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Boom year for construction sector [17-04-2012]  
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THE construction sector is likely to have a banner year with up to RM20 billion worth of jobs to be awarded.

Public Investment Bank Bhd (PIB) believes 2012 could easily be the record year in terms of order flow.

"We estimate that the sector should get no less than RM20 billion this year," PIB said in a research note yesterday.

The sector started the year strongly with RM5.9 billion job wins in the first quarter, which was already 74.5 per cent of the total RM7.9 billion awarded last year.

"The acceleration of government project awards from a slew of big-ticket projects, such as the remaining contracts for six packages of the elevated portion of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line, the RM7 billion West Coast Expressway (WCE), the RM7 billion electrified double tracking (EDT) from Gemas to Johor Baru and the RM30 billion Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), in our view, should easily increase job wins to the record level," PIB noted.

It believed that the government would progressively award contracts over the next few months, with 90 or so awarded by mid-2012 to ensure the SBK line was completed by July 2017.

The firm also expects the letter of acceptance for the RM8 billion tunnelling job awarded to the Gamuda-MMC consortium to be out soon and more spending in the power industry and SCORE in Sarawak.

It is learnt that for the second quarter of the year, 13 packages under the MRT SBK line are in advanced stages, while potential awards include packages V4 (Section 17-Semantan) and V7 (Bandar Tun Hussein Onn-Taman Mesra), worth about RM1 billion each.

Others include the West Coast Expressway, estimated at RM7 billion, and an LRT depot for RM500 million.

Other potential jobs that may be awarded are those driven by projects under the Economic Transformation Programme, including the construction of the RM27 billion Kuala Lumpur International Financial District and the RM5 billion Warisan Merdeka building.
The firm has assigned "overweight" rating on the sector, with Gamuda Bhd, Mudajaya Bhd, Hock Seng Lee Bhd and TRC Synergy Bhd being its top picks

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