News: Bad time to raise cement price: Ng Seing Liong
This is not the right time to increase the price of cement, according to Datuk Ng Seing Liong, Immediate Past President of Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (REHDA).
"Cement manufacturers are raising the price by RM1 per 50 kg pack and RM20 per metric tonne. Cement is a major item in the construction industry and under the circumstances, it is definitely the wrong time to raise the price."
Ng also pointed out that the cement sector is an oligopoly controlled by only a few companies, adding that the hike is puzzling since there is no supply shortage of cement and petrol prices have fallen.
"Even if there is a shortage, it is artificial and self-created. Whereas steel price is more open, whoever wants to import can do so, cement has a lifeline of 30 days and will harden after that," claimed Ng.
Regarding the property sector's outlook, Ng expects a slight downtrend in 2H2012 due to the uncertainty in the Eurozone.
"The first half was quite stable and the commercial and industrial sectors have performed quite strongly."
Meanwhile, Ng also announced that the Malaysia Property Expo (MAPEX) 2013 will be held at Mid Valley from 19 to 21 October.
"We have three months to go and have 70 to 80 booths left out of 227," explained Ng, the Organising Chairman of MAPEX.
He envisions MAPEX as an international exposition that appeals to overseas visitors looking for international properties, paving the way for Kuala Lumpur to become a property hub.
MAPEX 2013 is expected to attract 50,000 visitors and generate sales of about RM500 million, he added.