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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sime Darby offers luxury with Royale Palms Villas

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property launched its high-end Royale Palms Villas in Putra Heights yesterday, its first property development project launch since it became a merged entity comprising Sime Darby Bhd, Kumpulan Guthrie and Golden Hope Plantations. Sime Darby Bhd’s new corporate logo was unveiled on Nov 28.

The 2- and 3-storey villas in a guarded development located on 7.5-acre freehold site have a gross development value of RM55 million. Priced from RM1,388,888 onwards, these villas have built-ups of between 4,170 sq ft and 4,900 sq ft. The 3-storey units are offered in two designs.

“The collection of Royale Palms Villas is our first roll-out of luxury homes as part of our new focus on the higher-end segment of the property market to meet the demands of the affluent, ‘lifestyle-seeking’ homebuyers,” said Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah Tunku Annuar (pix), Sime Darby Property's executive vice-president of property development and strategic investments,
during the launch.

Standard features for the villas include a minimum of five ensuite bathrooms, solar hot water systems, air-conditioning units in all bedrooms, home alarm systems, automatic gates as well as lighting arrestors and surge protection systems.

According to Tunku Badlishah, the villas are spacious, have generous garden space, and feature large windows and doors to enhance natural light and ensure better ventilation. “The exclusivity of Royale Palms, with its many exceptional features, will appeal to buyers and investors who are seeking a better quality of life,” he said, adding that the project should be completed by end-2009.

Putra Heights is an integrated township development comprising residential and commercial properties, including the newly completed Putra Point town centre offering 324 units of 2- and 3-storey shop offices. The township sits on some 1,796 acres and is accessible via the Damansara Puchong (LDP) and the Elite highways.

For a limited time, Sime Darby is offering buyers a Bofi kitchen system worth up to RM80,000, which includes a fridge, microwave, oven, oven hood, hob and food waste disposer. It is also offering HSBC Home Smart, a home financing package with endfinancing of up to 80% of the property’s value at a base lending rate of 1.85% throughout the loan's tenure.

By theSun (by Yeong Ee-Wah)

Royale Palms Villas Launched

Sime Darby aims to sell half of the 36 luxury homes within six months

SUBANG JAYA: Sime Darby Property Bhd is targeting to sell half the 36 luxury Royale Palms Villas within six months of the project launch, executive vice-president Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah said.

“We have done extensive research and development (R&D) and are confident of achieving that target,” he said after the launch of the company’s high-end residential offering, Royale Palms Villas.

The new project, which would be located at the 727ha Putra Heights township, will comprise eight two-storey and 28 three-storey detached homes with a gross development value of RM55mil.

Putra Heights is an integrated township of mixed development units, including the newly completed Putra Point town centre of 324 units of two and three-storey shop offices.

Badlishah said Royale Palms Villas, to be completed in two years, was targeted primarily at high-end income earners, especially existing customers.

“We have been in property development for close to 20 years. A lot of our (existing) customers have complained to us that they did not have a product to which they could upgrade,” he said, adding that he expected many potential purchasers to be existing customers.

“Prior to this project, we (Sime Darby) never had houses in Putra Heights over the RM1mil mark. With our R&D, we will be building houses with bigger built-up areas and better finishes.

“Our customers will appreciate the difference we are making,” Badlishah said.

On why only 36 homes would be built, he said: “This is a high-end township and not everyone would be able to afford the homes,” he said. The prices of the homes start from RM1.3mil but do not exceed RM2mil.

On another note, Badlishah said the (Sime Darby) group intended to develop its property division further.

“We want to position ourselves as the leading developer within a sustainable community,” he said.

By The Star

Sandakan harbour project to have boutique hotel

Integrated: An artist's impression of Sandakan Harbour Square

Sandakan Harbour Square, Sabah's first integrated urban renewal development project, will soon have a RM40 million boutique hotel.

Named the @ease boutique hotel, it will have 138 deluxe rooms and suites, a modern business centre, and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, among others.

Parkcity Everly Hotel general manager John Augustin said @ease will be the first hotel for the project which has a 1.5km esplanade located near the city's central business district.

With strong tourist arrivals in Sabah, the state's capital Kota Kinabalu currently faces a shortage of 6,000 rooms.

The hotel is managed by Value Hospitality Group that also manages the Prescott and Everly hotels.

It will officially be opened on December 23 by Sabah's Tourism Minister.

With timber as its sunset industry, Sandakan, which is also popular destination for ecotourism, is keen to revive its Little Hong Kong of the East label.

The RM450 million project, which is on a 4.8ha site, is undertaken jointly by Sara-Timur Sdn Bhd and ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd. It is due for completion in 2010.

ICSD is a partnership between Kuala Lumpur-based Ireka Corp Bhd and Sabah-based construction and development company Syarikat Charng Sheng Sdn Bhd.

Sarawak's Sara-Timur, an engineering and construction works services provider, is the main contractor for the first and second phase of Sandakan Harbour Square.

The project comprises a three-storey central market, fish market and jetty, 129 units of three- and four- storey shop-offices, a waterfront esplanade, multi-storey car park facility, shopping complex and an international standard hotel.

By New Straits Times (by Rupa Damodaran)

@ease targets 60% occupancy rate

KUALA LUMPUR: @ease boutique hotel, a hotel in Sandakan, Sabah and owned by Sara-Timur Properties Sdn Bhd, expects to achieve an occupancy rate of up to 60% in line with the industry’s average rate.

From left: Rosita Hamden, John Augustin and ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd joint managing director Kenneth K.Y.Tiong at the media briefing

The hotel, built at a cost of over RM40mil, is part of the Sandakan Harbour Square, a RM450mil integrated, commercial, retail, and recreational development project.

At a media briefing on @ease, the operator of the hotel, Value Hospitality Group, said the peak tourist season in Sandakan would be from April to December.

Sandakan itself has been earmarked as a new growth hub for Sabah, whereby commercial and tourism activities are increasing,” said Value Hospitality area general manager, east Malaysia, John Augustin.

Value Hospitality also manages the Prescott and Everly hotels.

@ease, which was soft launched on Nov 26, is scheduled for official launch on Dec 23.

“We are looking at opening eight more hotels in the peninsula as well as East Malaysia in the future,” said Sara-Timur joint managing director Rosita Hamden.

A property developer with various projects in the country, the company is also the main contractor for Phase I and Phase II of the Sandakan Harbour Square.

Rosita said the company was looking at having the same boutique hotel concept for the eight hotels it planned to build but had yet to decide on the cost of investment.

@ease will feature 138 deluxe rooms and suites, a business centre, and banquet and state-of-the-art meeting facilities.

By The Bernama

Hunza Properties records 40pc bookings

Hunza Properties Bhd had recorded over 40 per cent bookings for its high-end condominiums at the "Gurney Paragon" project on Penang island.

The company's executive chairman, Datuk Khor Teng Tong, yesterday said the buyers for the units which are priced from RM1.6 million to RM2.9 million are made up of both locals and foreigners.

KHOR: The company is investing RM10 million to refurbish a heritage building at the project site

"Piling works have just been completed for the 220 condominium units which carry a gross development value of RM380 million," he told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting in Penang.

Khor also said the company is investing RM10 million to refurbish a heritage building at the project site.

The historical St Joseph's Novitiate building which fronts the famed Gurney Drive waterfront will see its stained glass windows, doorknobs and other old fixtures restored, he added.

"We are also taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of the 82-year-old building during the construction of the two condominium towers which will frame the building," he added.

The 82-year-old French style building which served as a novitiate for the Christian brothers sits on a 4.08ha freehold site. It was purchased by Hunza Properties from the Federation of Malaya of the Christian Brothers' Schools for RM97 million.

The "Gurney Paragon" project which will comprise a shopping mall, retail lots, 220 high-end condominiums and an office block is due for completion by the first quarter of 2010.

On the company's RM240 million "Infinity" beachfront project in Tanjung Bungah, Khor said foundation works have been completed.

"The current take-up rate for the project is 37 per cent," he noted, "and close to half of the buyers are from countries like the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East."

The 119 units are priced between RM1.6 million and RM3.2 million and Hunza Properties has begun rehabilitating the nearby Sungai Kelian and carrying out landscape works for RM600,000.

"We are adopting the stretch of beach fronting the project which we will maintain but will remain accessible to the public," Khor added.

For its 2007 financial year ending June 30, Hunza Properties recorded RM57.5 million in profit before tax. This reflects a 65.2 per cent increase from the RM34.81 million recorded in 2006.

Profit after tax for 2007 was RM39.24 million, a 98 per cent increase from the RM19.8 million recorded during the 2006 fiscal year.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

Sunway close to signing deals

PETALING JAYA: Sunway International Hotel & Resort is close to signing hotel management agreements with four to six parties in Malaysia, Vietnam and China, chief executive officer Hanley Chew said.

“We are already in negotiations with four to six parties in the region. We are close to signing the agreements,” he said yesterday after a signing ceremony with Angkor Tourism Co Ltd to manage two hotels in Cambodia.

The hotels are Allson Angkor Hotel and Allson Angkor Paradise Hotel, located in Siem Reap.

The agreement would enable the hospitality and management arm of Sunway City Bhd to expand its presence in Cambodia, Chew said.

Chew said the company would start managing the hotels next month for an initial period of 10 years.

“We aim to achieve 60% occupancy rate for both hotels in the coming years,” he said.

Angkor Tourism managing director Kousoum Saroeuth said the company believed Sunway International was capable of managing the two hotels in Siem Reap well.

Sunway has a good reputation and is performing well not only in Cambodia but also in Malaysia and Vietnam. So it is definitely an opportunity for us to take advantage of Sunway’s expertise and marketing network to develop better our hotels around the world,” he said.

The Malaysian hospitality group now operates and manages 13 hotels and resorts under two hotel brand names –the Sunway Hotel & Resorts and Allson Hotel & Resorts – in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, representing up to 3,000 guestrooms

By The Star

CIMB offers auctioned properties

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group has launched a service to offer the public the chance to buy real estate that is being auctioned.

The service, called CIMB Property Mart, entails a showroom of such properties, with staff at hand to educate visitors about the auction process. CIMB will also offer financing packages for purchases.

“By setting up the CIMB Property Mart as an alternative sales channel, we hope to raise the profile of auction properties and persuade the public that they represent a viable and sound real estate investment.

Staff will be on hand at the property gallery to answer questions on the properties, action process as well as our financing packages,” said group chief executive Datuk Nazir Razak at the launch.

About RM600 million worth of properties ­— properties and land — foreclosed or owned by CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic were available for sale as at Nov 30.

These properties mainly comprise apartments, landed properties, development land and shop lots located nationwide with the majority in Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

“In future, we hope to leverage on the group’s regional presence and use CIMB Property Mart to attract foreign property investors into the Malaysian property market,” said Nazir.

CIMB Property Mart is located at Grd Flr, Block B, Plaza Damansara, 45 Medan Setia 1 Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur or you can call its hotline number at 1300-88-0811.


SP Setia expects sales to jump 50pc in 2008

SP Setia Bhd, Malaysia's valuable property developer, expects sales to jump 50 per cent to RM1.8 billion in fiscal 2008 as it launches four new projects, its top official said.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said growth would also come from existing projects in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, with the launch of new phases next year.

LIEW: Growth will also be accelerated by the low interest rate regime and EPF withdrawal scheme

"We are very confident we can do it as the Malaysian economy is right. The growth will also be accelerated by the low interest rate regime and EPF withdrawal scheme," Liew told reporters after announcing the group's full year results in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

New projects slated for launch next year are Setia Sky Residences, its maiden luxury condominium project in Kuala Lumpur, and Duta Grande, Kenny Hills, comprising 15 luxury bungalows priced at RM30 million each. These will be marketed to rich tycoons in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Middle East and Malaysia.

It will also launch Setia Eco Gardens in Johor Baru, Setia Eco Villas in Cyberjaya and EcoLakes in Vietnam.

EcoLakes, SP Setia's maiden development outside Malaysia, will be launched in March 2008.

"Sales from EcoLakes would roll next year but it would only contribute to group revenue from 2009," Liew said.

SP Setia has 16 on-going projects with a combined gross development value of RM30 billion.

Its total undeveloped landbank stands at 1,959ha inclusive of 223ha in Vietnam.

The company has also been invited to expand in Libya, China and India but it wants to establish itself in Vietnam first.

SP Setia, which has a market value of some RM5 billion currently, reported a 9.2 per cent increase in 2007 net profit.

It made a net profit of RM260 million for the 12 months ended October 31 2007. Revenue was flat at RM1.15 billion.

He said SP Setia plans to launch its first integrated development project in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on a joint venture with one of Sabah's state authority.

"We have narrowed in on a piece of landbank located near the city area. We are negotiating currently. We hope to launch it at the end of our next financial year (Oct 2009)," Liew said.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

BLand to develop Vietnam township

BERJAYA Land Bhd, a unit of Berjaya Corp Bhd, will develop a 405ha site in Hanoi, Vietnam into a new township with a potential gross development value (GDV) of some RM8 billion over 10-12 years.

This would swell BLand's expected GDV from five projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City including the latest venture, to some RM40 billion, BCorp chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Vincent Tan said.

Tan said overseas projects would contribute significantly to BLand's revenue and profit from 2010 or 2011, with Vietnam potentially generating more earnings than its Malaysian operations over the period.

"Together with the other (four) properties that the group are acquiring in Vietnam announced earlier, we would have a total of 1,334ha which when developed has a potential GDV in excess of US$10 billion (RM33.2 billion)," Tan told Malaysian reporters in Hanoi yesterday.

"These acquisitions demonstrate our belief in the long-term growth of the Vietnam economy. The strong GDP (gross domestic product) growth of an average seven per cent for the past decade and the phenomenal increase in foreign direct investment in recent years say much about this country," he added.

Additionally, BLand - which also has businesses or projects in countries like Thailand, South Korea and China, has bought two five-star hotels in Hanoi from Malaysian businessmen and expects to seal another major project in the capital by year-end.

BLand yesterday signed a deal with state-owned Hanoi Electronics Corp to jointly develop the 405ha in Long Bien district into a mixed residential, commercial and industrial township through a 70:30 joint venture company called Berjaya-Hanel Co Ltd.

Tan said the company expects to obtain an investment licence to kickstart construction of the project within three to four months.

BLand will pump in some RM700 million into Berjaya-Hanel as its paid-up capital, while its partner should come up with some RM300 million.

BLand, in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, said the project should cost around RM4.4 billion to develop. It will boast residentials like townhouses,villas and low and high rise apartments, as well as schools, shop offices, business and industrial parks,shopping mall, medical and sports centres.

Meanwhile, Tan reiterated that funding for its Vietnamese projects could potentially come from sales of more BLand irredeemable cumulative unsecured loan stocks (ICULs) and matured assets in Malaysia.

He noted that BLand still has about 600 million ICULs that can be sold if need be, to complement the previous sales that had generated RM570 million which were partly used to pay for its earlier investments in Vietnam.

By New Straits Times (by Zuraimi Abdullah)

BLand plans mixed development in Hanoi

HANOI: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) unit Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is planning a mixed residential, commercial and industrial development with open landscape and water features on about 1,000 acres in Sai Dong A, Long Bien.

BCorp chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Vincent Tan said the group was excited to be given the opportunity to develop the huge parcel of land was just 8km from Hanoi.

“The group’s Thach Ban New City project, which is just 4km away, has received good response and we are confident of achieving similar success with this new project,” he said after signing the memorandum of understanding with Hanoi Electronics Corp general director Nguyen Quoc Binh.

The RM8.4bil development over 10 to 12 years would be implemented via a 70:30 joint venture company between BLand and Hanoi Electronics.

“We hope to get the investment licence within four months to start works on the project,” Tan said.

Tan said he was in talks with another party for a similar sized development project and would likely make an announcement by month-end.

He is also looking to replicate his corporate strategy of diversification in Vietnam.

“We have just concluded an agreement with Starbucks. We will be a 50% joint venture partner with Starbucks in Vietnam ,” he said.

Tan added that the group would be able to decide by April whether to invest in the monorail project in Ho Chi Minh City.

“It is a risky project but we would be keen to invest if returns on investment are reasonable,” he said.

Tan expressed confidence that the group’s overseas earnings contribution would be substantial within three years.

By The Star (by Laalitha Hunt)

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