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Malton warns of possible failed venture in Taiwan

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): Malton Bhd’s joint venture (JV) unit could be on the brink of losing its qualification to bid for the construction of a superstructure above the airport express train station located near the main train station in Taipei.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Malton said if the JV unit fails to sign an investment agreement for the project with the Taipei city authorities by tomorrow (Aug 9), its qualification as the best applicant for the project would be waived.

Last December, Malton’s JV with Hong Kong-listed Nan Hai Corp Ltd was selected to enter into the next phase of the bidding process for the project.

Today, Malton said Nan Hai received an official letter from the Department of Rapid Transit Systems, Taipei City Government, stating that if the JV fails to sign the investment agreement for the Project with the Taipei City authorities before Aug 9, 2019, it shall be deemed as waiving its qualifications as the best applicant for the project.

“The joint applicant has not been able to proceed to sign the above mentioned investment agreement as the Investment Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan did not allow the Joint Applicant to remit NT$1 billion to Taiwan to establish a special purpose vehicle as required for the project,” Malton explained.

“The joint applicant disagrees with the position taken by the relevant authorities and will take legal steps to protect its interest and where possible, take steps to re-instate its qualifications as the best applicant for the project,” it stated.

Nan Hai holds an 80% equity interest in the JV, while Malton holds the remaining 20% stake.

The project involves the development of a landmark high-rise multipurpose complex comprising hotel, retail and prime office space above the airport express train station that has a base area of approximately 31,700 square meters. This complex will have direct access to the Taipei City station of the express rail service to the Taoyuan International Airport.

Malton’s share price gained one sen or 2.02% to 50.5 sen today, giving it a market capitalisation of RM266.71 million.

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