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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Putra Place finally sold for RM514m

The Putra Place in Kuala Lumpur has finally been sold to OSK Trustee Bhd for RM513.95 million, some three years after the property was first put up for auction.

The auction, held yesterday, is believed to be the largest public auction in Malaysia.

Sources said OSK Trustee may have bought the property on behalf of one of the real estate investment trusts (REIT).

Among OSK's clients, speculation is that Sunway REIT is the buyer. Sunway REIT's chief executive officer Datuk Jeffrey Ng Tiong Lip did not answer calls from Business Times.

This move is not surprising as Sunway REIT manages malls, hotels and offices. Putra Place encompasses The Mall shopping complex, the Legend Hotel and an office tower.

This purchase will also strengthen Sunway REIT's position as Malaysia's largest trust.

Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB) put the property up for auction to recover loans given to property owner, Metroplex Holdings Sdn Bhd.

CIMB's counsel, Alan Gomez of Tommy Thomas Advocate & Solicitors, when contacted by Business Times said: "We confirm the successful auction of this property at the reserve price. The successful bidder was OSK Trustee Bhd."

Gomez said OSK has placed a 10 per cent deposit and now has 120 days to complete the purchase.

"The amount outstanding to the first chargee (CIMB) is in the region of RM140 million," he added.

The second chargee Aseambankers Malaysia Bhd is said to be owed a substantial amount.

Over the years, the auction price of the property was reduced thrice, as no bids were received.

The property was first auctioned in April 2008 and the price was then set at RM705 million. The latest reserve value was RM513.95 million.

The Mall comprises eight levels of podium retail/shopping units. The Putra Place office tower covers the tenth floor to the 33rd, while the 25-storey Legend Hotel includes serviced apartments and penthouses. It is located on Jalan Putra opposite the Putra World Trade Centre.

The freehold property, with 193,621 sq ft space, has 1,323 parking bays.

By Business Times

50pc more hotel rooms needed

BY 2020, Malaysia needs 50 per cent more hotel rooms to cater for the anticipated tourist arrivals of 36 million.

As at February this year, there were a total of 1,610 hotels in the three to five star category and budget hotels in Malaysia. Together the hotels provide 161,117 rooms.

The increase, Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said, would be required throughout the country.

Malacca records the highest number of tourists, he added.

Mamit, who read the speech on behalf of Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen at the official launch of InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, said that in Kuala Lumpur alone there are 236 hotels, offering 30,000 rooms.

The average occupancy of hotels in Kuala Lumpur in 2010 was 66.9 per cent, which was 4.2 per cent higher than in 2009.

However, the average occupancy of hotels in Malaysia declined by 1.6 per cent, registering 59.3 per cent. This was despite an increase in arrivals in 2010 of 24.6 million compared with 23.6 million in 2009.

Mamit said the decline could have been a result of people opting for Malaysian Homestay.

"There was a dramatic increase in the number of homestays," he said.

This year's tourist arrivals target is set at 25 million and the government is looking at bringing in high-yield tourists.

He added that any decline in arrivals from Japan will be cushioned by higher arrivals from China and India, particularly affluent tourists.

Meanwhile, some of the confirmed new room inventory to enter the Klang Valley market over the next five years are St Regis Kuala Lumpur, Grand Hyatt, Pullman Bangsar, Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Hilton Garden Inn, Movenpick, Park Regis Kuala Lumpur and Four Season Place.

By Business Times