Local telcos top gainers in market value during 1H19

It has been a challenging 6 months for the local equity market which is down 0.4% YTD

by SHAZNI ONG/ pic by TMR File

TELECOMMUNICATION companies (telcos) made the most gains in terms of valuations on Bursa Malaysia in the first half of the year (1H19), despite it being a challenging six-month period for the local equity market which is down 0.41% year-to-date.

Axiata Group Bhd’s was the biggest gainer in terms of value in the past six months with its market capitalisation rising 27.52% or RM9.81 billion to RM45.46 billion at the end of last month.

The telecommunication giant has climbed three spots to seventh place among the 100 largest companies on the local exchange.

In May, Axiata announced it was in talks with Norway’s Telenor Group to merge their operations in Asia, including a plan to combine their respective subsidiaries, Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.Com Bhd, into Malaysia’s largest mobile operator.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked for more details on the planned Axiata-Telenor merger on concerns over potential job losses.

Last month, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the merger plan between Axiata and Telenor is still at the proposal stage.

Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s (TM) shares have risen by 50.3% or RM5.03 billion to raise its market capitalisation as at June 30 to RM15.03 billion.

TM has jumped 10 spots to the 28th largest company by market capitalisation on the exchange in the past six months.

Fortunes of the local telecommunication giant appeared to change after it posted a better set of financial results in the first quarter, and the appointment of MD and group CEO Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin.

Digi’s market capitalisation rose 12.2% or RM4.27 billion in 1H19 with its market capitalisation as at June 30, standing at RM39.26 billion.

Despite its valuation gains YTD, Digi only managed to move one spot higher to 10th place among the largest companies list by value.

IHH Healthcare Bhd’s market capitalisation rose 7.66% or RM3.62 billion in the past six months with its market capitalisation now at RM50.89 billion.

The healthcare company remains in sixth place in the market valuation ranking.

Engineering and construction group Gamuda Bhd’s capitalisation rose 60.55% or RM3.5 billion over the same period to RM9.28 billion as at end-June.

The company jumped 20 spots to 37th place in the table of market value companies over the past six months.

Gamuda’s board last week accepted a RM6.2 billion offer from the Minister of Finance Inc to buy all its equity in four toll concessions.