Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

 

AirAsia India expects revenue to double this year, triple in 2018

DUBAI, Nov 28 ― Budget carrier AirAsia India expects revenue to double to 12 billion Indian rupees (RM763.2 million) this calendar year, and triple to 18 billion rupees in 2018, its chief executive said today. The airline, a tie-up between…


Wall Street edges higher; Powell hearing, tax bill in focus

NEW YORK, Nov 28 ― The S&P and the Dow hit records at the open today, led by gains in technology stocks, with investors also focusing on Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell’s confirmation hearing and progress on the US tax bill. The…


Bank Indonesia plans new rules to improve loans, liquidity

JAKARTA, Nov 28 ― Indonesia’s central bank is planning to issue new rules as it seeks to improve credit distributions by banks and improve their liquidity management, Governor Agus Martowardojo said during its annual bankers dinner today….


Puncak Niaga vs Selangor suit kicks off

SHAH ALAM: Former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has filed an application to strike out Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd’s lawsuit against him over the takeover of its water asset by the state, at the case management of the suit today.

When met at the courtroom here, Khalid’s lawyer New Sin Yew told reporters that Khalid had filed the application on Monday (Nov 27).

In the application, Khalid said he believed that the plaintiff’s claim is based on a tort of misfeasance in public office. He believed that at all material time, he is not a public officer under the relevant laws like the Government Proceedings Act 1956, Interpretation Acts 1948 & 1967, The Laws of the Constitution of Selangor 1959 and the Federal Constitution.

“Hence, the plaintiff’s action, even if it’s trialled, will fail,” said Khalid in his application sighted by reporters.

According to the document, Khalid had resigned as Selangor mentri besar on Sept 23, 2014.

“If my actions have affected the plaintiff (which is denied), it can be considered as an execution of public duty or authority or written law. Because of that, the plaintiff’s action towards me has been blocked by the time limit because it was filed more than 36 months after I resigned as Selangor mentri besar.”

Besides, Khalid stated that the plaintiff is at all times bound by the terms of the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) that was pleaded in the Statement of Claim.

“I’m not a party to the SPA and I’m not privy to the SPA. I believe the plaintiff cannot use this action to avoid its responsibility under the SPA. The plaintiff did not claim that the SPA be avoided or voided under the Contracts Act 1950.
None of the pleading in the Statement of Claim reveal any situation that can be raised by the plaintiff to cancel the SPA based on duress or other matters under the Contracts Act 1950.”

Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir fixed Dec 12 for Puncak Niaga to file an affidavit in reply and Jan 23, 2018 for the decision or clarification of Khalid’s striking out application. He directed the parties to attempt mediation in January 2018. He also fixed Feb 12, 2018 for pre-trial case management and March 28-30, 2018 for trial.

Puncak Niaga had filed a RM14 billion lawsuit against Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Khalid and the state government over the takeover of the state’s water industry. Only Khalid has filed a striking out application so far.

It was reported that Azmin and the state government will also file an application to strike out Puncak Niaga’s lawsuit. Azmin was reported to have instructed his lawyers, who are representing him and the state government, to file the application.

Puncak Niaga claims Khalid and Azmin had abused their powers by threatening to cause, or attempting to cause, the federal government to invoke the use of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 to force a takeover of the state’s water industry. It said the Selangor government is vicariously liable for the acts of Khalid and Azmin.

In 2014, the Selangor state government and the federal government signed an agreement which would see the state government take over four water concessionaires operating in the state, namely Puncak Niaga, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash).

The state government has already taken over water assets belonging to the three companies, except for Splash.

Puncak Niaga’s share price closed unchanged at 66.5 sen today, with 55,200 shares traded.


Puncak Niaga starts suit against Selangor

SHAH ALAM: Former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has filed an application to strike out Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd’s lawsuit against him over the takeover of its water asset by the state, at the case management of the suit today.

When met at the courtroom here, Khalid’s lawyer New Sin Yew told reporters that Khalid had filed the application on Monday (Nov 27).

In the application, Khalid said he believed that the plaintiff’s claim is based on a tort of misfeasance in public office. He believed that at all material time, he is not a public officer under the relevant laws like the Government Proceedings Act 1956, Interpretation Acts 1948 & 1967, The Laws of the Constitution of Selangor 1959 and the Federal Constitution.

“Hence, the plaintiff’s action, even if it’s trialled, will fail,” said Khalid in his application sighted by reporters.

According to the document, Khalid had resigned as Selangor mentri besar on Sept 23, 2014.

“If my actions have affected the plaintiff (which is denied), it can be considered as an execution of public duty or authority or written law. Because of that, the plaintiff’s action towards me has been blocked by the time limit because it was filed more than 36 months after I resigned as Selangor mentri besar.”

Besides, Khalid stated that the plaintiff is at all times bound by the terms of the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) that was pleaded in the Statement of Claim.

“I’m not a party to the SPA and I’m not privy to the SPA. I believe the plaintiff cannot use this action to avoid its responsibility under the SPA. The plaintiff did not claim that the SPA be avoided or voided under the Contracts Act 1950.
None of the pleading in the Statement of Claim reveal any situation that can be raised by the plaintiff to cancel the SPA based on duress or other matters under the Contracts Act 1950.”

Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir fixed Dec 12 for Puncak Niaga to file an affidavit in reply and Jan 23, 2018 for the decision or clarification of Khalid’s striking out application. He directed the parties to attempt mediation in January 2018. He also fixed Feb 12, 2018 for pre-trial case management and March 28-30, 2018 for trial.

Puncak Niaga had filed a RM14 billion lawsuit against Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Khalid and the state government over the takeover of the state’s water industry. Only Khalid has filed a striking out application so far.

It was reported that Azmin and the state government will also file an application to strike out Puncak Niaga’s lawsuit. Azmin was reported to have instructed his lawyers, who are representing him and the state government, to file the application.

Puncak Niaga claims Khalid and Azmin had abused their powers by threatening to cause, or attempting to cause, the federal government to invoke the use of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 to force a takeover of the state’s water industry. It said the Selangor government is vicariously liable for the acts of Khalid and Azmin.

In 2014, the Selangor state government and the federal government signed an agreement which would see the state government take over four water concessionaires operating in the state, namely Puncak Niaga, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash).

The state government has already taken over water assets belonging to the three companies, except for Splash.

Puncak Niaga’s share price closed unchanged at 66.5 sen today, with 55,200 shares traded.


MB World acquires land in Johor for RM8.15m

PETALING JAYA: MB World Group Bhd is acquiring 15.56 acres of land comprising 252 parcels of residential terrace plots in Taman Sri Pulai Perdana, Johor Baru for RM8.15 million cash.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the group said its wholly-owned subsidiary MB Max Sdn Bhd had entered into the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Shiya Sdn Bhd for the acquisition.

The parcels have been earmarked for a mixed development under the state’s affordable homes policy and Shiya has the legal obligation to build and complete the construction in accordance with the state’s requirements.

The land was approved for 252 units of double-storey courtyard type of terrace units on Sept 30, 2013. The net book value of the land based on Shiya’s latest audited financial statements is RM4.3 million.

The purchase consideration, calculated at the rate of RM12.02 per sq ft, takes into consideration the development potential of the land and indicative market value of RM8.75 million as assessed by Henry Butcher Malaysia (Pontian) Sdn Bhd.

The group said the acquisition will allow MB Max to continue and maintain its property development activities with land that is strategically located and has easy accessibility and connectivity via major highways.

The estimated gross development cost and profit of the development are RM34.56 million and RM5.39 million respectively. Development is expected to commence immediately after completion of the SPA and completed within 24 months.

MB Max intends to acquire the land en bloc and will fund the acquisition by internally generated funds and/or bank borrowings.

The acquisition, which is conditional upon Shiya obtaining the blanket approval from the Land Registry of Johor Baru for the sale and block transfer of the land in favour of MB Max, is expected to be completed within six months from the SPA date.

MB World’s share price rose 2 sen or 1.06% to close at RM1.91 today with a total of 96,800 shares traded.


Advancecon bags RM75.5m SKVE project

PETALING JAYA: Advancecon Holdings Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary Advancecon Infra Sdn Bhd (AISB) has been appointed main contractor for RM75.5 million worth of infrastructure works (Package 1) for the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Advancecon said the contract awarded by SKVE Holdings Sdn Bhd is for the proposed construction of the Tanjung Dua Belas junction at KM28.7 of SKVE in Kuala Langat.

The scope of works comprise demolition, site clearance and earthworks; soil treatment/improvement works; bridge works and inlet/outlet works; drainage works; pavement works; road furniture; environmental protection works; traffic management and control; as well as street lightings and mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

Site mobilisation is expected on Dec 1, 2017, followed by site possession and date of commencement on Jan 2, 2018. The works are expected to be completed by Dec 31, 2019.

The contract is expected to contribute positively towards the earnings of the group in the financial years ending Dec 31, 2017 till 2019. The group intends to fund the contract via internally generated funds and/or external borrowing.

Advancecon group CEO Datuk Phum Ang Kia said the group has invested heavily in expanding its machinery fleet and human resource capabilities, boasting more than 430 units of machinery compared with 320 at the start of the year, and a workforce exceeding 650 employees.

The latest contract brings the group’s total new wins year-to-date to RM170.8 million, boosting Advancecon’s current order book to RM603.4 million to be fulfilled over the next two to three years.

Advancecon closed 1 sen or 0.96% higher at RM1.05 today with a total of 369,100 shares traded.


Gunung Capital banking on NS contract extension

PETALING JAYA: Gunung Capital Bhd, which reported a net loss of RM2.4 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017, is optimistic a two-year contract extension to the existing National Service agreement will be secured by end of the year.

The company made a net profit of RM79,000 in the quarter ended Sept 30, 2016.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the group said its operating profit from the transportation segment for the quarter was substantially lower than in the previous year, with higher operating costs due to full utilisation of the group’s fleet of vehicles and outsourcing vehicles from third party coach operators to support service-contract requirements.

Revenue for the quarter was slightly higher by 1.7% to RM10.7 million, compared with RM10.52 million in the same period last year, underpinned by contract revenues from the National Service Programme and the Defence Ministry contract to ferry school children.

On its prospects, the group said management will continue efforts and investment to secure additional contracts in chartering land-based transportation assets and specialty vehicles and improve operating efficiencies, as its main strategy for the transportation division.

“The management is optimistic that by end FY2017 a contract extension for the existing National Service Program service- contract for an additional two years, comprising of FY2018 and FY2019, will be secured. This will underpin the group’s prospective contract-revenues,” it added.

For the nine months period, its net profit widened to RM3.9 million, from RM25,000 a year ago, while revenue grew slightly by 2.3% to RM31.2 million, from RM30.5 million previously.

The group slipped 2.53% to 38.5 sen today with some 20,000 shares traded.


Mattan clinches RM285m EPCC contract

PETALING JAYA: Mattan Engineering Sdn Bhd has been appointed the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor by Solar Management Sdn Bhd under a contract worth RM285 million.

The contract was a beneficiary of the granting of financial close by Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) to Solar Management for the large-scale solar 50MWac photovoltaic generation facility.

Mattan, an EPCC solutions provider for renewable energy (RE) infrastructure, will undertake the designing, construction and operation works of the facility located in Rembau, Negri Sembilan, which is scheduled for completion by Nov 30, 2018.

“We are very happy and proud to be appointed as the turnkey EPCC contractor by Solar Management. This contract win is a ringing endorsement of our expertise and capability in the RE infrastructure space in Malaysia.

“To date, Mattan has a combined total of 69MW of RE projects completed, including this 50MWac solar farm which is one of the largest solar farms in the country,” Mattan executive chairman Levin Tan said in a statement today.

He said the group has a proven track record in providing technical assistance, licensing, engineering, procurement, supply, construction management, construction, commissioning, start-up and testing services and in possessing the requisite expertise and resources to undertake multi-disciplinary RE projects, and to complete this contract undertaking.

“Going forward, there are a few more opportunities in the pipeline that we are working hard on and we hope to deliver more good news in the near future,” he added.

Following the contract win, Mattan has in turn appointed China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) as the procurement arm to supply the material and equipment for the 50MWac solar farm project.

CMEC will undertake the necessary package arrangements for the procurement and international transportation of the material and equipment including mounting structures and solar panels.


Ringgit finishes higher versus greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit finished higher against the US dollar today, as the greenback was stuck near a two-month low, pending the announcement of the US tax reform plan and the confirmation of the new Federal Reserve chair.

At 6pm, the local unit ended at 4.1010/1050 against the greenback from 4.1130/1160 on Monday.

A dealer said traders were cautious to place their demand on the US dollar, and moved to other currencies, including the ringgit.

“The nominee for the new chair, Jerome Powell, was perceived by investors as someone who likes to continue the previous policy, therefore they won't expect much.

“However, the concern on the delays in the implementation of the US tax cut are seen to continue to weigh on the greenback and due to this, we predict the ringgit would benefit from this,” the dealer said.

Meanwhile, against a basket of major currencies, the local note was traded higher.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0493/0527 from 3.0559/0593 on Monday and strengthened against the euro to 4.8761/8825 from 4.9064/9112 yesterday.

It increased against the British pound to 5.4556/4621 from 5.4900/4944 yesterday and appreciated vis-a-vis the yen to 3.6866/6906 from 3.6961/6998 on Monday. — Bernama