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Friday, February 13, 2009

MGPA invests RM2b in real estate

BERMUDA-based real estate investment company MGPA will allocate RM2 billion to redevelop a mixed-use complex in Jalan Tun Razak here together with a new office tower.

This is the company’s first investment in Malaysian real estate market.

In 2007, MGPA through its investment fund, MGPA Fund II, acquired the 61-storey Empire Tower office building, the 28-storey Crown Princess Hotel, the six-level Plaza Ampang retail mall and the 11-storey City Square shopping centre for RM760 million.

MGPA Asia developments chief executive officer, Michael Wilkinson, said the company would transform these properties into a world-class, integrated mixed-use precinct, including a new environmentally sustainable office tower.
“The project to be known as The Intermark will redefine what occupants can expect from a working environment and will appeal to multinationals and the energy sector,” he said at a media briefing on the Intermark project here today.

The development will involved the complete refurbishment of a 62-storey office building to be called Vista Tower, a retail centre named Intermark Mall, Malaysia’s first DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and a new Integra Tower office complex of at least 30 storeys.

The refurbishment of Vista Tower is expected to be completed by end of this year and Integra Tower by end-2012 while Intermark Mall and the Doubletree hotel are scheduled to have their soft openings by the first quarter of 2010.

Wilkinson said the company believed that the outlook for commercial properties in Malaysia, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, was resilient despite the economic slowdown.

“The location (Jalan Tun Razak) is the perfect place for a mixed-use development as it offers high quality office space and strong occupancy rate,” he said, adding that demand for the retail and hotel sectors was also improving in line with the country’s positive growth.

According to him, MGPA is confident that the office space in Vista Tower will be fully taken up once it is completed by end of this year.

The company is currently in discussions with some multinational companies to use Vista Tower as their head offices.

Wilkinson also said that MGPA would continue to look for investment opportunities in Malaysia and expect to make further acquisition announcements in the near future.

Owned by Macquarie Group, MGPA is an independently management private equity real estate investment advisory company focusing on real estate investment in Europe and Asia.

It has more than 250 employees with offices in 13 cities and manages over US$11 billion in assets under management.

By Bernama

Emkay sees net profit at record RM70m this year

The Emkay Group, owned by Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, is optimistic its net profit will jump fourfold to a record RM70 million this year, driven by the sale of three buildings in Cyberjaya last year.

They are Bangunan Mustapha Kamal, and two office blocks at MKN Embassy Techzone, bought by Amanah Raya Bhd, a state-owned public trustee company, for RM266 million.

Emkay has locked in RM61.3 million in net profit from the asset sales, Mustapha Kamal said.

It expects revenue to jump threefold to RM325 million, helped by its RM357 million NeoCyber project in Cyberjaya, and its RM600 million gated mixed project on Pulau Banding, Perak.

For the 12 months to December 2008, it made a net profit of RM16.52 million on revenue of RM119 million.

Emkay is in the process of selling the remaining two blocks at Techzone, an information technology park worth RM350 million, developed under a 60:40 partnership with Bangalore's Embassy Group.

Profits from the sale will be recognised in 2010, Mustapha Kamal said.

"We are aiming for RM90.5 million in net profit for 2010, and maintaining that in 2011. I'm optimistic of achieving the targeted growth," he said.

His confidence is boosted by the launch of Techzone Phase 2 next year, which will feature eight purpose-built office blocks, worth almost RM1 billion.

They will be built on 8ha, which Emkay had bought in December from its 75 per cent owned unit, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, the master developer of Cyberjaya that spans 2,800ha.

"We are confident of new developments, especially in Cyberjaya, as demand is spurring. We recently bought 1.4ha to build two office blocks for RM150 million. We are launching it next year," he said.

In July this year, Emkay will launch the final phase of NeoCyber, featuring four apartment blocks with 600 units, worth over RM150,000 each.

It is a replica of The Domain serviced apartments, built under the first phase, for RM47 million.

Keys for The Domain were handed over to buyers yesterday, four months ahead of schedule.

This was witnessed by Sepang Municipal Council president Azizan Mohamad Sidin, Cyberview Sdn Bhd managing director Redza Rafiq Abdul Razak, Setia Haruman chief operating officer Lao Chok Keong and a representative from Multimedia Development Corp Wee Huang Neo.

The four firms are the major stakeholders of Cyberjaya.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

UM Land buys land in Iskandar Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land), through Extreme Consolidated Sdn Bhd (ECSB), has acquired 251.6ha in Bandar Baru Pulai Jaya, Iskandar Malaysia, for RM233mil.

In a statement yesterday, UM Land said ECSB had signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Ambang Budi Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Tradewinds Corp Bhd, and Hartaplus Realty Sdn Bhd for the land.

UM Land and Tradewinds Johor Sdn Bhd also signed a subscription and joint-venture agreement to govern ECSB with percentage shareholdings of 51:49 and to participate in the development of the land. The parties also signed a call-option agreement granting UM Land an option to purchase the remaining 49% of the total issued and paid-up share capital of ECSB anytime before the completion of the SPA.

Group chief executive officer Anthony Yap said the acquisition was in line with the group’s strategy to acquire projects that could generate a reasonable revenue and profit.

UM Land said the project was expected to yield a revenue of about RM659mil over a five-year development period and would contribute positively to the group’s future earnings.

By The Star

Gamuda leads Malaysia builders higher

GAMUDA Bhd, Malaysia’s second-biggest builder, jumped the most in three months, leading construction stocks higher on speculation they will benefit the most from a stimulus package that will be announced in March.

Shares of Gamuda surged 7.9 per cent to RM2.06 at 4.06 pm local time, set for the largest increase since November 10, making it the third-best performer on the benchmark Composite Index, which climbed 1.1 per cent.

Malaysian Resources Corp rose 11 per cent to 88.5 sen, the second-largest gainer, and IJM Corp added 2.2 per cent to RM3.74.

Malaysia is planning a second economic stimulus package for March 10 to prevent the economy from slipping into recession. It announced spending worth RM7 billion (US$1.9 billion) in November.
The country’s exports fell the most in almost seven years in December as electronics and commodities sales slid amid dwindling global orders, government data showed yesterday.

“People are playing the theme that the government will pump-prime, and the only way to pump-prime is infrastructure,” said Lye Thim Loong, who helps oversee about US$500 million at Avenue Invest Bhd in Kuala Lumpur. “People are taking a bet on the market.”

By Bloomberg