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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that in focus on tomorrow (Nov 11) may include: Top Glove Corp Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Tropicana Corp Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP), Nestle (M) Bhd, KLCCP Stapled Group, Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd, GD Express Carrier Bhd (GDex), Careplus Group Bhd, Focus Dynamics Group Bhd and Oversea Enterprise Bhd.

Top Glove Corp Bhd bought back 8.94 million or 0.72% of its shares for RM69.90 million in the open market today, amid a significant drop in the share price, following Pfizer Inc's announcement of a viable Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The shares were bought at between RM7.68 and RM7.93 per share.

Earlier, it announced it had spent RM99.9 million to buy back 13.42 million shares, with prices ranging from RM6.20 to RM8 apiece on Sept 11. At the time, it was calculated that Top Glove had put in nearly RM210 million to buy back its shares over a period of three days. Since then, it has been noted to have spent an additional RM144.83 million for further shares buybacks in the open market during the rest of September.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is considering listing its power generation business on the local stock exchange next year, following a corporate reorganisation, according to people familiar with the matter. The power company is working with an adviser on its planned restructuring, and aims to finish the process as soon as the first half of next year. Upon completion, the plan is for a listing by introduction of the generation business, where investors would be given shares in the unit in proportion to their existing holdings in Tenaga.

Tropicana Corp Bhd is buying two pieces of contiguous freehold land next to its Tropicana Grandhill development in Bentong, Pahang for RM400 million to expand its landbank and enhance its property development profile in the Genting Highlands. The two plots measure a collective 308 acres.

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and an independent international NGO specialising in migrant worker rights to further strengthen its human rights commitments and compliance. This was followed by the Liberty Shared (LS) submitting a petition to the US Customs and Border Protection, with an allegation that SDP uses forced and child labour to produce palm oil and related products on April 2020.

Nestle (M) Bhd saw its third quarter net profit drop 13.16% to RM128.39 million from RM148.99 million a year earlier, as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the food and beverage manufacturer’s hotel, restaurant and café (HORECA) channel sales and as the company registered higher operational expenses to ensure segregation at the workplace to preserve safety and operational continuity throughout the pandemic. Revenue inched down to RM1.39 billion in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020 (3QFY20) from RM1.4 billion a year ago. Despite the lower 3QFY20 net profit and revenue, the group declared a dividend of 70 sen per share for the quarter in review.

KLCCP Stapled Group posted a net profit of RM156.66 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020, up 11.5% from RM140.46 million in the second quarter ended June 30, as it saw a gradual recovery in the retail and hotel segments during the quarter, that boosted its quarterly revenue to RM312.6 million from RM267.25 million.

Year-on-year, however, the stapled security, which is comprised of KLCC Property Holdings Bhd and KLCC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), registered a net profit decline of 13.6% from RM181.41 million, while revenue fell 11.6% from RM353.52 million amid the prolonged pandemic and the various phases of lockdown that came into effect since March 18.

It declared a distribution of 7.5 sen per stapled security for the quarter, versus 8.8 sen in the same quarter last year. This raised its total dividend distribution for its 9MFY20 to 23.3 sen, versus 9MFY19's 26.4 sen.

Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd saw an improved third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020, with net loss narrowing by about half to RM15.32 million from RM29.08 million in the second quarter — as it saw an uptick in room demand, as well as for its food and beverage services, following the lifting of the movement control order (MCO). Its 3QFY20 revenue rebounded to RM43.71 million, over four times the RM9.95 million it recorded in 2QFY20.

Still, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on tourism and travel, the group's revenue on a year-on-year basis is down 69% from the RM141.72 million it posted in 3QFY19, when it recorded a net profit of RM21.25 million.

On prospects, the hotel operator said its operations will continue to remain challenging given the global pandemic, and that it expects to post a substantial loss for FY2020 after it posted a cumulative nine-month net loss of RM42.38 milllion, versus a net profit of RM52.93 million last year.

GD Express Carrier Bhd (GDex) said its unit GD Express Sdn Bhd (GDSB) has received an approval letter from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) for a second round of integrated logistics services (ILS) tax incentive, via pioneer status, of up to 70% on statutory income for each year of assessment for a period of five years.

Careplus Group Bhd has suspended factory operations for two days as employees tested positive for Covid-19. It said the workers involved are working under its factory at the Senawang Industrial Estate in Negeri Sembilan and they are now under the care of a government hospital.

When contacted, Careplus executive director and group CEO Lim Kwee Shyan said the group has arranged for all of its 2,000 staff to undergo Covid-19 testing. He declined to disclose as to how many workers have tested positive, saying the information will be released by the relevant authorities.

Focus Dynamics Group Bhd has acquired a 16.67% equity stake in Hong Kong-listed food and beverage (F&B) group Top Standard Corp for RM7.85 million, as this is in line with its expansion plans with Oversea Enterprise Bhd to bring the Oversea brand onto the international stage.

Top Standard is a restaurant group that offers Sichuan cuisine under the "San Xi Lou" brand and has been listed on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market since 2018. It added that the acquisition was carried out through its 100%-owned Hong Kong subsidiary Focus Dynamic Group Ltd.

Last month, Focus Dynamics acquired a 12.19% stake in in-flight catering service Brahim Holdings Bhd for RM7.34 million via a direct business transaction, as it seeks to increase its portfolio in food and beverages assets.