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Friday, September 12, 2008

IJM Land in talks for more projects in China

From left: IJM Land chairman Datuk Krishnan Tan, IJM Corp Bhd deputy CEO and MD Teh Kean Ming, Datuk Soam Heng Choon and Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan at the launch of IJM Land’s new corporate identity

KUALA LUMPUR: IJM Land Bhd is in talks with various parties to venture into mixed property developments in China’s second-tier cities.

Managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon said these new projects were likely to be commercial and residential developments and they could be done through joint ventures with local partners in China.

“IJM Land is always in talks with parties either locally or abroad for joint property projects.

“We haven’t set any time frame for the new ventures in China,” he told reporters after the launch of IJM Land’s new corporate identity yesterday.

“Our people are there and we will continue to look for new business in China and replicate what we have done in Malaysia, such as niche and township developments,” he added.

IJM Land expects its China ventures to contribute to profits in the next three to four years.

The company now has a presence in Changchun where it is jointly developing a RM500mil mixed property project. Soam said it expected to launch the project next year.

He said China represented its second overseas venture after Singapore and IJM Land also planned to tap other emerging markets like Vietnam.

Soam said the company was also looking at en bloc sales for its upcoming commercial projects in the Klang Valley and elsewhere.

“We are talking to fund managers operating out of Hong Kong and Singapore and these could be European or American funds,” he said.

Asked whether IJM Land was on track to launch 28 projects in the financial year ended March 31, 2009, he said it was reviewing some of the projects and might put some on hold.

He said upcoming projects might have higher selling prices which were adjusted according to the construction costs.

Soam said margins were mainly squeezed for lower-end products and there was still demand in the medium to medium-high market.

The unveiling of IJM Land’s new corporate identity and logo yesterday signalled the completion of the rationalisation exercise involving RB Land Bhd and IJM Properties Sdn Bhd.

It also denoted the company’s emergence as a major player in the Malaysian property scene.

The new entity brings together RB Land’s proficiency in township development and IJM’s expertise in high-rise condominiums, niche developments and commercial buildings.

By The Star

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