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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

UEM Land listing prospectus to be out by mid-Oct

A PROSPECTUS for the planned November listing of UEM Land Bhd will be issued in about two months, officials said.

UEM Land is being listed in place of its parent, UEM World Bhd, under a group reorganisation which will see UEM Land emerge as a more focused property player.

UEM World, meanwhile, will end up as a RM2 dormant company.

UEM Land's biggest project and main focus for now is Nusajaya, a 4,047-hectare commercial and residential development in Johor, but in due course, it will handle more projects, said UEM Group Bhd managing director Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin.

"The intention is for UEM Land to expand and diversify beyond just Nusajaya. It may also include the option of acquiring new landbank in other parts of the country or even overseas," he told reporters yesterday after shareholders approved the group's reorganisation plan.

UEM Land managing director Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim had said in May that any overseas investments by the company would be made in 2010 at the earliest.

Ahmad Pardas said the group has had exploratory discussions with many parties over potential land buys and projects.

"This is in the process of business development and evaluation, but whether or not we enter into (a deal) depends on the economics of it and whether or not it fits into UEM Land's strategy," he said.

With UEM Land's improved balanced sheet and gearing of about 1.3 times, it will be able to borrow to fund new undertakings, he added.

Details of UEM Land's projects, landbank and strategy will be included in its prospectus, to be issued "in less than two months", he said.

On the second Penang bridge, Ahmad Pardas said UEM Group will continue to work on the bridge "unless told otherwise by other parties".

"The construction continues as we speak. So far at UEM Group Bhd, there has not been any formal instruction to do otherwise," he said, adding that the group had spent more than RM200 million on the works to date.

UEM Builders, a unit of UEM Group, is part of a joint venture building the 24km bridge.

On the government's proposal for toll operators in the Klang Valley to reduce toll rates, Ahmad Pardas said PLUS Expressways Bhd, which is part of UEM Group, will work with the government to find a solution acceptable to all parties.

Discussions with the government are ongoing, he said.

By New Straits Times (by Adeline Paul Raj)

UEM Land extends reach

Kuala Lumpur: UEM Land Bhd, which will be listed on Bursa Malaysia by November, will expand its landbank via acquistions beyond Nusajaya to other parts of the country and offshore.

Even parcels of land within the UEM group would be hived off to UEM Land in due time and details spelt out in its prospectus, said UEM World Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali at the company EGM yesterday. UEM Land is subsidiary of UEM World.

Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin

Whether the name UEM Land would be retained is unclear but landbank expansion is a vital component of its future growth.

UEM World managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin said the company was in discussions with several parties including from Vietnam, India and the Gulf States.

“The intention is to diversify beyond Nusajaya and we do not preclude acquiring new landbank here and overseas if it suits our business expansion,” he said, adding that the landbank within the UEM group was small in comparison to Nusajaya’s over 10,000 acres.

Asked if UEM Land had funds to expand its landbank, Pardas said “it may not have the cash but we have the capacity to borrow”.

Yesterday, UEM World shareholders approved the proposed restructuring of the group which entails the delisting of UEM World and listing of UEM Land.

In February, UEM group announced its group-wide restructuring exercise where UEM World will distribute all its shares in four listed companies to its shareholders and UEM Land will take over its listing status.

The four companies are UEM Builders Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd, Opus Group Bhd and Cement Industries Malaysia Bhd.

Pardas said it was still unclear at this point whether UEM Builders or one of the other three companies would be delisted as the restructuring process was still ongoing.

“It depends on whether UEM shareholders take up the restricted offer for sale and whether such an exercise will trigger a mandatory general offer (MGO). In the case of Pharmaniaga, the MGO has been triggered. Our intention is to keep the companies listed,” he said.

On the second Penang bridge, Pardas said UEM group had not been “officially notified of any change” by the government of its contract even though UEM Builders had been awarded a contract with scope of works overlapping.

Initially the concession and privatisation of the bridge was given to UEM group and the project was to be undertaken on a build-operate-transfer basis.

“We are already doing work on the project and have spent RM200mil thus far. We will continue to do so until we are told otherwise,” Pardas said.

Asked if PLUS Expressways Bhd would be seeking compensation if there were a review in toll rates, Pardas said it was up to the government to decide on the review but there was provision in the agreement for compensation.

By The Star

Property mart seen recovering in 6-9 months

The sluggish property market is likely to recover in 6-9 months when the Malaysian economy becomes clearer for the people to make their decision.

“In 2009, the cloud will be clearer. When there is certainty in fuel price and there is regular cement and steel supply at market-driven prices, I think people can plan their lives,” said K C Yam, chairman of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda).

“Certainty is not only important to the man on the street but also to builders,” he added.

By Bernama

YTL Corp full-year profit up 11pc

YTL Corp, Malaysia’s biggest builder, said fiscal 2008 profit rose 11 per cent from a year earlier, helped by earnings at its utility and cement divisions.

Profit rose to RM848 million (US$254 million) in the 12 months ended June 30 from a year earlier, it said in an e-mailed statement today. Sales climbed 10 per cent to RM6.62 billion.

Contributions from its overseas operations including the UK, Australia and Indonesia continued to contribute the bulk of earnings, YTL said in the statement.

YTL has expanded its cement, power and water businesses by acquiring assets in China, Indonesia, Australia and the UK to boost growth.

It completed the purchase of Zhejiang Lin’an Jin Yuan Cement Co in China in November.

By Bloomberg