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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

IJM Land plans to launch 28 projects

SUBANG JAYA: IJM Land Bhd plans to launch 28 mixed development projects with a combined gross development value (GDV) of RM600mil, says managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

Datuk Soam Hong Choon

“The projects will be located in Penang, Klang Valley, Malacca, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Sandakan,” he said after the company AGM and EGM yesterday.

He said the company was currently developing “The Light” waterfront project in Penang and a township called Bandar Utama in Sandakan.

According to Soam, the company had taken over Sebana Cove, an on-going resort-cum-mixed development project on the southern east tip of Johor.

This would be redeveloped to attract Singaporeans, he said.

The company paid RM120mil for Sebana Cove with infrastructure completed. Current prices in the area range from RM600,000 for a semi-detached house to RM400,000 for a town house.

“We are targeting the middle to upper-middle segment,”Soam said.

On another note, IJM Land would be a geographically diversified Malaysian developer once it completed its rationalisation exercise by Sept 5, Soam said.

IJM Land, previously known as RB Land Holding Bhd, used to have projects only in the Klang Valley and Seremban.

“We would continue to showcase our property in the Klang Valley, Seremban, Penang, Johor, Malacca and Sandakan.”

On IJM Land’s overseas venture, Soam said the company was investing in Changchun, the automotive city of China, for a commercial service suites-cum-residential development with a retail component.

It holds a 50% stake in the project, which will have a GDV of RM500mil when completed in four years.

On measures taken to counter the rising building material cost, Soam said its in-house construction arm was one way of keeping cost down.

By The Star

AMDB plans to buy 4 property firms from parent

AMDB Bhd plans to buy four property companies from parent AmcorpGroup Bhd as part of a reorganisation strategy.

Under the deal, AMDB will own a 100 per cent stake in Amcorp Prima Realty Sdn Bhd (APRB), a 60 per cent stake in HDC-Amcorp JV Sdn Bhd, a 100 per cent interest in Regal Genius Sdn Bhd and a 100 per cent stake in Distrepark Sdn Bhd.

AMDB will pay RM159.72 million in cash and new shares for its interest in APRB, Regal Genius and Distrepark to settle inter-company loans owed by the three companies to AmcorpGroup.

AMDB will also pay RM20.99 million for a 60 per cent stake in HDC-Amcorp.
APRB owns the Kayangan Heights development in Selangor, while HDC-Amcorp is in a joint venture to develop the Sibu Jaya township in Sarawak.

In a statement released in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, AMDB said it plans to reorganise itself as a focused property, engineering and infrastructure player.

The reorganisation also entails AMDB writing off RM356.55 million in accumulated losses, as well as the sale of certain non-core assets.

The group plans to hive off businesses which are not meaningfully valued by the market, such as its restaurant operations (Restoran Seri Melayu), travel and tour agents Harpers Travel and a minority stake in an advertising agency, J.Walter Thompson, to its holding company AmcorpGroup.
AmcorpGroup will pay RM22.1 million for them.

As a first step, AMDB will write off its entire accumulated losses via a capital reduction exercise, followed by a capital consolidation exercise. Secondly, it will sell the non-core assets and buy the four property companies.

Finally, AmcorpGroup proposes to make an offer for sale of up to 118 million shares to other shareholders of AMDB at an offer price of 50 sen per share.

Meanwhile, AMDB registered a net loss of RM1.4 million in its first-quarter financial period to June 30 2008, which was due to RM3.1 million in losses from discontinued operations.

By New Straits Times

Factor in changing lifestyles, builders told

KUALA LUMPUR: Developers should plan and design their projects to take cognizance of the changing lifestyles of Malaysians.

Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Alan Tong said in view of strong inflationary pressure, developers should strategise to come up with projects that allowed Malaysians to be less dependent on fuel, and live and work in an efficient manner.

Datuk Alan Tong

“Ideally, where we live and work should not be too far from each other,” he told StarBiz.

Based on what he observed in developed countries, Tong said real estate development strategies for Malaysia should focus on meeting the changing lifestyles of her people.

Citing the United States as an example, he said that while that country was well developed, the residential communities were very spread out.

In the outskirts of the cities and semi-urban areas, commuting could prove difficult without one’s own means of transport, he said.

“Their lifestyle revolves around motor vehicles,” he said.

In Malaysia, with the current high fuel prices, people should cut down on their expenses and one way to do so was to live and work in the same locality, he said.

High density projects located close to the city could be the way forward, he said.

On the current sentiment in the property market, he said: “While the industry is not so dependent on oil, the increase in oil prices has also impacted raw material prices.

“We know of contractors who have signed contracts are in a bind as they are caught by the sudden increase in prices.”

As for developers, he said those who had not launched many projects, were holding back. “Many developers are diversifying overseas instead,” he said.

On property market prices, Tong said: “Compared with other countries in the region, we are still very cheap. Property, especially in the upmarket segment, would still be appealing to some foreigners,” he said.

On abandoned projects, he said this problem was not as rampant as it used to be when cooperative societies built houses.

Tong is among the key speakers at the 19th National Real Estate Convention held today and tomorrow at One World Hotel, Bandar Utama.

FIABCI Malaysia, together with The Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia and the Association of Valuers & Property Consultants in Private Practice Malaysia, is organising the convention, which would see industry leaders gather to share their winning strategies in four sessions.

Among the topics to be discussed are real estate strategies moving forward, development strategies, design and construction strategies and investment strategies.

Notable speakers include Singapore’s DLF Trust Management Pte Ltd chief executive officer Wong Ah Long, Indonesia’s PT Ciputra Development president commissioner Ciputra, and the Philippines’ Architect Felino Palafox, founder Jun Palafox Jr.

A total 400 participants are expected at the convention.

By The Star (by Eileen Hee)

IOI Corp buys Menara Citibank

PETALING JAYA: IOI Corp Bhd has succeeded in its bid to buy Menara Citibank for an undisclosed sum, the company said.

It told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that it was acquiring the building from Inverfin Sdn Bhd. However, it declined to state the price for the building. A local media report had said the price tag was RM800mil.

“The company shall make the requisite announcement on the detailed terms of the purchase in accordance with the listing requirements as soon as the definitive agreement has been executed,” it said.

Trading in IOI Corp shares was voluntarily suspended at 4.22pm yesterday and will resume at 9am today.

The share price fell 15 sen to RM5 before the suspension.

By The Star