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Friday, June 24, 2011

MGPA upbeat on Vista Tower

KUALA LUMPUR: Real estate investment firm MGPA expects its grade A office building Vista Tower (formerly known as Empire Tower), located at the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang, to be fully taken up by year-end.

MGPA Asia chief executive officer John Saunders said the building had already recorded a 60% take-up in the last six months. Refurbishment of the tower was completed at the end of last year.

“We have quite a number of potential tenants talking to us. By year-end, the tower should be full,” he said after a signing ceremony between MGPA and Maybank Investment Bank Bhd for a syndicated term loan facility worth RM1.2bil yesterday.

Saunders said the price for office space at the 62-storey tower ranged between RM8 and RM9.50 per sq ft.

“Currently, the tenant mix is 50:50 between local (tenants) and foreigners,” he said.

The RM1.2bil syndicated term loan facility is for The Intermark, which comprises the redevelopment of the Empire Tower, City Square, Crown Princess Hotel and Plaza Ampang.

MGPA, through its Asia Fund 2, acquired the properties in 2007 for about RM760mil. The entire redevelopment is expected to cost RM2.25bil.

“In 2007, (when) MGPA acquired the development, (the) property was underperforming and neglected but we've now turned it into a grade-A office space with A-list tenants, an international business class hotel managed by Doubletree by Hilton, and a retail podium that supports and integrates the development. We will soon be completing Malaysia's first pre-certified platinum LEED office tower, Integra Tower.”

Maybank Investment is the mandated lead arranger and bookrunner for the syndication which is participated by Malayan Banking Bhd as the main lender.

Saunders said MGPA would raise the rest of the funds via equity. “The (syndicated) loan is just liquidity management.”

Maybank Investment chief executive officer, Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the facility would add to the depth of the Malaysian ringgit syndicated loan market for 2011 which to-date stood at over RM5bil.

By The Star

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