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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gefung mulls Mideast listing

SECOND Board's Gefung Holdings Bhd is thinking of a dual listing in the Middle East within the next five years, to help raise cash for its international expansion.

Chief financial officer Chan Ying Wei said this would be a strategic move for the company to capitalise on the robust economic growth taking place in the Gulf and Arab countries, which is estimated to grow 10-15 per cent annually.

He said the listing plan would also increase the company's profile and enable it to secure more projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

"These are some of the long-term plans we have in the pipeline. Nevertheless, it is still at preliminary stage. We are also looking at other options to raise cash for our future expansion, including raising capital from the debt market," he told reporters after Gefung's extraordinary general meeting in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

On current overseas ventures, chief executive officer Jeffrey Seo said Gefung is optimistic of clinching a RM50 million deal to supply marbles for a luxury property project in Abu Dhabi.

He said this is because it is the only company that can supply the type of marble required by the developer. "Unless they decide to use other types of marbles, we are confident of being able to secure the deal," he added.

Meanwhile, the company has obtained the nod from its shareholders to set up a joint-venture company in the Middle East with Saudi-based partner Tawjeeh Services and Commercial Investments Ltd.

Gefung will hold 50.01 per cent in the venture and will also buy all of Montana Madencilik Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret Ltd (Montana) from Syarikat Bukit Granite Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gefung.

Montana, which is based in Turkey, was bought by Gefung in July last year and it has the 30-year extraction right of a marble quarry in Turkey.

With the new joint venture, the two parties will set up another similar factory in Turkey, three times bigger on an 80ha site, with an estimated investment of between US$7 million and US$8 million ((RM22.05 million and RM25.2 million).

By New Straits Times (by Anna Maria Samsudin)

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