IWCity jumps as Bandar Malaysia talk resurfaces

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) shares surged as much as 28.5 sen or 50% to 85.5 sen, possibly in anticipation that IWCity's major shareholder Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) may get a second chance to develop Bandar Malaysia.

The proposed Bandar Malaysia project is on a 194ha (486 acre/21.17 million sq ft) tract within the old airport site in Sungai Besi here.

Today, news reports quoted Damansara MP Tony Pua as saying no companies had responded to the Malaysian Government's tender request for the development of Bandar Malaysia. "When we asked the (finance) ministry officials, the developers who came forward were zero," Malay Mail quoted Pua as saying in Parliament today.

Last year, Bandar Malaysia was in the spotlight after TRX City Sdn Bhd alleged on May 3, 2017 its planned sale of a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia to IWH CREC Sdn Bhd was "null and void with immediate effect".

IWH and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd jointly own IWH CREC. The Malaysian Government via the Finance Ministry owns TRX, a former unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The Government also owns 100% of 1MDB.

At Bursa Malaysia today, IWCity shares pared gains at 77.5 sen at 4:15pm with some 110 million shares traded. IWCity surfaced among Bursa Malaysia's most-actively traded stocks and leading gainers.

Meanwhile, IWCity shares could have also taken cue from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement today that Malaysia will defer the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) instead of unilaterally cancelling the project.

IWCity shares could have taken cue from the fact that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project will include Bandar Malaysia as one of its stations. According to MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd's website, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project will include seven stations in Malaysia — Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri, before reaching its last destination in Jurong East, Singapore.