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=MARKET BUZZ: Maybank Warns Bleak 4Q Malaysia Plantation Earnings

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 07) -- Maybank warns that plantation companies’ earnings in the fourth quarter could be just as weak as the third quarter amid persistent decline in crude palm oil prices. Analyst Ong Chee Ting notes FGV Holdings, IJM Plantations, TH Plantations and Boustead Plantations reported 3Q net losses, suggesting that CPO prices were already below their production cost. CPO prices have since fallen below MYR2000/ton in Nov. on ballooning inventory; more planters will be under pressure in 4Q, Ong cautions. “Nonetheless, we believe the bleak 4Q earnings outlook may have been largely priced in judging from the weak share price performances,” he adds. FGV is up 1.9% at MYR0.80 and TH Plantations is down 1% at MYR0.51 while Boustead Plantations is down 2.4% at MYR0.81. IJM Plantations is untraded.

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