#Stocks to Watch* AMMB, DRB-Hicom, IRM, KNM, Poh Kong, Hektar

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19):  Based on news flow and announcements to the exchange today, stocks to watch on Wednesday (February 20) include AMMB Holdings Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, IRM Group Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Poh Kong Holdings Bhd and Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust.

AMMB reported a 14% rise in net profit to RM393.63 million in the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 (3QFY12) from RM346.18 million a year earlier as higher revenue and lower allowance for bad loans lifted the financial services entity's bottomline.

Revenue during the quarter added 17% to RM2.11 billion from RM1.8 billion previously. Cumulative nine-month net profit increased  9% to RM1.24 billion from RM1.14 billion a year earlier while revenue gained 9% to RM6.15 billion from RM5.63 billion.

Meanwhile, conglomerate DRB-Hicom said it plans to acquire the Finance Ministry's entire stake in Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM) for RM298.3 million cash.

CTRM which produces aircraft components also manufactures parts for the defence and automotive industries.

IRM may attract market interest after Bursa Malaysia had queried the plastic products manufacturer on the unusual trading patterns of its shares. This follows the emergence of a new major shareholder in the firm.

IRM said in its reply to the regulator that substantial shareholding changes in the firm could have generated market interest in the thinly-traded stock.

According to IRM, apart from its shareholding-change notice last Friday (February 15), the firm is unaware of any other corporate developments within the group which could have triggered the rise in the stock's price yesterday.

Exchange filings show that one Tan Siew Ching had emerged as a major shareholder in IRM after acquiring 17.97 million shares or 13.83% in the company last Wednesday (February 13).

The seller is Azhra Assets Management Sdn Bhd, the single-largest shareholder in IRM.

Meanwhile, KNM said it has secured a US$100.03 million (RM308.6 million) job in Tatarstan where the Malaysian process equipment manufacturer will a supply sulphur- recovery unit for a residue conversion facility there.

KNM said its wholly-owned subsidiary KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd has received the letter of award from  Public Stock Company TAIF-NK. According to the group, the contract is expected to contribute positively to its financials for the years ending Dec 31, 2013 to 2015.

Poh Kong and Hektar which trade ex-dividend on Wednesday may also be on the market's radar. Hektar intends to pay a gross final dividend of 2.7 sen a share while jeweller Poh Kong plans to reward shareholders with a first and final single-tier dividend of 1.5 sen a share.

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