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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'80pc SetiaWalk occupancy by Q1 2012'

SP Setia Bhd expects the occupancy rate at its boutique lifestyle development project, SetiaWalk, to increase to 80 per cent from 60 per cent when it opens its doors by the first quarter of 2012.

Spanning 8.32 hectares of prime land fronting Jalan Puchong, SetiaWalk offers an eclectic mix of retail offices, serviced apartments, dining delights, a boutique hotel and entertainment centre.

SetiaWalk, with a gross development value of RM1 billion, has a gross floor area of 2.3 million sq ft and a net lettable area of 2.4 million sq ft.

"There will be more exciting things to look forward to at SetiaWalk, one of them being the proposed light rail transit station opposite our project," said its divisional general manager, Wong Tuck Wai, at the ceremony to welcome three anchor retailers of its entertainment centre.

"We welcome TGV Cinemas, Celebrity Fitness and Superstar Karaoke as our business partners," he said.

Wong said the last anchor tenant would be the Chinese restaurant chain and the name was expected to be revealed soon.

SetiaWalk targets its retail offices to open for business in April next year with the entertainment centre operational by December 2011.

Meanwhile, the company said as part of its continuing efforts to ensure the success and vibrancy of SetiaWalk, it would provide pre-leasing services to match owners of the retail offices with the right tenants.

"A dedicated pre-leasing team has identified a list of potential suitors and matched with the buyers to ensure an exciting tenancy mix and add value to the entire development," it said.

Superstar Karaoke's consultant-cum-operations manager, Richard Law, said the outlet at SetiaWalk would be its fourth nationwide and it would occupy about 12,000 sq ft and offer a touch screen song-selection system.

TGV Cinemas chief operating officer, Kenny Wong, said the cinema would have nine cineplexes with 1,900 seats.

Celebrity Fitness would occupy two levels of 22,000 sq ft in total, said its managing director of Malaysia Kwangho Choi.

SetiaWalk, which can be access via Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong and Persiaran Wawasan, has also managed to attract retailers such as Starbucks, BMS Organics, STADT German Cuisine, Ponytail Salon, Hock Hua Tonic, Bata and La Primavera.

By Bernama

PjH plans RM1.3b projects to make Putrajaya more vibrant

PUTRAJAYA Holdings (PjH) Sdn Bhd said its next phase of development at the administrative capital will comprise commercial and residential properties worth more than RM1.3 billion.

Director and chief executive officer Datuk Azlan Abdul Karim said the properties which will be built in five years, will make Putrajaya a liveable city.

"The perception is that Putrajaya is for government buildings. Our next focus is to build office towers, retail, an entertainment strip and medium- to high-end housing to create vibrancy for Putrajaya.

"We will have several mixed developments and waterfront projects to attract expatriates, too," he told the media in Putrajaya yesterday.

Putrajaya, which started in 1995, comprise 20 precincts sprawled over 4,931ha. By 2020 it will have 3.8 million sq m of government offices, 3.4 million sqm of commercial space, and 65,000 residential units with a working population of 500,000.

PjH, the master developer for Putrajaya will call for tenders for the new projects by early 2011. Some of the projects are in design stage now, Azlan said.

Azlan said PjH will either lease the office towers or sell them if there is demand.

He said PjH has been approached by several government agencies and corporate companies.

"We aim to also attract multi-national companies. We will be talking to some big names," he said.

All the buildings will meet the Green Building Index standards, Azlan said.

On the residential side, he said PjH will build affordable homes starting from RM150,000, terraced houses priced from RM450,000, and waterfront villas, which it expects to sell from RM2 million.

"We will cater to all segments of the market. I am bullish on the outlook for Putrajaya. There is pent-up demand for new houses here," he said.

Azlan said on average, its housing projects are snapped up within one month after launch.

"When we build commercial or residential properties, we will make sure there is demand. We are not going to be like Dubai where they kept on building regardless or not there was demand," he said.

By Business Times

Property bubble unlikely to occur: Mah Sing

A property bubble is not likely to occur following Bank Negara Malaysia's move to increase the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to 70 per cent for third house financing facilities and onwards, says Mah Sing Group Bhd.

Group managing director cum group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the move should not affect the overall sentiment of the property market significantly which comprised mainly first time buyers and upgraders.

"As long as developers offer quality properties with good concepts in prime locations, there should still be takers due to the strong employment market, low interest environment and good liquidity in the financial system," he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, the Association of Banks in Malaysia viewed the move as timely and pre-emptive in nature.

Its president cum chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said while the banking sector supported house ownerships, the association agreed that the appropriate measure should be adopted to avert unhealthy speculative activities which could lead to a property bubble.

Bank Negara Malaysia today announced the implementation of a maximum LTV ratio of 70 per cent, applicable to third house financing taken out by a borrower, which is effective immediately.

The measure aimed to support a stable and sustainable property market and promote the continued affordability of houses for the general public.

By Bernama

Mah Sing in RM167m land buy pact

Mah Sing Group Bhd, a Malaysian property developer, said it agreed to buy land in Kuala Lumpur and Cyberjaya for a total of RM167 million.

The 4.7 acre land in Kuala Lumpur will be used to develop serviced residences and retail outlets with a total estimated gross development value of RM920 million, it said in a statement today.

The second plot, measuring 34.9 acres in Cyberjaya, is worth RM280 million in gross development value, it said.

By Bloomberg

Cyberview sees 10% investment growth in Cyberjaya

CYBERJAYA: Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the landowner of Cyberjaya, is optimistic of achieving a further 10% growth in investment in Cyberjaya by year-end from the current RM3.19bil.

(From left) Setia Haruman COO C.K. Lao, Hafidz Hashim, Multimedia Development Corp GM Wee Huay Neo and Sepang Municipal Council president Mohd Sayuthi Bakar at the media briefing yesterday.

“Giving the rapid growth of development in Cyberjaya, we are confident to achieve that growth through land sales for enterprise, commercial, institutional and residential space,” managing director Hafidz Hashim said yesterday after Cyberjaya’s annual media briefing.

Hafidz said the RM3.19bil represented more than a third of Cyberjaya’s total investment value of RM9.1bil since its inception over 10 years ago.

In 2009, Cyberjaya received investment worth RM1.29bil.

Hafidz said the company was also optimistic of surpassing this year’s investment figure for 2011, as it had secured projects worth RM1.48bil to start next year.

“Cyberjaya intends to support the Government’s aspiration to become a developed and high income nation as had been tabled in Budget 2011.

“We are poised to bring development-centric initiatives to fruition in line with what had being announced during the recent budget,” he said.

He added that to date, more than 500 companies, including global multinationals such as HP, Dell, Fujitsu and Motorola, had set up regional and global centres in Cyberjaya.

“Cyberview aspires to strengthen the key government initiatives by driving inward local and foreign investments, developing skilled workers and talents, and nurturing creative economies in Malaysia via its thriving content creation and multimedia industries,” he said.

On the other hand, Hafidz said Cyberview had in place initiatives from Budget 2011 that called for creative content development as a key contributor to the national economy with, which went on air earlier this year.

“As a whole, Cyberview’s vision and direction for Cyberjaya closely echoes the four major thrusts identified by the National Economic Advisory Council for the implementation of the New Economic Model, which are talent development, the creation of research and development ecosystem, provide growth infrastructure and institutional development,” he said.

On the current population living in Cyberjaya, he said there are 12,000 residents at the moment and the figure was expected to reach 35,000 in 2014.

The annual media briefing brought together Cyberjaya stakeholders such as Multimedia Development Corp, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd and the Sepang Municipal Council.

By The Star

Cyberview will take heed of advice in report

PETALING JAYA: Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the landowner of Cyberjaya, acknowledges the recommendations in the Auditor General’s Audit Report 2009 for tighter management and coordination of efforts in developing Cyberjaya.

The company was responding to the recent report which highlighted some weaknesses in Cyberview in handling issues related to the development of Cyberjaya.

Managing director Hafidz Hashim said via e-mail that scheduled reporting and tighter monitoring measures as recommended by the report were in the process of being put into place as Cyberview’s role expanded from that of a landowner to the entity spearheading and masterminding the development of Cyberjaya.

“With the rapid changes taking place in the cybercity, the role as development mastermind brings challenges and Cyberview’s role is continuously evolving with the growth of Cyberjaya and we constantly strive to improve processes for the betterment of the cybercity,” he told StarBiz.

The audit report for the company was done between July and November 2009 and highlighted some weaknesses such as management of the land, records on land status that were not properly maintained, dissatisfaction with the transport service and some financial management.

However, it said, Cyberview’s financial performance from 2006 to 2008 was satisfactory as the company was profitable all those years despite some decline in profit in 2008.

It said the objective to form Cyberview was to ensure the development of Cyberjaya was in tandem with the Government’s aspiration to create an information technology city (cybercity).

“The complete development of a cybercity could not happen if Cyberview could not monitor the development of the city efficiently,” it said.

The report said the Finance Ministry, the main shareholder in Cyberview, needed to ensure the company was focused in monitoring Cyberjaya’s development.

It also suggested that Cyberview fully monitor the buildings’ rent collection and take action on those who failed to pay their outstanding rent.

By The Star

BNM: Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 70% for 3rd home loan

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia is imposing with immediate effect the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 70% for the third house financing facility taken by a borrower as it seeks to curb "excessive investment and speculative activity in the residential property market".

The central bank said on Wednesday, Nov 3 the move was expected to moderate the excessive investment and speculative activity in the residential property market which has resulted in higher than average price increases in such locations.

“This has also led to increases in house prices in surrounding locations, thus contributing to the declining overall affordability of homes for genuine house buyers," it said.

Bank Negara said the financing facilities for purchase of the first and second homes are not affected and borrowers will continue to be able to obtain financing for these purchases at the present prevailing LTV level applied by individual banks based on their internal credit policies.

“The measure aims to support a stable and sustainable property market, and promote the continued affordability of homes for the general public,” it said.

Below is the entire statement issued by Bank Negara:

Measures in Promoting a Stable and Sustainable Property Market and Sound Financial and Debt Management of Households

Bank Negara Malaysia wishes to announce with immediate effect the implementation of a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 70%, which will be applicable to the third house financing facility taken out by a borrower. Financing facilities for purchase of the first and second homes are not affected and borrowers will continue to be able to obtain financing for these purchases at the present prevailing LTV level applied by individual banks based on their internal credit policies. The measure aims to support a stable and sustainable property market, and promote the continued affordability of homes for the general public.

At the national level, residential property prices have increased steadily in tandem with economic development and the rise in income levels. This aggregate growth trend remains largely manageable and has not deviated from the long term trend in residential property prices. In the more recent period, however, specific locations, particularly in and around urban centres, have experienced faster growth, both in the number of transactions and in house prices. This is further supported by an increase in financing provided for multiple unit purchases by a single borrower, suggesting increasing investment activity that is of a speculative nature.

The targeted implementation of the LTV ratio is expected to moderate the excessive investment and speculative activity in the residential property market which has resulted in higher than average price increases in such locations. This has also led to increases in house prices in surrounding locations, thus contributing to the declining overall affordability of homes for genuine house buyers. This measure therefore remains supportive of the objective of encouraging home ownership among Malaysians which continues to be an important national agenda.

Introduction of the Financial Capability Programme

As part of the continuous efforts to raise the level of financial literacy and to promote sound financial and debt management by Malaysians, Bank Negara Malaysia also wishes to announce the introduction of the Financial Capability Programme. This Programme will be offered by Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) through its establishments nationwide and will commence from January 2011. The Programme is aimed at equipping individuals with important knowledge for responsible financial decisions by gaining practical understanding and skills in money and debt management. This in turn will contribute towards preserving the sound financial positions of households and ensure that debt accumulation is commensurate with household affordability, including their ability to absorb interest rate adjustments and potential volatility to income and expense levels. Individuals particularly new prospective borrowers and young adults are strongly encouraged to participate in this specially designed programme. The details of the implementation of the Financial Capability Programme will be announced later in December this year.

Bank Negara Malaysia

3 November 2010

By The EDGE Malaysia (by Joseph Chin)

Sunrise Q1 pre-tax profit up 4pc

Sunrise Bhd's pre-tax profit for the first-quarter ended Sept 30, 2010, increased four per cent to RM52.214 million from RM50.244 million registered in the same quarter last year.

However, revenue fell 9.98 per cent to RM171.272 million against RM190.261 million chalked up previously, it said in a statement.

It attributed the higher profits to lower operating costs while the lower revenue was due to the fact that its projects, Mont'Kiara Meridin, 10 Mont’Kiara and most of Solaris Dutamas were completed in the previous corresponding period.

Sunrise said it has locked in substantial unrecognised revenue of RM863.8 million, as at Sept 30, 2010, with another RM351 million sales recorded in October, mainly from its Quintet project in Richmond, Canada.

The substantial lock-in sales would help sustain the group's earnings until 2013, it added.

The group has several residential and commercial projects in the pipeline with the immediate one being Menara Solaris in Kuala Lumpur, it said.

Publika, the retail gallery at Solaris Dutamas is expected to open mid-2011 offering 320,000 sq ft of net lettable space with 4,000 car park bays, it said.

The construction of 11 Mont’Kiara and 28 Mont'Kiara are on schedule, slated for completion in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Sunrise is also venturing into the hospitality sector to operate service residences which would be a boon to existing home owners in generating yield occupancy for their properties through medium to long-term leasing, it said.

By Bernama

Exciting decorating ideas to inspire home owners

HOMEDEC, an exhibition for homeowners, will be held at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) in Relau from Friday to Sunday.

It is open to the public from 11am to 9pm daily.

HOMEDEC will be a source of inspiration for those who plan to renovate, refurbish or redecorate their homes.

It features new designs, the latest products and innovations for the home.

The highlight of the event is ‘Kids Living’ where there are ideas and settings to show off designs and solutions for a child’s room.

Celebrity designer Eric Leong will provide home tips while feng shui expert Henry Fong will be available to point homeowners in the right direction to maximise qi within their homes.

Tips on choosing the right wall paints will also be provided.

Visitors who spend a minimum of RM100 in a single receipt at the exhibition will be eligible to join a contest to win the grand prize of Cuisinart, KitchenAid and Omega Juicer products worth RM15,000 and also RM5,000 in cash.

A demonstration on making healthy juices will also be held.

Other prizes worth more than RM40,000 are up for grabs.

Visitors who spend a minimum of RM500 in a single receipt will also stand to win a RM20,000 cash reward.

For details on HOMEDEC, call 03-79824668 or 010-2528622 or visit

By The Star

Property laggards take centre stage

KUALA LUMPUR: Property counters climbed in active trade on Wednesday, spurred by news of impending “material” corporate exercises to be announced by UEM Land Holdings Bhd and Sunrise Bhd.

The two property firms - UEM Land and Sunrise - were suspended at the opening bell following separate requests made to the exchange. No other details were made available as at 5pm.

At the close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index inched up 1.03 points, or 0.07% to 1,507.60 points.

Market breadth was positive, with 503 gainers leading 280 decliners, while 307 counters were unchanged. Volume was 1.325 billion shares billion shares worth RM1.436bil.

Smaller property laggard were in the limelight. UM Land Bhd advanced 22 sen, or 13% to RM1.89, Glomac up 8 sen, or 4.9% to RM1.71, while MK Land added 1.5 sen, or 4% to 39.5 sen.

Shares companies linked to Perak state government - Maju Perak Bhd and Perak Corp Bhd - were up sharply in heavy volume.

Maju Perak soared 19.5 sen, or 45% higher at 63 sen on volume of 18.3 million shares, while Perak Corp surged 42 sen, or 36% to RM1.58 on volume of 6.59 million shares.

Shares in Pasdec and Mentiga, both linked to Pahang state government also had a good run. Pasdec jumped 12 sen, or 30% to 52.5 sen, while Mentiga climbed 13.5 sen, or 20% to 82 sen.

In overseas markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2% to 24,144 points, Korea’s main index was up 0.9% to 1,935 points, while in Singapore the Straits Times rose 0.7% to 3,227 points.

By The Star

Contractors renew appeals for stamp duty waiver

CONTRACTORS have renewed their appeals to the government to waive stamp duties on construction-related contracts.

Two years ago, the government said it wanted to simplify stamp duty assessment by revising the rate on all construction services agreements that do not require collateral to 0.5 per cent of contract value.

This covered consulting contracts, operation and maintenance contracts and facilities services contracts. Therefore, a RM10 million construction contract would attract a total stamp duty of RM50,000.

After appeals from trade bodies the Finance Ministry gave a temporary relief by revising the stamp duty to a flat RM50 fee. But this ends at the end of the year.

"The reversion ... will inflate construction costs," Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) president Kwan Foh Kwai told reporters after Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor launched the third Malaysian Construction Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Eventually, these extra but unnecessary costs will be passed on to the government and the public because all construction contracts are either government jobs or packages awarded by property developers in the private sector.

MBAM also appealed to the government to table the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Bill for enactment at Parliament. The draft Bill, which was given to the Attorney General's Chambers in early 2007, has yet to make its way to Parliament.

This proposed new law is meant to minimise payment defaults in the construction industry via timely and cost-efficient recourse to adjudication.

By Business Times