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Thursday, June 11, 2009

UEM Land in talks to get RM350mil

KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Land Holdings Bhd is in talks with two local banks for RM350mil in funds to finance its projects in Nusajaya.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the amount was scaled down from RM850mil it had sought earlier as banks were tightening their credit facilities in view of the current economic slowdown.

Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali (left) and Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim looking at the UEM Land Holdings Bhd 2008 annual report on Wednesday.

“The funds are for the second phase development of Puteri Harbour and also for East Ledang development,” he said after the group’s AGM yesterday.

Tajuddin said the group was projecting a 20% growth in revenue this year over the RM511.6mil revenue it chalked up last year, focusing on projects in Nusajaya in Iskandar Malaysia and also in Cyberjaya.

He said the group was also targeting for 6% return on equity this year, almost the same as last year, given the challenges it had to face as a result of the economic downturn.

“We admit that the group is facing difficulties now as the market is not doing well. However, we will try to achieve the target by implementing strategic and different marketing approaches,” he said, adding that the group might defer launching some of its projects to a later date depending on the market situation.

Tajuddin said currently, the group still had about 9,000 acres in Nusajaya for development and would proceed with the plans, design and approval process for future projects as it wanted to be ready once the market improved.

“Apart from Nusajaya and Cyberjaya, we are evaluating certain land in the Klang Valley for acquisition and will announce it once the sale and purchase process is done,” he said.

Managing director and chief executive officer Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim added that the group was still looking for other new bankable projects and might seek more funds.

“Our current gearing is also low at 0.35 times for our property section. If we find other new bankable projects, we will apply for more loans, even going back to the same banks,” he said.

He also said although the market was challenging, the group still managed to get buyers, especially international buyers, for its property projects in Nusajaya.

By The Star

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