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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ascott aims to double portfolio here to RM1b

The Ascott Group Ltd, the hospitality arm of the Temasek Holdings-controlled CapitaLand Ltd, aims to double its asset portfolio in Malaysia to more than RM1 billion by 2013.

Its Malaysian assets are currently worth around RM500 million, said Ascott managing director for Southeast Asia and Australia, Alfred Ong.

They include Ascott Kuala Lumpur, Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon and Somerset Ampang.

Somerset Ampang comprises a 21-storey serviced residence of 207 units, which will house the HSC Medical Centre in the first eight floors.
The RM160 million project is scheduled to be completed by end-2010.

Ascott also owns and/or manages Somerset Gateway in Kuching, Sarawak.

Under its corporate leasing division, it manages 68 apartment units in Seri Bukit Ceylon Residence and Marc Residence in Kuala Lumpur.

By the third quarter of 2010, it will start to manage 147 units of Tiffini by i-Zen in Mont' Kiara, KL, a development by Ireka Group, which is slated to be completed by first half of 2010.

"We have several other projects in the pipeline in Malaysia. We are in the final stages of negotiation with the respective developers for management contracts," Ong said in an interview with Business Times in Kuala Lumpur.

"We are looking into new frontiers like Penang and Petaling Jaya and making a stronger presence in Malaysia," he added.

Ascott recently inked a deal with GSB Sentral Sdn Bhd to manage the 21-storey serviced residence tower at 348 Sentral at KL Sentral, a transport hub in Brickfields.

GSB, a joint venture between Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Gapurna Sdn Bhd, is developing the energy efficient 348 Sentral for RM1 billion.

348 Sentral will also feature a 33-storey office tower but this will be managed by GSB.

The 348 Sentral project is schedule to be completed by the third quarter of 2012 and Ascott will manage the serviced residence for 15 years from then.

Ong said the serviced residence will strengthen Ascott's leadership position in Malaysia and increase its portfolio to 1,000 apartment units.

"If there is an offer from GSB to manage the office tower, we will consider it. For now, we will focus on getting new jobs in Malaysia," Ong said.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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