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Friday, February 27, 2009

Demand for property resilient - Malton

SHAH ALAM: There is evidence that demand remains resilient in the property sector although housebuyers are becoming more prudent amid the economic slowdown, said Malton Bhd.

“Our property development in Puchong for example is still having good sales where terrace houses recorded good take-up (rates). Our commercial development is also doing quite well too,” said sales and marketing director Tracey Lai after a signing ceremony between Malton and hypermarket group Carrefour here.

Nevertheless, Lai acknowledged the property market was getting more challenging.

“Buyers are looking for houses that are worth buying, good location and now, they are comparing products offered by the developers before choosing the right one.

“As for us, we are fortunate to have good locations for our developments such as Bukit Rimau township and with new financial packaging strategies offered to buyers, we hope to facilitate their purchase at this time of difficulty,” she said.

Malton executive director Hong Lay Chuan said apart from building a new Carrefour at Bukit Rimau, a new hospital by Columbia Asia Healthcare will also be built there.

“We have about 50 acres of commercial land that are still undeveloped here at Bukit Rimau and with the development of the new hypermarket and hospital, our development here at Bukit Rimau is nearly completed,” he said.

By The Star

Abu Dhabi builder plans US$10b project in Jordan

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi property developer Al Maabar International Investments said yesterday that it plans to build a US$10 billion (US$1 = RM3.67) development in Jordan to help create jobs and develop the local economy.

The joint venture, which includes Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, said the waterfront real estate and tourism development, one of the biggest private sector investments in United Arab Emirates (UAE), would be in Aqaba on the Red Sea coast.

The group, which last April announced it would build a US$5 billion project in Jordan, said it would begin construction on the residential, tourism and commercial project in the first half of 2010 and aimed to create 15,000 jobs.

Al Maabar said it signed the deal with Jordan to acquire 3.2 million sq m of land in Aqaba for US$500 million for the development.
During the six-year boom in oil prices that ended in mid-2008, the capital of the UAE amassed hundreds of billions of dollars in surplus revenues from oil exports.

Abu Dhabi, facing a slowdown as oil prices slump, his week launched a US$500 million takeover bid for Canada's Nova Chemicals.

Aldar and Sorouh each own a 30-per cent stake in Al Maabar. Reem Investments, Reem International, Al Qudra Holdings and investment firm Mubadala Development Co hold the remaining stakes.

By Reuters

Plenitude set to go region

GEORGE TOWN: Plenitude Bhd is ready to spread its wings in Asia.

The listed developer, which reported a record net profit and revenue of RM78.6mil and RM347.8mil respectively for the financial year ended June 2008, is looking for the “right price and right location” in neighbouring countries, says executive chairman Chua Elsie.

“In the next one or two years, we will be embarking on projects in other Asian countries but we are still looking to expand our land bank in Malaysia; that is our priority.

“Plenitude has about 1,619ha in Malaysia, of which half is undeveloped,” she said, adding that the company had some 810ha of undeveloped land in Johor Baru, Klang, Sungai Petani and Penang.

“We are scouting around a few places on Penang island to increase our land bank,” she said in a recent interview.

On Plenitude’s recently launched Bayu Ferringhi development, Chua said the freehold project, comprising 44 luxurious semi-detached villas and 112 condominiums, would be built on 4.45ha at Jalan Batu Ferringhi.

Prices start from RM1.76mil for the villas and RM761,000 for the condominiums.

The project, to be undertaken by wholly-owned unit Plenitude Heights Sdn Bhd, will incorporate a tropical resort lifestyle theme.

Chua said the new development was “especially significant” as it was Plenitude’s maiden property development here.

“Although we have been very active in other states, it took some time for us to embark on a project in Penang because land is scarce here.

“We had to wait a long time for the ‘right’ piece of land and as soon as we got it, we launched Bayu Ferringhi,” she said, adding that despite the economic challenges, response had been encouraging.

“Whether times are good or bad, people still need a place to live. We are offering low-density, value-added property located at prime location, so we are confident.

“About 30% of the villas and condominiums are already reserved by purchasers and there have been many enquiries from locals and foreigners,” she said, adding that the gross development value (GDV) for Bayu Ferringhi was RM200mil.

The developer is targeting prospective buyers from Hong Kong, Britain and Europe to invest in its property under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme.

Plenitude chief operating officer Khoo Yek San described the condominium units as the state’s first and only “bungalows in the sky”.

“This project is special. The units are detached from each other, so it is like you are living in a bungalow in the sky,” she said.

She added that Plenitude, which also owns the Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel here, would be developing its 0.76ha parcel next to the hotel next year.

“We expect a GDV of RM200mil from that project and are considering serviced apartments although nothing has been firmed up yet,” she said.

By The Star (by Christina Chin)