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Monday, December 24, 2007

Sepang Gold Coast project to yield returns in 2 years

Sepang Gold Coast Sdn Bhd (SGC) expects to start seeing some returns from its ambitious RM3 billion Sepang Gold Coast project within the next two years.

SGC president Ho Hok Seng said the project has started to take shape with the first phase, comprising 361 Golden Palm Tree Water Villas, currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2009.

"Once the water villas are completed, we expect to immediately see a guaranteed return of at least eight per cent in the first two years and between 7.5 per cent to 12 per cent in the subsequent years for our investors," he told Business Times at Bagan Lalang beach in Sepang recently.

He said about 90 per cent of the water villas has been sold with foreign investors making up more than 80 per cent of the total sales.

The foreign buyers include those from the UK, Europe, Middle East, Korea and Japan.

"The water villas are based on a sale and leaseback basis where SGC will lease it back and turn the units into a resort which will be run by Swiss-belHotel International," Ho said, noting that the firm is spending RM400 million for construction of the project.

He noted that the Golden Palm Tree Villas were sold out within five months and is conceptualised as a palm-shaped eco-friendly hotel.

"There are four types of villas, ranging from 520 to 2,000 sq ft in size, and from RM488,880 to RM2.19 million a unit," he said.

All the water villas are being built on stilts, about one kilometre from the shoreline.

The developer will be retaining 32 units of the villas to be converted into commercial outlets.

Apart from that, Ho said SGC is planning to build the second Golden Palm Tree villas but with less units as part of efforts to make it more exclusive for buyers.

"We hope to launch the second villas by middle of next year but we are unable to give further details just yet," he said.

He said the 1,848.4ha leasehold Sepang Gold Coast which stretches over 22 km will be a coastal city comprising various commercial and residential projects to be developed over 15 years.

"The development will include four boutique resort hotels, three traditional or ethnic resort, a waterside township, a marina, an aquarium, open zoo, theme park, ecotourism areas and an institute of oceanography," Ho said.

Sepang Gold Coast is being developed by SGC, which is a 70:30 joint venture between Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd and Sepang Bay Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian unit of Indonesian-based developer Istana Group, the same people behind multi-level marketing firm CNI International.

By New Straits Times (by Azlan Abu Bakar)

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