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Monday, July 28, 2008

Glomac keen to build more Grade A office towers in KL

DEVELOPER Glomac Bhd may build more Grade A office towers in Kuala Lumpur after its first such project was snapped up even before it started any work.

The company is now looking for land in prime areas like Bangsar, Sri Hartamas, Damansara and the city centre, group executive vice chairman Datuk Richard Fong said.

FONG: The company is now looking for land in prime areas like Bangsar, Sri Hartamas, Damansara and the city centre.

Glomac has sold the Glomac Tower in Kuala Lumpur, a 40-storey building next to the Petronas Twin Towers, to Prestige Scale Sdn Bhd, a company run by a local businessman for RM1,160 psf or RM577 million. The deal was done at the end of 2007.

"Glomac Tower is the first en bloc sale for us off the plans. We got an offer from Kuwait Finance House and Prestige we could not refuse as it was a good deal. We hit record price, which had set a new benchmark for Grade A office buildings for the city centre," Fong told Business Times in an interview recently.

The land was acquired last year by Glomac Al Batha Sdn Bhd for about RM1,000 psf from the Tan family of the Continental Hotel group.

Glomac Al Batha is a 51:49 joint-venture firm held by Glomac and Al Batha Group respectively, one of the largest private business concerns in the United Arab Emirates.

On the construction of Glomac Tower, foundation work will start in August and done in 12 months, followed by the main building, which will be completed by August 2011.

Fong said the project will be affected by higher raw material prices, but it has enough margins to cushion the increase in construction cost.

"We didn't anticipate the cost to go up by so much. The increase exceeded our expectations, but still we are able to make a handsome profit," he added.

Glomac Tower was initially worth RM450 million. It was revalued when the net floor area increased from below 500,000 sq ft to 550,000 sq ft, Fong said.

Glomac Tower will have 30 office floors, two retail and three sky restaurant floors including an open-air rooftop restaurant, four levels of elevated car park and four levels of basement car park.

It will be built in compliance with the requirements of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) so that an application could later be made for MSC status.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

Reserves to help Mah Sing enter new markets

Mah Sing Group Bhd will be using its strengthening cash reserves to expand into new market frontiers in east Malaysia and Vietnam next year.

The company's cash pile of RM130.7mil as at March 31 will receive a boost with the scheduled completion of the en bloc sale of the east wing of The Icon@Tun Razak for RM236mil to Prompt Symphony Sdn Bhd by middle of next year.

Mah Sing's cash position was strengthened by a RM200mil capital raising exercise and proposed sale of two Grade A office buildings, The Icon@Tun Razak and The Icon@Mont'Kiara, for RM735mil last year.

Given the company's low gearing ratio of 0.03 times compared with the industry norm of 0.5 times, Mah Sing could also resort to bank borrowings for its regional expansion plans.

Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum

President and group chief executive Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum said the company was on track to become a regional lifestyle developer and some potential projects had been identified.

“We are in a very good position to make some opportunistic acquisitions.

“It is a good time to lock in land which have recently dropped in value and by the time the projects are launched in 2010, the regional economy should recover from the current slowdown,” Leong told StarBiz.

He said the company had been closely monitoring the situation in Vietnam and believed the country would recover from its current economic doldrums in the next six to nine months.

“There is still a severe shortage of houses for the country's 85 million people and our plans are to build landed residential projects and Grade A office buildings in high-growth cities,” he added.

Leong said Mah Sing was also looking at other strong growth countries including China, India and Indonesia.

In the next five years, the company's overseas projects will contribute 20% to 30% of group revenue.

Locally, Mah Sing is eyeing opportunities in Sabah and Sarawak to take advantage of the growth to be brought about by the Sabah and Sarawak growth corridors.

“The Sabah Development Corridor and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy have already attracted more than 30 foreign investors to each of the corridor.

“Kota Kinabalu's strong tourism sector offers big potential for the company to build its brand of themed commercial developments that include hotels, service apartments and shop offices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mah Sing's 584 acres of undeveloped land bank have the potential to generate RM3bil in gross development value over the next five to seven years.

For the current financial year ending Dec 31, the company is looking at recording sales of RM560mil while new project launches will come up to RM706mil.

Citigroup Research, in a recent note, said that backed by high unbilled sales of RM1.1bil as at 31 March, Mah Sing could look forward to a three-year net profit compounded annual growth rate of 21%.

By The Star - StarBiz - (by Angie Ng)

Colour psychology helps boost business

CRACKING your head over the choice of colour for your home, office, show unit, shopping mall, product or even brand?

Well, you may need the advice of a colour psychologist like Karen Kow, the managing director of Colours In Motion Sdn Bhd that specialises in providing colour consultation to homeowners, interior designers, renovators, property investors and commercial property owners.

Karen Kow

Kow, who set up the company early this year, believes that colour could make or break the feel and value of a property.

“Many people have difficulty picking the right colours for their home. Some have a good idea of how they would like their room to look like but they may end up with mix-match of everything,” she said.

She added that many people were not very adventurous with colours and still kept the builder's white after many years.

“Light and colour can affect your emotions. For instance, it is important to choose bedroom colours that will calm and soothe a hyperactive child. Other colours encourage appetite or study,” she said.

“Colours can be used for corporate identity or it can be used to create a better working environment,” said Kow, who has a doctorate in metaphysical psychology, master's degree in metaphysical science (both from the United States) and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Britain.

Kow said colour could also affect one's perception of a product or brand.

“If you are looking to re-brand your corporate identity, we can suggest the most appropriate colours to send out the message you intend for the public and to attract your target market for your services or product by working closely with your branding, advertising, and creative team,” she said.

The use of distinctive colours to identify products, she said, could be seen everywhere. Some products are packaged in a variety of distinct colours while others tend to be packaged in variations of the same two or three colours in different designs.

She said each colour has its own individuality, wavelength and frequency.

“All physical, mental and emotional levels respond to colours. The application and usage of colour psychology is limitless because we live in a world full of colours,” she said.

“Colours can harmonise and produce effective results when used to complement an individual's character, home, and even the working environment,” said Kow, who has given consultations to clients in the US, Britain, Malaysia, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, China and Singapore.

Her corporate and individual clients are from the hospitality, fashion, retail, banking, and property development industries.

She said research showed that people made a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment was based on colour alone.

Since colours used for a product, website, business card and a logo could cause powerful reactions, choosing the right colours is critical to successful sales.

Kow, who believes in enjoying everything she does and achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle, said most people have their own favourite colours that reflected their personality, likes and dislikes.

“I do not have any favourite colours and I hope people will also like all colours and treat them impartially,” she added.

According to a handout, she is also a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming and holds a certification in professional clinical hypnotherapy.

Trained and certified as a colour therapist, she understands how colours affect human behaviours, emotions and physical health.

Kow is also founder and director of Path To Excellence, a company that does corporate training, hypnotherapy, executive life coaching, stress management and neuro linguistic programming.

By The Star (by S.C.Cheah)

IJM launches welded wire mesh plant in Hyderabad

NEW DELHI: IJM Corporation commissioned a RM16 million (Rs21 crore) welded wire mesh manufacturing facility in Hyderabad yesterday.

The project undertaken through IJM’s subsidiary IJM Steel Products Private Ltd is located in Isnapur near Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh.

The Hindu Business Line reported that the facility would operate with one production line initially, with a production capacity of supplying 12,000 tonnes of welded wire mesh per annum.

“Welded wire mesh for concrete reinforcement is new to the Indian construction industry. The manufactured product comes to the site ready for immediate onsite installation, contributing to higher productivity and better quality control,” said Datuk Krishnan Tan, chief executive officer and managing director of IJM Corporation.

“We are confident that the mesh is set to revolutionise the infrastructure and the real estate industry in India, which builds close to 1.5 million housing units a year,” he told reporters in Hyderabad after launching the facility.

Tan said the company planned to double its production capacity within the next three years at the Isnapur plant and has plans to set up a similar facility in Mumbai.

“We have signed up IJM (India) Infrastructure Ltd as our first customer. We wanted to first use our welded wire mesh product at our ongoing housing projects — a 120-acre project in Vijayawada and a 42-acre residential project in Nagpur — to create confidence among the Indian customers,” he said.

“We expect the Hyderabad facility to garner revenues of Rs35 crore (RM27 million) this year,” Tan was quoted as saying.

By Bernama