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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Golden Plus aims to venture into Vietnam, India in 2009

PROPERTY developer Golden Plus Holdings Bhd (GPlus), which derives most of its business from Shanghai, China, aims to venture into Vietnam and India next year.

It has hired consultants to do feasibility studies on both property markets, to gauge the potential demand for high-end property developments.

"The Malaysian market is a bit saturated. Because of the kind of population you have in India and Vietnam, we think the uptake for this kind of project on the development pitch that we have will be accepted quite favourably," said director Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy.

The company may partner local parties. However, talks have not started yet.

Jeyaraj said the expansion plan can only proceed when issues with creditors are resolved.

"We are expecting them to be resolved by end of November," he said after its annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

GPlus launched 10 blocks of luxury condominiums in Shanghai recently, of which, six blocks are open for sale. So far, half of that have been sold.

Executive director Low Thiam Hoe expects demand for high-end residential property in China to slow down, due to slower global economic growth and new government rules.

It plans to launch its mixed-development project next year, which will be ready by 2015, comprising a 500-room hotel, a shopping mall, and an office block among others.

Also, the company which had issues with shareholder Indian Corridor Sdn Bhd is compiling evidence to take legal action against Bursa Malaysia for violation of corporate governance.

"We are about 70 per cent done with compiling evidence," said GPlus counsel Datuk Krishnan Kumar.

Bursa Malaysia wants a special audit to be done on GPlus, to see if the company's financial and business affairs comply with listing rules.

Krishnan claimed the recent action by Bursa Malaysia triggered a conflict of interest as the lawyers for Bursa Malaysia are the same lawyers who had advised Indian Corridor.

However, Bursa Malaysia has denied this.

"Bursa Malaysia has been advised by Skrine that there is no conflict of interest involved in Skrine acting for Bursa Malaysia in this matter," it said in a statement.

GPlus' tussle with Indian Corridor and Pembangunan Qualicare Sdn Bhd, which own 19.75 per cent of GPlus, began last year.

The shareholders were unhappy with a management agreement signed between Yanfull Investment Ltd, GPlus' unit, and a Chinese company. At one point, Indian Corridor requested an investigative audit to be done on GPlus.

The company said it has no issues with the special audit.

"We have nothing to hide, but who is going to bear the cost?" Jeyaraj said.

So far, four audits have been conducted on the company, which costs more than RM500,000 in total. The special audit, which is also its fifth audit, could cost some RM500,000 alone, based on the job scope.

By New Straits Times

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