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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mah Sing earnings up on existing projects

PETALING JAYA: Mah Sing Group Bhd's net profit jumped 47.6% to RM41.1mil for the first quarter ended March 31 due to progressive recognition of development revenue and contribution from its property projects in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru.

The company said in a statement yesterday that revenue for the quarter rose to RM311.7mil against RM238.3mil a year ago. Earnings per share stood at 4.95 sen.

Mah Sing said projects that contributed to the group's profit and revenue included Perdana Residence 2 in Selayang, Garden Residence in Cyberjaya as well as Hijauan Residence and One Legenda in Cheras.

“Also contributing are projects such as Residence @ Southbay and Legenda @ Southbay in Penang as well as Sierra Perdana, Sri Pulai Perdana 2 and Austin Perdana in Johor Bahru.

“Our plastics division also contributed positively to revenue and profit,” it said.

The developer added that its balance sheets remained healthy with net gearing ratio at 0.32 as at March 31.

“The group has 22 ongoing projects and another seven in the pipeline for continued earnings growth in the near and medium term,” it said.

As at May 13, Mah Sing achieved RM975mil in sales, meeting 49% of its full-year sales target of about RM2bil. The group has unbilled sales of about RM1.6bil as at March 31.

By The Star

Fresh new start for Ibraco

KUCHING: Property developer Ibraco Bhd, which has exited the Practice Note 17 (PN17) list, will embark on a new residential project in Stutong here.

The company also plans to extend its property development activities to other major towns in Sarawak and venture into construction business.

Chew says Ibraco will launch the Stutong project in July.

Chief executive officer Chew Chiaw Han said Ibraco would launch the proposed Stutong housing project, comprising 77 single-storey terraced and semi-detached houses, in July.

“The project will have a gross development value (GDV) of about RM15mil,” he told StarBiz.

Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday removed Ibraco from the PN17 classification, about six months after the company completed its regularistion scheme.

Ibraco was classified a PN17 company after its revenue for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2009 fell below 5% of its paid-up capital.

The company's regularisation scheme involved the development of Tabuan Tranquility, a massive commercial, industrial and residential project along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

The mixed development on 66ha will comprise 640 double-storey terraced houses, 108 semi-detached houses, 60 units of three-storey townhouses, 76 units of four-storey shophouses, 72 semi-detached industrial buildings, an office block and a petrol station.

Tabuan Tranquility, to be developed in five phases up to 2015, has a GDV of RM517mil.

Chew said all the 76 shophouses priced between RM1mil and RM1.79mil had been sold. These shophouses are expected to be completed in July.

“About 85% of the Tabuan Tranquility phase 5 residential development, comprising 204 terraced houses and 38 semi-detached houses, have been booked,” he added. These houses are expected to ready by November 2012.

Chew said Ibraco also planned to undertake its first mixed property development in Bintulu or Miri.

He said the company had identified the land and might carry out the development via a joint venture with the landowner.

Although the plan has yet to be finalised, he hoped the project could take off this year.

To diversify its activities, Chew said Ibraco planned to venture into construction, including infrastructure and civil building works, for the private and public sectors.

“We are actively studying it. Ibraco is an experienced contractor and has all the expertise,” he added.

Ibraco, which has built about 10,000 properties over the years in the Tabuan area here, has a land bank of about 285ha, mostly in Kuching and Lundu.

By The Star

Prinsiptek in RM90m Bangkok project

SHAH ALAM: Prinsiptek Corp Bhd will embark on a mixed development project in Bangkok next month with a gross development value of RM90 million.

Its group managing Datuk Foo Chu Jong said the mid-range development should be completed within three to four years.

"The land for the Bangkok project is about 12.15ha and is only half an hour away from the city. It is at a very good location and is right beside a highway," he told Business Times after the company's annual general meeting, here yesterday.

Foo said the company has been constructing low-cost housing in Thailand (prior to this development) in a joint venture with the Thai government.

Prinsiptek expects to clock in double-digit growth this year from several developments and construction projects it had undertaken both locally and abroad.

Last year, the company bounced back with a net profit of RM2.27 million after recording a loss in 2009.

On local projects, Foo said Prinsiptek will embark on Vue Residences Service Suits in Jalan Pahang, Sri Gombak, Bangi in Selangor and Pahang in the coming months.

He said the company's current order book for construction stood at RM220 million while for development projects, RM489 million.

Foo added that its property projects were a mix of both leasehold and freehold developments.

Prinsiptek, he said, was in initial talks with the Sabah state government on a private finance initiative project that will enable the company to build government buildings and lease them back to the state government for the next 30 years.

Foo also said that it was looking for land to build more affordable houses under the My First Home Scheme.

"We are currently in talks to develop a leasehold housing area in Kajang under the My First Home Scheme," he added.

By Business Times

Fajarbaru JV buying 44ha site in Balik Pulau

It is understood that the JV intends to undertake medium- to high-end property development projects, which collectively boast a gross development value exceeding RM3 billion.

Kuala Lumpur: A joint venture (JV) between Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd and Sagajuta (Sabah) Sdn Bhd is on the verge of buying 44ha of land in Balik Pulau, Penang, via a private tender, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

At least two people with direct working knowledge of the two companies independently confirmed the JV's plan to acquire the land from a local non-government organisation in a cash deal valued at around RM200 million.

According to land brokers, land in Balik Pulau sells at between RM16 per sq ft (psf) and RM35 psf, depending on the type of land.

Among factors taken into consideration are if the land is leasehold or freehold, and whether it is agriculture, industrial, estate, orchard or housing land.

Business Times was told that an announcement by the JV on the matter will be made by as early as next month.

It is understood that the JV intends to undertake medium- to high-end property development projects, which collectively boast a gross development value exceeding RM3 billion.

Securing the project will be a critical boost for Fajarbaru, which is partly controlled by Datuk Low Keng Kok, former managing director of Road Builder (M) Holdings Bhd.

Fajarbaru is a successful medium-sized construction company, but it has been facing a margin squeeze as construction margin here is not as lucrative as before.

For the nine months ended March 31 2011, Fajarbaru posted a lower group level pre-tax profit of RM15.75 million versus a group pre-tax profit of RM19.31 million in the same period a year ago.

This is despite revenue for the period under review growing marginally to RM126.01 million from RM121.27 million before.

Analysts said construction margins are currently between 8 per cent and 12 per cent, while margins for property development vary from 18 per cent to as high as 30 per cent.

The planned township, which will take five to 10 years to develop, will comprise landed and high-rise residences, a commercial hub, mall and leisure properties, a source said.

Zerin Properties founder and chief executive officer Previn Singhe said with strong demand for landed properties in Penang Island, the project will be well-received if given the approval.

"Penang is a strong market. If you build good condominiums, people would buy. We expect sales to be very domestically-driven," he said.

Fajarbaru's partner in the JV, the privately-held Sagajuta, recently gained prominence after it emerged that the Sabah-based company had identified Robert Kuok Hock Nien's Jerneh Asia Bhd as a possible reverse takeover target.

Both companies are now in the midst of trying to finalise the deal, Jerneh Asia's filings to the stock exchange show.

One of the key driving forces of Sagajuta is its managing director Datuk Chan Boon Siew.

In Sabah, Sagajuta is famous for its 1Borneo development project, the first and largest lifestyle hypermall in the land below the wind.

By Business Times