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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Living in sunshine - Malacca's latest resort offers gateway homes from RM145,000

The past, the present and the future have come together to provide an interesting opportunity for investors and those looking for holiday homes in Malacca.

Banking on the state's rich 600-year-old cultural history, Empire Properties Ventures Sdn Bhd (EPV) is currently developing the 203-acre Malacca Empire Marina Theme Park (MEMTP) and offering for sale the first phase of units that will be ready by 2010.

Set amid a resort, the Soho units are designed to provide a fitting environment for work and play

EPV general manager Quah Eng Hock said the entire multibillion-ringgit development taking shape on the Klebang Beach foreshore as well as on 87 acres of reclaimed land will comprise four components: Empire Sunshine Villas, Empire Theme Park and Service Resorts, Empire Marina Villas and Empire Global Wonder Village.

"We plan our development to be the first to integrate facets of history with tourist elements and lifestyle features demanded by buyers investing in tomorrow," he said.

Now available for sale are 510 Small Office Home Offices (SoHos) in Empire Sunshine Villas.

Situated from the eighth to top-most floor of a 24-and-half-storey tower that will sit atop a three-level shopping mall, Quah said investors have a choice of four layouts.

"Some will also come with roof gardens," he said.

To support the use of the SoHos as holiday homes, recreational facilities including a gym, spa, swimming pool and landscaped gardens will be designed into the phase "to provide a fitting environment for work and play".

Buyers will also have access to commercial outlets such as a business centre, convenience store and the three level shopping mall that will have 22 lots on the ground floor and 48 on each of the upper two levels.

These can be bought for between RM650psf and RM1,000psf.

Piling work for Empire Sunshine Villas commenced last December and so far, 55 per cent of the SoHo units, which carry a gross development value of RM135 million, have been sold.

When Malacca Empire Marina Theme Park (MEMTP) is fully completed in four years, it will be a comprehensive resort with a marine theme park, water villages modelled after the Dubai Palm Resort, a five-star hotel, historial gallery and 10,000-seat international conventional centre.

For more detail information, please visit or contact: 03-2166 3026

By New Straits Times (by P.Rajan)

OSK goes high end in Damansara

A landscaped linear park and jogging trails will be some of the facilities in the guarded precinct.

Guarded enclave offers terraces from RM433,000

Once upon a time, not too long ago, actually, the area in Selangor between the North Klang Valley Expressway's Sungai Buloh toll plaza and the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong intersection with the Middle Ring Road II was known as a place for mass affordable homes.

Such was the stereotype because of townships such as Damansara Damai and Bandar Sri Damansara.

How times have changed. With the arrival of the Sierramas and Valencia residential enclaves, the area has moved perceptibly upmarket and the latest project to reinforce this trend is Sutera Damansara.

A joint venture between Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd and OSK Property Holdings Bhd, this guarded development with a landscaped recreational park and jogging trails will feature 431 units of double-storey terraces and three-storey corner lots in its first phase called Sutera Ria.

Its standard unit with dimensions of 22ft by 75ft will have four-plus-one bedrooms and three baths in 2,305sq ft of space, while the three-storey version will have an extra bedroom and bath.

Priced from RM433,350 to RM1,193,400 , the tropical-designed units will be specified with column-free porches to allow two cars to be parked side-by-side and high ceilings on the ground floor.

The price range means the likely buyers will be those who can afford monthly repayments starting from RM2,300.

The leasehold phase is slated for completion by January 2010 and is accessible from Jalan Sungai Buloh via Damansara Damai.

For more information, please call 03-7726 7577 or visit website

By New Straits Times (by Zuhaila Sedek)

LBS to launch projects worth RM5bil in China

PETALING JAYA: LBS Bina Goup Bhd expects to launch property development projects in Zhuhai, China, with an estimated gross development value of more than RM5bil by year-end.

Managing director Datuk Lim Hock San said the projects would include high-end bungalows and apartment units and he expected a good take-up due to strong demand for such properties.

Datuk Lim Hock San

“Zhuhai is a good location. Our site for the projects is near the LRT station and this has increased the value of our land,” he told reporters after the company EGM yesterday.

A bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai was also in the process of being firmed up by the relevant governments, he said, adding that the Macau tourism industry was also expected to have a spill-over effect on its property projects.

Yesterday, LBS shareholders approved the proposed renounceable rights issue of 175.03 million new warrants.

Lim said demand for property in China was still high and consumer spending had remained firm. He was confident that the group's revenue would be boosted by its China property development by end-2009.

Locally, LBS was focusing on medium-to high-end properties due to higher building materials costs, including steel bars and cement, he said, adding that it planned to launch more mixed development projects this year in Bandar Saujana Putra and Taman Tasik Puchong, as well as industrial properties in Puchong.

On RAM Ratings' move to put LBS RM65mil secured serial bonds and RM100mil commercial papers programme on Rating Watch, with a negative outlook, on concerns about the company's deteriorating business and financial profiles, Lim said the company's projects had been delayed due to higher building material costs.

He added that other companies' outlook had also been affected by the weak consumer sentiment and uncertainties after the recent general election.

“However, in the medium to long term, the property outlook is still good and we expect things to stabilise in another month or two,” he said.

RAM had on Tuesday placed the A2(s)/P1(s) ratings on LBS due to its deteriorating business and financial profiles, arising from its continuous poor performance and persistent deferment of planned launches in the last few years. According to the rating agency, LBS had been supplementing its income with land sales over the past year – a measure that was not deemed sustainable and further highlighted the group's weakened fundamentals.

By The Star

Investors adopt 'wait and see' approach in Penang

PROPERTY transactions in Penang appear to have come to a standstill as investors wait and see how the state's economic landscape will unfold.

"We have received many concerned calls from our foreign investors, counterparts and clients, who are anxious to get a better feel of the ground on the implications for the property market," Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) Sdn Bhd director Dr Teoh Toh Puat told Business Times yesterday.

He said that improving living conditions in Penang would help to attract foreign investment in properties and those looking for a second home.

"Attracting investments, tourism arrivals and residents, however, will be a greater challenge today in view of the growing Asia-Pacific real estate market offering alternative opportunities for investors in 2008," Teoh said.

Henry Butcher Malaysia (Seberang Prai) senior manager Fook Tone Huat expects investors to take a few months to observe the new political developments before making any decision to continue their investments.

"Right now, I believe they will wait and see before they decide on their next move, and this will definitely slow down investments.

"However, if the new state government implements the 'transparency and fair to all' administrative strategy, it may create more market confidence," Fook said.

He noted that the residential sector in Seberang Prai was expected to be the main player in the state's property market.

"The opening of the Jusco Mall at Bandar Perda in Bukit Mertajam will spell a new era for the retail sector in Seberang Prai.

"We also expect 2008 to see further consolidation if the development corridors and the projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan proceed as planned," Fook said.

The opening of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road is expected to have a positive impact on the property market in the surrounding areas of Bagan Lallang and Bagan Ajam.

"Other popular residential precincts in Seberang Prai are Juru, Bukit Tengah, Jalan Song Ban Kheng and Bukit Minyak."

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

KFH plans financing initiatives for ECER

KUWAIT Finance House (Malaysia) Bhd is in discussions with Terengganu's state investment company, Terengganu Inc, and its related companies on financing initiatives within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

"We have looked into specific financing opportunities for some of the related companies, ranging from infrastructure, oil and gas, shipping, plantation/agriculture and IT (information technology)," said its managing director Datuk Salman Younis.

"So far, all of the discussions are focused on financing," he said in a statement yesterday.

On plans for retail branches within the ECER, Younis said the Islamic bank will evaluate the feasibility based on the success of its corporate, investment and commercial businesses there.

He said the bank was currently involved in the financing of a flight training school and garment manufacturer, both in Kota Baru.

Kuwait Finance House, one of the largest Islamic banks in the world, has embarked on several projects, including establishing a find investing about US$330 million (RM1 billion) for projects in the Iskandar Development Region.

The ECER master plan envisaged Terengganu as a tourism gateway, hub for oil, gas and petrochemical industries, centre of educational excellence and agriculture focused on goat rearing and as a citrus valley.

Kelantan will become centre of trading, human capital development, educational excellence as well as poultry and herbal cultivation.

Pahang will focus on manufacturing and becoming a port city with integrated logistics distribution centre and palm oil industrial cluster as well as cattle and pineapple, while Mersing in Johor will be developed for tourism.

By Bernama