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Thursday, July 22, 2010

En route to HK listing

Listing of Kosmopolito, a unit of Far East Consortium International, to include five Malaysian hotels, sources say

Hong Kong-based Far East Consortium International Ltd (FEC) plans to include all five Malaysian hotels in a planned listing of its unit on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, sources say.

It is understood that the Malaysian hotels have a combined value of about RM600 million. They are Dorsett Regency KL, Grand Dorsett Subang, Grand Dorsett Labuan, Dorsett Johor and Maytower Hotel.

Collectively, they made a pre-tax profit of HK$55.03 million (RM22.74 million) on revenue of HK$237.23 million (RM98.04 million) for the year to March 31 2010, according to FEC's latest annual report.

On June 30, FEC submitted an application to list Kosmopolito Hotels International Ltd on the main board. FEC's deputy chairman and chief excutive officer is Tan Sri David Chiu Tat-cheong.

According to the listing request documents, FEC, which now wholly-owns Kosmopolito, plans to maintain over 50 per cent equity in the company once the spin-off is completed.

Kosmopolito is described as a developer, owner and operator of value to upscale and boutique hotels in Asia with a strong presence in Hong Kong and Malaysia and a primary focus on expansion in China.

It is also involved in hotel investment, operation, management and development. It now owns and operates seven hotels in Hong Kong.

The listing will help FEC raise funds to support organic growth and acquisitions and separate the business of property development from hotel investment, operation and management.

Sources also said the listing is due to take place in the last quarter of 2010.

FEC's chief financial officer Bill Mok declined to speak to Business Times, pending the company's planned listing.

In 2008, it was reported that FEC was planning on a real estate investment trust (REIT) listing that would include the Malaysian properties. However, this did not happen.

The same year, it announced that it was delaying a planned REIT in Hong Kong, comprising seven hotels, to raise HK$4 billion (RM1.65 billion).

As at March 2010, FEC operates a total of seven hotels in Hong Kong, two hotels in China and five hotels in Malaysia with a combined total of over 3,600 rooms. The five Malaysian hotels have a total of 1,407 rooms.

The group also has eight hotels in various stages of development, including five in Hong Kong, two in China and one in Singapore, representing an additional 2,752 rooms that will bring its total number of hotel rooms to 6,356 rooms by 2013.

By Business Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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