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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Berjaya Land in US$2b Libyan foray

PROPERTY developer Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) and Libya's Oyia Co for Development and Tourism Investment will jointly develop an integrated golf resort cum residential and commercial project in Tripoli, Libya at a cost of US$2 billion (RM6.8 billion).

The gross development value is still pending the finalisation of the master plan.

In a statement issued yesterday, BLand said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd (BCayman), yesterday entered into a joint venture with Oyia for the development of the project on three parcels of land measuring 412.67ha in Tripoli, Libya.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Libyan Prime Minister Dr Bagdadi Al-Mahmoodi.

A joint venture company called Berjaya Oyia Development Ltd will be established to undertake the development of the project with an initial share capital of 10 million Libyan dinar (RM27.5 million).

BCayman will have a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture and Oyia will hold the remaining 40 per cent.

BLand said the project will comprise high-end residential and commercial development including 3,640 units of mid-rise apartments, 120 golf villas, 300-room luxury hotel with serviced residences and luxury villas and another 300-room business class hotel.

It will also feature a commercial facility with a shopping mall, a medical centre, two international schools and a 145ha public park.

Anchoring the project will be an 18-hole signature golf course and clubhouse, which will be designed by a world renowned golf course architect.

The project will be developed in phases over a period of seven to 10 years and the Libyan government has agreed to bear the infrastructure costs such as gas, electricity and water supply, telecommunications, sewerage and a highway interchange to facilitate access to the project site.

"The project will be modelled after world-renowned parks such as Hyde Park and Regents Park in London and Central Park in New York," said Tan Sri Vincent Tan, chairman and chief executive officer of Berjaya Corp Bhd, the holding company of BLand.

"The expected surge of foreign investments in Libya will create a demand for quality properties and services. This augurs well for Berjaya as well as the project. Berjaya, with its vast experience and expertise in property development, is committed in ensuring the success of the project," he added.

By New Straits Times buys India's property portal

The Group, owner of Asia’s leading online property group and Malaysia’s leading real estate website, has acquired India’s online property portal,

In a statement, iProperty said the portal, owned by Horizon Infoventures Private Ltd, boasts over 211,000 property listings on its website and has about 100,000 visitors monthly.

“It has huge potential for growth and we are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the talented, dedicated and motivated local team to rapidly consolidate the market position of and move to dominate the India market in due course,” said executive chairman Patrick Grove.

iProperty said the portal which is in Mumbai had also launched "RealAcres TV Shows" early this year, a new segment featuring online television interviews with various top builders, developers and real estate experts.

“We firmly believe that application of our vast experience to the exciting, high-growth India market will allow us a fantastic opportunity for enormous success,” he said.

The acquisition also follows the launch of Asia’s first regional luxury property website

“The Group expects to bring its suite of print, exhibition and online luxury products to the India market in partnership with in due course,” it said.

By Bernama

Ceramic Home awards job to China firm

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer Ceramic Home Tiles Sdn Bhd has awarded the building works for its Pearl KLCC project to Beijing Urban Construction Group Co Ltd (BUCG), one of China’s top 10 construction companies.

The project works with an estimated value of RM280mil would include the development of one block 177-unit luxury condominium in Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur, director Ahmad Lazri Long said.

“BUCG was selected based on its world-class expertise as the company was the lead contractor on the main stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics,” he told a recent media briefing.

Pearl KLCC covers 1.77-acre freehold land with units available ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 sq ft, with each floor having six units and private lift lobby and view of the KLCC and the Petronas Twin Tower.

The contract signing was witnessed by Datuk K. Salman Younis, managing director Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd which acts as a financier of the project through a special-purpose vehicle company, Flora Bliss Development Sdn Bhd.

Ahmad Lazri said Malton Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Domain Resources Sdn Bhd had been appointed project development manager.

Domain Resources senior project director H.K. Tan said the project was expected to complete construction by the fourth quarter of 2010.

The project marked BUCG’s first venture into the Malaysian property market, said assistant president and senior engineer Andy Zhao said.

Besides Malaysia, the company also has a presence in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Middle East and South Africa.

By Bernama

Talam to exit PN17 next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Talam Corp Bhd is aiming to get out of the financially troubled status of Practice Note 17 by January next year after shareholders approved its debt restructuring and turnaround plan yesterday.

The plan involves the issuance of Islamic debt securities, preference shares and loan stocks, and hiving off non-core assets.

Executive director Chua Kim Lan said the exercise would cut the group’s debts to about RM400mil from more than RM740mil currently.

“And with this revamp plan, Talam would be able to reduce its gearing ratio to 0.7 from 2.37 in the financial year ended Jan 31 (FY08). Paid up capital will be RM800mil,” she said after the company’s EGM yesterday.

“We (will) progressively divest our non-core investment businesses such as colleges, shopping centres and hotels. As long as the price is right we will sell the business for the purpose of working capital and loan reduction,” she said, adding that Talam was also looking into selling its commercial and industry land.

Talam has a landbank of about 4 thousand acres in Selangor, excluding joint venture (JV) land, located mainly in Puchong and Bukit Beruntung.

On the group’s stalled housing projects, Chua said almost all of the 10,000 previously abandoned housing units would be completed by end-2009 with an unbilled gross development value (GDV) of RM800mil. Last year, Talam awarded IJM Construction Sdn Bhd (IJMC) two contracts valued at RM700mil and RM125mil respectively to complete its abandoned housing projects.

Talam also has a JV with IJMC to develop a 35-storey residential and commercial project in Changchun, China.

“The project, which is now constructed up to eight-storeys, is expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2009. The GDV is about RM500mil,” she said, adding that Talam and its partners were looking for more integrated development projects in China.

By The Star (by Law Kai Chow)