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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Multi-Purpose’s RM3b project to be its biggest

The Malaysian government wants it to be an iconic development in Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur, says Multi-Purpose's managing director

Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd (MPHB) will launch a RM3 billion project in Kuala Lumpur by the middle of next year which will complement the government's proposed international financial district and Pasar Rakyat redevelopment in Imbi.

Managing director Datuk Lau Kim Khoon @ Surin Upatkoon said the mixed development will be the group's biggest project.

It will comprise a one million sq ft full-fledge retail podium on 2.4ha, 50-storey luxury condominium, 35-storey four-star hotel and 30-storey office tower.

At a later stage, MPHB will build one more office tower and a residence complex. The whole project will be carried out over seven years, Lau said.

"We are fine-tuning the master plan and design. The government wants it to be an iconic development in Golden Triangle. This will be one of the biggest projects in town," Lau said after MPHB's shareholder meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Lau said the initial stages of the project will be financed with MPHB's internally generated funds.

The cash-rich MPHB has RM1 billion reserves. Its shareholders' fund is RM2.1 billion.

"There is no need to raise funds at this stage as we are reasonably liquid in terms of cash. The project will be exciting for us to work on. We are confident property development will become a major contributor to our profit and loss account," Lau said.

Currently, 80 per cent of the group's revenue comes from the gaming business through its 51 per cent stake in Magnum Holdings Sdn Bhd. The rest is from property, insurance, stockbroking and treasury management.

In the fiscal year ended March 31 2010, MPHB made net profit of RM327 million on revenue of RM3.3 billion.

MPHB has some 2,200ha worth RM1 billion in Kuala Lumpur; Rawang and Mimaland in Selangor; and Penang. It also owns 1,840ha of agriculture land in south Johor.

"We are still acquiring land in prime areas in Kuala Lumpur to carry out more projects," Lau said.

At present, MPHB has three projects worth some RM300 million: two residential developments in Penang and one in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. The project in Pudu is to turn an office block into a three-star hotel operated under the Flamingo chain.

By Business Times

Singapore's Marina Bay Sands opens

SINGAPORE: Singapore's second integrated resort, the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) formally opened Wednesday, with its owner Sheldon G. Adelson, Chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp saying it would become the benchmark for future tourism development elsewhere.

"The MBS is not a casino-centric development project as in the old days," Adelson said.

He explained that his company's latest US$5.5 billion Singapore resort is a multi-amenities integrated facility which caters to all categories of visitors.

"It is like the bicycle spokes. Previously, the spokes led to the hub, where the casino was, but now lead to all amenities," he told a media crowd of about 1,100 journalists and television crew from over 60 countries, specially brought in for the resorts opening celebrations.
Adelson highlighted that among Las Vegas Sands Corp's integrated resorts, the MBS is the fourth, with the casino only occupying less than 10 per cent of its amenities.

He said for countries serious about boosting tourism and creating new jobs, the integrated resort model was unmatched.

"The MBS will now be the reference point by which all new tourism projects will be judged," he added.

He also said Singapore was already benefitting from the MBS with its tourist arrival figures on the rise since its soft opening on April 27.

The resort has been receiving about 125,000 visitors daily and about 500,000 people entered the casino this month.

Adelson said the casino expected its visitors to come from three market segments.

The primary segment he explained, comprised Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia with the second being Thailand and the Indo-Chinese countries while the third has Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan, India and the Philippines.

According to Adleson, he planned to open similar integrated resorts in the Mediterranean region, either in Spain, Greece or Italy, and in Seoul or Inchon in Korea, if local laws are in tune with his company's policy.

As part of the opening celebration, the rest of the hotel's 2,560 rooms and suites were thrown open for guests, along with additional shops, restaurants and facilities at Asia's largest expo and convention centre at the MBS.

Tomorrow, the much-anticipated 340-metre long rooftop strip, Sands SkyPark, will open. It is shaped like a floating ship in the sky and sits 60 stories high on three hotel towers like cricket-stumps and features swimming pools and gardens.

The MBS will continue to open additional features including theaters, a museum and crystal pavilions next year.

By Bernama

Several parties offer to buy 1 Mont’Kiara from Aseana

PETALING JAYA: London-listed Aseana Properties Ltd has been approached by several parties to purchase 1 Mont’Kiara (1MK) development, a retail cum office space development, but no decision has been made so far, a statement from Aseana Properties said.

“As this asset is situated in a prime location in Kuala Lumpur, it is inevitable that we continue to receive offers from interested parties. Any confirmation of a transaction will be announced to the relevant regulatory authorities,” a statement from Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd said.

Aseana Properties owns 1MK while Ireka Development Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ireka Corp Bhd, is managing the property. 1MK is developed by Ireka Corp Bhd.

It was reported on June 11 that a real estate fund management company affiliated with Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Group has made a bid for it. Property tycoon and the world’s 14th richest man Li Ka-shing controls Cheung Kong Group.

1MK is the newest retail centre and is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of this year. It is situated at the entrance to Mont’Kiara and is located directly opposite Plaza Mont’Kiara.

The project is located on 3.4 acres and comprises several components: a 34-storey office tower which is already 92% sold, a 20-storey office suite tower which will be put on lease and a five-storey retail block. The residential components which consist of Ireka @ Kiara 1 and Ireka @ Kiara 2 have already been completed. The different components are interconnected.

The bids were for the 20-storey office suite tower which has a net floor area of 185,000 sq ft while the retail block has a net lettable area of 250,000 sq ft, which is about half the size of The Gardens at Mid Valley Mega Mall.

To give an indicative price of the 20-storey block, the first phase which comprises the 34-storey office tower block was sold in 2007 at an average price of RM550 per sq ft. The asking price in the secondary market is about RM700 per sq ft today while the unsold units from the developer in hovering between RM680 and RM700 per sq ft. At RM680 per sq ft, the 20-storey office suite tower market value would be RM126mil while the retail block, with a mark-up value of a conservative 20% more than the office space market value would be RM204mil. That would total up to RM330mil. It was reported that Cheung Kong Group made a bid for this 20-storey office suite tower and five-storey retail block for RM300mil.

SK Brothers Realty Sdn Bhd general manager Chan Ai Cheng said other than Plaza Mont’Plaza, there is nothing to compare with 1MK.

Solaris@Dutamas and Solaris@Mont’Kiara are commercial areas, but they are four-storey high and do not have office tower blocks, nor the residential or retail elements enjoyed by 1MK, according to Chan.

1 Mont’Kiara was developed as a joint venture with Singapore-based CapitaLand, one of Southeast Asia’s largest property developer.

CapitaLand Commercial (M) Sdn Bhd in a statement said CapitaLand’s interest in 1MK is through the Malaysia Commercial Development Fund (MCDF), a real estate private equity fund.

“The MCDF, which owns 14.9% of 1 Mont’ Kiara, has an active portfolio management strategy where the fund will seek to divest its properties at the appropriate time. As 1 Mont’ Kiara enjoys a prime location, there has been continuing interest by other parties to purchase the development,” the statement from CapitaLand Commercial said.

CapitaLand owns an effective 21% stake in MCDF, a private equity fund which is managed by its wholly-owned financial services business unit, CapitaLand Financial Ltd.

By The Star

Dijaya eyes land in Penang, Johor

KUALA LUMPUR: DIJAYA CORPORATION BHD, known for its flagship Tropicana Golf and Country Resort developments, is eyeing more land parcels as it seeks to grow its current land bank of about 460 acres, said its managing director Datuk Tong Kien Onn.

The group was keen on purchasing land in Penang and Johor and was always on the lookout for land parcels, he told reporters after its AGM on Wednesday, June 23.

“We are looking all kinds of sizes. Smaller parcels from 10 acres to 20 acres, bigger parcels over 100 acres wide, also possible,” he said.

Tong said its net debt to equity ratio stood at 0.25, enabling it to make the bank borrowings necessary to supplement the purchase of new land parcels.

Dijaya currently has RM287.94 million in cash and cash equivalents as at its financial year ended Dec 31, 2009 (FYE2009), according to its 2009 annual report.

By The EDGE Malaysia