,“Gamuda and Sunway Construction could emerge as early winners given their key roles in executing previous large-scale public projects, in our view. However, this will be highly dependent on the government’s finances, especially after the various fiscal injections to combat the economic impact of the pandemic,” UOB Kay Hian said.
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PETALING JAYA: Market laggards, namely players within the property, construction and building material sectors are set to experience a gradual recovery, in tandem with the positive economic growth slated for this year.
Following a year that has seen businesses being ravaged by the global Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 has kicked off with pent-up demand for properties, an effective vaccine rollout program and low interest rates.
All of which are set to bolster businesses that took a hit last year.
With the government targeting gross domestic product growth of between 6.5% and 7.5% this year, UOB Kay Hian reckons that economic recovery could catalyse a rotational play, at least in the near term.
“The laggard sectors, namely property, construction and building materials, had recovered in tandem with the KLCI in past crises. Looking forward, overall consumer confidence and sentiment could be lifted with the decline in Covid-19 cases and optimism over effective vaccine dispensation.
“That said, these could catalyse a rotational play into the laggard sectors. As the worst could be over, given no more blanket lockdowns, we believe these sectors still have upside in the near term, underpinned by pent-up demand for properties, protracted low interest rates and attractive valuations.”
The research house said stronger-than-expected residential property demand will help spur a positive spillover effect.
“At this juncture, residential property bookings and sales are picking up post-lockdown. Our channel checks suggest demand has been stronger than expected since the fourth quarter of 2020, which could prompt developers to raise their 2021 sales targets.”
The research house noted that this could have a positive spillover effect on the construction sector, as it would reduce receivables risk and potential cash flow issues for the sector and lead to more building jobs.
“The building materials sector will also benefit as there will be more demand for raw materials like cement and steel, which typically contribute between 30% and 40% of the total input cost of a project.”
The improvement in the economy is also set to see the rollout of development projects, which will bode well for the property, construction and building material sectors.
Assuming that the current government can further solidify its political position, UOB Kay Hian reckons that the focus will be shifted towards spurring economic recovery.
“Gamuda and Sunway Construction could emerge as early winners given their key roles in executing previous large-scale public projects, in our view. However, this will be highly dependent on the government’s finances, especially after the various fiscal injections to combat the economic impact of the pandemic.”