Tenaga Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s national power distributor, surged the most in more than two years and led the country’s benchmark equity index to close at an all-time high after the government let it raise power prices.
The shares rallied 8.4 percent to 10.72 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur trading, the biggest gain since May 31, 2011 and the highest closing level since February 1994. Tenaga earlier climbed as much as 27 percent. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index rose 0.3 percent to 1,824.29.
Malaysia said yesterday it will let Tenaga raise tariffs by an average of around 15 percent in Peninsular Malaysia and by 16.9 percent in the country’s eastern state of Sabah from Jan. 1, the first increase since June 2011. Higher prices will help cover Tenaga’s fuel costs and make it less dependent on state subsidies.
“The tariff hike is the main catalyst that would propel the share price higher,” Faisal Syed Ahmad, an analyst at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., said in a report today. It “addresses Tenaga’s liquefied natural gas costs, providing stability to its expenditure moving forward.”
Tenaga is CIMB’s top pick in Malaysia’s power industry. The analyst has an outperform rating on the stock and a price target of 12.29 ringgit.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd. raised its price target for Tenaga to 11.90 ringgit from 10.35 ringgit and maintained a buy rating, saying it was “positively surprised” by the tariff increase in a report today.