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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yen So Park project to kick off by year-end

A artist's impression of the Yen So Park integrated development in Hanoi, Vietnam. Inset Chow Chee Wah.

PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd’s maiden overseas project in Vietnam, the 500-acre Yen So Park integrated development in south Hanoi, will be launched later this year after a delay of about six months from its initial June launch.

The project was delayed after Vietnam succumbed to inflationary pressures and its currency fell last year, and more recently, the impact of the US-led global financial crisis.

Touted to be the most ambitious in Hanoi so far, the project has a gross development value of RM8bil. To be completed in 10 years, it comprises high-rise office towers, four-and-five-star international hotels, a convention centre and waterfront retail cum shop offices.

The initial launch will consist of the commercial components, including a high-rise office tower with retail podium, an international hotel and shop offices, complete with an urban park.

The first phase of landed residences comprising semi-detached houses, terrace houses and mid-range apartments will be launched in mid-2010.

“We are putting in the final touches for the project and are excited over what it can do to raise the profile and name of Gamuda Land in the regional market,” managing director Chow Chee Wah told StarBiz.

Work on the park and upgrading of the existing Yen So lake was underway, he said. According to Chow, the property market in Hanoi has stabilised from the impact of the global financial meltdown.

“Unlike Ho Chi Minh City, there is less property speculation in Hanoi and prices have not come off much. Having done the due feasibility studies, we are confident the project will go down well with the buyers there. It has been our focus from the very beginning to plan according to the actual stable demand of the market,” he added.

Gamuda Land will be investing up to RM1.4bil to design and build Vietnam’s largest modern sewage treatment plant capable of treating half of Hanoi’s wastewater; upgrade and clean the existing Yen So lake; and build a world class public park on the site.

These are in exchange for development rights on the project site. Chow said from 2010, the project would be able to contribute close to 50% of Gamuda Land’s earnings with the other half coming from projects in Malaysia.

“The project will offer the company a cushion to fall back on should our main traditional market in Malaysia go into low gear like what is happening now,” he said.

Gamuda Land’s local projects have not been spared from the weakening market sentiment caused by the global financial crisis that has resulted in weaker property sales since the third quarter of last year. The company’s monthly sales had slumped 30% since last August.

It recently launched the Gamuda Land Investment Scheme where buyers for selected products in Horizon Hills in Nusajaya, Johor and Jade Hills in Kajang need only to make a 10% deposit while the buyers’ banks will release the progressive payment to the developer during the construction period.

Gamuda will bear all legal fees, stamp duty on the sale and purchase agreement, fees on loan agreement and memorandum of transfer and also service the interest during the construction period.

Even after the property has been granted vacant possession, Gamuda will bear the payment of the loan principal and interest for 12 months. The other housing schemes available in the market now only cover up to the point of vacant possession.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

Atis buys 15m Mutiara Goodyear shares

ATIS Corporation Bhd has acquired 15 million ordinary shares of RM1 each in property developer, Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd for RM15 million.

In a circular to Bursa Malaysia, Atis said the investment represented a strategic opportunity to strengthen its financial position.

"The growth of the property development sector is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace, given the uncertainties surrounding the current economic condition and softer demand due to weak sentiment," it said.

Atis said the investment will not have any effect on the issued and paid-up share capital and shareholdings of its substantial shareholders.
It expects the investment to contribute positively to its earnings for financial year ending March 31, 2010 and beyond.

By Bernama

Mid-2009 launch for Southbay Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Mah Sing Group Bhd expects to launch its RM1.35bil Southbay Penang by mid-2009.

Group managing director and chief executive Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum told StarBiz the launching of the project would coincide with the completion of Southbay Penang’s showhouses.

Leong said Southbay Penang had attracted more than than 3,000 prospective buyers, of whom 70% had registered interest for Residence@Southbay’s superlink homes and the rest for Legenda@Southbay’s designer bungalows and Southbay City, the commercial precincts.

“Of this number, close to 80% are from Penang island, about 9% from Penang mainland and the rest from other states and overseas,” he said.

Leong said Southbay Penang’s innovative design, its low density and guarded features, private clubhouse facilities and the smart home features of the residential units contributed to the favourable response to the project so far.

On whether the global recession would delay the completion of Southbay Penang, Leong said the group was committed to completing all its projects on schedule.

On the future of the property market in Penang in view of the global recession, he said the group expected the non-speculative range of properties to hold up well.

“We expect the medium-to-high-end landed property segment to continue to yield decent long-term positive capital appreciation in the foreseeable future.

“We can still see transactions, albeit at a slower pace, as this segment attracts buyers who are more affluent and tend to hedge their wealth in this segment during uncertain times.

“These people have a wider savings/expense ratio and generally look to invest their excess funds in properties as there are limited investment options now,” he said.

Comprising 376 units of landed residential properties and an integrated commercial hub, Southbay Penang is scheduled for completion within seven years.

By The Star (by David Tan)

MBAM to propose guide on green construction

KUALA LUMPUR: The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) will suggest that the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Association (IFAWPCA) set up a working committee to produce a guide on “Construction for a Greener World”.

MBAM president Ng Kee Leen said the association would make the suggestion at the IFAWPCA convention that started yesterday in Bangladesh, and ends on Saturday.

“This will provide IFAWPCA members an advantage to move the green construction process by working together to ensure joint success in the future,” he said in a statement.

Ng said the MBAM would also raise the importance of having the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act, whereby payment to main contractors were honoured and this, in turn, would assure sub-contractors and suppliers of their payments.

He said the association would raise the issue of the Industrial Building Systems and the efforts to promote and grow its use.

Ng is leading a five-man MBAM delegation to the convention.

By Bernama