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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Putrajaya Perdana sees UAE as springboard

CONSTRUCTION company Putrajaya Perdana Bhd (PPB) is hopeful that its branch in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will open soon, after which plans to go big in the Gulf state can easily take off, its chief said yesterday.

Chief executive officer Wie Hock Kiong said PPB will make UAE its first overseas venture, taking advantage of the company being controlled by shareholders from Abu Dhabi.

According to PPB's latest annual report, the firm is "prospecting some potential projects in Abu Dhabi" such as the US$27 billion (RM85 billion) mixed commercial, residential and leisure Saadiyat Island development.

It is also eyeing an environment-friendly city known as Masdar City, and said "the securing of work" in the city will put the group on the global stage of energy-efficient technology.

Locally, PPB is already one of the few players in the construction of energy-efficient buildings. Wie said it will continue to play a significant role in this area.

"Naturally, we want to have a big presence in Abu Dhabi and we expect our few major projects this year will come from Abu Dhabi and Iskandar Malaysia (Iskandar)," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur after PPB's annual general meeting yesterday.

Meanwhile, chairman Krishnan Menon said PPB has tendered for some RM2 billion of local projects, excluding the ones in Iskandar, and it hopes to have an order book of RM3 billion this year.

MENON: Putrajaya Perdana has tendered for some RM2 billion of local projects

"We currently have an order book of RM2.2 billion and the outstanding projects are worth RM1.1 billion," he said.

Menon said despite PPB's optimism of its business this year, it is still cautious of the uncertainty in the raw material prices, especially steel bars and cement.

PPB for the nine-month period ended December 2007 registered a net profit of RM30 million against a revenue of RM336.1 million. (The group changed its financial year from March to December last year).

By New Straits Times (by Roziana Hamsawi)

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