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Friday, December 7, 2007

Rahim & Co forges alliance with UK's Savills

Property consultant Rahim & Co Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd expects to increase local property sales to foreigners through its alliance with UK property services provider Savills plc.

Executive chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Rahman said that the cooperation with Savills last year contributed more than RM150 million in sales.

"Just one transaction done through the help of Savills resulted in RM160 million worth of properties sold," said Rahim & Co's agency managing director Robert Ang after the strategic alliance signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"This strategic alliance has given us access to MNCs (multinational companies) operating here in Malaysia and foreign investors," he said.

The agency business, better known as Rahim & Co Real Estate Agents Sdn Bhd, will trade under the name of Savills Rahim & Co after receiving approval from the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia in mid-December.

Rahim said the Malaysian property market has attracted investors from the Middle East, China, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong via Savills' extensive network.

"There is huge demand for real-estate investment in Asia, including Malaysia," said Savills Asia Pacific Ltd chief executive officer Robert McKeller.

He said many of Savills clients found it difficult investing in China's real-estate market due to tax and legal issues.

Such clients have shifted their focus to emerging markets that could be considered risker but provided higher yields such as Vietnam, Jakarta in Indonesia and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

"What we are seeing is that a general weight of cash- chasing real-estate investments," he said.

"We have received interests from Koreans, Japanese, Australian and even some US funds. When we get a good development, there will be 10 to 15 bidders who want to put their money in such a development," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Jeeva Arulampalam)

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