Paramount confident of selling Jerneh Insurance stake

PETALING JAYA: Paramount Corp Bhd’s proposal to dispose of its 20% stake in Jerneh Insurance Bhd to an insurance company is a done deal.

“We are happy that it is in the process of being sold. Apart from unlocking value, we can now focus on our core business of property and education,” said executive deputy chairman Datuk Teo Chiang Quan (pic) after the company’s AGM.

He declined to reveal the value of the disposal and said it was still premature to discuss how the company would utilise the proceeds.

However, Teo said the company was taking note of shareholders’ suggestions of giving out a special dividend in light of the disposal. Paramount and Jerneh Asia Bhd have submitted an application to Bank Negara for approval to enter into an agreement with the potential buyer for their 20% and 80% stake respectively.

On the property side, Paramount is looking for more landbank in the Klang Valley.

“We still plan to build residential houses. Our cash of RM200mil in our balance sheet gives us ample war chest to grab opportunities. Over the years, we’ve had many repeat buyers, some even spanning over 3 generations,” said Teo.

Presently, Paramount’s three main property projects are Kemuning Utama, Bandar Laguna Merbok and Surian Industrial Park. with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM1.8bil.

“While these development projects are at their tailend, it still has 3 to 5 more years to go. We also have four new pieces of landbank to sustain orderbook moving forward,” said Paramount managing director Ong Keng Siew.

Recently, Paramount acquired 50 acres freehold residential land in Cyberjaya for RM78.42mil. It is proposing to undertake a mixed and exclusive mid-upper to high-class secured and guarded residential landed development and high-rise condominium with a GDV of about RM530mil. This is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2011 and span over 6 to 8 years.

By the fourth quarter of 2010, Paramount will also launch Banyan Hills in Sg Petani, featuring 5,000 bungalows, semi-detached and link houses and a commercial centre worth RM1bil, built on a 206ha over 10 years.

On the education front, Paramount’s international school in Kota Damansara will also open its doors to the first batch of students in September 2011.

“We have engaged a principal from UK for our school. It will be a secondary international school catering for Year 7 to Year 13 students. It will be able to take on 650 students,” said Teo.

Paramount also has 21.7 acres in Glenmarie, which it plans to use 10 acres for the construction of a new KDU College campus. The remainder will be a mixed development of commercial and residential buildings.

Paramount is also hoping to sell its loss-making overseas English Language Centre by year-end.

For the first quarter to March 31, Paramount reported a 74.35% increase in net profit to RM15.69mil while revenue increased 22.72% to RM102.36mil. It has a net tangible asset of RM4.87 as of the period.

PARAMON :  [Stock Watch]  [News]For latest Bursa Malaysia indices, charts and other information click here

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Related Stories: Jerneh in talks with potential buyers of insurance arm Jerneh Asia gets approval for talks Talks on sale of insurer spark interest in Jerneh Buyer found for Jerneh Insurance?

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