Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

 

No delay in completion of Laos hydropower project: Mega First

PETALING JAYA: In the wake of the collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy (XPXN) hydropower dam in Laos, Mega First Corp Bhd, the developer of the nearby RM2 billion Don Sahong Hydroelectric Power Project, said there will not be a delay in the completion of the project or a material change in its overall cost.

Mega First said in a stock exchange filing today it made enquiries with the management of its subsidiary Don Sahong Power Co Ltd (DSPC) and the project consultants after receiving queries from various stakeholders on the risk of a similar situation happening to the Don Sahong project and its implications.

“Having reviewed the circumstances surrounding the incident and the specific and unique characteristics of the Don Sahong project, the board is satisfied that present and future dam safety risks remain low and are being (and will continue to be) appropriately monitored and managed in accordance with the industry and international best practices.”

In a separate statement, DSPC director Khoo Teng Keat said: “At this juncture, we do not expect this unfortunate incident to result in any delay to the completion of the DSHP project and any significant variation in the overall project cost.”

Khoo noted that construction work for the project has reached 65% and filling of the headpond with water from the Mekong River is scheduled for next wet season in 2019.

The Don Sahong project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and to start operation in early 2020.

Hundreds of people are missing and 26 fatalities have been reported so far after the collapse of the XPXN dam under construction in Laos.

Laos News Agency said the disaster happened in southeastern Attapeu province’s Sanamxay district late Monday, releasing five billion cubic metres of water – enough to fill more than two million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Several houses in the southern part of the district were swept away, the report said, and officials in the province put out a call for relief aid for the flood victims. It is estimated that some 10,000 people are affected.

The US$1.2 billion (RM4.8 billion) dam is part of a project by Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Co, or PNPC, a joint venture formed in 2012.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Mega First fell 6 sen or 1.67% to RM3.54 on volume of 188,800 shares.


No delay in completion in Laos hydropower project: Mega First

PETALING JAYA: In the wake of the collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy (XPXN) hydropower dam in Laos, Mega First Corp Bhd, the developer of the nearby RM2 billion Don Sahong Hydroelectric Power Project, said there will not be a delay in the completion of the project or a material change in its overall cost.

Mega First said in a stock exchange filing today it made enquiries with the management of its subsidiary Don Sahong Power Co Ltd (DSPC) and the project consultants after receiving queries from various stakeholders on the risk of a similar situation happening to the Don Sahong project and its implications.

“Having reviewed the circumstances surrounding the incident and the specific and unique characteristics of the Don Sahong project, the board is satisfied that present and future dam safety risks remain low and are being (and will continue to be) appropriately monitored and managed in accordance with the industry and international best practices.”

In a separate statement, DSPC director Khoo Teng Keat said: “At this juncture, we do not expect this unfortunate incident to result in any delay to the completion of the DSHP project and any significant variation in the overall project cost.”

Khoo noted that construction work for the project has reached 65% and filling of the headpond with water from the Mekong River is scheduled for next wet season in 2019.

The Don Sahong project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and to start operation in early 2020.

Hundreds of people are missing and 26 fatalities have been reported so far after the collapse of the XPXN dam under construction in Laos.

Laos News Agency said the disaster happened in southeastern Attapeu province’s Sanamxay district late Monday, releasing five billion cubic metres of water – enough to fill more than two million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Several houses in the southern part of the district were swept away, the report said, and officials in the province put out a call for relief aid for the flood victims. It is estimated that some 10,000 people are affected.

The US$1.2 billion (RM4.8 billion) dam is part of a project by Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Co, or PNPC, a joint venture formed in 2012.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Mega First fell 6 sen or 1.67% to RM3.54 on volume of 188,800 shares.


Single entity for affordable housing by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: The establishment of a single entity to oversee the provision of affordable homes will be completed by year-end, said National Housing Department director-general Jayaselan Navaratnam (pix).

“We are working to sort it out by this August then we will do due diligence and hope it can come into execution somewhere around the end of this year,” he said at the Affordable Housing Conference 2018 today.

Jayaselan said six agencies namely 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA), UDA Holdings Bhd, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip), Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor (PPRT) and the 1Malaysia Housing Project for Civil Servants (PPA1M) will be streamlined under the entity as a start.

“We are also working with Bank Negara Malaysia, National Property Information Centre, Real Estate Housing Developers Association (Rehda) and other groups specialised in the real estate industry,” he added.

Jayaselan said the department, which comes under the Housing and Local Government Ministry, will need time to study the structure of each agency, after which it will decide whether to merge or segmentise them into different types of development.

He said there will not be any retrenchments of government employees in these agencies but some may be redeployed to other areas. However, it will review the need for contract staff.

Meanwhile, the ministry is coming up with a price threshold for affordable homes based on different regions.

“We are suggesting RM300,000 as the threshold while Rehda is suggesting RM500,000, but let us work and see which one is the most suitable one. We are looking at a mechanism based on region instead of state,” according to Jayaselan.

He said it will study various factors including household income, debt level and affordability level in coming up with the price threshold. At present, the ministry considers houses priced RM300,000 and below affordable, applicable nationwide.

Rehda recently recommended a price threshold for affordable homes based on states, with RM500,000 being the ceiling for affordable homes in Kuala Lumpur.


FDI inflows into manufacturing to remain subdued this year: AmBank Research

PETALING JAYA: Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into manufacturing will remain subdued in 2018 due to the increasing focus on quality investments in the targeted ecosystems, which should yield positive impact on the domestic economy, according to AmBank Research.

“Thus, we expect the strategy to zoom in on developing and enhancing local supply chains to support multinational companies. On the services side, we believe the main drivers will be on global establishments, healthcare, education and hospitality,” it said in a note today.

Total FDIs slipped 12.7% year-on-year to RM41 billion last year from RM47 billion in 2016 due to slower growth in investments from the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Investments in both manufacturing and services weakened, with FDI flows into manufacturing tumbling by 46.9% to RM6.4 billion from RM12.1 billion in 2016 in tandem with a drop in the total number of projects to 687 from 733 in 2016.

For services, it slipped by 17.4% to RM19.8 billion from RM23.9 billion in 2016 dragged by the real estate.

AmBank Research said despite the current volatility on the global front driven by noises like the risk of emerging market debt crisis, trade war and currency war, Malaysia is off to a good start in 2018 given that a total of 402 projects have been recorded as of May this year with a proposed investment sum of RM75 billion.

On an annualised basis, it said Malaysia could reach around RM180 billion in proposed investment this year, supported by healthy global gross domestic product of 3.6% in 2018 coupled with favourable world trade projected around 4% to 4.4%.

In addition, the research house said, Malaysia's focus to become a leading food and beverage exporter through FDIs could also drive investments, as such focus would attract established brands with the right support for local companies in meeting global standards.

Last year, the total approved investments clocked in at RM197.1 billion, a decline of 7.4% from RM212.9 billion in 2016, due to lower investment in the services sector which fell by 17.2%.

Foreign investments approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority last year slid RM5.9 billion to RM21.5 billion.

AmBank Research said the ratio of domestic investment to total approved investment remained healthy at 72.2% in 2017, with RM142.4 billion generated domestically, while the balance of RM54.7 billion came from foreign investors.

“We found China, Singapore, the UK, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and the Netherlands jointly accounted for 61.5% of total foreign investments in three core areas including manufacturing, services and primary sectors,” it added.


Stop cherry picking, let’s work together for Sabah’s best interests, AirAsia tells MAHB

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) should stop cherry-picking data to suit its agenda and instead work together with the airline for the best interests of Sabah.

“MAHB suggested that negative growth in 2014 and 2015 at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) was the reason for wanting to move AirAsia to KKIA Terminal 1 (T1). By focusing on those two years, MAHB would have the public believe that passenger traffic had long been on the decline, and that this trend could only be reversed by moving AirAsia out of T2,” said Riad.

“This could not be further from the truth. AirAsia operated from T2 from mid-2004 up until December 2015, when we were compelled to move to T1 in light of amenities and facilities being made unavailable for our operations then. During that period, KKIA passenger traffic grew year-on-year every year, except in 2014 and 2015,” he added.

Citing the Minister of Tourism and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Riad said the drop in traffic especially among China tourists during those two years had much to do with a series of kidnappings.

On plans to transfer Sabah operations back to T2, Riad said AirAsia is willing to take up the costs of refurbishing T2. “It will be better than before, and there will be no cost to MAHB or the state government. All we ask is a chance to continue growing Kota Kinabalu to its truest potential for the benefit of Sabahans, as we have always done.”


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