Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Action-based programme to take economy to greater heights

The Star 22/09/2010

KUALA LUMPUR: The private sector will be the backbone of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) with US$37bil (RM114.9bil) worth of projects expected to kick off by year-end.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Pemandu chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said private investors including government-linked companies were ready to sign contracts to carry out the seven entry-point projects (EPPs).

The action-based ETP, to be officially unveiled next month, is expected to thrust the economy to greater heights by tripling the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) to RM1.7tril, increasing GNI per capita from RM23,700 to RM48,000 and creating 3.3 million jobs by 2020.

Over 60% of the jobs would be in the medium-income and high-income salary brackets in line with the country’s goal to shift towards a high-income nation status in 10 years.

As a start, 131 EPPs worth US$216bil (RM670.9bil) would be carried out across 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) with 60 business opportunities being made available.

“These projects are just the beginning. There will be multiplier projects and more to come. ETP is not a plan, it is an action-based programme.

“Our focus is on growing the economic pie and we have the right ingredients to succeed,” Jala said during the ETP public open day at Putra World Trade Centre attended by about 4,000 people yesterday.

Investors, he added,
* were ready to sign MoUs for 12 more EPPs (US$10bil/RM31bil) and
* were involved in active engagement for 34 EPPs worth US$50bil (RM155bil).

The 12 NKEAs under the 10th Malaysia Plan are oil, gas and energy; palm oil; financial services; tourism; business services; electrical and electronics; wholesale and retail; education; healthcare; communications, content and infrastructure; agriculture and Greater Kuala Lumpur. Lab members met for eight weeks before coming up with the proposals.

Plans in the pipeline include making Malaysia a number one
* regional hub for oil field services and
* a global biodiversity hub,
* revitalising the capital market and
* making shopping more conducive for tourists.

There are also plans to build 141km of rail lines via a Mass Rapid Transit high-speed rail system to connect Kuala Lumpur and Singapore; and transform the Klang River to a “River of Life” commercial and heritage district buzzing with activities. (The distance between KL and Spore is more than 400km- blogger)

The private sector is expected to fund 92% of the NKEA projects which would require a total funding of RM1.4tril (US$444bil). The remaining funds would come from the Government which would act as an enabler and catalyst, Jala said.

“Malaysia has no time to lose. We have to be fully united. We need a complete, radical economic transformation.

“If we continue on the current economic model, we risk getting stuck in the middle-income trap and continue to lose out on talent necessary to support a high-income economy,” he said, adding that they expected positive results from the ETP, based on the tremendous outcome from the Government Transformation Programme.

He said there was political will for the ETP to succeed but wanted the people to focus on action and refrain from destructive talk or wasteful philosophical debates.

Speaking to reporters later, Jala said there would be a level playing field for investors with clear rules and regulations.

(Hmm...reminds me of the annual Indonesian Infrastructure Summit- blogger) 

Friday, September 3, 2010

AmanahRaya poised to have third biggest REIT

BTimes 3/9/2010

AMANAHRAYA Real Estate Investment Trust (ARREIT) (5127) expects to become the country's third biggest property trust by asset value after it completes buying three new properties this year.

It is currently the fourth biggest REIT with assets of RM1 billion, after Sunway REIT, CapitaMall REIT and the YTL group's Starhill REIT.

ARREIT plans to grow assets by 80 per cent to RM1.8 billion by next year, its group managing director Datuk Ahmad Rodzi Pawanteh said.

Yesterday, the trust signed a deal to buy three properties owned by Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS). "The three new properties, namely Menara PKNS, Kompleks PKNS and Shah Alam Convention Centre Mall, will help strengthen our asset base," Ahmad Rodzi said. The indicative purchase price of the properties, valued at RM270 million, will be satisfied with a combination of new units and cash.

PKNS will get 122.7 million new units priced at 88 sen each and RM162 million in cash. In a separate deal, PKNS will also buy 70 million units at 95 sen each from Kumpulan Wang Bersama (KWB), a fund managed by AmanahRaya."

This is the fourth injection for ARREIT and will be our final acquisition exercise this year," Ahmad Rodzi told reporters after the signing of the sale and purchase and share agreements in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also present was PKNS general manager Othman Omar.

Upon completion of the deals, PKNS will emerge as the second largest substantial unitholder of ARREIT, after KWB. "PKNS will own approximately 30 per cent of ARREIT, while AmanahRaya's ownership will be 33 per cent," Ahmad Rodzi said. Both parties also entered into lease agreements under which PKNS will lease the properties from ARREIT for 12 years.

Othman said PKNS was very excited over the exercise. "It is a win-win transaction for all parties and will enable us to unlock the true market value of the three properties," he said.

It was reported earlier that PKNS had identified 16 high-profile projects worth RM10 billion for future injection into its REIT.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Road upgrade called off

NST 2/9/2010

KUANTAN: The state government is upset that the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Public Works Department (PWD) have decided not to widen the central federal road running from Seremban to Kuala Krai in Kelantan and will instead only repair certain stretches.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said since the upgrading project, which involved the stretch from Kuala Krai-Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis-Bentong-Karak-Simpang Pelangai-Kuala Pilah and Seremban, would now only focus on repairing the accident-prone areas, he suggested that there was no need to carry out any work.

"Since there will be no upgrading work, or the construction of a new stretch along the existing central federal road, the state government feels it would be better to just maintain the current stretch.

"We might put up road signs at accident-prone areas to warn motorists about the condition of the road," he said after chairing the state executive council meeting here yesterday.

Adnan said it was earlier announced that the stretch of the road would be widened to a dual carriage- way. However, due to financial constraints, it was downgraded to a single carriageway. "Now the EPU and PWD have recommended to repair only the accident-prone areas which is not a good move and our stand is: Let there be no work at all. "Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had previously informed me that the dual carriageway was too costly and it would be replaced with a single carriageway, but now it is learnt that there will be no upgrading at all."

Vale expected to call for RM3b seaport tender

The Brazilian iron ore producer plans to call for an international tender as early as November to help build a seaport in Perak

Brazil's Vale SA, the world's largest iron ore producer, plans to call for an international tender as early as November to help build a seaport in Teluk Rubiah, Perak, near the Straits of Malacca.

Business Times understands that the value of the contract is slightly more than RM3 billion and its duration is about 30 months.

Construction work is expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

Vale will employ some 3,000 workers, making the project the biggest in Perak in terms of capital investment and labour.

It is further understood that Vale will allocate some portion of the contract to local firms and that KYM Holdings Bhd had started talking with various foreign companies to submit a joint bid. KYM chief operating officer Allan Chin Kong Yaw declined to comment.

Vale has appointed Murray & Roberts Marine Ltd, a South African company, to do the design work for the jetty. The actual design work is being done in Cape Town, South Africa, with local unit Murray & Roberts (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, acting as the go-between. A joint venture between Murray & Roberts and SNC Lavalin Australia Pty Ltd has been put in charge as construction manager to manage local subcontractors.

Last December, Vale signed an agreement with Integrax Bhd's 80 per cent-owned Lekir Bulk Terminal Sdn Bhd to provide the latter with transhipment services for iron ore cargo at a bulk terminal at Pulau Lekir Satu for over 10 years. People who work closely with Vale on the project say the jetty has been designed to be 2.5km long, with the berth having a 30-metre depth.

The seaport is designed to accommodate as many as four ships of 400,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt) capacity at one go. It will have an additional 10 berths for ships of 100,000 dwt capacity as well as berths for 50 barges.

Vale has placed orders for 12 very large, 400,000 dwt ore carriers from Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries Co Ltd. The vessels are expected to be delivered by end-2012.

Vale intends to use Teluk Rubiah as its base to ship to China, the world's biggest iron ore consumer, as commercial freight rates from Vale's Brazilian ports to China are double those paid by competitors BHP Billiton plc and Rio Tinto Group from Australia because of the greater distance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Selangor to solve water issue first

1 September 2010
The Star

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government will proceed with the Langat 2 water treatment plant project (Langat 2) after discussions on the restructuring of the state’s water industry with the private concessionaire and federal agencies are finalised.

“We accept the Langat 2 project, but there is no need to do it in haste. Now, the state government wants to resolve the issue on the restructuring of the water service industry in Selangor.
“Priority should be given to the restructuring of the water service industry compared with the Langat 2 project, he added.

Abdul Khalid was responding to a newspaper report yesterday which quoted Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as saying that the Selangor Mentri Besar had agreed to speed up the Langat 2 project at the 5th National Water Resources Council meeting in Putrajaya on Monday.

He said the state government would continue negotiations to resolve the restructuring of its water service industry which met a deadlock since last year.

“We want a better deal, better service and better price for the people. That is our objective,” he added. — Bernama

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.