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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

(The Edge) Ekovest bags RM6.32b highway construction job

New project, which is divided into three sections, covers 75.2km

KUALA LUMPUR: Ekovest Bhd received “principle approval” from the government yesterday for another major highway construction job worth RM6.32 billion.

The company said the privatised expressway, which is divided into three sections named Kampung Baru Link, Istana Link and Kapar Link, involves a total length of 75.2km.

Ekovest is currently constructing the Sri Damansara Link and Tun Razak Link under Phase 2 of its Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE).

The company has also signed a concession agreement with Putrajaya to construct the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway, originally called DUKE Phase 3.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Ekovest said the government issued principle approval for the latest project to its subsidiary Lebuhraya DUKE Fasa 2A Sdn Bhd (LDF2A).

“The proposed project is expected to provide vital connectivity and direct linkage for movements in and around Kuala Lumpur City Centre and completes the missing link for seamless travelling in and out of Greater Kuala Lumpur and [the] Klang Valley,” it said, without providing specific details of the routes.

Ekovest said the project is subject to further negotiation between the parties, and that the principle approval is not binding until the relevant agreement between LDF2A and the government is executed.

It added that the project is expected to be funded by internally generated funds, borrowings and other fundraising exercises.

Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo is the single largest shareholder of Ekovest with a 32.38% stake. Lim also owns a 40% stake in Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH), in which Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd owns the other 60%.

A consortium comprising IWH and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd owns a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which is undertaking the Bandar Malaysia project.

The project includes an integrated transport hub project comprising the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail, the mass rapid transit, the KTM Komuter and the Express Rail Link.

Ekovest has recently raised financing for the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway project via an RM3.64 billion sukuk wakalah issue. This is Malaysia’s largest sukuk issue for a greenfield toll-road project.

In another development, the Employees Provident Fund signed a deal last September to buy a 40% stake in DUKE’s concessionaire, Konsortium Lebuhraya Utara-Timur (KL) Sdn Bhd, for RM1.13 billion.

Ekovest’s share price closed nine sen or 3.7% higher at RM2.52 yesterday, giving the company a market capitalisation of RM2.16 billion.