The Star, 25 November 2006
TAN SRI Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corp Bhd, comments on the outlook for Malaysia's economy and the construction industry in an interview with Bloomberg. He also comments on Singapore and Indonesia.
On the Malaysia's economy and construction:
I rather suspect by June next year people will feel very confident about the economy because they will feel money in their pockets.
In the construction sector, our cement and all the construction projects will start to take off in a much more robust manner.
The next three years will be great years for construction companies, because there is such a vacuum of projects, a hiatus of a period of a lack of construction projects. I'm quite sure in the next three years you're going to see tower cranes allover the city and all over the country again.
Also at this point of time, I already felt that the consumer is a bit confident, coming towards Christmas. I'm quite sure over the next three Christmases they will be spending quite a lot of money.
I'm also very confident that the construction industry plus the property sector will pickup. And I think the stock market reaching the 1,000-point is the tip of the iceberg.
There's a tipping point, the economy is moving, it is early detection of the state of the economy over the next three years.
On Government projects:
Bureaucratically, the money is not flowing down. All the projects have been approved. It just took a little bit longer for the money to flow down. I understand many of my peers are getting contracts now. We, too, are having a slew of contracts coming our way.
Those who are involved in this business, I'm quite sure, are also feeling that money is flowing to them, contracts are coming through, and this will be all transmuted into economic growth quite quickly.
On Singapore and Indonesia:
Our projects, just on the land itself, we have already prospered by almost 100% from the day we acquired it. So it is quite rapid, quite hot, the property sector in Singapore.
And I think it will remain so for a while.
Seventy per cent of our revenue now comes from overseas. We are also seeing opportunities regionally in Indonesia now, and also globally, so it's getting quite exciting. We are quite optimistic about YTL's prospects.
We are very confident about Indonesia's economy and its prospects.