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Friday, November 30, 2007

TH Prop CEO to join Saudi firm

THE head of Tabung Haji's property arm, Syed Mohamed Ibrahim, is leaving TH Properties Sdn Bhd (THP) to work on a RM24 billion city project in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

Syed Mohamed, the chief executive officer of THP, tendered his resignation earlier this week, a source told Business Times.

"He felt that it was an opportunity that could not be passed. It is a rare opportunity," the source said.

Syed Mohamed is set to become the chief operating officer of Seera City Real Estate Development Co, a firm leading the 15-year project, known as the "Knowledge Economic City".

The city is one of six new cities that will be built by Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter.

It will be an education and technology hub near Islam's second holiest shrine in Madinah.

Syed Mohamed's departure highlights the attraction of Malaysian expertise to foreign markets.

Malaysia's MMC Corp Bhd and Saudi's Binladin Group are developing another city, called the Jizan Economic City, a US$30 billion (RM101 billion) 30-year project.

Saudi Arabia is tapping its massive oil wealth to build infrastructure and create jobs.

Seera is owned by investors like food company Savola Group and property developer Taibah. The Knowledge Economic City will cover an area of 4.8 million sq m housing information technology companies and research institutions.

It is unclear who will replace Syed Ibrahim, although Tabung Haji is likely to consider internal and external candidates to lead THP.

THP is currently developing Bandar Enstek, a RM9.2 billion township in Negri Sembilan.

The township has attracted investments in excess of RM500 million from both the government and private sectors that have established institutions of higher learning and research there.

It is expected to be completed by 2025.

By New Straits Times (by Shahriman Johari)

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