Construction, building materials and even an aspiring durian producer benefit from Bandar M'sia revival

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The revival of the Bandar Malaysia project is not only breathing new life into the share prices of big construction companies, but also building material players and even a durian plantations firm.

Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo-linked stocks Ekovest Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) recorded strong buying interest, with Ekovest surging to a one-year high of 97 sen, up 30 sen or 44.8% this afternoon. The counter was the most active on Bursa Malaysia with some 231.19 million shares traded as at 3.49pm.

Meanwhile, IWCity was fourth largest gainer on the bourse, up 29.4% or 30 sen to a one-year high of RM1.32 sen. Nearly 15 million shares of the property company had crossed hands. The group was in the run-up to participate as the master developer for the Bandar Malaysia mixed-use development project, worth RM160 billion.

PLS Plantations Bhd, another company which Lim controls, was also up despite its lack of involvement in the Bandar Malaysia project so far. The stock was also among Bursa Malaysia's largest gainers after it rose 29.5 sen or 30.3% to RM1.27. Some 2.34 million shares were exchanged.

Loss-making PLS Plantations is primarily involved in the oil palm plantations business, although it recently announced its diversification into the durian plantation business as well.

It stood out among a rally of construction firms seen to be beneficiaries of the Bandar Malaysia project. Shares in Gadang Holdings Bhd, Econpile Holdings Bhd and DWL Resources Bhd were hot on the hands of traders as they gained more than 20% this afternoon.

Separately, Gamuda Bhd and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd rose some 8% each to RM3.34 and RM1.04 respectively. Also up were IJM Corp Bhd and WCT Holdings Bhd.

Building materials providers also gained. Cement maker Lafarge Malaysia Bhd surged 14.2% or 33 sen to RM2.66 in afternoon trade. The counter has seen tepid interest despite the newly revived East Coast Rail Link last week as analysts opined that the railway alone would add only a small boost to demand for its products.

Steelmakers including Ann Joo Resources Bhd, Mycron Steel Bhd, Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd and Southern Steel Bhd also recorded gains.