March 12, 2008 / 2:09 PM / 12 years ago

Malaysia's Equine project pending approval -report

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s Penang state government has not yet approved a $7.8 billion real estate project in the state, its new chief minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), which now controls the industrial state following the weekend election, said on Monday it would review the Penang Global City Centre, which would include luxury homes, shopping centres and a convention centre.

The news wiped half the value off property developer Equine Capital Bhd EQUE.KL, which is one of the project’s backers. Equine’s chairman, Patrick Lim, is a friend of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s son.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is the DAP leader, said on Wednesday the issue of reviewing the project did not arise as state authorities have yet to approve it.

“It has not been given the O.K,” the national Bernama news agency quoted him as saying. “Not a single letter of approval has been given to the developer.”

He did not say when the authorities would decide on the project.

Equine shares closed up 1.1 percent on Wednesday at 94.5 Malaysian sen.

Reporting by Jalil Hamid; Editing by Richard Hubbard

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