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Friday, October 26, 2007

Harbour Point set to rejuvenate Port Klang

By theSun

An artist's impression of Harbour Point's shopoffices


PORT KLANG is set to have its first shopping mall, hpmall@Harbour Point, in three years time. The 150,000 sq ft retail offering, spread over three levels and complemented by 3-storey shopoffices, will be built on a 3.3-acre leasehold site between the main thoroughfare of Persiaran Raja Muda Musa and Jalan Depoh.

The developer, Titijaya Group of Companies, is confident of Harbour Point’s success as it has roped in Giant as the anchor tenant. The hypermarket retailer
will be leasing 30,000 sq ft of space. This is Titijaya’s second mixed commercial offering after First Subang in Subang Jaya’s SS19, which has Jusco’s D’Hati supermarket as the anchor tenant.

Titijaya group director Charmaine Lim (pic) tells PropertyPlus (theSun) that Port Klang town, where Harbour Point is situated, has not experienced much change or seen new commercial offerings in the past few years. It has been an established area for more than 50 years and the only commercial offerings are mostly 2- and 3- storey shops. While there are some smaller, new commercial offerings comprising four to five units of shopoffices found nearby, there is hardly any big parcel of land left for development here, she adds.

Titijaya is confident that Harbour Point, which has a gross development value of RM50 million will enhance the overall commercial property values there.

The current landscape
Klang-based Imperial Properties principal Lee Nyi King tells PropertyPlus shopoffices in Port Klang are mainly concentrated in the town centre along the main road of Persiaran Raja Muda Musa, which stretches about five kilometres. Most, if not all are small clusters.

The pre-war 2-storey shophouses are easily over 80 years old and some are in quite bad shape, with secondary transactions few and far, says Lee. He cannot recall the last transaction made and says there have not been many enquiries either.
“Port Klang is very much a workers’ population and most businesses here comprise petty traders,” he adds.

Another Klang-based agent familiar with Port Klang concurs with Lee. According to her, the better-located shops are mostly occupied, particularly the 2-storey ones along Persiaran Raja Muda Musa. “However, not many shops in Port Klang town are for sale as many people buy them for their own use. Those being rented can fetch between RM4,000 and RM5,000 for ground floor units. Depending on the condition of the units, secondary values can range between RM450,000 and RM600,000,” she shares.

Away from the main road, the agent says that ground floor monthly rentals can only bring in between RM1,500 and RM2,500. With renovation, ground floor lots can be rented for up to RM3,500. These are 4-storey shops with a lot size of 22ft by 75ft and current prices range between RM550,000 and RM650,000, she adds.

Sale or lease
Having purchased the tract from the government two years ago, Titijaya’s Lim says Harbour Point’s location is one of the busier parts of Port Klang town. “There is an existing
commercial strip opposite our project comprising older 3-storey shopoffices as well as
other amenities nearby, such as the wet market, bus terminal and hospital.”

Titijaya will have a ground breaking ceremony tomorrow. The developer soft-launched the project four months ago and sales have reached 40%. Lim feels the response, especially for the mall, are an indication that buyers are confident with the project. “Our buyers who have bought lots in the mall are retailers who have branches in other shopping malls. This is a reflection of their confidence in our location,” she says.

An artist's impression of hpmall@Harbour Point with Giant as the anchor tenant

hpmall@Harbout Point has a net saleable space of 35,000 sq ft and a net lettable area of 60,000 sq ft. It has 80 covered parking bays on the ground level. There are 43 lots for sale with sizes ranging between 260 sq ft and 700 sq ft. Prices start from RM550 psf. Maintenance has been set at RM1 psf for owners and tenants. Titijaya will retain the top floor of the mall and some lots on both ground and first floor for recurring rental income. Rents start from RM3 psf.

Titijaya decided on the sale or lease approach for the mall, based on feedback from its purchasers. “Some retailers want to buy while others are only interested to lease,” shares Lim. To assure its success, the developer will be controlling the tenant mix.

According to Lim, Titijaya’s initial plans were to put up shopoffices only, but when Giant
expressed interest, the developer decided to include a mall in the development’s plans.

On the shopoffice units, there will be 21 enbloc units for sale, with prices starting from
RM800,000 for the 20 ft by 75 ft lots that have typical built-ups of about 4,365 sq ft. There are only 12 of these units left, says Lim. A bank and shipping company have bought two corner units, tagged between RM1.3 million and RM1.5 million. These are slightly larger at 28ft by 75ft and built-ups of 5,300 sq ft.

According to Lim, there are many shipping companies in Port Klang and most of their offices are
located in Port Klang town. “We are offering a new and modern choice for buyers and, based
on our market studies, there is demand here but they has been a lack of choice as well as limited
supply on the secondary market.”

Most of our buyers are locals who have been renting shops here as well as upgraders, she adds. The developer says a typical 3-storey shoplot opposite Harbour Point has a lot size of 22ft by 100ft and built-up of 6,000 sq ft. Enbloc monthly rentals can command around RM5,000, while the ground floor will fetch between RM2,500 and RM3,000 monthly.

The developer is projecting rental returns of 8%. Piling works have already commenced at the
Harbour Point shopoffices and completion will be in 2010.

Busy times ahead for Sunrise

By theSun

THE next two years will be a busy one for Sunrise Bhd as the developer will be launching
its first project in North America, a 4.8-acre site in Richmond, Canada, as well as three
new products in its flagship development of Mont’Kiara Integrated Global Village.

Sunrise executive chairman Tong Kooi Ong (pix) said overseas ventures are vital to the
future of the group. “Although the gross margins from developing in Canada are
not as high as Mont’Kiara’s, we need to be farsighted and consider going offshore should
things slow down on the local front,” he said, after the company’s 38th annual general
meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Sunrise will be developing 700,000 sq ft of apartments with some commercial elements in
Richmond, a suburb south of Vancouver. The site, which was bought for RM112 million in June
will be launched by June 2009 and construction, is slated to begin in mid-2008.

In Sunrise Mont’Kiara, Tong said it will not only be launching MK28, MK20 and 19 bungalows
in The Residence, but have managed to sell all units in 11@ Mont’Kiara. “Without being
officially launched, all units in 11@Mont’Kiara, except the 30% bumiputera allocation have
been sold. MK28 will offer 1.1 million sq ft of condominiums at a slightly lower premium
range than 11@Mont’Kiara. MK20 will have components of a shopping mall, offices and
residences,” he said.

The scale model of MK11

The RM800-million 11@Mont’Kiara is Sunrise’s latest 6-star luxury condo, with five
towers with a stunning sky bridge. The 5.4- acre project houses 342 condo units with sizes
between 2,068 and 7,688 sq ft and prices from RM727 psf.

Meanwhile, the developer will be completing the construction of 19 bungalows at The
Residence by March 2008 and units are being built under the build-then-sell concept. The
project is a bungalow precinct comprising 47 residences with sizes ranging from 7,500 to
16,000 sq ft.

Tong said that its landbank is a major input to the group’s production and key to its
future. “During the year we used 7.35-acres in Mont’Kiara for 10@Mont’Kiara, while we
acquired another 4.68 acres. Our Mont’Kiara landbank stands at 85.16 acres.
Sunrise also bought a 1.81-acre plot in the Kuala Lumpur city centre. We
plan to build over 500,000 sq ft of office space,” he said.

On two business areas (the Seremban Forest Heights township and a 58-acre plot in Kajang) where Sunrise continued to perform poorly, Tong said that they are looking into ways of improving.

“We are considering whether we want to continue selling the units in our joint-venture project with Singapore’s MCL Land in Seremban or to slow down the development,
while waiting for the natural demand to pick up,” he said.

Sunrise posted record quarterly earnings for the first quarter of its June 2008 financial year-end, boosted by the sale of retail units and car parks in Plaza Mont’Kiara, higher sales of existing launches and progressive billings from its on- going projects.

For the three-month period ended Sept 30, Sunrise recorded a turnover of RM220 million,
a 114% increase and pre-tax profits of RM85.6 million, a 179% hike compared with the previous
year’s corresponding quarter.

The group’s unbilled sales stood at a significant RM1.3 billion, one of the highest
among Malaysia’s listed property companies.
For the financial year ended June 30, 2007 Sunrise achieved a 55% growth in revenue to RM558 million from 2006’s RM359 million.

Dijaya’s designer suites popular with young, urban executives

By theSun

An artist's impression of The Tropics Designer Suites within Tropicana City

DIJAYA Corp Bhd’s (Dijaya) The Tropics Designer Suites is proving to be popular with the young urban executives who are making up the bulk of its purchasers. The 29-storey residence is located within Tropicana City, Dijaya’s 9- acre freehold development.

Tong: The majority of buyers are
yuppies wanting to live in PJ

Tong Kien Onn, managing director of Dijaya, tells PropertyPlus: “The majority of our buyers are yuppies who want to live in the Petaling Jaya area but cannot afford to purchase a link house. We also see a trend of parents buying units for their kids.”

The Tropics, 70% sold since it was open for sale in September 2006, has also been attracting retired couples looking for “small compact units and convenience” as well as investors who appreciate the convenience of living within Tropicana City.

With a gross development value (GDV) of RM135 million, the 601 units are sized between 625 sq ft and 1,176 sq ft and are priced between RM200,000 and RM458,000. Facilities at the residence include tennis and squash courts, a gymnasium, sauna and steam room as well as a 3-in-1-combo pool on the fourth floor, which is the roof of the adjoining Tropicana Mall.

According to Tong, the main attractions of the designer suites are their location, the convenience of a mall and the security, which uses access card entry. There are also 800 car park bays for the residents that are separated from the mall’s parking bays.

“We are also planning to provide wireless connectivity for the entire recreational floor, which is the fourth floor. Residents may even go online beside the swimming pool,” says Tong.

Due for completion at the end of 2009, The Tropics is the residential component of the RM600-million Tropicana City development. The other components are the 3-storey Tropicana Mall and the 105,000 sq ft Signature Office Tower.

“The structure of the mall is up and we’re at the 25% stage,” Tong states. To date, 50% of the
mall has been leased. Meanwhile, the Signature Office Tower, which previously received interests from several parties for an en bloc purchase, will now be retained for lease. Construction of the office tower is at the ground floor and completion is due early in 2009.

Dijaya’s other project, the RM380-million Tropicana Grande, will be launched early next year. “We are in the final stages of planning. We will begin a registration exercise next month and construction should begin around March next year,” says Tong.

Located within its flagship Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, the development comprises 241 units of golf course-fronting condominiums. Priced at RM400 per sq ft, it is targeted at corporate and business high-flyers, extended families, investors, as well as foreigners and will be the last piece of the project within the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort development.

Retirement: Sunset spas

By theSun

NOT so long ago, UK retirement homes were based on hospitals, and dreary places they were. Now, an elderly generation made rich by the property boom is buying into complexes modelled on luxury holiday resorts, complete with fitness centres, spas, caf├ęs and restaurants.

The latest “assisted living” developments offer the same lifestyle that many elderly people expect when they jet off for to a resort in the sun. Assisted-living complexes still make sure that help and care services are available at the press of a button, and usually there’s a nursing
home discreetly tucked away on-site too. But residents at these complexes own their own homes, giving them financial security and maintaining an appreciating asset to pass on to their children.

The Richmond Painswick is one such development. Located in the Cotswolds, it does not look like a retirement complex, with its traditionally styled buildings hewn from the local stone. Inside, the decor is bright and contemporary. The restaurant is as comfortable as that of most up-market country clubs. It’s a world away from the drab institutions so feared by the elderly. There’s a sauna, steam room, spa and pool, and a fully equipped gym.

The development includes “independent living apartments” designed for the active retired, as well as serviced apartments for people who need help with bathing and dressing. Finally, there are bedrooms with 24-hour care for the seriously ill. The independent-living apartments are designed for people who no longer need bedrooms for an entire family but want enough space for their treasured possessions, according to Keith Cockell, manager director of Richmond Villages. “People can sell their family house and get a fabulous flat with room to put all their furniture and possessions in – all you have to throw away is the stuff in the spare bedroom.”

Selling the family home will often release a substantial sum that can be used to top up a pension and indulge in the social life in the development, or be set aside to fund care later on, adds Cockell. Prices at Richmond Village complexes are between £150,000 (RM1.03 million) and £250,000 (RM1.7 million) for two bedrooms.

Owners in the independent-living part of the development rarely have to move from their apartments into the close-care facility, says Cockell, because care can be extended to the apartments easily and at low cost.

Cockell is also looking at a problem that he says is often ignored: elderly people who are caring for even more elderly partners.

“There are many couples where one is the carer, struggling to look after their partner when they find it difficult to cope themselves,” he says. “Their lives can be totally wrecked. We can look after the partner while they live in the suite, or one is in the nursing home and the other lives in their apartment close by. This is a totally untapped market.”

The retirement-village concept is set to move upscale, with much bigger developments planned, says Iain Locke, director of the healthcare division of Savills.

“Most of the high-quality operators are looking for land for more complexes,” he says. “Most UK assisted-living complexes are about six to 10 acres, but in the US, they are much bigger, on sites of several hundred acres and usually next to a golf course.”

The size of these developments enables them to provide more outdoor activities as well as allowing them to hide the offputting nursing home away in a corner of the development.

Richmond Villages is building a new development in the south-west that will be much larger than its current offerings. “We have a village in the pipeline on a 60- acre site overlooking the sea, which will be a ‘destination resort’ village with 250 residents,” says Cockell. “It will have all the features of a luxury hotel and a really first-class spa that we think would do Champneys proud.”

The point is to make retirement a rewarding and joyous part of life, rather than drudgery. “Our villages are lighthearted, fun places to live,” Cockell says. “People are beginning to see that there is a really great and positive alternative.” — The Independent

Mah Sing eyes en-bloc sales and more land

By theSun

MAH SING Group Bhd is looking at enbloc sales of its commercial developments
as well as acquisitions of more prime land to improve the group’s earning growth.

“We have received considerable investor interest, both local and foreign,
for our commercial properties as prices in Malaysia are still relatively cheap compared to regional peers,” says its group managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum (pic). Leong was speaking to reporters after the group’s EGM yesterday to approve the acquisition of Southbay Penang and the en-bloc sale of The Icon Jalan Tun Razak’s West Wing to Koperasi Felda.

Southbay Penang is the group’s first mixed development in the northern part of Malaysia, while The Icon Jalan Tun Razak is a 20-storey Grade A office development
in the heart of KL’s city centre.

“Moving forward, we aim to conclude more en-bloc sales for our Icon series of
commercial developments, including the East Wing of The Icon Jalan Tun Razak
and The Icon Mont’Kiara, to enhance and boost shareholders’ wealth and returns,”
says Leong.

He is confident that the group’s other commercial development, Southgate
Commercial Centre, also in the heart of KL’s golden triangle, will be well received,
as there is currently a shortage of Grade A offices in the area.

“For instance, YTL Land & Development’s d7 units in Sentul East were snapped up within an hour of their pre-launch sale, signifying a huge demand for such properties in the KL city area,”
notes Leong.

Southgate Commercial Centre is targeted for launch next year and will be open for registration soon. Prices for the office suites will start from RM420 psf.

According to Leong, Mah Sing also plans to venture into East Malaysia, and regional countries such as Vietnam, China, India, Indonesia and the Middle East. “We are currently exploring areas like Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam, although there is
nothing concrete yet.”

He sees a lot of potential to develop in those areas, especially in East Malaysia,
where there is room for improvement in the homes there.

“It is time for them to upgrade and we are pleased to introduce our niche products and gated and guarded concept there to cater to the needs of the people,” says Leong. The group is looking for jointventure projects with private landowners there.

An artist's impression of The Icon Mont' Kiara

Mah Sing is also eyeing part of the 3,000-acre plot in Sungai Buloh where the Rubber
Research Institute (RRI) is located. It is understood that at least 10 parties have put
in bids for it. The tract is located adjacent to the Kota Damansara township and is within the
vicinity of upmarket developments such as Bandar Utama and Tropicana. According
to The Edge Malaysia, among the parties interested in the said piece of land include
MK Land Holdings Bhd, Worldwide Holdings Bhd, and tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary via Tradewinds Corp. Although Mah Sing has not put in an official bid, Leong says the group is “very interested” if given the opportunity, as the area “is fantastic.”

On the property outlook for next year, Leong is confident it will continue to do well, following the spillover from the NinthMalaysia Plan (9MP), conducive interest rate environment, high savings rate, sustained economic growth momentum and low unemployment rate.
“This will be further boosted by recent incentives for the property sector as announced in Budget 2008, and Mah Sing will implement several complementary measures to benefit home buyers,” he says.

The group has 10 ongoing projects for next year, four of which will be launched.
These will be The Icon Mont’Kiara, Southbay Penang, Southgate Commercial
Centre and the Duta Perdana residential development in Puchong.

Leong says Mah Sing is planning these launches to capitalise on the recent incentives for the property sector announced by the government. “There is about RM9.6 billion to be tapped from the property market due to withdrawals from the EPF for home financing from next year

Mah Sing has a total landbank of 626 acres in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang, with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM4.2 billion, ensuring earnings visibility for five to seven years.

Pilot project to wire up Penang and Kulim

By theSun

The government along with the private telecommunication sector will be initiating a broadband pilot project to facilitate the fl ow of information, ideas and initiatives in business between Penang and Kulim.

The Penang-Kulim Broadband Pilot Project will be spearheaded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which it is learnt will be forking out some RM20 million as an initial investment in the project.

The project is likely to bring about broadband connectivity via more than 100 free internet wired and wireless hotspots in areas like Balik Pulau, Batu Ferringhi and Bayan Lepas on the island, as well as areas such as Kepala Batas, Bukit Mertajam, Batu Kawan, Nibong Tebal on the mainland and the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said systems for the project would be installed by the end of this year, and would enhance connectivity in cyber cities and cyber centres in Penang and Kulim. “However, our aim is on closing the digital divide in the more rural areas of Penang and Kulim,” he told reporters after delivering a presentation at a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) conference here on Oct 23.

Currently, the areas of Bayan Lepas, Bertam and Batu Kawan have been designated as Penang cyber cities, and the proposed Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) and Komtar designated as cyber centres.

Koh said the broadband pilot project is based on a survey conducted in Kulim and Penang almost three years ago as part of the National Broadband Plan. “We used this opportunity because Penang is small with a population density that is high enough for us to drive a targeted 90% broadband coverage in the state.

“With the advent with WIMAX attaining more stability capabilities now, I believe that we should be able to achieve that target coverage eventually by 2010,” said Koh, adding that more details would be announced within the next two months.

Koh said more internet hotspots between the areas of Kulim and Penang would be installed by private telco sector, which may or may not be free of charge.

He added that a grant from MCMC is being worked out and that it is undergoing a selection process for the telcos which want to participate in the project.

The household broadband penetration rate in Penang has been rising steadily since 2005 from 14.3% in 2005 to 20.5% in 2006 to 21.3% in the fi rst quarter of 2007.

Berinda Group to launch latest property project at IDR

By The Star

JOHOR BARU: The Berinda Group will unveil its latest property development tomorrow with the launch of Impian Heights - Park Precinct.

Lim Sung Heng

Offering 200 units within the Taman Impian Emas township, the development also boasts the distinction of being located in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

It will feature a fully secured two-tiered gated and guarded community, with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as an enhanced safety measure.

RFID is an automatic identification method provided for identification and secured access into individual precincts and homes using radio waves.

Spread over 600 acres within the entire 3,000-acre Taman Impian Emas township, Impian Heights is designed by multi-award winning landscape architect Malik, Lip & Associates and developed by Gunung Impian Development Sdn Bhd.

Sales manager Lim Sung Heng said Impian Heights was ideally located as it was easily accessible through the new Pontian Interchange while the North-South Highway was a mere five minutes away via Skudai and Kempas.

“Ever since the Government waived real property gains tax (RPGT) effective April, the market here has been very active,” he told a press conference yesterday.

The Park Precinct will feature 80 double storey terrace units under Park Terrace 1 with an introductory price of RM298,000 and above while 79 homes will be offered under Park Terrace II from RM338,000 onwards.

The Impian Heights - Park Precinct of the Taman Impian Project.

The 40 units under Park Link Villa 1 is expected to be priced in the range of RM598,000 while land for bungalow lots under Park Villa will be sold for RM65 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, the 36 units under the Park Link Villa II are expected to be launched at RM700,000 each in three months.

There is a planned 27-hole golf course with nine-hole playable as well as the planned Resident’s Club, which will be equipped with jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, tennis courts, day spa and a free form swimming pool.

The company is also conducting negotiations for a joint-venture shopping mall with an Australian investor and expects to announce details by year-end for the two storey-shopping complex.

Artist's impression of the 27-hole golf course.

The official sales launch for Impian Heights is on from 11am-9pm at the Impian Heights show house, The Park Precinct, Taman Impian Emas.

Hotel brand that’s syariah-compliant

By The Star

Dubai group plans 30 properties by end-2008

DUBAI: Dubai-based hospitality group Almulla has launched the world’s first syariah-compliant hotel brand portfolio to cater to demand from Muslim and non-Muslim travellers.

The hotel group plans to have 30 properties under three core brand names – Cliftonwood, Adham and Wings – by the end of 2008, with Malaysia being one of its targeted destinations.

The group’s overall strategy was to reach 150 hotels by 2013 with expected total investment of over US$2bil, it said in a statement issued in conjunction with the launch on Wednesday.

Almulla Hospitality chairman Abdulla M. Almulla said institutional investors and high net worth individuals would be the backbone for such a growth drive.

He said although there were plenty of individual syariah-compliant hotels worldwide, their positioning was usually dictated by the owner, either as an independent hotel, one within a chain or due to the syariah laws of a country where they are situated.

“Our brand proposition is so distinct that guests will be confident that our brand values have universal consistency,” he added in the statement.

Almulla said the Muslim traveller market was expanding around the world due to the increasing wealth in their communities, combined with conscious lifestyle living, and it represented 10% of the world tourism market, being one of the fastest growing segments.

Their average spending is 10% to 50% higher than that of the average leisure or business traveller.

“The bottomline is that conscious lifestyle tourism is expected to grow at a rate of 20% per annum, five times more than the average traditional market segment,” the group said.

According to the group, the specific destinations targeted are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand.

It is also looking forward to setting up operations in Europe with 15 deluxe hotels, to be followed by 25 business hotels in “the second European wave”.

The group plans to capture the Gulf Cooperation Council travellers who contribute over US$12bil annually on leisure travel alone.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest outbound travel markets in terms of average spend with tourists from the kingdom spending US$6.7bil annually on overseas travel.

The UAE travellers are close behind, at more than US$4.9mil, averaging US$1,700 per trip, which is US$500 higher than the European average.

The group also said that all properties operating under the brands would serve only halal prepared food, as interpreted by syariah laws and the syariah supervisory board. – Bernama

The Avare condominiums sold out

By The Star

The last Avare condominium unit was sold at RM2,100 per sq ft, from an average price of RM1,350 per sq ft when it was launched early last year.

PETALING JAYA: Second Board-listed Magna Prima Bhd, which is repositioning itself as a developer, announced yesterday that it had completed the sales of The Avare, a 41-storey freehold condominium development located in KLCC.

In a press release, the company said the last unit was sold at RM2,100 psf, from an average price of RM1,350 psf when it was launched early last year. The Avare comprises 78 condominiums with built-up areas of 3,800 sq ft to 7,700 sq ft. The project’s scheduled completion date is next August.

Executive director Lim Ching Choy said the successful sales of the luxury condominiums took the firm closer to realising its repositioning as a developer.

Apart from The Avare, the firm’s property development arm, which contributed over 60% of turnover, is developing Magnaville in Selayang and Dataran Automobil in Shah Alam.

Sunrise keen on overseas property jobs

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sunrise Bhd, which has made a name for itself in the development of Mont’Kiara in Kuala Lumpur, is looking at sustainable overseas property development as an option for the future as its landbank in the country depletes.

Executive chairman Tong Kooi Ong said the company had, in the middle of the year, acquired a 4.8-acre freehold site in Vancouver, Canada, for RM112mil that would be rezoned to a 700,000 sq ft net saleable strata-titled residential development with a commercial element.

“Sunrise needs to consider this as an option in the future but we don’t want to do a one-off project, it must be long term and meaningful,” Tong said after the company AGM yesterday.

Sunrise currently has 85.16 acres of undeveloped freehold land in Mont’Kiara.

Tong, who is also executive chairman of Taiga Building Products Ltd, a Canadian distributor of building products, said he hoped there would be more opportunities there but did not discount development ventures in other parts of the world.

The as-yet-unnamed development in the suburb of Richmond, Vancouver, is the second-largest development in the city, he said, adding that the more premium condominium units in the suburb were going for an average of C$500 to C$530 psf while in Vancouver, it was C$800 to C$2,000 psf. The development would be launched in two phases, in mid-2008 and mid-2009.

From left: Sunrise Bhd deputy executive chairman Datuk Allan Lim Kim Huat, Tong Kooi Ong and Sunrise managing director Datuk Michael K.C. Yam at the press conference

The Vancouver development will mark Sunrise’s maiden foray into the North American market. The company’s previous exposure to overseas property development had been small, including a joint venture in Britain and a three-acre freehold site in Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile, Tong said there were over 6 million sq ft of net saleable area under construction in Mont’Kiara, ranging from developments that were in the beginning stages of construction to those that were just being completed. Going forward, he said, there was over 5 million sq ft of net saleable area in seven projects that would be launched in the near future.

“We’ve over RM1.3bil in unbilled sales to date and, if MK11 is included, we’ll pass the RM2bil mark once the sales and purchase agreements are signed,” Tong said.

The RM800mil MK11 comprises five 43-storey condominium tower blocks on 5.3 acres and will be launched at year-end. Unbilled sales rose 90.8% in the financial year ended June 30, 2007 (FY07) compared with FY06.

The company also plans to launch a similar mixed development project next to its Solaris Dutamas project currently under construction.

Sunrise posted a net profit of RM67.49mil on revenue of RM558.09mil in FY07.

Mah Sing plans to go green, seeks more land

By New Straits Times

PROPERTY developer Mah Sing Group Bhd plans to add energy-efficient homes into its portfolio, and buy more land to grow earnings.

Plans are also taking shape to venture into Sabah and Sarawak where Kuala Lumpur-based Mah Sing plans to replicate its existing projects.

"We would like to go green, for instance, solar energy," Mah Sing group managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum said after the company's shareholders meeting yesterday.

Talks are on-going between Mah Sing and Japanese solar-energy equipment makers like Hitachi and Sharp, said Leong, without specifying when the optional features will be added into its future offerings.

Early birds in the Malaysian solar-power home fraternity include SP Setia Bhd and Putrajaya Perdana Bhd.

Local real estate builders' energy-conservation efforts come at a time when global oil prices have substantially risen, thus, rendering hydrocarbon-fuel uneconomical in electricity generation.

Meanwhile, Leong said Mah Sing would like to build an estimated 200ha township within a strategic 1,200ha tract in Sungai Buloh where the Rubber Research Institute sits.

"That (200 ha) is the optimum size we can value add," said Leong. The 1,200 ha land near Petaling Jaya's Bandar Utama, and Kota Damansara enclaves, is up for sale.

In Sabah and Sarawak, it hopes to gain a foothold in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, where the developer intends to collaborate with private landowners and local authorities.

The firm's expansion there coincides with its planned initial overseas real estate ventures, where Vietnam has been identified as its first stop.

Mah Sing, also a plastic products maker, saw its net profit rose 22 per cent to RM38.3 million, or 8.1 sen a share in the first half to June 2007, while revenue added 18 per cent to RM286.1 million.

Shares of Mah Sing dropped two per cent or four sen yesterday, valuing the firm at RM1.03 billion.

Mah Sing expects 2008 to be a good year

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd managing director Datuk Leong Hoy Kum is confident that 2008 will be a prosperous year for the property market and the company as well.

“We believe the property market will do well, underpinned by interest from foreigners and increased domestic demand, especially in medium to high-end residential and commercial projects,” he said.

Leong said the spillover projects from the Ninth Malaysia Plan, low unemployment and high savings rates, and the sustained economic growth momentum would all contribute to the property market's positive run.

“This would be boosted further by recent property incentives announced in the 2008 Budget, and Mah Sing will implement several complementary measures to benefit home buyers,” Leong told reporters after the company EGM yesterday.

To complement the Government's 50% stamp duty exemption for the purchase of homes under RM250,000, Leong said the group would be subsidising the remaining 50% stamp duty for the purchase of Mah Sing homes.

Datuk Leong Hoy Kum
The recently announced increase in the Employees Provident Fund dividend could potentially open up more than RM9bil for the property market to tap, he added.

Group chief financial officer Steven Ng Poh Seng said the local property market would be unaffected by the slowdown in the current US economy.

“The US dollar may be weakening, but our ringgit will strengthen because we have a healthy economy,” he said.

The residential and commercial developer currently has 10 ongoing projects, of which four will be launched next year, including The Icon Mont' Kiara, a commercial development cradled within Mont' Kiara and Sri Hartamas; Duta Perdana, a township in Puchong; Southbay Penang, a mix of residential and commercial components on the island;and the Southgate Commercial Centre, a medium-rise office tower block opposite the group's headquarters.

Leong said response to Southbay Penang had been overwhelming, with up to 1,500 reservations received for the commercial/residential units on offer.

He said the group was also confident of robust sales for Southgate, citing the first phase of d7, YTL Land & Development Bhd's debut commercial development in Sentul East, which sold all 100 units in just one hour.

Leong also said the group was planning to expand to east Malaysia.

“Sabah and Sarawak are states with the highest growth rates in Malaysia. Now is the right time for the cities there to upgrade. We would like to replicate and improve our current designs in east Malaysia.”

Swan Symphony entry boost for Putrajaya Perdana

The takeover will pave the way for Putrajaya to significantly increase the order book from over RM2 billion now by securing construction jobs in Malaysia and the Middle East, a source says

PUTRAJAYA Perdana Bhd is set to become a major player in the construction sector in Middle East and Malaysia after control of the company shifted to Swan Symphony Sdn Bhd (SSSB).

It is understood that a crossover of 68.6 million shares in Putrajaya Perdana from Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) took place yesterday.

SSSB is 51 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment Corp (ADKM) and 49 per cent by Autron Investment.

SSSB in August signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with E&O, which held a controlling stake of 50.6 per cent in Putrajaya Perdana, to acquire its entire holdings for RM2.90 per share.

Business Times was told that Yousif Mana S. Al Otaiba, one of the major shareholders of ADKM, aims to generate more than RM4 billion in new business for Putrajaya Perdana in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Malaysia.

The other shareholders of ADKM are Sheikh Sabah Mohd S. Al-Sabah and Datuk Tengku Faisal Ibrahim.

"The takeover by SSSB will pave a way for Putrajaya Perdana to double its business and significantly increase the order book from over RM2 billion currently by securing major construction jobs in Malaysia and the Middle East over the next 12 months," a source said.

Putrajaya Perdana already has presence in Abu Dhabi and now intends to work with Aldar Properties for potential jobs in the region.

Aldar has appointed Putrajaya Perdana as master contractor in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) Node-1 in South Johor.

"Putrajaya Perdana will be on the roll as several government-linked firms in Abu Dhabi have also expressed interest in engaging its services. There will be new major developments for the group in the near future," the source said.

Putrajaya Perdana is expected to also build its working relationship with Mubadala Development Co for projects in the IDR and outside Malaysia.

Mubadala's unit, Madsar, which is focused in "green projects", is building the world's first zero carbon multi-billion-ringgit city, and Putrajaya Perdana is expected to benefit by playing a key role in the development.

Putrajaya Perdana has established a leadership position in the energy-efficient building market in Malaysia, and it plans to extend the expertise overseas, particularly in the Middle East.

It is believed that going forward, SSSB will retain the management team of Putrajaya Perdana.

It also planning a special dividend to be declared within the next 12 months, proposing to increase the percentage of profit paid out as dividend to 50 per cent or more of annual profit.

There has been significant investor confidence in Putrajaya Perdana with the emergence of SSSB as the new substantial shareholder, marked by the increasing number of blue-chip institutional and retail investors.

The Employees Provident Fund, which began investing in the counter in August, currently holds just over five per cent of Putrajaya Perdana's shares.

By New Straits Times (By Sharen Kaur)