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Monday, May 12, 2008

More projects from Metro Kajang

Datuk Alex Chen viewing a model of some of the company's projects in Kajang

METRO Kajang Holdings Bhd is set to consolidate its position as the biggest property developer in Kajang and Semenyih with the recent acquisition of a 270-acre prime freehold land in Kajang.

The company's acquisition is a major achievement as it is not easy to acquire such a big piece of land near the town centre and also considering that it paid RM80mil for the land which would be turned into a high-end integrated township with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.5bil.

The township will have 3,500 units of bungalow, semi-detached house, three-storey super-link house, apartment, commercial unit and private school.

Executive chairman Datuk Alex Chen said Kajang was ready for such high-end development. “We are very positive on the potential response when it is launched next year,” he told StarBiz.

He said the group's move from affordable housing to high-end development was to make it an “all rounder” and to cater to market needs effectively.

The group is a household name in Kajang, having built over 1,000 units of mixed properties there over the past 20 years.

Metro Kajang has three new projects with a combined GDV of RM162mil on 24.4 acres near its head office at Wisma Metro Kajang in Jalan Semenyih.

It also has three new projects with a combined GDV of RM162mil on 24.4 acres near its head office at Wisma Metro Kajang in Jalan Semenyih.

They are Metro Avenue (30 units of three-storey shop office), Sentosa Villas (three-storey link houses) and Sentosa Avenue (shop offices). It has sold all the 19 shop office units that were launched in Sentosa Avenue.

Chen said the group was always striving to offer Kajang folk better leisure and entertainment facilities. Its Plaza Metro Kajang, with Giant and Parkson Ria as anchor tenants, and Metro Point Complex's drive-in KFC Restaurant are examples of this effort.

Other upcoming projects are:

  • Desa Melawati: Metro Kajang bought a 2.65-acre land beside the Middle Ring Road 2 and it plans to build 523 units of serviced apartment. The project, to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, will have a GDV of RM140mil.
  • Bandar Teknologi Kajang: It is developing 118 acres of land into a gated and guarded community comprising 500 units of bungalows, semi-detached houses, apartments and a clubhouse. To be launched end of this year, it will have a GDV of RM182mil.

Metro Kajang has also entered into a 60:40 joint venture with Amona Permodalan Sdn Bhd to develop a 5.3-acre land next to Pantai Hillpark condominium near Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur. It plans to build 404 units of condominiums and 20 three-storey villas. Slated for launch by 2009, the project will have a GDV of RM168mil.

Its other ongoing projects include Rimbunan Avenue in Kepong (all units sold), the 295-acre Pelangi Semenyih (Phases 7, 8, and 9), Taman Bukit Mewah (Phase 10), Saville Residence (75% of the service apartments sold) and the high-end Cheras Zen Park (all sold).

It has also sold 95% of the serviced apartments in Pelangi Damansara Sentral, which is within the vicinity of 1 Utama shopping centre, Tesco, Ikea and The Curve.

“We are always seeking opportunities to enhance shareholders' returns and to provide long-term sustainable earnings,” Chen said.

The group recently expanded its business in oil palm plantation via the acquisition of a 100% equity interest in SJL Utama Pte Ltd that in turn owns 94.99% in PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo.

The latter has been issued “Hak Guna Usaha” land title for 35 years for 15,942ha (39,395 acres) of land in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, for the development of oil palm plantation. The land is 75km from Samarinda.

This represents a major earnings diversification move.

“There is a need for a more resilient earnings base in order to sustain our profits as well as for future long-term growth,” Chen said, adding that vital ingredients to make a project successful included the right timing, a strategic location and catering to market needs.

“We are always doing market research like what house buyers want, their lifestyle, educational background and what they can afford. We believe each generation has different needs and expectations, and our designs and concepts must cater to them.”

Chen said the group had absorbed the rising construction costs well and, despite thinner margins, was still able to deliver on time, thanks to its strong working relationship with contractors and its trading house, which allowed it to enjoy cost benefits from purchase of building materials.

By The Star (by S.C.Cheah)

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