#Stocks to Watch* PetChem, TNB, AirAsia, MAS, Jetson

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): The FBM KLCI, which climbed to a seven week high on Tuesday, could extend its gains for a third day on Wednesday on the back of some rising optimism that a US "fiscal cliff" could be averted on expectations that US lawmakers would hammer out a deal before the deadline.

Global shares and other risk assets rose on Tuesday, encouraged by signs of a US budget compromise aimed at stopping a package of tax hikes and spending cuts hurting the economy next year, according to Reuters.

The differences over how to resolve the fiscal cliff narrowed significantly on Monday night when the White House proposed leaving lower tax rates in place for everyone earning under US$400,000, it said.

Among the stocks that could be in focus on Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday are Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem); Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB); AirAsia Bhd; Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS); and Kumpulan Jetson Bhd.

PetChem said that its top and bottom line growth was going to be in "healthy mode" next year, with prices of its chemical products seen to be firming up.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, its president and chief executive Dr Abd Hapiz Abdullah said PetChem's growth was also dependent on the state of the global economy, especially in Asia Pacific where most of its products are exported to.

PetChem exported almost 60% of its products overseas, with almost 70% going to South East Asian countries, he said.

With the opening up of Myanmar and the soon ascension of Cambodia into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Abd Hapiz said PetChem was exploring ways on how the group could participate in these markets, dubbed Asia's last frontier markets.

He said as both Myanmar and Cambodia were largely agricultural countries, there should be an opportunity for PetChem to export its fertiliser chemicals such as urea,ammonia and methanol.

TNB has expressed its intentions after to bid for the Energy Commission's (EC) tenders for two new coal power plants totalling 3,000MW in capacity, as the group said it is financially capable of handling expansion.

Non-executive chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said on Tuesday that TNB will be bidding for the said tenders, though the group has yet to receive the details.

"Yes, we will be bidding, we don't know (the cost and the full details) on hand, but we will be bidding," he said.

Low cost carrier AirAsia Bhd has been fined A$200,000 by an Australian court for not including taxes and other charges on its website, according to a report by Australia's Herald Sun.

The Herald Sun reported earlier on Tuesday that the AirAsia was fined in the Federal Court in Melbourne for contravening the single pricing provision of the Australian Consumer Law.

"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the case followed a ten-month period during which the www.airasia.com website did not display some airfare prices inclusive of all taxes, duties, fees and other mandatory charges "in a prominent way and as a single figure".

MAS has inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French-Italian aircraft maker ATR for the purchase of 36 ATR 72-600 aircraft worth RM3 billion.

In a filing to Bursa on Tuesday, MAS said 20 of the new aircraft will be taken up by Firefly, whilst 16 will be inducted into the fleet of its sister company MASwings, by the second quarter of 2013.

Jetson said that its subsidiary Jetson Development Sdn Bhd (JDSB) and Fortress Effect Sdn Bhd (FESB) has mutually terminated the agreement to jointly develop a luxury residential development in Penang called The Macalister.

In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia, Jetson stated that JDSB has received acknowledgement from FESB on the latter's acceptance and agreement to the termination of the head of agreement signed on July 3, 2012.

The group stated that upon mutual termination, neither party shall have any claims against the other whatsoever. The Macalister was supposed to be constructed as a 33-storey high rise luxury residential development in Georgetown, Penang.

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