Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index (FBMKLCI) was little changed at 1,185.98 at the 12:30 p.m. local time break. Only four stocks gained on the 30-member measure. August index futures slid 0.5 percent to 1,180.00.
Palm oil producers: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd. (KLK) gained 2.5 percent to 13.10 ringgit, set for the biggest gain since May 20. IOI Corp. (IOI) added 1.6 percent to 5.20 ringgit. Palm oil futures rose for a fourth day, adding 0.2 percent to 2,470 ringgit a metric ton as of 12:30 p.m., set for the highest level since June 11.
Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd. (BCHB MK), Malaysia’s second-biggest bank, gained 1.3 percent to 10.84 ringgit, headed for the highest level since Jan. 18, 2008. The company had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “reduce” at BNP Paribas. Its target price was increased to 14.30 ringgit from 7.50 ringgit. The Malaysian bank is scheduled to announce second- quarter earnings after the market close.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. (BIMB) , the country’s oldest Islamic bank, dropped 1.7 percent to 1.14 ringgit. The company has been recently exploring options to expand in the region, the company said. It was responding to a report in Malaysia’s Business Times Aug. 10 that it was in talks to buy a controlling stake in PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia. Bank Islam has not concluded any agreement on expanding its business, the company said, without naming acquisition targets.
Malaysian Resources Corp. (MRC) , a real-estate developer, advanced 3.5 percent to 1.48 ringgit, bound for the highest close since May 23, 2008. The company is starting a 2.14 billion ringgit ($609 million) property development in the capital, the Edge Financial Daily reported. The project will include a shopping mall, three office towers and a hotel, the newspaper said, citing Managing Director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan. The development is located within the Kuala Lumpur Sentral transport hub, the report said.
Malayan Banking Bhd. (MAY) , or Maybank, Malaysia’s biggest bank, dropped 1.2 percent to 6.69 ringgit, headed for the largest decline since July 10. It is on course to be the third-worst performer on the benchmark index today. The bank had its stock rating cut to “reduce” from “hold” at BNP Paribas, which said there is “better value” elsewhere as the company’s “defensive attributes have come to pass.”
Scomi Marine Bhd. (SMB) , a Malaysian tug and barge company, jumped 9.5 percent to 63.5 sen, set for the steepest gain since May 19. The company said second-quarter profit jumped 55 percent to 22.5 million ringgit from a year earlier. Its parent Scomi Group Bhd. (SGB) gained 2.9 percent to 71.5 sen.
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