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Thursday, November 29, 2007

RM165million project to boost Merge earnings

Property developer Merge Housing Bhd expects future earnings to come from its projects in Mont' Kiara and Jalan Puchong, which have a total gross development value (GDV) of RM165 million.

LEE: Company intends to sign more deals to increase the worth of its developments

It is building bungalows in a gated community in Mont' Kiara.

Managing director Lee Kuang Chong said Merge Housing will hand over 16 bungalows to the landowner, comprising two families, by January.

In total, there are 39 lots spread across 3.85ha with a minimum GDV of RM75 million.

"For 2008, we are targeting to sell the remaining 23 plots of land. We are having initial talks with interested parties who want to make a bulk purchase, and we are targeting RM5 million to RM7 million per unit if we build the bungalows," Lee told reporters after the company's annual general meeting yesterday.

As for the development along Jalan Puchong, Merge Housing will build a 308-unit condominium with a GDV of RM90 million.

"We are in the midst of submitting the building approval to DBKL (Kuala Lumpur municipal), and target to launch by end-2008," he said.

Merge Housing also has two commercial plots of 20,000 sq ft and 19,000 sq ft respectively along Jalan Puchong.

"We've had people approach us to build an exhibition centre, furniture showrooms and mini-markets. We don't want to divide the parcel into shoplots," he said.

Aside from these two projects, it also has existing projects in Puchong, Subang 2 and Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam.

The 20.25ha Puchong project is in the planning stages and the type of development has yet to be determined.

"In Subang 2 we have a balance of 81ha, and we are in the midst of getting a university college to set up there," Lee said, declining to provide a name.

He said that since the population has matured in Subang 2, Merge Housing is in talks to attract hypermarkets to set up there.

"Our strategy is to hold the land until the value can be fully realised," he said.

Lee added that Tesco hypermarket will be venturing into its Bukit Jelutong commercial development as an anchor tenant.

He also disclosed that Merge Housing will move away from being a sole developer and branch into realty.

"We are looking at signing more deals to increase the worth of our developments for the next one to two years," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Jeeva Arulampalam)

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