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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bandar Raya's The Troika wins two CNBC awards

PRIME PROPERTY: BRDB Chief operating officer C.C.Pan (left) and BRDB International business general manager Sascha Khan (centre) receiving the awards from CNBC in Singapore recently.

Bandar Raya Developments Bhd (BRDB) has won two awards for The Troika, the country's first globally branded residential development, from the CNBC Asia Pacific Property Awards.

The 5 Star Best High Rise Residential and 5 Star Best Architectural 2008 awards are The Troika's second accomplishment for the year, as the development was also awarded Cityscape Best Developer Award for the future residential category in April.

The year has seen The Troika appreciating substantially in value.

Transaction prices have exceeded RM2,500 per sq ft, one of the highest in the city centre, positioning BRDB as an industry leader in the luxury property market.

"BRDB is consistently pushing the boundaries of design and quality in our aspiration for innovative yet timeless designs," said BRDB chief executive officer Datuk Jagan Sabapathy.

"We are thrilled The Troika has been singled out for such lavish praise in this prestigious award, as this helps cement our standing in the regional marketplace as one of the best in the industry," he said in a statement.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

SunCity property trust delayed

SUNWAY City Bhd (SunCity) has delayed plans to list its property trust, touted to be Malaysia's biggest, to next year, sources told Business Times.

The real estate investment trust (REIT), with an estimated property size of RM4 billion, was scheduled to be listed this year, three-and-a-half years since it first announced its intention to spin off a REIT.

Given that the proposal has yet to be submitted to the authorities, sources say SunCity may miss its target.

"Looking at the timeline required to list it and to have an effective roadshow in November or December is slim. As such, there will be a delay in the listing," a source said.

The delay may work to its advantage as markets around the world are not in good shape, rattled by worries over the global economy and high oil prices.

Malaysia's stock market has lost some 23 per cent so far this year.

The delay in the submission process is attributed to the large number of assets that SunCity plans to put into the REIT. The trust could end up having up to eight properties.

"Due to the number of assets and the diversity of the properties involved in sectors ranging from retail, hospitality and commercial, procedures for evaluation take a much longer time.

"It has taken SunCity longer than initially anticipated," the source said.

'In view of the softer market condition, SunCity is also evaluating other options on the structure of a REIT.’ >> Datuk Jeffrey Ng Tiong Lip Executive director Sunway City Bhd

SunCity's executive director Datuk Jeffrey Ng Tiong Lip, when contacted, did not confirm nor deny the delay, but said the group is looking at other options.

"The SunCity REIT is still moving forward. We are preparing the relevant documents. There are quite a number of assets involved and things like due diligence and valuation reports to be done in the process.

"In view of the softer market condition, SunCity is also evaluating other options on the structure of a REIT," he said, adding that pricing and packaging were important elements.

Ng, however, declined to elaborate what the other options may be.

Meanwhile, it is understood that SunCity is still weighing its option of whether to list on Bursa Malaysia or on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

SunCity has hired RHB Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, US bank Goldman Sachs and Swiss lender UBS to help the company set up and list the property trust.

It plans to inject Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Carnival, Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel and the Pyramid Tower, Menara Sunway, Monash University and its hostels.

Properties that are likely to be injected at a later stage include the recently-acquired Wisma Denmark, Sunway Medical Centre (which is undergoing expansion), the proposed KL South shopping mall in Cheras, and four office towers in Bandar Sunway that the group has proposed to build.

By New Straits Times - Business Times - (by Vasantha Ganesan)

Faber going big on high-end projects

PETALING JAYA: Faber Group Bhd is planning to launch several high-end projects from September with landed properties featuring prominently amongst them.

Upcoming launches include semi-detached houses, priced from RM1.1mil to RM1.3mil, and bungalows, from RM2mil to RM2.5mil each, in Laman Rimbunan, Kepong. The project is a joint venture with Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd in which Faber is the senior partner.

In Taman Danau Desa, next to the company's completed Taman Desa township, there are plans to launch 40 semi-detached houses and six bungalows, priced from RM1.9mil to RM2.5mil.

On a neighbouring parcel, there are plans to launch 38 three-storey link villas, with prices from RM1.6mil, targeted for a launch late next year. These projects are on a joint-venture basis with landowner Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

In Kota Kinabalu, Faber will be launching early next month 32 three-storey semi-detached houses and two bungalows in Taman Hilltop Perdana, while in the pipeline is a RM110mil project, comprising over 300 condominium units, in Lucky Heights.

Managing director Adnan Mohammad told a press briefing yesterday that developers would “need to reassess their projects” based on the challenging property market outlook.

Adnan Mohammad (right) and senior general manager for property development Khalid Abdul Majid

He said despite the challenging conditions with higher construction costs, the company's property development division was planning to launch a number of landed high-end projects in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

“For us, location still sells and we're targeting mainly upgraders in mature locations near the city centre,” Adnan said, adding that Faber was still open to joint ventures or even acquiring land outright to replenish its dwindling land bank, which stood at a total of 45 acres in Kepong and Kota Kinabalu.

“Land acquisition will depend on a combination of factors, including location, price and type of projects that we can develop,” he said.

On earlier reports of Faber's interest in developing properties in Iskandar Malaysia, Adnan said any projects would be undertaken at the UEM group level. According to Faber's 2007 annual report, UEM Group Bhd held a 34.29% direct stake in the company.

“While I cannot speak on behalf of UEM, there's a possibility that projects secured under UEM Land Sdn Bhd (an indirect subsidiary of UEM Group) can be parcelled out to us,” Adnan said.

By The Star

Faber to launch RM600m Klang Valley, Sabah projects

FABER Group Bhd plans to launch new property projects worth some RM600 million in the Klang Valley and Sabah over the next 18 months.

Its property arm, Faber Development Holdings Sdn Bhd (FDH), has 18ha, which is enough to launch five niche projects and keep it busy for four years, managing director Adnan Mohammad told reporters at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"We are not holding back on development. We have to keep moving under current market turbulence," Adnan said.

Adnan said Faber is focusing on niche projects as it is easier to adjust prices for raw material costs and such developments offer higher margins.

In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, FDH will launch Taman Hilltop Perdana in early August, a two-year project worth RM32 million, comprising 34 units of triple-storey semi-detached homes.

FDH senior general manager Khalid Abdul Majid said it is targeting medium to high income groups. The units will be priced at RM870,000 to RM1.1 million each.

Also in Kota Kinabalu, FDH will launch phase 2 of Lucky Heights, a RM110 million high-end condominium project with 300 units, each priced from RM300,000, by the second half of 2009.

Phase 1 was completed 20 years ago.

FDH, in a venture with City Hall, is also launching 40 units of semi-detached homes and six bungalows at Taman Danau Desa. The semi-detached units will be priced at RM1.9 million each while the bungalows start from RM2.5 million.

The RM90 million project, which is part of its multi-billion ringgit Taman Desa at Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur, will be launched in early 2009. Faber started developing Taman Desa in the mid-1970s.

The homes will be built on 2.3ha with leasehold title owned by City Hall, which will get 20 per cent of the project's profit, Khalid said.

"Whether good times or bad, we are confident of the sale of the product due to its locality," he said.

Also at Taman Danau Desa, FDH will launch 38 units of three-storey superlink homes, worth RM60 million by the third quarter of 2009.

At FDH's existing development, the RM600 million Laman Rimbunan mixed development project in Kepong, it will launch phase four and five comprising 160 units of semi-detached units and three bungalows by year-end.

"We plan to sell the semi-d homes for between RM1.1 million and RM1.3 million each while the bungalows will double that. We are targeting buyers from Sg Buloh, Kepong, Rawang and Selayang. We are bullish on the product because of the take up rate at our previous phases," Khalid said.

The 40ha project, in which FDH has a 55 per cent stake and the rest held by Metro Kajang Bhd, has six phases and the first three phases, worth RM300 million, have been launched since end 2004.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

Kuok family-controlled firms to spend US$1b on China site

KERRY Properties Ltd and three partners, all controlled by the family of Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok, will invest as much as 7.3 billion yuan (US$1.07 billion) in a real estate project in China’s Hebei province.

Kerry Properties and Shangri-La Asia Ltd, both listed in Hong Kong, Singapore-listed Allgreen Properties Ltd and Malaysia-based Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd have won a tender for the building site in Tangshan city, according to a statement to Hong Kong's stock exchange yesterday.

Kerry Properties will own 40 per cent of the project while Allgreen will take 25 per cent, the statement said. Shangri-La and the Kuok Brothers will own 20 and 15 per cent, respectively.

The companies have agreed to pay 1.71 billion yuan for the site, which will be used to develop residential buildings and hotels, the statement said.

By Bloomberg

Gamuda, IJM ideal targets for Mideast firms: Macquarie

GAMUDA Bhd and IJM Corp, Malaysia's second- and third-biggest builders, may be perfect takeover targets for Middle East companies seeking expertise for Gulf development projects, Macquarie Research said.

The shares of the two companies are cheaper than regional counterparts, and most of their stocks are owned by shareholders without significant stakes, making an acquisition easier, Sunaina Dhanuka, a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst at Macquarie, wrote in a report yesterday.

"Companies like Gamuda and IJM could be ideal targets," said Dhanuka, who has an "outperform" rating on both stocks. "Few Middle Eastern companies have the skills required to undertake large infrastructure projects. Gamuda's skills are likely to be the most sought after."

Persian Gulf investors are spending US$2.4 trillion (US$1 = RM3.24) on local construction projects, according to Dubai-based research company Proleads. Shares of Gamuda and IJM, which have built tunnels, roads and railways across Asia, have tumbled this year on concern growth is slowing at home, and Malaysia's Edge newspaper on July 20 reported a possible bid for Gamuda by a Middle East fund.

Gamuda shares, down 44 per cent this year, rose 10 sen to RM2.69 yesterday, giving the company a market value of RM5.4 billion. IJM fell 15 sen to RM5, extending this year's drop to 42 per cent and cutting its market value to RM4.3 billion.

Gamuda's largest shareholder, the Malaysian royal family in the state of Perak, supports the takeover plans by a Middle East fund, according to a newspaper report, which didn't name the possible buyer. The acquisition of the royal family's 7.5 per cent stake is crucial to any takeover, the report said.

By Bloomberg