KUALA LUMPUR (May 4): Ekovest Bhd, which saw its share price plunge as much as 29.4% today, said it views the sell-down as a "temporary phenomenon".

The stock hit an intraday low of RM1.01, before closing down 26 sen or 18.18% at RM1.17 today, with 230.13 million shares done. Its market capitalisation stood at RM2.52 billion.

In a statement today, Ekovest managing director Datuk Seri Lim Keng Cheng said the company's fundamentals remain "strong and intact", allaying investor concerns about the negative impact of the termination of the TRX City Sdn Bhd-IWH CREC Sdn Bhd in relation to the Bandar Malaysia development here on Ekovest's activities. Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd (IWH), which owns a 60% equity interest in IWH CREC, is the flagship of tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, who also holds a controlling 32% stake in Ekovest.

“I call upon the investors to continue to evaluate how each of Ekovest's business divisions are managed and run, as it better reflects our performance," said Keng Cheng.

“It is best to avoid any speculation and focus on fundamentals and the facts that are known. Ekovest’s prospects remain promising due to its active assets and strong cash flow generation.

"I hope the market will continue to keep its focus on the intrinsic merits of our businesses. The company has been run professionally and independently since its incorporation. It has a deeply entrenched value system and an extensive talent pool,” he added.

The lost deal indirectly raises uncertainties on Ekovest's concessionaire for the SetiawangsaPantai Expressway (formerly known as the DUKE Phase-3) that would connect to Bandar Malaysia.

Ekovest's share price has been climbing since the beginning of the year from 96 sen on Jan 3, after IWH CREC signed a share sale agreement at the end of last year to buy a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd for RM7.41 billion. It has been trading in a 52-week range of 51 sen to RM1.52. — theedgemarkets.com

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