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Friday, November 9, 2007

IJM awarded India turnkey contract

IJM (India) Infrastructure Ltd (IJMII) has been awarded a turnkey contract by Reatox Builders & Developers Pvt Ltd (RBD) to build 11 blocks of high rise residential and commercial development in Nagpur, Maharashtra, for an estimated contract sum of RM555 million. Phase 1 will cost about RM295 million and the development period is 27 months, while Phase 2 costs about RM260 million. IJMII is a 97.3 per cent subsidiary of IJMII (Mauritius) Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IJM Investments (M) Ltd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IJM Corp Bhd.

By New Straits Times

Hektar REIT: RM18m gross revenue for Q3

HEKTAR Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has reported gross revenue of RM18.33 million and net property income of RM11.74 million for its third quarter ended September 30 2007.

Hektar REIT, managed by Hektar Asset Management Sdn Bhd, reported earnings per unit of 2.78 sen, 25.3 per cent higher than the earnings forecast when the REIT was launched in December last year.

Year-to-date performance for Hektar REIT for the 10-month period showed earnings reaching 8.95 sen per unit, up 20.8 per cent over prospectus budget, the company said in a statement.

Hektar Asset Management's chief executive officer Datuk Jaafar Abdul Hamid said Hektar REIT plans to distribute to unitholders 9.6 sen for the 13-month period ending 2007 or 90 per cent of actual earnings, whichever is higher.

On the intermediate outlook, Jaafar said: "We continue to make progress on our growth strategy in terms of organic growth within our portfolio, third-party acquisitions and Hektar Group's greenfield and redevelopment projects."

By Bernama

F&N: Revenue will easily exceed RM3b

FRASER & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) expects revenue to easily exceed the RM3 billion mark this fiscal year, helped by growth at home and in new markets like Indochina and the Middle East, an official said.

Tan: F&N has no immediate plans to raise prices

The group — which is involved in the soft drink, dairy product, glass packaging and property businesses — bought some food/drink-related businesses from Nestle in February, giving it a reach to regional markets.

Prior to the purchase, it had focused predominantly on Malaysia.

“Revenue should easily surpass RM3 billion this year,” chief executive officer Tan Ang Meng said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Revenue in the last fiscal year ended September 30 2007 stood at RM2.86 billion — the first time it exceeded the RM2 billion mark and the seventh straight year of record revenues.

Net profit, at RM153 million, was seven per cent above the previous year, and slightly above a RM148 million consensus.

Aseambankers Research senior analyst Khair Mirza maintained his ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock and sees net profit at RM189.8 million this year, and RM222.6 million in the following year.

“We continue to see deep regional growth potential for its dairy products and glass divisions, in spite of the run-up in raw material prices,” he said.

Sales of dairy products to Indochina could skyrocket from the 2009 fiscal year, he noted.

He has a target price of RM10 on the stock, which suggests an almost 30 per cent upside from its last traded price of RM7.70.

Rising raw material prices — such as that for solid milk powder which has more than doubled from a year ago — have resulted in the group bearing additional cost of over RM100 million, but it has no plans for now to pass these on to consumers, Tan said.

F&N’s margins, he explained, were small compared to other businesses and as such it needs to be able to sell products in large volumes to make good profits.

“We are conscious of the fact that we have to pass on cost to consumers, but at the same time, we also do not want to have a reduction in volume. So we have to do a balancing act (and) for now, we have no immediate plans to raise the price of our products,” he said.

He however believes consumers will have to brace themselves for higher food prices, in general, because of the way commodity prices have been escalating.

“I believe food prices will continue to rise in the next 12 months. That’s something unavoidable…there’s no way prices will go down,” he remarked.

F&N raised the price of condensed milk twice in the last fiscal year by 20 sen each time and the price of soft drinks by 10 sen per can.

Meanwhile, Tan said the group doesn’t discount the possibility of making further acquisitions should the opportunity arise.

On the property front, the group aims to free up a plant site in Section 13 of Petaling Jaya, covering 5.2ha, for commercial development in 2010.

Asean best choice for SMEs to start exporting

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) considers Asean as the best choice for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which intend to start exporting.

Chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said SMEs should not to be too ambitious and should try to explore the markets within the region first.

“This is because geographically it is closer, which means cheaper shipment cost for them and lower travelling cost to meet potential clients,” he told StarBiz.

“Secondly, the culture of doing business is similar with Malaysia’s although our language and culture might be different.

Datuk Noharuddin Nordin
“Finally, we also have the privilege of the Asean Free Trade Area whereby we get preferential access to these markets.”

As the national export promotion agency, he said Matrade would plan various programmes and activities to assist local companies, particularly SMEs, a year ahead to venture into the world markets.

“This is in line with the objective to assist those which are keen to globalise their business operations systematically,” he said, adding that it would also try to identify potential overseas markets for local companies.

Noharuddin said Matrade would next year organise 224 programmes and activities, such as international trade fairs, marketing missions, specialised marketing missions (exhibitions to promote Malaysian services), trade promotion visits and incoming buying missions (exhibitions in Malaysia).

He said so far in 2007, more than 3,500 SMEs had benefited from various Matrade programmes. From January to October, Matrade had organised 30 training programmes for Malaysian exporters and would-be exporters. A total of 2,490 participants from 1,856 companies attended.

By The Star (By

Mulpha Land still in the red

KUALA LUMPUR: Mulpha Land Bhd posted a net loss of RM90,000 for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2007, compared with a net profit of RM450,000 a year earlier despite a 30% rise in revenue to RM3.86 million from RM2.95 million.Earning per share was 0.15 sen.

The property firm attributed the losses mainly to lower contribution from Bukit Puchor Sdn Bhd which it acquired in July 2006.

For the nine months, net profit fell 67% to RM81,000 from RM247,000 a year earlier despite its revenue more than doubled to RM10.18 million.

It said the performance for 4Q07 was expected to be satisfactory.


UOA REIT to sell UOA Bangsar for RM32m

KUALA LUMPUR: UOA Real Estate Investment Trust (UOA REIT) is selling Wisma UOA Bangsar to Makmal Capital Sdn Bhd for RM32 million cash, the REIT’s first property disposal since its inception.

UOA REIT’s manager, UOA Asset Management Sdn Bhd said the consideration represented a RM10.35 million or 48% profit over the property’s net book value (NBV) of RM21.65 million as at June 30, 2007.

The disposal came just a day after UOA REIT announced plans to buy Wisma UOA Pantai from UOA Holdings Sdn Bhd Magna Tiara Development Sdn Bhd, a sister company of UOA Asset Management, for RM86 million.

As at June 16, 2006, UOA Bangsar was fully occupied. Its three tenants were Volkswagen Group Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Petra Equities Sdn Bhd and Apertio Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd.


IJM gets RM555m township contract in India

KUALA LUMPUR: IJM Corporation Bhd subsidiary IJM (India) Infrastructure Ltd (IJMII) has been awarded a turnkey contract by Reatox Builders & Developers Pvt Ltd (RBD), India to undertake a township development of First City at Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, for a total of Rs658 Crores (RM555 million).

In a statement on Wednesday, IJM said the contract involved the design, construction and marketing of a total of 11 blocks of high-rise residential and commercial units of about 3.3 million sq feet on 31 acres of land.

It said phase 1 of the contract was estimated at Rs350 Crores and the development period was 27 months, while phase 2 comprised 1.8 million sq feet and the contract was estimated at Rs308 Crores.


Hektar REIT 3Q profit at RM8.9m

KUALA LUMPUR: Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which is in the midst of looking into several acquisitions, reported a net profit of RM8.9 million and a turnover of RM18.3 million for the 10 months of the current financial year to Sept 30, 2007.

Earnings per share was 2.78 sen. It has declared an interim income distribution of 2.4 sen to be paid on Nov 30, bringing the total amount paid so far to 7.2 sen.

For the nine-month period, net profit was RM28.6 million on a turnover of RM60 million, it announced yesterday.

It said actual revenue for the 10-month period exceeded the forecast by 5% while actual expenses were capped within forecast.

The trust expected to achieve satisfactory performance for FY07 as it had formulated a three-pronged strategy in yield-accretive acquisition, active leasing and asset enhancement strategies to achieve it.

It said: “The manager is undertaking due-diligence exercises on several shopping centres for the purpose of acquisition ... (and) will make the relevant announcements in due course.”

By The EDGE (By )

10 finalists to compete for Franchise awards

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA) has short-listed 10 finalists from an initial 50 companies for 17 awards to be conferred during the Franchise Award 2007, themed “Franchise Makes Sense” on Monday (Nov 12) at Berjaya Times Square Hotel & Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

They are Avon Cosmetics (M) Sdn Bhd, Daily Fresh Foods Sdn Bhd, Focus Point Management Sdn Bhd, HC Duraclean Sdn Bhd, Mib Trading Sdn Bhd, MBE Business Corporation Sdn Bhd, Ideal Malaysian Support Sdn Bhd, Saba Islamic Media Sdn Bhd, Secret Recipe Cakes & Cafe Sdn Bhd and Smart Reader Worldwide Sdn Bhd.

MFA's secretary general Hasma Ahmad said nine of the 17 awards would not be contested as they would be awarded to selected individuals.

Event sponsors are Secret Recipe Cakes and Cafe Sdn Bhd, Berjaya Corporation Bhd and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would give away the awards. Also attending the event is Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Meanwhile, Hasma said 37 new companies have registered with the Registrar of Franchise (ROF) in the first nine months of this year.

She said a total number of 321 franchise systems were registered in Malaysia in which 205 were local franchisers and the rest foreign.

By The EDGE (By )

Matrade to showcase Malaysia's service sector in UAE

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Services Exhibition 2008 (MSE 2008) in Sharjah, United Arab Emirate, is set to serve as a platform for Malaysian service industry to promote the capabilities and expertise globally.

The inaugural event, to be held from Jan 13 to Jan 15 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, would promote 12 services clusters including construction, engineering, architect, oil and gas, healthcare, education, ICT, franchise, transportation and logistics, telecommunications and utilities.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) product and services development division senior director Susila Devi said its latest initiative would help promote Malaysia’s services sector in view of the vast opportunities in West Asia, Central Asia and North Africa.

Those markets, especially the Middle East’s was still not fully tapped. “Probably about 10%-12% of our exports are going there. We need to grow that figure. They have potential for products and services,” she added.

“Services are intangible. We have got to convince the client that we have capabilities to undertake services by showing what projects you have undertaken and also the strength of your company.

“When we do it collectively, the impact is visible. We are bringing the best people together to promote services,” said Susila, adding that Matrade was working closely with the various professional services associations on this event.

MSE 2008, which would include forums and round table discussions, would also be an excellent avenue for Malaysian services providers to network and forge strategic alliances with potential clients or partners in those rapidly expanding geographic area.

This annual event would be held in different cities in the West Asian region.

By The EDGE (By )

BLand buys 5-star Vietnam hotel for RM253.5m

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is acquiring TPC Development Ltd (TPC), which has a 75% stake in a new five-star hotel in Vietnam, from Tradewinds Corporation Bhd for a total US$75 million (RM253.5 million) cash.

The consideration sum comprises US$25 million in equity interest and another US$50 million in the settlement of inter-company and shareholder debt owing to Tradewinds subsidiary Tradewinds Resources Sdn Bhd (TRSB).

In separate statements on Wednesday, the two companies said TRSB and BLand subsidiary Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd had signed a sale and purchase agreement for the proposed transaction.

TPC has a 75% stake in TPC Nghi Tam Village Ltd, which owns the five-star Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel that is expected to be launched in the first quarter next year.

On the rationale for the acquisition, BLand said Vietnam’s gross domestic product had been growing above 7% for the past few years.

“Due to the rapid economic growth and influx of tourists into Vietnam, major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are experiencing a shortage of five-star international hotels. The proposed acquisition represents a rare opportunity for the Berjaya group to acquire a newly completed five-star international hotel at a prime location close to Hanoi city centre,” it added.

The proposed acquisition will be funded mainly from borrowings and internally generated funds of BLand and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

Meanwhile, Tradewinds Corp said its net gearing would improve to 1.5 times from 1.81 times based on its audited financial statements for the year ended Dec 31, 2006. The proceeds would be used to repay the group’s bank borrowings of RM150 million and for working capital purposes of RM103.5 million.

Tradewind Corp said TRSB’s original cost of investment in TPC Development was RM30.7 million.

By The EDGE (By