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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

YNH to sell tower

Artist’s impression of Menara YNH

PENANG: YNH Property Bhd is finalising the sale of the proposed 45-storey iconic Menara YNH at Kuala Lumpur's Jalan Sultan Ismail for RM1.5bil.

Sources said investors from Australia, Singapore and a Middle-Eastern country were likely to form a consortium to purchase the building, which is scheduled for completion in 2012.

YNH Property is also close to finalising a deal to secure a partner to jointly construct the building.

“The partner, either from Hong Kong, Singapore or New York, is likely to hold a 20%-30% stake in a subsidiary company to be formed,” they told StarBiz.

Earlier this month, YNH Property announced the commencement of earthworks for the project and the allocation of RM4.2mil to relocate the water pipes and manholes at Jalan Sultan Ismail to make way for the tower project.

Menara YNH, to be built on three acres next to the Shangri-La Hotel, is designed to accommodate a single office block and a retail centre.

Each floor plate will have an area of 55,000 sq ft, which is among the largest in the world.

Menara YNH will have a total net lettable area of about 1.2 million sq ft.

The sale of Menara YNH is expected to have a significant impact on the YNH group, which has a share capitalisation of over RM1bil, based on the current share price of RM2.81 per share.

Over the next two years, YNH Property expects its projects, such as 163 Service Suites in Kuala Lumpur and Ceriaan Kiara in Mont' Kiara, to generate over RM400mil in revenue.

By The Star (by David Tan)

YTL Land gets 90% take-up for d6 offices

An artist’s impression of the d6 boutique office building

: YTL Land & Development Bhd recorded 90% take-up for d6, the latest edition of boutique offices at Sentul West & Sentul East, in just one day during a weekend preview.

The achievement mirrored the sell-out success of d7, Sentul’s first commercial project launched four months ago, YTL Land said in a statement.

The 80-unit d6 boutique offices are interlinked to d7 through a sky bridge that stretches over Jalan Sentul.

The RM100mil freehold d6 development features cutting-edge duplex offices, boutique offices with retail and food and beverage outlets, lush landscaping, water features and artistic sculptures in the atrium area,

YTL Land executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian said despite a 20% price increase from d7, “we have continued to sustain the interest of the market with d6, proving the underlying strength of Sentul as KL’s next thriving commercial hub.”

Priced from RM450 per sq ft, d6 units range from 1,091 to 3,758 sq ft in size.

d6 offers three layouts – Sky Offices, which are duplex units with features such as glass skylights and an internal courtyard; Garden Offices with a landscaped garden terrace in every unit; and Office Suites that come with its own pantry, store and column-free layout.

By The Star

Talam Corp brings projects back online

KUALA LUMPUR: Talam Corp Bhd expects to complete more than 10,000 properties in all of their ongoing and stalled projects within the next 18 months after awarding two packages to IJM Construction Sdn Bhd (IJMC) as principal contractor, Talam’s executive director Chua Kim Lan said.

“In the first package worth RM700 million, a total of 547 units of 2-storey houses in Taman Puncak Jalil were handed over from Nov 21, 2007, to Jan 4, 2008, while construction work on the remaining 7,892 units in six projects is currently underway,” she told reporters during a press conference yesterday.

Chua: Talam also has a project in Jilin Province, China

The six developments under the first package are Puncak Jalil, Ukay Perdana, Putra Perdana, Kinrara Section 3, Bukit Beruntung and Lagoon Perdana. It also involves the RM15 million construction of a main access road from Taman Puncak Jalil to the Sungai Besi bypass (Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil).

The second package worth RM125 million involves the completion of another 2,733 units of landed and hi-rise properties in Taman Lestari Puchong, Saujana Puchong, Saujana Putra, Lestari Permai and Jalil Heights with construction work expected to commence after Chinese New Year.

Chua said the locked-in sales from these 11 projects amount to about RM825 million, which would be realised in the next 18 months. The group has another 8,000 acres of undeveloped land in the Klang Valley, of which 2,000 acres is located in prime areas and includes joint ventures with other companies.

“We are looking at several new launches for this year with our focus turning to more premium [high-end] housing developments, as they are currently in demand,” she said. She did not elaborate further as the group is finalising a financial restructuring exercise.

On rising material costs, Chua said, although ongoing developments would not be affected, it might have an impact on the group’s future launches. “There is currently no replacement for these materials and we would therefore be forced to pass the [rising] cost down to buyers just like other developers,” she said.

On the group's first project overseas, Chua said construction is expected to start in the second quarter of this year. It is a mixed development on 1.65 acres in Changchun, Jilin province, China. The launch is slated for the end of the year or early next year, nearer to the completion
date. The project has a gross sales value (GSV) of more than RMB800 million (RM359.3 million).

“The project has good potential as it is located in a second-tier city and we are expecting returns of more than 30% of the GSV,” she said, adding that the group is already in talks with several interested parties who are looking to buy into the development.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

GuocoLand buys land, bungalows in KL

GUOCOLAND (Malaysia) Bhd is buying a piece of freehold land and two bungalows in Kuala Lumpur's Changkat Kia Peng area for RM56.48 million. The land measures 3,030 square metres. GuocoLand will use internal funds and borrowings to fund the purchase. The deal will help it increase landbank for development, it said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia.

By New Straits Times

Step on in style

MALAYSIA is one of the world leaders in timber flooring. Hence, Lumber Mart wants to keep it that way. The unique challenge thrown up by Malaysia’s damp, tropical climate has been taken up in earnest and a series of innovations in technology has maximised both durability and aesthetic appeal.

The only way to ensure quality is to be in control of the entire process: all the way from the forest and into your living room. It makes great sense to opt for a one-stop solution where the vendor combines the roles of importers, the manufacturer and installer, ensuring complete accountability as the buck stops with them.

Lumber Mart timber flooring offers quality finishes

The process begins with sourcing the timber and this requires quality control experts who are located in countries where the timber originated, and who are tasked with selecting the finest wood as input materials.

The raw material is kiln-dried first and then precision moulded into tongue and groove floor strips.

The installation of the flooring features several methods depending on individual requirements and preferences, ranging from simple glue down to the technically superior insulated batten system.

Sanded floors coated with Bona’s advanced range of water-based finishes provide a high degree of scuff resistance and protection against wear. It is in fact up to seven times more scratch resistant than conventional coating.

The job doesn’t end there: post installation maintenance is the way to keep the flooring in perfect shape for years to come.

Lumber Mart has an exclusive collaboration with Bona, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sanding equipment as well as the benefit of continuous research and development and technical training.

By The Star

UEM Land: Ease curbs on foreign buyers

UEM Land Sdn Bhd, overseeing Malaysia's biggest property project, wants the government to ease limits on foreign purchases to aid its plans to attract Singaporeans seeking cheaper homes outside the city-state.

Currently, foreigners can only own half of the properties in any Johor resort development and the limit is 20 per cent for other residential projects, UEM managing director Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said yesterday in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

"We've got a backlog of foreign buyers who want to buy, but we cannot sell" to them, Wan Abdullah said.

"The Prime Minister wants the region to be investor-friendly and international in content, so how are you going to attract international investors if you have quotas?"

UEM is the biggest developer of the 9,720ha Nusajaya city project in Johor, which the government is redeveloping to boost economic growth and woo RM382 billion of investments to the region in two decades.

Private home prices in Singapore soared 31 per cent last year to the highest in 11 years, the city-state's Urban Redevelopment Authority said early this month.

The government last year sought to bolster the Johor projects by relaxing investment rules, accelerating approvals and making it easier for foreigners to buy properties in the country.

The quotas, however, are still a drag on Johor, Wan Abdullah said.

About 60 per cent of UEM's foreign buyers are Singaporeans and most of the rest are expatriates who work and live in Singapore, he said.

"Because of spiralling prices in Singapore, they start to look somewhere else near," Wan Abdullah said.

By Bloomberg

European REIT buys Capital Square office tower

One of Europe's leading real estate investment management companies, Union Investment Real Estate AG, has inked a deal to buy Bandar Raya Developments Bhd's (BRDB) Capital Square Office Tower 2 in Kuala Lumpur for RM440 million.

The agreement was signed with BRDB subsidiary Capital Square Sdn Bhd (CSSB) and represents Union Investment's foray into the property sector in Malaysia.

"It is testimony to the confidence foreign investors have in the Malaysian economy," BRDB chief executive officer Datuk Jagan Sabapathy said.

The Office Tower 2, which will be completed by 2010, is a 41-storey Grade A office building with nett lettable area of 600,000sq ft situated within the 15.2-acre CapSquare integrated development.

Other components include a condominium block and the North and South Office Towers.

Based on the purchase price and estimated size of the tower, the deal equates to a value of RM730psf.

Union Investment's purchase, Jagan said, not only reflects the company's confidence in BRDB's products and in the company as a developer, but also in the Malaysian real estate market.

Union Investment is a leading international investment management company, specialising in open-ended real estate funds for private and institutional investors.

Assets under its management amount to 13.8 billion (RM66.1 billion). Portfolios in its open-ended real estate funds include some 150 properties and projects in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

"In line with our expanding business, we have been looking for opportunities to invest in Malaysia as the country's real estate market is very attractive," said Union Investment Singapore managing director and head of its Asia Pacific Markets, Steffen Wolf.

"We believe the future of the Malaysian commercial real estate market is very bright."

"Our strategy is to invest in commercial products of distinctive quality and CapSquare is one such product."

In the last two years, Wolf said, Union Investment has invested in 12 new markets, including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Chile.

Active in the property investment business for over 40 years, Union Investment Real Estate AG now operates in 22 countries around the world, with approximately 50 per cent of its property assets located in countries outside its domestic market.

The BRDB Group is principally involved in the development and management of prime residential and commercial properties in country.

Among its landmark developments are the Foster & Partners designed Troika in Jalan Binjai, KL, Bangsar Shopping Centre and the Permas Jusco mall in Johor Baru.

By New Straits Times