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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunrise-Sime partnership progressing well: Tong

PETALING JAYA: Doubts over the status of a joint venture between Sunrise Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd to undertake an integrated commercial property project in Bukit Jelutong were dispelled after Sunrise executive chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong said the partnership was progressing well.

In an e-mail interview with StarBizWeek on the status of the joint venture, Tong said the joint development committee met regularly and the project planning was very advanced.

"We are working with an international architect and making decisions with Sime Darby on the product offerings and mix. Hopefully, we can bring this project to the market by the end of next year," added Tong.

The 50:50 joint venture was inked in January to develop 21 acres in Bukit Jelutong.

Sime Darby Bhd, the parent of Sime Darby Property, had in August said the conglomerate was taking a re-look at some of its property joint ventures and, where possible, would be seeking to unwind out of ventures that did not create maximum value for itself.

Besides the joint venture with Sunrise, Sime Darby Property also has 60:40 joint ventures with the Brunsfield Group to develop property projects such as Subang Avenue, Oasis Damansara and the redevelopment of Oyster Cove, an exclusive waterfront resort on Australia's Gold Coast.

in a separate e-mail response, Sime Darby acting president and group chief executive Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh said the group's new management and the board were reviewing all joint-venture agreements to ensure that the interests of Sime Darby were safeguarded.

"Currently, there is no conclusion to end any joint venture. We regularly perform reviews of our businesses and joint ventures to ensure that they are still in line with our objectives. We are extracting the most value out of our partnerships," he added.

According to Bakke, the Bukit Jelutong venture would comprise retail space, shop offices, office suites and serviced apartments with gross built-up area of approximately 2.7 million sq ft.

It will be developed over five phases with the first phase scheduled for launch in July next year.

"The project with a gross development value of RM1bil is expected to be completed in seven years from the launch of phase one."

Phase one will comprise retail space and offices; phases two and three will be retail, offices and serviced apartments; while the fourth and fifth phases will be retail and offices.

By The Star

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