Government to ask for PFI project proposals


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 26 Jul 2006

tsemin@thestar.com.my 

PETALING JAYA: The Government will soon call for requests for proposals (RFPs) for private financing initiatives (PFI) projects, sources said. 

The RFPs, to be called possibly next month, were expected to include broad parameters for packaged criteria such as the project cost, model and design, the sources told StarBiz. 

It is believed the Government is likely to view the proposed projects in terms of the best possible scheme, and the amount put up and sum to be funded by the private sector. 

KTM projects worth about RM2.4bil are among the PFI jobs set to be rolled out as part of the Ninth Malaysia Plan

Avenue Securities analyst Kamarulzaman Hassan said that big construction players such as Gamuda Bhd, Road Builder (M) Holdings Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Ranhill Bhd and Sunway Holdings Incorporated Bhd were likely to gain most from the PFI scheme. 

“The PFIs would certainly stretch Malaysian contractors' balance sheets. A decent-sized PFI project of RM1bil could easily push big contractors' gearing to more than 100%,” he added. 

The head of research at a local brokerage believes the Government would be “very selective in terms of the use of available funds in the country, both from the Employees Provident Fund and other pension funds, as well as from private banks''. 

“Clearly, they (the proposals) would have to be for the designated areas in the northern, southern and eastern corridors. 

“Anything outside the scope of the Government's development plan would not be viewed that positively,” the head of research said. 

The research head concurred with Avenue's Kamarulzaman that the bigger contractors who had the capital clout and expertise stood to gain from such projects. 

Hwang-DBS Vickers Research said about half the projects already announced under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) fell under the PFI scheme, of which almost all were building projects. 

According to Hwang's report, 357 of the PFI projects are for the Education Ministry, 24 for the Internal Security Ministry, 17 for the Defence Ministry, and a smaller number for the Home Affairs Ministry, Information Ministry, Human Resources Ministry; Culture, Arts and Heritage ministry; Transport Ministry, Works Ministry, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, the Treasury and the Prime Minister's Department. 

TSR Capital Bhd is one company to have recently announced its participation in a PFI project. 

“We are certainly keen to participate in PFI projects,” TSR Capital managing director Tengku Datuk Mustapha Tengku Mohamed said when contacted by StarBiz

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia last week, TSR Capital said it had received a letter from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), which had agreed in principle on the development of a proposed 660-acre Medical City in Sepang funded through PFI. 

Avenue's Kamarulzaman said some of the projects to be rolled out as part of the Government's 9MP allocation of RM50bil that might fall under PFIs included the Penang Monorail estimated to be worth RM1.1bil, KTM projects worth RM2.4bil, New North Klang Valley Expressway (RM1bil) and KL-Johor Bullet Train (RM8bil). 

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