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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Morubina’s Kinta Riverfront project ready by Sept 2009

Ting: Attracted buyers from Indonesia, Singapore and even China

PETALING JAYA: Ipoh’s first 5-star Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites on a fiveacre leasehold site along the Kinta River has registered sales of close to 80% of its serviced apartments. Developed by Morubina Sdn Bhd, a member of the Morubina Group of Companies, the project comprises a 19-storey hotel with 313 rooms and a 20-storey serviced apartment offering 239 suites for sale. The entire project has a gross development value of RM120 million and would be completed in Sept next year. Piling works for the project have commenced.

According to the developer, sales have been encouraging since its launch in June last year. Morubina’s managing director Ting Sing Yiew told theSun that its buyers were drawn to the project’s 15-year guaranteed rental scheme. “They found the scheme, which guarantees an annual rental yield of 7%, attractive. We also conducted road shows overseas and have attracted about 40 buyers from Indonesia, Singapore and even China,” said Ting, adding that it has set up sales offices in Medan and Guangzhou due to the overwhelming response. Its local buyers, however, are mostly from Perak and Ting said that most purchased it for investment reasons.

For the serviced apartments, which are unfurnished, the developer is offering two types for sale. The Type A design, totaling 126 units, has views of the riverfront and comes with a built-up area of 1,223 sq ft. Prices of the three-bedroom unit ranges between RM338,999 and RM438,999. Those with the heritage view is the two-bedroom 808 sq ft Type B design which totals 108 units and range from RM199,999 to RM299,999.

There are also five penthouses which come in two designs. With built-up areas of between 1,602 sq ft and 7,393 sq ft and prices from RM730,000 and RM2.8 million, buyers have a choice of between the fully furnished (with three bedrooms) or the partially furnished (with two bedrooms) units.

The developer is also offering an additional fixtures and fittings scheme priced at RM38,000 for Type A units and RM25,000 for Type B units. The maintenance and utility fee is free for those who opt for the guaranteed rental scheme. Those who purchase for own use need to pay 20 sen psf monthly.

The developer says that buyers need only pay an upfront instalment amounting to 20% of the selling price for the project, which employs the build-and-sell concept. The balance payment would be upon the issuance of the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation.

Meanwhile, the hotel component, to be managed by Morubina, would have presidential, royal, family and deluxe suites. “We are also offering standard facilities like any other 5-star hotel. We have a grand ballroom which accommodates 1,600 people, which is the biggest in Ipoh. There are five restaurants, a business centre, two basement car parks, pools and sporting facilities too,” said Ting. Other amenities include Wi-Fi broadband access, spas as well as safety elements such as closedcircuit televisions.

According to Ting, the Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites is a tourism-related project and it has since been given a Temporary Occupancy License by the state government to further develop both sides of the Kinta River, covering a 1.5km- stretch from Jalan Raja Musa Mahadi up to Jalan Sultan Iskandar.

“We will be building six mini-bridges, a replica of famous world bridges, along this stretch, costing some RM2 million. There will also be more than 300 shops, bazaars, food and beverage outlets, as well as an open-air auditorium,” said Ting, adding that the cost of developing the riverbank area amount to some RM30 million.

By theSun (by Loo Pik Kwan)

Repossessions to rise by 50% in 2008

LONDON: The number of home repossession is expected to rise by 50% this year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Figures released by Rics show that the number of properties offered at auction, usually an indication of distress, was close to historically high levels last year with 7,732 properties placed under the hammer.

However, a smaller proportion were reaching their reserves: in 4Q2007, only 57% of properties were disposed of successfully, compared to 69% in the same period a year ago.

The overall number of residential properties offered at auctions rose by 15% in 2007, while the number of repossessed properties rose by around 20%, indicating that many have struggled to service their mortgages following last year’s interest rate hikes and tougher refinancing conditions.

There also seems to be an emerging “London effect”. Success rates at auctions for London property fell to 63% in the last few months of 2007, down from 80% in the same period a year before.

Rics economist Oliver Gilmartin said: “Fears over further house price falls have taken some stimulus out of achieved sales at the auction house, as specialist lending has all but evaporated... we expect a tougher year for many at the margins in 2008 .”

Recently, the Nationwide Building Society reported a 0.5% fall in house prices for February, which is a greater drop than the 0.3% recorded in January. Year on year, Nationwide said that prices were now up just 2.7%.

By The Independent

Firms with overseas jobs more resilient

IJM Corp’s Al Reem Island Development project in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates

PETALING JAYA: Construction firms that rely mostly on government jobs would be the most vulnerable to political changes but some companies will be better positioned to weather the uncertainties.

OSK Research analyst Jeremy Goh said earnings of companies such as Hock Seng Lee Bhd, whose projects are mainly in Sarawak, should remain resilient.

“We also remain positive on companies like IJM Corp Bhd and Zelan Bhd, whose operations are focused mainly in the oil-rich Middle East.” he said.

When contacted by StarBiz, Zelan chief executive officer Albert Chang said: “Almost all of our projects are foreign-based. In fact, we have not had any direct government projects for the past 20 years.

“The current uncertainty in the local scene does not have any bearing on us as we’re mainly focused on the Middle East.” he said.

IJM Corp is another construction player that has the bulk of its order book from overseas.

Chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan Tan told Reuters yesterday that the company had an order book of RM6bil, of which 40% was from overseas.

Tan said notwithstanding some erosion in margin, he saw a steady flow of work from India and the Middle East.

TSR Capital Bhd, whose core business is in construction, remains quite unfazed by the looming uncertainties as most of its projects are in the Federal Territory.

Managing director Tengku Datuk Mustapha Tengku Mohamed said: “We are still confident of prospects as most of our projects are Federal projects.”

The construction sector is poised to be a key driver of the country’s economic growth as projects worth billions of ringgit are being planned for implementation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

However, the impending change in administration in Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor, which have come under opposition control, has given rise to uncertainties in the award of public contracts.

There are also concerns whether the implementation of projects that have already been awarded would be delayed as the newly-elected state governments have said projects would be reviewed.

By The Star (by Yvonne Tan)