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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crescendo sees more profit from industrial properties

PETALING JAYA: Johor-based property developer Crescendo Corporation Bhd expects industrial properties to be its main profit generator for the current financial year ending Jan 31, 2009.

Crescendo managing director Gooi Seong Lim said the industrial property arm could contribute at least 60% of its profits in FY09 and much of the appeal of its industrial properties lay in its location in Nusajaya, which is part of the multi-billion ringgit regional development, Iskandar Malaysia.

Industrial properties contributed nearly 50% to the group’s profits in FY08.

“The Nusajaya area is located only 10 minutes from Tuas Singapore through the second link; so the take-up rate is quite good due to relocation from higher costs area in Singapore to Malaysia, which is cheaper,” Gooi said after the company’s AGM here yesterday.

Crescendo is now in the midst of building the second phase, which consists of about 40 units, of the Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park in Nusajaya. The second phase is targeted for completion next March.

“The factories are in the early stages of building and enquiries have been encouraging. The whole (Nusa Cemerlang Industrial Park) project consists of 382 (factory) units.

“There are still a few phases to go. Package 2 is going to be officially launched in August this year and is already having some sales,” Gooi added. The first two phases have a gross development value (GDV) of about RM200 million.

He said profit projections for FY09 was looking bright for the group, as it had locked in unbilled sales, mainly from industrial properties, of some RM113 million as at June 30. “We still have 200 completed residential units on sale now with a GDV of RM40 million,” Gooi added.

For the three months to April 30 this year, Crescendo posted a net profit of RM7.3 million on a RM45.7 million revenue, which is an improvement of 82% and 105% respectively, from a year earlier.

Gooi added that the group was not looking at acquiring more land as it already had about 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) in strategic locations in Johor, of which 1,900 acres are in Iskandar Malaysia.

By The EDGE Malaysia

Bank Rakyat-Casa Impian home renovation scheme

FLEXIBLE REPAYMENT PLAN: Kamaruzaman (second from right) being briefed by Norlinda (right) and Casa Impian executive director Khairul Anwar Rahmat (second from left). With them is Bank Rakyat general manager corporate services/bank secretary Datuk Rosely Samsuri.

Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd, the country's largest cooperative bank, expects to disburse RM1 million a month for the financing of home renovation under its new product, Personal Financing i-Aslah Purchase Plus.

The bank has formed a tie-up with interior designer Casa Impian Sdn Bhd, where customers will engage the decorator's expertise in their home designs.

Customers may apply for a minimum of RM50,000 to a maximum of RM150,000 loan for the purpose, with a repayment period of up to 15 years.

"The common problem faced by first time house buyers is the difficulty to fund renovation works after spending a 'bomb' to buy the property," Casa Impian managing director Datin Norlinda Abd Taib said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Despite bearish consumer sentiment, she is optimistic of an encouraging response from customers due to the bank's flexible repayment plan.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat managing director Datuk Kamaruzaman Che Mat said the bank expects to maintain its 2.2 per cent non-performing loans (NPLs) this year.

"To ensure a manageable NPL rate, we tie up with other banks for salary deductions from borrowers' accounts and we encourage repeat borrowers with good track records to continue banking with us," he said.

It was earlier reported that Bank Rakyat is on track to hit RM1 billion profit for this year after pre-tax earnings from January to June soared to more than RM500 million.

In the first six months, the bank gave out 23 per cent more loans than the same period in 2007, where consumer loans, mainly personal and hire purchase financing, make up 95 per cent of total loans. The balance five per cent are corporate loans.

Commenting on Bank Rakyat's plan to buy a stake in an overseas bank, Kamaruzaman said the bank has yet to initiate talks with any party but is looking at opportunities.

"We still want to grow organically, (so) any talks for such a plan may only take place next year," he said, adding that the bank will use its own funds for this purpose.

Up to June this year, its total deposits stood at RM28.1 billion, assets at RM40 billion and shareholders' fund at RM4.37 billion.

By New Straits Times (by Zurinna Raja Adam)