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Saturday, February 2, 2008

E&O finalising concept for second phase of Seri Tanjung Pinang

E&O Property Development Bhd is finalising the concept plan for the second phase of its Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) project in Penang.

This portion of the integrated waterfront development, encompassing 296ha of reclaimed land, will see a cluster of islands emerging offshore. They will be linked with bridges to phase one of the development in Tanjung Tokong.

"We expect to begin work for phase two within the next two years, subject to obtaining all necessary approvals from the relevant authorities," the company's marketing and sales director K.C. Chong told Business Times.

The entire project involves almost 400ha of freehold land, extending from the northeast coast of Penang Island towards the series of islands in the second phase.

The project, which is modelled after the Dubai Waterfront in the Middle East, is being marketed as Penang's largest master planned waterfront community.

Chong said the second phase would include an international hotel and resort.

"Currently at the headland, we have completed reclamation works for phase one which includes a guarded community of luxury seafront villas, semi-detached and courtyard terrace homes, condominiums and service apartments," he added.

He said around 60 per cent of the 96ha of the total land area has been developed.

"Currently under development are seafront villas, semi-detached homes, terraces, serviced apartment, along with a retail and marina component."

The first phase has a gross development value (GDV) of RM2.6 billion and some RM600 million worth of properties have been sold.

"The bulk of the remaining GDV that has yet to be launched is the second tranche of seafront villas, some semi-detached homes and the upcoming condominiums which are targeted to be launched by the third quarter of this year," he added.

"To date, we have handed over around 225 units of courtyard terraces, 26 units of 'Avalon' semi-detached homes and 40 bungalow parcels since its maiden launch at the end of 2003."

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

MRCB eyes more rehab deals

MALAYSIAN Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), an engineering, construction and property group, is bidding for more jobs in the lucrative river and beach rehabilitation sector.

Currently, its subsidiary, MRCB Environment Sdn Bhd (MRCBE), is handling contracts worth more than RM600 million over the next three years, said MRCB vice president and head of infrastructure and environment division, Dr Shaharizuan Shafiei.

"We are a maritime country with coastlines of more than 4,700km, including Sabah and Sarawak ... we also have 190 river basins nationwide.

"With that, the opportunity is tremendous ... it is difficult to quantify but it can run into billions of ringgit," he said in an interview with Business Times in Shah Alam recently.

Established in 2003, MRCBE is a turnkey project management company that provides innovative environmental techniques and services in river and beach rehabilitation and restoration.

"We are the only company in the country providing total solutions on a turnkey basis, and not limiting to one area of problems only," said Shaharizuan, who is also MRCBE director.

MRCBE is currently working on a few projects in Pahang and Penang.

The ongoing projects include river mouth protection of Kuala Pahang in Pahang; coastal and river rehabilitation, drainage master plan and mooring facilities of Teluk Tekek at Pulau Tioman in Pahang; and total rehabilitation of Sungai Perai in Penang.

The company has also received the Letter of Intent for river mouth protection work for Sungai Kuantan in Pahang.

Shaharizuan expects MRCBE to get the interim award for this project by this year. Interim awards involve carrying out the initial work of a project like designing.

Typically, a company will win the full award when it gets the interim award.

He said the project in Sg Pahang comprises two parts - construction of a breakwater at the river mouth and a flood mitigation project in Pekan.

The construction of the breakwater - a structure made of tetrapod and granite - at the river mouth of Sg Pahang, will protect the river from becoming volatile during the monsoon season, thus allowing fishermen to fish throughout the year.

"If this project - part one and two - is approved by the government, it will be the largest project for MRCBE so far.

"For the first part alone, the project could run into hundreds of million ringgit," he said.

Besides local and foreign expertise, he said the company's strength also lies in a patented technology from Denmark, called the pressure equalization modules (PEM) system.

PEM is an environment-friendly technology used in coastal protection without using any hard structures or mechanical methods. Instead, pipes are embedded into the beach to prevent soil erosion.

Shaharizuan said MRCBE had installed PEM at the pilot project at Teluk Cempedak in Pahang.

"We were awarded the project by DID (Department of Irrigation and Drainage) in 2003 and we completed it in 2004.

"The monitoring of the system has been completed in 2007 and unofficial results show favourable outcome," he said.

MRCBE is also eyeing opportunities beyond Malaysia. It has scouted for work in Thailand, Indonesia and parts of Australia.

"We have proposed for coastal restoration using PEM for beaches in Pattaya and Phuket and the Thai government has put the proposal under KIV (keep in view)," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Hamisah Hamidand Kamarul Yunus)

Ivory earmarks RM70m to revive Fettes Villa project

PENANG-based Ivory Properties Group - which is eyeing a listing on Bursa Malaysia's main board by the end of this year - is targetting to revive the abandoned "Fettes Villa" project on the island in three years.

The company's managing director Datuk Low Eng Hock yesterday said the company has earmarked between RM60 million and RM70 million to revive the project, although this does not include construction costs.

"We are now working on the project concept and only then will be able to finalise construction costs," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony between Ivory's subsidiary, Ivory Villas Sdn Bhd; Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB), the project's financier; and Gewaris Sdn Bhd (the project's former developer which is in liquidation).

Present were Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, MBSB chairman Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali and Ivory's executive director Datuk Nazir Ariff Mushir Ariff.

With a gross development value of RM247 million, Nazir said the project will comprise three 38-storey towers and 30 commercial lots on 5.4ha of land.

The project, which started in 1995 and scheduled for completion in 1997, was stalled in 1996 and affected 582 buyers.

It comprised about 900 condominium units, low-medium cost (LMC) apartments and 20 shoplots.

However, only about 210 condominium units and 358 LMC apartment units were sold while all the shoplots have been sold out.

The LMC and shophouse units are about 10 per cent completed while work on the condominium units has yet to start.

Ivory Properties is the developer of the RM1 billion Penang Times Square integrated development in the heart of George Town.

Nazir said the proposed project for which its first and second phases are expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and 2009 respectively, will include among others, a five-star hotel, retail shoplots and monorail connectivity.

"We are eyeing a ready catchment market of 446,000 people within George Town and 1.39 million within Penang," he added.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

GCB to launch high-end apartments next month

PETALING JAYA: Low-profile property outfit General Corp Bhd (GCB) is set to launch next month the Panaroma, a high-end residential project in Kuala Lumpur, with a gross development value of about RM300mil.

Executive director Michael Cheong said the project in Jalan Ampang comprised 234 apartment units.

“We’re expecting good response to these units and anticipate the project starting to contribute to our net profit by the financial year ending Jan 31, 2009,” he told StarBiz.

Michael Cheong

Cheong said the project was a 45:55 joint venture with Singapore-based United Overseas Land Ltd.

He said the company was also in the midst of planning a mid-end residential project in Singapore. He declined to give more details, saying only that it would involve the construction of condominiums “for the mass market”.

“Planning, however, is still at a very preliminarily stage,” he said.

The company's other projects in the island republic include Twin Regency, Domain 21, Regency Suites, Southbank and OneNorth Residences.

According to analysts, GCB offers good exposure to the Singapore property market as it has a subsidiary, Low Keng Huat (S) Ltd (LKHS), which is listed on the Singapore Exchange.

LKHS is involved in a range of activities that include property development and investment. It also owns the Duxton hotels in Perth, Australia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

GCB owns close to 52% of LKHS.

For its third quarter ended Oct 31, GCB made a net profit of RM4.5mil, or 1.52 sen per share, against RM3mil, or one sen a share, a year earlier.

Revenue was lower at RM81.4mil compared with RM96.6mil before.

By The Star (by Yvonne Tan)

Naluri purchase to position Atlan as developer

ATLAN Holdings Bhd’s acquisition of Naluri Corp Bhd will help position the group as a property developer and a duty-free shop operator.

Atlan has a 38% stake in Naluri and is making a voluntary general offer to buy the remaining shares it does not own in the company.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Thursday, Naluri said it had received a conditional takeover offer from Atlan to acquire the remaining 359,610,598 RM1 shares in Naluri at 75 sen each.

Naluri will be delisted and privatised after the acquisition.

The completion of the takeover will place some RM700mil worth of properties, which include vacant land, commercial properties and apartments, under Atlan.

In Penang, Naluri, via unit Blossom Time Sdn Bhd, is currently involved in a RM400mil landed and high-rise property development on a 65-acre site in Batu Ferringhi.

The property is worth about RM120mil, given the present market price of RM60 per sq ft for land in Batu Ferringhi.

The first three phases of the development comprises three-storey semi-detached and detached houses, while the fourth and final phase consists of luxurious condominiums.

Blossom Time will be launching 129 units, priced between RM1.2mil and RM1.8mil, in mid-2008. It has sold over 80% of the first batch of 57 units launched a year earlier.

In Johor, Naluri owns land valued at over RM200mil near the Iskandar Development Region.

In Kuala Lumpur, it has an office block, a hotel and apartments, which are worth about RM370mil, given today’s market value.

The takeover of Naluri, which has 64.54% equity interest in DFZ Capital Bhd, will also give Atlan control over DFZ’s duty-free stores in the main terminal of KL International Airport, Rantau Panjang in Kelantan, and Stulang Laut in Johor.

Last year, a substantial portion of DFZ’s revenue was derived from the duty-free business.

For the first nine months of the financial year ended November 2007, Atlan posted a pre-tax profit of RM2.7mil on revenue of RM91mil. That compared with RM15.8mil and RM109mil a year earlier.

Atlan, headquartered in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Estate, is also involved in the manufacture of precision mechanical products for photocopiers, digital cameras, and audio-visual devices.

By The Star (by David Tan)

AP Land plans RM680mil projects in Malaysia, China

PETALING JAYA: Asia Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land), which finalised the RM680mil sale of City Square Centre to Macquarie Global Property Advisors last year, will be launching RM680mil worth of properties this year in Malaysia and China.

The launches include a mixed development in Changshu, China with a gross development value (GDV) of RM420mil, MyHabitat Tower 2, a 38-storey tower with 215 units with a GDV of RM220mil in Kuala Lumpur and 80 high-end villas with a GDV of RM40mil in Bandar Tasik Puteri near Rawang.

Joint managing director Low Su Ming said the Changshu project would take off in the middle of the year, if everything went according to plan.

She said the venture into China was part of the company's diversification policy for its property development division.

Low told StarBiz that further announcements would be made in March on AP Land's two acquisitions of oil palm plantation land totalling 36,000ha in late November last year and January this year.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)