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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I-Berhad's new management a mix of youth and experience

I-Berhad, developer of the i-City project in Shah Alam yesterday announced several management changes, with founder Datuk Lim Kim Hong making way for a top management team comprising a mixture of youth and experience.

Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, president and group chief executive of state-owned investment fund Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has been appointed as chairman of I-Berhad.

Lim's eldest son, Lim Boon Siong is chief executive officer (CEO) replacing Datin Tey Siew Thuan who has been appointed as executive director.

The elder Lim meanwhile has taken the role of deputy executive chairman.

He said Hamad Kama Piah's appointment was the start of a new era for the group as his vast corporate expertise will further spur I-Berhad's expansion plans.

"I believe that with his involvement and a strong foundation in place, I can stand back and play the role of an investor with confidence that the group will be able to meet future challenges," he said in a statement.

Boon Siong has an honours degree in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School, University of West Ontario, Canada. He joined I-Berhad as deputy CEO in 2008 and is a chartered marketer with over 10 years of corporate finance and business development experience.

While he manages the day-to-day operations, an exco comprising pioneering directors will focus on the strategic and corporate governance issues.

"Our succession plan has the balance of youthful energy and the wisdom and experience of the pioneering team. At the same time, we have also forged strategic alliances with leading global companies," Lim said.

Over the past two years, I-Berhad has managed to gain support from the various authorities for its mammoth i-City project.

The project, which is already a MSC Malaysia Cybercentre is also playing a central role in making Shah Alam an International Islamic Financial Centre.

It was recently conferred the International Park status by the Selangor state government, thus making it the only location in Shah Alam to have cinemas to support its cosmopolitan lifestyle environment.

i-City is a RM2 billion ICT-based premier integrated commercial development spanning a 72-acre site.

It has seen strong investor interest and is the only MSC Malaysia Cybercentre endorsed as a tourism destination.

Among its strategic alliances are with ServCorp of Australia and the Al-Rajhi Banking Group from Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the group announced increased pre-tax profit and turnover for the year ended Dec 31, 2008.

Its turnover grew significantly to RM95.77 million from RM4.07 million a year ago. Its pre-tax profit was also higher at RM16.15 million compared to RM1.90 million in 2007, and earnings per share rose 13.07 sen to 14.40 sen per share.

At the same time, its total assets grew sharply by 38.4 per cent to RM232.22 million as at 31 December 2008. The I-Berhad board have recommended a final gross dividend of 5 per cent.

The company said several factors such as reinventing itself into a property and technology player and the successful completion and sale of i-City's first phase of Cybercentre Office Suites contributed to its improved financial performance.

It said 2009 promises to be an exciting year. There are plans to establish a designated bio-technology and research & development zones in i-City.

Other I-Berhad's development plans are a regional shopping mall with cineplex and also a luxurious residential development in the vicinity of KLCC.

By Business Times (by Mustapha Kamil)

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