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Thursday, September 4, 2008

SunCity still bullish on India

PETALING JAYA: Sunway City Bhd (SunCity), which is launching the RM1.5bil Sunway Opus Grand Residency in Hyderabad in November, does not see the downturn in the Indian property market affecting its venture.

The 35-acre project is a joint venture with Opus Developers & Builders Pvt Ltd and will comprise 3,400 condominium units in five phases when completed.

HSBC Bank plc, in a report last month, said house prices could fall by 25% to 30% across most Indian cities due to high inflation and slower growth.

The Reserve Bank of India, in its quarterly monetary policy review, had hiked the repo rate, which is the rate it lends to banks, by 25 basis points to 9% on July 29 in an effort to curb inflation, which has risen over 12% in recent times.

SunCity chief financial officer Koong Wai Seng said the company had never been “aggressive” in the pricing of its project in India, which is targeted at professionals.

“We’re not building homes in Mumbai or New Delhi where the level of speculation is high.

“No doubt there will be some impact but in Hyderabad, property speculation is minimal. So we don’t envisage taking a hit on profits due to a slowdown,” he told StarBiz yesterday.

Koong said despite the prevailing market conditions, the two private launches done in March and May for Sunway Opus had seen a total take-up rate of 30%.

“While this is not an indicator because the show units are not up yet, we’re confident that the take-up rate will be higher when the show units are opened for viewing in November,” he said. Units are priced at an average RM280 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, Koong said the RM380mil joint venture with MAK Projects Pvt Ltd for the development of 14 acres into a condominium project in Hyderabad was still at the design stage.

The project would feature units with an average built-up of 1,500 sq ft and with an average selling price of RM208 per sq ft.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)

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