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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hassan linked to Sumatec role again


KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Halim Saad has kept the rumour mill in overdrive on speculation that Tan Sri Hassan Marican may join Sumatec Resources Bhd in its Kazakhstan venture.

"He is my friend. Ultimately, it's up to the shareholders to decide," Halim told a press conference, here, yesterday.
It was previously reported that Hassan, who reportedly owns a small block of Sumatec shares, will soon join its board of directors.

Halim, who owns nearly 25 per cent of Sumatec, is banking on the lure of black gold to propel the company to the next level.

On the horizon is the search for a new oil field in Central Asia. It is also looking closer to home, particularly in Indonesia, for its next big discovery.

Meanwhile, Sumatec expects to book a substantial profit from managing a gas development project in Kazakhstan.

"The margins are substantial," chief executive Chris Dalton said at the press conference.

The company told the stock exchange yesterday that it has inked a US$45 million (RM143.9 million) deal over two years to build and manage a gas pipeline for Markmore Energy Labuan Ltd in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

Dalton said Sumatec is poised to surpass its profit target in view of the gas project in Kazakhstan, adding that the company should be out of the Practice Note 17 list next year.

The company expects to return to the black in the current financial year ending December 31 2013, thanks to a scrip issue that helped raise slightly more than RM450 million.

For 2013, it is expected to book a RM86 million profit and some RM69 million next year.

The shares of Sumatec, which has a market capitalisation of RM880 million, have gained some 220 per cent on Bursa Malaysia this year. It now trades at a 2013 price-to-earnings ratio of less than four times.

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