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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunway to launch RM1.1bil project in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Holdings Bhd will launch its third property project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.1bil in Singapore next week, said managing director Yau Kok Seng.

"The Sri Lanka project has the potential to generate total salea b le area of at least 380,000 sq ft" YAU KOK SENG

Yau said the 1.92ha project, called Vacanza @ East, would be located at Jalan Senang, District 14, a freehold land strategically sited near Pan Island Expressway.

“We expect good response for the project,” he said after signing a joint-venture (JV) agreement with the Dasa Group of Sri Lanka here yesterday.

He said profit margin in Singapore was usually 12%.

The project will comprise eight blocks of 12-storey buildings, which will have 500 units.

Sunway will also launch another project with a GDV of S$370mil in the second half of 2011 in Singapore. It will comprise 17 blocks of five-storey residential development.

The JV agreement signed yesterday was between Sunway unit SunwayMas Sdn Bhd and Dasa Group for a RM250mil mixed development project in Bambalapitiya, Colombo.

A JV company will be formed in Sri Lanka, with SunwayMas having a 65% stake and remainder taken up by Dasa Group.

SunwayMas would fund its investment in the JV company through bank borrowings and internal funds.

Yau said it hoped to launch the Sri Lanka project, which is expected to generate 20% profit margin, by the second quarter of 2011.

He said the development entailed a 34-storey building comprising 70 commercial and 180 residential units on prime freehold land and mixed-use zone.

It will be completed in 2014 and enjoy five years tax holiday then onwards.

“The project, sitting on a 0.461ha, is located a mere 5km from the Central Business District of Colombo. It has the potential to generate total saleable area of at least 380,000 sq ft,” he said.

Yau said residential properties in the Sri Lanka project would be priced from US$200 per sq ft while commercial units from US$350 per sq ft.

With the latest foray, Sunway’s land bank amounts to 174ha, with a potential gross development value of RM2.6bil over the next three years.

By Bernama

Sunway plans RM250m Sri Lanka project

Sunway Holdings Bhd will launch its RM250 million flagship commercial and residential project in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by the second quarter of next year.

It will be the company's sixth overseas project. Sunway has four ongoing projects in Singapore and one in China.

Sunway managing director Yau Kok Seng said it expects to get the approvals for the development, comprising a 34-storey tower with 70 commercial units and 180 high-end residences, in four months.

Construction will start immediately and the project is targeted to be completed by mid-2014, he told reporters after the signing of a joint-venture agreement with Sri Lanka's Dasa Group in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, yesterday.

Sunway is developing the project through wholly-owned unit, SunwayMas Sdn Bhd, in a 65:35 joint venture with Dasa Group, which is involved in real estate, tourism and fabrics.

SunwayMas will undertake the development on 0.5ha of freehold land owned by Dasa Group.

Yau said that Sunway was targeting more than 20 per cent net profit for the project.

On the home front, Sunway's profit margin ranges from 15 to 30 per cent, while that from its projects in Singapore is 12 per cent on average.

Yau said the residences in its Colombo project will be sold at more than US$200 (RM620) per sq ft, while the commercial units will be priced from US$350 (RM1,085) per sq ft.

"We are targeting locals and foreigners. We hope to sell up to 80 per cent of the project within the first year of its launch," he said.

Yau added that Sunway will look at further collaboration with Dasa Group as well as other developers in Sri Lanka as it embarks on being a long-term player.

The Sri Lankan government is giving incentives, such as a five-year tax holiday, use of duty-free imported and locally sourced building materials, and repatriation of funds invested, to woo foreign developers.

Yau said the project will also act as a springboard for Sunway's other businesses, including civil engineering and construction, building materials, trading and manufacturing, and quarrying.

"There are a lot of projects to build ports, bridges, roads and highways, and airport expansion in Sri Lanka. We are testing the market now through this project and will slowly tap other areas," he said.

By Business Times

Making Greater KL the nation’s heartbeat

Datuk Seri Idris Jala is not an urban planner – he is the master urban planner. As he presented his ideas on moving the country into high-income territory, he has fixed his focus on the city.

His rationale: Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) will be the largest contributor at the gross national income level, both today and in 2020. A decade from today, Greater KL will contribute more than seven times over the next target urban centre of Johor Baru and 2.5 times over the largest industry sector, namely oil, gas and energy.

His aspiration – to improve the city’s livability. His tool – urbanisation. His rationale – the city will provide the engine of growth for the entire country. That means, the next 10 years will be crucial. A decade is a short time, actually, to do all that he has laid down.

Jala’s emphasis on livability is based on improving the public transport system, stability, healthcare, edcuation, infrastructure, culture and environment. The Economist had earlier ranked KL 79 out of 130 cities in terms of livability.

Property analyst and map maker Ho Chin Soon says: “Cities generally generate a huge portion of a country’s wealth. Paris produces 30% of France’s wealth, Tokyo 20% to 25% of Japan’s, and the Klang Valley 30%. How it is to be done is another question.”

Jala’s plan is for Greater KL to have a population of 10 million, compared with the current 6.4 million.

He has written about the growth of Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya and others parts of KL.

Ho says there are two sensitive areas at stake here. There will be more as the journey for transformation goes along. The first involves public transport.

“Although we have some form of public transport before and the money to make it a reality, we did not proceed to ensure the survival of our car industry. That is why our public transport ridership is a mere 10% compared with Hong Kong’s 90%, and Singapore’s 80% to 85%.”

Ho says the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) system is more than just connectivity. Studies done have shown that if there is an MRT under an apartment block or mall, their rental improves by a quarter or a fifth, at least.

An integrated transport system with the MRT as its main spine will help to raise property prices and connects the pockets of new development that the Government has announced in the last few months with the existing established areas, Ho adds. These includes the redevelopment of the 380-acre Kampung Baru, the 80-acre Islamic financial hub at the Dataran Perdana in the Imbi area, the mixed development on 460 acres at the Sg Besi old airport, the Matrade piece of land in Jalan Duta, and the redevelopment of the 22-acre former Pudu Prison site among others.

The objective is to more than double the commercial content of KL.

“This will take some time for the market to absorb,” he cautions.

The other sensitive area is the redevelopment of Kampung Baru and other Malay reserve land. In order to do that, Ho says there must be changes to the laws governing Malay land rights.

“There must be a repeal of all Malay Reservation Land Enactments. All federal and state land must be sold via public auction so that the various states and the Federal Government can realise the true value of its land,” he said. Currently, the land belongs to the state.

Livability and aesthetics

The cleaning up of the river, the greening and beautification of KL and the call for new developments to have 30% of open space are part of the attempts to improve the city’s livability.

The revitalisation of the Klang River through its beautification and redevelopment of its banks also involves the cleaning up of the river to reduce polution. A joint development council will be fundamental in driving the development of the river. Other elements include the renewal of old areas within Greater KL.

Already, an UDA Holdings Bhd source says the government agency has put in a few proposals for the redevelopment of some old shop houses in some areas and to work with local authorities in their renewal programmes.

“From now onwards, developments will not viewed from an agency perspective, but from the country’s perspective and how it adds to the Greater KL plan and the city’s livability,” it says. The private sector has also proposed to work with UDA on some projects, all of which will help to enlarge UDA’s land bank, it added.

“Our projects will be market driven,” the source says, adding that UDA will be playing a big role in this transformation, both in terms of property development and public transport.

“We will be returning to our original objective of building cities.”

The agency has put in a request to be considered as one of the operators for Bandar Tasik Selatan transport hub. It currently manages and operates Puduraya Terminal, which is currently undergoing a RM52mil renovation.

In the area of property development, its most immediate project is the redevelopment of the 22-acre former Pudu Prison site. Located between Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s 100-storey project near Merdeka Stadium and Dataran Perdana’s Islamic financial centre in Jalan Sultan Ismail behind Berjaya Times Square, the former Pudu Prison site will form the axis, or centre of development, in that vicinity.

Another UDA project is the office and service apartment project on four acres next to Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Jalan Sultan Ismail. This area, where most of the hotels are located, and Jalan Bukit Bintang, where the malls are situated, will be given emphasis because they will generate tourist dollars.

There will be a need for more interaction between UDA and the local authorities, says the source.

To give cohesion to KL’s transformation, Greater KL will comprise 10 local authorities consisting of City Hall and the town councils of Kajang, Selayang, Ampang Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang, Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya and Sepang. Today, these operate within their designated zones.

By The Star

Holistic view needed for Greater KL plan

Developers and valuers hope the Government’s Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) plan will not only be a catalyst to spawn a thriving capital city, but also have all the right attributes to become one of the most livable metropolis by 2020.

The GKL plan is one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas identified under the Economic Transformation Programme, which is a road map to turn Malaysia into a high income economy with a per capita gross national income of US$15,000 by 2020.

The 279,327ha GKL will cover districts under 10 municipalities namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selayang, Ampang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang, Kajang and Sepang.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association president Datuk Michael Yam says it is imperative that the Government take a more holistic view to the overall future planning of Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas, with the objective of benchmarking GKL against other world class cities.

“The catalysts required to turn GKL into a reality include better physical planning of Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings; transportation and traffic dispersal; social and cultural planning; crime prevention and respect for the rule of law; high standards of education and health facilities; environmental care; improvement of infrastructure and services; efficient government delivery system; and a conducive business and market friendly environment,” he tells StarBizWeek.

Yam says transportation connectivity, green lungs (where appropriate) and a whole hosts of user friendly amenities must be built into the development masterplan.

“Life cycle costing and economical and environmental sustainability should be factored into the planning of communities. Incentives should be given to developments that achieve the quadruple bottom line objectives covering profit, society, environment and sustainability,” he says.

Yam points out that a major challenge for the GKL plan is that the footprint covers an extensive area including neighbouring Selangor.

This inclusion is necessary and critical to the success of the extensive transportation network, supply of utilities, cleaning of rivers, waste management and connectivity.

“One of the keys to the efficient and effective delivery of the GKL plan, especially when the components of the area are controlled by governments from different parties, is the need for a governing body or organisation that can be mandated to make all decisions pertaining to the realisation of the plan.

“This body would be empowered by the governments to make decisions without fear or favour, and members of this body should be people with a macro view and the requisite expertise and experience to set policies and drive the project. It should have the courage to engage competent professionals to help plan, conduct market studies, analyse the financial viability and encourage best practice in executing the tasks,” he says.

He says: “Design and layout of infrastructure should be inclusive and forward looking, being friendly to mothers and the elderly as we progress towards an aging population in 20 years time. Such universally friendly features and amenities should be incorporated into best practice principles.”

Yam foresees that more residential properties, including higher quality residences, will be needed for the growing population and inflow of new talents. New commercial and retail properties will also be needed to meet the higher demand.

To avoid market mismatch, he says it is important to implement development initiatives in market-driven phases based on real demand.

P.K. Poh, a retired property veteran from Dijaya Corp Bhd and currently an advisor to a public-listed group, says urbanisation and high income alone do not make a city great if it is not livable.

“The GKL plan should have all the amenities expected of a great city, such as an efficient transportation system, reliable broadband connectivity, a clean, green and safe environment, comprehensive civic facilities (libraries and museums), a lively cultural and performing arts scene and a high level of service culture from those in the service industry. World-travellers will find these features very evident in the top 20 world-class cities around the world,” Poh adds.

He believes that for GKL to achieve the rank of a world-class city, the most important factor will be to create an efficient and reliable transportation system with seamless interconnectivity between different transportation modes to all corners of the city.

“I also think that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists in the city have been sidelined, in that there are not enough sidewalks (that are wide and level enough) and the total absence of dedicated bicycle tracks in the city.

“According to a recent article that I read, the top three world-class cities in the world – Munich, Copenhagen and Zurich – all have great connectivity, cultural and civic amenities and green spaces. This makes for a happier, healthier living for its residents, which is so important in today’s pressure-cooker environment.”

Poh says while the planning is already in place, “the time of reckoning is during the implementation stage.”

“It’s a long journey from now till 2020. Like all ambitious programmes, it will need to be reviewed from time to time, say, every three to five years, and tweaked. To do this, there needs to be a methodology set up to measure the progress in a clear, transparent and easily-understood manner,” he says.

According to CB Richard Ellis Sdn Bhd executive director Paul Khong, as planning details of the land have not been formalised, it is still premature to gauge how the final GKL plan will affect the value of the land.

“It is only in the planning stages and the plans are not formalised yet. At the end of the day, it is subject to the final planning approval for the respective projects. It is also important to ensure new projects are planned properly to ensure there will not be an over supply situation,” Khong says.

Mah Sing Group Bhd group managing director cum chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum says the comprehensive transportation proposal is particularly exciting as this will boost demand for properties.

“The plan includes the mass rapid transit and high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with a possible extension to Penang. This will be a major boost for the property sector if they materialise,” he says.

By The Star

Construction, property sectors will benefit

Despite the fact that the proposed Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is not a pronouncement of the Government dishing out contracts it would pay for, analysts have highlighted the construction and property sectors as key beneficiaries.

Recall that the ETP requires the private sector to come up with most of the funding for the projects. However, it is still unclear if the Government will provide any kind of guarantee to the companies that are awarded the contracts.

In any event, the stocks that have benefited the most from the ETP seems to be Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp Bhd, the two companies that had earlier submitted an ambitious plan to build a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in the capital city.

That’s because, as HwangDBS Vickers report puts it, the MRT “has received a high level of commitment, increasing the project’s approval.” The research house adds that the RM36bil MRT project can double the order book of Gamuda and triple that of MMC’s. It also says the construction sector as a whole will benefit from the MRT project, given its sheer size.

Meanwhile, CIMB Research points out: “The MRT project is massive and represents the single largest contract in Malaysian history, beating the previous largest project, the RM12.5bil northern double-tracking, which is also being built by Gamuda-MMC.”

CIMB notes that Gamuda has the expertise in tunnelling and that the tunnelling portion of the MRT project is worth RM13bil to RM14bil.

The research house also says that should the MRT project take off, “there will be plenty of work to go around and other major players such as Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), IJM Land Bhd and WCT Bhd should also be able to ride on it.”

OSK Research points out that of the 12 national key economic activities, the one on Greater KL had attracted the most interest as it had a scale model of KL and all the new proposed property developments, as well as more tangible projects such as the KL MRT and the river of life project, “with high-level financial figures available.” OSK adds that these projects are the most likely to kick off first.

The property sector has also been highlighted as another big winner.

This is on the basis that if the MRT project is carried out, it may lift the value of properties in central KL by improving underground connectivity and enhancing the shopping experience, analysts say.

Furthermore, the Greater KL plans for 10 million people living in the city by 2020 from 6 million currently. Of the additional residents, it is estimated that around 500,000 are expected to be expatriates or Malaysians returning from abroad.

“All in, it is estimated that a million homes will have to be constructed to meet the requirements of an enlarged population base,” notes CIMB.

HwangDBS Vickers points out that the Greater KL initiative should benefit owners of large land bank in KL that include Bolton Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and DNP Holdings Bhd.

The plan also includes the redevelopment of the RMAF base at Sungai Besi, Dataran Perdana, the Matrade development at Hartamas, the old Pudu Jail site and the redevelopment of Kampung Baru.

CIMB also singles out the High-Speed Rail project from KL to Singapore and Penang, which has been identified in the ETP as one of the projects that has partial or near commitment from a named investor.

The research house also highlights that the ETP mentioned Johor Baru as being listed as a geographic location that is a driver of economic activity.

“If the High-Speed Rail project materialises, it could boost property prices in Kuala Lumpur significantly, as values are far behind Singapore’s and travelling time between the two cities could be reduced to 2.4 hours. The rail project will also benefit property prices in Iskandar Malaysia as the proposed train will stop in Johor Baru before proceeding to Singapore.

“What is surprising from the map of the proposed project is that phase two extends to Penang island, which is good news for the Penang property market too,” CIMB says in a report.

It adds that while many developers have land in Johor, the biggest beneficiary will be UEM Land, due to its vast and strategic landbank in Iskandar.

“Arguably, UEM Land’s 10,000-acre land bank in Nusajaya is at the heart of Iskandar and the proposed MRT from Singapore will also pass through its project.”

CIMB says other developers with a sizeable land bank in Johor include SP Setia, Mah Sing Bhd, UM Land Bhd, KSL Holdings Bhd, Bandar Raya Developments Bhd, Mulpha International Bhd, IJM Land, Tebrau Teguh Bhd, Plenitude Bhd and Daiman Development Bhd.

As for developers with exposure to high-end project in KL that may garner interest from Singaporean buyers, they include Eastern & Oriental Bhd, Sunrise Bhd, UM Land, Bandar Raya, Mah Sing and Glomac Bhd, CIMB says.

Genting Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd can also gain if Singaporeans choose to take the high-speed train ride here to a casino that they needn’t pay fees to enter, unlike the two integrated resorts in Singapore, analysts say.

Building materials companies such as Ann Joo Resources Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works Bhd, and Southern Steel Bhd as well as the big cement players such as YTL Cement Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd and Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd may also gain.

A head of research at a broking house adds that other beneficiaries may include education stocks for private schools such as Help International Corp Bhd, PIE Industrial Bhd for the focus on the electronics and electrical sector, MyEG Services Bhd for the broadband and electronic government push and ETI Tech Corp Bhd for the focus on renewable energy.

By The Star

Loan-to-value cut will deter speculative buying

PETALING JAYA: The potential reduction in the loan-to-value ratio for the third and subsequent house purchases to as low as 70% will bite into property speculation activities as well as banks’ loans growth and earnings to a certain extent, analysts said.

A property analyst said a loan-to-value ratio of 70% would wipe out some speculative buying in the property market.

“It will be significant, especially for the high-end and high-rise residential property segment, as this segment typically attracts more speculators.

“Banks which traditionally have exposure to such loans will be affected if this ruling takes place,” she told StarBizWeek.

To recap, there is speculation that the loan-to-value ratio for the third and subsequent house purchases could be further reduced to as low as 70% from the assumed rate of 80%.

This followed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s comments on Tuesday that Bank Negara might impose a limit on financing to 80% from 90% for subsequent purchases after the second property while first-time buyers can borrow up to 90%.

The move is aimed at curbing speculative property transactions in a bid to contain escalating property prices.

An analyst with a local stockbroking firm foresees slower loans growth for residential mortgages if the loan-to-value ratio of 70% is implemented.

“This could result in more competition among banks, with some resorting to giving more discounts on base lending rates thus affecting net interest income and earnings.

“Assuming a 1% drop in residential mortgage growth, banks may suffer a less than 1% drop in net profit,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said the impact might not be very significant as the number of property speculators buying third and subsequent houses in the market was small compared with genuine buyers.

“Most banks actually have mortgages to genuine buyers in their books rather than to speculators,” she added.

The analyst said hypothetically, banks with the biggest exposure to the residential property sector would be the most affected by a lower loan-to-value ratio.

According to statistics, Alliance Financial Group Bhd has the highest exposure to the residential mortgage segment, representing 39.4% of its loan book. This is followed by Hong Leong Bank Bhd with 38.7% and Public Bank Bhd 27.9%.

The analyst, however, stressed that the quantum of effect would depend on how much of the residential loans was given out to speculators as opposed to genuine house buyers.

“Then again, most banks tend to be pretty prudent and may already have a stringent credit policy in place when it comes to lending to borrowers who are not buying residential property for their own stay.

“If this is the case, then the loan-to-ratio of 70% would not have an impact on them,” she said.

By The Star

Low interest rate, easy credit give rise to speculation

Earlier this year, a relative of mine managed to sell his Bukit Sentosa house after four years. Its closest town is Rawang.

He decided to relocate back to Petaling Jaya. But property prices have gone up so much that he now has to rent. In his late 40s, he hopes he does not have to go on renting.

But even if he were to get a suitable place, there may be problems with financing because of his age.

This relative belongs to a group of people who will be retiring soon but who do not yet have a roof over their heads. He is what developers and bank officers would call “a genuine house buyer.”

With property prices going up since the second half of last year, what are his chances of having his own home? Dicey.

Therein lies the problem in today’s property market. On one hand, there is the low interest rate. On the other is easy credit. Yet both are not helping him.

On the flip side, it is encouraging many to speculate. These two factors – low interest rates and easy financing – are supported by various schemes that are being promoted by developers.

Among the most popular is the 5/95 scheme, or variations of it, which started early last year. A buyer merely pays 5% of the price of the house and does not have to pay anything until he takes the keys. All interest payments are “absorbed” by the developer (Psst! The interest is priced into the value of the house).

Some schemes do not require mortgage payments until the sixth year of purchase. One developer requires a downpayment of only RM5,000 and no more because it also offers a 10% rebate, which buyers can “use” on signing the sale and purchase agreement.

No payment is required until completion of the property and this RM5,000 is used to pay for utility deposits and maintenance deposit. Whatever is left is “refunded” to the buyer. Such schemes encourage speculation.

While Singapore has banned them, developers here are still rushing to launch their projects using this form of financing. Early this week, there were talks of increasing down payments to 20% or even 30%.

While this will not weed out speculation completely, it will serve as a deterrent. Such a move will also help the banking sector indirectly.

Out of every loan approved by banks today, one-in-three to one-in-two is a property-related loan. This compares with one-in-five prior to the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.

With such a huge exposure to the property sector, in the event prices become unsustainable, the banking system will be adversely affected.

At the beginning of the 21st century, US banks gave loans to home buyers who would normally not have been given credit.

These borrowers were allowed to buy houses by paying slightly more than normal rates, often with floating interest rates that rise and fall with the general market. The relaxing of credit standards led to ever-increasing house prices.

Many bought homes they could not afford, but assumed that the rising property market would help to cover their loan commitments, which would allow them to refinance later on, once the value of the house climbs up.

When the bubble burst, house prices fell and so did the banks. This became what is currently known as the US subprime mortgage crisis.

With today’s easy credit and these 5/95 and 10/90 schemes, something similar seems to be happening here in Malaysia.

There is also the absence of housing between the RM250,000 and RM300,000 price range. Even a studio apartment of about 650 sq ft can cost about half a million ringgit.

Developers justify their penchant for building high-end launches with the rising cost of building materials and the desire for lifestyle living. Not every one is seeking after that dream home. Certainly not that relative of mine.

Assistant news editor Thean Lee Cheng thinks it’s time to nip speculation in the bud.

By The Star

Karambunai denies plan to build resort casino

PETALING JAYA: The surge of Karambunai Corp Bhd (KCB) shares since speculation arose it might get a casino license as part of a proposed integrated resort (IR) at its existing resort in Sabah has created excitement in the market but the company yesterday poured cold water on any such move.

“KCB has not up to date submitted any official proposal to the Malaysian government, nor has it penned any written documents with any other third parties in respect of any plan to build a casino in Karambunai,’’ the company told Bursa Malaysia in a statement.

KCB said since it was a key player of tourism in Sabah, its general manger of the Nexus Karambunai Hotel was invited to be a member of Pemandu’s NKEA tourism lab.

“During the lab sessions, KCB’s representative has been discussing and disclosing drawings in Karambunai with members of the private and public sectors as to the manner in which Karambunai as a member of the private sector may assist in this direction,” it explained.

“Pemandu is free to use any drawings conducted in the lab sessions, but chooses drawings from Karambunai which has copyrights source & status. To KCB, these chosen drawings are merely meant as a plan. The recent public information simply mentions the existence of a IR in Kota Kinabalu Sabah and has not disclosed and named specifically KCB as a party.”

The market has been amazed by the 227% rise in the value of the loss-making company’s share price from 5.5 sen on Tuesday to its close at 18 sen yesterday given the probability of a fresh casino licence being issued in Malaysia.

According to a research house head, the idea of having a second casino in Malaysia would face a lot of opposition as it is politically unacceptable.

Analysts point to the fierce opposition to the proposal of sports betting in the country and the repeated political comments that Genting Malaysia Bhd would remain the sole recipient of a casino licence in Malaysia.

The casino idea was first raised when an online news portal reported that the panel discussing on the entry point presentation (EPP) made reference to successful casino-anchored IRs namely Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and Resort World in Manila without mentioning the need for another casino here.

In the public EPP presentation, the proposed development of Karambunai’s resort in Sabah would feature a water theme park, a mangrove centre, iconic architecture and waterfront living.

KCB posted a net loss RM14.4mil in its first quarter ended June 30 compared with a net loss of RM14.6mil a year ago. Revenue for the period under review increased slightly to RM24mil from RM22.3mil in corresponding period last year.

By The Star