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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Glomac keeps overseas investment option open

KUALA LUMPUR: Glomac Bhd, a medium-sized property outfit, may invest overseas to diversify earnings if it gets projects with good returns.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk FD Iskandar FD Mansor said the company was at one point looking at India and Vietnam but put on hold plans to focus on Malaysia.

"There are still a lot of things we can do here. We will keep our options open for overseas expansion," he said in an interview with Business Times recently.

Glomac's first foray overseas was Australia in 2006, when it bought 380, Lonsdale Street, in Melbourne for A$30.5 million (RM82.4 million). This was through its unit, Glomac Australia Pty Ltd and partner Victoria Investments & Properties Pty Ltd.

The Lonsdale property encompasses a commercial building and a seven-storey carpark complex, with 445 bays offering 8 per cent rental yields. The building is now worth more than A$45 million.

In 2008, Glomac ventured into Thailand and currently has a 600,000 sq ft warehouse near the Bangna-Trad highway in the Samutprakarn province in Bangkok.

The warehouse, which is 49 per cent owned by Glomac and 51 per cent by its partner, Warehouse Asia Alliance Company Ltd, a leading Thai company in warehousing and logistics services, was built for RM125 million. It is now worth around RM180 million.

Iskandar said although Glomac is not seriously looking at property projects overseas, it is mulling redeveloping Lonsdale Street to ride on demand for commercial properties in Melbourne.

"We are looking at potential redevelopment of the property as the market for commercial assets is very hot currently," Iskandar said.

Iskandar said long term plans include building its investment portfolio to include properties that provide a good yield.

But he ruled out the possibility of launching a real estate investment fund (REIT) for now.

"We were keen three years ago but to launch a REIT, you need assets worth RM500 million to RM600 million.

"We will look at investing in properties that give good recurring income. What is hot today are retail malls," he said.

Glomac had in its portfolio investment properties worth about RM200 million but sold most of them in recent years to focus on property development.

By Business Times

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