Lim’s companies may draw interest

  • Business
  • Saturday, 02 Jan 2016

A HANDFUL of Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo’s listed companies are likely to see some trading interest, since his brainchild Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) makes up part of the consortium that won the Bandar Malaysia bid from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It is being speculated that some property and construction contracts for the RM100bil gross development value (GDV) Bandar Malaysia project could go to some of Kang Hoo’s companies.

He is tied to four listed companies on Bursa Malaysia, namely Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWC), Ekovest Bhd, Knusford Bhd and PLS Plantations Bhd.

IWC is a 47.16%-owned subsidiary of IWH, which in turn is a public-private partnership involving private equity firm Credence Resources Sdn Bhd and Johor state equity firm Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd (KPRJ). IWH remains a private company although there have been plans to get it listed. In fact IWH’s involvement in Bandar Malaysia now adds an impetus to its planned listing, bankers say.

As for the listed IWC, KPRJ also holds an 8% stake.

Kang Hoo is the vice chairman of IWC.

Shares in IWC have been on the rise since early-December 2015, in anticipation of the IWH-China Railway Engineering Corp consortium bagging the Bandar Malaysia bid.

Its shares have risen almost 28% to RM1.01 at the year’s close, with 6.48 million shares done.

IWC through IWH is the master developer of the 4,300 acre waterfront city project in Johor.

The project, which spans 25km of waterfront space fronting the Straits of Johor, will comprise mixed developments, shopping malls and tourist attractions.

The company posted third quarterly earnings five times higher than a year ago, at RM20.82mil for the quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 from RM4.12mil previously. Revenue was also higher at RM148.47mil against RM25.49mil in the previous year.

This brought nine-month profit and revenue to RM17.21mil and RM175.33mil respectively. In its filings with Bursa Malaysia, IWC attributes the jump due to compulsory acquisitions of certain lands by the state government, while its construction segment recorded a higher loss due to less works recorded and a revision in budgeted cost.

Meanwhile, Ekovest’s shareholders include Kang Hoo, who holds a 20.19% stake, while Datuk Haris Onn Hussein, the brother of Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn has a 20.16% stake in Ekovest.

The company is involved mainly in civil engineering and building construction, and has been key to several large projects including the DUKE Highway, KL Sentral station, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, among others.

On Thursday, Ekovest shares were unchanged at RM1.07 with 12,000 shares done. Year-to-date, the share price has also remained unchanged.

Kang Hoo’s nephew Datuk Lim Keng Cheng is the managing director of Ekovest.

Moving forward, the company expects the construction of the RM1.18bil DUKE Phase-2, toll revenue and unbilled sales from its property development activities to contribute to its financial results.

Moving on to Knusford Bhd, in which Kang Hoo is a director and a major shareholder via his 30.11% interest in Kinston Park Sdn Bhd and Aman Setegap Sdn Bhd.

Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, son of the Sultan of Johor, holds the chairman position at Knusford.

The company is involved in sales and rental of plant and machinery, trading in building materials, supply of earth and marine sand, as well as construction and property development.

It has more than 2,000 units of machinery and equipment for sale and rental. Its construction segment is relatively new with ongoing projects for Iskandar Investment Bhd. Knusford shares were up 2 sen at RM1.40 on Thursday’s close.

The least likely company that would benefit from the IWC-CREC consortium winning the Bandar Malaysia project is Kang Hoo’s PLS Plantation.

The company, formerly known as Pembinaan Limbongan Setia Bhd, is primarily in the plantation business, like its new name suggests.

Its plantation business is via Aramijaya Sdn Bhd, which manages, operates and maintains the forest plantation project in Kota Tinggi and Mersing, Johor. The concession is for a 60-year period starting December 2002.

IWH has a 23.42% stake in PLS Plantations while Limbongan Resources Sdn Bhd has a 22.95% stake. Tan Sri Lim Kang Yew, brother to Kang Hoo, is the managing director of PLS Plantations, has an 11.07% stake in the company.

Shares of PLS Plantations closed on Thursday up 2 sen at RM1.08 with 4,000 shares done.

Related stories:

Bandar Malaysia a boost for IWH listing

The race hots up for High Speed Rail project

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