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Monday, February 7, 2011

Firm aims for top spot in property management

SUBANG: Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd (APM), which is currently building and managing 10 ongoing property projects locally, aims to be the country's leading property management and property related services company.

Its executive director (sales and marketing) Datuk Vincent Tiew said from Jan 2011 onwards, the company would be launching and managing at least 10 properties worth RM2bil simultaneously.

Tiew said of 10 projects it currently managed, four belongs to the Andaman group.

“And we anticipate more developers and landowners to request for our services this year,” Tiew told StarBiz, adding that APM's business model was to develop and manage properties while generating high yield and fast turnaround for developers and landowners.

APM was formed in 2009 by some of the management members of the Andaman Group, an established property developer.

“After honing their skills in property development and managing properties of the Andaman Group, they decided to form an independent company, which is how APM was incorporated,” Tiew noted.

On its business model, Tiew said: “We want to be a leader in the industry in the country and build a strong track record of developing, maintaining and adding value to the properties that we manage in terms of yield, occupancy rates and capital gain for our clients, including property buyers.”

He said when APM was given the go-ahead to develop and manage a property project, it would first be looking to fulfill the developers expectation of the property project in terms of commercial reality, yield, bottom line.

“And our work starts from the onset of planning, authority management, construction and building maintenance to units selling, project administration and securing of strata-title. We also provide developers and landowners advice on how to best position the property development in terms of architectural design and other value-added services in line with developers/landowners expectations,” Tiew said.

On pricing he said: “We built shop lots and residential developments with per unit prices ranging from RM2mil to RM10mil and RM350,000 to RM1mil respectively.”

APM targeted its properties at the mass market to ensure that they remain in demand, even during the downturn, Tiew said, adding that for certain properties, buyers were guaranteed with return on investment.

APM's current property projects for the Andaman Group include Kota D'Sara with gross development value (GDV) of RM125mil, and Casa Residenza (GDV: RM180mil), both located in Kota Damansara. APM plans to launch the The Academia@South City Plaza in Seri Kembangan and the RM700mil The Arc@Cyberjaya in Cyberjaya.

By The Star

Lanson Place to operate Bukit Ceylon Residences in 2012

LANSON Place Hospitality Management Ltd will operate a RM207 million property known as Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Residences in Kuala Lumpur in 2012.

This will be Lanson Place's third property in Malaysia and form part of the Verticas Residenci development in Bukit Ceylon by Wing Tai Malaysia Bhd. The tower, to be managed by Lanson Place, is owned by Wing Tai Malaysia and Lanson Place's parent company, Wing Tai Properties Ltd. Wing Tai Properties is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The management company's senior vice-president Graeme Laird described the upcoming accommodation as "comfortable and chic" and said that it would have 150 keys with one- to three-bedroom units.

The property has set new standards in the serviced apartments as it has very large units, with a one- bedroom unit measuring 1,100 sq ft and larger ones reaching 2,000 sq ft.

When asked about return on investment for this property, Laird said: " We did not calculate the payback period. The expected gross rental yield in a stabilised year could reach more than 10 per cent. So this would be from year three of operation."

The Bukit Ceylon property hopes to garner an average of RM500 per night when it opens.

Meanwhile, its four-star Lanson Place Ambassador Row with 221 keys closed last year with an average room rate of RM207 and an occupancy of 72 per cent.

This year, it hopes to garner RM250 and fill 70 per cent of its room inventory.

It also operates 132 units in Lanson Place Kondominium No 8, which consists of purely residential apartments.

Where next in Malaysia for Lanson Place? Laird said it could be keen on Penang and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah if the right properties become available and the destinations can support high-end serviced apartments.

But its more immediate priority is to upgrade Lanson Place Ambassador Row in 2013 to lift the product and position it further up- market.

By Business Times

Lanson going places

GUESTS of Lanson Place serviced apartments, who are used to the level of service by the group, will be pleased to know that it plans to triple the number of properties within the next three to five years.

Lanson Place Hospitality Management Ltd, a Wing Tai Asia Group company, is also looking at representations in several new destinations like Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

This expansion will also see the number of rooms triple.

"Within the next three- to five- year period, our internal goal is to have 20 properties and 3,000 keys (apartment units)," the management company's senior vice president Graeme Laird said.

"It is ambitious and will all depend on having the right human resources in place", he added.

Lanson Place has a presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. In Malaysia, the properties are owned by Wing Tai Malaysia Bhd, which was previously known as DNP Holdings Bhd.

Laird, during a recent visit to Kuala Lumpur from Hong Kong, told Business Times that the expansion could be pure management contracts for its group properties or for others or those where it takes equity.

Lanson Place now has seven properties with a total of 1000 keys. Six of the properties are serviced apartments, while its sole property in Hong Kong is a hotel.

According to Laird, the group is working on introducing two accommodation categories - a premier model that is likely to be called Lanson Place Residences and one which is a rung below, called the Lanson Place Apartments.

The former will typically have 100 to 150 keys while the latter between 150 and 250 keys. Keys refer to the main door as serviced apartments can be a one-, two- or three-bedroom unit.

Currently, Lanson's two top performing properties are located one each in Beijing and Shanghai in China.

The first Lanson Place property commenced operations in 1998 in Singapore. Immediately thereafter, Lanson Place Kondominium No 8, a residential development, and Lanson Place Ambassador Row in Kuala Lumpur opened in the same year.

When asked about competition, especially in Kuala Lumpur where there has been a mushrooming of serviced residences, Laird said: "Our product is different from our competitors. Our style and finishing is of high quality. And so is our standard of service."

"You just have to arrive with a suitcase and be at home immediately," he said.

It positions itself to go beyond expectations in service standards.

If you are a guest from Lanson Place having dinner at a restaurant outside and it starts to pour, don't be surprised if a Lanson Place staff shows up at the restaurant's door just so he can hand over an umbrella to you.

By Business Times

Bina Puri upbeat on cracking RM1b mark

The company expects 2011 to be one of its better years since its listing in 1995, says Bina Puri's group managing director

BINA Puri Holdings Bhd, which is expanding its business, is bullish that revenue will surpass RM1 billion this year, its chief said.

"This year is all about execution of projects and finishing existing jobs. We expect 2011 to be one of our better years since our listing in 1995," group managing director Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng told Business Times.

In 2010, Bina Puri secured projects worth RM2.5 billion. Among the contracts it won were the Ampang light rail transit line extension, the low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang, the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway privatisation project and building ramps and a main line bridge for the Eastern Dispersal Link in Johor.

The company hopes to maintain the rate of new contracts this year by securing RM2.5 billion worth of work.
It has bid for building and infrastructure projects worth over RM2 billion, in Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and the Middle East.

For the nine months ended September 30 2010, Bina Puri posted a net profit of RM8.13 million on revenue of RM861 million. In 2009, Bina Puri made RM6.4 million on revenue of RM780.1 million.

Tee said the company's order book of RM3.3 billion will help improve its earnings for the next two to three years.

Meanwhile, Tee said Bina Puri is on a drive to expand its property division, which contributes less than 10 per cent to its revenue and net profit.

Bina Puri ventured into property development in the 1980sas a boutique developer.

Some of its prime projects include Bukit Idaman township in Selayang and Jesselton Condominium in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Tee expects contribution from the division this year to be in the region of 15 per cent with RM900 million worth of housing projects in Klang Valley, Johor and Sabah.

"We want to expand the division because of the higher margins that can be made from property development. We don't want to be too dependent on construction, which is harder to take on," Tee said.

By Business Times

Malaysia woos luxury hotel brands

Bulgari, Armani and Versace may no longer be just luxury retail brands found in Malaysian malls, as property developers think about bringing in their hotel brands too.

With brands like Grand Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons already here while St Regis and Raffles have confirmed openings, developers are eyeing fresh and popular hotel brands.

"Developers are now beginning to look at Waldorf Astoria and also various designer-linked brands like Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Palazzo Versace, Armani Hotels & Resorts," vice president of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Ivo Nekvapil told Business Times in an interview recently.

If these brands make their way to our shores, they are likely to be located either in Kuala Lumpur or on Langkawi island.

Nevertheless, Nekvapil feels that sub-brands or brands that come under their more familiar parent company name should be considered as they have potential in Malaysia.

These would include brands like All Seasons and Ibis which are Accor brand hotels and Hilton Garden Inn, a Hilton group brand.

He explained that these brands have international recognition and as such Malaysia too needs these brands to give the country world recognition.

Meanwhile, when asked about the hotel scene in Klang Valley this year, Nekvapil said that there could be an addition of some 2,000 rooms in the four- and five-star hotel/serviced residence category.

Additional rooms this year will come from the opening of Somerset Ampang Kuala Lumpur, Best Western KL Sentral, Park Regis Kuala Lumpur and Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar.

On occupancy and rates in the Klang Valley, Nekvapil said that 2011 could end with an average room rate (ARR) of RM360 for lower end five-star hotels and about RM500 for higher end five-star category hotels. Occupancy this year could finish at about 68 per cent.

Mandarin Oriental still leads the pack, and is now drawing an ARR of around RM700.

Last year, occupancy ended at around 65 per cent and ARR of between RM200 to RM320 per night.

Malaysia had its highest occupancy of over 70 per cent in 2007.

By Business Times