Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/04/2013 -- BMI View: Port Growth Ahead Of GDP During Subdued Recovery
We expect a modest economic recovery in Malaysia in 2013, with GDP growing by 4.6%, up from an estimated 3.8% in 2012. BMI's numbers are nevertheless below the consensus view, as we believe the economy is undergoing a rebalancing process. In the context of a sluggish world economy exports are losing their role as the 'engine of growth'. In contrast, domestic demand is coming more to the fore, particularly as the government, with an eye on general elections next year, has just approved an expansionary fiscal package including cash handouts and tax rebates. However, we believe there are limits to what can be done on this front, as to maintain the confidence of investors the administration must also be seen keeping the fiscal deficit and the national debt-to-GDP ratio under control. The net result therefore is our core scenario of rebalancing and modest growth. We also expect import growth in 2013 to be just ahead of exports: 4.2% versus 4.0% in real terms.
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We expect the country's major ports (Port Klang and Port Tanjung Pelepas) to continue to outperform GDP for a variety of reasons. These include: greater reliance on intra-Asian and local trade, which is holding up better than global long-haul trade routes; the impact of fairly aggressive capacity expansion programmes; and relative success in attracting and retaining the custom of major shipping lines.
Headline Industry Data
- The real value of Malaysia's total trade will rise by a predicted 4.1% in 2013, a very modest increase on the estimated 3.4% expansion experienced in 2012.
- Total cargo volume handled at Port Klang will rise by 5.0% to 219.502mn tonnes in 2013, while volume at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas will rise by a slightly lower 4.4% to 144.44mn tonnes.
- Box traffic at Port Klang is projected to rise 7.5% to 10.965mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), while at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas a gain of 5.6% to 8.408mn TEUs is expected.
Key Industry Trends
Westports Malaysia Planning US$1bn+ IPO
Westports Malaysia, one of the country's largest port companies, which operates the Westports Terminal at Port Klang, is reported to be planning a US$1bn-plus IPO by 2013. Throughput at the port rose to 6.4mn TEUs in 2011. Port Klang currently serves mainly as a transhipment hub for intra-Asia trade. Malaysia is the world's 38th biggest economy by GDP, but Klang ranks as the 13th biggest port in the world by annual throughput.
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