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Friday, August 26, 2011

Gurney Paragon Mall’s first phase to be ready soon

GEORGE TOWN: The first phase of the RM450mil Gurney Paragon Mall will be ready by the end of this year.

Group executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the 25 retail tenants in that phase would be Italiennes restaurant, Coffee Bean, Pacific Coffee, and TGIF.

The first phase has a net lettable area of 111,000sq ft. The second phase, comprising 599,000 sq ft, will have teants such as Hokkaido Ichiba Japanese restaurant, Urban Fresh supermarket, and TGV Cinemas Sdn Bhd.

“We are now negotiating with Valiram Group to bring in some of their fashion brand names for the second phase,” he said.

Khor said the group's business model was to hold and manage this mall.

“We have experts from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to advise on the mall's operations.

“The rental income stream from the mall in the future will enable the group to have a strong base of recurring income.

“This will transform the group from a property developer into a real estate landlord,” he added.

On the Gurney Paragon RM480mil condominium project, located within the same premise as the commercial segment, Khor said about 70% of the 220 condominium units had been sold.

“We have also obtained the certificate of fitness for the project,” he said.

Khor added that about RM10mil was in the process of being paid in the form of rebates to some 100 purchasers of the condominium scheme for late delivery.

The condominium project was scheduled for delivery in mid-2010.

It was delayed because of the caving in of an access road in July 2009.

By The Star

UEM Land Q2 net profit soars

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer UEM Land Holdings Bhd's second quarter net profit more than doubled due to its soaring revenue.

Its net profit for the three months to June 2011 came in at RM88.9 million compared with RM40.35 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose to RM509.4 million from RM88.0 million last year.

UEM Land said the momentum in the second quarter of 2011 will provide a strong platform for the current financial year.

For the first six months, UEM Land's net profit stood at RM106.54 million, up from RM43.49 million a year ago.

Group revenue rose to RM697.09 million from RM127.7 million previously.

UEM Land said the total unbilled sales of RM1.53 billion as at June 30 this year will support its revenue and profit for the current and subsequent financial years.

The significantly higher revenue in the quarter under review came mainly from higher direct development projects and developed land sales, UEM Land said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Higher developed land sales of RM122.1 million compared with immediate preceding quarter of RM7.3 million was mainly attributed to strong sales performance for the Southern Industrial & Logistics Clusters (SiLC).

The high demand for industrial land at SiLC was due to the relocation of Singapore factories to Nusajaya, the company noted.

By Business Times

Trinity to undertake affordable niche projects in Klang Valley

Going abroad:

PETALING JAYA: Up-and-coming developer, Trinity Group Sdn Bhd, is on the lookout for more strategic land in the Klang Valley to develop affordable niche boutique projects.

Managing director Datuk Neoh Soo Keat said the developer was also looking for opportunities in the other active growth markets of Penang and Johor.

“Hopefully in the next two to three years, we will be able to launch a project in Singapore also. To do that, we will need to tie up with a good Singapore partner,” Neoh told StarBiz.

Since it undertook its first development, The Heron Residency in 2004, the company has launched 2,010 property units worth some RM920mil, of which RM320mil have been completed.

It has an undeveloped land-bank of 8ha and a further 7.3ha in the Klang Valley that are under construction.

Neoh said the company hoped to achieve sales of RM520mil this year and RM640mil in 2012. Last year, it recorded RM50mil worth of sales, and its record sales so far were RM250mil in 2009.

While admitting the worsening external economies may affect market sentiment, he said the impact would be more severe on the high-end property market, while the medium-priced sector should be better cushioned against the softening outlook.

Trinity is targeting RM1.33bil worth of new project launches over the next two years. They will comprise residential and commercial projects in Melawati in Ampang, Bandar Putra Permai in Seri Kembangan, USJ 19 in Subang Jaya and Bukit Antarabangsa in Hulu Kelang.

The company plans to build condominiums on its 1.4ha freehold tract in Melawati with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM180mil.

The projected GDV of the Bandar Putra Permai project on 1.5ha is RM300mil, the 1.2ha USJ 19 project is worth RM200mil and the Bukit Antarabangsa project on 3.5ha is worth RM700mil.

The response to its latest project, the Z Residence condominium in Bukit Jalil, has been good with some RM350mil of the RM500mil development sold since its soft launch in April. The project comprises 1,136 condominium units on four towers of 26 and 27 storeys on a 2.7ha freehold site.

The first two phases, Towers A and B, featuring 590 units priced at an average RM340 per sq ft (psf), were sold out within a month.

The subsequent phase, Tower C featuring 281 units with built-up ranging from 1,032 to 1,407 sq ft, fetched an average price of RM380 psf. So far, it is about 65% sold.

The final block with 265 units will be launched next month.

Neoh said that to address the concerns of nearby Bukit OUG Condominium residents over the high-density nature of the development, which may cause traffic congestion in the area, Trinity would build a 800m link road costing RM3mil from the project site to Bukit Jalil highway to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

It is also taking measures to reduce pollution during construction.

By The Star

Selangor Dredging aims for gross development value of RM1bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) is set to launch several new projects locally and in Singapore to achieve a gross development value (GDV) of RM1bil by the end of next year.

Within the next six months, the developer expects to hit the RM500mil GDV mark through the launches of Hijauan on Cavenagh in Singapore and By The Sea in Batu Feringghi, Penang.

There will also be two more upcoming projects in Cheras and Dengkil to be launched within the first half of next year.

Hijauan was the project SDB had postponed when Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States credit rating early this month. The development located near Orchard Road is slated to be launched next month, with a GDV of RM238mil.

Teh: ‘Despite volatility in the world markets, we have decided to go ahead with the launch.’

“The project was only postponed for a few weeks. Despite volatility in the world markets, we have decided to go ahead with the launch because the market in Singapore was still strong,” managing director Teh Lip Kim told reporters after the group's AGM yesterday.

Teh said SDB was adjusting its income stream to have 50% from Singapore and the remaining half from Malaysia in the next two or three years. Currently, its Singapore developments contribute 30% to SDB's earnings.

“Singapore has the potential to be the next Hong Kong because of it is strong financial standing and the trust people have in their government,” she said.

Chairman Eddy Chieng said SDB branded itself as a niche lifestyle property developer focusing on high turnaround time for all its projects.

SDB does not have large landbanks in Malaysia and Singapore but it acquired land for its projects.

“By not having large landbanks, we do not have huge holding costs and this allows us to have a quick turnaround time for our projects,” Chieng said.

“We have bite-size pieces of land for our niche developments because we are not involved in township development. In Singapore, we are buying on blocks only,” Teh added.

“We are looking to acquire land in Singapore but because the land cost is very high, we have to be very careful. In Malaysia, land would usually cost 30% of the total cost of a development but in Singapore, it could be up 70%,” she said.

On the outlook on local property market, Teh said Malaysia remained good in the next couple of years with generally lower property prices compared to neighbouring countries.

SDB will also be looking into the property market in developed countries including Britain. Currently, it has invested in an office building in London that housed HSBC Bank.

Since moving into property development in 2004, SDB has launched seven projects in Malaysia and three in Singapore with GDV totalling RM2.38bil.

For its first quarter ended June, SDB recorded a net profit increase of 77.7% to RM10.11mil from RM 5.69mil a year ago. Its turnover for the quarter also rose 58.3% year-on-year to RM98.9mil from RM62.48 last year.

The improved performance was due to the good response to 20tree West and Five Stones in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya as well as Gilstead Two in Singapore.

In the financial year ended March, SDB's net profit was RM30.17mil, 67.9% increase from RM17.96mil achieved last year's. It achieved a turnover of RM346mil for FY2011, a 47.6% increase from RM234.43 in the previous period.

It recommended first and final payout dividendpayout at 5% per share, amounting to RM8mil.

By The Star

Amanresorts awaiting govt approval for Penang Hill project

GEORGE TOWN: World-class hotelier Amanresorts International Pte Ltd's plans to manage and market a proposed resort on Penang Hill are still on track and awaiting government approval.

The company told Business Times yesterday that despite news reports that the luxury Aman Resorts chain may be sold, plans or operations of its resorts are not affected.

"Essentially, the Aman project, which is still to be named, is going ahead pending government approval.

"There is an Aman resort proposal to be submitted on September 5 this year to the (Penang) Chief Minister Incorporated for final approval," Amanresorts Press Office media communications manager Anjali Nihalchand said in an email.

In May, the Penang government had announced that Amanresorts will refurnish the famous Crag Hotel on Penang Hill, which was one of the earliest hilltop homes and later turned into a hotel in 1929. The hotel has been in a neglected and direlect state since 1977 when the International school of Penang (better known as Uplands School) vacated the premises and moved to George Town.

The project was reported to have been awarded in April to Sri Nisuh Sdn Bhd and the company was said to be investing US$12 million (RM35.76 million) to finance the project which was to be completed within 30 to 36 months.

The Sunday Times in London, which did not mention a source for its story, had reported that the luxury Aman Resorts chain may be sold for more than US$400 million (RM1.19 billion).

The report stated that the current owner, Indian property company DLF Ltd, has reportedly been seeking a buyer for Aman and the newspaper reported that it may have asked Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup to find a strategic partner.

When asked to comment on whether this piece of news would affect Aman's plan for the Penang Hill resort, Anjali said: "No, the shareholding of the parent company of Amanresorts does not affect the plans or operations of the resorts."

In 2007, Khazanah Nasional Bhd announced that it had entered into a heads of agreement with Kota Selat Tebrau Sdn Bhd, Symphony International Holdings Limited and Aman Resorts Limited to develop an Aman Resort in the Iskandar Development Region in Johor.

The proposed resort was to have been the first Aman Resorts property in Malaysia to be built, designed and operated and the hotel was slated for completion in 2009. However, the project did not materialise.

By Business Times