Sunday, October 31, 2010

Budget for KLIA 2 increased

BTimes 30-10-2010
Malaysia Airports' board of directors has mandated RM2.5 billion for the overall construction cost of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) is ready to spend some RM500 million more than the earlier budgeted RM2 billion for total construction cost of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said in his second stimulus package announcement in March last year that the new permanent low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) would cost RM2 billion.

The airport operator said yesterday that its board of directors had mandated a sum of RM2.5 billion for the overall construction cost of KLIA 2. MAHB chief financial officer Faizal Mansor, however, stressed that the RM2.5 billion budget was not final.

"While we will try to keep it below the budget, it is important to us to get the terminal completed well," he said at a briefing to announce the group's third quarter results in Sepang, Selangor.While some big contracts have been dished out, Faizal declined to reveal how many more would be awarded.

KLIA 2 is now being planned to have double the initial size of 120,000 sq m.

While the new terminal is only half the size of KLIA's main terminal building, it is designed to have more than double the commercial space of the main terminal building.

After the recent completion of a retail optimisation plan at the KLIA main terminal building, about 7 per cent of the building is now commercial space compared to KLIA 2, which is expected to have about 20 per cent commercial space.

"What this means is that while the cost of running KLIA 2 will be half that of the main terminal building, it will be more viable, more sexy," Faizal said.

On its results for the third quarter ended September 30 2010, MAHB said net profit was down by almost 26 per cent. This was largely due to accounting losses it had to recognise in that period because of the adoption of the Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 139.

MAHB made RM61.8 million net profit compared with RM83.4 million a year ago. The loss arising from adopting FRS 139 was about RM30 million.

Part of this loss came from recognising concessions payable at fair value for the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

Year to date, the group recognised RM54 million accounting losses from the associate. MAHB has projected that the full-year figure will touch RM80 million.

Group operating profit in the period reviewed was up 12 per cent to RM128.3 million compared with RM114.4 million in the previous corresponding period.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Warisan Merdeka – a beacon to PNB’s future

The Star 23-10-2010

The 100-storey 5-star green building is set to attract more interest to the whole development.

BACK in 2000 when Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) was presented the opportunity to buy the 14.5ha where Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara are located, it had decided to retain the heritage value of this priceless asset while looking for opportunities to develop the surrounding area.

A decade later, PNB is doing precisely that.

PNB paid RM310mil or RM220 per sq ft to buy the land from Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd. The market value of the land has since appreciated to RM800 per sq ft today.

At a special briefing for media editors on Wednesday, PNB president and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman disclosed that the heritage aspect has been fulfilled through conservation works to restore the heritage characteristics of Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. The two stadiums are now being managed by a heritage trust.

Both the stadiums are occupying 6.8ha, which have been identified as a national heritage site.

Hamad says the overall Warisan Merdeka development on the remaining 7.7ha will complement and blend with the heritage theme. He is optimistic that together with the restored stadiums, the site will be another major landmark in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are looking at ways on how to integrate the building aspects of the stadiums with the planning of the overall development of Warisan Merdeka. The heritage part will not be sacrificed and will actually serve as the enhancement factor to the commercial aspects of the building. The heritage preservation of the stadiums will be undertaken by the heritage trust,” he explains.

Construction work on the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower will kick off next year.

Touted to be the country’s tallest when it is completed in 2015, the building will cost RM2.5bil to RM3bil. It will have gross floor space of 3 million sq ft and 2.2 million sq ft of net floor space.

Hamad says the five-star green building will be the “beacon” to create more excitement and attract more interest to the whole development.

This will be followed by two subsequent phases comprising a shopping complex and condominiums. The whole development, to be undertaken over a 10 year period, will cost RM5bil.

On the rationale for mooting the project, Hamad says: “Since the plan to develop the land was approved by the PNB board in 2004, we were waiting for the right time to proceed with the project.

“The concept of 100-storey building, its retail portion and the condominium was mooted in early 2004 taking into account the need for enhancement of value and effective utilisation of the 19-acre land adjacent to Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. In 2005, the master plan was approved by the municipal authorities followed by final titles being issued in 2008.

The principle concept of PNB Iconic Building was then approved in 2009.”He says that having held the land for so long, “we feel it is now the right time to go ahead. The Government is also promoting this type of development.”

Hamad stresses that most importantly, by initiating the Warisan Merdeka project, PNB is taking the lead to preserve the historical value of Stadium Merdeka as the site for the country’s declaration of independence back in 1957.

Emphasising that PNB is not looking to compete with anybody when it decided to put up a 100-storey tower as part of the Warisan Merdeka development, he says it will make more economic sense to build the high-rise tower than lower rise buildings.

He says as a state investment agency, PNB’s main concern is to maximise return for its stakeholders. “Each year, PNB declares income distribution of 6% to 7% to unitholders. The project with expected yields of between 8% and 10% will be able to meet our responsibility as an investment agency.”

Meanwhile, the new tower will be able to meet PNB’s need for new office space in line with its strategic positioning for the future.

Hamad says PNB will be moving out from its present headquarters, Menara PNB, which will be 30 years old when the tower project is completed, to the Warisan Merdeka tower upon its completion.

PNB has set up wholly-owned unit, PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd to undertake the project. Helming it since early this year is Tengku Abdul Aziz Tengku Mahmud who was formerly from Guthrie Property Development Holding Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd.

So, will Warisan Merdeka be an iconic project and will there be foreign expertise involved such as the like of world renowned architect Cesar Pelli who designed the Petronas Twin Towers?

Hamad says the project design plans are still in the drawing board.
“We are in talks with several parties comprising experts from the relevant fields. We are exploring the possibilities of creating a strong architectural and engineering team for the project,” he adds.

With its latest venture, PNB is certainly thrusting ahead with its plans to build up its presence in the local property scene.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Contractors for LRT project to be shortlisted next month

The Star 21-10-2010

PETALING JAYA: Contractors shortlisted for the first phase of the RM7bil of the light rail transit (LRT) extension would be announced by early next month said an industry source.

The first phase of the extension or package A for both Kelana Jaya and Ampang Lines involved 9.2km and 7.39km of construction length respectively.

The total extension length of the Kelana Jaya line is 17km and Ampang line 17.7km. The extension programme will see an additional 13 stations for each line.

The main construction or facilities work involves infrastructure components such as the guideway, piers and stations as well as the casting and delivery of segmental box girder for both lines.

The LRT extension programme will see the addition of 13 stations each to Ampang and Kelana Jaya lines.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, a state-owned public transport operator that owns the assets of the two LRT lines, held a pre-bid briefing with the pre-qualified contractors for package A on June 22. The contractors were requested to submit their tenders in August.

It is understood the briefing was attended by 15 construction companies that included Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd, IJM Construction Sdn Bhd, Muhibbah Engineering Sdn Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, Loh & Loh Corp Bhd and MRCB Engineering Sdn Bhd. — By SHARIDAN M. ALI

Multi-billion projects in the pipeline

The STAR 16-10-2010

PETALING JAYA: The Government has earmarked several multi-billion projects that will see the construction of several highways, a mass rapid transit (MRT) system, and the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) amongst others, to be kicked off next year.

Generally, the planned development is well-received by the construction sector.
rime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday said in the Budget 2011 speech that under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives, several projects under the 10th Malaysia Plan would be implemented next year through private investment of RM12.5bil. The Government had allocated RM1bil from the facilitation fund.

Among the PPP projects mentioned are the
construction of several highways and
300-megawatt combined-cycle gas power plant in Kimanis, Sabah.Others are
the International Islamic University Malaysia Teaching Hospital,
the Women and Children’s Hospital,
Integrated Health Research Institute Complex in Kuala Lumpur and
Academic Medical Centre.

Additionally, high-impact strategic developments were also identified.

The first is RM26bil
KLIFD where the Government is prepared to consider special incentive packages to attract investors to the KLIFD. Next, is the
MRT in Greater KL with an estimated private investment of RM40bil which is expected to be completed by 2020. Also, the mixed-development of the
Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) land in Sungai Buloh to be undertaken by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). This is to be completed by 2025 and the development is estimated at RM10bil. Finally is the development of another landmark building, a RM5bil 100-storey tower,
Warisan Merdeka to be developed by Permodalan Nasional to be completed by 2020.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Major projects under Budget 2011 will drive demand for building materials

The Star 19-10-2010 PETALING JAYA:

The construction sector emerged as the clear winner from Budget 2011 but a rally in the past months means stocks valuation are no longer cheap and the risk is higher.

The smart money call is on the building material suppliers, from steel makers to cement producers, analysts said. “We expect more positive news flow in the coming months for the construction sector,” MIDF Research said in a note yesterday, predicting a slew of project roll-outs and tender awards in the coming months.

While the question of who will bag what remained unanswered, analysts said the sheer number of upcoming construction jobs out there would drive up demand for building materials.

Malaysia Iron and Steel Indsutry Federation (MISIF) president Chow Chong Long said there was enough capacity in the country to meet the anticipated increase in demand for construction steel bars and other products. “We don’t foresee steel shortages if the construction projects listed in Budget 2011 are implemented next year,” he said in a SMS reply to a StarBiz query. He noted that steel factories in the country were currently running at about half their installed capacity. “MISIF does not expect steel demand to increase until the middle of next year as it usually takes up to six months for projects to take off from the date they are awarded,” Chow said.

On Friday, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that a number of multi-billion ringgit projects would start construction next year.
 This includes the
RM40bil mass rapid transit system in Kuala Lumpur,
six highways,
the RM26bil KL International Financial District and a plan for an iconic 100-storey tower by Permodalan Nasional Bhd,
on top of smaller builds such as
rural roads, schools and hospitals.

Most of the big projects were already made known prior to last Friday because they were part of the 10th Malaysia Plan, or the Economic Transformation Programme.Hence, it was not really a big surprise for the market when the projects were announced in the budget.

“These construction and infrastructure projects would require a lot of steel bars and cement,” BIMB Securities head of research Rosnani Rasul said yesterday. “We are comfortable to retain our forecast 7% growth in cement demand in 2011,” she added. Among potential beneficiaries are Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd and YTL Cement Bhd.

Shares in bigger construction groups Gamuda Bhd, IJM Corp Bhd, MMC Corp Bhd and WCT Bhd declined yesterday, largely in sympathy with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index’s (FBM KLCI) 9.16 points drop yesterday to 1,480.70 points.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Need to gauge potential impact of 100-storey Warisan Merdeka

The Star 20-10-2010 PETALING JAYA:

Developers and property consultants have urged the Government to commission extensive and in-depth feasibility and market studies on the proposed 100-storey Warisan Merdeka to gauge its cost-benefit and potential impact on the property market before proceeding with the project.

Construction of the skyscraper, which is part of the RM5bil mega project within the enclave of Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, will start next year and is expected to be completed in 2015.

Disclosing the project in his Budget 2011 speech last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the two stadiums would be retained as national heritage buildings.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) deputy president Datuk FD Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said the plan for the potentially high-impact commercial development must take into consideration demand and supply of office space in the capital city. He said such a massive project should be approached with caution and proper feasibility studies before proceeding.

“Kuala Lumpur already has a focal point – the Petronas Twin Towers – and the question is whether it is necessary to have another one. Moreover, there is enough office space in the city. Additional space from the Warisan Merdeka and other projects, including the RM26bil Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD), may result in an oversupply of commercial property space,” Iskandar said.

Official figures from the National Property Information Centre show that occupancy rates of office space in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor averaged around 80%.

“What is more important at this point is for a holistic and comprehensive public transport system for Greater Kuala Lumpur that will integrate the proposed mass rapid transit project to the feeder transport network, including the buses and taxis, that also needs to be improved. It is one of the basic imperatives for KL to achieve world-class city status,” he added.

Amphil Corp Sdn Bhd chief executive officer PK Poh said the iconic projects planned by the Government were intended to fulfill national imperatives “to serve a bigger and higher purpose,” and should not therefore be looked upon as a pure property play. Poh said the implementation and timing of the project would have a serious impact on the local property market in terms of the allocation of resources and the effect on current and future vacancy rates in the capital city.  “As such, it would be good if such super mega projects be demand-driven as well, in addition to fulfilling the national agenda.“Based on what I observe overseas (including the Shanghai Financial Centre, Canary Wharf and Burj Khalifa), super mega projects there needed to go through at least one recessionary cycle.“Our own Petronas Twin Towers were in fact completed in the teeth of such a recession. Therefore, the timing of, and preparation for, when the project should take off is of utmost importance, and requires truly extensive and in-depth studies,” Poh said. He also pointed out that projects such as Warisan Merdeka and the KLIFD could straddle the property cycle. “There is a real danger of these projects ‘crowding out’ other developers’ projects when the construction of this and other iconic projects starts. Prices of materials will tend to rise, thus making projects more expensive for all concerned.”

Property consultancy CB Richard Ellis Sdn Bhd executive director Paul Khong said a proper market and feasibility study should be professionally undertaken to determine the right mix of development, the commercial viability of the entire project, the future demand for the products offered within the project and also the theme of development which should really be featured around the heritage elements of Merdeka Stadium.

Responding to questions on the project yesterday, Najib stressed the Government did not instruct Permodalan Nasional Bhd to construct Warisan Merdeka and that it was the company’s board of directors that had wanted to embark on the project.He said the construction work on the project would generate many economic activities.“The area will be a business centre for both the bumiputra and non-bumiputra alike. It can be one of Malaysia’s attraction that will generate and bring profit. This project is not a waste,” he stressed.

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.