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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I-Berhad seeks foreign investors for mall project

I-BERHAD (I-Bhd) is in talks with several foreign institutional investors to set up a joint venture to develop the shopping complex component of the i-City project's second phase in Shah Alam, Selangor.

I-Bhd hopes to set up a 70:30 joint venture (JV), with the foreign institution holding the majority, to build an international class shopping complex which has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM500 million.

"We will set up a JV and sell the land to the JV partner. We will then develop it together and let our partner manage the shopping complex," I-Bhd deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said.

"We are looking at shopping centre partners who have the expertise in managing shopping centres for this joint venture," he said.

Lim, in a recent press conference in Sydney, Australia, said that I-Bhd could make an announcement on the development in the third quarter of 2008.

"The mall will have one million square feet gross lettable area which is comparable to the Mid Valley Mega Mall in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

i-City, Lim said, is creating an entire new community which is IT advanced and is a lifestyle hub. As such, a mall which services this community is required.

To be ready in 2011, the mall will cater to about 30,000 office population within the i-City township and 50,000 when the entire project is completed in 2012.

I-Bhd believes that the mall will be successful as there is no such shopping destination between Shah Alam and Klang. The catchment for the mall, based on a 15 km radius, is estimated to be around 1.5 million.

On the corporate towers within i-City, which are now at the planning stage, Lim said the company has received enquiries from institutional investors from Korea, the Middle East and Singapore.

"They are interested in buying either one tower or to manage it as a business park," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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