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Monday, September 29, 2008

Mah Sing eyes more commercial developments in Sg Besi

NEW HUB: Leong (inset) is confident that its track record will stand the company in good stead in any plans to develop Sungai Besi.

Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd is keen to do more commercial developments in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, as the location is the latest commercial hub, says its top official.

Business Times was made to understand that there was still commercial industrial land in the vicinity that could be used for development although the total hectarage was not known.

"If the opportunity permits, we are definitely thinking of developing this area, riding on our branding and track record to expand further," group managing director and group chief executive Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for Mah Sing's Southgate development, located along Jalan Sungai Besi, on Saturday.

While Mah Sing wants to increase its landbank in Sungai Besi, the developer is not in a hurry to make a purchase.

"Whatever land we buy, we want to ensure we look out for shareholder value and the market must be able to absorb the demand," Leong said.

On Southgate, en bloc sales for its Apex Block and Corporate Building are expected to be finalised by the year-end.

"We have interest from private investors and also equity funds because there are very few freehold land (areas) in Kuala Lumpur to buy," deputy chief operating officer Andy Chua said.

Interested parties include those from the Middle East, Singapore and South Korea.

The three remaining blocks of Southgate - Vox, Vivo and Verve - offer office suites and retail lots.

More than 80 per cent of Vivo has been taken up, while Vox and Verve are seeing about 50 per cent take-up each.

Chua said the rental yield was estimated to be eight per cent, but added that he expected it to increase because of growing demand for good freehold office space in Kuala Lumpur and the insufficient supply.

"Also, with construction cost going up, there will be good potential for capital appreciation in future," he said.

On Mah Sing's performance, Leong said it was on track to hitting its RM560 million sales target for the year.

"Having locked in unbilled sales of RM1 billion and another RM3 billion gross development value (on remaining projects), this can last us for the next five years even without our acquiring new land," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Jeeva Arulampalam)

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