|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||39.30 - 40.25|
|52-week range||38.64 - 54.57|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||5.72|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- The owners of Jaya Grocer are weighing selling a controlling stake in a deal that would value Malaysia’s biggest high-end supermarket chain at more than $200 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The Teng family, who founded the supermarket, and the Asean Industrial Growth Fund, whose backers include Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., are working with an adviser on the potential stake sale, the people said. Non-binding bids are due as soon as next month, the people said, asking not to be named as the process is private.AIGF was set up in 2015 as a private equity fund between Mitsubishi, Malaysian financial firm CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and the Development Bank of Japan Inc., according to a press statement.Deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty that a deal will proceed, said the people. The family could decide to keep part of their stake, they said. A representative for CIMB declined to comment on the matter. Representatives of Jaya Grocer and Mitsubishi did not respond to requests for comment. Calls to the Teng family’s Trendcell Sdn. Bhd were not returned.Jaya Grocer, which was founded in the mid-2000s, has 35 outlets across the Southeast Asian nation and offers online shopping and delivery, according to its website.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A share-price surge in Japan’s trading houses triggered by Warren Buffett’s $6 billion investment is already fading, due to a lack of fresh catalysts and a downturn in commodity markets.Shares of two of the five “sogo shosha” -- as the commodity-centric Japanese conglomerates are called -- are now trading at or below levels before Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced its stake purchase. The August announcement, among the largest-ever investments by Buffett in Japan, not only sparked a rally in stocks, but also boosted overall investor interest in the trading companies.The failure of share prices to sustain the higher levels despite Buffett’s vote of confidence highlights the challenges faced by the shosha as the coronavirus pandemic erodes demand for commodities. It also speaks to the challenges for a Japanese equity market heavily weighted toward so-called value shares, with the benchmark Topix Index on track to lag the MSCI AC World ex-Japan Index for a fifth straight year in 2020.Berkshire announced on the last day of August that it had bought stakes of about 5% in each of Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Sumitomo Corp. That saw shares of all five firms jumping, with Sumitomo gaining more than 9% on the day.As of Tuesday, Itochu and Sumitomo have given up all or most of their gains since the announcement. Only Mitsubishi remains substantially higher -- with a 7.8% gain since, versus a 2.6% advance in the Topix index in that period.“The Buffett purchase gave investors a chance to review the shosha stock prices, but since then, they’ve been sold as sentiment wasn’t as strong as hoped for,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, a general manager at Chibagin Asset Management. “Between sentiment, U.S.-China ties and energy policies, the shares will likely struggle until the U.S. presidential election.”Winners, LosersWhile Brent oil has recovered since the lows in April, prices have languished near $40 per barrel amid concerns of a global oversupply and lackluster demand recovery. Upstream giants have slashed their workforces as the pandemic persists, with some in the industry believing the era of demand growth is already over. Dozens of liquefied natural gas export projects are seen delaying investments in the wake of the demand slump caused by the virus and as Europe intensifies its call for decarbonization.“You have to separate the trading houses into winners and losers,” said Hiroyasu Nishikawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. “Among the winners, like Itochu, investors are waiting for fresh news and for earnings,” after the company gave a very conservative guidance, he said.Nishikawa also counts Mitsui and Mitsubishi among the winners, while he expects Sumitomo to continue to struggle until the next fiscal year, having taken writedowns and warned of its worst annual loss on record.That said, a drop in share prices could, if anything, bring Buffett -- famed for advising investors to be “greedy when others are fearful” -- back to buy more. Berkshire has said that it could raise its stake in any of the five companies up to 9.9%, “depending on price.”While Buffett’s intentions were unclear, Itochu, Mitsui and Mitsubishi are the prime candidates if Berkshire was to lift its stake in some of the firms, SMBC Nikko analyst Akira Morimoto wrote in a report on Sept. 30, citing inflation hedging and the securing carry trade spreads as the reasons.(Adds quotes in sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Is Warren Buffett running a day-trader style stock-screening operation?It’s worth asking, because an investor cycling through a few Buffett-style metrics might have predicted his purchase of major stakes in five of Japan’s sogo shosha trading houses long before they were announced early Monday, sending shares in the companies soaring.Let’s assume you’re looking for what Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has always sought out — cheap cash. Go through all the world’s listed companies and exclude those that are trading at a premium to book value, those that have free cash flow yields of less than 10%, and those that aren’t generating at least $2 billion in free cash a year.Let’s also exclude energy companies and automakers — both going through major and unpredictable upheavals at the moment — as well as telecommunications, a sector for which Buffett has historically shown little enthusiasm. Leave out financial services, too, which already make up a pretty hefty chunk of Berkshire’s portfolio. What’s left?Believe it or not, three of the ten businesses worldwide that meet those criteria are Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi Corp., Marubeni Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. — all companies where Berkshire has built up a roughly 5% stake over the last 12 months. Of the remaining two investments, Mitsui & Co. comes in a little weak on free cash yield and Itochu Corp. a little rich on book value, but both look close enough to match the general investment theme.Berkshire Hathaway announced that its “intention is to hold its Japanese investments for the long term,” and the attraction of the sogo shosha isn’t hard to discern. Since their origins in the postwar keiretsu system of loosely connected business empires, they’ve made money as the glue holding Japan’s economy together, taking a cut from a Berkshire-style array of investments in raw materials, finance, transport, machinery and consumer products.One likely reason these companies haven’t previously attracted interest from Omaha is that they’ve also traditionally been low-margin, cash-poor, debt-heavy, and more concerned with the interests of their corporate siblings than their shareholders.As my colleague Anjani Trivedi has written, that has started to change over the past decade as leverage plummeted and the management plans guiding their activities moved from hazy strategic promises toward harder financial benchmarks, such as free cash flow and return on equity.Several of the trading houses even have pledges on the share of profits to be paid out as dividends which, while low by international standards, are far higher than sogo shosha investors have come to expect. Those payouts translate into decent yields, too, given the low valuations the market has put on the underlying businesses:That poses an interesting parallel to how corporate Japan has evolved, especially under the leadership of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As my colleagues Daniel Moss and Noah Smith have written, the premier’s tenure has seen a remarkable turnaround for an economy that many had written off as entering its dotage. Since Abe resumed office in 2012 after a five-year hiatus, Tokyo’s Topix index has outperformed every broad global stock benchmark except the S&P 500 and, in recent months, China’s CSI 300.Once upon a time, Japan’s trading houses were like Berkshire Hathaway without the focus on shareholder returns. Now that they appear to have finally gotten the value investing religion, why wouldn’t Warren Buffett invest in them?This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.