Malaysia awards $240 mln rail contracts to 3 local firms

Oct 3 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Mass Rapid Transit rail project, which aims to ease congestion in Kuala Lumpur, has awarded construction contracts worth 732.2 million ringgit ($240 million) to three local firms.

Mass Rapid Corp Sdn Bhd, the company set up to undertake the transport project, said in a statement that Naim Engineering Sdn Bhd, a unit of Naim Holdings Berhad , won a 204.7 million ringgit contract.

UEM Construction Sdn Bhd and Apex Communications Sdn Bhd won contracts worth 275.8 million ringgit and 251.7 million ringgit respectively, it added.

The contracts were awarded in a tender open to 12 qualified Bumiputra companies. Bumiputra refers to majority ethnic Malays and other indigenous people in the country who benefit from a decades-old affirmative action policy.

The publicly funded MRT project was initially estimated to cost 37 billion ringgit, but more recent projections have put the figure at around 50 billion ringgit. ($1 = 3.0510 Malaysian ringgit)

(Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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