The expected cost savings from the consolidation of Johor Port and Port of Tanjung Pelepas’ (PTP) operations can still be achieved without changing their corporate structure, says Kenanga Investment Bank research head Yeonzon Yeow.
“The deferment of the rationalisation plan of the two ports will have minimal impact on their parent company, MMC Corp Bhd. Whether they consolidate or not, both ports are still within the group,” he told StarBizyesterday. MMC owns 100% of Johor Port and 70% of PTP.
MMC proposed to streamline operations at the two ports to reduce cargo leakages to Singapore, which has been going on for many years due to better connectivity offered by Singapore ports.
The consolidation would also see Johor Port’s container operations in Pasir Gudang moved to PTP in Gelang Patah, turning the former into a non-containerised port.
But the Government shot down the idea last week due to the distance between the two ports, which is about 90km, as shippers and manufacturers operating in Pasir Gudang, Tampoi and Tebrau complained that they would incur higher transportation cost going to PTP.
OSK Research Sdn Bhd research head Chris Eng said with the deferment, the listing of MMC’s port units was unlikely to materialise soon.
“Nonetheless, we believe there is still the possibility of MMC list ing its other units, Gas Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Malakoff Corp Bhd within the next two to three years,” he said in a recent note to clients.
Eng said the deferment of the consolidation exercise would also result in PTP’s excess capacity being underutilised for the time being.
He said the main reason for the rationalisation between the two biggest ports in Johor was because the container operations at Johor Port was congested with minimal room for further expansion.
“The consolidation would boost container volume at PTP, helping it reach the eight million twenty-foot equivalent units level, which would then help to attract new customers,” he said.