LBS actively traded, as founding family raises stake

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): Investors chased LBS Bina Group Bhd shares, helping the property stock rise as much as 1.7% among the most-actively traded counters across the local bourse today (Wednesday).

At 12.12pm, LBS was traded at 90 sen with some 7.3 million shares transacted, after gaining as much as 1.5 sen to 91 sen earlier. It ended down ½ a sen to 89 sen.

LBS managing director Datuk Lim Hock San said yesterday that Intelrich Sdn Bhd, the investment vehicle owned by the founding family of LBS, plans to raise its stake in LBS by acquiring more shares in the open market.

Exchange filings show that Intelrich already owns 184.06 million shares or about 48% of LBS, after accumulating shares frequently from the open market in past months. Yesterday, the company told Bursa the family was buying more shares from the open market again.

According to Lim, who heads the family investment vehicle, LBS shares are undervalued at current prices. This compares to the developer’s latest reported net assets per share of RM1.14.

Meanwhile, Lim had also indicated that LBS is in talks with the authorities to undertake affordable housing projects in the country. He did not elaborate, only indicating that the developer is looking at joint ventures with state agencies.

LBS's year-to-date bottom line came in almost similar to a year earlier, as the developer contended with higher operating and finance expenses, and tax rate, according to notes accompanying its latest numbers.

Net profit stood at RM19.5 million in the first half ended June 30, a marginal decline from RM19.57 million a year earlier, although revenue rose 35% to RM239.42 million from RM177.05 million.

According to LBS, the developer's 19 ongoing projects and unbilled real estate sales of some RM748 million as at July 31 this year are expected to support earnings in the current financial year. LBS said it had raked in new property sales of some RM600 million as at Aug 28.

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