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Friday, December 19, 2008

Kwong Hing eyes more commercial properties

LITTLE-known property developer and manager Kwong Hing Group may buy more commercial properties to improve its earnings, especially given the current economic scenario.

The group, which turned 50 yesterday, already owns several buildings including Wisma Hamzah Kwong Hing in Lebuh Ampang, Wisma KH on Jalan Sultan Ismail, Plaza Pengkalan on Jalan Ipoh and Wisma Fui Chui, on Jalan Cheng Lok.

Managing director Lim Fap Khoon said that it has several offers already on its table.

"We are interested in acquiring commercial buildings but it would depend on the location and the pricing," Lim said.

In Malaysia, the group currently does not have any major commercial project. Projects in hand are medium-cost residential developments in Pahang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur ranging between RM100,000 to RM150,000 per unit.

As such, it wants to grow its investment portfolio.

Lim was speaking to reporters following the launch of the newly renovated Wisma Hamzah Kwong Hing and the unveiling of its new corporate logo.

The ceremony was officiated by the Minister for the Federal Territories Datuk Sri Zulhasnan Rafique.

According to Lim, the building, which is now encased in a reflective gold-coated glass skin, which creates an effect that is posh, was built in 1984 at a cost of RM38 million.

This 22-storey building which is fully occupied, underwent a RM16 million renovation to transform it into an iconic structure in what was once the central business district.

"The book value of Wisma Hamzah Kwong Hing, after depreciation and before renovation is RM28 million," he said.

Seventy per cent of the group's revenue is derived from property development in Malaysia and in China and from property management.

Another 20 per cent comes from the trading of canvas shoes under the brand Warrior while the rest is from a network marketing business BAE International Inc Sdn Bhd.

The history of the company began in 1958, when Lim made his way to Malaya from Dabu in Meizhou, China, to begin trading textile. It later ventured into property development which today sees it also owning shopping centres along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Petaling and Bangunan HSBC in Medan Tuanku.

By Business Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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