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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Emkay plans office project in Cyberjaya

CYBERJAYA: The Emkay Group plans to construct eight office buildings in Cyberjaya with a total gross development value (GDV) of over RM800mil, as it sees great prospects for such properties in the area.

Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar said the buildings would be built on a 8ha-site and construction would probably start by end-2009.

“The projects would take about six years to complete,” he said after a press briefing yesterday on the disposal of its three office buildings to Amanah Raya Bhd for RM266mil. The three buildings are Bangunan Mustapha Kamal and block A and B of MKN Embassy Techzone.

Mustapha Kamal said the rental rates for office buildings in Cyberjaya were expected to grow further due to the aggressive development in nearby Putrajaya.

“The rental rates in the area had increased to RM5 per sq ft from RM1 about 10 years ago,” he said, adding that demand for office buildings was still robust in Cyberjaya.

On the impact of the global crisis, chief operating officer Peter Teh Heng Poh said the effect was minimal, as most of its projects had been sold.

“There has been a slowdown in the demand of certain kinds of properties, such as apartments, in well-developed areas,” he added.

Teh said the company would create more products that could cater to the needs of information technology companies and was currently involved in the development of data centres.

On Emkay’s financial status, he said: “We have a good cash flow and are not facing any financing problems as the banks are supportive.”

Meanwhile, Amanah Raya group managing director Datuk Ahmad Rodzi Pawanteh said the company would lease Bangunan Mustapha Kamal to the Education Ministry for 10 years.

“We are in negotiation to lease the two remaining buildings to government bodies as well,” he said.

On the possibility of injecting the three buildings into AmanahRaya Real Estate Investment Trust (ARREIT), Ahmad Rodzi said the proposal was possible but the company would leave it to ARREIT to decide.

Amanah Raya subsidiary AmanahRaya JMF Asset Management Sdn Bhd is the manager of main board-listed ARREIT.

By The Star (by Lee Kian Seong)

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