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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unregistered real estate agents can take equity stake

PETALING JAYA: Effective Jan 1 next year, the amended Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 will allow individuals who are not registered as real estate agents to take up equity in valuation, property management and estate agency firms as part of the liberalisation of the services sector.

Paul: ‘However, these individuals will not be the principals of the firms.’

“This amendment will enable fresh capital to come into these firms,’’ said Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Nixon Paul.

“However, these individuals will not be the principals of the firms. Those who operate and manage the firms must be qualified real estate professionals.

“This move will enable the firms to grow when fresh capital is injected into the company,” he said after the launch of the inaugural certified international property specialist (CIPS) course.

The five-day course will enable agents to obtain the CIPS credientials, if they pass the examination, thus gaining a foothold in the CIPS network in the United States.

“It is to enable our agents to market Malaysian properties abroad and international properties in Malaysia,” he said.

Paul said though the amendment of the Act and the CIPS certification were two separate things but together they would take the sector a step further towards liberalisation and globalisation.

“It will modernise the sector,” he said.

“From a global perspective, if I want to specialise in the American market, I can allow someone from the American market to come in and take up equity in my company and I can also take up equity in his company.

“A joint-venture company can be set up in both markets to facilitate the exchange of information,” he said.

In the initial stage, Paul expects the amendment to the Act to facilitate the Asean real estate network in the next five years. “It will help to improve networking among members of the fraternity.’’

On the promotion of Malaysian properties to foreigners, the main concern is that the presence of foreign buyers may further drive up property prices.

“Our real estate is relatively cheap compared with other countries in the region and yet foreigners are not coming here. This means that we have not been promoting Malaysian properties effectively,” Paul said.

By The Star

TRC unit to build houses in Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR: TRC Synergy Bhd’s wholly-owned Trans Resources Corp Sdn Bhd has won a RM38.1 million contract from Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd to build houses in Putrajaya.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, TRC said the contract entails the building of 14 units of double-storey terraced houses and 14 units of double-storey semi-detached homes at sub-precinct 14-3 as well as 72 units of double-storey terraced houses at sub-precinct 14-6A, all in Precinct 14.

By Business Times

LEGOLAND Malaysia on track for '12 opening

LEGOLAND Malaysia is on track for an exciting 2012 opening in Iskandar Malaysia.

In a statement today, LEGOLAND Malaysia announced the installation of steelworks for its iconic roller coaster ride called the LEGO TECHNIC Test Track, and the sale of annual passes.

For a limited period only, LEGOLAND Malaysia is offering pre-opening annual pass at RM195 for adults (normal price RM275) and RM150 for children (normal price RM210).

Gate prices are at RM140 for adults and RM110 for children while Mykad holders get a RM30 rebate at the gate. LEGOLAND Malaysia is the first such theme park to open in Asia-Pacific and the sixth in the world.

By Bernama

Hua Yang to offer more affordable houses in Perak township

KUALA LUMPUR: Hua Yang Bhd’s biggest lakeside township development in Perak, Bandar Universiti Seri Iskandar, will be offering more affordable houses by building 137 units of the Tropika and Casa Series, which are essentially double-storey terrace houses.

“There will also be the Seri Idaman and Seri Andaman series, priced from RM130,000 with each unit spanning 74.4 sq m. Overall, a total of 909 units will be built,” said chief executive Ho Wen Yan in a statement yesterday.

The company will also launch 123 units of retail shops with a pedestrian mall concept near the Tesco Superstore in 2012, and will build more commercial shop lots priced from RM450,000.

Covering 335.2ha, Bandar Universiti Seri Iskandar, the group’s biggest township project by area, will contribute about 30 per cent to the group’s earnings in 2012. Hua Yang will develop the total area in parcels over the next eight years.
The company yesterday received the arrival of a Tesco Superstore, which is set to boost sales and mark the arrival of other retail operators.

Strategically located at OneBU@Seri Iskandar, the township’s lifestyle and business hub, Tesco will attract families and individuals to visit the township for groceries, fresh foods and household needs, Ho said.

By The Star

MK Land:India project contribution from 2013

MK Land Holdings Bhd expects its affordable homes project in Bangalore in India to contribute to the group's earnings beginning its financial year 2013.

Group chief executive officer Lau Shu Chuan said the project, with a gross development value (GDV) of more than RM3 billion, is targeted to take off after the company's current financial year.

"We are now in the midst of getting relevant approvals from the authorities in India," he said after the company's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

Lau said the 74ha project would take between eight and 10 years to complete. He also said that demand for residential properties in India had been picking up and prices were also increasing, adding the project has an advantage as it is only a few kilometers from the airport.

The project will be carried out by MK Embassy Land Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between MK Land (47.5 per cent), Embassy Group subsidiary Star Dreams Pte Ltd (47.5 per cent) and Emkay Group subsidiary MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd (5 per cent).

Emkay Group is the private vehicle of Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, who is major shareholder of MK Land.

Lau sees better performance for the group for its current financial year with major contributions from the group's Damansara Perdana, Damansara Damai and Meru Perdana projects.

"The next two to three quarters are expected to remain stable. At this point of time, things are looking stable. We are seeing demand for properties," he said.

For its financial year ended June 30, 2011, MK Land posted a net profit of RM18.96 million compared to RM11.0 million recorded for the previous financial year.

For its first quarter, the company turned in a net profit of RM3.87 million compared to RM3.4 million for the previous corresponding period.

Lau also said that the company is cautious about the changes in the economic environment and had taken measures including planning for affordable as well as high-end homes.

"If the economy does turn, affordable homes are still in demand," he said. Lau said the company's undeveloped land currently stood at 2,000ha located mostly in Damansara Perdana, Damansara Damai and Taiping, Perak.

He also said that the company had not looked at any merger and acquisition plan for the time being.

By Bernama

Ivory takes 51pc stake in Ivory Villas

KUALA LUMPUR: Ivory Properties Group Bhd has signed a share sale and purchase agreement with the vendors of Ivory Villas Sdn Bhd to buy the remaining 51 per cent stake in the company for RM40 million.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the Penang developer said the acquisition is to consolidate its entire income stream and healthy cashflow of Ivory Villas as well as its assets and ultimately enhance future performance.

It said Ivory Villas’ future property launches, with combined gross development value of RM238 million, will contribute positively to the enlarged Ivory group.

By Business Times