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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

F&N set to launch maiden residential project

PETALING JAYA: The property division of Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) is planning to launch its maiden residential project on commercial land known as Ampang Hilir 233, located on a 1.56-acre tract along Embassy Row in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, this year.

Property division general manager Cheah Hong Chong (pix) said, the niche project comprises 434 serviced apartments with built-ups from 430 sq ft to 1,001 sq ft, as well as office suites and retail lots.

“We are targeting the development at local and foreign buyers and investors looking for quality, high-end residential units in a prime location in the heart of KL’s city centre.

“We are currently evaluating the pricing but it will match the market value of around RM700 psf,” Cheah said.

Also the developer of Fraser Business Park in Sungai Besi, it completed and handed over Phase 1 and is now concentrating on completing the second phase known as Zon.e@Fraser Business Park, which was launched in September 2006. To date, 75% of the second phase has been taken up and is targeted for completion in 2009, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM350 million.

Positioned as the region’s first purpose built ICT hub to be equipped with cuttingedge digital technology, the integrated commercial development will feature ICT retail business lots, Malaysia’s first budget e-hotel, serviced apartments and the city campus of a university college.

Cheah said the transformation of F&N’s former factory land into prime commercial office and retail space has not only benefited the group but also provided purchasers with healthy returns within a short timeframe.

“Capital returns for the 5-and 6-storey shop offices in Phase 1 have shot up, with some units being sold at more than 50% over the initial purchase price during its launch in 2004. For instance, a unit originally priced at RM1.8 million is now worth between RM2.8 million and RM3
million,” he told theSun.

On the group’s future plans, he said F & N would continue to focus on the ICTcentric theme for
all commercial and residential projects. “Other than Fraser Business Park, other good commercial developments at the group’s existing factory sites can be expected down the road,” he said.

F&N will also explore the possibility of collaboration with reputable institutions and brands to develop value-added products that complement the group’s own projects, he added.

In line with the need to build a stronger brand image for its property division and improve customer service efforts, F&N has built a dedicated property gallery and strengthened its in-house sales and marketing team. “The property division will realise its aspirations of owning its own identity once F&N Properties Sdn Bhd is set up,” Cheah said.

While unlocking the value of its current and future property developments, the soft drinks and dairy products manufacturer’s property division will maintain its current conttribution of 8% to 10% to the group’s overall revenue and earnings, he added.

“We expect the property division to continue contributing sustainable income to the group through projects that feature product innovation coupled with an ICTcentric theme,” he said.

For its financial year ended Sept 30, 2007, F & N recorded a net profit of RM152.9 million on revenue of RM2.9 billion. Its property division recorded an operating profit of RM20.6 million on revenue of RM65 million in the year under review.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

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