Monday, October 26, 2009

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) will spend some RM105 million this year on its soon-to-be-launched airport management venture in Istanbul's Sabiha Gocken International Airport. MAHB has paid about RM80 million for its 20 per cent stake in the project, RM25 million of which was settled in 2008.

A further RM50 million will be spent by the end of the year, to complete expansion works.

The new terminal and apron, which was completed in 18 months, some 12 months ahead of schedule, will be officially launched by Turkey's prime minister on October 31

The airport operator will fund the investment from its own coffers. "At the moment, due to its initial stages, the revenue contribution is quite minimal, mainly coming from technical and consultancy fees. We don't expect revenue from dividends to come in until at least five years after completing the expansion works," MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad told Business Times via e-mail recently.

In 2008, the Istanbul Sabiha Gocken Uluslararasi Havali-mani Yatirim, Yapim Ve Isletme As (ISG), a joint venture among three companies - MAHB, Limak Holding and GMR Infrastructure Ltd - won the bid for the project.

The ?343 million (RM1.7 billion) project, comprises the completion of a new international terminal building, a car park building as well as the construction of a hotel and a VIP annexe.

MAHB's 20 per cent stake in the joint-venture company entitles it to have two representatives on the board of ISG, currently held by Bashir and MAHB's chief financial officer Faizal Mansor. A few of MAHB's senior officials, who include Bashir, are also heading airport working committees.

The international terminal building project concession is for a period of 20 years.

"With two international airports in Istanbul, Ataturk on the European side and Sabiha Gocken on the Asian side, we see great potential in the airport," Bashir said.

MAHB's analysis shows that Ataturk has growth constraints due to space limitations while Sabiha is the second largest airport with a growing surrounding population and plenty of space for future expansion.

As at August 20009, Sabiha Gokcen was the fastest growing airport in Turkey and, maybe, Europe with 35 per cent growth in passenger traffic compared to the same period last year.

The venture is the third of its kind for MAHB, which already has equity stakes in two other airports overseas - Hyderabad International Airport and New Delhi International Airport.

On whether there are any plans for similar investments, Bashir said while it is looking at a few possibilities, no decisions have been made.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TNB: Power line to Sumatra by 2015

BT 24/10/2009

AFTER 20 years of feasibility and technical studies, the long-awaited power connectivity between Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia is set to become reality by 2015.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) (5347) president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohd Noh said the power connection project will comprise about 200km of 250-kilovolt submarine cables and two sets of 57km submarine cables.

"The interconnection will have a capacity of 600 megawatts and is scheduled to be operational by 2015. Both TNB and PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara, Indonesia's national utility company) will have to meet again to discuss contract formalisation, costing, working details.

"In financing, the World Bank will be involved due to the significance of this project," Che Khalib told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after signing a heads of agreement with PLN president director Fahmi Mochtar.
Che Khalib said this will be the second power connection between the two nations after the first agreement covering Bakun and West Kalimantan.

The power link will allow both countries to assist and support each other's power requirements during peak hours, which is during the day in Peninsular Malaysia and during the night in Sumatra.

Che Khalib said the connectivity is part of the Asean power grid, of which Malaysia already has connections with Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Laos.

RM9b for infrastructure development

BT 24/10/2009

THE government has allocated RM9 billion to finance infrastructure projects.

More than half of the money, or RM4.7 billion, will go to roads and bridges construction and RM2.6 billion to upgrade water supply and sewerage services.

Another RM899 million is for railway facilities construction, RM820 million for seaports and RM276 million to upgrade airports.

Master Builders Association of Malaysia hopes the government will speed up the project implementation.

"This year, the construction sector is expected to grow 3.5 per cent," said its president Ng Kee Leen.

With the setting up of the National Green Technology Centre, the association looks forward to new guidelines and specifications in the design of sustainable homes, office blocks and structures.

Green buildings can be built via modular system, using renewable building materials, incorporating lighting and air-conditioning systems that are energy efficient and fitted with dual flush toilets.

Malaysia Budget 2010 Highlights


* Malaysia economy to grow 2-3 per cent in 2010

* Mining to grow 1.1 per cent, manufacturing sector 1.7 per cent, agriculture 2.5 per cent, construction 3.2 per cent and service 3.6 per cent.

* Private consumption expand 2.9 per cent while private investment 3.4 per cent

* Per capita income to increase by 2.5 per cent to RM24,661

* TNB to spend RM5 billion to implement electricity generation, transmission and distribution projects in 2010.

* Individual tax relief on broadband subscription fee up to RM500 a year from 2010 to 2012.

* Public-private collaborations to include an integrated immigration, customs and quarantine complex in Bukit Kayu Hitam, construction of six UiTM campuses and the development of MATRADE centre

* 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will establish a corporate social responsibility fund totalling RM100 million as a start to finance community activities

* Government to allocate RM899 million to intensify tourism industry.

* Government to enhance tax incentives for healthcare service providers who offer services to foreign health tourists with income tax exemptions of 100 per cent on the value of increased exports from 50 per cent previously.

* Individual taxpayers to be given tax relief on broadband subscription fee up to RM500 a year from 2010 to 2012

* Civil servants are eligible to apply for computer loans once in every three years and up to a maximum of RM5,000 from the government once in every five years

* Formulate Halal Act in collaboration with State Islamic Religious Councils.

* To corporatise the Halal Industry Development Corporation as an agency under MITI

* Intensify Halal Certification by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) by collaborating with international institutions to obtain standards certification such as HACCP ad GMP.

* To provide RM24 million to develop halal products anti-smuggling system at three entry points and three main ports.

* Allocate RM137 million to upgrade and improve drainage and irrigation infrastructures in paddy fields involving 180,000 farmers.

* To provide RM70 million to build the Paya Peda Dam Project in Terengganu to increase water supply capacity to paddy irrigation scheme in Besut.

* Allocate RM82 million to modernise aquaculture industry and conduct entrepreneurship training scheme for aquaculture breeders with focus on production of fish fry and ornamental fish.

* “The stock market will be further liberalised to enhance its efficiency as well as attract domestic and foreign investment. For this purpose, the government will undertake the following measures: First, liberalise the commission sharing arrangements between stockbrokers and remisiers in 2 stages to encrouage retail participation in the stock market. The first stage, which takes effect immediately, allows flexible brokerage sharing at a minimum rate of 40 percent for remisiers. The commission sharing will be fully liberalised in the second stage, effective 1 January 2011.

* “Allow 100 per cent foreign equity participation in corporate finance and financial planning companies compared with the present requirement of at least 30 per cent local shareholding.

* “Islamic banking assets account for 18.8 per cent of Malaysia’s total banking assets while takaful industry assets contribute 7.7 per cent of total insurance and takaful industry assets. To ensure rapid development of financial services, particulalrly in Islmaic finance, the government proposes that the existing tax incentives be extended to 2015.

* “The government is currently at the final stage of completing the study on the implementation of goods and services tax (GST), particularly to identify the social impact of GST on the people. The purpose of this study is to ensure that if GST needs to be implemented to stabilised Government finance, it will not burden the population. “If the government implements GST, it will replace the current sales tax and service tax as well as exemption will be granted to the low income group. The GST rate to be imposed will be lower than the current sales tax and service tax rates.

* “The government needs to ensure that the Malaysian tax system is equitable and able to generate revenue for development purposes. In line with this, the government proposes that a tax of five per cent be imposed on gains from the disposal of real property from 1 January 2010.

* Effective Jan 1 2010, government agrees to allow agencies to retain 50 per cent of rentals received while the remaining 50 per cent will be remitted to the government as revenue.

* The Government will implement fuel subsidy management system in early 2010.

* The Government proposes the maximum income tax rate to be further reduced to 26 per cent from 27 per cent effective from the 2010 year of assessment.

* Maximum tax rate for cooperatives will be reduced to 26 per cent while the fixed tax rate for non-resident individuals will be cut to 26 per cent.

* Personal tax relief will be increased to RM9,000 from RM8,000 effective from the 2010 year of assessment.

* The Government also proposes income tax on employment income of Malaysians and foreign knowledge workers residing and working in Iskandar Malaysia be imposed at 15 per cent compared with the maximum 26 per cent for the rest of the country.

* Government to launch a scheme in January 2010 that enables EPF contributors to utilise current and future savings in Account 2 to promote house ownership.

* RM14.8 billion is allocated to manage, build and upgrade hospitals and clinics.

* The Government will issue 1Malaysia Sukuk totalling RM3 billion.

* The Government will establish the 1Malaysia Retirement Scheme to be administrated by EPF.

* Employees EPF contributions will be raised again to 11 per cent on a voluntary basis with immediate effect. However, from Jan 1, 2011 employees' EPF contribution will revert to 11 per cent.

* The Government proposes existing personal tax relief of RM6,000 for EPF contributions and life insurance premiums be raised to RM7,000.

* Government allocates RM2.3 billion to build and upgrade infrastructures in rural areas.

* Government provides RM41 million to improve income and quality of life of the Orang Asli Community by implementing various projects.

* Budget 2010 allocations totalled RM191.5 billion, of which RM138.3 billion is for operating expenditure and RM53.2 billion for development expenditure.

* Federal Government revenue in 2010 to decline by 8.4 per cent to RM148.8 billion.

* Budget deficit at 5.6 per cent of GDP compared with 7.4 per cent in 2009. - Bernama/Reuters

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Projects worth RM7.5 billion to improve ties


MALACCA: Eight projects worth almost RM7.5 billion have been proposed by the Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai governments to enhance physical connectivity and better linkages between the three countries.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said of the eight projects, four would be built in Indonesia, three in Thailand and one in Malaysia.

The projects include the development of

Sumatra ports and toll roads,
Malacca-Dumai Economic Corridor transportation system,
Malacca- Pekan Baru power inter-connection network,
Southern Thailand ports development, and the construction of the
Pak Bara cargo port and
Hat Yai-Sadoa toll road.

“Enhancing physical connectivity and better linkages between the three countries are a key and critical role in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle’s (IMT-GT) development strategy, ” Nor Mohamed said after the three-day 16th IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting ended here on Thursday.

Besides the proposed projects, Nor Mohamed said he also proposed the IMT-GT could venture into halal products and medical tourism.

“These are among the areas which have tremendous growth potential and would also benefit the three countr ies.” IMT-GT was established in 1993 with the aim of boosting economic growth. Its programmes are private sector driven and facilitated by the relevant ministries in each member country.

Some 200 delegates attended the meeting. Also present were Indonesian Ministry for Economic Affairs senior officer, Raidi Hendro Koestoer, Thailand National Economics and Social Development Board deputy secretary-general Porametee Vimolsiri and representatives from Japan, the Asean Secretariat, Asian Development Bank, Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia and IMT-GT Joint Business Council.

The meeting, among others, deliberated on the progress and implementation of the IMT-GT Roadmap to Development 2007-2011 which includes development in tour - ism, halal products and services, agriculture, transportation and human resources development, and the future direction of IMT-GT beyond 2011.

Gulf states to extend railway project to Yemen

MUSCAT, Oct 17 —Wealthy Gulf states have agreed in principal to extend their multi-billion dollar railway project to Yemen, their poorer neighbour on the Arabian peninsula, a United Arab Emirates official said today.

The six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — a loose economic bloc that comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain — are spending more than US$100 billion (RM336.6 billion) on various rail projects to ease congestion in the face of poor public transport networks and a growing population.

The Gulf Arab rail network alone will cost US$20-US$25 billion as the six oil producers seek to create a similar model to Europe’s high speed rail system.

The 1,940-km railway would connect the six Gulf states, each of which would contribute a share of the start-up capital. Yemen had asked for the railway be extended over its border with Oman.

‘“The GCC has accepted in principle to extend the railway link to Yemen from Oman,’“ said the official, who was attending a meeting of Gulf policymakers in Oman.

Yemen, which is not in the GCC, is facing an insurgency in the north where Zaidi Shi’ite Muslims took up arms against the government in 2004, as well as frequent clashes with separatists in the south.

Gulf officials also agreed on Saturday to appoint a single authority for the rail project and approved its design.

Dubai opened the initial phase of its US$7.62 billion metro project in September. Other cities including Riyadh, Mecca and Kuwait are also planning rail systems. — Reuters

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tanjung Agas Petrochem Park

Excerpts from Malaysian Insider
Oleh Zukri Aksah

TEMERLOH, 9 Okt — Projek Taman Industri Minyak, Gas Dan Maritim di Tanjung Agas, Pekan, Pahang telah dirasmikan melalui upacara pecah tanah oleh Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Pahang pada bulan Jun yang lepas. Projek yang bernilai RM2 bilion ini turut melibatkan kerajaan di bawah Pelan Pembangunan Ekonomi Wilayah Pantai Timur (ECER). Diberitakan bahawa kerajaan turut mempertimbangkan untuk memberi status zon perdagangan bebas kepada Tanjung Agas.


Pemaju induk projek ini ialah Tanjung Agas Supply Base & Maritime Services Sdn Bhd (TASBMS) yang dipunyai 30 peratus saham anak syarikat Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Pahang (PKNP) dengan usaha sama tujuh syarikat multinasional dalam dan luar negara, melibatkan kawasan seluas 1,658 hektar.

Projek berimpak tinggi itu merupakan pusat sehenti dan pengkalan mencari gali dan pengeluaran minyak mentah dan gas asli. Apabila siap nanti ia dipertimbangkan untuk diberi status zon perdagangan bebas dengan menempatkan limbungan kapal, limbungan fabrikasi, pangkalan bekalan dan kemudahan perkhidmatan dan terminal petroleum, kawasan kediaman serta perdagangan dan perindustrian.


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.