Naim Studying Foreign JV Offers

KUCHING: Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd is evaluating several joint venture offers for property developments or construction projects overseas.
Deputy managing director Dr Sharifuddin Wahab said one proposal was from the government of a northern African nation for a RM300mil walk-up apartment project.

“We are in discussion on this apartment project and expect a decision towards the third-quarter this year,” he told StarBiz yesterday.

Also being evaluated are proposals from Middle East investors for joint-venture projects in the construction of new townships and other types of properties.

The joint-venture proposals also extend to Naim’s project management expertise.

Sharifuddin said the firm was studying the offers as it was keen to spread its wings abroad.

Naim’s core businesses are in property development and construction. The bumiputra-owned company has carved a name in developing new townships and commercial centres in Miri, Samarahan and Kuching. It has built some 12,000 houses and shophouses.

Sharifuddin said Naim was aggressively looking to expand its land-bank of over 1,200ha, particularly in Sibu, Sarikei and Bintulu, which are within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

Score, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday, stretches 320km along the coast of Tanjung Manis (Sarikei Division) to Similajau (Bintulu Division) in central Sarawak.

The Sarawak government expects some 1.5 million new jobs to be created by high-impact industries and other sectors when Score is fully developed by 2030.

“With the influx of manpower into the regional corridor, there is a crucial need for more housing,’ Sharifuddin said.

He did not rule out Naim acquiring land outside Sarawak for future residential or commercial development.

Sharifuddin said the RM500mil raised from the sale of Islamic bonds in December gave Naim the financial resources to purchase land.

He said the proceeds would also be used as working capital for several major infrastructure projects that Naim had secured.

The projects include the RM1.3bil Kuching/Matang flood mitigation project, RM300mil Bengoh hydro dam project near Kuching, and the RM188mil upgrading of the Sibu-Julau road.

“The environmental impact assessment study of the flood mitigation project is under way. We will start work this year. The project will take five years to complete,” Sharifuddin said.

He said Naim was now building an access road (with two bridges) to the Bengoh dam site, and the construction of the dam proper would start next year.

The upgrading work on the Sibu-Julau road is under way.

(Taken from