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Monday, December 3, 2007

Princely response to Sabah luxury condo

The newly-launched luxury condominium, Prince Tower, in Kota Kinabalu registered 70 per cent booking even before its launch on November 23.

It is the third tower in the sprawling lifestyle complex, 1 BORNEO.

"The state is moving in a new direction, where more upmarket properties are in demand. Investors are looking for high-end products and we wanted to capitalise on the trend," Datuk Raymond Chan, the managing director of developer Sagajuta Sdn Bhd, said in Kota Kinabalu.

The 119 units of the 28 storey tower are designed with luxury, spaciousness and privacy in mind.

From corner lots to standard, duplex and penthouse, the units vary in size between 1,900 sq ft and 13,700 sq ft.

All units come with access to concierge, receptionist and housekeeping services, while some have a sky lounge as well as sky pool. Prices range from RM627,000 to about RM4.8 million.

"So far, we have interested buyers from all over, both locally and overseas. The higher-end units, duplex and penthouse, were the first to be taken up," said Chan.

He said the units are priced lower than similar properties in Kuala Lumpur where one sq ft can fetch close to RM1,000.

"Here, we are selling it for RM350 per sq ft, plus you get all the conveniences and amenities close by, " he added.

Chan said the three towers comprising Prince Tower, Towers A and B offer a total of 1,008 units, which are expected to be completed in 18 months.

1Borneo is slated for an official launch in April next year. It will have a hypermall, autocity, four international and regional hotel chains, condominium, oceanarium, spa and fitness centre, and bowling centre, among other amenities.

By New Straits Times (by Julia Chan)

RM9billion riverside city in Kuala Lumpur

A strong team of foreign and local financiers, project managers, consultants, architects and designers will be working on the Tamansari Riverside Garden City project, previously the Pekeliling Flats

The RM9 billion urban regeneration project at the intersection of Jalan Pahang and Jalan Tun Razak area in Kuala Lumpur will have as its centrepiece a 60-storey tower unlike any other in the world.

The project owners will only unveil the uniqueness of the tower at an official ceremony planned for later.

Meanwhile, a strong team of foreign and local financiers, project managers, consultants, architects and designers have been assembled for the Tamansari Riverside Garden City project, previously the Pekeliling Flats area.

Construction is scheduled to start by January 2008 and the entire project is targeted for completion within seven or eight years.

The project owners comprising Australian financial services group Macquarie Bank, Australian construction and engineering company, Leighton Group, construction investment firm Saha Regal and local project developer ASIE Sdn Bhd signed a joint-venture agreement recently.

Master planner and architect for the project is the renowned firm Goh Hock Guan & Associates (GHG).

Also involved are Malaysia's Bank Pembangunan Bhd, Australia-based design group, Hassell; global project consultant, Rider Hunt; and international consultant engineers comprising the ARUP group, Lincolne Scott and Connell Wagner.

Based on a waterfront city-within-a-city concept, the 22.3ha Tamansari will consist of a mixed development of commercial and residential properties.

Speaking to Business Times last week, GHG principal Goh Hock Guan and ASIE chairman Datuk Khalil Akasah summarised the development as being another prestigious address in Kuala Lumpur.

Parcel M within the Tamansari project's first phase will cost about RM700 million. The project parcel will be connected across the busy Jalan Tun Razak to the site across the highway via an elevated walkway.

It will include the area where one part of the Pekeliling flats once stood. Residents of the one-room flat built in the 1970s have since been relocated to a three-room flat built by ASIE with financing from Bank Pembangunan.

Parcel M within the first phase will include the unique tower to be built on the banks of the Gombak River. The parcel will cost about US$1 billion (RM3.36 billion).

Other parcels within the entire project will include hotels, condominiums, office and commercial blocks, government and public housing and a medical centre.

The entire project will be done on a private financing initiative basis. Its ownership will remain with the joint-venture partners while financing will be undertaken by Macquarie Bank which will also conduct international sales of the properties.

As at December 2006, Macquarie has total assets of about A$112.6 billion (RM335 billion) and a market capitalisation of A$153.4 billion (RM457 billion).

The Leighton Group is an internationally renowned project developer and contractor based in Australia.

GHG, meanwhile, is helmed by Goh, a veteran in town and project planning whose numerous projects include the highly successful Subang Jaya.

ASIE was first awarded the project by the government in 1998, but it was unable to proceed until residents of the Pekeliling flats were relocated.

ASIE is controlled by Khalil, who was an aide to the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia's second prime minister.

By New Straits Times (by Mustapha Kamil)

Nexus Resort to sport new look

KARAMBUNAI Corp Bhd (KCB), a property developer and resort operator, is planning to refurbish its five-star international resort in Sabah, the Nexus Resort Karambunai, next year.

It has allocated some RM40 million for the refurbishment, which will be carried out over 18 months from March, Nexus general manager Peter F. Sprenger told Business Times in an interview.

Sprenger said the resort wants to enhance the quality and appeal of Nexus Resort and build up its brand name.

"We want to be a destination for the leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) markets," he said.

Nexus Resort offers 485 guestrooms, including six luxury villas (royal and presidential suites), eight restaurants and bars, three free-form swimming pools, the exclusive Borneo Spa, a grand ballroom and meeting rooms, the Lagoon Park, a 30ha nature park and an 18-hole golf course.

The resort, 30km northeast of Kota Kinabalu, lies on some 1,350ha of unrivalled natural and landscaped surroundings on the spectacular Karambunai peninsula.

According to Sprenger, all the guest rooms and Nexus Club rooms will be refurbished.

Beginning next year, KCB will also offer more rooms at its exclusive beachfront property development, the Nexus Residence Karambunai, for premium paying guests.

Nexus Residence, which covers 109ha, is being developed over eight years to offer 2,000 beachfront villas, which will be sold at more than RM1 million each, some of which will be leased back to KCB.

Guests are expected to pay between US$600 and US$1,000 (RM2,016 and RM3,360) a night for a stay at the villas.

Currently, 243 villas are being constructed and will be ready by next year.

"Our existing rooms on average are 80 per cent occupied, and we expect demand to rise as we have embarked on new plans to grow the MICE business. We are also targeting new markets to increase room sales," said Sprenger.

Nexus Resort's main markets are South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. It also attracts big groups from Europe, Australia, Italy and Russia.

Sprenger said Nexus Resort is also expected to benefit from the tourism boom in Sabah and ongoing expansion at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, which will help meet the anticipated increase in arrivals from abroad.

Nexus Resort, which contributes substantially to KCB's earnings, has won 24 awards since it was set up in 1999.

The latest was the "Best Beach Resort - Excellence Award", which it won under Expatriate Lifestyle's "Best of Malaysia" awards.

By New Straits Times (By Sharen Kaur)

New link to benefit all


Unlocking the value of land can come through various means. And for developer Negara Properties Bhd, this also means providing added value for its purchasers, which came in the form of the unveiling of the Nilai Impian direct link recently.

The RM6 million 1km stretch provides a direct link from the Nilai Interchange of the North- South Highway to the Nilai Impian township, allowing residents to access their homes faster - five minutes as against 20 before and more conveniently.

"This direct link will benefit not only the residents of Nilai Impian, but also those in the neighbourhood and future developments within Nilai," Negara Properties chief executive officer Wan Hashimi Albakri W.A.A. Jaffri said.

The company's latest project, Warisan Villa at Nilai Impian, will also benefit from this link, he said, besides some of the earlier developments such as Camellia Court, Nilai Heights and Aseana Villa.

Warisan Villa, with its unique overall modern architectural theme blended with elements of the traditional Malay kampung house, "is well suited to meet the needs of modern day living".

It will also feature a singleentry point for greater security in what is envisioned to be a "very exclusive enclave" of 6.6 units per acre, with generous parks and streetscape features.

"We will have 70 units of twin villas side-by-side semi-dees as well as back-to-back semi-dees, besides three bungalows in Warisan Villa. The first phase will see the construction of 30 units of semi-dees, with gross development value of RM32 million, on 11.07 acres," Wan Hashimi said.

The price for a unit with a built-up area of 2,014sq ft starts from RM366,199, while 2,192sqft units are from RM399,499.

"We have plans in the pipeline for two more residential projects and one commercial centre for our current financial year that ends in June next year," he added.

It makes sense for Negara Properties to invest further in Nilai, he said, as its projects there have been doing well since first launched in 1996.

"Nilai has everything going for it... it is close to Port Klang, the federal administrative centre of Putrajaya and the KL International Airport.

"It is also an education hub and will soon be home to a research and development centre ... one cannot go wrong with Nilai."

By New Straits Times (By Yvonne Yoong)

RM30mil ultra luxury homes

Competition to result in more super luxury residences

The growing competition in the residential property market will result in more innovative and upmarket projects coming on-stream next year.

Developers are eager to take advantage of the positive market environment following the rising demand for luxurious residences and the government's strong encouragement of higher foreign participation in the local market.

Come 2008 as competition to attract the well-heeled and high net worth clients heats up, one of the interesting development to look out for will be the unveiling of super luxury residences with whopping price tags from RM30mil a unit.

An artist's impression of a Duta Grandé super luxury bungalow in Kenny Hills.

The fact that developers are confident of launching such exclusive projects shows that there are many affluent Malaysians who have made it and can afford to pamper themselves to enjoy the finer luxuries in life.

It is estimated that these affluent group who can afford such exclusive homes easily make up 2% of the local population.

The country's strong economy and entrepreneurship have spawned a sizeable pool of successful businessmen and investors who are eager to upgrade their lifestyle.

SP Setia Bhd looks set to pioneer the inroad into the super luxury residential market when its Duta Grandé project is launched early next year.

Located on six acres in Kuala Lumpur's Kenny Hills neighbourhood, the project will showcase only 15 “trophy” bungalows that have a minimum price tag of RM30mil a unit.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the company's aim is to become the first developer to set the new price benchmark and redefine the luxury living experience.

“We are targeting the crème of society; a select group of tycoons who want to experience the ultimate extravagance and pampering that money can buy,” he told StarBiz.

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin

Architecturally, the grand mansions aspire to celebrate the old world charm of bygone colonial era through the creative blend of vintage and contemporary elements.

According to Liew, the company would collaborate closely with prospective buyers as Duta Grandé promises an entirely personalised and customisable experience catering to the individual needs and tastes of the buyers.

The Brunsfield Group is also eyeing a stake in the high-end residential sector and has lined up a number of upmarket projects in Kuala Lumpur.

One of its signature projects will be an enclave of 20 exclusively designed bungalows in Damansara with price tags of RM3,000 per sq ft or more than RM30mil a unit.

The 3-storey bungalows will have 10,000 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft in land area and built up of 10,000 sq ft.

Brunsfield group managing director Gan Thian Leong said although the project would only be launched next year, the company had received many enquiries from interested buyers.

“We expect the limited edition bungalows to be snapped up by both Malaysians and foreign buyers including Middle Eastern, Europeans, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. The purchasers will be specially invited to purchase these residences.

“Through our international networking and strategic partnership with foreign companies, Brunsfield is already a well known name in the international strategic investment community and the company has a strong following of buyers,” Gan said.

Through his many travels, Gan has seen many exotic residential enclaves in Italy, southern France and the Mediterranean countries and he is eager to introduce to Malaysians the epitome of exclusive lifestyle living in the likes of Beverley Hills and Bel Air.

“In such places, the residences have minimalist features but are spaciously designed to optimise the comfort and luxury lifestyle of the residents. We believe Malaysia is ready for such products now.”

He said Brunsfield was also looking to break the price benchmark in the luxurious condominium market when its 93 exclusive low-rise luxurious condo villas named Brunsfield Residence @ U Thant is launch next year.

Located in the prestigious neighbourhood of Jalan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur, the residences with built-up of 3,800 sq ft to 8,500 sq ft will be priced at more than RM3,000 per sq ft.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

Oasis@Cheras homes 60% sold within three months

Venus Plan Sdn Bhd, a member of the Mitraland Group has sold 60% of its Oasis@Cheras 2½-storey terrace houses within three months of soft launch in September.

This is not bad considering the fact that there are so many new developments in Cheras. So what are the reasons for the good sales?

According to Mitraland sales & marketing manager Eddie Wong Wah Sun, most of the purchasers like the renovation free concept as well as the three-tier gated and guard community (perimeter fencing with 24-hour security, CCTV at guard house, touch card system for main entrance and home alarm system for every house).

“Home owners are very concerned about security these days and staying at Oasis@Cheras give them a peace of mind as they are assured of good security,” Wong told StarBiz.

The dining area overlooking the internal courtyard at the Oasis@Cheras show house.

Purchasers also like the big built-up area with 4+1 bedrooms and five bathrooms. There are a total of 121 houses: Type A - 77 units of the 22ftx70ft and 19 units of the 22ftx74ft types (2,769 sq ft built-up for intermediate units) and Type B - 25 units of the 22ftx70ft type (2,805 sq ft built-up for intermediate units).

Taman Cheras Utama and adjacent to the new Bintang Supermarket. Housing estates in the area include Taman Desa Baiduri, Bandar Damai Perdana, Taman Sri Minang, and Bandar Alam Damai.

Wong said purchasers would not have to extend or renovate their houses as they came with many extras and would be built up to the rear. The unique features include 15ft high ceiling at the living room, sunken bath, shower screen and vanity top for master bathroom, internal courtyard, three phase power supply, concealed air-conditioning piping, 8ft doors for main entrance and bedrooms, skim coating and two master bedrooms with ensuite bathroom.

There is a bedroom and two bathrooms on the ground floor, two bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor and two more bedrooms and a bathroom on the top floor that is set to the rear.

“Hence, there is no floor above the master bedroom to ensure privacy. From our feedback, many people like our spacious built-up area, as our terrace houses are as big as a semi-detached house. We hope this project will further enhance the lifestyle of the Cheras people who are demanding lifestyle homes with nice facades and security,” he added.

The development features include a fitness zone, a leisure sanctuary, linear rear garden, concealed underground utilities, modern landscape lightings, and water features at the main entrance. The project is scheduled for completion in the middle of 2009.

Wong said the show unit will be ready for viewing at the official launch on Dec 16 and 17. There will be a pre-Christmas party at the project site from 7pm to 10pm and a feng shui talk by Master Helen Kwek, president of the Malaysian Institute of Geomancy Sciences on Dec 17.

By The Star (by Suraj Raj)

Steel earnings rise, shortage concerns

The Government is likely to speed up 9MP projects as we're moving into the third year of the 9MP, says analyst.

The recent results season saw a number of steel players reporting double-digit growth in revenue thanks to higher selling prices of steel.

Ann Joo Resources Bhd posted over 70% jump in pre-tax profit to RM62.1mil for third quarter ended Sept 30 on the back of almost 31% growth in sales to RM490.6mil.

Southern Steel Bhd's third quarter pre-tax profit also rose more than 70% to RM54.8mil compared with RM31.6mil in the previous year while revenue improved by close to 40% to RM885.1mil.

An artist’s impression of the Second Penang Bridge. Analysts say there could be shortage of long steel bars and billets for construction especially when major Ninth Malaysia Plan projects are mplemented almost simultaneously.

Kinsteel Bhd's turnover surged 151% to RM582.4mil in the third quarter from RM231.4mil a year ago.

Pre-tax profit, however, dropped almost 82% to RM70.5mil from RM385.9mil due to a negative goodwill arising from the acquisition of subsidiaries in the preceding year.

Not all steel companies reported improved profitability amid rising sales given that margins had been adversely squeezed by rising cost of materials.

Choo Bee Metal Industries Bhd posted 40% increase in sales in the third quarter to RM129.6mil but pre-tax profit dropped 32.6% to RM7.6mil from RM11.3mil a year ago.

Leader Steel Holdings Bhd's pre-tax profit declined to RM823,000 against RM1.7mil although revenue rose 18.8% to RM52.9mil in the third quarter.

An analyst at a local brokerage said the rising selling prices of steel would bode well for steel manufacturers.

“Rising tide lifts all boats, regardless of operational efficiency. Coupled with rising production volume and upward price trend, next year should be an even stronger year for steel makers,” he said.

Long steel bars and billets are controlled items with ceiling prices and these are usually used in construction works.

However, there is no restriction over export of such products and manufacturers may find it more profitable to sell overseas than to sell in the domestic market.

The analyst said there could be shortage of such products for construction especially when the major Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) projects such as the inter-state water transfer project, double-tracking and West Coast Highway were implemented almost simultaneously.

“The government is likely to speed up the projects as we're moving into the third year of the 9MP. Drawing lessons from the 8MP, between 2002 and 2003, there was a shortage,” he said.

Cement, another building material, is also seeing rising price trend. The government last December adjusted the ceiling price of cement while the automated pricing mechanism (APM) will take effect Jan 1 onwards.

YTL Cement Bhd reported a 13% increase in revenue for first quarter ended Sept 30 to RM321.2mil from RM283.9mil a year ago. Pre-tax profit improved by 45% to RM76.4mil against RM52.7mil.

The company attributed the expansion to better demand, higher efficiency and better selling prices. Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd and Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd have yet to release their results.

OSK Investment Bank in a recent report said there was further upside to cement prices with the APM.

“Latest data from the Construction Industry Development Board indicated that average prices of 1 tonne of OPC (ordinary portland cement) in peninsular Malaysia are RM221.20. We believe that this may see, at least, a further 10% to15% increase next year,” the brokerage said.

An analyst noted that cement was a “domestic game” given that the building material has to be near the construction side.

Nonetheless, the rising prices trend of building materials like steel and cement definitely would not bode well for contractors, as their margins would be affected, he added.

By The Star (by Yeow Pooi Ling)

Will rising costs affect 9MP projects?

The high cost of building materials has made it increasingly hard to keep total construction costs down. With the anticipated acceleration in the rollout of Ninth Malaysia Plan projects in the next two years, industry players are clamouring for more sustainable solutions.

The year is almost coming to an end but there has been no end to the rise in the cost of building or construction materials, especially for steel, cement and quarry products. This has led to higher costs for those in the construction sector, which include property developers.

With expectations of an accelerated rollout of Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) projects in the next two years, those in the construction sector view the problem as becoming more acute. There have been calls by various industry bodies representing the various professions and trades in the sector to address the rising costs.

Steel billets at a warehouse.

The UEM group, on its part, has set up a one-stop agency, Mavtrac Sdn Bhd, to source for construction materials directly from suppliers for government construction projects, which would include those under the 9MP and the development corridors.

The 9MP took off against a backdrop of rising building material prices, largely caused by rising demand for building or construction materials such as steel, cement, sand and aggregates, copper and timber in emerging economies such as China and India.

The higher prices for building materials on the international market have led local producers to prefer exporting instead of selling to the local market, thereby creating a shortage. The problem is further compounded by the prohibition against imports of steel and cement and, government control ceiling prices for these materials.

The Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation estimates steel consumption to increase by 5% to 8.1 million tonnes this year and further expects another 7% growth next year and in 2009.

The federation's president Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong said at the Asean Steel Conference in late August that steel consumption was 7.7 million tonnes last year and would hit 8.4 million tonnes next year.

Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong

Reuters reported recently that Chinese steel producer Baoshan Iron and Steel Co had announced that it was raising cold-rolled steel product price by 4% to 4,796 yuan per tonne while hot-rolled steel products was raised by 8% to 4,042 yuan per tonne from this quarter. The wire service, quoting an analyst, said this was to reflect the increase in the cost of production.

Another worry is the surge in the price of crude oil because total construction costs have to take into account the use of diesel fuel for transportation and machinery for construction. Building material producers would have to take this into account too due to energy consumption and recent calls for a review on electricity tariffs. Crude oil has risen by more than 40% since mid-August to over US$99 per barrel in intra-day trading.

Since the announcement of the 9MP, three development regions have been launched, namely the Iskandar Development Region in southern Johor, Northern Corridor Economic Region encompassing the northern states of the peninsula and the Eastern Corridor Economic Region encompassing the eastern states. There is another development region to be launched for the state of Sabah before the year-end.

A large proportion of the development in the economic regions includes large-scale infrastructure developments that need lots of raw material, whose prices have been rising over the past two to three years.

Development of these economic regions would span the implementation periods of several Malaysia Plans starting with the 9MP, which was launched last year, so naturally there would be concerns about how projects in the implementation period (2006 to 2010) would be affected since it would give an indication of where things may go.

In fact, according to figures released to StarBiz by the Building Materials Distributors Association of Malaysia (BMDAM), the price of steel in the local market has risen by 13.7% this year compared to last year while the price of cement has risen by 57.15%, concrete products by 213.35%, steel fabric by 17.08%, tiles by 43.88% and bricks by 6.7%.

BMDAM president Steven Tai said the main problem was the price ceiling imposed on steel and cement “encourages steel producers to export steel as billets instead of converting it to bars for local consumption.”

According to MBAM president Patrick Wong, the average price of steel bars in Singapore was S$865 per tonne while in the local market, it was RM1,837 to RM2,010 per tonne depending on size and product for the peninsula.

Patrick Wong

As for cement, the average price in the peninsula is RM10.85 to RM11.50 for a 50kg bag or RM217 to RM231 per tonne. It is understood that the price in Singapore is the same.

Wong estimated that an extra RM30bil to RM40bil would be needed for 9MP projects because the cost estimates were made last year and only announced in the fourth quarter of last year.

“In the middle of last year, steel bars had an average price of RM1,800 per tonne, now its averaging RM2,500 per tonne,” he said.

Projects that were awarded this year but have been delayed would face higher costs next year.

“In fact UEM Builders Bhd is asking for a review in the costs for the second Penang Bridge, which was estimated at RM3bil.

“My own jobs have been delayed due to the supply problem while a number of Class F bumiputra contractors have also faced problems. Quarry products would also be going up by between 20% and 30% next year,” Wong said.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)

Fewer property launches?

Will the rising cost in building materials contribute to fewer property launches? Or, since property development has more of an impact on consumers, will demand - which according to developers, consultants and realtors has generally been sustainable - play a bigger role?

Will there be a more cautious mood next year among potential house buyers, especially given the less than robust outlook of the global economy? Will inflation play a role? Will property developers, already burden by higher operational cost as well as having to put in the public amenities, low-cost housing for projects of a certain size and the discount for the bumiputra quota, be able to absorb anymore of the costs?

Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association president Ng Seing Liong said developers who had locked in the sales would just have to absorb the cost.

“Next year it would be different, where developers and contractors can pass on the cost, they will,” he said, adding that this would depend on location, market demand and supply.

Ng echoed Master Builders Association of Malaysia president Patrick Wong's estimation that construction cost would go up by 20% to 30% next year.

According to an analyst with a local investment bank, the bank's in-house projection showed an average increase of 10% in the price of building materials such as tiles, glass and bricks next year.

The analyst said there was a demand for higher cost building material for high-end residential property developments while there was less demand for medium-cost building material products.

He attributed the slower growth in mass-market residential property demand to the build up in over-capacity in recent years.

He added that the bank's in-house projection showed a downtrend in property launches next year by private developers.

However, projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) may not be much affected because of the Government's commitment to build low-cost and medium-cost housing.

“Operating cost margins for building material producers have been going up gradually since last year due to raw material prices and they're operating in a cut-throat environment where its difficult to pass on the cost to consumers,” the analyst said.

By The Star

Mycom’s latest villa project fully taken up

KUALA LUMPUR: All 49 units of Mycom Bhd's latest phase of residential development in Mont' Kiara have been taken up, said group managing director Datuk Yap Yong Seong.

“We will be launching Phase 2 of Duta Villa in January or February. We have not advertised but all (49) units have already been taken up,” he said, adding that half the bookings were by expatriates.

Yap attributed the rapid take up to good planning and designing.

The four-storey villas with private lifts were valued at RM800 to RM1,300 per sq ft, he said after the company’s AGM last week.

Mycom's main projects are in Mont Kiara/Sri Hartamas and the Duta Grand Hotels in the Kuala Lumpur city centre. It has a 56% stake in Kenny Heights Development Sdn Bhd, which owns 73 acres in Mont' Kiara.

Sister company Olympia Industries Bhd (of which Yap is also a managing director) owns the balance 42% equity in Kenny Heights Development.

The group also owns 40,000 acres of oil palm plantations in Sabah.

On another note, Mycom's shareholders passed a resolution to change the company's name to DutaLand Bhd.

Yap said one key reason for the name change was because the company's main projects were in the Jalan Duta area.

He also said the new name would represent the direction that the company was heading, namely property development.

“We want to be known more as a land and property development company. The name would reflect the business of the group for many years to come,” he said.

According to its annual report, Mycom's group revenue for the financial year ended June 30 (FY07) rose by 23% to RM92mil from RM75mil in FY06.

The group's property division saw revenue drop to RM3.8mil for FY07 against RM6.7mil before. Revenue for its plantation division rose by RM23.2mil to RM85.5mil from RM62.3mil previously.

By The Star

Firm to unveil 2 commercial projects in Seremban

GUH Holdings Bhd will be launching two new property projects featuring a business centre and business park with an estimated gross sales value of RM215mil in Taman Bukit Kepayang, Seremban, early next year.

The projects comprise 146 units of 2 1/2 and 3 storey shop houses and shop offices, located at the eastern section of Taman Bukit Kepayang.

The business centre is sited on a 10-acre land and has 90 units of shop offices, with modern business theme designs.

It offers a good working environment away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre, ample parking spaces, lush landscaping, and is near to the various state administrative offices in Seremban.

The business park spreads over 26 acres will consists of 56 shop-offices and retail malls specialising in fashion, lifestyle, automobile and entertainment products.

“These malls will have open-air walks and piazzas offering 'street-side' shopping, al-fresco dining, family-oriented activities, leisure and fun-filled entertainment for everyone, and generally provide the ambience for relaxation and interaction,” GUH group managing director Datuk Kenneth H'ng said.

H'ng said the competitive edge of the two projects was their location in Taman Bukit Kepayang - a mere 100m away from the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway interchange.

The highway also cuts through the south-eastern portion of the scheme, thus providing an alternative toll-free road linkage to Port Dickson, Nilai and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.

Taman Bukit Kepayang is only about 3km to Seremban town centre, which is another salient selling point for the development .

“As a commitment to further develop Taman Bukit Kepayang, the group plans to launch more well-planned housing projects in the area with an estimated gross development value of RM500mil in the next five years.

“This will mainly include lifestyle housing schemes that come with both gated and non-gated facilities.

“The types of housing units in the pipeline are 2 to 2 1/2 storey bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses.

“We expect our property businessto contribute about 20% to group revenue in the next two years, compared with the present 10%,” he said.

By The Star