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Monday, June 15, 2009

UEM Land in talks with 3 foreign parties for tie-up

KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Land Bhd, the master developer of Nusajaya, is in talks with three foreign parties on possible strategic partnerships for its Puteri Harbour project.

Managing director and chief executive officer Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said the company hoped to conclude the deals this year.

“We hope to seek greater foreign participation besides our existing two Middle Eastern partners,” he said in an interview.

Spanning over 688 acres, the Puteri Harbour waterfront development consists of high-end residential, commercial and retail properties, resorts, hotels and a convention centre.

Wan Abdullah said the group would proceed with all its development plans regardless of the weakening economy.

“We have no choice but to continue with our projects because our company is still growing as a property developer.”

Unlike more established property developers, UEM Land could not afford to defer its projects as this would have a severe impact on its medium-term growth, he said.

“However, we believe the biggest challenge for us this year is to manage our cash flow well in order to meet our business targets,” he added.

On its new project line-up this year, Wan Abdullah said preparation was currently under way for the launch of Phase 2 of its East Ledang project with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM195mil.

East Ledang would be developed in seven phases with a total GDV of RM2.4bil. It is a gated high-end, low-density, resort-style residential development that covers 275 acres comprising 861 units.

Phase 1, launched in February last year comprising 139 units, has a take-up rate of 80%.

Wan Abdullah said the group was also expected to launch next to East Ledang soon the Ujana, comprising a 23-storey residential tower with 172 executive apartments and four penthouses.

The company had identified a gap in the market and planned to launch residences comprising medium-cost housing with a GDV of RM630mil by the fourth quarter, he said.

“We will move into more medium-cost housing projects as this is what the market needs right now. More affordable housing, priced from RM140,000, will be built in the next few years at our schemes,” he added.

The medium-cost precinct will cover 261 acres along the Pontian Link that has not kicked off yet.

By The Star (by Shannen Wong)

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