Friday, 30 September 2016

(NST) New measures to keep tourism sector humming along discussed

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today chaired the Tourism Cabinet Committee meeting to deliberate on strategic measures to spur Malaysia's tourism sector. 

The Tourism and Culture Ministry said the core objective of today's meeting was to discuss measures that would rev up the tourism industry especially in marketing and promotion to penetrate new markets, especially China, which had the world’s largest outbound market of 120 million tourists in 2015, as well as tourism promotions to high-potential markets such as India and Middle Eastern countries. 

"The government will also focus on quick win measures for the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) segment which has big potential to get more high-spending tourists to Malaysia. 

"The committee also discussed new creative and innovative ideas that could stimulate the nation's tourism sector to reach the 36 million target of tourist arrivals that generate revenue worth RM168 billion by 2020," the ministry said in a statement. 

Also present at the meeting were Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and his deputy Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, as well as deputy ministers from the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry, Transport Ministry, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, and Communication and Multimedia Ministry. 

The ministry also said the tourism sector recorded positive growth of 3.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

"Despite challenges in 2015, the tourism industry still manages to be the third main contributor to the gross national income (GNI) in the form of foreign exchange, contributing to the country's economy. 

“The tourism industry remains resilient and started to show positive growth in the first six months of this year at 3.7 per cent, compared to the same period in 2015. 

"Last year's tourist arrivals dropped from 27.4 million in 2014 to 25.7 million due to several incidents, including floods, regional travel advisories for the southeast coastal area of Sabah, and the impact of the MH370 and MH17 incidents," it added. 

(The Star) Property in Bukit Indah in demand

ISKANDAR PUTERI: While some developers have reported a slow down in the property sector, one developer is experiencing a remarkable demand for its properties.
At least 80% of SP Setia’s newly launched double-storey terrace units known as Visca and Villosa in Bukit Indah were snapped up during its launch recently.
SP Setia Bhd divisional general manager Stanley Saw said that their Bukit Indah township has grown over the years and is now a development project that is highly sought after by buyers,
“This is a prime commercial and residential district which is easily accessible via major roads, highways and amenities.
“Our company has built a strong brand name synonymous with quality and reliability, not only in Johor but throughout the country,” Saw added.
About 200 buyers lined up at the sales gallery to take part in the balloting process to own a unit in the area.
Saw said promotional packages included subsidised legal fees on the sale and purchase agreement and loan agreement as well as subsidised stamp duty on the title’s memorandum of transfer.
A total of 138 units were sold on the launch date for both house types.
The launch featured 110 Visca 20’ x 75’ units with a built-up of 1,920sq ft and 73 Villosa 22’ x 75’ units with a built-up of 2,200sq ft.
The units are priced between RM652,288 and RM770,588.

Construction for both house types has commenced and is expected to be completed in 2018.

(The Star) High revenue from tourism

JOHOR BARU: Local communities are urged to participate in tourism-related programmes and activities as these would help to generate income for them.
Tourism Malaysia Johor director Edzuar Zar Ayob Azari said that tourism has been identified as one of the top revenue earners for Johor in years to come.
He said Johor was banking on the niche areas in the districts in the state to attract domestic and foreign tourists to visit the southernmost state in the peninsula.
“Despite the uncertainties and slower global economic growth, Johor continues to enjoy a positive trend in tourist arrivals,” said Edzuar after opening the National Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality 2016 here on Wednesday.
Edzuar said Johor received about six million domestic and foreign tourists in 2015 and the figure was projected to reach seven million tourists by the end of 2016.
He said under the state tourism master plan, all districts in the state would have its district tourism committee to oversee the tourism sector in each of the district.
Edzuar said the district tourism committee would be headed either by the president of the local council or by the district officer.
“The setting up of the district tourism committee is to assist the state authorities on tourism-related activities and programmes,” he said.
Edzuar said local leaders knew better about the best tourism products to offer to tourists, adding that active participation from local communities would benefit the local economy as well.
Similarly, he said the demand for semi-skilled and skilled workers in the tourism industry was good as the country targeted to receive 36 million tourists, bringing in RM168bil in tourism revenue by 2020.
Edzuar said Malaysia was facing stiff competition from other countries in the region, namely Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

“We have to work even harder to continue attracting foreign tourists to Malaysia and we have to be more innovative and creative to position the country as a leading tourist destination,” he said.

(The Star) Having an eye for prime locations

Hunza Properties Bhd is undertaking RM1bil worth of projects in strategic locations on the island and in Seberang Prai, where the value of properties has risen steadily for the past five to six years.
The projects now under construction are the RM600mil Alila 2 in Tanjung Bungah, and the RM400mil Mekarsari landed property project in Bertam.
Group managing director Datuk Khor Siang Gin said the group’s projects were always located in strategic or prime locations that would provide strong support for the values of properties.
In Bertam, where the group has recently launched the RM400mil Mekarsari project, the sub-sale price of a single-storey terraced house is now RM240,000 compared to about RM130,000 in 2010.
Khor said the value of properties in Bertam has appreciated because it is a growing township with key government offices, education institutions, a golf course, and an automotive hub in place.
In Tanjung Bungah, the first phase of the Alila condominiums with built-up areas between 1,350sq ft and 3,130sq ft is now selling for RM612 per sq ft (psf) compared to RM332psf in 2009, which is an increase of 84%.
Location is only one of the hallmarks of Hunza’s projects.
“Our group does not hold back spending to create green spaces.
“In Alila 2, for example, there is 1.2ha of untouched hill land, which has been allocated as open space for recreational activities within the development.
“We spent about RM12mil to landscape the project,” he said.
Like its other luxurious life-style projects on the island, Alila 2’s key selling point is low-density.
“There are only two blocks of condominiums with a total of 270 units. Alila 2, now over 40% sold, is scheduled for completion end of 2017,” Khor said.
For Mekarsari, Hunza is introducing the single-storey zero-lot bungalows for spacious living.
Zero-lot bungalows are built on the boundary line of the land, which are seamlessly connected to the external environment on three sides of the house.
“This unique design allows the owner to enjoy optimised views, great ventilation, natural lighting, and absolute privacy.
“The living and dining rooms are surrounded by mini-gardens, with huge windows and sliding doors to create a nature-inspired living environment and a comfortable, relaxing space for the whole family,” Khor added.
The first phase of Mekarsari, comprising 253 houses, offers an exciting mixture of single storey semi-detached houses and single storey zero-lot bungalows.
Hunza has sold more than 20% of the units for the first phase of Mekarsari.
Hunza is also working on its Penang International Commercial City (PICC) project in Bayan Baru.
“It will have a total development of 16 million sq ft.
“We will build, own, manage and lease out the commercial components of the project, such as the retail lots, hotels, hospital, offices and educational institutions.
“We have spent more than RM100mil this year to relocate and compensate 820 squatters to Bukit Nyaman in Bayan Lepas, a recently completed low-cost housing scheme of 690 units,” he adds.
Besides its property development business, Hunza is also deriving long-term recurring income from Gurney Paragon comprising a shopping mall, an office tower, and two towers of luxurious life-style condominiums.
“The Gurney Paragon is built around the restored St Joseph’s Novitiate, a heritage building converted into a unique cultural experience. Completed in 2013, it houses more than 200 tenants, with more than 50 international brands setting their first stores in Penang,” he says.
St Joseph’s Novitiate has won the 2013 Gold Award of Special Merit from The Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM), and from FIABCI Malaysia the Malaysia Property Award 2013 in the heritage category.
In 2014, the chapel was the World Silver Winner for FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Award 2014 in the heritage category.
Khor, who is FIABCI Penang chairman, recently received the D.SP.N. award, which carries the title Datuk, in conjunction with the 78th birthday of the Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas.
The award was given in recognition for Khor’s charitable and corporate social responsibility activities.
Hunza is also known for its luxurious life-style condominium project, Infinity in Tanjung Bungah.
Infinity signifies an important milestone in the group’s progress, as it ventured into high-end property development.
The Infinity project received from FIABCI Malaysia the Malaysia Property Award 2011 in the high-rise category.

It is also known for its Alila Homes and Alila Horizon projects in Tanjung Bungah, comprising landed and high-rise properties.

(The Star) Blooming interest in homes

Thousands thronged EcoWorld Gallery @ Eco Meadows in Simpang Ampat, Nibong Tebal, for its Eco Bloom official global launch in Penang.
Among them was businessman M. Venuganan, 54, who brought along his family to help select a unit for their new home.
“We live in nearby Jawi and when we heard about the project by EcoWorld, an established developer, we decided to check it out.
“As an entrepreneur, I immediately saw good prospect in theproject due to its location.
“The developer is known for its quality and value for money projects,” he said when met at the event on Sunday.
Venuganan, who was also delighted to meet his ‘future neighbours’, bought the 1,101sq ft condominium unit with three bedrooms under the Eco Bloom project by Eco World Development Group Berhad.
Present were EcoWorld executive director Datuk Voon Tin Yow, EcoWorld chief operating officer Datuk S. Sundarajoo and EcoWorld general manager(northern region) Khoo Teck Chong.
Voon said the response to all their projects had been tremendous and the company was going all out to market the different range of projects on offer.
“The great response from the public and buyers is an affirmation that our branding has done well.”
The 1.96ha freehold Eco Bloom mixed development project isan integrated high-rise commercial and residential developmentsituated within the 23.8ha Eco Meadows township.
It offers three different types of units with prices starting from RM388,000. The 33-storey condominium block with 490 units, which offers an unobstructed view of Simpang Ampat town, will have various facilities and the convenience of 23 shoplots situated below.

The launching in Simpang Ampat was done simultaneously with three other projects namely the Eco Grandeur and Eco Ardence in Klang Valley, Selangor, and Eco Business Park II in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

(The Star) More than just a myth-ical place Restaurant gets a makeover after a decade of good vibes

After 13 years of running a restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Yenni Law felt it was time for a change but she had one problem, she didn’t know where to start.
For more than a decade, she had been growing her restaurant, Boathouse, which had become a household name in the neighbourhood.
Having to constantly keep up with the times and the many cafes and restaurants mushrooming around the area wasn’t easy.
“When we started Boathouse, we had only one competitor,” said Law, adding her restaurant was the second food and beverage outlet to open for business on Lorong Rahim Kajai.
Since then, many others have jumped on the bandwagon, creating a livelier atmosphere in the residential area.
Together with her business partner Lene Shifra, the duo discussed what the future of Boathouse would be and what their dreams and ideas were.
“We talked about it one evening and I said let’s do it,” said Shifra, who quickly got the makeover going on both floors of the outlet.
Being a frequent customer at the restaurant for many years, Shifra knew just what the restaurant needed to give it the edge it lacked.
“Yenni was tasked with reorganising the menu for both food and drinks while I did everything else,” said the bubbly 37-year-old.
Law brings on the heat as she serves up the Steak on Fire.
Law brings on the heat as she serves up the Steak on Fire.
They had to come to terms with the fact that the restaurant would need a new name and agreed on Meatology, which was also the title of Law’s cookbook.
The upper floor, which used to be a dining area, was given a fresh look.
Shifra came up with the name Myth and added a bar, complete with high tables and electronic dart machines for the space.
“There was no club or bar playing good music here, most of the outlets were just restaurants so we thought why not give our customers something different,” said Shifra, adding that not many knew of their plans.
The outlet continued to stay open during the month-long renovations which ended in late August.
It was only then that the doors opened for business and their customers were surprised to find what they had been up to.
“Everyone was in awe when we revealed Meatology and Myth,” said Shifra, adding that she was thankful her customers loved it as much as she did.
Meatology retained the cosy and rustic look Boathouse was famed for with a few changes such as additional light features and furniture.
Newspaper and magazine clippings of Law’s love for food were hung on the walls around the dining area.
Law, who is a graduate of the Hotel and Catering Institutional Management Centre with more than 20 years of professional experience, made a quick stop at the kitchen to share with us some of the dishes customers could look forward to.
The new dishes, however, would not come from the pages of her recently launched cookbook.
Shifra (right) and Law bring together a love for food and drinks at both Meatology and Myth in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star
Shifra (right) and Law bring together a love for food and drinks at both Meatology and Myth in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star
“I will not be serving anything from my cookbook, so you will have to buy it and try them at home,” Law said.
The non-halal restaurant serves main dishes such as beef, lamb, fish and pork as well as pizza and pasta with a selection of vegetarian dishes too.
Overwhelmed by the array of choices, Law suggested I try two of their bestsellers: the Steak on Fire and Meatology Ribs, which clearly did not disappoint.
The Steak on Fire was flambéed with brandy in front of me.
“We want everyone to see how this dish is prepared,” said Law before moving on to torch the ribs with a shot of brandy too.
Another favourite, she said, was the Posh & Chips, which is prepared in a beer batter served with pork bacon and chips.
Do not worry if your friends choose to hang out at Myth, as you are still able to order dishes from Meatology.
Law also created the Myth cocktail together with six types of Tribal shots to go with tuak (Borneo rice wine).

On Friday nights, which is also the outlet’s ladies’ night, customers will be treated to retro and hip hop music from DJ Adrian G and Double D from 10pm onwards.

(The Star) Burgers with attitude

An entry on Facebook on a beef burger with peanut butter and jam among its ingredients, will either stop you in your tracks or encourage you to scroll on.
Peanut butter and jam? In a burger?
Well, this particular posting caught my attention and it was a matter of time before I would try it.
While some may frown at the thought of peanut butter and jam slapped on burger buns, the Fiddler’s Fiddle was not a contradiction of flavours.
With 70% beef chuck to 30% crispy streaky bacon, layered with grilled tomatoes and fresh onions, the burger is tasty.
Curiosity saw me removing the buns to locate the peanut butter and jam.
A thin film of peanut butter is slapped onto one side of the burger and jam on the other half.
The D’Legends Lamb Chilli Nachos is a great dish to have while waiting for your main course.
The D’Legends Lamb Chilli Nachos is a great dish to have while waiting for your main course.
The novel idea of incorporating peanut butter and jam into a savoury burger has been well received by customers, said Allan Fiddler, one of the partners at D’Legends Bar in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
The Fiddler’s Fiddle (RM23) is among six burgers on the Legend’s Burger list.
It shares the spotlight with interesting creations such as Legend’s Pork Burger, The Brida, The Professor, Hey! Maca...Rina and Dr. Susie Holistic.
If the names of these burgers sound odd, I learned that each is attributed to a partner in the business.
Shankar Santhiram, Dr Susanna Santhiram-Hofherr, Prof R. Santhiram, Friedrich Brida, Rina Z and Fiddler, once customers of D’Legends, loved the place so much that they decided to invest in the business when it was up for sale.
With new owners onboard came a new direction in taking the neighbourhood restobar to greater heights.
“We want D’Legends to be your destination three times a week as it is a neighbourhood bistro bar.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Rum & Raisin and Chocolate Brownie (right).
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Rum & Raisin and Chocolate Brownie (right).
“We do good beers and food, but we do not have an extensive wine list,” said Shankar, adding that D’Legends was named Gold Winner for Perfect Tiger Serve in the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards, GAB Excellence Awards 2014.
The partners knew they had to pay attention to what was being offered on the menu if they wanted the neighbours to pay a visit.
Affordable dining in Taman Tun, they figured, would sell and today, a majority of the dishes are priced between RM20 and RM30.
“We improved the menu but retained some of our popular dishes like the pork satay, chicken tikka and pork belly rendang, which was previously wild boarrendang,” said Fiddler.
“We also changed the lights and type of music played. We play classic rock songs from the 1970s and 1980s.”
Interestingly, there are now more pork dishes like the Legend’s Pork Pizza (RM30), Bacon Overload Fried Rice (RM20) and the German Sausage Fest (RM40) platter.
The restaurant presents lunch specials to cater to families dining out on weekends.
Fiddler (left) and Shankar tucking in to some popular favourites at their restaurant.
Fiddler (left) and Shankar tucking in to some popular favourites at their restaurant.
The Saturday special is the lamb briyani and fish head curry is served on Sunday.
Shankar observed that customers were divided into the after-work crowd, dinner crowd and late night snackers.
“We have people who finish work and come by for a drink or two at 5.15pm, the dinner crowd walks in between 7.30pm and 8pm and then, we have those who come in for drinks and bites after 10pm,” said Shankar.
While kitchens shut operations at 10.30pm in other restaurants, here at D’Legends the cooks get busy concocting a snack, offered as samples to diners after 11pm.
Shankar said the menu was revamped every four months and each week, customers could look forward to a weekly special.
In this pet-friendly bar, the owners have demarcated an area for dogs while their owners unwind indoors.
The Fiddler’s Fiddle is made with freshly ground beef chuck for the patty and aged cheddar, caramelised onions, gherkins and homemade garlic aioli and mustard.
The Fiddler’s Fiddle is made with freshly ground beef chuck for the patty and aged cheddar, caramelised onions, gherkins and homemade garlic aioli and mustard.
D’Legends is looking forward to welcoming Austrian chef Markus Fasser from the Golfino Terrace Restaurant in Zugspitz Arena, Tyrol in Austria, from Nov 29 to Dec 3.
Fasser will present a traditional Austrian fare of Paprika Schnitzel, Zwiebelrostbraten, Schweinsbraten, Rindsrouladen, Tiroler Grostl and Kaiserschmarrn and Linzer Torte.
D’LEGENDS Bar, 24, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-7733 6270) Business hours: 3.30pm to 12.30am (Monday to Friday), 11.30am to 12.30am (Saturday and Sunday). Non-halal.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

(The Star) New monthly parking system to benefit motorists with multiple vehicles

Motorists in Klang will be able to use their monthly parking stickers on any of their vehicles starting tomorrow.
Council president Datuk Mohd Yazid Bidin said the new monthly parking coupon would be more beneficial to residents compared to the existing system.
Currently, Mohd Yazid said motorists could only use the monthly parking coupon for one vehicle because the stickers would have the vehicle numbers printed on them.
It was an offence to use the same sticker on another vehicle, he added.
“However, we have done away with the old system so that motorists can use the same coupon on other vehicles.
“This way, a motorist who has more than one car is only required to buy one monthly coupon instead of one for every vehicle,” he said at the full board meeting on Wednesday.
Mohd Yazid said the move was aimed at cutting down red tape and reduce the burden on the residents.
Although the move could affect the council’s parking revenue, he said, the council was bent on providing efficient service to ratepayers.
Mohd Yazid also said the monthly coupon, which was priced at RM80, had a security chip in it.
With the embedded chip, he said, the council’s enforcement team would be able to detect fake coupons by using a scanner.

“I believe motorists will be able to benefit from the introduction of the new system,” he said.

(The Star) Part of SUKE project given go-ahead

A stretch of the controversial Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE) project has been given the green light by Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).
Council president Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain said approval had been granted to project developer Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas) last month.
“Approval will be given in stages, as the project covers a wide area. The first approval has been granted for works in Lembah Maju,” he said after yesterday’s full board meeting.
However, he could not say when construction would commence as the developer had not submitted an execution notice.
Abdul Hamid added that the developer also had several documents to submit before the necessary approvals for the other stretches could be granted.
The SUKE project had drawn protests from residents after it was made known that hundreds of private homes would have to be forcefully acquired to make way for the highway.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition objecting to the degazettement of 29.982ha of the Sungai Puteh Forest Reserve in Ampang for the project.

SUKE is a 31.8km three-lane expressway that will commence at Sri Petaling and pass through Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Permai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai Jaya, Taman Dagang Permai, Taman Kosas, Ampang and Taman Hillview before exiting at Ulu Kelang.

(The Star) The end of Desa Water Park

Today is Desa Water Park’s final day. The family theme park in Taman Danau Desa, Jalan Kelang Lama in Kuala Lumpur, will close its doors after 16 years of entertaining more than four million visitors from all over the country.
The family-favourite Thunderbolt, one of Asia’s longest uphill water coaster, will come to a permanent halt after today.
The wave pool – a children’s delight – and the surf shack, a tropical-themed structure featuring multi-level platforms integrated with pipes, vales, pulleys, buckets and waterslides – will fall silent.
Land sold to highest bidder
Now the question is what will it be replaced with?
According to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), who had owned the 16.99ha land that hosted the theme park and a restaurant, a mixed development consisting of high-end bungalows, multi-storey towers and condominiums as well Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip) scheme will be built on the land. The site is next to the Desa Lake.
“DBKL has sold it (the land) to the highest bidder,” said Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.
Desa Water Park will close its doors after 16 years of receiving more than four million visitors.
While the mayor did not share any other details pertaining to the project, StarMetrolearnt that it was an outright sale and DBKL would not have any further ties to the land.
“It was sold on condition that the developer agreed to build affordable homes at the site,” said a DBKL source.
It is also learnt that Berjaya Corp, which operated the Desa Water Park and rented out one of the buildings to the management of the Dragon Hut Restaurant, were given notice to vacate the premises by Sept 30 byDBKL.
DBKL had leased the land to Berjaya Corp. When contacted, a staff from the Berjaya Corp corporate communication department said they were no longer associated with Desa Water Park and hence did not want to comment further.
London’s River Thames cruise?
StarMetro managed to contact the new owners of the land, Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, who confirmed that they had recently acquired the land from DBKL.
The water park and its surrounding area that has been earmarked for the mixed development. — Photos: IZZRAFIQ ALI AS and SHAFWAN ZAIDON/The Star
“Yes, we acquired the land about two months ago. Our plans for the area is still at the design and planning stage,” said executive director Michael Chai.
“It is going to be a mixed development with a gross development value of RM6bil to RM7bil.
“We are certainly taking into account the need for affordable homes, as well as leveraging on the lake area,” he said.
“We appreciate the fact that Desa Water Park has been an iconic establishment in this area for many years.
“Which is why we are planning something to give back to the community,” he added.
When asked to elaborate on the plans, Chai said: “Well, we have been visiting London’s River Thames and we have something in mind along those lines.
The schoolchildren spending about four to five hours splashing about in the water park.
“All I can say for now is that it is going to be special for the community as a whole.”
Of late, DBKL has been selling off its prime land in the city.
Two years ago, DBKL sold a huge chunk of its land in Jalan Air Jerneh in Setapak, for a mixed development project.
In 2014, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai highlighted that DBKL had been disposing prime plots through joint venture deals that were not benefitting city folk.
He said the deals were not made through open tender and there were existing facilities on the land.
Tan cited the velodrome in Cheras, DBKL’s Health, Engineering and Mechanical departments in Jalan Cheras and another plot in Jalan Pinang as examples.

He said other plots of land had been sold recently in similar fashion.

(The Star) Infrastructure projects to lift Gamuda share price

PETALING JAYA: Large-scale infrastructure projects and sale of water infrastructure assets will help support construction firm Gamuda Bhd’s share price, says CIMB Research.
The research house said the company has eyed some RM3bil to RM4bil worth of infrastructure projects over the next 13 months. CIMB Research has raised the company’s target price to RM5.97 from RM5.92, an upside of 21.8% from its last traded price of RM4.90.
It said the target price was raised as the valuation was rolled over to end-2017 still pegged to a 10% realised net asset value discount.
“We continue to like Gamuda for its earnings turnaround in FY17F and exposure to large-scale rail projects.
“It remains our sector top pick. Downside risk is delay in job rollouts but this is outweighed by the revival of job wins, sale of water asset and the likely recovery in foreign shareholding (currently at a low of 22%),” it said in a report.
The research house said the core net profit for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2016 (FY16) was 3% above its and 2% ahead of market consensus forecasts.
The overall results were broadly in line. The 8.3% decline in core net profit was largely expected, given the tail-end recognition of MRT 1 earnings and lower property development margins.
FY16 marked an inflection point where new MRT 2 earnings on the back of an all-time high order book of RM9bil began to flow into FY17.
“Potential larger-value construction wins was the main positive surprise from Gamuda’s results briefing.
“Over the next 12 months, management targets to secure RM3bil to RM4bil worth of infrastructure projects.
“These could come from LRT 3, subcontract works for the Gemas-JB double-tracking rail project, and Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah. The new guidance puts the value of each targeted package at RM1bil,” it said.
CIMB Research said with the award phase of MRT 2 underway, MRT Corp has targeted the submission of the feasibility studies for MRT 3 (the last component of the Klang Valley MRT) by end-2016.
As MRT 3 would likely be largely underground and the most tunnel-intensive, the potential contract value could be substantially higher than the RM15.5bil underground scope for MRT 2 given the higher cost/km.
Gamuda has so far secured underground packages from MRT 1 and MRT 2 via the MMC-Gamuda JV (50:50).
“Gamuda is positioning to tender for the RM30bil to RM40bil KL-Singapore high-speed rail project now that the project has better tender time visibility, that is end-2017.
“Management highlighted that a project of this size and scale fits into the company’s expertise and track record.
“At this juncture, it only targets to tender for the civil works but remains open to the possibility of taking on a bigger role in the project.
“However, this would depend on the final project structure.
“Updates on the sale of 40%-owned Splash support our view that this angle could be revived in the fourth quarter.
“Press reports highlighted that an agreement to resolve the long-drawn valuation issue is in the works, in time to meet the Oct 6 deadline (next week).
“Splash’s current book value is RM2.8bil. We believe that the eventual offer price should be closer to, if not on par with, one time price to book value (P/BV).

“The last rejected offer was at 0.1 time P/BV,” it said.