Billion-ringgit immigration contract heats up market

It was previously reported that Iris Corp Bhd and MyEG Services Bhd were among the frontrunners for the project to replace the existing Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMS).

PETALING JAYA: As the year draws to a close, the contract winner of the RM1.5bil National Integrated Immigration System (NIIS) project is heating up in the market again.

While there has yet to be any official announcement from the government, sources said Putrajaya has decided on who to award the project to.

It was previously reported that Iris Corp Bhd and MyEG Services Bhd were among the frontrunners for the project to replace the existing Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMS).

Iris has been actively traded recently, landing on the No. 2 spot of the most actively traded counters yesterday with 329.93 million shares exchanging hands.

It was up 2.5 sen or 6.58% to 40.5 sen. Over the past month, its share price has risen 14.08%.

MyEG Services on the other hand, hardly generated much interest.

The counter dropped two sen or 1.06% to RM1.87 yesterday, with only 8.43 million shares traded.

Interestingly, Ancom Logistics Bhd hit 44 sen yesterday after a seven sen or 18.9% jump.

A total of 52.95 million shares exchanged hands.

It was previously reported that S5 Holdings Inc was bidding for the NIIS project and in July, it was seeking a back-door listing through Ancom Logistics.

Ancom Logistics made an announcement in July that it was acquiring S5 Holdings, a global integrated security solutions provider via a corporate exercise that will ultimately see a reverse takeover of Ancom Logistics.

Together with its parent company Ancom Bhd, they entered into heads of agreements with S5 Holdings’ existing shareholders – S7 Holdings Sdn Bhd, Merrington Assets Ltd, My EG Capital Sdn Bhd and Avocat Sdn Bhd, for the proposed takeover.

Besides Iris and MyEG, other known bidders for the contract include Datasonic Group Bhd, Heitech Padu Bhd, Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX), Dataprep Holdings Bhd, Scicom (MSC) Bhd, Omesti Bhd and Kumpulan Fima Bhd.

The billion ringgit NIIS project is essentially the new version of what was previously called the Sistem Kawalan Imigresen Nasional (SKIN).

It was awarded to Prestariang Bhd in 2017 under a 15-year concession at a contract value of some RM3.5bil.

The Home Ministry under the Pakatan Harapan administration terminated the SKIN contract in December 2018 as it was deemed too expensive and called for fresh tenders in May 2019.

Prestariang took the government to court on April 15,2019 in a RM732.86mil legal suit.

Sources have previously said that the NIIS project included elements of facial recognition using artificial intelligence, the use of big data such as the travel history of individuals being available to officers at the touch of a button.

Anticipation for the announcement of who the project will be awarded to has been building up since August.

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