Immigration system tender raises interest in tech counters

by SULHI KHALID/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE tender for the new Integrated Immigration System (IIS) has triggered a rally in immigration-related counters as investors bet on potential bidders ahead of the tender close on Aug 19, 2019.

The new immigration and control border system is set to replace the RM3.5 billion National Immigration Control System project, which was formerly administered by Prestariang Bhd.

The new request for proposal was made by the Home Ministry in May and the government is expected to save RM1 billion in costs through the open tender process.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd analyst Loui Low Ley Yee said four core modules will be introduced in IIS — the visa and permit system, the passport system, border control and enforcement.

He noted that volumes have been picking up on immigration-related stocks such as HeiTech Padu Bhd, Scicom (MSC) Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Datasonic Group Bhd.

Heitech Padu, an information technology services provider controlled by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, saw its shares fall four sen to RM1.06 in the bearish market yesterday.

“We believe that this could be a decent accumulation phase along the RM1 to RM1.10 levels.

“Support will be at RM0.97 to RM0.98, with a cut loss below RM0.96,” he said.

Scicom received a ‘Hold’ call with an unchanged target price of 92 sen from Affin Hwang Capital as it forecast Scicom to see a 34% year-on-year decline in the financial year 2019 core net profit due to lower contributions from the e-solutions segment and higher tax rate.

Affin Hwang is confident that securing a major contract would materially improve Scicom’s earnings prospects.

“We observe that the competition in the IIS tender is stiff and the award of other major governmental processing systems (such as foreign workers tracking) may take longer than expected due to the (typically) prolonged approval process,” it said.

Scicom’s share price closed two sen lower yesterday to 85.5 sen, valuing the company at RM302 million.

Iris saw volumes picking up as the group is said to be the frontrunner for the multibillion government project.

“The price has stabilised between 14.5 sen and 16 sen over the past month and positive momentum is picking up on the daily chart,” Hong Leong noted.

Iris’ share price closed five sen lower yesterday to 15.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM460 million.

Datasonic’s shares rose as much as 10 sen last week, as the group declared its interest to participate in the tender.

The company’s shares closed one sen higher yesterday to 83.5 sen, valuing the group at RM1.13 billion.

After a strong rally above 55 sen at end-June, it marked a 52-week high of 85 sen last Friday. The stock closed one sen higher at 83.5 sen yesterday.