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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Metropolitan Square’s appeal

PETALING JAYA: There has been a significant increase in foreign interest for Saujana Triangle Sdn Bhd's Metropolitan Square mixed development in Damansara Perdana.

According to the developer’s operations senior manager Preetie Boler, the development’s properties are attracting buyers and tenants from Korea, Singapore, Japan and Europe.

Currently, about 30% to 35% of the buyers for units in Metropolitan Square are foreigners but Boler expects the figure to increase in the future.

One of the completed condominium blocks and commercial properties in Metropolitan Square

“We have some foreign purchasers coming from the Mont’Kiara area who are attracted to our reasonable prices and the environment of the development,” she said. The developer is a subsidiary of MK Land Holdings Bhd.

“Located on a 17-acre leasehold tract in the self-contained Damansara Perdana township, residents have access to a wide variety of commercial facilities, which are supported by nearby amenities including major shopping centres, private and international schools, hotels, and medical institutions,” she said.

It also has a 28,000 sq ft clubhouse, which has facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts and a multipurpose hall. It is accessible via several major highways including the
Penchala Link, Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and the North South Highway.

Metropolitan Square is targeted at yuppies, expatriates and investors.

Since its launch at the end of 2003, two condominium blocks in Metropolitan Square have already been completed and handed over to purchasers. Its latest condominium and serviced apartments block have achieved take-ups of 95% and 20% since their respective launch and soft launch in end-2004 and end-2007.

Built-ups for the 300 condominium units range from 975 sq ft to 1,259 sq ft, with prices of RM375,000 onwards, while the 422 serviced apartments, priced between RM178,500 and RM425,000, have built-ups from 450 sq ft to 1,166 sq ft. The former is expected to be complete
by the middle of this year with a gross development value (GDV) of RM110 million while the latter is targeted for completion in 2010 with a GDV of RM115 million. Two more condominium
phases are scheduled for launch in the future.

Boler said Damansara Perdana has good potential for capital appreciation as property prices there are much lower compared to other nearby townships such as Mont’Kiara, Bangsar, Damansara Heights and Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

“Based on our records, the capital appreciation for units [in Metropolitan Square] upon handover, ranges from 20% to 30%,” she said, adding that rental yields for the commercial units and first two condominium blocks averages at about 8%. Residential units in the development are being rented out at RM1,500 and above.

In conjunction with Chinese New Year, the developer is having an ongoing sales campaign for Metropolitan Square until the end of this month. Purchasers of the condominiums are eligible for a RM10,000 discount, a 32-in LCD TV, and free sale and purchase agreement (SPA) fees, while those buying the serviced apartments get a RM5,000 discount and free SPA fees during the promotion period.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)

Putrajaya Holdings in talks to sell building

PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd (PJH) has identified three investors for the en bloc sale of its 26 Boulevard office building in Putrajaya's Precint 3, said chief executive officer Azlan Abdul Karim.

The investors comprised two local parties and one foreign purchaser, he said.

“We will give the first option (to purchase) to the local investors but we will, of course, consider the best offer,” Azlan told reporters at a seminar yesterday.

The 12-storey building has 48,000 sq m gross floor space and is valued at more than RM200mil.

“We expect to finalise the sale by the beginning of the next quarter,” Azlan said, adding that PJH was also in negotiations to sell a parcel of land to a local investor but did not reveal the potential buyer's identity.

“We have an investor and will make an announcement by the end of this month,” he said.

Earlier in his presentation on Creating A Liveable And Vibrant Putrajaya, Azlan said more commercial projects should be emphasised in the federal administrative capital.

Azlan Abdul Karim

“When Putrajaya was developed, commercial amenities were not given enough emphasis.

“Because of that, Putrajaya has become too governmental, resulting in an imbalanced racial mix,” he added.

According to Azlan, Putrajaya needs more commercial amenities such as shopping complexes, night markets and cinemas to make it more vibrant.

“We have set up eight cineplexes and are looking for operators,” he said, adding that PJH was targeting to open five cineplexes, to be managed by Golden Screen Cinemas, next month.

Other notable projects by PJH include the Nexus World-School, an international school that will be managed by the Garden International School; and the Pullman Lakeside Putrajaya, a four-star hotel to be managed by Accor. These projects are slated to be up and running by September.

Azlan added that Putrajaya's distance from Kuala Lumpur was another cause for concern, suggesting that alternative forms of transportation such as light rail transit (LRT) and monorail be implemented.

According to him, Putrajaya is already equipped with “quite an extensive'' network of underground LRT and some overhead monorail lines and stations that are spaced out roughly 500m apart.

“The Government had appointed PJH to manage the construction of these (LRT and monorail) facilities. Despite an extensive network already in place, it is still not operational,” he said.

Azlan did not comment on why the LRT and monorail projects were not up and running, but added that the implementation of such service would greatly benefit the capital.

By The Star (by Eugene Mahalingam)

Putrajaya gets offer for office block

PUTRAJAYA Holdings Sdn Bhd, the master developer of the federal administrative capital, has received unsolicited offers and is close to selling en bloc a 12-storey office building in Precinct 3.

Chief executive officer Azlan Abdul Karim said two local parties and one foreign firm have offered to buy the entire block of 26 Boulevard, although it did not initially plan to sell the building. The block is estimated to worth over RM200 million, he said.

"We cannot be too sentimental as a developer. If the price is right we have to let it go. The first priority will be given to the local parties, but of course, price matters," he said in Putrajaya yesterday.

Azlan said a deal is likely to be concluded by the end of this quarter, or early next quarter.

The building, which uses double blazing glass as a key component, is designed to be energy-efficient as coating of the glass can absorb and then reradiate the sun's heat.

Measuring 48,000 sq m in gross floor area, Azlan said the building received its certificate of fitness last month and is already 90 per cent tenanted.

He said foreign investor interest in Putrajaya is growing although the company has yet to go into full swing in promoting properties in the city outside Malaysia.

Putrajaya Holdings made its first land sale to a foreign investor last July when it sold a 0.61ha site in Precinct 3 to Hong Kong-incorporated TRW Group for RM23.2 million.

It recently sold another piece of land around 1.2ha to local company, Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd, which counts Hong Kong property tycoon Tan Sri David Chiu as a major shareholder.

Putrajaya Holdings is set to sign later this month its third land sale measuring 0.6ha, to a local company backed by foreign owners, Azlan said.

"Foreigners, like Chiu, are very bullish on the office space in Putrajaya. These property players believe that when they build the office lots here, people will eventually move from other more expensive cities like Singapore to Putrajaya," he said.

"Not only are the rentals here much cheaper compared to Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya is also a well-planned city with full government support. They believe in the city's potential in the long run, judging from other planned administrative cities like Washington DC," he added.

By New Straits Times (by Chong Pooi Koon)

UEM World to unveil corporate exercise

UEM World Bhd, a diversified company 51.9 per cent-owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, will on Friday unveil a corporate exercise that will lead to a significant change in its business direction.

It told the stock exchange yesterday that the exercise would also involve four of its listed units, namely UEM Builders, Opus Group, Pharmaniaga and Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd (CIMA).

It has controlling stakes in all four companies.

Some analysts speculated that the exercise may involve an asset swap between the UEM World and Khazanah, while others said UEM World may be looking to dispose of non-core assets so that it emerges as a pure property developer.

UEM World oversees Malaysia's biggest property project, the 9,712-hectare Nusajaya development in Johor.

"They may be looking to sell non-core assets to raise cashflow for the Nusajaya development," an analyst with a foreign research firm said.

There were also some analysts who suspect that UEM World's listed units may be privatised.

"Whatever the exercise, Khazanah will typically be looking to extract value from the companies," said Colbert Nocom, head of research at UBS Securities. He noted that all five of the companies are undervalued.

Trading in shares of all the companies have been halted since the afternoon session yesterday, pending the announcement. They will resume trade next week.

UEM World last traded 3 per cent higher to RM4.12; UEM Builder 1.6 per cent higher to RM1.26; Opus 3 per cent up to 86 sen; CIMA 3.7 per cent higher to RM5.60 and Pharmaniaga, 21.9 per cent up to RM3.78.

By New Straits Times (by Adeline Paul Raj)