#Stocks to Watch* TH Heavy Engineering, YTLP, SILK, ELK-Desa

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 17): The FBM KLCI could extend its losses on the still continuing external uncertainties that have kept most global markets edging lower toward the final days of 2012.

European shares fell at the start of what is likely to be a volatile week on Monday given uncertainty over US budget talks, according to Reuters.

Many in the market believe a deal on the US budget will be struck, but any news to the contrary could open the way to fresh index falls, especially as traded volumes remain thin, it said.

Among the stocks that could be in focus on Tuesday on Bursa Malaysia are TH Heavy Engineering Bhd (THHE); YTL Power International Bhd (YTLP); SILK Holdings Bhd; and ELK-Desa Resources Bhd

THHE — formerly known as Ramunia Bhd — is in the midst of finalising a joint venture (JV) agreement with an international oil and gas engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) company later this week.

On Monday, theedgemalaysia.com — citing a source close to the company — said that the JV would be awarded with a risk service contract (RSC) to develop marginal oilfield in Malaysia.

This will be among major contracts that the group clinches after being lifted out from Practice Note 17 (PN17) status at end October 2012, it said.

YTL Corporation Bhd has stated its intention to eventually privatise its 51.4%-subsidiary YTLP, according to a report released this morning by Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB).

A check with Bursa Malaysia and YTL's website showed that it had not made any official public announcement on the privatisation move.

But on Monday morning, Maybank IB said its present target price revision of YTLP to RM1.80 from RM2.20 while maintaining their "Buy" call is centered on the eventual privatisation of the subsidiary.

SILK reported a first quarter (1QFY13) profit after tax and minority interest (PATMI) of RM2.82 million, reversing the loss after tax and minority interest of RM 2.19 million recorded in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

Chairman Datuk Mohd Azlan Hashim in a statement Monday said the company continued to solidify its financial footing with the profit recorded.

"In addition, it remains cash flow positive on an operational basis. Operationally, the group has also continued to advance," he said.

Meanwhile, ELK-Desa — the spin-off from Unico-Desa Plantations Bhd's hire purchase (HP) operations — will be listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday.

The company is set to raise RM29 million gross proceeds from its initial public offering (IPO).

The shares are priced at RM1.16, valuing the HP business at a price-earnings ratio of 9.1 times, based on earnings per share of 12.75 sen for the financial year ended March 31 (FY12) and 7.7 times its annualised earnings of 15 sen per share for the period ended Aug 31.

ELK-Desa will issue 25 million new shares, of which 62.5% or 15.63 million shares are earmarked for bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

ELK-Desa does not have a dividend policy currently.

However, its board intends to recommend and distribute about 50% of its profit to shareholders for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, its prospectus read.

The IPO of Elk-Desa Resources has been oversubscribed 11.6 times.

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