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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One-month-old Metro Avenue already half sold out

An artist's impression of the Metro Avenue shop offices

PETALING JAYA: Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd is confident of selling its remaining shop offices at its latest commercial development, Metro Avenue, in Kajang, by the first quarter of 2008.

Its sales and marketing manager Johnny Lam told theSun the project was launched in October and is being developed by its wholly owned subsidiary Serba Sentosa Sdn Bhd.

“With only 30 units on offer, we have already achieved a take-up of 50%. With our strategic location right next to the Kajang Municipal Council building, many of our buyers find this an attractive buy,” he added.

According to Lam, shop offices in Kajang town, which are mostly 3- and 4-storeys, are experiencing high demand due to the limited supply on the secondary market, as well as lack
of new projects. He cited the performance of the current 3-storey shop offices in Kajang town.

“Rental of a ground floor 22ft by 75ft, 3-storey unit can fetch between RM6,000 and RM8,000
monthly. For enbloc rental, one can easily lease it for RM12,000 monthly,” said Lam, adding that, while secondary transactions are few, a 3-storey unit can go for between RM1.4 million and
RM1.5 million.

For the 3-storey Metro Avenue shop offices, Lam said buyers and investors can expect rental
returns of up to 8.5% for intermediate units on an enbloc basis.

With a gross development value of RM30 million, the Metro Avenue shop offices are sited
on a 2-acre leasehold tract along Jalan Low Ti Kok. The intermediate 20ft by 80ft units come
with built-ups of 5,500 sq ft and are priced about RM838,000.

The four 50ft by 80ft corner units are served by lifts and have built-ups of 12,000 sq ft. Priced
from RM1.77 million, Lam said these have all been sold. Call 03-8737 2323 for more details.

By theSun (by Loo Pik Kwan)

Naim Cendera leads the way for property sector

KUCHING: Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd (NCSB) a Sarawak-based property and construction group has been ranked No 1 in the property sector category of the Corporate Governance Survey Report 2007. Last year, NCSB ranked second in the same sector. The company has been listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia for less than four years.

“We are extremely pleased to have raised our standards to achieve the highest ranking in the property sector in this survey,” said Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd deputy managing director Dr Sharifuddin Abdul Wahab in a statement recently.

The Corporate Governance Survey Report 2007 is a joint effort between the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG) and The University of Nottingham (Malaysia Campus) Business School. It covers the top 350 companies (by market capitalisation) on Bursa Malaysia. NCSB came in 12th in the overall ranking across all sectors, an improvement from its 20th
ranking last year.

“Although the companies ranked above Naim Cendera are mostly financial institutions and/or GLCs who have been long-established on Bursa Malaysia, NCSB aspires to break into the Top 10 in the foreseeable future,” said Sharifuddin.

The companies are ranked based on a wide range of corporate governance criteria, with special emphasis on board composition, independence of directors, transparency and accountability and auditing practices.

Listed since September 2003, NCSB is among the only 10.29% of companies that provides detailed disclosure of directors’ remuneration.

NCSB focuses on integrated property developments, combining residential, commercial and industrial properties, and contracting of construction, civil engineering and infrastructure projects. Projects by NCSB include Bandar Baru Permy Jaya in Miri, Desa Ilmu and Riveria in Kota Samarahan, with more than 23,000 homes and commercial buildings. NCSB is also a
Class A Bumiputera Contractor with ISO 9001:2000 certification. NCSB is also active in manufacturing, trading and distribution of building materials.

By theSun

BCHB in leaseback deal

PHBB to buy Menara Bumiputra-Commerce for RM460million

KUALA LUMPUR: Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd (BCHB) has entered into an agreement for the sale and leaseback of Menara Bumiputra-Commerce, the group's new 39-storey retail banking headquarters being built along Jalan Raja Laut here, to Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Bhd (PHBB).

The building, scheduled to be completed in August, is being sold for RM460mil, or RM730 per sq ft, to PHBB.

BCHB expects cost savings of RM7.5mil per annum in part from the use of the new building.

From left: BCHB chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Kamalul Arifin, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, CIMB group chief executive Datuk Nazir Razak. At the back is BCHB executive director Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin

BCHB executive director Datuk Mohd Shukri Hussin said the cost savings would come from CIMB Bank, the group's banking arm, moving its operations from areas of high rental costs to its new building.

“Together with our building to be built in KL Sentral, CIMB group will in future be able to conduct our business from two major locations to increase efficiency and lower costs,” Shukri said at the signing of the agreement yesterday.

The sale would also allow CIMB Bank to write an additional RM3.6bil in new loans, he added.

In his speech, Shukri said the group decided to build Menara Bumiputra-Commerce three years ago to house its scattered retail banking operations in one location.

BCHB's strategy going forward was to be asset light and employ its capital efficiently towards the core business of banking, he said.

CIMB Bank was also pleased to have PHBB as a partner as it could be expected to be a “buy and hold investor” for the building, with a long-term commitment as landlord to CIMB.

“This is also an opportunity for CIMB to form a long-term relationship with PHBB, and to explore areas in which we can create synergies through working with each other,” Shukri said.

PHBB managing director and chief executive officer Kamalul Arifin Othman said: “This represents a sound investment for PHBB. For one, we are assured of a steady rental income from CIMB Bank, a tenant with strong credentials and solid financials.”

In the deal, CIMB Bank would lease the building for an initial 10 years with options for another five years plus five after that.

PHBB, wholly-owned by Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, was incorporated in May 2006 by the government to encourage bumiputra ownership of commercial properties in prime locations in major cities in Malaysia.

Set up just over a year ago, PHBB's landbank stood at almost 1,300 acres in the Klang Valley and Penang with a market value of about RM1.5bil, including yesterday's purchase, Kamalul Arifin said.

The agency would be expanding into Malacca and Johor Baru, he said, adding: “We still have some substantial amount of money to invest.”

By The Star

Learning about other markets

Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention (MAREC ’08)

Next year’s Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention (11th-13th January 2008), organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents, has all the promise of being the property event of the year.

Themed “Regionalising The Malaysia Market – The Reality Of Getting There”, the convention will focus on various issues affecting estate agency practice in Malaysia and her neighbours. It also aims to prepare the local estate agents, negotiators, property developers and other property professionals who wish to expand and grow their business out of Malaysia.

MIEA will be bringing in expert speakers from several countries to share with the participants their views and opinions on how local estate agents can regionalise their business.

Pinson will be speaking on international marketing. Pic shows newly built homes in Florida

In order to grow their business out of their own country, it is important for them to have an idea of how marketing is conducted in other parts of the world. The market is different from country to country and estate agency practice is unique to each country.

With this in mind, MIEA has invited John D. Pinson, an established speaker from the United States, to share his experience at the convention. He is no stranger to local estate agents, having been here before and spoken at conventions organised by MIEA.

Pinson started his real estate career in 1987 as an associate with A. Parker Bryant, “the dean of Palm Beach Real Estate”. Under the personal guidance of Bryant, Pinson mastered the operations of Palm Beach boutique real estate as well as the skills required for the successful marketing of the island’s finest properties.

In a series of buyovers, A. Parker Bryant, Inc. was sold to Prudential Florida Realty in 1991. It was here that Pinson was first selected for management under Prudential where he was credited with turning the office around in six months and making it highly profitable.

As a corporate trainer, Pinson shaped a company-wide sales force on “International Marketing, Luxury Marketing & Technology Applications relating to Real Estate”.

Amongst Pinson’s other achievements are:-

* Past President of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches

* Past President of the United States Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI)

* Currently on the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, the Florida Association of Realtors and the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI)

* Past President of the FIABCI Scholarship Foundation

John D. Pinson

Pinson will share his wealth of experience on the topic of ‘International Marketing’. He will make comparisons between the market in Malaysia and other parts of the world.

Pinson will also elaborate on the vastly successful Multi List System which is used in the United States. The Multi List System has long been a favourite marketing tool amongst realtors there.

“Many years ago, the seeds of such a system were sowed in Malaysia. However, due to administrative hiccups, this system never took off. We at MIEA have been talking about a revival of this system for some time now. Hopefully, with Pinson guiding us and making available the secrets to making such a system successful, we can revive our very own Multi List System,” says convention chairman Siva Shanker.

The Internet plays a large role in the lives of virtually every business person in the world today. No business can hope to survive and prosper without active Internet marketing. If harnessed properly, this can be a marketing tool with huge potential.

Pinson will also be giving his thoughts and opinions on this. He will share ideas and recommendations to grow the local real estate business using appropriate marketing tools to harness the power of the Internet.

* For more information, please call the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents Secretariat at 03-7727 7477.

By The Star

PNB Darby Park wins another award

KUALA LUMPUR: PNB Darby Park Executive Suites (pix) received The Hospitality Asia Platinum Award for Best Service Residence 2007/2008. Organised every two years, the event was attended by representatives from the top five- and four-star hotels and resorts throughout Malaysia.

The award marked another achievement for PNB Darby Park, making it the sixth award they
have received to date.

“This prestigious award is a dream come true for all of us. Being a stand-alone property, competing against international brands that are popular within the industry is a real challenge for us”, said PNB Darby Park’s general manager Yusof Ramli.

He stated that the award is a symbol of sheer hard work by all employees in providing the best of product and services to guests. Targeted at business travelers, Yusof said PNB Darby Park’s positioning as a premier service dapartment in the heart of the city has stirred interest in other developers to follow suit.

“The sprouting of service apartments on Jalan Binjai alone would be stiff competition for PNB Darby Park.

However, some of these developments are for sale, and do not operate like a hotel/serviced apartment”, he said. Yusof added that the government’s call to conduct star ratings for both service apartments and hotels would soon help make a clear distinction between the two.

PNB Darby Park is a 338-unit serviced apartment located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle.

Opened in June 2000, PNB Darby Park Executive Suites is owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd and managed by Sime Properties International Private Ltd. It is a joint venture between Sime UEP Properties Bhd and Sime Singapore Ltd.

In August 2007, PNB Darby Park was named “Best Accommodation Provider 2007” in the Libur/ Traverama Tourism Award 2007.

In 2006, PNB Darby Park received ISO 9001:2000 certification from Sirim QAS International Sdn Bhd.

By theSun

TA Enterprise has new plans for Seri Suria

PETALING JAYA: TA Enterprise Bhd plans to launch shop offices at its 48.5-acre freehold SERI SURIA commercial development in Bandar Sri Damansara by the first quarter of 2008.

Its managing director and chief executive officer Datin Alicia Tiah said it will be submitting the
new plans for Seri Suria soon, and the 4- to 6-storey shop offices will be the first component to be unveiled.

Tiah: Seri Suria to be comprehensive and different

“The shop offices will be served by lifts and have wide 36ft-frontage. Although we are selling
them on an enbloc basis, we will also provide individual strata titles for the convenience of
investors,” she told theSun.

Tiah said the gross development value (GDV) of Seri Suria has not been finalised. On the price
of the shop offices, she said one could expect the price range to be above RM2 million.

“The project will take between seven and 10 years to complete. Planning is of utmost importance and we are looking to achieve the “wow” factor. We want Seri Suria to be comprehensive and different,” she added.

According to Tiah, Seri Suria will be an integrated, mixed commercial development with offerings including service apartments, office blocks as well as a hotel. It has an approved plot ratio of four times.

“While the whole project will be interconnected, it is also big enough to accommodate two malls. One will be a smaller mall with a supermarket anchor, while the other is being planned as a standalone shopping mall,” she said.

TA Enterprise purchased the Seri Suria site for RM95 psf from Land & General Bhd in February last year. Earlier plans for Seri Suria were for a development with a 50:50 residential and commercial ratio. The initial plan had comprised semidees, bungalows, shopoffices and a retail complex with a 1,200-bay parking complex. It was said to have a GDV RM700 million. An initial launch had been targeted for early this year.

However, Tiah felt the earlier plans did not maximise the use of the land and decided to return to the drawing board and came up with the new plans.

By theSun (by Loo Pik Kwan)