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Friday, January 30, 2009

Genting’s casino resort project on track

An artist’s impression of the Resorts World at Sentosa. Robin Goh (inset) says the economic downtu rn has not affected the progress of construction works.

PETALING JAYA: Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS), built at a cost of S$6bil (RM14.34bil) by Genting Bhd, is on track for opening early next year despite the global financial crisis.

According to Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd assistant vice-president Robin Goh, the economic downturn has not affected the progress of construction works.

He said RWS would be the only casino resort in the world with two world-class attractions - South-East Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park and Marine Life Park, the world’s largest oceanarium.

“No other casino offers such a strong, integrated one-stop proposition which will be highly attractive to family travel, a substantial segment in the region.

“We believe that Resorts World’s proposition as a complete destination is its key differentiation from Macau, which is still very skewed towards gaming,” he told StarBiz.

On worries that the poor performance of casinos in Macau would affect Singapore’s latest resort, Goh said (RWS) would “bring to the table what Macau does not already have.”

“Macau only has casinos and big hotels whereas RWS will be home to some of the world’s leading attractions, including the Universal Studios theme park which will occupy almost half of the resort,” he said.

He said the theme park would feature 24 movie-themed rides, 18 of which were designed exclusively for Singapore.

“Among them is the world’s tallest pair of duelling roller coasters, the “Transformers” ride and hot favourites given a new twist, such as Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic Park River Rapids and the Waterworld Stunt Show,” he said.

Based on the blockbuster movie, the “Transformers” ride is the world’s first and is scheduled to debut at Universal Studios Singapore and later at Universal Studios, Hollywood, both in 2011.

RWS will also be home to Mark Burnett Productions Asia, which will set up studio facilities where game shows will be filmed.

The 49ha resort will also feature a FestiveWalk, Marine Life Park and Maritime Xperiential Museum. “Marine Life Park — sited on 8ha and filled with 20 million gallons of water — will be the largest oceanarium in the world,” Goh said, adding there would be over 700,000 marine creatures and opportunities to hand-feed tiger sharks from an enclosed cage.

Just a 20-minute ride from Changi airport, RWS will also be able to host over 12,000 delegates in three formal meeting locations at any one time.

“We would be able to do something which has never done before in the region. We propose to bring delegates on rides and show them what goes on behind the scenes. So people will get to see the magic behind how we scare people,” Goh said.

The resort is expected to welcome 15 million visitors in the first year of operations.

Goh said a S$4bil (RM9.57bil) credit facility to fund the project was secured last April. It was one of the largest syndicated credit deals undertaken in Singapore and was completed in less than four months, he said.

Underwritten by five local and international banks, the successful and swift process of securing the credit facility reflects the support and vote of confidence that the banks and financial institutions have in RWS,” Goh added.

He said the company had awarded most of the major construction contracts for the resort.

“To date, we have awarded S$3bil (RM7.18bil) worth of contracts, including those for Universal Studios, four hotels, the casino, and FestiveWalk,” he said.

Goh said Malaysia remained one of RWS’s priority markets.

“We are reviewing our pricing and packages, taking into account the price-sensitivity of the market and the current economic situation,” he said. The rates and packages would be revealed later in the year, he added.

By The Star (by Eileen Hee)

Daiman scaling back launches

City skyscrapers in Singapore. Daiman is considering a foray into the republic’s property market — AFP

JOHOR BARU: Daiman Development Bhd is scaling back on new products and launches this year as the local property market cools down.

General manager Siah Chin Leong expected most local developers to adopt a similar move as they were not willing to take any business risk.

Hopefully, the unemployment rate in Malaysia would not rise as this would affect the whole market since the disposal income would be vastly reduced, he said.

Siah said developers in Johor were already facing a tough time and most had experienced a 40% decline in sales in the past two months.

“Everybody, including developers, is pessimistic. They don’t know what lies ahead in the next two years,’’ he said in an interview with StarBiz.

Siah said Daiman would be launching 87 double-storey cluster houses and 26 double-storey semi-detached houses in Taman Gaya in the fourth quarter of its financial year ending June 30 (FY09).

The company is currently building 132 double-storey cluster houses and only a few units are still unsold.

It also just started building 120 single-storey terrace houses with an average selling price of RM158,000 unit and 60 double-storey shop offices at RM398,000 per unit at Taman Daiman Jaya.

“We are looking at RM130mil gross development value (GDV) for the 425 units and they will keep us busy for the next two years,’’ said Siah.

Daiman has three major on-going projects - Taman Gaya along the Tebrau corridor, Taman Daiman Jaya in Kota Tinggi and Taman Perindustrian Murni in Senai.

Taman Gaya will take six to seven years to complete and Taman Daiman Jaya, between 15 and 18 years.

Both projects have so far contributed RM428mil in sales turnover.

About 40% of its industrial lots and factories in Taman Perindustrian Murni have been sold and contributed RM12.09mil at the end of FY08.

Daiman has leased out some of its factories which are fetching an annual yield of 6% to 7%.

Siah said despite a slowdown in the local property market, there was encouraging response to high-end properties.

Daiman was targeting professionals, senior executives, extended families and those looking for bigger houses, he said.

“These buyers are willing to pay more for their houses provided they are located within gated and guarded precincts,’’ he said.

Daiman was on the lookout for land in Nusajaya as the area would be the main growth centre in Iskandar Malaysia, Siah said, adding that its focus here would be high-end houses.

He said Daiman had over the past few years been looking for land in the Klang Valley but so far the land viewed was not feasible.

The company is also considering venturing into Singapore as demand for private properties there was still good due to the influx of wealthy buyers from worldwide to the republic.

Last April, the company’s wholly-owned overseas subsidiary Caversham Universal Ltd subscribed to 70% equity in CNES Property Pty Ltd for A$875,000.

Australia-based CNES was incorporated in February 2008 and its principal activity is property development. It plans to build some bungalows in Perth.

“We are very cautious when expanding overseas but if it is a sound investment, Daiman will definitely explore the possibility,’’ Siah said.

Daiman has some 36 years experience in the property sector in Johor and had net cash of RM74.22mil at the end of FY08.

For FY08, it recorded RM114.46mil in revenue while the pre-tax profit was RM36.43mil. That compared with RM99.81mil and RM37.99mil respectively in FY07.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

Good response to Bayu Ferringhi development

Photo source from Bayu Ferringhi website

Bayu Ferringhi, a property development in Penang, has received good response following its recent launch. The project has attracted 11 bookings for its villas and 37 for the condominium project.

Bayu Ferringhi is being developed by Plenitude Heights Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plenitude Bhd.

"We believe that Bayu Ferringhi will attract substantial foreign interest.

"We are honoured to play a positive role by developing properties which have an international appeal while supporting the government's, "Malaysia My Second Home" initiative," said Plenitude executive chairman, Chua Elsie.
Bayu Feringgi is a freehold project on an approximately 4.45 hectares- site along Jalan Batu Ferringhi.

It comprises 44 luxurious semi-detached villas and 112 condominium units within a lush tropical seaview setting.

Prices start from RM1,762,000 for semi-detached villas and RM761,000 for the condominium units.

By Bernama

'Ang pows' for Bandar Bukit Raja house buyers

SIME Darby Property Bhd will be giving "ang pow" treats to house buyers of the Bandar Bukit Raja township between January 26 and February 9.

Ang pows worth RM3,888 will be given to all intermediate house buyers and RM6,888 to those who purchase the end and corner units, the company said in a statement.

Sime Darby Property said Bandar Bukit Raja will be launching their latest Avira and Levena double-storey link units from RM325,888 with a built-up area of 1800 sq ft and RM388,888 for a built-up area of 2280 sq ft respectively.

In conjunction with the "Chap Goh Mei" celebration, a feng shui talk by Joey Yap will take place on February 7 and 8 and free personal consultations will be held on both days.
Sprawled over 161.87 hectares, the Bandar Bukit Raja development is an integrated township comprising residential homes, schools, shops, medical and commercial centres.

To date, Bandar Bukit Raja has sold over 3,500 residential and commercial units and has over 10,000 residents. Upon completion of Stage 1, Bandar Bukit Raja will comprise some 7,800 residential and commercial units.

By Business Times

Hektar REIT a 'buy' on high dividend yield: S&P

INVESTORS should buy Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust because of its high dividend yield and the share is now trading at a low price to net tangible asset of 0.7 times, Standard & Poor's said.

The 58 per cent fall in its share price from a high of RM1.74 to the recent low of 73 sen is overdone, S&P said, given that it is not facing any re-financing or sharp asset devaluation issues.

"At the current level, HektarREIT offers a more attractive dividend yield of 13.4 per cent compared with the average yield of 9.5 per cent for its peers," analyst Tam Ching Wah wrote in a report.

Suburban neighbourhood retail properties also enjoy more stable occupancy and rental income than other types of commercial properties such as offices and urban retail properties, the report said.
S&P has initiated coverage on Hektar REIT with a "buy" recommendation and a 12-month target price of 95 sen. Its shares closed 3.5 per cent up at 88 sen on Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The prospects for Hektar REIT are positive, S&P said, given that there are 34 cities in Malaysia with sufficient population to support one regional or neighbourhood mall such as Subang Parade and Mahkota Parade, both owned by the fund.

Hektar REIT plans to either develop greenfield shopping malls or take over existing ones and refurbish and revive them into modern malls.

S&P said the entry of Fraser and Neave Ltd as one of its major shareholders augurs well for Hektar REIT since F&N will bring along its reputation and expertise to help it build a chain of neighbourhood malls throughout Malaysia.

"Hektar REIT does not have any re-financing issues in the near term. Its total borrowings of RM301.5 million will only be due in 2011 and 2013. Furthermore, interest rates are expected to decline further over 2009," S&P said.

By Business Times