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Friday, May 29, 2009

MRCB, Gapurna team up

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Gapurna are expected to finish developing the RM1 billion '348 Sentral' project by the third quarter of 2012

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is developing a RM1 billion office and residential project at Kuala Lumpur Sentral, the city's largest transportation hub.

The project will be undertaken on a joint-venture basis with Gapurna Sdn Bhd, a local developer with 60 per cent share of the partnership.

Work on the project, known as 348 Sentral, started last month. It is expected to be ready by the third quarter of 2012.

"This is part of our RM3 billion expansion of Kuala Lumpur Sentral over the next few years," MRCB group managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan told reporters after the launch yesterday.

MRCB is the master developer of Kuala Lumpur Sentral.

348 Sentral will be financed using internal funds and borrowings.

"A couple of banks" are in the process of finalising a loan, Shahril said.

The project will feature a 33-storey office tower and a 21-storey serviced residence tower sitting on a five-storey podium and a four-storey basement.

The joint venture, GSB Sentral Sdn Bhd, will lease part of the office tower to oil firm Shell Malaysia to use as its regional office for 15 years.

Shell will be its anchor tenant, taking up about 340,000 sq ft.

"We decided to consolidate our offices in the Klang Valley and 348 Sentral was the best offer we had," its chairman Datuk Saw Choo Boon said.

The company currently has offices in 10 physical locations in the Klang Valley.

348 Sentral is said to be the country's first integrated commercial development going for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification with gold standard, a US-based green building rating system.

It will be Gapurna's first big-scale project, its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali said.

Shahril said he expected MRCB, which turned in sharply lower first quarter profit this year, to show better earnings in future quarters now that building material costs had fallen.

Its first quarter profit fell by almost 99 per cent to RM153,000.

On its upcoming transportation hub in Penang, he said the company was working on the final design and expected to get vacant possession of the site "shortly".

A temporary hub has been built and is operational.

The launch yesterday was officiated by Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

By Business Times (by Adeline Paul Raj)

HSL gets RM126mil housing project

KUALA LUMPUR: Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) has received a RM125.7mil subcontract from Pembinaan Nomisual Sdn Bhd for the construction and completion of 1,000 houses in Bintulu, Sarawak.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, HSL said the scope of works included the construction of the affordable houses, related external works as well as the mechanical and electrical works.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2012.

“The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net assets of HSL for the financial years ending 2009 to 2012,” HSL said.

By The Star

Raffles Hotels aims to be KL rate leader

The prestigious Raffles Hotels & Resorts expects to be the most expensive hotel in Kuala Lumpur when it opens at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in 2011.

Raffles is now the rate leader in seven out of the eight markets it is in. In Dubai, the rate leader is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. In Singapore, Raffles last year closed at an average room rate (ARR) of S$1,000 (RM2,420) per night.

Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) executive vice-president David Roberts expects the hotel to have an ARR that's a fifth higher than the leader at that time.

"We will position ourselves as a rate leader," Roberts said.

Currently, the rate leader in the capital is Mandarin Oriental at over RM600 per night.

Roberts was speaking to reporters following an agreement signing ceremony between Raffles Hotel Management and Harmoni Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

Harmoni Perkasa is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Urusharta Cermerlang Sdn Bhd. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is 51 per cent owned by Urusharta and 49 per cent by the Qatar Investment Authority.

The signing ceremony confirmed a Business Times story in April that Raffles will open at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in 2011.

Raffles Kuala Lumpur will have 200 rooms and suites measuring a minimum of 50 sq metres - 50 per cent larger than most five-star hotel rooms.

Raffles expects to be able to achieve a gross operating profit of between 35 per cent and 45 per cent in Malaysia. FRHI, meanwhile, has confirmed the opening of 15 more Raffles hotels between 2010 and 2012.

By Business Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

Raffles KL to open doors in 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The luxury hotel brand Raffles will have its first hotel in Malaysia - the Raffles Kuala Lumpur - which is expected to open its doors in 2011.

The Raffles Kuala Lumpur will be at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, along Jalan Bukit Bintang. Featuring 200 rooms and suites, each with a minimum of 50 sq m (about 538 sq ft), it will offer the most spacious rooms in the city.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts' signed an agreement on May 28 with Harmoni Perkasa Sdn Bhd, a unit of Urusharta Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, which owns Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

"The name Raffles is associated with exceptional standards of service, hospitality and cuisine. We look forward to working with Raffles Hotels and Resorts to bring a luxurious lifestyle experience to Kuala Lumpur," said Harmoni Perkasa chairman Tan Sri Zainol Mahmood.

Owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotel International, Raffles Hotels & Resorts is expected to expand from seven Raffles hotels now to 23 hotels worldwide by 2012.

Chris Cahill, COO of Fairmont Raffles Hotel International said the group had always wanted to extend the Raffles portfolio to Kuala Lumpur.

"Now we have an ideal strategic partner and an unrivalled location," he adds. The group also owns Fairmont and Swissotel brands of hotels and resorts.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts' public relations and communications manager Vivian Koh said Raffles Kuala Lumpur will offer six restaurants and bars including a specialty restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, a lobby bar, a pool bar and a Cafe Stelle located at the Couture Pavilion precinct. The cafe which will be a showcase of Raffles' service prior to the opening of the hotel, opened its doors today.

The Raffles Amrita Spa, a signature component of Raffles hotels and resorts worldwide, will feature 10 treatment rooms and an extensive range of massage and wellness treatments.

By The EDGE Malaysia (by Racheal Lee)