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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Talam expects to complete stalled projects by year-end

Property developer Talam Corp Bhd expects three of its stalled projects, namely Ukay Perdana, Bandar Bukit Beruntung and a part of Taman Puncak Jalil - worth a combined RM400 million - to be completed by the end of the year.

The high-rise units at Taman Puncak Jalil will be completed next year.

Talam executive director Chua Kim Lan said this would mean that 7,500 units of the 13,000 stalled units would be completed.

She added that 10 per cent of its total stalled units are unsold.

Meanwhile, the company is putting its 92ha development in Gombak on hold, despite obtaining the necessary approval, due to the high prices of construction materials and dampening consumer sentiment.

"At this point of time, it is useless to start any project considering that contractors are giving quotations on a weekly basis because of the increasing price of construction materials," she said.

In March 2007, Mutual Prosperous Sdn Bhd entered into a joint venture with IJM Properties Sdn Bhd to use Cekap Tropikal Sdn Bhd as the 50:50 joint venture company to takeover the development of the area known as Sierra Selayang.

The land, which is owned by three of Talam's subsidiaries, has an estimated gross development value of RM1 billion.

Talam director Loy Boon Chen said work on the project will start once the prices have stabilised.

Loy is an IJM Corp Bhd nominee to the board of Talam.

Chua said the increasing price of steel and cement has not affected the completion of its stalled projects as most of them are past the structural phase where steel bars and cement are used the most.

She said Talam has seen an increase of less than 10 per cent in costs, when the industry average is around 20 per cent.

Chua also said the company is looking at developing industrial lots at the remaining 1,200ha undeveloped land in Bandar Bukit Beruntung and a 64ha in Puchong.

She added that Talam will no longer focus on developing medium-cost housing.

Talam expects to be back in the black this year with the implementation of its regularisation plan, which was approved by the Securities Commission in April this year.

The company will table the plan to the shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting to be held by the end of August.

By New Straits Times (by Presenna Nambiar)

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