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MMM predicts turnaround in 2008

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Merchant Marine Bhd (MMM) is confident of returning to the black in its current financial year ending Aug 31 (FY08) via its new turnaround plan, local media reported.
Executive vice-chairman Datuk Ramesh Rajaratnam said the company planned to dispose of four of its vessels for RM120m this year.
"A share of the proceeds will be used to pay off our loans and bonds, leaving RM50m to RM70m to partly finance the purchase of new double-hull vessels," he told reporters after the company's AGM at the end of December.
He said MMM intended to own five new double-hull vessels in the future.  The company has not placed any orders yet but is in talks with several parties to dispose of its vessels.  
MMM, which had a total of 11 vessels early last year, sold five ships for RM100m before August and another two for RM35m by year-end.
The proceeds were used to settle loans and bonds, and financing for Brighton, a 4,000-tonne capacity tanker costing RM25m, which was delivered on December 22.
Currently, the company operates eight vessels, including three chartered and one on a joint-venture basis.
Its turnaround plan, according to Ramesh, also included the proposal to exit its Philippine operation, which was making losses. To date, MMM has invested over RM70min its Philippines operation, Aviva Pacific Marine Corporation, in which it has a 40 percent stake.  [02/01/08]

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