Gabungan AQRS continues to climb on optimism over ECRL revival

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Gabungan AQRS Bhd's share price has continued to climb today amid news that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project may be revived, following reports that a negotiation team from China will be visiting Malaysia soon for further discussion on the project.

At 3.26pm today, the counter gained 3 sen or 2.65% to RM1.16, giving it a market capitalisation of RM573.73 million. Since end-2018, the counter has climbed 30% from its closing of 68 sen on Dec 26.

According to news reports, Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin said a negotiation team from China will be visiting Malaysia this month to discuss the "sensitive" project.

The delegation from China will also brief the relevant parties on the 'One Belt One Road' Initiative, he said.

Gabungan AQRS was previously seen as a potential contract winner for some packages from the ECRL project, before the government announced in August last year that the project has been shelved.

Although the group has said it is not affected by the government's review of mega infrastructure projects such as the ECRL and the Pan Borneo Highway as those projects were not in its books, its share price still reacted to the news that the project has been scrapped.

Following the suspension of work on the ECRL in July last year, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in August that the project was cancelled "for now" after visiting China. But he later said the project was put under review as the government was in talks with China over the project's fate.

The news flow over the uncertainty of the project had dampened investors' sentiment on Gabungan AQRS shares at the time, which was evident in the halving of its share price from its closing price of RM1.37 on Aug 20 to 68 sen on Dec 26.