Petronas Chemicals down on slightly weaker earnings

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Shares of Petronas Chemicals Group on Bursa Malaysia were lower in the early session today, after the group reported lower earnings of RM1.07 billion for the first quarter financial result ended March 31, 2018. As at…

New govt likely to re-prioritise implementation of infra projects

KUCHING: The new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is expected by analysts to re-prioritise the implementation of infrastructure projects to reduce the foreign borrowings and contingent liabilities. Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AffinHwang Capital) believed the projects that will likely be affected include the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), RM60 billion Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High […]

BMI Research: High-speed rail to remain intact, other projects face risks

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Despite the uncertainty over the future of major infrastructure projects in Malaysia following the Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) victory in the May 9 elections, projects such as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Railway (HSR)…

Puncak Niaga bags RM490m sewage treatment plant job

PETALING JAYA: Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd has been appointed as the principal sub-contract for a sewage treatment plant project in Kuantan worth RM489.93 million.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that its wholly owned subsidiary Puncak Niaga Construction Sdn Bhd had on May 2 entered into a principal sub-contract agreement with Jalur Cahaya Sdn Bhd for the contract, which runs from March 5, 2018 to Feb 19, 2022.

Under the contract, Puncak Niaga has to construct a new regional sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 200,000 population equivalent (PE) for the first phase with an ultimate capacity of 400,000 PE.

It also needs to construct the sewage conveyance system totaling 66km, new network pumping stations at identified locations and the routing of the main pumping station for rationalisation works.

At today’s market close, Puncak Niaga’s share price rose 1% to close at 46 sen on some 26,000 shares done.

Asdion queried over sharp rise in price and volume

PETALING JAYA: Loss making Asdion Bhd was slapped with an unusual market query by Bursa Malaysia, after the stock price jumped almost three fold in less than a month.

Asion's share price which stood at 17 sen on April 9, 2018, was trading at 47.5 sen earlier, with some 14.9 million shares changing hands in the first few hours of trading. 30 day average volume was at 8.9 million.

In the last one year the stock has gained 30%.

Asdion which is principally in information communication technology and logistics business, has had its financials adversely affected by a weakness in revenue from its ICT business and the moratorium on bauxite trading, which decreased the demand for the group’s stevedoring activities and ancillary logistics services in Kuantan Port and cut short its bauxite trading aspirations.

For the nine month period ended December 31, 2017 the company posted a net loss of RM1.5 million against revenue of RM3.4 million.

Selling the country to China? Debate spills into Malaysia’s election


KUANTAN (April 27): When Malaysia’s political parties unfurled their election flags and banners this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s critics sniggered on social media that the manufacturer named on banners of his ruling coalition was Chinese. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who heads an alliance hoping to oust Najib, has seized on popular disquiet about Chinese investment pouring into Malaysia and turned it into an election issue. Najib, he says, is selling Malaysia out to China. This could matter for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and for Malaysia’sRead More

Long steel clouded by rising trade disputes, declining demand

KUCHING: The long steel is being clouded by rising uncertainties this time around with weak steel demand in China being the biggest concern right now for the local steel industry. According to the research arm of Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga Research), the Malaysian steel industry is currently clouded by US President Donald Trump’s US […]

Enra claims RM10.22m outstanding payment from Gemula

PETALING JAYA: Enra Group Bhd's wholly owned indirect subsidiary Enra Engineering And Fabrication Sdn Bhd (EEFab) has served a payment claim against Gemula Sdn Bhd for a total of RM10.22 million.

Served under Section 5 of the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA), the payment claim is in relation to outstanding amounts due and payable by Gemula for works completed by EEFab under two letters of award, including additional/variation works ancillary to the subcontracts.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Enra said it is necessary for EEFab to pursue the payment claims under CIPAA to best protect its interest.

“No provision for impairment loss is needed at this juncture and the cost of carrying out this action under CIPAA is not material in the current financial year ending March 31, 2018,” it said, adding that there is no operational impact arising from the payment claim.

In 2016, Gemula appointed EEFab as a subcontractor for the construction of main garage for 8 x 8 vehicles and troop vehicles as well as infrastructure at Kem Batu 10, a military base in Kuantan, Pahang.

Gemula had issued two letters of award to appoint EEFab to undertake the iron structure works for the project, the provision of construction materials and completion of all works for the project.

Klang Valley offices to see 25% vacancy till 2021-22: Savills

KUALA LUMPUR: Office space in he Klang Valley is expected to see a slight rise in vacancy rates this year and hover at 25% until 2021 or 2022, said Savills (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd (pix).

“I think we are going to see a slight rise in vacancy rates and we’ll see a little bit more downward pressure on rentals before the market stabilises. Vacancy rates now, depending on which sector you are talking about, is between 20% and 25%. That’s not the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime but I think it will hover at around 25% or so until the surplus space is absorbed, which will probably be by 2021 or 2022,” he told reporters at the inaugural Savills Malaysia Breakfast Forum today.

Boyd said the total office space in the Klang Valley is about 120 million square feet (sq ft) currently with some five million sq ft being completed annually over the next three years while the absorption rate is two to three million sq ft a year.

Although the amount of office space being built is more than what the market requires in the short term, which has caused downward pressure on rents, Boyd said a temporary vacancy is not “life threatening” as developers build office buildings for the long term, for 50 years or 100 years.

“What is good is that the current modern new generation of office buildings is very much better than the older generation’s. They have bigger floor plates and they are better specified. They have more amenities for tenants in terms of canteens, gyms and so forth. Office workers demand these things these days. You have to look at it as an evolutionary process which will sort itself out in the medium term,” he added.

Boyd said rental rates for office space have been stable and resilient, noting that as rates are under pressure, tenants who are moving into better specified buildings are getting a great deal now.

Commenting on the impact of the co-working space trend on the Klang Valley office market, Boyd said such space will not reduce demand for “traditional” office space but may reposition it.

He said co-working spaces provide great flexibility as tenants can rent anything from a single desk to 100 desks, meeting rooms can be booked at very short notice and some may even operate like clubs whereby members can book space at any of their venues.

“So they aim to be not just in the Golden Triangle but out in the suburbs, in little satellite offices, in other cities like Penang, Kuantan, Johor Baru and so forth,” he added.

Boyd said large corporations may have both their core space and use co-working space as their swing space, which solves the issue of looking for more space as they expand.

“We’ve had tenants tell us, we want 50,000 sq ft now but we would like to have first option on another 20,000 sq ft which we think we may need in a year’s time. That problem is gone now because when they want extra space, they can just take it at short notice,” he said.

Meanwhile, the residential market is expected to pick up after the general election but there will not be any “price explosion” as developers still need to clear a backlog in unsold units, he added.

Stocks in Focus (20-3-2018)

KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies in focus on Tuesday (March 20) may include: Eco World International Bhd,…