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Saturday, April 12, 2008

YTL keen on more land buys in KL

It intends to invest in prime locations, says Yeoh

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL group, which is paying a record RM2,000 per sq ft for a piece of land in Jalan Stonor, intends to make more acquisitions in the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

YTL Corp Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said yesterday that land price in Kuala Lumpur city was “still very affordable'' compared with Asian cities such as Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Jakarta.

“We intend to invest in more properties in prime locations in the city, as the Kuala Lumpur property scene is set to be very exciting,'' he said, adding that this was due to Government measures such as the relaxation of approval from the Foreign Investment Committee.

Yeoh said after a briefing on Climate Change Week 2008 that YTL was planning a residential development comprising apartments on the Jalan Stonor land measuring just under 0.4ha, which it acquired for RM85mil.

In line with Climate Change Week 2008, which will be held from April 29 to May 4, YTL has launched the Renewable Energy and Environment Fund (REEF), a green investment fund for the Asia-Pacific.

From Left: YTL director of investment Ruth Yeoh, executive director Datuk Yeoh Soo Min, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and Syarikat Pembinaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd executive director Jacob Yeoh.

“The fund offers an international portfolio of clean technology companies involved in carbon credits, recycling and alternative energies such as wind, solar and biofuels, all of which contribute immensely to these solutions,'' he said.

According to Yeoh, green technology was set to be the century's largest economic opportunity.

This is the second fund in which YTL would be a main investor. It is also the principal investor in the Asian Renewable Energy and Environment Fund (AREEF), which was launched a year ago and has reaped 28% in annual returns.

According to fund manager Kumpulan Sentiasa Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, REEF was expected to provide returns of 10% to 15% a year.

Yeoh said that as a key utilities player, YTL had been working on reducing its carbon footprint. For example, almost 39% of the total energy used in its British utility company Wessex Water was from renewable energies such as biogas, biomass, wind and solar.

“With our targets firmly in sight, by 2020 we aim to get 50% of our energy from renewable sources and eventually grow that to 100%,” he said, adding that the company's proposed Malaysia-Singapore fast train project was another example of a good environmental project.

“Just imagine the reduction of carbon emissions as a result of the cars it will replace. It will provide fuel subsidy savings as well,” he said.

To a question, Yeoh said the Government was very supportive of the project and considered it not just another mega project but one that was economically viable as well.

By The Star

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