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Saturday April 27, 2013

WCT to build two more shopping complexes

Goh (left): ‘If the land is good, we are always prepared to look at it.’ Beside him is
Ahmad Sufian. Goh (left): ‘If the land is good, we are always prepared to look at it.’ Beside him is Ahmad Sufian.

KLANG: Property and construction player WCT Bhd is going big on malls with the addition of another two malls in Overseas Union Garden (OUG), Kuala Lumpur, and Kemayan City, Johor to its portfolio in a bid for growth.

Chairman Datuk Ahmad Sufian said there were plans in the pipeline for more developments such as Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya.

Kemayan City is a 10-year abandoned project, which WCT plans to rebuild and include as part of its shopping mall extension. The company bought Kemayan City in Kulai for RM180mil after going through an aggressive tender and is in the midst of cleaning up and conducting engineering tests on the existing structures there.

He expects to commence physical works by year-end, and for it to be completed in two-to-three years' time. The mall has a gross development value (GDV) of RM1bil, and will include a hotel.

The company has three existing operational malls: Paradigm Mall, the Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre in Klang and the soon-to-be-opened Gateway@Klia2.

Meanwhile, the OUG development has been planned as a mixed development with a GDV of RM4bil, which includes a shopping mall, set over 24.28ha.

Ahmad Sufian said at a press conference after the company's extraordinary general meeting that it was continually looking to expand its landbank.

“If the land is good, we are always prepared to look at it,” added deputy managing director Goh Chin Liong.

Its current landbank stands at 414.39ha, including its ongoing developments that are mainly situated in the Klang Valley, the Iskandar region as well as Kulai.

Last year, the company bought 189.39ha in Sungai Buaya, Rawang, to develop a mixed-development township with a GDV of RM1.5bil, which Goh hopes to start works next year.

WCT's current total GDV stands at RM10bil.

Moving forward, Goh expects the group's engineering and construction division to contribute about 45% to group bottomline by 2016. Meanwhile, the property development division is expected to contribute 30% while the remainder 25% will come from its property investment and management division.

In terms of its business in the Middle East, Goh said the group was still tendering for projects in Qatar and for some follow-up projects in Oman.

Earlier in April, WCT had announced that Oman had terminated the RM1bil Batinah Expressway-Package 2 project. On Aug 16 last year, the company announced that its 80:20 joint venture had received a letter from the ministry on the acceptance of its tender for the construction and completion of the highway.

Goh, however, said he was unfazed by the termination of the project, as it was quite a normal practice in the Middle East. While this is a business risk that WCT has to assume, Ahmad Sufian noted that the company had completed some successful projects in the region, including the Bahrain City Centre, the Bahrain F1 and Abu Dhabi F1 circuits and some highways.

“We were informed that they would likely re-tender it,” Goh said in regards to the Oman tender that was pulled back.

He added that the company would most likely re-submit a bid for the highway.

WCT has an outstanding orderbook of RM2.5bil, of which RM1bil is in the Middle East.

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