Lafarge bucks broader market loss amid ECRL revival bets

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 11): Lafarge Malaysia Bhd shares rose as much as 13 sen or 5.78% to RM2.38 today against broader market losses after analysts said the cement manufacturer is seen as a beneficiary of the East Coast Rail Link's (ECRL) potential revival.

This is because Lafarge had earlier won contracts under the ECRL project, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd analyst Loong Chee Wei wrote in recent note.

"We understand that the Government will likely decide after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's visit to China in April. If the project is revived, HSS Engineers Bhd and Lafarge Malaysia, which had won contracts, will see earnings contributions as the works resume," Loong said.

Today, Lafarge shares closed up four sen at RM2.29 with some one million shares traded. In the broader market, the FBM KLCI ended down 15.27 points at 1,664.63.

As investors closely watched Lafarge's share price rise against the potential revival of the ECRL project, Lafarge said last week in a statement to Bursa Malaysia that Lafarge was not aware of any corporate development that could have led to its share price gain.

Lafarge said this in response to Bursa Malaysia's unusual market activity query on the recent sharp rise in Lafarge's share price.