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RM1.6b Eco Business Park development for Ekovest

KUALA LUMPUR: Ekovest Bhd will be focusing on its RM1.6 billion development project in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, called the Eco Business Park, next year. It had already received the necessary land development order.

"The project will be completed at the same time as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, the completion date expected to be in 2017. This is because the land in Cheras has direct access to the proposed MRT," said Ekovest managing director, Lim Keng Cheng, after the company AGM last Friday.

The company will have its hands full next year as it has two other projects in Kuala Lumpur — The Gateway @ KL Bund in Setapak and Menara Titiwangsa — which have a collective gross development value (GDV) of RM3.24 billion. These projects are expected to be completed in the next seven years.

In addition, its construction arm also recently entered into a supplemental concession agreement with the government for the extension of the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (Duke) worth RM1 billion.

It expects income from its Eco Business Park and the Duke Highway extension to be reflected in the 2014 financial year.

Ekovest will hold a 70% indirect shareholding in Konsortium Lebuhraya Utara-Timur (KL) Sdn Bhd — the concession holder of the Duke Highway — upon completion of the company's share exchange agreement with Wira Kristal Sdn Bhd.

"We hope we can get the concession contract for Duke Highway. The completion of the share swap is expected to take place at the end of the first quarter of 2013," said Lim.

Additionally, Ekovest also expects contribution from its joint-venture company, Ekovest-MRCB JV Sdn Bhd, which is the project delivery partner (PDP) for the RM1 billion River of Life (ROL) project.

"About 20% of the job is work in progress, mostly consisting of river cleaning work done by agencies. We are expecting the river beautification job ( to be awarded) sometime in 2013 after public engagement," said Lim.

Lim also said it is currently bidding for RM1 billion worth of jobs in Danga Bay, Johor, where Ekovest had earlier secured some contracts with outstanding jobs of some RM100 million currently.

"We are tendering for some reclamation and building works. The results for the tender will be out in 2013," he added.

Danga Bay is a waterfront development in Johor and one of the highlights of Iskandar Malaysia. The project is spearheaded by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Bhd, privately controlled by Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo and state-controlled Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan).

Interestingly, Lim said Ekovest is also planning a commercial development that is estimated to carry a GDV of RM2 billion on a 25-acre plot in Danga Bay.

"We have to see how our development can fit into Danga Bay's master development," he said, adding that plans are still at a very preliminary stage.

Ekovest posted a record net profit of RM72.64 million for the financial  year ended June 30, 2012, up 198% from just RM24.35 million recorded a year ago.

Revenue jumped 63% to RM208.95 million from RM128.17 million.

For the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2012, Ekovest posted a net profit of RM8.37 million or 4.68 sen per share, a 29% increase from RM6.51 million in the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue dipped by 32% to RM21.82 million from RM31.86 million.

This story first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily edition of Dec 24, 2012.

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