IJM awaits govt’s decision on toll highways takeover

by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR

IJM Corp Bhd is still awaiting the government’s decision to acquire 15 toll highways nationwide, says CEO and MD Datuk Soam Heng Choon (picture).

“Not yet. I think the (Works) Minister did mention the direction for tolled highways acquisition will only be presented to the Cabinet early next month…So until then, we will wait for direction from the government,” he told reporters after the company’s 35th AGM in Subang Jaya, Selangor, yesterday.

Previous reports indicated that the government would offer to acquire tolled highways owned by PLUS Malaysia Bhd (including the NorthSouth Expressway) for RM30.8 billion, those owned by Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd for RM3.1 billion, Gamuda Bhd for RM5.6 billion and IJM for RM2.7 billion — with the acquisitions to be paid via the issuance of debt papers to the concessionaires.

However, no official offer has been made to the concessionaires for now, as the government assesses all the proposals thoroughly, before making an official announcement. Meanwhile, Soam said the construction and property segment will be the main driver of IJM’s top line.

“We have a healthy outstanding construction orderbook of RM6.1 billion comprises a good mix of private and public projects, as well as IJM land property development jobs.

“Apart from providing earnings visibility over the next few years, this wide exposure accords us more resilience, where we are able to participate in different economic cycles,” he added.

On its property division outlook, Soam said the group expects to sustain its performance on the back of unbilled sales of around RM2 billion and attractive launches of landed and high-rise projects across the country in the pipeline over the next quarter such as — The Terraces in Penang; Starling (Bandar Rimbayu, Shah Alam); Riana Dutamas (Segambut, Kuala Lumpur); and Austin Duta in Johor. — Bernama