Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

LBI moves far beyond manufacturing

An artist's impression of Le Putra Avenue

Manufacturer cum developer LBI Capital Bhd (LBI) expects to see a steady growth in its property development activities. Last December, the company signed a joint-venture agreement with Seribu Baiduri Sdn Bhd and Intelstyle Sdn Bhd to develop 25 detached factories in Puchong Perdana. LBI's managing director Datuk Jeffrey Ng Chin Heng (pix) told theSun that the company is expecting a gross development value (GDV) of RM80 million from the project sited on 36 acres of industrial land.

“We are still in the initial stages of planning and aim to commence the project by the end of the year,” he said.

Established in 1978 as Len Brothers Industries Sdn Bhd, LBI started out in the manufacturing of moulded-rubber products. Since then, the company has undergone several changes in terms of company name and ownership. It decided to venture into property development in 2000.

Currently, its property division contributes 95% to the group’s revenue.

“It was a natural transition for us to get involved in property development, as through our affiliated companies and some personal investments, we have over 20 years of experience in property – mainly pocket-size developments,” said Ng said. The company’s current projects include commercial and residential developments in Seri Kembangan, Sri Gombank and Johor Baru. Its completed projects include the fully-sold commercial project in Ara Damansara called Taipan Damansara II, which spans 17 acres and has a GDV of RM214 million.

On the Seri Kembangan project called Le Putra Avenue, Ng said it has seen a take-up rate of over 30% since the launch in October last year.

Le Putra Avenue offers first-of-its-kind zerolot bungalows within Bandar Putra Permai, in Seri Kembangan. The 9.2-acre leasehold development comprises 65 units of bungalows -- 31 units of 2-storey bungalows with builtups of 3,500sq ft, 26 units of 2½-storey bungalows with builtups of 4,000sq ft and eight bungalows with built-ups of 4,500sq ft. Prices start from RM700,000 and RM1 million onwards for the 2-storey bungalows and 2½-storey bungalows respectively. The project has a GDV of RM48 million.

Meanwhile, LBI’s project in Sri Gombak, called Pinggiran Permata, is 96% sold. Launched last November, It comprises 73 units of 2-storey terraced and semi-detached houses with average prices of RM350,000 and RM498,000 respectively. It has a GDV of RM23 million.

On its Johor project, Ng said the company has only seen a takeup rate of 10% for the 25 shops launched in January last year in the 13.7-acre freehold, mixed development in Taman Bukit Mewah.

LBI is planning to launch terraced houses and semi-dees this month once the show unit is ready, said Ng. The project has a GDV of RM54 million.

“It is slightly different in Johor compared to the Klang Valley. As we are developers from Selangor, Johorians tend to wait and see – they prefer to monitor the progress until the development is 50% to 60% complete before they make a commitment. They are cautious, as they might have been ‘burnt’ before,” Ng said.

In terms of undeveloped bank for future projects, Ng said LBI had none.

“Our views are rather conservative - we only acquire land for immediate development and it is not our policy to buy land and keep it. Our capital does not allow us to do so, not at this moment,” he said.

He declined to further reveal LBI's interest in some high-end projects in KL but did not deny the possibility of some strata projects in prime areas. Ng said the company is constantly looking out for jointventure partners but so far, nothing has materialised yet.

As to whether the company would dispose of its manufacturing arm, LBR Industries Sdn Bhd, Ng said it would keep the business going for now. “It’s an uphill tussle for manufacturing in Malaysia, with high labour costs and the inability to turn around but for now, we will maintain our manufacturing base – unless someone makes us a really good offer”, he said.

On overseas ventures, he said LBI has received offers to venture into Dubai. “But we must first see if we can afford to do so. We have been lucky so far – with good responses for our projects and being able to pay out dividends since 2004. We are moving on a slow and steady pace,” he added.

At the moment, Ng said LBI would be focusing mainly on property within the Klang Valley, but is open to considering other locations including Penang and Sabah, for either high-end or midrange developments.

By theSun (by Rosalynn Poh)

No comments: