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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Japan project will fare well, says AP Land

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) is confident its maiden residential overseas project called Shiki, to be built at Niseko, Japan, will fare well despite the recent earthquake and nuclear scare there.

Its joint managing director Low Su Ming said at present, many investors are still keen but “have taken a wait and see approach”.

“We have had three pull outs so far but at the same time we have had 20 confirmed buyers even before the groundbreaking ceremony which will take place on April 10,” she told the media yesterday.

Shiki, a fully furnished serviced apartment project, is being built by APL Niseko Property TMK, a subsidiary of AP Land Bhd with gross development value of about RM220 million.

Each unit of the freehold property, which comes in one to three bedrooms, is priced between RM1.8 million and RM4.97 million.

The project would be completed and delivered on schedule by December 2012.

“Construction cost would not escalate as we have already locked in the prices,” she said.

On whether the company would take a different marketing approach (now), Low said: “This is not the time to talk about selling. We are very confident in Niseko as it still holds the promise of a growing wealth in Asia, which we truly believe in.”

Niseko resort brand manager Derek Kennewell said AP Land expected to sell at least half of the 69 units before completion date while the rest would probably be sold once its completed.

Kennewell works for LJ Hooker, an Australian-based real estate company which has been roped in by AP Land to promote Shiki.

“So far all the buyers are Malaysians and Singaporeans. We may target Chinese buyers now.

“This is definitely a good investment with a yield of between 4 and 5 per cent,” added Kennewell.

By Business Times

AP Land to complete resort project despite March 11 quake

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) plans to complete the Shiki Niseko project in Niseko, Japan by the end of 2012 despite the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the country.

AP Land joint managing director Low Su Ming said the ground-breaking for the project would be held next week.

“We have awarded the contract for the construction of the project and locked in the cost. So, we won't be affected by the expected increase in the cost of construction materials in Japan as a result of the reconstruction of the devastated areas caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Despite the catastrophe, we are not overly concerned over the impact to our project as the disaster area is located more than 600km away from Niseko.

“We are still confident in the vast untapped potential of Niseko as an international ski resort to cater to the growing affluence in various Asian markets,” Low added.

The company would be organising road shows to Australia and other target markets, she said, adding that the buyers were from Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia and Australia.

Shiki Niseko is AP Land's maiden development in Japan. The project comprises 69 units of one, two and three bedroom high-end residences with commercial component in the heart of the ski village, known as central Hirafu.

About 60% of the project have been booked and of this, 30% of the buyers have paid the downpayment.

While most investors had taken a long-term position and were prepared to ride out any short-term volatility, two to three buyers might pull out from the deal due to concerns about radiation from the quake-stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima, she said.

To address the concerns, AP Land had invited property consultancy LJ Hooker Niseko Resort branch manager Derek Kennewell to brief the project's buyers and the media on the actual situation in Niseko.

According to Kennewell, Niseko is located more than 600km from the disaster zone and there is no threat of radioactivity contamination.

By The Star

New Age buys land in Kuantan from EPF for RM12m

KUALA LUMPUR: Boutique developer New Age Portfolio Sdn Bhd is buying a piece of land in Kuantan, Pahang, from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which has potential to generate RM120 million in gross development value.

New Age is buying the 10.4ha land for RM12 million, said its chief executive officer Lai Yeng Fock.

The land is part of the 200ha Indera Mahkota 2 township, in which Pasdec Holdings Bhd is one of the major developers.

"We are negotiating the terms of the sales and purchase agreement with the EPF. We hope to start building the houses by the third quarter of this year," Lai told Business Times in an interview recently.

According to Lai, the project will be undertaken by a new company called Armada Bayumas Sdn Bhd, controlled by him and two other property investors.

Lai said he is also talking to a land owner in Klang, Selangor, for a big project.

"I want to be a long-term player in property development and some day develop a township that I can be proud off. My initial target is Klang Valley," Lai said.

Lai has over 20 years of experience in property development, starting with Talam Corp Bhd in 1986 and Brisdale Holdings Bhd. His final post was at WCT Land Bhd as its executive director.

At WCT, Lai was involved in key projects such as Bandar Bukit Tinggi in Klang, d'Banyan Residency @ Sutera Harbour, Sabah, and The Platinum Plaza in Vietnam.

He left WCT in 2008 to set up New Age with four partners, all businessmen. Its first project was Kinrara Hills in Puchong, Selangor, featuring 50 units of semi-detached houses that were fully sold.

"My selling point is extending the defect liability to 36 months from 24 months and offering three-year after sale service," Lai said.

New Age is planning a luxury condominium project in Kota Kinabalu due for launch this year, via its associate, Laser Plus Sdn Bhd.

Lai expects New Age to generate revenue of RM40 million in the current financial year to December 31, with two-digit growth year-on-year.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

Iris Corp in Senegal property JV

PETALING JAYA: Iris Corp Bhd (ICB) through its subsidiary Iris Land has entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Caisse Des Depots Consignations (CDC), a Senegalese government-owned trust company, for the proposed joint venture (JV) to construct and complete a mixed development of residential and commercial units in Senegal with gross development value of RM800mil.

The group told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that Iris Land will hold 49% stake in the JV while the remaining will be own by CDC .

It said Iris Land will finance its obligations via a combination of bank borrowings and internally-generated funds.

It added that the JV is an additional opportunity for ICB to venture into the property development sector in Senegal and this proposed JV represented an additional revenue stream to ICB.

ICB said the JVA would not have any effect on the issued and paid-up share capital, substantial shareholder's shareholding earnings, earnings per share, net assets per share and gearing of ICB group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2011.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the board is of the opinion that the JVA will contribute positively to the earnings and earnings per share of the ICB group in the future.

By The Star

MRCB expects to land more govt jobs

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is expecting more government jobs under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), having bid for projects worth over RM2 billion.

Chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Razeek Hussain said one of its key performance indicators for 2011 is to grow the company's revenue by 20 per cent to RM1.3 billion and achieve RM150 million in profit before tax (PBT).

For fiscal 2010, MRCB posted a PBT of RM97.6 million on revenues of RM1.1 billion.

Among the projects MRCB is bidding for are package A and B of the LRT extension project, worth some RM1 billion and RM600 million respectively.

"If we can get one of the two packages, we would have achieved 40 per cent of our target," he said yesterday after the company's shareholders meeting.
MRCB has secured two projects under the ETP - the development of the 6-star St Regis Hotel at Kuala Lumpur Sentral in Brickfields, and the River of Life project.

Razeek said MRCB is negotiating with the government on the scope of works for the project, where it holds the letter of intent with its joint-venture partner, Ekovest Bhd.

The project includes cleaning and beautifying the Klang and Gombak river, and planning some developments along it. He declined to reveal the project cost.

OSK Research estimates the project to be worth RM8 billion to RM10 billion.

Meanwhile, MRCB, which has RM4.2 billion worth of ongoing property projects, plan to launch three new developments valued at RM2.6 billion between May and December this year.

These include an office tower and residences at KL Sentral and a high-end condominium project at Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur.

MRCB is also aiming to launch Penang Sentral soon, Razeek said.

"We are looking at substantial growth this year, majority of that will be contributed by our existing projects," he said.

By Business Times