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Monday, July 7, 2008

Aussie concept for Amverton Park

Did you know that a nice Australian-inspired residential development is coming up in Shah Alam?

Called Amverton Park, this 30-acre freehold development by A & M Realty Bhd, is within the established neighbourhoods of Bukit Rimau, Kota Kemuning, Kemuning Utama and Berjaya Park.

As this project is part of the company's 150-acre Bukit Kemuning Golf & Country Resort, residents have a “green lung” in the form of an 18-hole golf course next door.

The developer AMJ Properties Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of A & M Realty, will build190 bungalows (with individual titles) over five phases. It has built three show bungalows and two more are constructed at the site.

Purchasers can choose from five designs for Phase 1- Alfresco, Grandieur, Maestro, Pavillion and Vista with features like big window panes, 20 feet front lawn, alfresco terrace, double volume ceiling in the living area, sliding glass doors, 8ft-high doors, attached bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes in the bedrooms.

The price? Only RM1.5mil to RM2.8mil for a dream home of 4,100 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft built-up and land size of 5,400 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft. About 80% of the 36 bungalows launched under Phase 1 had been sold, some to its golf club members.

Although the facade has the contemporary modern look, many aspects of the interior layout are reminiscent of Australian homes. There are features like a spacious dry kitchen that opens out to the dining area and which in turn, opens into a large alfresco terrace, reflecting the Aussie love for the outdoors.

“Once the foldable doors to the terrace are opened, you extend your dining area outdoors, and have a barbecue party,” said Steven Ng, A & M Realty Bhd executive director.

Steven Ng

Ng, who is the third son of the company's founder and executive chairman Datuk Ng Thiam Hock, spent nine years studying in Perth (he graduated at the age of 19 in 1999 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in finance and marketing from the University of Western Australia).

He is eager to introduce Australian lifestyle into home designs.

Ng said buyers would get a complimentary A & M Lifestyle membership card entitling them to enjoy golf, clubhouse, hotel and dining privileges.

Like Australian homes, there will be no fences or walls to separate the houses in the gated community, but there will be a small gate towards the rear garden for privacy. It also has the Australian “Green Street” concept where utility cables and drains are underground.

Amverton Park will have a gross development value (GDV) of RM330mil.

Senior marketing manager Thang Ah Hong said 20 more bungalows under Phase 2 would be launched in September.

It's Amverton brand is also extended to a high-end two-tower condominium called Amverton Kiara in Kuala Lumpur that might be launched in the third quarter this year. The 2,500 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft unit would be priced around RM750 psf to RM800 psf. One tower will have penthouses at the top while the other will have a sky lounge with swimming pool and entertainment area.

Each floor will have a mix of unit sizes so that one can buy say a 4,000 sq ft unit and a 2,500 sq ft adjoining unit and create a door between them. “Buyers can have one large unit of about 7,000 sq ft, a mansion in the sky,” said Ng, adding that the project with RM500mil GDV, is 160 metres above sea level overlooking Mont' Kiara.

The company with interests in property development, hotels, plantations and investments, plans to develop a 27-hole golf course on its 2,000-acre land on Carey Island.

By The Star

Singapore property boom cooling: Analysts

SINGAPORE: Singapore's booming residential property sector is finally showing signs of cooling but projects including two casino developments should underpin long-term prices, analysts say.

The market was described by real estate giant Jones Lang LaSalle as the world's hottest in 2007, when the city-state's property prices surged 31 per cent overall.

But this year the sector has not escaped wider concerns over a US-led global economic slowdown and inflationary pressures.

Private home prices rose 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, the slowest increase in four years, the government's preliminary figures showed last week.

The second-quarter rise was also much slower than the 3.7 per cent increase recorded in the previous three months but prospective buyers waiting for huge bargains may be disappointed.

Property analysts say prices are likely to fall further in the third quarter but experts rule out massive declines because of the multiplier effect from two multi-billion-dollar gaming resorts now under construction.

Housing demand is expected to pick up when the first of the two casinos opens next year, employing thousands, said Chua Yang Liang, head of Southeast Asia research with Jones Lang LaSalle.

Some of the workforce for the resorts will likely come from foreign countries, creating possible demand for housing, he said.

"To staff these people, you need housing so there will be a potential effect," Chua said.

Foreigners currently make up more than 20 per cent of Singapore's 4.6 million population.

The Marina Bay Financial Centre, a new financial district under construction which will also feature luxury apartments, should also underpin the market in the longer term, analysts said.

Tan Huey Ying, director for research with Colliers International real estate consultants, said prices are not about to spiral downwards even though second quarter figures indicate the residential property market may have peaked.

"Singapore's positive mid-term prospects on the back of the completion of the two integrated resorts and the Marina Bay Financial Centre will help to prop prices up," said Tan.

Values may hold, or decline by no more than three percent, in the third quarter but overall for 2008 home prices could still rise four to eight per cent, said Tan.

Analysts from DTZ real estate consultancy said buyers are still interested in project launches.


Foreigners still find good values in M’sia

FOREIGNERS still see good valuations in Malaysian properties and other assets despite the current political uncertainties.

When the ruling coalition Barisan National lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament in March, there was initial fear that foreign investors would reduce their investments in the country.

But this has been proven wrong given the high level of foreign interest and investments since the election results.

In fact, many sectors are benefiting from foreign investments and the number has grown steadily over the years.

According to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida), the country's foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows this year is expected to surpass last year's RM33.4bil.

Outgoing Mida director-general Datuk R. Karunakaran was quoted as saying that the first four months of 2008 saw RM23.9bil investments approved, of which RM16.6bil was FDIs.

He said the amount (RM23.9bil) did not include newly announced projects by Ibiden Co Ltd, Q-Cell, SunPower Corp and Honeywell International Inc.

The combined investment by the three foreign companies is expected to hit RM9bil, bringing total FDIs to over RM20bil.

Sectors benefiting from foreign investment

Foreign investments are flowing into a host of sectors from high-end manufacturing, property development, information technology, banking and biotechnology, among others.

Japanese printed circuit-board maker Ibiden said it would invest RM1.2bil in the first phase of its printed wiring board plant at Penang Science Park.

Germany’s Q-Cells AG, the world's largest independent solar cell manufacturer had picked Malaysia to be its first manufacturing plant in Asia for photovoltaic products with an investment of over RM1bil for Phase 1.

US-based company SunPower plans to build an RM2.2bil solar cell fabrication plant in Malaysia in two phases, with the first phase comprising 14 solar cell production lines.

While another US-based company Honeywell International Corp, via its business group Honeywell Aerospace plans to invest RM115.2mil in a 220,000 sq ft avionics manufacturing plant in Penang.


Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam said the state had secured foreign investments worth RM6.5bil this year, which is about half the amount received over the last seven years.

Ali said Malacca had attracted foreign biotechnology and manufacturing companies.

“From 2000 to 2007, we attracted RM15.6bil of foreign direct investment,” he said, adding that Malacca's yearly foreign investment target was RM3bil.

Vivo Bio Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of India's Vivo Bio Tech Ltd, plans to invest RM450mil by year-end to build a research and manufacturing plant in Malacca for treatment of diseases.

Property development and banking sectors

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Department senator Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz said current total investment projects recorded in Iskandar Malaysia was about RM33bil, representing 70% of total targeted investment of RM47bil.

He said so far, the total number of investors for Iskandar was 160, Sabah Development Corridor (34) and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (31) respectively.

The number of investors for the Northern Corridor Economic Region and East Coast Economic Region is yet unclear.

Malaysia also attracted a fair number of foreign investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Currently, six foreign companies from UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have invested in Iskandar Malaysia, while some had ventured into Islamic banking and properties.

They are Kuwait Finance House, Aldar Properties PJSC, Mubadala Development Company, Millennium Development Company, Damac and Limitless Dubai.

Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd, (KFH) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House, GCC's second-largest Islamic lender by market value, plans to expand its capital base here by another US$100mil (RM325.48mil) this year.

KFH Malaysia managing director Datuk K. Salman Younis said the bank would still commit to invest in Malaysia despite the tougher operating conditions and political uncertainty.

Other GCC companies such as Middle East lender Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia is waiting for its international Islamic banking licence, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) recently acquired a 25% stake in RHB Capital Bhd.

The acquisition was to enable ADCB to use RHB Cap as a springboard into Asean countries such as Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam for its Islamic banking operations, while RHB Cap could capture ADCB's network for sukuk issuance in Abu Dhabi.

It is interesting to note that in a recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008, Malaysia's competitiveness had moved up to 19th position from 23rd in 2007.

Also, Kearney's 2007 Global Services Location Index (GLSI) indicated that Malaysia was among the top three best destinations in the world for outsourcing activities.

Judging by some of the foreign investments, Malaysia remained a favoured destination to do business but of course, the number can be improved and the sky is the limit.

By The Star (by Danny Yap)

Resorts World picks China firm for Universal project

SINGAPORE: China Jingye Engineering Corporation Ltd (Singapore branch) has been chosen to build the Universal Studios Singapore theme park in Singapore by Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS).

The project is worth S$705 million to China Jingye, a wholly-owned subsidiary of one of China's biggest construction conglomerates, the Metallurgical Corporation of China(MCC) Group.

The Universal Studios Singapore is part of the attractions at the S$6 billion RWS development.

RWS, in a statement said, China Jingye would undertake the general building works of the theme park. This includes structural buildings, facades, walkways and an amphitheatre.

“Universal Studios Singapore's 24 attractions, designed and pre-fabricated by renowned theme-park ride manufacturers worldwide, would also be installed under the coordination of China Jingye,” RWS added.

The Chinese government-linked MCC Group is one of the country’s top five construction-engineering companies.

The MCC has been involved in the structural design, project management and consultation of some of Chinas biggest landmark projects. These include, the Beijing Olympics “bird nest main stadium, the new Beijing Opera House and the China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters.

Last September, the MCC won a S$60 million contract to supply, fabricate and deliver 23,000 tonnes of structural steel for the RWS venture.

RWS, Asia's leading family holiday destination, is on track for a soft opening in early 2010.

RWS, has to date, awarded building contracts totalling S$2.7 billion.

By Bernama