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Desperately Seeking Talam
Making Sense & Assessing Risk

When things like Talam happens, what do you do? Talam's shares already at a 52 week low of 17 sen, dropped as low as 10 sen today on huge volumes after both Bursa and the company disclosed that Talam has again delayed finalisation of its annual accounts for year ended 31 Jan 2006. Bursa has warned that failure to submit by 31 August will result in suspension and maybe delisting. The knee jerk sellers would theorise that most companies who delay submission are prime candidates for PN4/PN17, or there is a huge writedown, or need to restate losses for previous years, etc...

The company's part of the announcement said:

Talam wishes to inform that it has failed to issue the Talam Group's Annual Audited Accounts for the financial year ended 31 January 2006 ("Audited Accounts") to Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad ("Bursa Securities") for public release within the stipulated timeframe pursuant to Paragraph 9.23(b) of Bursa Securities LR which was due on 31 May 2006. The delay was due to the following reasons:-
1) The Company is presently experiencing an acute shortage of personnel in the Accounts Department and it has seriously affected the timely finalization of the Audited Accounts of the Company and its Group of Companies. This is further compounded by the fact that certain key personnel are tasked to special assignments in the Group's debt restructuring and the proposed scheme of arrangement pursuant to Section 176 (10) of the Companies Act, 1965 undertaken by Maxisegar Sdn Bhd, a major wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.
2) The above has invariably delayed the progress of the audit work presently carried out by the external auditors. The completion of the audit is also pending the confirmations and / or certain valuation reports from external parties.
The Company is currently working very closely with the external auditors towards the finalisation of its Audited Accounts and this will be submitted to Bursa Securities and relevant authorities on or before 30 August 2006.Pursuant to Paragraph 9.26(4) of the Bursa Securities LR, if a listed issuer fails to issue the outstanding financial statements within 3 months from the expiry of timeframes stated in Paragraph 9.22 and 9.23 of the Bursa Securities LR ("Relevant Timeframes") ("the last day of the 3 months period shall hereinafter be referred to as "Suspension Deadline"), in addition to any enforcement action that Bursa Securities may take, the Bursa Securities shall suspend trading in the securities of such listed issuer. The suspension shall be effected on the market day following the expiry of the Suspension Deadline.Pursuant to Paragraph 9.26(6) of the Bursa Securities LR, if a listed issuer fails to issue the outstanding financial statements within 6 months from the expiry of the Relevant Timeframes, in addition to any enforcement action that Bursa Securities may take, de-listing procedures shall be commenced against such listed issuer.

Facts

1) The company has a MOU with major financiers to pare down debts by 70% over a 2 year period. Its current debt is RM864.3m. That makes its current gearing at 1.4x, not that exceptionally high that it is unmanageable.
2) Knowing IJM, it would want Talam to clean up its books before doing anything with Talam/K-Euro.
3) It has a good NTA at RM0.89. It will have impairment losses and losses on land disposals, and late delivery charges. Prudent to whack 75% off NTA = RM0.225.
4) Outstanding shares 629.18m. Market cap at RM0.12 means the company is worth just RM75.5m. Even a Main Board shell is worth RM20m.
5) If it fails to submit by National Day, an automatic suspension will be imposed. Talam knows that and acknowledged that, so what gives??
6) The delay has been invoked since end May 2006, so nothing really new here.

Why the sell-off?? The delay has been known for sometime. Not having enough employees is a stupid excuse, should not even put that in. Valuation and restructuring stuff, plausible excuse. The market is pricing in a lot of potential bad news. The threat of delisting is just a normal announcement of Bursa, so its not a real threat. Look at the existing PN4/PN17 companies, most are trading higher than RM0.10 and they are in a lot more shit than Talam. These are the facts, make your own assessment. Of course, I could be proven terribly wrong... and end up with just eating kuih talam for a very long time...

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