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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

YTL may open shopping malls in Singapore, London

SINGAPORE: YTL Corp, Malaysia's biggest builder, may open shopping malls in Singapore and London under its Starhill brand in the next 12 months, managing director Francis Yeoh said.

"London is actually pursuing us to do a Starhill," Yeoh told reporters in Singapore yesterday, referring to the company's luxury Starhill mall in Kuala Lumpur.

A recent decline in commercial rental rates has made the plan more viable, he said.

YTL's fourth-quarter profit dropped 36 per cent as income from its property and power businesses slowed, the company said on August 19. Demand for real estate has eased as Malaysia's economy grew in the second quarter at the slowest pace in a year.

YTL in April paid a record price of RM85 million for property of less than an acre in Kuala Lumpur, the Edge newspaper reported at the time, without saying where it obtained the information.

YTL also in November bought an apartment building in Singapore for a then-record S$435 million (RM1.05 billion), increasing its investment in a city where home prices had climbed to a 10-year high.

Gains in residential property prices have since eased in Singapore, rising 0.4 per cent last quarter, the slowest in four years.

By Bloomberg

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