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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Naim plans eyeing major infrastructure and property projects in Sarawak

KUCHING: Construction company Naim Holdings Bhd is eyeing major infrastructure and property development projects in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Senior vice-president/director Ahmad Abu Bakar said Naim was in talks with state agencies and other interested parties on several development proposals within SCORE.

“However, discussions are still at the preliminary stage,” he told StarBiz.

SCORE will be driven by the development of Sarawak’s abundant hydro and coal resources to generate electricity to power energy-intensive industries, like alunimium smelters, to be set up with the regional economic development belt.

Sarawak is now building the proposed Murum dam – which could generate about 900MW - in the upper Rejang Basin in central Sarawak. Murum is located upstream of the on-going Bakun hydroelectric dam project capable of generating up to 2,400MW.

Several other hydro dam projects have also been planned in the upper reaches of the Rejang River.

To provide accessibility to these proposed dam sites, Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh said recently that six major road projects, with a combined length of 403km, within SCORE would be built.

The design for the access road from Jalan Bakun extended to Murum has been completed while other proposed access roads are still being designed.

Meanwhile, Naim was close to securing two road projects worth RM250mil in Sarawak, said Ahmad. The projects are funded by the federal government under the stimulus package.

He said Naim had an outstanding net order book of RM2.5bil that could keep the group busy in the next five years.

Its ongoing projects include a RM630mil contract from Syarikat Perumahan Negara Sdn Bhd to build some 5,000 residential homes in Kuching, Samarahan and Miri divisions, the RM310mil Bengoh dam near here, RM150mil phase one, Kuching flood mitigation project in Matang (the entire project is estimated to cost RM1.6bil), a RM188mil road project in Sibu and the proposed RM90mil Sarawak Islamic Centre project here.

Ahmad said Naim sold 633 houses and shophouses worth RM165mil last year. For the 2009 first quarter, it raked in some RM26mil from the sales of 103 such properties.

“Our target this year is to sell 800 units, 80% of them residential homes. Unsold houses (mostly high end), commerical units and detached lots are worth about RM20mil,’’ he said, adding that the company was carrying out various promotion activities to attract buyers.

Ahmad said Naim would save at least RM5mil this year through a series of cost-cutting measures introduced last year.

Naim posted a group net profit of RM83mil on a turnover of RM524mil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2008 compared with RM80mil and RM646mil respectively in 2007.

For the first quarter ended March 31, Naim chalked up a group net profit of RM17mil on revenue of RM95mil.

Naim’s 36%-owned Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd contributed RM22mil in net profit to the group last year.

By The Star (by Jack Wong)

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