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Thursday, January 10, 2008

IOI Properties unit buys Singapore land for condo project

An artist’s impression of the Seaview Collection condominiums

PETALING JAYA: IOI Properties (S) Pte Ltd (IOIP), a wholly owned unit of IOI Properties Bhd, together with its joint venture partner, Ho Bee Investment Ltd, have successfully tendered for a 5.3-acre land parcel in Singapore’s Sentosa Cove, for S$1.097bil cash.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, IOI Properties said a new joint venture company, Pinnacle (Sentosa) Pte Ltd, which is 65%-owned by IOI Properties, had been set up to acquire the land and undertake its development into an upmarket condominium project.

The 99-year leasehold land parcel under the Pinnacle Collection has a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 2.6.

The site would have a condominium of up to 20 storeys, the tallest building in Sentosa Cove. The maximum number of units allowed in the development is 357, while the maximum permissible gross floor area is 602,359 sq ft.

When completed, the project will offer panoramic views of the South China Sea, the Southern Islands, Tanjong golf course and the city skyline.

The site is the final piece of condominium land to be launched by Sentosa Cove. Pinnacle Collection is one of the two condominium parcels flanking the entrance of the marina leading into Sentosa Cove.

Ho Bee is also the joint-venture partner of IOIP for the successful tender and acquisition in March last year of a 3.6-acre parcel under the Seaview Collection in Sentosa Cove.

A luxury condominium development comprising two eight-storey apartment blocks of 151 units of various sizes is being planned on the site, and sales are expected to commence in the first half of the year.

A company spokesman said the two developments in Sentosa Cove would start contributing to IOI Properties from the next financial year ending June 30, 2009.

He said the designs for the Pinnacle condominiums were still being finalised. The residences would have an average built-up area of 2,000 sq ft.

Going by the existing market price of between S$2,000 and S$3,000 per sq ft for recent condominium projects in Singapore, the Pinnacle Collection project can expect to generate a gross development value of close to S$2bil while the Seaview project will gross around S$1.25bil.

In the statement, IOI Properties said Singapore was chosen as a platform for the group’s regional diversification as properties in the republic were presently one of the most sought after in the region.

“Our association with luxury landmark developments in Sentosa Cove will enhance the IOI Properties brand name and reputation as a luxury quality homes developer not only in Malaysia and Singapore, but also in the larger South-East Asia region,” it added.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

Sabah to benefit from holistic development

Kota Kinabalu: The proposed Sabah Development Corridor would be holistic, covering all sectors of the economy and benefiting all segments of the community.
Scehduled to be launched on Jan 29 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the corridor is targeted to accelerate Sabah's economic growth through aggressive development of the tourism, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

All projects would be inclusive and mindful of the participation of the local people.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (right) and his deputies, Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (left) and Datuk Raymond Tan, showing the blueprint for the Sabah Development Corridor.

"The SDC will be holistic and encompass the whole of Sabah," Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said after a state cabinet meeting to announce the date for the launch of the corridor.

The launching ceremony will be held at the Sepanggar Bay container port, 35km from here.
A brainchild of the prime minister, the SDC's primary objective is to narrow the economic disparity between Sabah and the other states.

This would be achieved through the promotion of a balanced economic growth and distribution by focusing on the reduction of income disparity and poverty and creation of employment opportunities.

Institute for Development Studies, Sabah executive director Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Johari said preserving the environment was another key emphasis of the SDC.

Implementation of projects would be on the basis of sustainable development to ensure that the environment was not affected.

The development corridor will also focus on capturing high value in the manufacturing industry through the promotion of downstream processing.

"Investors would be encouraged to go into downstream processing and add value to their products," Mohd Yaakub said.

Citing an example, he said investors in the agricultural sector would be encouraged to go into the processing of biomass.

Mohd Yaakub said an authority would be set up to oversee and ensure the successful and speedy implementation of projects under the development corridor that would cover a period from this year to 2025.

By New Straits Times (by Joniston Bangkuai)

SohoKL expected to recoup investment in 5-6 years

HERE IT GOES: (From left) eGenting Holdings Sdn Bhd senior vice-president Stanley Ng and Keen Yam with Sunrise managing director Datuk Michael Yam at the SohoKL sneak preview yesterday.

The developers of SohoKL, the up-and-coming dining and entertainment area in Mont Kiara, is expected to recoup its investment in the next five to six years.

Occupying an area of 150,000 square feet, the RM150 million project claims to be the largest food and beverage, and dinner entertainment hub in the region. SohoKL is due to open in March.

The project is jointly owned by Sierra Damai Sdn Bhd and Imperis Corp. The two firms have common directors who also sit on the board of Solaris Hotspotz (KL) Sdn Bhd, the manager of SohoKL.

Solaris chief Keen Yam said he came up with the idea for SohoKL after experiencing Soho London.

"After looking at the customer and food behaviour there, I felt that KL deserved a place like this," Yam said at a sneak preview of SohoKL yesterday.

SohoKL was developed by Sunrise Bhd.

"Our primary objective is to create a dining destination for Malaysia which will ultimately become a popular tourism destination," Yam said.

Mont Kiara was chosen because of the demographics, of which around 60 per cent are expatriates with an average monthly income of RM15,000 and its 10,000 odd families.

SohoKL is already fully tenanted with a total of 40 operators. Seven of them will be nightclubs.

The stores must also make their SohoKL outlet their signature outlets.

"So expect surprises even from chain or franchise operators like Starbucks, Haagen-Daaz and Zen Secret Recipe, which are usually pretty standard in their concepts," Yam said.

Some big names to set up shop there include Cocoon, Malaysia's first international champagne garden, Asia's first Haagen-Daaz lounge and Genji, which is expected to run Malaysia's largest Japanese buffet outlet in SohoKL.

Apart from dining and entertainment, SohoKL also intends to be an outdoor art venue as the building becomes a digital canvas at night.

He said even though Solaris plans to focus its efforts on SohoKL, the company is currently in talks to expand in the Middle East, China and India.

SohoKL yesterday signed an agreement with Worldcard Service Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of eGenting Holdings Sdn Bhd to launch its own loyalty card, called the CosmoEpic Club.

By New Straits Times (by Presenna Nambiar)

WCT Land unveils high-rise commercial project

WCT Land Bhd, the property arm of WCT Engineering (WCTE) Bhd, has unveiled its first high-rise commercial project, dubbed "The Paradigm", which it expects to complete in six to seven years.

The development, which covers 5.02ha of prime leasehold land, comprises four corporate towers, a block for office suites and a five-level retail mall, with total net lettable area of 2.4 million sq ft.

Chairman Datuk Chua Soon Poh said WCT is in talks with a Middle Eastern and local institutional investors for enbloc sales for the properties, which are worth RM1.3 billion.

"We are open to enbloc sales. We are talking to several investors currently," Chua told reporters without saying who the potential buyers might be.

WCT plans to launch the first tower comprising office suites by second half of 2008. The rest of the properties will be launched from next year.

Chua said WCT is targeting public-listed companies and multinational firms for the building space.

"The market rate is between RM450 and RM500 per sq ft. We have yet to fix a price," he said.

Chua is confident that the company would get good profit margins from the properties.

He is also optimistic the project will get good response as more companies are moving out of Kuala Lumpur due to traffic congestion and higher tenancy rates, towards Petaling Jaya.

"Depending on the take-up of The Paradigm, we may launch similar projects in the future, if and when WCT finds suitable land," he added.

WCT has 1,369 acres in its pocket worth RM5.2 billion, half of which have been developed. It has three projects in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang valued at RM3.5 billion and one in Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah worth RM265 million.

"We are sourcing for more land in the Klang Valley. We are open to joint ventures if landowners have good landbank to develop," Chua said.

Meanwhile, WCTE has been awarded an investment certificate to undertake the development of Platinum Plaza in the Binh Chanh district in Vietnam, its first property project overseas.

The project will include a retail and an entertainment centre, a four-star hotel, a multi-purpose hall, a block of small office home office and two 22-storey office towers.

The company told Bursa Malaysia in a statement that it has received approval from the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to set up BSC-WCT Co Ltd to develop the project over four years.

WCTE will own 67 per cent of BSC-WCT and the rest will be held by Minh Thien Construction and Trading Co Ltd.

The company, however, did not provide the development cost of the project.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

MK Land surges 13pc on foreign partner talk

MK Land Holdings Bhd's shares were at its most active ever yesterday on speculation that the property developer may be close to securing a foreign partner.

The shares rose by 8 sen or 13.3 per cent to 68 sen yesterday on volume of about 50.6 million shares, making it the day's most active counter.

Its call warrants were the day's second most actively traded, moving up 3.5 sen or 30.4 per cent to 15.5 sen, on some 43 million shares.

Combined, the two counters accounted for almost a third of total volumes transacted over the stock market yesterday.

Investors may have bought the stock on rumours that a cash-rich foreign investor is close to coming in as an equity partner to help MK Land develop a commercial cluster made up of a shopping mall, office tower and hotel on 9.2 hectares of land in Damansara Perdana, dealers said.

Above map/picture shown the location of Damansara Perdana

"That would make sense as they need some cashflow injection," a property analyst said, noting that cash flow has been tight at the company as it hasn't launched many new developments recently.

But dealers noted that there was also a play on small-to-mid-sized property stocks.

Credit Suisse yesterday put out an "overweight" call on the Malaysian residential property sector.

By New Straits Times

IOI Properties wins Sentosa land bid

Firm, Singapore partner to build condo

IOI Properties Bhd and Ho Bee Investment Ltd have won a bid to buy land on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, for S$1.097 billion (RM2.5 billion).

IOI Properties, a unit of planter IOI Corp Bhd, and its Singaporean partner will build a 20-storey condominium on the 2.12ha site in Sentosa Cove.

Sentosa Cove is a marina resort and waterfront housing project on Sentosa island.

IOI Properties is expanding into Singapore where properties are highly sought after in the region, the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The successful bid is also its second win. In March last year, IOI Properties and Ho Bee won a bid to buy land on the island for RM1.1 billion.

IOI Properties' Singapore unit received a letter of acceptance yesterday from Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd on behalf of Sentosa Development Corp (SDC).

SDC manages Sentosa Cove.

Both IOI Properties and Ho Bee have set up a joint-venture company, Pinnacle (Sentosa) Pte Ltd, to buy the land and develop the project, called the Pinnacle Collection.

IOI Properties will hold 65 per cent of Pinnacle (Sentosa), while Ho Bee will own the rest.

The Pinnacle project will have the tallest building in Sentosa Cove.

The maximum number of units allowed in the development is 357, while the maximum permissible gross floor area is 602,359 sq ft.

The project is next to the "Seaview Collection" site, an area that it bought in a similar tender last year.

By New Straits Times (by Hamisah Hamid)

IOI bonds snapped up

IOI Resources (L) Bhd's (IOIR) US$600 million (about RM2 billion) bonds were snapped up barely 90 minutes after the book was opened for investors to bid.

IOIR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of plantation company IOI Corp Bhd.

Bond traders said IOIR and sole bookrunner Citigroup had their timing right in issuing the bonds, which they said were ready for the market as early as last month.

The issue was oversubscribed by five times, thanks to strong demand from global investors.

The IOIR bonds, exchangeable into IOI shares, were launched at an initial size of US$500 million (RM1.6 billion), but after attracting about US$3 billion (RM9.8 billion) worth of demand, the upsize option was exercised in full for a total deal size of US$600 million.

Traders said that close to 120 investors participated in the deal and the bookrunners managed to bring yield significantly lower than the three per cent for IOI's US$370 million (RM1.2 billion) debt paper issued in December 2006.

On the timing of the latest issue, traders said the bonds have been able to ride on current strong prices for crude palm oil.

According to the term sheet filed with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, IOI Corp said it will use proceeds from the bonds for capital expenditure, investments and acquisitions, as well as working capital and other general corporate purposes.

The bonds, guaranteed by IOI Corp, have a five-year maturity, but can be put back to the issuer in the third year.

The zero coupon bonds were issued at par.

The exchange price of the third exchangeable bonds was set at RM11, or a 30.18 per cent exchange premium over the closing price of IOI Corp's shares on Tuesday of RM8.45, while its yield to put/maturity was set at 1.25 per cent.

IOI Corp's share price has more than doubled since the previous exchangeable bond issue.

IOI Corp executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng was reported to have said that for the US$370 million issuance, there was still a balance of US$180 million (RM589 million) to be redeemed.

"Bondholders in our first two issues made money despite paying a 25 per cent premium. Existing IOI shareholders also continue to make money as the share price goes up," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Ooi Tee Ching)