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MONDAY JULY 20, 1998
JULY 13 — 17, 1998
Economics & Strategy
Confidence, properties remain
WEEKLY VOLUME LEADERS
WEEKLY TOP GAINERS
WEEKLY TOP LOSERS
This report is prepared by Capitalcorp on the basis of publicly available information and other sources believed to reliable. It is provided for information purposes only and cannot be consideredas an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy. While reasonable care has been exercised to ensure the content is accurate and opinions given are fair and reasonable, Capitalcorp makesno representation as to its accuracy and completeness. Under no circumstances should this report be relied upon as such. From time to time, Capitalcorp or its affiliates or officers or employeesmay have a position or interest in the shares, options, rights and/or warrants of the said subject of this report, to the extent permitted by law. This report is provided solely for the the clients ofCapitalcorp, who are expected to seek advice from their stockbrokers or investment advisors without reliance on this report. Neither the company nor any director, officer or employee shallaccept any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from investment decisions based on this report. This report may not be reproduced, distributed or published by anyrecipient in any manner for any purpose without the expressed consent from Capitalcorp.
INVESTMENT WEEKLY — JULY 20, 1998
ECONOMICS & STRATEGY
Corporate governance — is it improving? Since the Nov 1997’s ill-conceived UEM-Renong transaction,
industry authorities in Kuala Lumpur have spared no efforts to instil good corporate governance among its
family of more than 730-odd listed companies. But the situation appears to be disintegrating, rather than
improving. The fallout equity market crash has had the effect of unearthing some of Malaysia’s unsavoury
corporate behaviours. Recent cases reported to the stock exchange authorities provide a sample of unimagi-
nable misdeeds that battered investors’ confidence. Here are some examples need mentioning.
Abuse of powers: This is about Zaitun Industries. The company's auditors have noted an abuse of the
privision of Section 132 of the Companies Act, 1965. But punitve action has been sluggish to say the
least.How resolute the authorities will be in formalising a charge remains to be seen.
Exorbitant deposits paid for botched deals: There are many companies engaged in such APT,
TimberMaster and Paragon Union and Jasatera Bhd. There must now be rules and regulation that
dictate the practice of paying deposits for MOUs or S&P agreements. In these cases, large deposits were
paid to vendors with dire consequences — they are now under litigation or has become doubtful. Some
are substituted with non-income generating assets, others simply vanished.
Related party transactions: If the ill-conceived Renong-UEM transaction is not nipped in the bud,
surely one can expect others to follow suit. Last week, Woventex Bhd took up a block of ordinary shares
and warrants in its Scientex Bhd over 1997. This illustrates one important point: when bad deals are
condoned, they just spawn new sequels, not necessarily of equal scale, but similar malice all the same.
Properties — where are we heading? These are trying times in Kuala Lumpur. Credit squeeze, growing
unemployment and business failures are bad news for the economy. Coupled with high interest rates and
reduced affordability, they are distress signals to the property sector. It is no surprise that the KLSE Proper-
ties Index has fared worst than the broader market’s collapse. At 518 points on July 17, it has plunged 83%
from the peak seen in Feb 1997 against the market’s corresponding 65% decline.
Despite such gloomy outlook, the drop in real estate prices haven’t been that rampant. The 1Q98’s transac-tions were already 30% less brisk and 24% lower in value compared to a year ago. But weakening holdingpower — no thanks to falling wages, growing unemployment and credit rationing - means the market maynot stave off that steeper decline for much longer.
Property consultants have reported that units in popular residences in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya(Bangsar, Bandar Sri Damansara, Kelana Jaya and Bandar Utama) have lost their values by 14-26% in1Q98, and 40% in one extreme case, compared to a year ago. But advertised offers in key areas are already onbig discounts to 1997’s peak prices for similar residential properties surveyed by government valuers (seetable next page).
In Kuala Lumpur, house prices in Taman Tun Dr Ismail are offered at 16-25% discount. In Johor Baru, pricesin Taman Pelangi and Taman Perling are also tapering off by similar margins (18-25%). Only in Penang’sIsland Glades are prices more resilient, at only 4-24% lower. But knocking another 10-15% off the askingprices would be reflective of the actual dip in the current buyers’ market. That means downside of up to 36%from the perch.
INVESTMENT WEEKLY — JULY 20, 1998
Sample of Price Movements (in RM'000)
Source: Valuation and Property Services Dept, April 1998, * Capitalcorp Securities, July 1998 Already, 90% of 68 KLSE-listed property stocks are trading at less than 1.0x price to-boook value (P/BV).
Consider this, too: 75% of them are trading at more than 50% discount to their book values. If the stockmarketis a good gauge, then we haven’t seen the worst. In less acute situations, stocks may not have much moreroom to fall. But the state of the economy and uncertainties mean bargain hunters will be far and few inbetween. That could only delay recovery much further down the road.
Viagra the earnings efficacy? So much have been said of Viagra, the drug to cure erectile dysfunction,
produced by New York-based pharmceutical group Pfizer Inc. Yet so little is written about who might benefit,
in investment terms, from its availability in Malaysia, soon. Pfizer has recently entrusted the distribution of
all its drugs to Zuellig Pharma — the key provider of distribution, marketing and manufacturing services ro
more than 125 international healthcare corporations in the Asia Pacific region.
In Malaysia, Zuellig Pharma represents more than 40 MNCs, providing the largets coverage to the pharma-ceutical market with more than 7,000 active accounts. The latest addition is the Pfizer agency, signed onJune 22, 1998. The agreement makes Zuellig Pharma the sole distributor for all Pfizer products, Viagraincluded, from July 1998.
Zuellig Pharma is wholly-owned by Gold Coin Bhd — an obscure feed, wheat, flour and trading group con-trolled by the Hongkong-based Zuellig family.
Now, here is the interesting part: Pfizer Malaysia has roughly calculated an annual sales of RM1b when the
drug makes its round in town. Retailed at about US$10 or about RM41 each, the average consumption is
estimated at four per person per month. That assumes only 500,000 potential users. Now that the users have
been officially estimated at 1m, total annual sales could be in the region of RM2b. Under a worst-case distri-
bution margin assumption of 1% (1996: 4%, 1997: 1.4%), the new volume generated by Pfizer's Viagra alone
would generate an additional RM20m pre-tax profit (RM14.4m net) to Gold Coin. This would have nearly
doubled Gold Coin's earnings this year — the group achieved RM15.2m earnings in FY97. Long term buy.
[David Yong 466-3929]
INVESTMENT WEEKLY — JULY 20, 1998
Buy on dips
The KLCI closed at 445.31, approximately 17 pts above the previous week’s close. On Monday, the marketfell sharply to 415.74, before rebounding towards the close. Thereafter, the KLCI zig-zagged between 420and 435, settling higher on Friday. The about-turn in sentiment was the result of a stronger yen, which inturn strengthened the regional currencies, ringgit included. The passing of legislation on AMC or Danahartain mid-week also helped sentiment. What turned out to be short covering initially, finished up with renewedbuying interest towards the end of the week. Problems related to Time Engineering and Renong seem tohave been discounted, more so in Amcorp's case. Futures-led buying was also a factor in shoring up interestin the cash market.
The MACD signal indicates a positive bias with bullish divergence. The daily RSI is at 42 and has more to gobefore the market tops out. The RSI trendline looks intact with strong divergences indicating furtherbullishness (see chart). The downtrend channel has resistance pegged at 450 (see chart) which, if broken ona closing basis, signals and confirms an intermediate bottom in place at 415.
As for wave-analysis, the intermediate buy zone (415/455) was tested at the bottom-end at 415. The short-
term intra-day wave counts do look like a significant intermediate-term low had been established at 415,
within the larger major downtrend. This can only be confirmed if 450 is cleared on a daily closing basis. As
such, any fall from these levels will now have to be supported above 435. Buying on dips should be the
strategy for now only if 450 is surmounted. Otherwise, keep clear of long positions [P. Cherry Simon 254-
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