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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Asia-Pac firms keen on lMalaysian properties

PETALING JAYA: The bulk of the interest in Malaysian properties will be from the companies in the Asia-Pacific region, said Malaysia Property Inc (MPI) chief executive officer Kumar Tharmalingam.

“The interest will be mainly from China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore,” he said.

Kumar: ‘MPI will be an extension of three government agencies and a ministry.’

MPI, which comes under the Economic Planning Unit, was set up in 2008 as a public private initiative (PPI) with a government grant of RM25mil. Another RM25mil is expected to come from the private sector.

MPI aims to raise RM10mil from the private sector this year.

“In our objective to promote Malaysian real estate, MPI will somewhat be an extension of three government agencies and a ministry, but with the specialised role of taking care of all real estate matters.

These are national trade promotion agency Matrade, International Trade and Industry Ministry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority,” he told StarBiz in an e-mail interview.

“When a foreign investment is approved by the government, there will be a need for land or office space, or even accommodation for staff. Or it could be a joint venture with our local property boys. This is where we come in.”

He said MPI's role could be match-making investors with local real estate players for joint-venture partnerships, helping foreign investors to look for land or office space and to seek business-to-business opportunities in the real estate sector.

Wide though the spectrum may be, Kumar said MPI's role to promote Malaysian real estate was “doable”.

Kumar said: “We have two core objectives; to create international awareness and to establish connections between foreign interests and Malaysian real estate industry players. The ultimate goal will be to contribute to real estate investments here.”

He said so far, the Japanese, Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian investors had shown quite a bit of interest in the Government's Economic Transformation Programmes. “Much of the Greater KL initiative is driven by property investments and we have been putting interest foreign parties with local players. Our work right now is still very much work-in-progress.”

He expects the Mass Rapid Transit project to generate a lot of interest in Malaysian real estate as there will be an influx of foreigners into the country who will need office space and accommodate.

By The Star

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