#Stocks to Watch* China Automobile, KUB, OSK Property, S P Setia, plantation firms

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 7):  Based on Bursa Malaysia announcements on Thursday, stocks to watch on Friday (February 8) may include China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd, KUB Malaysia Bhd, OSK Property Holdings Bhd, S P Setia Bhd and shares of plantation firms.

China Automobile may continue to attract market interest after the company said it was unaware of any reasons for the unusual trading patterns of the stock.

The firm which was responding to a query by Bursa Malaysia also said it is not aware of any negative news which might have an impact on the company’s operations.

"In addition, the company is of the view that the fall in the company’s share price may have been due to the recent poor market sentiment of the local bourse," China Automobile said.

Meanwhile, KUB plans to jointly develop an 8,000 ha oil palm plantation tract in Sarawak under a collaboration with Antero Capital Sdn Bhd, a move which will expand the former's plantation tracts in the state.

KUB said its wholly-owned subsidiary KUB Agro Holdings Sdn Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Antero as a prelude to definitive agreements for the proposed venture within the Kanowit enclave in Sibu.

OSK Property reported a 13% rise in fourth quarter net profit from a year earlier mainly on lower minority interest which mitigated the impact of revenue decline during the period.

Net profit came to RM4.8 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2012 (4QFY12) against RM4.26 million a year earlier while revenue fell 4% to RM54.7 million from RM57.03 million.

The firm’s cumulative full-year net profit rose 28% to RM31.52 million from RM24.62 million a year earlier although revenue was down 21% to RM215.61 million from RM272.71 million.

The company said it plans to reward shareholders with a final dividend of 2.5 sen a share less 25% income tax in 4QFY12, bringing total dividends for the year to 7.5 sen a share.

Meanwhile, trading of S P Setia shares was suspended between 2.30pm and 5pm on Thursday to facilitate the book-building process for the placement of new shares of up to 15% of the property developer's issued base.

The group said it intends to use proceeds from the  share placement to partially finance the redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station in London and  development of the Qinzhou Industrial Park in China.

Plantation stocks may be in the spotlight in anticipation of a report next week which will show palm oil inventory in Malaysia had dropped in January.

Reuters reported that Malaysian palm oil futures edged up on Thursday, as investors expect a marginal drop in January stocks, although cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming long holiday capped gains.

Lower production is likely to have helped Malaysian palm oil stocks ease in January from a record high in the previous month, a Reuters survey of five plantation companies showed on Thursday.

Inventory levels most likely dropped 2.9 percent to 2.55 million tonnes in January from December's all-time high, the first decline since last June, according to the survey.

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