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Malton’s stock price up 7.2%

KUALA LUMPUR (July 6): Malton Bhd’s share price hit a three-month high yesterday at 59.5 sen, gaining 7.2% with 8.25 million shares traded after having secured a sizeable tract in Bukit Jalil.

The counter has been trading between 48.5 sen and 74 sen since mid-February with an average trading volume of 1.53 million shares daily.

The 50-acre (20ha) Bukit Jalil land is by far the most significant deal to be injected into Malton, a company that is 37.9% controlled by well-connected businessman Datuk Desmond Lim.

Lim has other notable ventures, including the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Mall and the redevelopment of KL Plaza, which has been renamed Fahrenheit 88.

However, these projects are all under Lim’s privately-held entities. Malton’s share price has seen a lacklustre performance — a big contrast to the excitement generated by Lim’s private ventures — until recently when the latest venture by Malton at Bukit Jalil provided a new catalyst for the stock.

Based on yesterday’s closing price of 59.5 sen, Malton has a market capitalisation of RM246.5 million, which still rank it as among the smaller developers listed on Bursa Malaysia.

On Tuesday, Malton’s unit Pioneer Haven Sdn Bhd (PHSB), reached an amicable settlement with Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd (BJD), a subsidiary of Ho Hup Construction Bhd, on the developmental rights of its 60-acre land in Bukit Jalil.

After two years of legal battle, the parties came to a settlement, which spelled out a few amendments to the original joint development agreement between them.

The changes are the parties jointly develop the 50-acre land instead of the 60 acres agreed earlier. The remainder 10 acres will be developed solely by BJD. Still, Malton has emerged as the clear winner in this deal as it does not have to take on heavy debt to purchase the prime land.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily July 6,2012.

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