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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Branding approach for property project

Nusmetro adopts it for The Oasis

PENANG: Developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd is adopting a different approach to market its latest apartment project, The Oasis.

Just like branded merchandise, the RM150mil project on Penang island is being marketed as a brand.

Sales administration senior manager Lee Phoy Yeong said the most important thing in a branded product was its “look''.

An artist's impression of The Oasis project

“To make ours unique, we are putting in architecture lines that wrap around the building’s facade. Part of this concept is based on that of Horizon Towers in Sydney, Australia.”

He also said instead of the usual multi-storey apartment car parks, The Oasis’ three-storey car park would be located under the building. Other facilities include a three-tier pool with a waterfall, a jacuzzi, a gymnasium and squash courts.

The leasehold project on 2.53ha comprises 490 units with built-up areas of 1,041 to 1,183 sq ft, priced between RM240,000 and RM290,000.

Construction is expected to start in March for completion by middle of 2011.

By The Star (by Ng Su-Ann)

UM Land to build more high-end properties

Move will cater for up-graders and Singaporean buyers

JOHOR BARU: United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land) plans to introduce more high-end residential properties for future launches at its Seri Austin township.

The move would cater for local home up-graders and Singaporean buyers, sales and marketing senior manager Ivan Chooi Kin Pheng said.

Ivan Chooi Kin Pheng with the Vanda Cluster Homes models

In the pipeline were bungalows priced from RM1mil each, he said, adding there were potential buyers here and from Singapore.

“The Johor Baru property market is now ready for the high-end property and UM Land wants to reposition itself as the high-end property company here,” he said.

He said more owners of single- and double-storey houses in Johor Baru had upgraded to semi-detached houses and bungalows in recent years.

“Most of them will want to move within the vicinity of the estates they now live,” Chooi told StarBiz at the recent launch of 54 units of Arista Tropical Homes and 64 units of Vanda Cluster Homes.

Arista Tropical Homes (pic above)

The double-storey link Arista has built-up areas from 1,822 sq ft priced from RM218,640 while the semi-detached Vanda offers 2,255 sq ft area from RM288,000.

Chooi said the property value in southern Johor would likely appreciate in years to come.

“This year we will advertise our township project in Singapore over the radio there,” he said.

He said the company was in a good position to attract more buyers from the republic as Singapore-based CapitaLand Ltd owned 21.58% stake in UM Land.

The 202.42ha township in Tebrau, launched in 2005, has to date chalked up RM134mil in sales.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

Nusa Cemerlang to complement the IDR

JOHOR BARU: The new Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park (NCIP), with a total gross development value of about RM1bil, will cater to the needs of investors wanting to set up companies within the Iskandar Development Region.

Crescendo Corp Bhd managing director Gooi Seong Lim said the project, to be developed by its subsidiary Panoramic Industrial Development Sdn Bhd, would comprise 352 factories, targeting small and medium industries.

From Left: Gooi Seong Lim, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Crescendo Land director Michael S.H. Tan looking at the model of the Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park

“We forecast the project to be completed in eight to 10 years.

We hope about 150 units will be ready by end-2009,” he said after the launch of the industrial park by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman recently.

Gooi said phase one, which was almost complete, comprised 50 detached and semi-detached factories with a floor space of 6,000 to 50,000 sq ft each.

“We have sold more than 50% of the units and the certificates of fitness for occupation for these factories are expected to be issued soon,” he said.

“The construction of another 50 factories will be starting soon to cater to increasing demand from local and foreign investors.”

Gooi said the company was optimistic about the long-term demand for the factories at the NCIP due to their close proximity to Tuas in Singapore, competitive pricing, good infrastructure, availability of labour, good seaport and warehouse with Tanjung Pelepas Port only 10 minutes away.

“The 213ha industrial land is open to various sectors, such as electronics, food manufacturing and pharmaceutical. Our projects will complement the development of Bandar Nusajaya,” he said.

By The Star (by Farik Zolkepli)

YNH in talks to sell remaining proposed tower

PENANG: YNH Property Bhd will soon be selling the other 50% of the proposed 45-storey Menara YNH at Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Sultan Ismail, group corporate services head Daniel Chan said.

Another reputable overseas buyer was currently considering purchasing the balance 50% of the tower block and an announcement would be made once the sale was concluded, he told StarBiz yesterday.

In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday, YNH said the group had accepted an offer from Kuwait Finance House (Ma) Bhd to purchase an en bloc interest equal to 50% of the proposed building comprising two wings on a luxurious retail podium for RM920mil.

“We are delighted that Kuwait Finance House, a global Islamic financial house, has selected Menara YNH as part of its investment in Asia.

“This attests to the exclusive business address where the tower block is located, which is in a prime business district within walking distance to public transportation, a prestigious five-star hotel like Shangri-La Hotel, upmarket office space and shopping centres in the Golden Triangle,” Chan said.

Each floor of Menara YNH has a floor plate of 55,000 sq ft, which is among the largest in the world.

Menara YNH also has a total net lettable area of about 1.2 million sq ft, making it one of the biggest in Malaysia.

By The Star (by David Tan)

More news about Menara YNH ...

Quill REIT to acquire three more prime assets

PETALING JAYA: Quill Capita Management Sdn Bhd is acquiring three more prime assets in the Klang Valley, for a total purchase consideration of RM94.5 million to be injected into its real estate investment trust (REIT), Quill Capita Trust (QCT). The acquisition is expected to be complete by April, which would increase its property portfolio size by 17%, from RM549 million to RM643 million.

Chan: QCT would continue to be active in its acquisition strategy in 2008

The properties involved in the acquisition are Quill Building 5-IBM, a 5-storey property located in Cyberjaya; Quill Building 8-XPJ, a 3-storey property in Shah Alam; and Quill Building 10-HSBC, a 4-storey property in Section 13, Petaling Jaya. The three buildings have a total net lettable area of more than 203,000 sq ft, which would provide an initial net property yield of 6.3% per annum to QCT.

The acquisition of the three new properties was on the back of sustainable and healthy economic growth in the Klang Valley, with the KL office market experiencing an upturn due to strong demand from business expansion coupled with the tight supply of quality office space expected
in the next 12 months.

QCT believes there is increased foreign interest in the KL property market because of favourable foreign property investment policies and expected foreign exchange gains.

Other factors include attractive the pricing and yields offered here compared to regional peers as well as a developing REIT market.

This latest acquisition also marks QCT’s progress as one of the fastest growing commercial REITs in Malaysia, its chief executive officer Chan Say Yeong said in a statement yesterday.

“With the acquisitions of Wisma Technip and the commercial units of Plaza Mont’Kiara in 2007, and the recent revaluation increase in its portfolio by RM57.1 million, QCT has doubled its total assets from RM290.6 million to RM584.9 million,” he said. The REIT has another four properties located in Cyberjaya.

He added that QCT would continue to be active in its acquisition strategy in 2008, as the REIT targets to achieve a total asset size of approximately RM750 million by year-end. “We will be acquiring properties in prime locations that will not only attract blue-chip tenants, but have the potential for long-term value appreciation,” he said.

QCT announced a distributable income of RM19.26 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2007, an increase of 34.5% from its forecast of RM14.32 million as stated in its Initial Public Offering prospectus dated Dec 10, 2006.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

Quill Capita plans to buy three assets

This will increase the property trust's portfolio to RM 643mil

KUALA LUMPUR: Quill Capita Management Sdn Bhd (QCM), the manager of Quill Capita Trust (QCT), has proposed to acquire three assets for RM94.5mil.

According to QCM chief executive officer Chan Say Yeong, QCT targets to increase its property portfolio to RM750mil by end-2008 from RM549mil as at Dec 31, 2007.

“QCT's asset size will increase to RM643mil upon completion of the three proposed acquisitions in April and we are aiming for two more assets before year-end,” he said.

Chan said this after announcing QCT's results for the year ended Dec 31, 2007 (FY07).

He added that the company was in negotiations with a few third parties but declined further comment.

The properties to be injected will be acquired from the Quill group, one of the two main sponsors of the property trust along with CapitaLand group.

“The properties are the five-storey IBM regional processing and call centre in Cyberjaya, three-storey DHL logistics centre and office at Shah Alam, and four-storey HSBC Bank processing centre in Section 13, Petaling Jaya,” Chan said.

He added that the initial net property yield would be 6.3% per annum for these fully occupied assets.

These acquisitions were expected to be financed by internal funds and borrowings, Chan said.

Meanwhile, QCT surpassed its initial public offering (IPO) forecast distributable income of RM14.32mil by 34.5% to RM19.26mil for FY07.

“The main contribution to the increase in distributable income is the rental income of Wisma Technip and the commercial units of Plaza Mont'Kiara, which were acquired by QCT during the financial year, and lower interest expense,” Chan said.

According to Chan, the distributable income of RM19.26mil translates into a distribution per unit (DPU) of 6.46 sen, which is 7.7% above the IPO forecast of 6 sen.

He projects a DPU of 6.93 sen for end-2008.

“An interim DPU of 3.99 sen was paid in September 2007 while the remaining 2.47 sen is expected to be paid next month,” he said.

He added that QCT's policy was to pay out all its distributable income but it intended to retain 10% in 2009.

On the property outlook in Malaysia, Chan said the KL office market was expected to improve due to strong demand from business expansion, coupled with tight supply of quality office spaces.

By The Star

No plans to take property unit private: IOI Corp

SHARES of IOI Properties Bhd rose as much as 8.3 per cent or RM1.10 yesterday, fuelled by a privatisation rumour which was promptly denied by the company.

There was speculation that IOI Corp Bhd, which holds about 70 per cent of IOI Properties, could take its subsidiary private, offering RM15 a share.

At that price, it would cost IOI Corp about RM1.5 billion to buy the remaining shares it does not own.

"It's not true. There's no such thing going on in the company," said a company spokesperson when contacted.

Shares of IOI Properties rose as high as RM14.20, before closing 6.1 per cent higher, or 80 sen, at RM13.90.

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

They will build a 20-storey condominium on the 2.12ha site in Sentosa Cove, a marina resort and waterfront housing project on Sentosa Island.

Both companies have set up a joint-venture company Pinnacle (Sentosa) Pte Ltd to buy the land and develop the project, called the Pinnacle Collection. IOI Prop has a 65 per cent stake in the joint-venture company.

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.

By New Straits Times

Government sets RM1billion target for home-financing

The Government is targeting RM1 billion worth of home-financing to be disbursed to some 20,000 variable income earners this year, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said yesterday.

The financing comes under a scheme announced in the 2008 Budget, where the government will provide a RM50 million guarantee fund to financial institutions that offer this loan.

Currently, two banks namely Bank Islam and Bank Simpanan Nasional have signed agreements with the Finance Ministry's wholly-owned subsidiary Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan Bhd (SJKP).

Nor Mohamed said depending on the smooth implementation of this scheme, other banks are expected to come on board in the later part of the year and the guarantee fund will likely be increased.

"There is no limit (to the fund) when it comes to ensuring that all eligible applicants will get the financing," he said.

Nor Mohamed said this to reporters after launching the scheme and witnessing the signing of the agreements between SJKP and the two banks in Putrajaya yesterday.

The Skim Pembiayaan Perumahan Rakyat is targeted at the self-employed, particularly those in agriculture and fishing sectors who have the ability to service the loans but unable to provide proof of income streams.

No guarantor is needed, said Nor Mohamed, as the government wants to make the application process as simple as possible.

"We are confident that many people are qualified for this scheme and will apply," he added.

A statement released by the two banks said the loans will be structured to offer flexible repayment terms with a payback period of up to 40 years or up to age 65.

It will be base financing rate plus zero per cent with financing amount set at a minimum of RM25,000 and a maximum of RM60,000 for completed residential property or those under construction.

Each application will be processed and approved within two weeks, said Nor Mohamed, adding that only those that are creditworthy will get the financing.

Updating on the response to the monthly withdrawal of the balance in Employees Provident Fund for mortgage repayment which took effect January 1, the minister said it has been encouraging.

In the first two weeks of this month, about 2,114 applications have been received and from this amount, 1,713 were approved involving a total withdrawal amount of RM29 million.

By New Straits Times (by Roziana Hamsawi)

LBS Bina to sell properties

LBS Bina Holdings Sdn Bhd has entered into 22 sales and purchase agreements with Bebas Bakti Sdn Bhd to dispose of 22 units of completed properties in Bandar Putera Indah project in Batu Pahat, Johor for RM3.921 million.

LBS Bina Holdings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LBS Bina Group Bhd.

The proposed disposal is expected to be completed within three years.

By New Straits Times