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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lukewarm debut for TA Global

Property firm opens at par before shedding 5% at the close

KUALA LUMPUR: TA Global Bhd made its debut on the Bursa Malaysia main market yesterday, the same day its holding company TA Enterprise Bhd was listed 19 years ago on the main board, closing at 47.5 sen, down 5% from its offer price of 50 sen.

TA Global executive director Datuk Mohamed Abid (left), Datin Alicia Tiah and executive chairman Datuk Tony Tiah (right) at the listing ceremony on Monday.

The second most active counter for the day traded at a high of 51 sen and low of 47 sen. Some 387 million shares changed hands.

TA Enterprise managing director and chief executive officer Datin Alicia Tiah said the 50 sen opening price was “within expectations”.

“Some analysts say that TA Global is worth much more. I would say that a lot of shareholders are getting TA Global shares for free from their holding of TA Enterprise shares. I would say weak holders are the ones selling now,” she told a press conference.

The company’s initial public offering (IPO) of 460 million 50 sen shares comprised an offer for sale of 90 million shares allocated to the bumiputra public, 360 million shares for approved bumiputra institutions and investors and 10 million shares to eligible directors and employees of TA Global group and TA Enterprise group.

TA Enterprise shareholders received three TA Global shares and three preferred shares for every five TA Enterprise shares held. The preferred shares are valid for five years and are convertible from year three onwards. After the listing, TA Enterprise will have a 57.3% stake in TA Global.

TA Global is the property division of the TA Group with its primary businesses of hotel operations, property management, investment and development.

Tiah said what was important was what investors thought of the company’s potential.

“Right now we don’t have many development projects. Next year, we will be launching Seri Suria, U-Thant and hopefully Dutamas,” she said adding that these projects were scheduled to be launched earliest by the second quarter.

She said the company was actively looking to partner local and foreign landowners for projects.

“Our two main targets will be Canada and Australia because TA already has a presence there,” she said. The Avaa Whistler Hotel in Canada was scheduled to open on Nov 26 and be “in full swing by the Winter Olympics in January 2010”.

“We are looking to do more things there because we have enough local knowledge to be a success. Australia is another country we are interested to explore further other than just having a hotel as a passive investment. We are actively looking to see if we can do something more than hospitality,” she said.

In Australia, TA Global owns the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Sydney and Westin Melbourne. It also owns Terasen Centre in Vancouver, Canada.

On whether the company had plans to acquire more hotels, Tiah said : “If all things go well, we will be making an announcement at the end of the year. We are still negotiating the terms.”

By The Star

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