Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RM300m Lancang stem cell centre

KUANTAN: A stem cell research and treatment centre will be set up in Pahang next year.

The RM300 million centre in Lancang, Temerloh, will conduct stem cell transplants on rabbits to study and provide an alternative form of treatment for diseases.The centre will have an animal research laboratory, a closed-colony rabbit farm, stem cell culturing facilities and medical treatment area. It is a joint project by Pahang Bioscience Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Pahang Technology Resources Sdn Bhd -- a state owned agency -- and BCRO Stem Cell Transplantation Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of US-based Bio-cellular Research Organisation (BCRO).

At the launch of Pahang Bioscience here yesterday, BCRO Stem Cell Transplantation executive director, Amir Ismail, said Lancang was an ideal site for the centre because of its "essential natural environment".

Pahang Bioscience and International Islamic University Malaysia also signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a clinical research initiative on "Fetal Precursor Stem Cell".The clinical research will focus on four diseases which do not have a cure.

They are AIDS, Down's syndrome, diabetes and autism.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

LCCT in Labu part of Sime's Negri vision

LCCT in Labu part of Sime's Negri vision
By Kang Siew Li
Published: 2008/12/25

THE new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negri Sembilan, is crucial to the development of Sime Darby Bhd's (
4197) Negri Sembilan Vision City to attract investment and facilitate economic development, says a senior official.He said the new LCCT, which would cost RM1.6 billion in construction alone, will promote economic activity, particularly in the construction industry, and create jobs."It will also bring infrastructure improvements to the surrounding areas, attract more tourists and the development of ancillary facilities such as cargo facilities and hotels," he told reporters at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

The Negri Sembilan Vision City development is the second part of a bigger national development project called Central Vision Valley (CVV), which spans 415,000 acres. The first part is known as the Selangor Vision City."Sime Darby is the master planner for the CVV due to the fact that we are the biggest landowner in this area. Of the total 415,000 acres in the CVV, 80,000 acres belong to Sime Darby," the official said.

The group expects to complete the development of the two vision cities by 2025."Being a massive development (CVV), we need to attract regional investors. The primary target is the Asean region with a population of 600 million, and the secondary target is the Asian market with a four billion population."That's why the LCCT is an integral catalyst to the overall development because we've got to bring in all these visitors from all over the region," he said.

Where the catalyst for the Selangor Vision City is the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, the official said, the new LCCT will be Negri Sembilan Vision City's.The Negri Sembilan Vision City, covering 13,000 acres, comprises six property components. They are the Nilai high-tech park, the 500-acre Bandar Gemilang - an affordable housing township, a healthcare and wellness city, an educity, a sports city, the KLIA East@Labu and a tourism and entertainment area, which will be anchored by a waterfront resort development."

Eventually, we hope to have a direct access road from the KL International Airport (KLIA) main terminal building to the KLIA East@Labu, a distance that is slightly longer to the existing LCCT."We also hope to be able to extend the express rail link (ERL) from KL Sentral to KLIA East@Labu. And there is a possibility of creating another KTM Komuter stop at the Sepang Circuit and onwards to KLIA East@Labu," the official said."However, all these proposals are still at the conceptual stage," he added.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

EPF consortium likely to buy government land around KL

EPF consortium likely to buy government land around KL

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The Employees Provident Fund could end owning three of the best pieces of real estate in the Klang Valley — and in the process boost government coffers by several billion ringgit.

Government sources told The Malaysian Insider that an EPF-led consortium is a cusp away from snaring the 204 acres in Jalan Cochrane while the EPF with its unmatched financial muscle is the clear favourite to buy a tract of land at the sought-after Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia in Sungai Buloh and Jalan Ampang.

In November, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the government would be monetising some of its assets, including pieces of valuable real estate. For a start, government-owned land in Jalan Cochrane, Sungai Buloh and Jalan Ampang would be placed on the market.

This news created a buzz in the market because the land in Jalan Cochrane and Sungai Buloh has been eyed by prominent politicians and well-connected businessmen for years. Property consultants have valued the three pieces of land at between RM8 and RM12 per square foot (Sungai Buloh); RM150 and RM250 (Ampang) and RM100 and RM200 (Jalan Cochrane).

In a recent article in the Edge Financial Daily, a few property developers gave the Cochrane land the thumbs-up for its location and size, expecting the land value to increase to RM250psf if it is parceled into smaller plots while several others favoured the Ampang Hilir land, noting its proximity to the exclusive U Thant area puts a premium on this tract.

Government sources said that the EPF and several property players including MRCB have submitted a master plan to the government to develop the Cochrane area. With crude oil price hovering around US$50 per barrel and the drop in palm oil price, the government's ability to collect revenue will be severely challenged in 2009.

At the same time, the government will have to spend more and consider launching more stimulus packages to boost domestic demand and cushion the impact of the global economic crunch on the Malaysian economy. Faced with these twin challenges, the administration is looking at monetising its assets to raise funds. Property developers have valued the three pieces of land at about RM3 billion.

Analysts: AirAsia clear winner in LCCT relocation

Analysts: AirAsia clear winner in LCCT relocation
By Kang Siew Li
Published: 2008/12/23

AirAsia Bhd (
5099) is expected to emerge as the main beneficiary from the move to set up and operate a new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negri Sembilan, due to potential savings from lower airport charges, say analysts.

On the flip side, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) stands to lose the most, with some analysts estimating the airport operator could forego as much as RM175 million in aeronautical revenue per year.AirAsia shares rose as much as 3.8 per cent to an intra-day high of RM0.965, before closing unchanged at RM0.93 yesterday, after the government on Friday gave its nod to the new LCCT by conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd and AirAsia.MAHB shares closed up three sen or 1.4 per cent to RM2.23.

A source close to the matter told Business Times that AirAsia could grow its business faster by having its own airport."The carrier has been growing its business successfully with passenger numbers increasing by double digits each year. However, it could have grown at a significantly faster rate were it not for the limitations on capacity at the current LCCT (which can only handle 10 million passengers)," the source said.

It is understood that the LCCT in Labu could also be ready earlier than MAHB's proposed expansion plans in Sepang."It takes much longer for MAHB to move its permanent LCCT plan forward because it is dependent on the government for funds. However, that won't be the case for the new airport in Labu since it is a private sector-driven initiative," the source added.

OSK Research Sdn Bhd analyst Ng Sem Guan sees AirAsia as the clear winner from the latest move."AirAsia may bring down the cost of running the new airport based on its low operation costs model, but with current budget passengers already enjoying lower passenger service charges (PSC) and passenger service security charges (PSSC) from MAHB, we are doubtful that the quantum of savings will eventually be passed on to the passengers," he wrote in a report yesterday.

On top of that, AirAsia also enjoys various incentives in the form of lower or free landing and parking fees for introducing new routes."Thus, the new airport may not necessarily result in significantly lower cost although we would rather think that the company may continue to lower operating costs similar to the previous years," said Ng, upgrading AirAsia's fair value to RM0.93 and its recommendation to "neutral" from "sell".The AirAsia group (comprising AirAsia Bhd, Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia and AirAsia X) is currently the major user of the present LCCT-KLIA (in Sepang), having carried 7.6 million passengers last year, a combination of domestic and international traffic."As the figures are likely to exceed 10 million (passengers) this year or later next year, and continue to grow by double digits based on (AirAsia's) aggressive aircraft purchases, we estimate that MAHB may lose as much as RM80 million in revenue solely on PSC and PSSC," Ng said, adding that the number would be greater if landing and parking charges were included.

Ng believes the airport operator will not merely sit back and will seek government compensation if the new airport in Labu is to be operated by AirAsia upon completion."While there is no immediate impact on MAHB's bottomline in the near future as the new airport is only expected to commence operation in February 2011, this may eventually affect the company's long-term cash flow if the operation rights are loosened."In addition, there are still many uncertainties surrounding the new proposal by Sime Darby Bhd and AirAsia (to run the new LCCT), and we think this may negatively affect market sentiment on MAHB and investors may switch to value the immediate profitability," said Ng, downgrading MAHB to "neutral" with a fair value of RM2.39.

Aseambankers Malaysia Bhd senior analyst Khair Mirza expects MAHB's earnings to dip in 2011 and 2012 by over 20 per cent at the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) level with the opening of the new LCCT."Based on the estimated 10 million passengers at the existing LCCT in 2008 and a 50:50 split between international and domestic passengers, we estimate the loss of LCCT to MAHB's revenue to be RM125 million from passenger service charges, and about RM50 million from aeronautical charges," Khair said in his report yesterday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tenders to extend RapidKL LRT may be out in Q1

Tenders to extend RapidKL LRT may be out in Q1
By Sharen Kaur
Published: 2008/12/22

Key players like UEM Builders, IJM Corp, YTL Corp, Ho Hup Holdings, and Loh & Loh Construction are expected to bid

SYARIKAT Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB), a unit of the Ministry of Finance Inc, may call for tenders to extend the RapidKL Light Rail Transit (LRT) system by as early as the first quarter of next year. The LRT covers two lines, namely the Ampang Line (previously, Star LRT) and Kelana Jaya Line (formerly Putra LRT). The assets are own ed by SPNB.

The tenders, worth over RM1 billion, is for
track and civil works,
fare collection, and
systems work involving
power supply,
signaling and
communication, industry players said.

Under the plan, the Ampang line will be extended from Bukit Jalil to Puchong, heading towards Subang Jaya, and linking up to the Kelana Jaya line.

The extension will involve
32km of double track and
around 24 new stations, a source said.

Currently, the Ampang Line runs from Ampang to the city centre, and then from Sentul Timur towards the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, while the Kelana Jaya Line starts from Terminal Putra Gombak up until Kelana Jaya."The extension will allow for a more complete integrated rail network.

The project may be government-funded or implemented through private finance initiatives," the source added.

Key players like UEM Builders Bhd, IJM Corp Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd, Ho Hup Holdings Bhd, and Loh & Loh Construction Bhd are expected to bid.

It is learned that low-profile railway engineering firm Global Rail Sdn Bhd will make submissions for the systems work, in collaboration with its foreign technology partners. It is eyeing a portion which is worth RM80 million.

The government is also expected to pump prime part of the RM500 million allocation under the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on November 4, to kick-start the project.The allocation will also cover KTM Bhd's requirement for new three-car electronic multiple unit sets to cater for the Klang Valley. KTMB has 60 sets now, but only half can be used. It needs 112 sets."Tenders for the train sets are under evaluation as the government is looking at an option to lease the trains to reduce its capital investment on the assets," the source said.The tenders or lease options will attract manufacturers from Korea, China, Japan and Europe.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Air Asia's own airport

Sunday December 21, 2008
AirAsia: We can give better deals with own airport

AirAsia’s budget fares will go even lower with at least a 15% reduction in prices when the airline’s proposed low-cost terminal opens in Labu, Negri Sembilan, in February 2011.
A senior AirAsia official said the airline’s plan was always to look for a cheaper venue to lower costs as it was paying about RM100mil in airport fees yearly to Malaysia Airports Bhd.
“We have been looking for another place for a long time, whether it was to buy or build a new airport,” he told The Star yesterday.

The official said the current terminal in Sepang was only a temporary measure as it could comfortably handle only 10 million passengers yearly. “By March next year, it would reach 15 million. AirAsia needs an airport that can handle more than 15 million by 2011,” he said.

The Cabinet on Friday gave the greenlight for the new RM1.6bil airport to be developed under a private finance initiative between conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd and AirAsia on a 2,800ha plot in Labu, which is between Nilai and Bandar Enstek.

The new terminal will be large enough to handle some 15 million passengers yearly and will feature a wider array of shops as part of an integrated city in Labu, comprising five townships and facilities for education, health, sports, high technology and entertainment.

Closer to the nation’s capital than the current low-cost carrier terminal, a 7km link to the North-South Expressway was also slated to be built, along with an Express Rail Link to KL International Airport. “We will provide shuttles between the main terminal and LCCT. The road and rail links between KLIA and the new LCCT would also be privately financed,” he said.

The AirAsia official said the cost of operating the new airport would be lowered by incorporating advanced technology and it being run privately. “The airport will be built entirely by us. The latest technology and better retail facilities will mean more money. More money will mean lower airport tax and fares.”

Asked if MAB would be involved in the deal, the official said MAB was not involved in the project but did not discount the possibility that it would be made a shareholder. According to him, the proposal was brought up by Sime Darby in the first place as they wanted an airport in the centre of a large development project – to turn the area into an Asean community hub.

Sunday December 21, 2008

MALACCA: There is a need to expand the current low-cost carrier terminals (LCCTs) or set up new ones in the country to cater to the anticipated rise in the number of passengers flying budget airlines. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said this was because the current facility in Sepang would not be able to handle the sharp rise in the number of passengers that is expected to hit almost 30 million by 2014.

Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAHB) had its own plans to extend its existing low-cost carrier terminal, with the possibility of building another one, he said. “Even so, it would only be able to cater to some 15 million passengers by 2014,” he told reporters here after attending a closed-door dialogue session with state MCA leaders yesterday.

Ong was asked whether the proposed RM1.6bil joint venture between Sime Darby and AirAsia, to develop the KLIA East @ Labu new low-cost carrier terminal in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, would be redundant. The new airport is to be built on a 2,800ha area located between Nilai and Bandar Enstek and will be larger than the current LCCT in Sepang. “The question of redundancy does not arise with regard to the need for such facilities as the homegrown LCC such as AirAsia and AirAsia X have breached their 10 million-passenger mark,” he said.

Based on statistics, it is anticipated that by span >2014 there would be some 27 million budget travellers per annum.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sime plans mega project,12,000ha

Friday December 19, 2008
Sime plans mega project,12,000ha multi-themed scheme to kick off next year
The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: SIME Darby Bhd will carry out a massive development project at the Negri Sembilan-Selangor border covering some 12,120ha, with the first launch expected next year.
The development will be based on five themes – health, education, sports, hi-tech and recreation – and will be located at its present Labu and Tanah Merah estates. Each theme will be developed as an integrated city and the cities will be interconnected.

The first to be launched next year will be the Medical City, which will encompass training colleges, a medical centre of excellence, teaching hospitals and even housing units built for the elderly and infirm.

“We will even invite other medical companies, especially international ones, to set up their facilities in this city.

“We will also be building a nurses training centre to produce 15,000 nurses a year,” said Sime Darby president and chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid. He was speaking at a media briefing to announce that the Goverment had agreed in principle to Sime Darby’s proposal to buy up to 51% of IJN Sdn Bhd, which operates the national heart institute, Institut Jantung Negara.

Zubir said a second IJN would be built at the Labu Medical City which would also see four other “centres of excellence,” including one for cancer treatment. He said the five cities would be like “multiple Subang Jaya(s),” which was also developed by Sime Darby.

On the purchase of a majority stake in IJN, he explained that it made sense because the group’s healthcare division’s long term plan was to set up several centres of medical excellence. However, he stressed that “it was not yet a done deal” as due diligence of IJN had yet to be done. He also denied that IJN made more money than Sime Darby’s medical services business.
“Last year IJN made RM20mil while (Sime Darby’s) SJMC made RM25mil. This is a marriage and not a takeover. The synergy from this win-win situation is tremendous,” Zubir said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gamuda Q1 net profit falls 38pc

Gamuda Q1 net profit falls 38pc
By Sharen Kaur
Published: 2008/12/18

GAMUDA Bhd (5304) , Malaysia's second-biggest builder by market value, said its first-quarter net profit fell 38 per cent due to slower construction activities and weaker profits from its property division.Nevertheless, Gamuda expects earnings for the remaining three quarters to remain stable due to its existing order book.Managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling had warned that profits in the first quarter will dip as projects get delayed.Although higher income from its Middle East projects will offset any drop in turnover, it will not help earnings because of low margins from the foreign jobs, he said on Tuesday.

Its net profit for the quarter to October 31 2008 was down to RM55 million from RM88.1 million in the same period a year ago.Revenue was also down 27 per cent to RM614 million.Gamuda said profit fell because of slower construction activities, led by the RM12.5 billion electrified double-tracking project as the authorities in Penang were slow to hand over land.Gamuda should have been given over 95 per cent of the total land instead of 61 per cent since the project started.It said the project faces a potential delay because of this.

In addition, sales of certain commercial parcels to investors at its RM8 billion to RM10 billion central district project in Hanoi, Vietnam have been delayed due to difficulties in obtaining financing.

It also said it is still in negotiations with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand for a new tariff agreement which will take into account the increase in construction cost due to the delay in project implementation by the client.

Contribution from its water-related and expressway concessions was also lower than previously.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Exports weakening Shipments likely to decline well into next year

Monday December 15, 2008
Exports weakening Shipments likely to decline well into next year

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s exports are expected to decline well into 2009 after a dismal performance in October which saw the effects of falling consumer demand kick in. “The sharp reversal in merchandise exports, from a 15.1% year-on-year increase in September to a 2.6% contraction in October, suggests exports in November will slump further,” an economist said. He said the gloomy outlook was also premised on the forecast that demand in recession-hit developed economies would take a “deeper-than-expected hit”. Malaysia’s exports in October fell 2.6% to RM53.5bil from a year earlier, the first decline in 15 months.

The economist forecasts about a 5% drop year-on-year in Malaysia’s exports in November and sees further contraction going into 2009 as the full impact of the slower global growth takes its toll on the country’s exports.

CIMB Research chief economist Lee Heng Guie concurred. “It will not be good,” he said. For next year, Lee said he expected exports to contract up to 3% year-on-year against the Government’s forecast of 1.5%. “We are likely to see a more pronounced price effect of the commodity fallout in the first half of next year, coupled with continued sluggish demand for electrical and electronics (E&E) products due to reduced consumer spending.” he said.
Year-to-date, the E&E exports were the country’s top revenue generator, accounting for RM217.8bil or 38.5% of total exports. Palm oil and palm oil-based products were second with a combined value of RM56.3bil, or 10% of total exports.

Meanwhile, the sentiment among export-oriented local industry players appeared to be mixed, according to observers. An industry source noted that certain major multinational corporations (MNCs) such as Intel, Dell and Motorola used local E&E-related companies as their main materials and equipment suppliers.
This could mean these companies are highly dependent on MNCs.
“If the economic crisis becomes worse, there will be a drastic reduction in demand. Equally important is the possibility that future investments or re-investments would also come to a halt,” he said.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2 get nod in principle for Bakun, cable jobs

2 get nod in principle for Bakun, cable jobs
Published: 2008/12/04

Malaysia has given approval in principle to Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sarawak Energy Bhd to carry out the Bakun Dam and undersea transmission projects, Energy Commission chairman Datuk Pian Sukro said.

Pian spoke at a luncheon organised by Citi Investment Research in Singapore on Monday."However, given the slower demand outlook now, first transmission from Bakun is now expected only by 2015 instead of 2013," Citi analyst Ng Yong Yin said in a report yesterday.In addition, there are plans to govern the electricity supply industry under one ministry or under one body.This will help facilitate a smoother and faster administration.

"The governance of the electricity supply industry is fragmented, with several ministries and government agencies overlooking different but related segments of the power industry."For example, the Economic Planning Unit approves new power projects and independent power producers (IPPs) and the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (to whom the Energy Commission reports) overlooks energy efficiency, tariff and capacity planning," Ng said.

The government is also unlikely to reintroduce the windfall tax. The tax had been a way to prompt contract renegotiations between the IPPs and Tenaga.The Energy Commission will now lead any renegotiation of power purchase agreements, if any.Malaysia's spare power capacity, currently around 40 per cent, will rise to 47 per cent next year when new plants in Jimah and Port Dickson, both in Negri Sembilan, are commissioned.

Bina Puri to build Unimas buildings

Bina Puri to build Unimas buildings
Published: 2008/12/04

Bina Puri Holdings Bhd has signed a deal with Variasi Baru Sdn Bhd to carry out the construction of buildings for Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Unimas) for RM161.6 million.

The buildings include a lecture hall and a student centre. Work is due to be completed in 30 months, it said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. Bina Puri now has orders worth some RM2 billion.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SEGi: Slowdown will not hamper student intake

SEGi: Slowdown will not hamper student intake
By Zuraimi Abdullah
Published: 2008/12/03

SEG International Bhd (SEGi) (9792) is confident that student intake at its campuses will not be hampered by the slowing economy.Main-board listed SEGi now has over 18,000 students at its six campuses and has projected the number to hit 20,000 in 2009.Its president Datuk Dr Patrick Teoh said the company has also not dropped plans to build a hospital. "It is still something in our wish list. But there are a lot of things to be done."

SEGi chief operating officer K.C. Lee said it is in the process of developing the curriculum for its medical and healthcare courses."This work alone should easily take one to two years," he said.Lee said education is typically the last sector to be affected by an economic downturn."Education is different from many other sectors. During the economic slowdown, people will cut spending on many things but not education," he said.

Teoh and Lee spoke after the signing of a lease agreement with Tirai Prospektif Sdn Bhd in Kota Damansara yesterday.SEGi is leasing two of the three Cova Villa apartment blocks from Tirai Prospektif for three years initially.The apartments will house some 2,100 students from SEGi's flagship campus, SEGi University College, in Kota Damansara.The campus began operation in June last year with a capacity for 12,000 students. It should have 4,300 students by the end of 2008 before rising to 7,000 next year, Lee said.

Meanwhile, Tirai Pros-pektif director Othman Merah said the whole Cova project should rake in a gross development value of RM340 million. Besides Cova Villa, the project also includes a Cova Square commercial centre and Cova Suites condominiums.Cova Square has been completed, while Cova Villa and Cova Suites are due in January and by September next year respectively.The Cova development is owned by the Andaman group, while Tirai Prospektif is its sales and marketing agent.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AZRB wins RM115m complex job

Published: 2008/12/02

Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB) has won a RM115.64 million contract to design, build and operate a maternity specialist complex at Kuala Terengganu Hospital.
The contract was given by the Works Department, the company told Bursa Malaysia in a filing yesterday. Works for the complex are due to start on December 18 and be completed on December 14, 2011.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Works to modernise Subang airport impress ICAO

Published: 2008/12/01

THE International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) council has given the modernisation works at Subang airport, Selangor, the thumbs up during a technical site survey visit of the airport.Speaking during his recent visit to Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the 45th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions, ICAO president Roberto Gonzalez said SkyPark Subang Terminal has all the modern trappings of an international world-class airport for a community airport of this size."I am impressed. SkyPark Subang Terminal is heading for glory as a destination discerning travellers would enjoy," he said.Gonzalez was given a full technical site survey of both the SkyPark Subang Terminal and the new corporate jet fixed base operation SkyPark FBO Malaysia.

Also present were Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad and senior general manager of corporate planning, Datuk Mahat Samah."SkyPark FBO Malaysia is also one of the finest and largest I have seen for a fixed base operation," Gonzalez added.SkyPark Subang Terminal will be a new dominating landmark at the refurbished Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang when it rolls out a new design that accentuates the airport as a modern and contemporary icon under an urban rejuvenation programme."The overall goal is to transform the airport, maximising on assets through design intervention, into a vibrant destination point for travellers," said Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Ravindran Menon.The main infrastructure of SkyPark Subang Terminal is being refurbished at RM40 million, while refurbishment by the tenants is estimated at another RM5 million."The refurbishment is geared to cater to the initial 2.5 million passenger traffic anticipated in 2009. We are working closely with MAHB to meet passenger expectations and delights," said Ravindran.SkyPark Subang Terminal is made up of Skypark FBO Malaysia, corporate aviation facilities and community airline facilities.The refurbishment works of SkyPark Subang Terminal are slated to be completed early next year.

KEB nears RM4.5b loan deal for highway project

KEB nears RM4.5b loan deal for highway project
By Azlan Abu Bakar
Published: 2008/12/01

Kumpulan Europlus Bhd (3565) is close to securing a RM4.5 billion loan from a group of banks to build the West Coast Expressway (WCE), which links Banting in Selangor to Taiping, Perak. "The current weak global economy has affected efforts in getting the money earlier," a company official said, declining to disclose further details.However, it is unclear if KEB will get to keep the highway. The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) declined comment when contacted.On November 12, EPU director Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob said the WCE could be re-tendered as the consortium involved had failed to secure financing in time.

It was reported that the WCE would cost around RM3 billion. However, the fact that KEB wants to borrow a lot more could be due to the rise in cost of raw materials.KEB's 60 per cent subsidiary, Konsortium LPB Sdn Bhd (KLPB), was awarded the WCE concession on May 25 2007.KLPB's other shareholders are Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd and Putera Capital Bhd, each holding a 20 per cent stake.

Construction work on the 250km highway was supposed to start last June."We have already checked the status of the highway project with the Works Ministry and were told it has not been cancelled," the company official said when contacted by Business Times.Phase 1 which involves the stretch between Tanjung Karang and Banting was targeted to be completed by 2011, while Phase 2 that involves the stretch between Taiping and Sabak Bernam is initially scheduled to begin in 2010 and completed by 2013.The highway will run parallel to a stretch of the North-South Expressway.Under the concession agreement, the WCE will be built and tolled by KLPB for 33 years before the highway is transferred to the government.

About Me

A seeker of success (whatever that means) treading on a path, searching, to return to the wholesomeness that was him when he was launched into this big school called Earth.