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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Brem has big plans overseas

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-profile Brem Holding Bhd is going on an aggressive drive to capture the
overseas property market and has slated several projects for launch in China, Thailand, India and Vietnam next year.

Its managing director Khoo Chai Kaa told theSun in an interview that negotiations are currently
underway with landowners in all four countries and project launch dates would be announced by the first quarter of 2008.

“We’ve been a local player for quite a while and it is now time for us to move into a new realm, which is the global market,” says Khoo.

“In China, we missed out opportunities to develop properties in the main first-tier cities due to high entry costs and expensive land prices.

“So we immediately scouted for land in second-tier cities such as Guang Dong, Zhuhai, Chung Zheng and Zheng Tao and commenced negotiations with landowners,” he said.

“Our concentration in China and Vietnam will be mainly on mixeddevelopment projects, including medium- and medium-low cost residential units to cater for the masses.

“But in Thailand and India, we are going for high-rise condominium projects to cater for a niche market segment,” Khoo added.

In Thailand, Khoo said his company is planning to launch a luxury serviced apartment project in downtown Bangkok.

“We are having talks with two land owners in Bangkok and hope to decide on one of their offers soon.

“Our project in Bangkok is set to be the highlight of our overseas ventures as it will be an iconic high-rise structure that will be clearly visible on the city’s skyline.

In India, it is planning a highend condominium project in the ITcity of Bangalore and the southern hub of Chennai. “They will cater for the rising number of wealthy individuals who require luxury homes,” said Khoo.

He stated that profit margins for developing in mega cities such as Bangkok, Bangalore and Chennai are higher than in Kuala Lumpur due to the fact that premium locations command a higher price per sq ft than in Kuala Lumpur.

“Luxury properties in India are being snapped up fast as the stock market boom has created many high net-worth individuals.

“Bangkok is also a favourite destination for international property investors and we can capitalise on the strength of these cities and their socio-economic growth to sell our products,” Khoo said.

Brem Holding is looking at a gross development value (GDV) of between RM200 and RM300
million per project for its overseas developments.

Khoo says based on initial estimates, the projects in China, Thailand, India and Vietnam are set to carry a cumulative gross development value (GDV) of RM1 billion to RM2 billion.

“We hope to chart new territories with our overseas projects and position ourselves firmly as a reputable developer with world class capabilities,” added Khoo.

On the local front, Brem Holding’s current projects include the Rosvilla condominium near Mont’Kiara, Bukit Prima Pelangi in Kuala Lumpur, Pelangi Heights in Kajang, Gambier Heights in Penang and Taman Cendana in Sungai Petani.

Brem’s landbank in the country is around 680 acres. Established in 1989, Brem Holding was listed on the Second Board of Bursa Malaysia in 1992 and transferred to the Main Board in 1997.

It has 11 subsidiary companies and seven associated companies, involved in construction, civil engineering, water concessions and property investment holding.

Property development currently contributes 30% to the group’s turnover.

By theSun (by Tim Leonard)

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