Ireka sees minimal impact from weaker ringgit

Ireka Lai Voon HonKUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): Ireka Corp Bhd expects the weaker ringgit to have minimal impact on the company’s earnings. It also will not affect the ongoing assets divestment plan of Aseana Properties Ltd.

Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting today, Ireka group managing director Lai Voon Hon said Aseana was on track to dispose of its assets and return capital investments to its investors.

According to him, Aseana had announced the divestment of the Waterside Estate in Vietnam on Sept 24. This, he said, will give Ireka some US$9.3 million (RM41.6 million) gain.

“Aseana is also [on] the lookout for buyers to purchase their remaining 25-hectare lands in Vietnam,” he added.

Over at the local front, Lai was optimistic that Aseana would be able to secure buyers for its three operating assets in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah.

“I do not see a problem for [Aseana] to dispose [of] Aloft KL in Kuala Lumpur Sentral as the operation of the hotel is good,” he added.

He pointed out that Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan Hotel and Harbour Mall Sandakan will be disposed of towards the end of 2016 as planned.

Operations wise, Lai said majority of the cost was dominated in the local currency; hence the group was not exposed to foreign currency fluctuation.

Going forward, Lai said the order book for the construction segment, which includes the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Civil and Structure Works, two residential and office tower projects at KL Eco City and The RuMa Hotel and Residences, stood at RM1.4 billion as at June 30, 2015, of which approximately RM760.4 million remains outstanding.

“We are also bidding for jobs worth RM600 million. We will continue to expand our order book by participating in some major infrastructure projects such as MRT 2 and Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE),” he added.

Year-to-date, the local currency has weakened 0.9757 or 27.9% to 4.4730 against the US dollar from 3.4973 on Dec 31, 2014.

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