MPIC proposes tollway project in Malaysia

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METRO PACIFIC Investments Corp. (MPIC) has submitted a bid for a tollway project in Malaysia, eyeing to close an agreement for the venture within the year.

MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the conglomerate submitted a proposal for a tollway project in the greater Kuala Lumpur area.

“We submitted a bid for tollways,” Mr. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of an event on April 18. He did not disclose the price or other details of the project.

“There is competition,” Mr. Pangilinan said, when asked about project cost. He said he expects a response regarding the offer “probably in the next month or two.”

Mr. Pangilinan had said in January they hope to close a deal within the year. He had said that Malaysia is the next viable country for tollways investment, after entering Indonesia in November with the increase of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.’s stake in PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk.

In 2016, MPIC’s talks with a Malaysian company for a 50-kilometer tollway project fell through.

The infrastructure conglomerate aims to continue its expansion in the region and create a “pan-ASEAN” tollway network. It currently has stakes in Don Muang Tollway Public Company Limited, a major toll road operator in Bangkok, Thailand, and in CII Bridges and Roads, a firm with road and bridges projects in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo