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Monday, October 11, 2010

Menara Binjai receives provisional BCA Green Mark Gold Award

Menara Binjai, a 35-storey state-of-the-art green office tower

Menara Binjai, a 35-storey state-of-theart green office tower being built in the heart of KL’s Golden Triangle, has been awarded Singapore’s Provisional Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”) Green Mark Gold Certification.

Menara Binjai is also awaiting the final approval for its certification from Malaysia’s Green Building Index (“GBI”). With these dual green certifications, Menara Binjai will be the first dedicated office tower in Malaysia to be awarded both awards.

“We are delighted that Menara Binjai has been awarded BCA Green Mark Gold status. Right from the start, the company decided that the design and features incorporated into the tower would use cutting-edge Green technology to reduce the environmental impact wherever possible,” said Chua Guan-Hock, one of the six directors of the developer, Khor Joo Saik Sdn. Bhd. Located next to the Ampang Park LRT Station, Menara Binjai is a stone’s throw from the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC, and is easily accessible from all major highways.

The roof garden of Menara Binjai

“We are very fortunate to have a unique location at the intersections of three major roads which are Jalan Ampang, Jalan Binjai and Jalan Tun Razak. All key highways, MEX, DUKE, and AKLEH are easily accessible. Tenants and visitors have a variety of transportation options whether by car, or public transport such as the LRT, buses, and taxis,” commented Chua on Menara Binjai’s location.

Designed by Veritas Architects, with Ranhill Consulting as mechanical and electrical engineering and green consultant, the tower complies with stringent environmental regulations. The energy-efficient operations allow up to 25% savings on electricity and air-conditioning consumption.

“We are also bringing nature to every three floors of Menara Binjai. Every third floor will have access to a unique triple volume garden terrace with lush greenery. This is a first for office towers in the country. There is also a Sky Garden on the 32nd floor where an unobstructed view of the Kuala Lumpur cityscape awaits. We spend most of our time in the office, and we want to ensure our occupants are comfortable and enjoy coming to work every day,” added Chua.

The exclusive leasing agent for Menara Binjai is Jones Lang Wootton. Menara Binjai is targeted for completion in Q4 2011. The property manager is CB Richard Ellis, a leading international property manager. For more information, please visit

By The Star

PJ Devt to launch integrated devt project GDV RM750m in Cheras

KUALA LUMPUR: PJ DEVELOPMENT HOLDINGS BHD (PJD) is expected to launch an integrated development project with gross development value (GDV) of about RM750 million in Cheras mid-2011, said its managing director Wong Ah Chiew.

He said PJD has obtained green light from the authorities for the development order of the project and was currently awaiting approval for its building plans, adding that the project would be on a 20-acre area.

Wong noted the project would include commercial units and high-rise service apartments as well as a retail shopping mall.

"We have not really named it (project) as yet as it is in the final stages of approval... It will be quite a big development," he told reporters after the group's EGM on Monday, Oct 11.

By The EDGE Malaysia

PortCity@POIC set to boost Lahad Datu

ECONOMIC growth in Sabah's east coast town of Lahad Datu is poised to be boosted with the development of the PortCity@POIC, a commercial project.

To be developed by BriSteel Properties Sdn Bhd, the project covers a 10ha area located not far from the Lahad Datu town centre.

The project involves the construction of a commercial complex with 196 shop and office units as well as 35 detached home units and industrial warehouses.

Launching the project yesterday, Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Sabah chief executive officer Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai said the project would contribute towards enlarging the business opportunities in Lahad Datu.

"The project will make Lahad Datu even more attractive for investors and I would like to encourage the business community to explore business potential generated by the development of the POIC," he said.

Lahad Datu is also famous for its tourist attractions such as the tabin Wildlife Centre and Danum Valley Conservation Centre.

Pang said if the development in POIC is well planned, it could also become a place that attract tourists.

BriSteel Properties managing director William Chee said the PortCity@POIC project which will be developed in three phases is expected to be fully completed within three years.

By Business Times

Exco Village bungalows for rent

STUMPED for business ideas to maximise the revenue-making potential of the Exco Village in Section 7, Shah Alam, the Selangor government has begun renting out the 10 bungalows for a paltry RM170 each, per day.

State housing, building management and squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said the revenue earned from the rental would be channelled to the state government.

“We have succeeded in cutting the maintenance of the complex from RM170,000 per month to RM70,000,” he said.

Opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo lambasted the Pakatan government for not being able to keep their promise to unlock the business potential of the bungalows.

“First they attacked the project and called it a waste. Then they promised the people that it would sell the complex and the money would be used for community-based projects.

“Later in June 2008, state executive councillor Ronnie Liu suggested it be turned into a medical centre while Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim called for it to be part of a tour package.

“After 18 months have gone by, we now find each of the six-room bungalows is being rented out at only RM170 per day,” he said.

“It is a resort setting that offers expensive and comfortable facilities and it cannot be rented at such low fee. This is shameful,” he added.

Even Ng feels that RM170 is too low a rental for the bungalow, and plans to table the issue at the coming state assembly sitting.

All bedrooms and the living room are air-conditioned. There is hot shower in each bathroom and guests also have acccess to an outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi.

Iskandar said the rental sum for each bungalow per day was agreed to by the state and which was based on De Palma Hotel’s rate for a standard room.

We decided to rent the bungalows out and sought the help of De Palma Hotels, a subsidiary of Selangor State Development Corporation, to conduct a study.

“At first the state wanted to appoint De Palma to manage the bungalows but after some consideration, we decided that the State Management Services could do it,” he said.

He said the whole complex was now called Selangor Government’s Rest House.

“We will change the board at the entrance soon.

“Six of the 10 bungalows are surrounded by lush greenery and used for training, meetings and government courses as well as to house state guests.

“Most of the time we have courses for local leaders including village heads, officers in the Mentri Besar’s office and for spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social programmes at the rest house,” he added.

Iskandar said four bungalows had been allocated to the state legal adviser, state financial officer, state information director and the Petaling District Council president.

The Exco Village was built at a cost of RM21mil. However, since the Pakatan Rakyat government wrested power from Barisan Nasional in the March 2008 general election, it has been unable to unlock the village’s business potential.

Voices on the ground had begun to rumble over the bungalows and the decision to set such low rent for the luxurious bungalows.

Dr Khir said even if all six bungalows were rented out for a year it would earn about RM370,000 and there would be no profit as the revenue would go to paying for maintenance, management fees as well as the wages of gardeners and security guards.

“It would be better for the state executive councillors to move into the bungalows as that would save the ratepayers’ money,” he said.

By The Star

China's tightening moves to speed up property sales

HONG KONG: China's series of policy tightening measures to prevent a property bubble from bursting will likely speed up sales of some projects as prices in top tier cities fall, analysts and industry executives said on Monday, Oct 11.

Since April, China has announced a range of measures to curb the sector that is in danger of overheating, including raising downpayments for home purchases and requiring banks to conduct stress tests in case of sharp housing price declines.

Earlier on Monday, sources told Reuters China has raised reserve requirements for six large commercial banks by 50 basis points on a temporary basis, a surprise move to drain cash from the economy, but avoid over-tightening.

"Some developers would speed up project sales from the second half of this year to the first half next year so as to reduce their reliance on loans from banks with the government's measures to reduce liquidity," Evergrande Chief Executive James Xia told a news conference on Monday.

Last week, Shanghai issued new rules to limit home buyers to one new apartment and will impose a revised land appreciation tax. A newspaper also reported that Shenzhen would prohibit local families from buying a third home and those who don't pay local taxes would be barred from buying any unit.


China will likely introduce a property tax on a trial basis to further clamp down speculation in the sector, especially in first tier cities where prices remain high, though the market is mixed on when the tax might be launched.

Xia said there was a slim possibility that the trial property tax would be introduced this year, though Nie Meisheng, president of the semi-official China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce, told a forum in Beijing earlier on Monday that it would be launched in months.

With the government's series of measures announced this year to cool the property sector, housing prices in top-tier Chinese cities will probably fall by 10 percent over the next 6-12 months, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said.

China's housing prices in top cities, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, had fallen by about 10 percent as of the end of August from a peak in April, before the impact of tightening measures started to have a negative impact on the market, S&P credit analyst Bei Fu said.

"We expect such corrections to deepen in the next 6-12 months," Fu said in a media teleconference after the ratings agency issued a report on China's property sector, although she added that the corrections would not be as sharp as in 2008.

"In 2008, we've actually seen probably a 20, 30 percent downward correction in a timeframe of six to nine months. So this time, it's going to more moderate, kind of gradual downward adjustment," she said. Some analysts expect the impact of tightening moves impacting the property market for several months to come.

"We are not so optimistic on the short-term, believing that the government will not easily surrender its current tightening efforts, which have a lagging effect, and will be felt more acutely in the first half of next year," said Wee Liat Lee, regional head of property at Samsung Securities.

By Reuters

S&P: China property developers may faces price cuts of 10% in main cities

HONG KONG:-China's property developers may face further price cuts of up to 10% in major cities in the next 12 months, says Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

It said on Monday, Oct 11 that despite the sector volatility and regulatory uncertainty, the developers appear to be in a healthier position to withstand such challenges compared with the downturn of 2008.

"The government's policy attempts to prevent sharp price rises and speculative activities, which muted demand, have coincided with an abundance in supply of new property for sale. As a result, we believe there is room for average selling prices to adjust downward in the near term," said S&P credit analyst Bei Fu.

"Nevertheless, many developers have adequate liquidity and have already locked in the majority of their revenue for 2010. That will reduce the pressure to make drastic price cuts in the near term," she said in a recently released industry report card by S&P, titled “Chinese Real Estate Developers Are Wary As Correction Deepens".

The report card compares the rating and outlook trend today with that in February, when it published the last sector outlook report entitled “Rankings of Chinese real estate developers in a sector ripe for consolidation.

It also comments on the performances and credit outlooks on more than 20 developers and ranks them according to their credit profiles.

"Given the reasonable financial and liquidity position of many developers, we stand by our stable short-term outlook for the sector, despite the continued volatility and aggressive expansion of some players," said Fu.

By The EDGE Malaysia