to rival Malaysia, although gains were limited by persisting concerns over record stocks, said Reuters. Malaysian CPO futures for March delivery gained RM19 or 0.79% to RM2,431 at midday.

Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, will be imposing a 9% CPO export tax for February from 7.5% previously, while Malaysia maintains its 0% CPO export tax for the second month.

At 12.30pm on Tuesday, PPB Group Bhd was trading at RM12.68, having gained 28 sen or 2.26% with 164,000 shares done. Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s shares increased 20 sen or 0.91% to RM22.06 on 100,000 shares done.

Sime Darby Bhd saw 3,754,500 shares traded in the morning session, with its shares up by nine sen or 0.97% to RM9.38. But Genting Plantation Bhd shares were 30 sen or 3.51% lower to RM8.25, with 409,500 shares traded.

Reuters quoted a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia as saying: "The market is a bit uncertain now, the focus is on stocks and exports. That's why we see some range-trading today. But the higher Indonesian tax could be a reason why the market is a bit positive."

OSK Research said in a note that it had placed a target price of RM14 on PPB’s stock, provided it climbed above its recent high of RM13.20. "PPB may rebound after staying above the RM12 support level. A purchase can be made if the stock closes above RM12.40, with RM12 as a stop-loss.

"The target price is at RM14 if the recent high of RM13.20 is broken. Failure to get above RM12.40 could see the stock slip, with support anticipated at RM11.60 and RM11.20," said the research house.

CPO futures recently experienced a lift as reports of dry weather in South America raised concerns that output of soy and grain products could be trimmed.

According to Reuters, the US grain and soybean futures inched higher on Monday as traders worried that the dry weather would affect output in Argentina, the world’s top exporter of soy products and second largest corn supplier.

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