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Friday, November 16, 2007

Bolton to focus on high-end market

BOLTON Bhd (Bolton) will focus solely on property development in the medium to high-end market by the end of next year as it is in the midst of disposing its non-core assets and winding down its construction and engineering sector.

Azman: In the midst of disposing non-core assets

Its executive chairman, Datuk Azman Yahya, said the company has only RM150 million worth of non-core assets left, having already disposed its Hotel Midah to a private party for RM26 million. “Proceeds from the sale of our non-core assets will be used to reduce borrowings and to
buy land,” he said, adding that its Campbell Complex and Langkawi Fair are still up for sale.

Last Saturday, Bolton launched its maiden project in Penang, a RM170 million condominium project named Surin. Located on 3.4 freehold acres in Tanjung Bungah, 50% of the first block, comprising 198 units, have been sold.

“We will open the second block, which is the premium block with better views, once sales of the first block hit 80%,” said Azman. The entire project comprises two 28- storey towers with a total of 396 units.

Chan: RM2 billion worth of projects for next year

Bolton’s chief operating officer Chan Wing Kwong said the company has planned RM1.5 billion to RM2 billion worth of projects for next year. One of them is the Mayang development, a joint venture (JV) with UM Land Bhd.

“We plan to introduce it to the market in the fourth quarter of 2008,” said Chan. The 4.3-acre freehold project comprises condominiums with possible inclusion of office space. Prices have yet to be determined.

Also to be opened for sale next year is the second block of its RM80 million Tijani condominium. “We feel that the market will be stronger next year, that’s why we held back,” said Chan.

Meanwhile, its ongoing project, the 1,400-acre Bandar Amanjaya township in Sungai Petani, Kedah, has been 50% developed. It currently has 700 acres left with a gross development value (GDV) of between RM400 million to RM500 million. According to Chan, the company sells an
average of 500 to 700 units per year garnering average sales of RM30 million to RM40 million per year. It expects to complete the township within the next seven years.

“With a current land bank of 900 acres, Bolton will focus primarily in the Klang Valley and Penang. We will be accelerating our purchase of land in Penang now that we have a presence there,” he added.

By theSun (By Yeong Ee-Wah)

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