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Thursday, March 13, 2008

New residential development in Mont'Kiara

Artist's impression of Selayang Point, BTC Development's ongoing project

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah-based developer BTC Development Sdn Bhd (BTC Development) will be launching its first Mont’Kiara residential development in Kuala Lumpur early next year.

BTC Development manager Hii Ik Tiing (pix) told theSun that plans for the 3-acre freehold project, located behind the Garden International School, has since been revised to comprise 30 strata-titled landed units and a clubhouse. He said the gross development value (GDV) is now approximately RM100 million with prices close to RM1,000 psf.

“We will submit the plans by next month and hope to get the development order by end of the year,” said Hii. The project was originally planned to be a RM70 million development comprising
30 units of 2- and 3-storey townhouses, semidees and bungalows to be sold at RM500 psf.

The new plan is based on a “modern rainforest” concept and the homes will be Mediterranean-styled homes. Each unit will be built according to the terrain, which is on sloping land. “Due to the shape of the land, each unit will be different from the other. That is the uniqueness of this development,” said Hii.

“We have also engaged a well-known foreign architect and designer to come up with the plan and we hope to sell it partly or fully furnished, complete with the interior design,” he also said.

Targeted at the local market, Hii said that the gated and guarded development would be extensively landscaped and some units, on which the terrain allows, would also feature lifts and swimming pools.

He also said the units will range between 2-storeys and 5-storeys, with built-ups between 3,200 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft.

BTC Development, previously known as Borneo Trading and based in Sabah, has so far developed small residential projects in Sibu and Kuching. Its first project in Peninsular Malaysia is the ongoing Selayang Point development in Selayang Jaya, a RM110-million mixed development.

According to Hii, Selayang Point is a freehold project comprising 375 condominium units and 71 retail shoplots housed in a 23-storey building, and 17 units of 3-storey shopoffices in a separate
building located in front of the high-rise building.

First launched in late 2004 is Tower A, which houses 189 condominium units, the retail shoplots and shopoffices. “The condos and retail shoplots in Tower A are both 90% sold and there is only one shopoffice unit left,” he said.

Meanwhile Tower B, comprising the remaining 186 condominium units, have been 60% sold since its launch in June last year, said Hii. “Our buyers are mainly from Selayang, Kepong and Rawang,” he added.

Sized between 1,010 sq ft and 1,141 sq ft, the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom condos are available in four designs, with prices ranging between RM158,000 and RM220,000.

Meanwhile, located on the first two floors are the retail shoplots sized between 375 sq ft and 1,800 sq ft. These are priced between RM112,500 and RM1 million.

Maintenance fee, including sinking fund, is 12 sen psf. As for the shopoffices, which has a lot size of 24ft by 65ft, prices begin at RM988,000, with corner units costing RM1.8 million. A total of 150 basement and 70 outdoor parking bays will be allocated for the commercial units while the residential units would have 412 bays.

“Each unit comes with a parking bay and residents may purchase additional bays at RM10,000 each,” said Hii, adding that there will also be amenities such as a swimming pool, rooftop garden and children’s playground. Completion of the entire development is expected in June.

By theSun (by Yeong Ee-Wah)

Are changes in store post-election?

An artist’s impression of Penang Global City Centre, one of the projects which may face uncertainty following the recent election results

PETALING JAYA: Is further volatility in store for the main stock index as business confidence takes a beating in view of not only a change in the makeup of the 12th Parliament but also in the legislatures of the more economically important states and in the Federal Territory?

On Monday, following the general election of March 8, the KL Composite Index (KLCI) fell 123.11 points, or 9.5%, to close at 1,173.22, wiping out RM86bil, or 8.7%, from the bourse's total market capitalisation of RM984bil as at March 7.

The selling also saw a temporary halt in trading mid-afternoon when the circuit breaker installed by Bursa Malaysia in March 2002 was triggered after the KLCI fell 10% from its previous close on March 7.

Big-cap stocks with high foreign shareholding as well as plantation and construction stocks were among those that saw their share price fall on that day.

A number of the companies whose share prices dropped that day were either government-related or involved in projects approved by the Government.

However, the plunge in the KLCI was also in tandem with the fall in the main indices of major Asian bourses, which reacted to Wall Street's fall last Friday following a US government report that showed a widening trade deficit gap for January due to the high price of crude oil, which surpassed US$109 per barrel in electronic trading and settled on a record US$108.75.

Besides oil, crude palm oil has also seen movement in prices, this time downwards. It was trading near RM4,500 a tonne not too long ago but is now hovering between RM3,300 and RM3,400.

Political analyst Francis Loh Kok Wah, who is an associate professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia, told StarBiz the wave of selling on Monday was a knee-jerk reaction compounded by problems in the US.

He said if any Government projects were to be reviewed, it would be due to the process in the award of contracts.

“If it were through closed tenders, executive fiat or due to a corporation's political connections, then a review is justifiable,” he said.

Loh said the development corridors did not need to go through any form of parliamentary process.

“As I understand it, these corridors do not need it unless there're questions arising over issues like the environmental impact,” he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia political science department head Dr Ahmad Nidzammudin Sulaiman said if there were to be any impact on government-linked companies, it would not be direct but through less federal budget allocations for states under non-Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

»If the award of the contracts were through closed tenders, executive fiat or due to political connections, then a review is justifiable«PROF MADYA FRANCIS LOH KOK WAH

A lower budget allocation for these states would mean fewer projects for government-linked companies.

He said this was going by past trends when Sabah was under Parti Bersatu Sabah, then an opposition party and with the present situation in Kelantan under Parti Islam SeMalaysia.

Citi Research analyst Zheng Kit Wei said in a research note that in the near term, the election results would likely be unsettling for equity and currency markets on fears of greater political instability, which may provide a good reason for profit taking by foreign equity investors.

“There is also more uncertainty over the future of the Northern Corridor Economic Region with Perak, Kedah and Penang now in opposition hands,” he added.

Zheng said it was too early to tell whether this would mark the start of a steady slide of BN dominance or whether the results would serve as a wake-up call for it.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)