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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IGB investing RM2b in China

GEORGETOWN: IGB Corp Bhd, which operates the “Cititel” hotel chain, plans to invest RM2bil over the next five years to develop “tourist-class” hotels in China under a new brand name.

The group, which considers 3- to 4-star hotels as tourist-class, also has plans for such hotels in other regional cities, from Bangkok to Sydney.

Cititel Hotel Management Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Eric Lim told StarBiz the group planned to build about 20,000 tourist-class hotel rooms in the third and fourth-tier cities in China.

“These tourist-class hotels would be called Cititel Super-Express Hotel, a new brand name which we are developing,” he said. “There would be at least 1,000 rooms for each of the Cititel Super-Express Hotel to be developed in China.”

Lim said the move would “enable us to tap into the tourist-class market segment in China,” and that the group had “already identified some of the sites for the hotels.”

Over the next three to four years, the IGB group will also draw up plans for similar hotels to be developed in Bangkok, Jakarta, Vietnam, and Sydney.

“In Sydney, the plan is to develop a four-star hotel under the St Giles hotel brand name.

“In Makati, Manila, we are now building the RM150mil St Giles hotel, which should be ready by March 2010,” Lim said.

In Malaysia, the group plans to develop Cititel Express Hotels in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, and Ipoh over the next three to four years as well.

“The RM55mil Cititel Express in Kota Kinabalu should be ready in July 2009, while the Cititel Express in Penang is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010,” Lim said.

The Kota Kinabalu Cititel Express hotel would have 275 rooms and Penang Cititel 550 rooms, he said.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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