Construction and maintenance group John Laing, which is active in the West Midlands, has increased its presence in Asia with the appointment of three new senior posts in Singapore and India.

The company, which is bidding for Birmingham City Council's £2.2 billion highways maintenance contract, is targeting the Indian and Asia Pacific markets because of the opportunities they offer for growth.

The new Asia team will be led by Gary Lucas, who will be based in Singapore.

For the past two years he has led Laing's expansion into new international markets by establishing offices and securing projects in both Canada and central Europe.

Prior to that, he was deputy managing director of John Laing's social infrastructure business where he also headed up the health sector.

Also based in Singapore will be Anthony Phillips, who has been appointed senior investment manager for the Asia Pacific region.

His task will be to identify infrastructure investment opportunities in the region and establish partnership agreements with local and international contractors for upcoming public private sector projects as well as examine potential acquisitions.

Peter Jones will be setting up Laing's first Indian office in Gurgaon, Haryana, near Delhi.

His role is to build a team and secure opportunities on the sub-continent.

Laing's established an Indian subsidiary in February and the company is initially concentrating on bidding for national highways projects.