STOCKS NEWS MALAYSIA-Affin cuts 2013 palm oil price forecast to 2,600 ringgit
Affin Investment Bank cut its average selling price forecast on Malaysian crude palm oil this year to 2,600 ringgit per tonne from 2,800 ringgit, citing a sluggish price outlook amid high inventory levels and an uncertain global economy.
"While exports may pick up again ahead of Ramadan, challenges remain - including uneven global growth, high palm oil stocks, the outbreak of the H7N9 virus in China, and likely delay in the implementation of B10 biodiesel policy," Affin said in a note on Friday.
The research house also slashed its price forecasts for 2014-2015 to 2,700 ringgit from 2,800 ringgit.
Palm oil futures on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange have lost 7.3 percent so far this year.
Affin added that Malaysian planters now face new challenges including the revised criteria for producing certified sustainable palm oil and new regulations that cap plantation land ownership in Indonesia.
It also cut its rating on oil palm planter Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd's to "reduce" from "add" and lowered its target price to 4.07 ringgit per share from 4.64 ringgit.
Affin upgraded Sarawak Plantation Bhd to "buy" from "add", and raised its target prices on IOI Corporation Bhd , Sime Darby Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd , IJM Plantations Bhd by between 4 and 18 percent.
Shares in Felda Global slipped 0.44 percent against the Malaysian benchmark stock index's 0.36 percent loss.
0949 (0149 GMT)
(Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)(firstname.lastname@example.org)(Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)