Stock That You Can Milk for The Next 40 Years

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Mar 21 2007
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Bernama reported that a total of RM 23.66 billion (USD 6.7 Billion) has been collected by 19 Malaysian highway concessionaires since the introduction of the highway privatization concept until 2006. The mind-boggling amount of money collected including the Penang bridge and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing (LINKEDUA).


In written answers to Teresa Kok (DAP representative of Seputeh) and Tan Kok Wai (DAP representative of Cheras) at the Dewan Rakyat today, Works Minister Samy Vellu said that until the end of last year, an average of RM41 million was spent to maintain all the highways and bridges concerned. DAP (Democratic Action Party) is the leading opposition party in Malaysia in terms of number of parliamentary seats.

Samy Vellu explained that about RM5.9 billion was spent to build the North-South Highway and RM27.83 million was the monthly cost of maintaining it. The 50-year concession period for that highway began in 1988.


He further said that the amount of toll collected for the Penang bridge was RM1.7 billion while that of the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE) stood at RM1.05 billion. Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Berhad (PLUS) is involved in the operation and maintenance of a tolled expressway network comprising the North-South Interurban Toll Expressway, the New Klang Valley Expressway, a section of Federal Highway Route 2 between Subang and Klang, and the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH) in Peninsular Malaysia. PLUS Expressway Berhad (KLSE: PLUS, stock-code 5052) is closely related to UMNO, the ruling party of Malaysia.


Looking from the history, when Mahathir Mohamad became Malaysia’s premier, he instructed his trusted friend Daim Zainuddin to overhaul the then paltry business interests of the dominant party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). In 1984 Mahathir named Daim finance minister and appointed him UMNO’s treasurer with responsibility for the party’s investments. Daim immediately began privatizing state projects and brought in Halim Saad, one of his commanders and a nominee shareholder and manager for UMNO.


A New Zealand-trained accountant, Halim in 1984 formed a private company that acquired a controlling equity stake in publicly listed UEM (now defunct), then a small engineering services concern. UEM’s ownership in UMNO was hidden from the Malaysian public for the next three years. But UEM’s Plus subsidiary was awarded a contract to finance, build, and operate a toll road running the length of peninsular Malaysia-the North-South Expressway. This project, which ultimately cost about $1.4 billion-became UEM’s cash cow for years.


With the reported billions of dollars collected, it means the initial building-costs has been recouped and whatever profits to be collect from now onwards (till the year 2038) will become pure profit minus the maintenance-costs. It’s near to impossible for the government to revise the contract which obviously sided PLUS, so the stock-price of PLUS will have only one way to go over the time – NORTH.

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.. ya but the price has not been going after all these years as the money has been diverted else where so its not something to buy

Chin Lee…Correct!

Naah… I’d rather go for the other highway concessionaire LITRAK, or even better, for a solid diversified counter, GAMUDA.

PLUS’ premium comes attached with the risk of “national service”.


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