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Friday, October 26, 2007

Mah Sing expects 2008 to be a good year

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum is confident that 2008 will be a prosperous year for the property market and the company as well.

“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.

Datuk Leong Hoy Kum
The recently announced increase in the Employees Provident Fund dividend could potentially open up more than RM9bil for the property market to tap, he added.

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.”

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