Ekovest targets RM600mil worth of construction jobs next year
Ekovest Bhd is targeting RM600 million worth of construction jobs in 2017, on top of its current total order book of RM6.6 billion. The company is aggressively tendering for more projects, particularly the beautification works from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the 1Malaysia Housing Projects for Civil Servants (PPA1M). The company’s RM6.6 billion order book comprises of Duke Phase 3 (worth RM3.7 billion), EkoCheras (RM905 million), Duke Phase 2 (RM1.2 billion) and improvement and beautification works at Precinct 7 (RM163 million). It also includes design and construction of University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia engineering and electronic faculty (RN42 million), construction of three-stores shop offices (RM30 million) as well as improvement and beautification of Klang and Gombak Rivers (RM412 million). (New Straits Times Online)

Malacca eyes a slice of Singapore’s shipping pie with US$3bil port
Malacca is pumping nearly $3 billion into an ambitious plan to put itself in demand in a different hot commodity – oil. It is reclaiming land along the Straits of Malacca to build a port that can handle the biggest tankers on the planet. The target: a slice of traffic sailing on to nearby Singapore, the top but congested trading hub in a region with $600 billion in annual oil trade – a third of global oil demand. Port operator T.A.G. Marine and developer Linggi Base are building the 12.5 billion ringgit ($2.82 billion) Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) to offer storage, repair and refuelling services, which is funded largely by Chinese investors. Using 620-acres of reclaimed land, KLIP this month launched construction of a port with 1.5 million cubic meters of oil storage capacity, and dry docks to handle the biggest of oil tankers, hoping for completion within 10 years. (The Star Online)

Malacca's RM12.5 billion port expansion is expected to bring competition to Singapore. (Photo from The Star Online)

Malacca’s RM12.5 billion port expansion is expected to bring competition to Singapore. (Photo from The Star Online)

M’sia-Thailand to begin talks on Bangkok-KL rail project
Malaysia and Thailand will soon begin discussions for the construction of a 1,400km High Speed Rail (HSR) connecting Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, according to Thai Transport Minister, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. If approved, it will shorten the journey between the two capitals to six hours. Thailand already has a southbound high-speed train project in the works from Bangkok to Hua Hin. Officials will look into whether that line should be extended or if a totally new line should be built from Bangkok. The project will also complement the HSR linking Malaysia’s capital and Singapore. (Malaysian Digest)

Titijaya enters affordablhe housing segment with RM2.4bil project in Bukit Raja
Titijaya Land Bhd plans to enter the affordable housing segment with a proposed development worth RM2.4 billion in gross development value in Bukit Raja, Selangor, in the second quarter of 2017. The group’s acquisition of NPO Builders Sdn Bhd, which owns two tracts of land measuring a total of 18.7 hectares (ha) in September, would see the land developed into commercial units, serviced apartments and affordable units. “The affordable units will range between RM300,000 to RM450,000,” its managing director Tan Sri Lim Soon Peng said in a statement. Moving forward, Lim said Titijaya and the Education Ministry would be swapping 1.09-ha land in Bukit Bintang, where Titijaya would build schools. (The Edge Markets)

IGB Corp posts 228% increase in 3Q net profit
IGB Corp Bhd’s third quarter net profit increased 288% to RM148.11 million from a year earlier, on higher property and hotel revenue. Its net profit also gained from property, plant and equipment sale. Revenue grew to RM324.71 million in 3QFY16. Group pre-tax profit increased by more than 100% due to higher contributions from the property development, property investment-retail and hotel divisions. Pre-tax profit for the current quarter had included a one-off gain of RM136.2 million from the disposal of property, plant and equipment by a subsidiary. (The Edge Markets)

EPF announces better retirement benefits
Two recent announcements made by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will help its 14.55 million contributors in planning out their retirement. Other than maintaining the savings withdrawal at the age of 55, a new account, the Gold Account, was introduced for members working beyond the age of 55. With the Gold Account, after making withdrawals at 55, contributors now have a new avenue to save up for another five years before they retire at 60. The withdrawal age has been maintained at 55, where members can withdraw their savings in one go, partially, or in stages. (Malay Mail Online)

EPF Akaun Emas Gold Account senior retirement estate123