#Stocks to Watch* Index-linked stocks, plantations, Top Glove, Prestaring, Axis REIT

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): The broader market, particularly index-linked stocks with sizeable foreign holdings, may suffer another day of institutional selling-down on Tuesday if election jitters continue unabated.

If there is less concern about an unfavourable election outcome or if there are share buy-backs, some stocks could see their prices rebound. In fact, CIMB Bhd reported share buy-backs today to the stock exchange.

At market close, the benchmark FBM KLCI had plunged 40.8 points or 2.4% to a five-week low in active trade, as the 13th general election draws nearer amid wild political rumours. Volume traded was 1.83 billion shares -- almost a 10-month high.

But rising above the weak market could be plantation stocks, on the back of higher palm oil prices today. Malaysian palm oil futures edged up on Monday, supported by dry weather concerns in South America's soy-producing regions although gains were limited by the latest cargo survey or data pointing to weaker exports of the tropical oil.

A turn to dry weather in Argentina and southern Brazil may lead to a lower supply of soybeans and soybean oil, shifting some demand to competing palm oil that is trading at a hefty discount of above US$300, Reuters reported.

At the close, the benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 0.8% to RM2,420 per tonne. Total traded volume stood at 25,074 lots of 25 tonnes each, a tad higher than the usual 25,000 lots.

Technical analysis showed palm oil may retest resistance at RM2,449 per tonne, a break above which will lead to a further gain to RM2,522, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

Top Glove Corp Bhd, which fell 12 sen on Monday along with other heavyweights, might face additional selling pressure as it reported to Bursa Malaysia that its three subsidiaries had been served a writ of summons by Sentinel Engineering Sdn Bhd and Hartalega Sdn Bhd, claiming damages on alleged infringements linked to patents.

Prestariang Bhd announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Prestariang Education Sdn Bhd, had received approval from the Minister of Higher Education to establish a private higher education institution to be known as Universiti Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering.

Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has declared a final income distribution of 5.6 sen per unit (of which 4.10 sen is taxable and 1.50 sen is non-taxable) for the period of Oct 1, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012.

This comes on the back of its improved performance for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2012. For the quarter, it posted a net profit of RM43.4 million compared with RM31.98 million in the previous corresponding period. Net assets per share rose to RM2.17, compared with RM2.08 previously.

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