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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mah Sing plans to diversify via overseas expansion, says chief executive

KUALA LUMPUR: The Mah Sing Group plans to diversify by expanding overseas, its chief executive Datuk Leong Hoy Kum told Oxford Business Group (OBG).

In an exclusive interview with The Report: Malaysia 2009, to be published by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm OBG, Leong said: “We are exploring countries like China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“With regard to Vietnam, we have been closely monitoring the situation, and in fact, the current scenario allows us to have better pricing negotiations on land acquisitions. However, we shall definitely weigh all the risks and returns before venturing overseas.”

Leong said the group, which is the country’s premier lifestyle developer, was not in a hurry and would be very careful in evaluating any business expansion to ensure the investments would allow the company to chart good growth.

“We are open to opportunities which fit our business model, including a fast turnaround to give us a high ROE (return on equity) and it must also give us the required margin,” he said.

“Should we venture overseas, it is likely we will do it via a joint venture with an established party so that we minimise the risk exposure as we can tap on this local knowledge to expand our business and tap on opportunities in their country.

“Partnering with a knowledgeable and reputable party would give us a strategic advantage and we will start small before embarking on bigger projects.”

Leong said a number of factors would continue to support growth and boost demand for real estate projects within Malaysia.

“There is strong demand from Malaysia’s baby boomers who have higher purchasing power, as well as increasing foreign appetite for properties in Malaysia which are world class, yet undervalued compared to regional peers,” he said.

The Report: Malaysia 2009 will be published in association with OBG’s primary partner, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA). OBG’s team of international analysts based in Kuala Lumpar work in collaboration with a number of local partners, Ernst & Young for accountancy, Shearn Delamore & Co for legal affairs and OSK Investment Bank Bhd for capital markets.

OBG said the report, rated as the premier guide for foreign direct investment into the country, would provide an in-depth analysis of the domestic and foreign political landscape, macro-economic policy and sectoral developments, and trace the astonishing developments of Malaysia.

It said Malaysia had been recognised by major corporations around the world that were seeking to establish or expand investments in the country.

By The EDGE Malaysia

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