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Monday, November 10, 2008

I&P: Four new projects on despite global crisis

PROPERTY developer Island & Peninsular Sdn Bhd (I&P) is going ahead with the launch of four new projects in the remaining months of this year, undeterred by the global economic slowdown.

Group managing director Datuk Jamaludin Osman said the first project calls for the launch of four additional phases of properties at its flagship Bandar Kinrara township this month in Puchong, Selangor.

The other three projects will involve launches of properties in new townships such as Alam Sari in Bangi; Alam Impian in Shah Alam; and Kota Bayuemas in Klang.

"It is business as usual for I&P, despite the slowdown. We are going ahead with our planned property launches from now until next year," he told Business Times in an interview.

Properties to be launched at the various developments will comprise two-storey terrace houses, semi-detached houses, bungalows and shoplots.

For example, the developer plans to launch two-storey terrace houses and shop units at Kota Bayuemas, as well as 110 units of two-storey terrace houses in Bandar Kinrara, priced from RM475,0000 per unit.

"All these launches are in preparation for next year's revenue," said Jamaludin.

Jamaludin said I&P also plans to push projects currently under construction at Bandar Kinrara and Alam Impian in Shah Alam.

Meanwhile, Jamaludin said the company has seen a softening of the market for its properties.

"It now takes six months to sell a certain property compared with previous years when once we launch, the units are immediately snapped up. But that's okay, we still manage to sell," he said.

"We remain positive on the local property market and will tread carefully," he added.

Jamaludin said I&P is still doing fine and has collected a revenue of RM517 million for the first nine months ended September.

The group turned in a revenue of RM800 million in the financial year ended January 2007.

Jamaludin, however, said the company will proceed to launch projects in 2009 only after carefully reviewing prevailing economic and market conditions.

"We will only launch in tandem with good economic and market conditions, we need to be cautious and prudent," said Jamaludin who declined to reveal the number of property launches the company has in store for next year because he wants to first observe the market conditions.

He said I&P has to remain competitive by coming out with strategies in tandem with the market situation.

"When the market is bad and you launch 1,000 units, you are certainly looking for trouble," said Jamaludin.

He said the market will be good with the support of banks to give out loans to housebuyers because houses are seldom bought cash.

"I&P takes pride that its houses are reasonably priced and remain competitive among its peers despite the rising cost of construction materials.

With a total landbank of 5,263ha nationwide, I&P also owns and develops Alam Damai in Cheras, Seri Beringin in Bukit Damansara, Alam Sutera in Bukit Jalil, Kota Seriemas in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, Taman Setiawangsa in Kuala Lumpur, Impian Morib hotel in Morib, Taman Inderawasih and Desa Mutiara in Penang and others.

I&P is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and was delisted from Bursa Malaysia in July last year.

Analysts believe that the company was privatised because PNB felt that its shares were undervalued.

By Business Times (by Zaidi Isham Ismail)

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