KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 3): Shares in property and construction counters surged today in an apparent reaction to the progression of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project amid talks between Malaysia and Singapore leaders about the megaproject with details expected to be announced this month.

Bursa Malaysia's Property index rose as much as 2.3% to a near nine-month high of 687.01 while the Construction index surged as high as 1.48% to an almost six-month high of 179.92 this morning.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Loui Low said property and construction stocks' surges today came after the government officials were due to announce further details on the HSR project ahead of Dec 31 deadline for the second and final extension of the suspension of the HSR project.

"The property and construction sectors should be the beneficiaries if HSR moves on. This is coupled with the recovery theme after the vaccine announcement for several rounds," said Low when contacted.

Market breadth was positive across the two indices on hope that the country's megaproject, which is currently up for review, will see end-tunnel lights.

Property tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo-controlled Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) and Ekovest Bhd climbed today, with IWcity rising two sen or 3.74% to 55.5 sen, while Ekovest went up three sen or 5.66% to 56 sen.

IWCIty is the master developer of the Bandar Malaysia mixed development project and the project will house one of the HSR stations.

Meanwhile, property company Yong Tai Bhd was among the most actively traded stocks on the local bourse today.

At the time of writing, it saw some 195.49 million shares traded, more than 14 times its 200-day average volume of 13.5 million shares. Its shares surged as high as 29.41% or five sen at 22 sen this morning.

Share prices among big property players were also spurred by positive sentiments; IOI Properties Group Bhd rose six sen or 4.8% to RM1.31, S P Setia Bhd gained 1.5 sen or 1.83% to 83.5 sen, while Sime Darby Property Bhd climbed half a sen or 0.84% to 60 sen.

Among construction stocks, IJM Corp Bhd gained one sen or 0.62% to RM1.62, WCT Holdings Bhd rose 1.5 sen or 3.26% to 47.5 sen and YTL Corp Bhd increased by 1.5 sen or 2.21% to 69.5 sen.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong in a joint press statement yesterday said that both countries were in discussion and would announce further details on HSR ahead of the deadline.

"The prime ministers took stock of the progress of discussions, and gained a good understanding of Malaysia's and Singapore's respective positions," the statement read. "Both sides will announce further details on the HSR project through a joint statement in due course."

"Both prime ministers also reaffirmed the strong bilateral relations between the two countries covering many areas of cooperation and the sincere desire to further strengthen these relations for mutual benefit," it added.

The project has been suspended twice at Malaysia's request after the change of government. The first extension in September 2018 was to end in May 2020, but this was extended for a second and final time, until Dec 31 this year.


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