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Thursday, April 29, 2010

A case of once bitten, twice shy for SelProp

Selangor Properties Bhd (SPB) will stop investing in global property funds after losing money on previous bets.

SPB, one of the largest landowners in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, had invested some RM300 million in 2006 in several funds managed by foreign banks.

"We thought we could make more money but the value started to drop. We have RM88 million in the funds now and the valuation has improved. We will sell when we think it is right," SPB financial controller Lee Boon Kian said.

The group has sold some of its investments but it made provisions of RM77 million in 2009 to account for the lower value of its investments.

Speaking after the company's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Lee said SPB may set up a real estate investment trust. It is now building its property portfolio.
Its current portfolio includes Menara Milenium, Wisma Damansara, Kompleks Pejabat Damansara, Wisma HELP and SPB Towers. It also owns half of the Claremont Shopping Mall in Australia.

The book value of the assets, which yields 7 per cent to 8 per cent returns annually, and its 104ha vacant land in the Klang Valley is valued around RM1.3 billion.

SPB may redevelop and upgrade some properties like Wisma Damansara.

"We have RM600-odd million cash in hand and will use part of it for the plan and also to manage our new and existing property development projects in Kuala Lumpur and Australia," Lee said.

SPB holds 51 per cent of Help International Corp Bhd, a private university college. It is building a main campus for HELP University College in Subang 2.

It is also bullish on the property sector and hopes to do better in its next fiscal year ending October 31 2011 as it has several new launches coming up in the second half of this year.

SPB is launching Batai Condominium, a 20-storey tower with 107 units worth around RM350 million, at Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights.

It will also launch new houses at its Bukit Permata and Selayang Mulia projects in Gombak and Selayang.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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