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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bukit Kiara in UAE JV It is injecting RM700mil of properties

DUBAI: The Bukit Kiara group is injecting its properties, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM700mil, into a joint-venture (JV) company with United Arab Emirates’ Al Batha group to focus on property developments in Malaysia and overseas.

Under the JV agreement signed in Dubai yesterday, the JV company, Al Batha Bukit Kiara Holdings Sdn Bhd (ABBK Holdings), would be owned 60% by the Bukit Kiara group and 40% by Al Batha.

“The JV would enable both parties to expand their customer bases as well as leverage on each other’s strength to undertake property developments both in Malaysia and the UAE,” the two parties said in a joint statement

The Al Batha group, one of the biggest private investment groups in the UAE, would invest RM42mil in ABBK.

Al Batha, which is owned by the Al Qassimi family, has diverse businesses, including automobiles, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, real estate and education.

As for the Bukit Kiara group, eight of its companies related to property development and previously 100% owned by Bukit Kiara Capital Sdn Bhd (which is under the Bukit Kiara group) would be injected into ABBK. These include the RM700mil worth of projects.

These eight companies include Bukit Kiara group’s flagship company Bukit Properties Sdn Bhd and seven others that are involved in interior design and contracting works as well as properties management services.

Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd managing director Tong Nguen Khoong said for the Bukit Kiara group, the formation of ABBK marked a significant milestone.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Tong said Bukit Kiara Properties, which was set up eight years ago, had successfully completed its first and second projects with a GDV of about RM300mil.

“We are now in the middle of our third project, namely the Verve Suites, which comes in four phases. When completed, Verve Suites will reap in gross development revenue of close to RM530mil,” he said.

Tong added that the Verve Suites were now injected into ABBK as part of the RM700mil property projects.

He said ABBK would also undertake more property projects, the Persiaran Madge in Ampang and another along Jalan Tun Razak.

“We will also be exploring possibilities with Al Batha about expansion plans within Malaysia, the region and perhaps the UAE, where Al Batha has strategic pockets of land,” he said.

Tong said ABBK had started plans to open up a marketing and sales office in Dubai to tap into the growing affluence of UAE residents seeking alternative real estate investment opportunities.

Al Batha group managing director Rainer Joechen said the JV was an important step into the global market, where Al Batha wanted to have its operations or JVs with overseas companies.

“To invest in Malaysia is in line with the strategic objective of the Al Batha group to expand beyond the UAE,” he said.

Joechen said Al Batha was seeking to develop into the global markets and to have operations and JVs that would add value to its business.

Among those present at the official signing ceremony were Bukit Kiara group chairman Datuk Alan Tong Kok Mau and the chairman of the Al Batha group, Sheikh Ahmad Mohammed Al Qassimi.

By The Star (by Joseph Chin)

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