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Friday, January 4, 2008

Mah Sing expands presence in IDR

Mah Sing Group Bhd has purchased prime freehold land in the southern tip of the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Johor totalling about 60.21 acres for RM21 million from several vendors. The land is less than 2km from the group’s ongoing development Sri Pulai Perdana in Skudai.

A bungalow unit in Sri Pulai Perdana 1

The land will be developed into Sri Pulai Perdana 2, with gross development value of about RM157.8million. The group has two other on-going projects in Johor, namely Austin Perdana (Tebrau) and Sierra Perdana (Tebrau-Plentong).

Mah Sing’s group managing director Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum said in a statement yesterday, “Johor has the second largest property market in Malaysia with 12% of property transactions in 2006, and the second largest housing demand under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. Strong economic and population growth expected under the IDR should spur demand for housing in the area. We see a lot of upside not only because we can ride on our premium branding, unblemished track record and good locations, but also because the IDR and Singapore’s two integrated resorts will spur the economy further.”

Sri Pulai Perdana 2 will front the Johor Baru-Pontian main road. It is close to Pulai Springs Golf and Country Resort, 10 minutes from UTM Technovation Park, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Johor Technology Park. “Residents enjoy proximity to shopping centres and hypermarts. The development also enjoys a ready catchment population from nearby housing developments, including Taman Impian Emas, Taman Universiti and Mutiara Rini,” Leong said.

The development is served by a comprehensive network of major roads and expressways, including the Skudai Highway and North-South Expressway. The Sultan Ismail International Airport is only 20 minutes away while the Causeway to Singapore is 30 minutes away. “The upcoming interchange from the Second Link Expressway is close by. This is especially important with the development of two integrated resorts in Singapore, which will be a catalyst for economic growth and which will spur housing demand,” Leong added.

“At Sri Pulai Perdana 2, we will offer interesting concepts, excellent quality, grand entrances, extensive landscaping and gated and guarded community living within an accessible mid-range price bracket, which has proven to be successful in Johor,” he said.

Sri Pulai Perdana 2 will closely follow the tried and tested Garden Park Living theme of Sri Pulai Perdana. Following customer feedback from Sri Pulai Perdana, the new development will comprise bigger units, namely linked semi-detached homes and superlink homes as well as 2-storey shop offices.

Prior to this land purchase, the group’s projects in the Klang Valley, Johor Baru and Penang contributed 37%, 21% and 42% respectively to its revenue. The purchase has evened out the contribution to 35%, 25% and 40% respectively and the group aims to maintain a 50:30:20 ratio as these three locations are Malaysia’s property hot spots.

According to Leong, the group’s expansion strategy is to acquire choice landbank in multiple prime locations in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru for its commercial and residential (Legenda, Residence and Perdana) series, which target different segments of the medium to highend property market.

The group will continue to focus on the lifestyle medium to high-end residential market and
commercial segment which has given it very good results.

With this new project, the group now has 15 projects with GDV of RM3.199 billion — 10 in the Klang Valley, one in Penang island and four in Johor Baru. The group has unbilled sales of RM1.077 billion, representing a total GDV of RM4.276 billion, which will ensure earnings visibility for seven years.

By theSun

SP Setia signs deal for Vietnam project

S P Setia Bhd (S P Setia), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Setia Saigon East Ltd (SSEL), has formalised a cooperation agreement with Saigon Hi-Tech Park Development Company (SHTP Co) to jointly design and develop a mixed real estate development project on 79 acres of land in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.

The developer said in a statement yesterday the project caters principally to the expatriate and senior managements of multinational corporations operating in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP).

Pham Dac Vinh (left), director of SHTP Co, exchanging documents with Liew

The land is located in District 9, a suburban area of HCMC, about 1km from the SHTP. It is modelled after the technical economic zone concept to attract foreign investment and mobilise domestic high-technology resources.

Since 2003, the park has attracted many hightech names such as Jabil Circuit, Nidec, Sonion and the Intel Group, which has committed over US$1 billion (about RM3.3 billion) in investments. The presence of these multinational firms is expected to create a growing pool of expatriates and local managers and spur demand for good-quality properties in
the vicinity.

“Fresh from securing the investment certificate for our first Vietnam project, EcoLakes, in the industrialised province of Binh Duong, near HCMC, two months ago, we have inked this deal to embark on yet another project in Vietnam.

“This underscores S P Setia’s commitment towards expanding its presence in Vietnam, which is widely hailed as one of the most promising emerging real estate markets in Asia today,” said Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, S P Setia chief executive officer and group managing director.

Liew added that the latest move was in line with S P Setia’s strategy to export its proven real estate expertise to regional markets with bright economic prospects.

Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, SSEL and SHTP Co will work towards fulfilling the conditions over a 12-month period, after which a jointventure company (JV Co) will be formed within three months to undertake the proposed development. S P Setia, through SSEL and another wholly-owned subsidiary, Setia D-Nine Ltd, will collectively own 67% of the JV Co while SHTP Co will hold the balance of 29%, with the remaining 4% owned by the staff company of SHTP Co.

By theSun

SPNB successfully rehabilitates abandoned projects

Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) has successfully completed an abandoned project in Taman Kantan Permai, Kajang, which was awarded the certificate of fitness (CF) on Dec 19, last year.

Before and after: The rehabilitation project in Kajang undertaken by SPNB

“Some 792 houses were completed, and they consist of 621 low-cost double-storey terraced houses and 171 medium-cost terraced houses,” said Datuk Mohd Amin Mohd Salleh, managing director of SPNB.

The project, which has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM38 million, was previously developed by Rajo Sdn Bhd in 1990. According to Mohd Amin, the project was abandoned in 1992 due to “mismanagement and financial problems”. SPNB then took over in April 2005.

The low and medium-cost homes take up 101.53 leasehold acres and are fully sold out, said Mohd Amin. The former is priced at RM25,000 and sized at 646 sq ft while the latter, priced between RM39,060 and RM92,000, ranged from 876 to 1,033 sq ft.

According to Mohd Amin, a total of 16 projects comprising 7,548 homes funded by the government have been completed nationwide under the SPNB rehabilitation project. Meanwhile, a total of 54 projects comprising 13,245 homes were completed with the consultation of SPNB.

“Currently, SPNB is rehabilitating six more projects involving 2,737 houses for the whole of Malaysia. They are targeted to be completed by March 2009,” he said, adding that the projects were also undertaken with the cooperation of the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

By theSun (by Yeong Ee-Wah)

Competition with new entrants

Besides rising costs, the challenge for local developers is to compete with new entrants who are likely to have considerable resources and experience, says Bandar Raya Developments CEO Datuk Jagan Sabapathy.

Bandar Raya Developments Bhd

Your outlook for the property market next year?

The outlook for the property market, specifically at the high-end, is bullish, and this can be attributed to the recent easing of rules by the Government on foreigners owning residential properties.

The abolishment of real property gains tax, active promotion of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, attractive valuations and rental yields viz-a-viz our regional peers have led to strong interest from foreign buyers.

The prospect of a stronger ringgit that may lead to an asset reflation benefits prime residential and commercial properties. The multiplier effect from the implementation of Ninth Malaysia Plan projects, especially for the Johor and Penang property markets, also bodes well for industry players next year.

Strong gross domestic product growth, coupled with an expected increase in liquidity due to lower interest rates and stock market wealth, will positively impact purchasing power of domestic consumers.

What are some of the opportunities and challenges for industry players going forward?

Some of the key opportunities and challenges will surface from the relentless pace of globalisation. Private FDI is now predicted to expand by 10.5% next year. These factors are driving investor confidence.

International developer interest in the city is intensifying with many desirable and attractive residential and commercial projects coming up. The challenge would be for local developers who will now have to compete with these new entrants who are likely to have considerable financial, technical and marketing resources, expertise and experience.

Conversely, globalisation and the robust regional property markets also offer great opportunities for innovative developers to compete in the international arena.

Expanding their presence in the global market will spur greater earnings growth for developers and give them an opportunity to break out of their comfort zone and in the process, shore up their credibility as international property players.

BRDB has already embarked on a highly successful integrated development project in Lahore, Pakistan and is currently evaluating opportunities in the emerging economies of the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and South-East Asia.

Which property sector and development types offer the best potential for your company?

As a market leader and one of the top developers in Malaysia, we continue not only to strive for quality to meet the increasing expectations of our purchasers, but also to invent iconic and innovative development concepts. At BRDB, we strive to create developments that are the first of their kind in the market, which differentiates us increasingly ahead of our competitors.

Again, with globalisation and the introduction of the MM2H programme, we are taking advantage of opportunities to market BRDB to foreign buyers (with about half the purchasers of our signature project, The Troika, being foreigners).

We now have a very strong footing in the high-end local residential sector, but we are also diversifying our developments into other sectors, ranging from premium offices to retail malls, as well as growing our recurring income business via leasing and asset management.

What are the challenges and prevailing issues being faced by the industry and what is the possible impact on your company?

The rising cost of oil, steel and labour will impact costs. Additionally, with so much choice available in the market, buyers are increasingly demanding the very best in product offering, quality and service standards. These will lead to rising cost of delivery, which will inevitably be passed on to the consumer.

The possible impact on BRDB:

·We have built a strong brand over the past 43 years. In that time, BRDB has demonstrated resilience and creativity in delivering quality living to our customers. We will continue to translate these innovative ideas into quality homes to stay ahead of the competition.

·This is where we need to be aware of the increasingly sophisticated demands of our purchasers. BRDB has always been committed to enhancing the quality of life of our homeowners. Careful thought and planning goes into ensuring all needs and comforts are readily available for the discerning purchaser.

What are some of the interesting property launches that can be expected from your company in coming months?

We will be launching three new developments in the Klang Valley in 2008:

CapSquare Residences II – An integrated commercial, retail and residential enclave, the second 32-storey tower features 176 units of Manhattan inspired condominiums and is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2008.

Bangsar – This luxurious condominium development in Bukit Bandaraya is divided into eight blocks of low- and high-rise residences featuring open private lobbies with outstanding views of KL and Damansara.

Taman Duta – These condominium residences embrace a natural valley in the middle of a tropical forest. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and the lush greenery of Kenny Hills, this low-density development marries the beauty of the natural landscape with the luxuries of modern living.

We will also be rejuvenating our presence in Permas Jaya, Johor with a series of launches aimed at introducing an exclusive lifestyle living concept to this integrated township.

What is your expectation on project take-up rate, sales revenue and earnings for the company next year?

We expect the high-end and niche market to continue flourishing as the demand-supply situation is more favourable. BRDB has a very strong brand and unblemished track record in delivering quality homes to satisfied purchasers.

Our enthusiasm results from the fact that our launches next year are in very much sought after locations.

Based on our previous experience and current high demand for such properties, we anticipate a good take-up rate.

With the favourable market conditions, maturing projects and new launches, BRDB expects strong earnings growth next year.

By The Star - 2008 CEO OUTLOOK

Discount for Kepong Sentral condos

Vivien Lee in front of the Kepong Sentral Condominium

Proximity to commuter station is main selling point

Mega Mall Development Sdn Bhd is offering a 10% discount for the second batch of the Kepong Sentral Condominium that it launched on Dec 15.

The 648-unit three-block condominium, completed late last year, represents the last phase of the leasehold Kepong Sentral development sited off Jalan Kepong.

Sales administration manager Vivien Lee said the second batch of the condominium project comprised 150 units.

“To date, 50 units from this batch have been taken up. Including the first batch, 50% of the 648 units have been sold,” she told StarBiz.

The main selling point of the project was the proximity of the KTM commuter station, located within walking distance, she said.

Besides the condominium phase, Lee said the development comprised two blocks of medium to low-cost apartments and two blocks of four-storey shop apartments, which had all been sold.

Priced from RM176,800 to RM250,800 with a maintenance fee of 16.5 sen per sq ft inclusive of sinking fund, the condominium units have built-up areas of 962 to 1,098 sq ft and each comes with a parking bay.

The units are also for rent. “We're renting the units directly and offering our services to owners who need help to rent,” Lee said, adding that the rates were reasonable considering that rentals in the area were between RM800 and RM1,000.

“Besides the discount incentive for the second batch, we're also offering prizes worth RM100,000 through a lucky draw for purchasers,” Lee said.

She also said the company was embarking on another project, called Sun Plaza, in Port Klang. It is a freehold development comprising shops, shop-offices and serviced apartments.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)

Mah Sing to develop RM158million Johor project

Developer Mah Sing Group Bhd plans to build properties worth some RM157.8 million on a piece of land that it is buying in Johor.

Mah Sing is buying 24 hectares of land in Skudai, Johor, for RM21 million, it said in a statement.

The land is located near the Iskandar Development Region and is less than two kilometres away from its township, Sri Pulai Perdana.

Mah Sing will call the new township Sri Pulai Perdana 2.

"The group is confident of tapping on the success and branding of its three on-going projects namely Sri Pulai Perdana (Skudai), Austin Perdana (Tebrau) and Sierra Perdana (Tebrau-Plentong)," it said in a statement.

With this new project, the group currently has 15 projects with a total gross development value of RM3.2 billion.

By New Straits Times

SP Setia secures 2nd deal in Vietnam

Property developer SP Setia Bhd has clinched a deal to jointly build a 32ha mixed development project in Ho Chi Minh City which caters to expatriates and senior staff working in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park.

LIEW: The latest move is in line with its strategy to expand in regional markets with bright prospects

The project marks SP Setia's second venture in Vietnam, after it secured the investment certificate for its first project there, EcoLakes in the industrialised province of Binh Duong near the capital city two months ago.

"This underscores SP Setia's commitment towards expanding its presence in Vietnam, which is widely hailed as one of the most promising emerging real estate markets in Asia today," group chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said in a press statement released in the Vietnamese capital.

He said the latest move is in line with its strategy to expand in regional markets with bright prospects.

The land is located in District 9, a suburban area some 1km from the park.

Since 2003, the park has attracted high-tech names such as Jabil Circuit, Nidec, Sonion and the Intel Group, which has committed to over US$1 billion (RM3.29 billion) in investments.

This will create a growing pool of expatriates and local managers that will demand good quality properties in the vicinity.

SP Setia, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Setia Saigon East Ltd has formalised a cooperation agreement with Saigon Hi-Tech Park Development Co to work on the project together.

A joint-venture company will be set up after a 12-month period. SP Setia will own 67 per cent of the joint venture and the Vietnamese firm 29 per cent. The rest will be owned by employees of the Vietnamese partner.

By New Straits Times