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Thursday, October 16, 2008

70pc of Danga Island Villas snapped up

NEARLY 70 per cent of the luxury waterfront villas in Danga Island Villas, located within Iskandar Malaysia, have been snapped up by buyers from all over the world eventhough the project will only be launched in November.

Danga Bay Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Lim Kang Ho said the Danga Island Villas managed to secure RM230 million sales at the Cityscape international property show in Dubai last week.

Investors’ bullish perception on the project was further testament to their confidence in Iskandar Malaysia and Danga Bay, he said.

“Despite the prevailing global economic conditions, they are still willing to spend and invest in our project, reflecting their confidence in Danga Bay and Iskandar Malaysia backed by the government,” he told a media conference.

Lim said Danga Bay Sdn Bhd had not deferred any project planned for Danga Bay due to the global economic uncertainties.

Lim also said the value of completed projects in Danga Bay, for example, apartments, commercial blocks and Casa Almyra residential development, had doubled, further proving its lure to investors.

The Danga Island Villas project, worth RM900 million in Gross Development Value, is the first high-end waterfront lifestyle living concept in Iskandar Malaysia, straddling over 45 acres of a natural island off Danga Bay.

The 152 villas, which come complete with private berths for yachts, is priced between RM4 million and RM15 million each.

Of the 70 per cent Danga Island Villas units sold todate, Lim said 27 per cent of the buyers were Johoreans, 28 per cent from those living in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and six per cent from Sabah and Sarawak.

Buyers from Middle East countries, India, Pakistan, Canada and Spain accounted for 38 per cent, five per cent from Singapore and two per cent from Hong Kong.

The project is targeted primarily at wealthy retirees, jetsetting businessmen, expatriate families and the well-heeled from Malaysia and the region keen to make Iskandar their home.

Other upcoming property developments in Danga Bay are refurbishment of the Danga Bayleaf Restaurant into a RM30 million convention hall and construction of office blocks.

A budget hotel and a six-star luxury hotel are on the drawing board, he added.

By Bernama

Visit Danga Bay Website

Penang has no plans to make all reclaimed land freehold

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government has no plans to convert all reclaimed land from leasehold to freehold status although such land is no longer considered part of the foreshore or seabed, which is protected under the National Land Code (NLC), Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday.

Lim said under Section 76 of the NLC, a state authority could not dispose of "any part of the foreshore or seabed for a period exceeding 99 years... to protect and reserve coastal areas for the public interest".

"However, I have been advised that after reclamation, there is no more seabed and foreshore, and therefore it is within the state's right to give private individuals freehold status for such areas," he said.

"Whilst I disagree with the previous state government's policy of converting reclaimed land to freehold, we have been advised by both the lawyers and consultants with the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and the State Legal Adviser that this conversion is legally valid as it was gazetted as state land and no longer as foreshore land," Lim said.

The state government therefore has to comply with the consent order of the Penang High Court for a rescue deal for the Bayan Bay project that includes converting what was once seabed and foreshore to freehold land, Lim said.

All the parties involved had exercised their legal rights in court before withdrawing their final appeal to the Federal Court, he said, and any attempt to refuse to comply with the consent order would expose the state government to substantial claims for damages.

"The state government hopes that the public, including some state assemblymen and NGOs, would not equate the necessity to comply with the scheme decided by the previous state government as concurrence or even endorsement for converting reclaimed land from leasehold to freehold.

"Even though the legal view is that whilst the state authority can exercise such powers, the new government would not exercise such powers," Lim said.

By The EDGE Malaysia (by Regina William)

Guocoland 1Q profit up slightly

KUALA LUMPUR: Guocoland (Malaysia) Bhd posted a higher profit of RM3.42 million in its first quarter ended Sept 30, 2008, compared with RM3.37 million a year earlier, tempered by a 50% decline in revenue to RM18.28 million from RM36.35 million.

Earnings per share rose to 0.51 sen from 0.5 sen. No dividend was declared. Guocoland said yesterday it was taking appropriate measures to address the challenges in the current financial year.

"Given the uncertainty arising from the current financial turmoil and the slowdown in the global economy, we expect the property market in Malaysia to soften further," it said.

By The Edge Malaysia