#Stocks to Watch* Gadang, icapital.biz, Cocoaland, I-Bhd, WCT, Green Ocean, ringgit

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Based on news flow and company announcements to Bursa Malaysia, the stocks to watch on Wednesday may include Gadang Holdings Bhd, icapital.biz Bhd, Cocoaland Holdings Bhd, I-Bhd, WCT Bhd and Green Ocean Corp Bhd.

The exchange rates of the ringgit may come under close scrutiny of the market after Bank Negara Malaysia told local banks to follow the local reference rates, possibly to prevent it from falling victim to market manipulation.

Gadang Holdings Bhd posted a net profit of RM12.24 million for the second quarter ended Nov 30, 2012, which was more than 11 times its net profit of RM1.11 million a year ago, on revenue of RM171.28 million compared with RM108.8 million previously. The company attributed the increase to higher contributions from its property and construction divisions.

City of London Investment Management Co Ltd, a UK-based hedge fund, purchased 421,400 shares in icapital.biz last week, raising its stake to 11.22 million shares or 8.02% from 7.74% previously. icapital.biz closed unchanged at RM2.30 on Tuesday.

City of London was thrust into the limelight last November when Laxey Partners Ltd, another foreign hedge fund, failed in its attempt to oust fund manager Tan Teng Boo from icapital.biz at the company’s AGM on Nov 10.

Cocoaland Holdings Bhd may attract some trading interest following its announcement that Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is deemed holding a 27.2% stake in the company by virtue of his 55.96% deemed equity interest in Malaysia’s Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N Malaysia). F&N Malaysia holds 46,658,600 ordinary shares, or about 27% of the voting shares, of Cocoaland.

F&N Malaysia was the top gainer on Tuesday, its share price rising 32 sen or 1.8% to close at RM18.30, as the market sees a synergy between the Malaysian and Thai companies, both of which are in the food and beverage sector. Cocoaland closed six sen down at RM2.20.

I-Bhd may catch some investor’s attention following a research report by OSK Retail Research that the former's i-City project could bring a 128% increase in earnings for the property and leisure group in the current financial year. This will be backed by further sales recognition expected from i-Residence and i-Sovo, along with about four million tourist arrivals at its theme parks in 2011 and 2012.

While WCT Bhd is undergoing some restructuring to split its property and construction divisions, it is interesting to see its key shareholder Taing Kim Hwa, with deemed interest of 18.39% in WCT, selling 314,900 shares at RM2.29 apiece on the open market on Jan 25. This followed earlier disposals of 224,300 shares at RM2.34 each on Jan 18 and 804,000 shares at 2.34 apiece on Jan 16.

Green Ocean Corp Bhd may send a different but clear signal to investors. Its key shareholder Ng Chiew Eng bought 80,700 shares on the open market on Jan 22, immediately after the stock market plunged about 41 points due to election jitters on Jan 21. On Jan 10 and 14, Ng also mopped up 311,600 and 39,200 shares respectively.

In the forex market, the ringgit exchange rate may come under closer scrutiny of Bank Negara Malaysia following reports that currency traders were involved in rate-fixing to gain from onshore-offshore arbitrage.

The central bank's directive would exclude the use of a Singapore-based fixing now used by many traders in the market. Traders said the new rule could have some impact on banks that run huge arbitrage positions playing on the divergence between domestic and offshore rates, Reuters said.

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    0.116-0.001-0.85%
    B22.SI
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    5GJ.SI
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    5ME.SI
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    A78.SI
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    5FD.SI
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    5GB.SI
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    544.SI
    0.24+0.005+2.13%
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