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Hyflux Seeks Contracts Worth $400 Million in Middle East

Hyflux Ltd., Singapore’s largest publicly traded water company, is seeking contracts worth about $400 million each in the Middle East, Chief Financial Officer Cho Wee Peng said.

The company said it has almost completed a $468 million desalination plant in Algeria and it’s actively bidding for new projects in the region that were previously delayed, according to Cho. The company said in March it will provide $420 million of engineering and construction services in a desalination plant it will jointly develop in India.

“Such sizes of projects are what we are looking to target in the Middle East region,” Cho said in an interview in Singapore today. “We see quite a number of them coming up in the pipeline. That region is now starting to come alive again after a very slow period.”

Hyflux said yesterday its second-quarter profit rose 21 percent from a year earlier as business expanded in Asia. The Middle East made up 44 percent of sales in the first half last year, and has fallen to 6 percent this year as projects in Algeria and Oman are nearing completion, it said in a statement to the Singapore exchange.

The stock rose 1.4 percent to S$1.43 at the close in Singapore, the highest close since July 12.

The group considers China and India as its largest growth markets in Asia, and is also looking to boost growth in those countries, Cho said. China currently accounts for over 20 percent of the company’s revenue and plans to increase the contribution to at least a third, he said.

“I would say in the next one to two years that should be a target we are aiming for in a very aggressive manner,” Cho said.

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