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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oriental Interest seeking more land

ORIENTAL Interest Bhd, a Penang-based property developer, is looking to expand its landbank to include the east coast and south of Peninsular Malaysia next year, through joint ventures.

Its executive director Khaw Eng Peng said the company has been approached by several landowners and may enter into partnership with them for any new projects in Kelantan, Pahang and Johor.

"Our plan is to improve our profit margins by building high-end products and adding value to our products," he told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting in Penang yesterday.

"If the prices are reasonable enough, we will consider expanding our land bank to these places, where we will embark on housing projects," he said.
Khaw did not disclose details such as the time-frame for the joint ventures to take off.

On the drawing board for next year are eight to nine property launches in Kedah and Selangor, with a combined development value of RM60 million.

"Half of the proposed projects will be carried out with joint-venture partners and all will involve residential properties," he said. The projects are located in Kuala Muda and Kulim in Kedah; Sepang; and Seremban.

Oriental Interest's undeve-loped landbank now stands at 218ha.

Khaw said the company is keen to build high-end housing units, unlike previously where the focus was on low- and medium-cost housing.

"To maintain our market and profitability due to our limited land resource, higher materials and development costs, we hope to embark on high-end housing projects," he said, pointing out that it had built high-end bungalows in Sepang.

He said unlike in the 1980s and 1990s when demand for affordable homes was high at places like the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, the factories operating in the science park are now geared to high-technology operations and do not hire local workers who would be keen to invest in low- or medium-cost homes.

By Business Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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