By New Straits Times
PROPERTY developer Mah Sing Group Bhd plans to add energy-efficient homes into its portfolio, and buy more land to grow earnings.
The Penang-Kulim Broadband Pilot Project will be spearheaded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which it is learnt will be forking out some RM20 million as an initial investment in the project.
The project is likely to bring about broadband connectivity via more than 100 free internet wired and wireless hotspots in areas like Balik Pulau, Batu Ferringhi and Bayan Lepas on the island, as well as areas such as Kepala Batas, Bukit Mertajam, Batu Kawan, Nibong Tebal on the mainland and the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said systems for the project would be installed by the end of this year, and would enhance connectivity in cyber cities and cyber centres in
Currently, the areas of Bayan Lepas, Bertam and Batu Kawan have been designated as
Koh said the broadband pilot project is based on a survey conducted in Kulim and
“With the advent with WIMAX attaining more stability capabilities now, I believe that we should be able to achieve that target coverage eventually by 2010,” said Koh, adding that more details would be announced within the next two months.
Koh said more internet hotspots between the areas of Kulim and
He added that a grant from MCMC is being worked out and that it is undergoing a selection process for the telcos which want to participate in the project.
The household broadband penetration rate in
JOHOR BARU: The Berinda Group will unveil its latest property development tomorrow with the launch of Impian Heights - Park Precinct.
Offering 200 units within the Taman Impian Emas township, the development also boasts the distinction of being located in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).
It will feature a fully secured two-tiered gated and guarded community, with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as an enhanced safety measure.
RFID is an automatic identification method provided for identification and secured access into individual precincts and homes using radio waves.
Spread over 600 acres within the entire 3,000-acre Taman Impian Emas township, Impian Heights is designed by multi-award winning landscape architect Malik, Lip & Associates and developed by Gunung Impian Development Sdn Bhd.
Sales manager Lim Sung Heng said Impian Heights was ideally located as it was easily accessible through the new Pontian Interchange while the North-South Highway was a mere five minutes away via Skudai and Kempas.
“Ever since the Government waived real property gains tax (RPGT) effective April, the market here has been very active,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The Park Precinct will feature 80 double storey terrace units under Park Terrace 1 with an introductory price of RM298,000 and above while 79 homes will be offered under Park Terrace II from RM338,000 onwards.
The 40 units under Park Link Villa 1 is expected to be priced in the range of RM598,000 while land for bungalow lots under Park Villa will be sold for RM65 per sq ft.
Meanwhile, the 36 units under the Park Link Villa II are expected to be launched at RM700,000 each in three months.
There is a planned 27-hole golf course with nine-hole playable as well as the planned Resident’s Club, which will be equipped with jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, tennis courts, day spa and a free form swimming pool.
The company is also conducting negotiations for a joint-venture shopping mall with an Australian investor and expects to announce details by year-end for the two storey-shopping complex.
The official sales launch for Impian Heights is on from 11am-9pm at the Impian Heights show house, The Park Precinct, Taman Impian Emas.
Dubai group plans 30 properties by end-2008
DUBAI: Dubai-based hospitality group Almulla has launched the world’s first syariah-compliant hotel brand portfolio to cater to demand from Muslim and non-Muslim travellers.
The hotel group plans to have 30 properties under three core brand names – Cliftonwood, Adham and Wings – by the end of 2008, with Malaysia being one of its targeted destinations.
The group’s overall strategy was to reach 150 hotels by 2013 with expected total investment of over US$2bil, it said in a statement issued in conjunction with the launch on Wednesday.
Almulla Hospitality chairman Abdulla M. Almulla said institutional investors and high net worth individuals would be the backbone for such a growth drive.
He said although there were plenty of individual syariah-compliant hotels worldwide, their positioning was usually dictated by the owner, either as an independent hotel, one within a chain or due to the syariah laws of a country where they are situated.
“Our brand proposition is so distinct that guests will be confident that our brand values have universal consistency,” he added in the statement.
Almulla said the Muslim traveller market was expanding around the world due to the increasing wealth in their communities, combined with conscious lifestyle living, and it represented 10% of the world tourism market, being one of the fastest growing segments.
Their average spending is 10% to 50% higher than that of the average leisure or business traveller.
“The bottomline is that conscious lifestyle tourism is expected to grow at a rate of 20% per annum, five times more than the average traditional market segment,” the group said.
According to the group, the specific destinations targeted are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand.
It is also looking forward to setting up operations in Europe with 15 deluxe hotels, to be followed by 25 business hotels in “the second European wave”.
The group plans to capture the Gulf Cooperation Council travellers who contribute over US$12bil annually on leisure travel alone.
According to the World Tourism Organisation, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest outbound travel markets in terms of average spend with tourists from the kingdom spending US$6.7bil annually on overseas travel.
The UAE travellers are close behind, at more than US$4.9mil, averaging US$1,700 per trip, which is US$500 higher than the European average.
The group also said that all properties operating under the brands would serve only halal prepared food, as interpreted by syariah laws and the syariah supervisory board. – Bernama
In a press release, the company said the last unit was sold at RM2,100 psf, from an average price of RM1,350 psf when it was launched early last year. The Avare comprises 78 condominiums with built-up areas of 3,800 sq ft to 7,700 sq ft. The project’s scheduled completion date is next August.
Executive director Lim Ching Choy said the successful sales of the luxury condominiums took the firm closer to realising its repositioning as a developer.
Apart from The Avare, the firm’s property development arm, which contributed over 60% of turnover, is developing Magnaville in Selayang and Dataran Automobil in Shah Alam.
KUALA LUMPUR: Sunrise Bhd, which has made a name for itself in the development of Mont’Kiara in Kuala Lumpur, is looking at sustainable overseas property development as an option for the future as its landbank in the country depletes.
Executive chairman Tong Kooi Ong said the company had, in the middle of the year, acquired a 4.8-acre freehold site in Vancouver, Canada, for RM112mil that would be rezoned to a 700,000 sq ft net saleable strata-titled residential development with a commercial element.
“Sunrise needs to consider this as an option in the future but we don’t want to do a one-off project, it must be long term and meaningful,” Tong said after the company AGM yesterday.
Sunrise currently has 85.16 acres of undeveloped freehold land in Mont’Kiara.
Tong, who is also executive chairman of Taiga Building Products Ltd, a Canadian distributor of building products, said he hoped there would be more opportunities there but did not discount development ventures in other parts of the world.
The as-yet-unnamed development in the suburb of Richmond, Vancouver, is the second-largest development in the city, he said, adding that the more premium condominium units in the suburb were going for an average of C$500 to C$530 psf while in Vancouver, it was C$800 to C$2,000 psf. The development would be launched in two phases, in mid-2008 and mid-2009.
From left: Sunrise Bhd deputy executive chairman Datuk Allan Lim Kim Huat, Tong Kooi Ong and Sunrise managing director Datuk Michael K.C. Yam at the press conference
The Vancouver development will mark Sunrise’s maiden foray into the North American market. The company’s previous exposure to overseas property development had been small, including a joint venture in Britain and a three-acre freehold site in Sydney, Australia.
Meanwhile, Tong said there were over 6 million sq ft of net saleable area under construction in Mont’Kiara, ranging from developments that were in the beginning stages of construction to those that were just being completed. Going forward, he said, there was over 5 million sq ft of net saleable area in seven projects that would be launched in the near future.
“We’ve over RM1.3bil in unbilled sales to date and, if MK11 is included, we’ll pass the RM2bil mark once the sales and purchase agreements are signed,” Tong said.
The RM800mil MK11 comprises five 43-storey condominium tower blocks on 5.3 acres and will be launched at year-end. Unbilled sales rose 90.8% in the financial year ended June 30, 2007 (FY07) compared with FY06.
The company also plans to launch a similar mixed development project next to its Solaris Dutamas project currently under construction.
Sunrise posted a net profit of RM67.49mil on revenue of RM558.09mil in FY07.
By New Straits Times
PROPERTY developer Mah Sing Group Bhd plans to add energy-efficient homes into its portfolio, and buy more land to grow earnings.
Plans are also taking shape to venture into Sabah and Sarawak where Kuala Lumpur-based Mah Sing plans to replicate its existing projects.
"We would like to go green, for instance, solar energy," Mah Sing group managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum said after the company's shareholders meeting yesterday.
Talks are on-going between Mah Sing and Japanese solar-energy equipment makers like Hitachi and Sharp, said Leong, without specifying when the optional features will be added into its future offerings.
Early birds in the Malaysian solar-power home fraternity include SP Setia Bhd and Putrajaya Perdana Bhd.
Local real estate builders' energy-conservation efforts come at a time when global oil prices have substantially risen, thus, rendering hydrocarbon-fuel uneconomical in electricity generation.
Meanwhile, Leong said Mah Sing would like to build an estimated 200ha township within a strategic 1,200ha tract in Sungai Buloh where the Rubber Research Institute sits.
"That (200 ha) is the optimum size we can value add," said Leong. The 1,200 ha land near Petaling Jaya's Bandar Utama, and Kota Damansara enclaves, is up for sale.
In Sabah and Sarawak, it hopes to gain a foothold in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, where the developer intends to collaborate with private landowners and local authorities.
The firm's expansion there coincides with its planned initial overseas real estate ventures, where Vietnam has been identified as its first stop.
Mah Sing, also a plastic products maker, saw its net profit rose 22 per cent to RM38.3 million, or 8.1 sen a share in the first half to June 2007, while revenue added 18 per cent to RM286.1 million.
Shares of Mah Sing dropped two per cent or four sen yesterday, valuing the firm at RM1.03 billion.
“We believe the property market will do well, underpinned by interest from foreigners and increased domestic demand, especially in medium to high-end residential and commercial projects,” he said.
Leong said the spillover projects from the Ninth Malaysia Plan, low unemployment and high savings rates, and the sustained economic growth momentum would all contribute to the property market's positive run.
“This would be boosted further by recent property incentives announced in the 2008 Budget, and Mah Sing will implement several complementary measures to benefit home buyers,” Leong told reporters after the company EGM yesterday.
To complement the Government's 50% stamp duty exemption for the purchase of homes under RM250,000, Leong said the group would be subsidising the remaining 50% stamp duty for the purchase of Mah Sing homes.
Group chief financial officer Steven Ng Poh Seng said the local property market would be unaffected by the slowdown in the current US economy.
“The US dollar may be weakening, but our ringgit will strengthen because we have a healthy economy,” he said.
The residential and commercial developer currently has 10 ongoing projects, of which four will be launched next year, including The Icon Mont' Kiara, a commercial development cradled within Mont' Kiara and Sri Hartamas; Duta Perdana, a township in Puchong; Southbay Penang, a mix of residential and commercial components on the island;and the Southgate Commercial Centre, a medium-rise office tower block opposite the group's headquarters.
Leong said response to Southbay Penang had been overwhelming, with up to 1,500 reservations received for the commercial/residential units on offer.
He said the group was also confident of robust sales for Southgate, citing the first phase of d7, YTL Land & Development Bhd's debut commercial development in Sentul East, which sold all 100 units in just one hour.
Leong also said the group was planning to expand to east Malaysia.
“Sabah and Sarawak are states with the highest growth rates in Malaysia. Now is the right time for the cities there to upgrade. We would like to replicate and improve our current designs in east Malaysia.”
PUTRAJAYA Perdana Bhd is set to become a major player in the construction sector in Middle East and Malaysia after control of the company shifted to Swan Symphony Sdn Bhd (SSSB).
It is understood that a crossover of 68.6 million shares in Putrajaya Perdana from Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) took place yesterday.
SSSB is 51 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment Corp (ADKM) and 49 per cent by Autron Investment.
SSSB in August signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with E&O, which held a controlling stake of 50.6 per cent in Putrajaya Perdana, to acquire its entire holdings for RM2.90 per share.
Business Times was told that Yousif Mana S. Al Otaiba, one of the major shareholders of ADKM, aims to generate more than RM4 billion in new business for Putrajaya Perdana in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Malaysia.
The other shareholders of ADKM are Sheikh Sabah Mohd S. Al-Sabah and Datuk Tengku Faisal Ibrahim.
"The takeover by SSSB will pave a way for Putrajaya Perdana to double its business and significantly increase the order book from over RM2 billion currently by securing major construction jobs in Malaysia and the Middle East over the next 12 months," a source said.
Putrajaya Perdana already has presence in Abu Dhabi and now intends to work with Aldar Properties for potential jobs in the region.
Aldar has appointed Putrajaya Perdana as master contractor in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) Node-1 in South Johor.
"Putrajaya Perdana will be on the roll as several government-linked firms in Abu Dhabi have also expressed interest in engaging its services. There will be new major developments for the group in the near future," the source said.
Putrajaya Perdana is expected to also build its working relationship with Mubadala Development Co for projects in the IDR and outside Malaysia.
Mubadala's unit, Madsar, which is focused in "green projects", is building the world's first zero carbon multi-billion-ringgit city, and Putrajaya Perdana is expected to benefit by playing a key role in the development.
Putrajaya Perdana has established a leadership position in the energy-efficient building market in Malaysia, and it plans to extend the expertise overseas, particularly in the Middle East.
It is believed that going forward, SSSB will retain the management team of Putrajaya Perdana.
It also planning a special dividend to be declared within the next 12 months, proposing to increase the percentage of profit paid out as dividend to 50 per cent or more of annual profit.
There has been significant investor confidence in Putrajaya Perdana with the emergence of SSSB as the new substantial shareholder, marked by the increasing number of blue-chip institutional and retail investors.
The Employees Provident Fund, which began investing in the counter in August, currently holds just over five per cent of Putrajaya Perdana's shares.By New Straits Times (By Sharen Kaur)