Deutsche Bank Cautions Against Payments Firm MOL Global

Deutsche Bank Cautions Against Payments Firm MOL Global
Deutsche Bank has advised investor caution about shares in MOL Global Inc a day after it issued a buy recommendation for the Malaysian online payment firm it helped go public almost two months ago.

The warning by Deutsche analysts on Friday came after shares in MOL fell 54 percent after it said in a stock exchange filing that it would delay earnings, and announced its chief financial officer was leaving.

MOL, majority owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan and the sultan of the southern state of Johor, did not provide further details about its stock plunge. Company executives on Monday did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Deutsche analysts called MOL's sudden announcement "potentially ominous" in their note. "Although, we maintain our long term positive view and buy on MOL... We are concerned with what factors might have driven both of these material developments," they added.

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Deutsche analysts declined to comment further on the report on Monday, citing the investment bank's Asia policy of not speaking to the media about individual stocks.

In October, MOL became the first Malaysian company to be listed in the United States after a $170 million initial public offering, which came weeks after the U.S. listing of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd

Citigroup , Deutsche Bank and UBS were joint book runners of the MOL deal, which has so far brought little financial gain to its major shareholders.

Lack of investor interest drove the company to cut the size of the deal by around 30 percent and price the shares at the bottom of the range. The stock has also tumbled 67 percent since its listing, and is now worth around $276 million.

The sultan of Johor bought a 15 percent stake in MOL's operating unit, MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd, for $120 million earlier this year which he later exchanged for a 14.7 percent interest in MOL.

© Thomson Reuters 2014

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