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Saturday, November 24, 2007

1-Borneo condo units 50% booked

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah's largest complex 1-Borneo yesterday launched sales for its third tower with 50% of the 119 duplex units being booked.

The potential buyers were local as well as from Brunei, Sarawak, Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, said developer Sagajuta Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Raymond Chan.

He described the units in the 28-storey Prince Tower as “palatial-style condominiums” with built-up areas ranging from 1,262 to 1,900 sq m and priced from RM627,000 to RM4mil.

“We are very confident there is a return in confidence in Sabah’s property market and the recent abolishment of property gains tax will further boost the market,” he told reporters at the launch.

When completed, 1-Borneo will comprise among others, a hypermall, autocity, hotels, oceanarium, discovery centre, handicraft and cultural centre, spa fitness centre, amusement centre, bowling centre and gourmet lane.

The hypermall, which has 1.3 million sq ft net lettable area, is poised to open in March.

Tune Hotels, one of four hotels in the complex, was slated for a January opening, 1-Borneo centre management director Wong Chee Hwa said after a partnership agreement signing with Genting Worldcard Sdn Bhd for the Platinum Club Card loyalty programme recently.

The other hotels - Mercure, Novotel and Best Western Courtyard - would be opening their doors by mid-2008.

Wong said the Oceanarium and Discovery Centre, would also open by May.

On the Platinum Card programme, he said the RM150 annual fee would enable its members to enjoys a host of privileges at 1-Borneo and its sister property, Warisan Square in downtown Kota Kinabalu.

Among others, card members would be offered more then RM1,000 rebate and discount vouchers at the various outlets at both malls and 50% discount on rack rates at the Mercure, Best Western Courtyard and Novotel hotels.

By The Star (by

IJM Properties may bid for Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project

It launches The Light waterfront project

PENANG: IJM Properties Sdn Bhd is keen to bid for the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project.

IJM Corp Bhd chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan Tan told reporters this after launching The Light waterfront development here on Friday.

“Yes, we would very likely consider bidding for the project since we have been very active in the Penang property market since 1983,” he said, adding that the IJM land bank included parcels in Bukit Jambul (island) and Butterworth (mainland).

“We have a land bank of about 161.9ha here,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in his Budget 2008 speech, said the Government would call a tender for the RM1.02bil PORR project to alleviate traffic congestion on the island.

The project was originally awarded to concessionaire Peninsular Metro Works Sdn Bhd.

The PORR, initiated a decade ago, is one of three significant infrastructure projects in Penang under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the others being the second Penang Bridge and the Penang monorail.

In his speech earlier, Tan said The Light project would cover 61.5ha of IJM’s 136.8ha reclaimed land on the eastern coastline of the island.

“The RM6.5bil project, with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM4bil, will be developed in three phases to be fully completed by 2017.

“Phase One would include residential developments while Phase Two would include commercial units like hotels, offices, conference and tourist facilities, and retail units like shopping, IT and fashion malls as well as dining and entertainment outlets. Other unique features under Phase Two are a floating stage and restaurant and marina with water taxis.

“Phase Three will be developed into a 2.8ha seafront park,” he said, adding that reclamation works were currently being done,” he said, adding that the company’s target market was local buyers from all over the country.

Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd - the company’s subsidiary, will undertake the project.

By The Star (By Christina Chin)

Icon Mont' Kiara to help fill vacuum for Grade A offices

Commercial Offering: An artist's impression of the Icon Mont' Kiara

Mah Sing Group Bhd's lcon Mont' Kiara office development project in Kuala Lumpur is expected to fill a vacuum for Grade A office space in the area.

In a statement yesterday, the property developer said there is a shortage of Grade A, purpose-built office developments to meet the needs of the residents in the exclusive enclave.

"Besides Plaza Mont' Kiara, which is nearly fully tenanted, commercial offerings in the area are mainly multi-storey shop offices. The nearest comparable Grade A office is Menara TM at Jalan Pantai which was completed in year 2001.

"Asking rentals are hovering around the RM5.50 mark representing a double-digit rental increase of some 38 per cent from 2002," Mah Sing said.

Mont' Kiara is home to 250,000 households with a population of one million within a 5.5km radius. There are about 5,900 units of completed condominiums in the location, with an additional 4,500 units scheduled to come onstream in the next four years.

"The upside potential is clear where nearby supply of offices such as Solaris Mont' Kiara and Solaris Dutamas shop offices are sold at RM650 per sq ft," the company said.

Based on a national average for property appreciation of 10 per cent per annum in capital values, prices for good office buildings would easily breach the RM950 per sq ft mark within the next four years.

"At a eight per cent yield, asking rentals should well exceed the RM6 per sq ft mark. When compared to the current rental market in Solaris, which is between RM4 and RM5 per sq ft per month, and Menara TM, at RM5.50 per sq ft, there is definitely a lot upside for capital appreciation and yield expectations in terms of grade A offices in Mont' Kiara," it added.

Mont' Kiara is minutes away from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Bangsar and Damansara through an extensive network of roads and expressways comprising Jalan Duta, Persiaran Duta Mas, Lebuhraya Mahameru, Jalan Kuching, Penchala Link, Kerinchi Link, Sprint Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong, North-South Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway and the new Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway.

Mah Sing said another hotspot for Grade A offices will be in the KLCC vicinity, where the demand for prime office space is led by the expansion of the oil and gas sector, telcos and Islamic banking.

With sustained economic growth and increased commercial activities, occupancy and rental rates are on the rise, and quality commercial properties are snapped up quickly. Prime commercial buildings in the Golden Triangle where KLCC is the epicentre is enjoying occupancy of 99 per cent at the close of the second quarter of 2007.

By New Straits Times

IJM eyes RM1.2b toll road deal

Construction group IJM Corp Bhd may bid for a job to own and build a RM1.2 billion toll highway in Penang, its chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan Tan said.

"Since we have been active in Penang for some time, we will consider it," Krishnan said after the launch of its latest project in the island state yesterday.

IJM is the second company after Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd to express an interest in the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR).

The government announced in September that it will call a tender for the project, the first toll road to be tendered out in Malaysia.

Krishnan did not say if IJM will bid on its own or with partners.

The PORR, initiated a decade ago, is one of three major infrastructure projects in Penang under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The others are the Second Penang Bridge and the Penang Monorail.

IJM's property business began in Penang in 1983 and the company today boasts a landbank on Penang island and Seberang Prai totalling 160 hectares.

Yesterday, Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon launched IJM's RM6.5 billion "The Light" waterfront city development.

The mixed residential and commercial development, to be built on part of 135.2ha of reclaimed land along Penang's eastern coastline, will be done by IJM's subsidiary, Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd (JDSB).

In 1997, JDSB was awarded the privatised construction of the Jelutong Expressway by the Penang state government.

As part of the privatisation agreement, JDSB was granted the right to reclaim 130ha for development.

The Light is being touted by IJM as a showcase of the best in integrated waterfront living. It will include residential, recreational, entertainment, business, hospitality, education and commercial components in one hub.

"The project will be developed in three phases, with 16.8ha in Phase One set aside for the development of six parcels of high-end waterfront residential development comprising 1,186 units," Krishnan said.

The second phase, covering 41.2ha, is slated to be developed into a commercial and retail city.

In addition to four hotels, an exhibition centre, banquet and conference facilities, and a waterfront amphitheatre, Phase Two will encompass shopping malls and waterfront eateries.

Krishnan said the sales launch for the project will take place next year. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2008.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

Biotech conference set to draw 8,000 visitors

BIOMALAYSIA 2007, a gathering of some of the world's top biotechnology players, is set to attract up to 8,000 visitors and conference delegates.

The fifth in its series, BioMalaysia 2007 is a conference incorporated under the National Innovation Conference and Exhibition which will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on November 27.

Malaysian Biotechnology Corp Sdn Bhd (Biotech Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said some of this year's highlights include showcasing some of Malaysia's best scientists, new technology acquisitions and beefing up Malaysia's existing intellectual property laws and protection.

Iskandar: Conference highlights include showcasing Malaysia's best scientists and new technology acquisitions

"There will be a launch of a nano technology acquisition, a breakthrough announcement on cancer therapeutics and a material development on intellectual property," Iskandar told reporters at the agency's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The four-day event will also get to share views with 60 biotechnology experts from 30 countries, 200 local and international companies spanning three biotechnology divisions which are healthcare, agriculture and industrial and engineering-based biotechnology.

The annual event will also be attended by 1,200 conference delegates comprising academics, scientists, biotech firms executives, government officers, banks and others involved in the supply chain.

Malaysia aims to become a regional biotechnology hub to get a slice of the lucrative market.

The world's 5,000 biotech firms are forecast to make over US$1 trillion (RM 3.37 trillion) in revenue by 2015.

BioMalaysia 2007 is organised by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Biotech Corp and Protemp Exhibitions Sdn Bhd.

By New Straits Times (by Zaidi Isham Ismail)