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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mayland lines up projects worth RM2.2b

Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd (Mayland) is launching new residential projects worth up to RM2.2 billion this year in the Klang Valley and Johor.

"Our focus for 2010 is to gear up on some launches which were held back due to market sentiments. We are studying the market . We are seeing that more people are willing to invest in properties now," said Mayland head of leasing Eddy Tan.

Tan said there is pent up demand for serviced apartments and condominiums in Sri Hartamas, Ampang, Kepong and Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur.

He told Business Times that Mayland will launch high-end serviced residences worth RM650 million in Ampang. The project will be developed in a 50:50 joint venture with Land & General Bhd.

"We have yet to identify a name for the project or the launch date. But it will be soon," Tan said.
Tan said in Country Heights Damansara, Kepong, Mayland will launch over 1,000 units of apartments and serviced residences for RM500 million.

At Jalan Kuching, it will launch Sri Putramas 3, comprising 3 blocks of apartments with 650 units, worth RM350 million.

Mayland, helmed by Tan Sri David Chiu, a Hong Kong-based hotelier and property developer, is looking to launch a 27-storey hotel-cum-serviced apartment tower at its Plaza Damas 3 project in Sri Hartamas in the third quarter of 2010.

Tan said the tower will have more than 600 furnished units worth a combine RM550 million.

"It will be operated as a hotel by one of our sister properties, either Grand Dorsett or Cosmopolitan. We haven't decided," Tan said.

The high-end tower will be the final launch for Plaza Damas 3. Mayland has launched 72 shop office units and 1,452 serviced apartments in three blocks. Over 70 per cent have been sold, Tan said.

By Business Times

New green rating tools to boost value of old buildings

KUALA LUMPUR: The Green Building Index (GBI) Non-Residential Existing Building (NREB) rating system for older buildings will enhance their value and attract investors, said Malaysia Green Building Confederation president Von Kok Leong.

“Today, more people are looking for buildings that are more energy efficient and sustainable. Such buildings fetch better rentals and are more likely to attract investors,” he told StarBiz on the sidelines of the GBI NREB launch by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin yesterday.

Von said it was also more cost effective to upgrade an old building than to demolish it and build a new one for want of a more environmental-friendly structure.

“You’re giving new life to old buildings. Other than investors, even developers are looking for buildings that they can upgrade instead of building from the ground up. It’s cheaper.”

In his welcome address, the chairman of GBI Accreditation panel and Malaysian Institute of Architects president Boon Che Wee said the GBI NREB would give existing buildings a new lease of life and appeal.

“The new rating is timely for existing property owners to re-condition and ‘future-proof’ to meet 21st century environmental performance standards and remain competitive in the long term.

“This, together with the lower operational and maintenance costs that come with the new environmental credential, will undoubtedly lead to progressive appreciation in rental and asset value,” he said.

According to Boon, existing buildings and its communities contribute over 40% of green house gases to the environment.

“Retro-greening will be the new stimulus of our green economy and a new economic multiplier of our construction and property industry,” he said.

Under the GBI NREB, existing non-residential buildings are rated based on six criteria – energy efficiency; indoor environment quality; sustainable site planning and management; material and resources; water efficiency and innovation.

The highest emphasis is on energy efficiency and indoor environment quality (accounting for a maximum of 38 and 21 points respectively out of 100) to address energy use and well-being and productivity of the users of the building.

Points are given for water efficiency and innovation to encourage such improvements and modifications.

Facility management is introduced for sustainable site planning and management, and material and resources to reflect the need for environmental protection in the use of chemicals, pesticides and procurement policy.

By The Star

China likely to impose tax on residential property

BEIJING: China is likely to introduce a property tax on residential housing in the first half of the year as part of its attempts to curb real estate prices, state media reported yesterday.

The levy would be imposed on a trial basis in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and the southern city of Shenzhen, the Economic Observer newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Government agencies including the central bank, the finance ministry and the State Administration of Taxation were still working out when to implement the tax, it said.

China has no such levy on residential property but does impose a 1.2 per cent tax on 70 per cent to 90 per cent of the value of commercial real estate.

Details of the new tax were not yet finalised, the report said, such as whether it would be levied against all homes or merely on additional residences purchased by an individual home-buyer beyond the first property.

The report came after Beijing announced a range of new measures to prevent asset bubbles and soaring property prices.

Official data showed real estate prices in 70 cities jumped 11.7 per cent in March, the fastest year-on-year rise for a single month in five years.

The government has recently tightened restrictions on advance sales of new property developments, introduced new curbs on loans for third home purchases, and raised minimum down payments for second homes.

State media reports last week also said banking regulators had ordered lenders to conduct quarterly stress tests on mortgages as the government tries to clamp down on bad loans and rein real estate speculation.

The new property tax was also expected to help replenish the coffers of local governments, which have been depleted by the government-led investment binge of the past year linked to an economic stimulus programme, the report said.


SP Setia sets up another Aussie unit

Property developer SP Setia Bhd has set up another subsidiary in Australia.

Setia International Ltd, an Australian subsidiary of SP Setia, has incorporated Setia Australia Ltd.

The subsidiary was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with an issued and paid-up share capital of US$10 (RM32), comprising 10 ordinary shares of US$1 (RM3.2) each.

Setia Australia will be involved in investment holding and property development.

By Business Times

Sunrise mulls REIT listing

Malaysian property developer Sunrise may consider injecting some of its property assets into a real estate investment trust as they begin to deliver stable income, said its executive chairman.

“We have invested considerably in a pool of investment assets over the last few years, which are now starting to bear fruit,” said Tong Kooi Ong.

Sunrise, ranked ninth among listed Malaysian developers, may consider a REIT “at a later stage,” Tong said in an email interview.

Larger rival Sunway City this month said it will inject eight retail properties into a REIT this year in a deal that bankers said may raise up to RM1 billion (US$315.3 million) for the company.
Tong, a former banker and stockbroker, said Sunrise has not planned to enter fast-growing Vietnam and China.

“For the medium term, our overseas focus will be on Canada.
We do not have plans for the moment to venture into Vietnam or China,” he said.

Sunrise’s Tong said there has been no major impact on property sales from the recent interest rate hike.

Malaysia is one of the first in Asia to withdraw crisis measures when the central bank raised its key policy rate by 25 basis points to 2.25 per cent percent in March. Most economists expect more hikes later this year.

The central bank’s overnight policy rate is still below its long-term rate of 2.75 per cent after the March increase, said Tong.

“Overall mortgage rates remain very low and the banks have been accommodative in credit approvals,” he said.

By Reuters

Second Penang link may cost less

The second Penang bridge project will cost less than the RM4.5 billion initially estimated and is on track to be completed by September 2013.

"We are expecting it (cost of second bridge construction) to be less than RM4.5 billion with the competitive open tender for Package 3," Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) managing director Datuk Professor Ismail Mohd Taib told reporters after a signing ceremony between JKSB with CHEC Construction (M) Sdn Bhd and UEM Builders Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

So far, over 100 construction firms have shown keen interest in the RM750 million Package 3 contract work.

"About 40 of those companies have submitted their tender for Package 3. We hope the board can sit this month and if there are no problems, we can start work for Package 3 construction by the end of May this year," he said.

Asked why the second Penang bridge project has been delayed for more than a year, Ismail said it was due to the "change in business model and funding of the project, which have resulted in a review of the contractual terms of the agreements with the financiers and the contractors".
The 17km bridge will link Batu Kawan to Batu Maung on Penang island and will be the longest in the region when completed.

Package 3 is divided into seven parts: The Batu Maung Interchange(Package 3A), the Batu Kawan Land Expressway (Package 3B), the Batu Kawan Trumpet Interchange (Package 3C), Toll Plaza and Administration Building (Package 3D), Toll Collection System (Package 3E), Traffic Control Surveillance System (Package 3F) and Mechanical and Electrical and Infrastructure Works for Package 3A and 3C (Package 3G).

Package 1 of the second Penang bridge project involves a RM2.2 billion contract work on the main span, substructures and foundation, which is expected to be completed in May 2012.

Package 2 is a RM1.55 billion contract for the construction of the superstructure, scheduled for completion in 2013.

Construction of the Second Penang Bridge is now 24 per cent complete and it should be open to traffic by November 2013.

JKSB is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the federal government to supervise and fast-track the second Penang bridge project.

It is also a concessionaire appointed to oversee the construction, management and operations of the second bridge.

Yesterday's signing saw the award of Package 1 and two construction works to CHEC Construction and UEM Builders respectively.

Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, who witnessed the signing, said the mega project will not only benefit Penang residents but also those in the surrounding areas.

"Apart from the objective to ease traffic congestion, it will also stimulate the economy of the southern area of Penang, thus further enhancing the country's economic development," he said.

By Business Times