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Monday, January 17, 2011

SP Setia wins Penang convention centre deal

SP Setia Bhd, the country's largest developer by sales has won a RM300 million project to build and operate the Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE), Bloomberg reported, citing an email statement from the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Last Thursday, Business Times reported that the property developer was the front runner and on the verge of winning the job.

Securing the project should bode well for SP Setia, which posted sales of RM1.74 billion and a net profit of RM251.81 million in the year ended October 31 2010.

The project aims to create a "Penang People's Park" that includes the country's first subterranean sPICE, a 2.83 hectares public park on the rooftop, a refurbished and upgraded Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa), a refurbished and upgraded Aquatic Centre and a four-star hotel with retail outlets and a spacious parking lot.

The project will be developed through a public-private partnership agreement between the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) and developer SP Setia Bhd's unit Eco Meridean Sdn Bhd.
On September 3 2010, SP Setia had bought 2 ordinary shares of RM1.00 each in Eco Meridian Sdn Bhd, resulting in the private company becoming a wholly owned unit of SP Setia.

Financing for the Penang project will see MPPP injecting some RM50 million, through a combination of land and cash, while Eco Meridean will finance the rest.

The proposed sPICE, which initially came with a RM50 million priceline, has been mired in controversy ever since Lim proposed it.

One of the concerns raised was that the project would incur huge expenditure, which could result in the council becoming insolvent.

Lim, however, claimed the council could save some RM25 million from the refurbishment, repairs and upgrading work on Pisa and the Aquatic Centre and that Eco Meridean will pay RM13.5 million for land to build a four-star hotel to complement sPICE.

This means that the net sum of MPPP's investment in the project would be RM11.5 million.

Work on the project is expected to start within three to six months' time and will be completed in three years.

By Business Times

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