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Monday, April 30, 2012

Posco to seal deal with Berjaya Land

Posco will take not more than 20 per cent stake in the development of Berjaya Jeju Resort on a 73.2ha site in Yeraedong in Seogwipo City, southwest of Jeju island.

BERJAYA Land Bhd (BLand), a property and gaming company, is close to inking a partnership agreement with South Korean steelmaker Posco Group on the acquisition of up to 20 per cent in the former's US$3 billion (RM9 billion) project in South Korea.

BLand is developing Berjaya Jeju Resort through its subsidiary, Berjaya Jeju Resort Ltd (BJR), on a 73.2ha site in Yeraedong in Seogwipo City, southwest of Jeju island.

BJR director Tan u-Jiun told Business Times in an interview that it expects to seal the deal with Posco by August or September this year.

"Posco will take not more than 20 per cent stake in the development and they will help to develop it," Tan said.

Posco, which is listed in Seoul, Tokyo, London and New York, is involved in railway development, construction of buildings and infrastructure and steel manufacturing.

This will be the first partnership for Posco in Malaysia and the agreement with BLand is via its unit, Posco Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.

Tan, the younger son of Berjaya group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, said the first phase of the project comprising 212 units of luxury villas and market place is slated to be launched by the end of this year or early next year.

"We are awaiting the final approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment on our revised masterplan. We expect it to complete in May," Tan said.

The integrated project will have 1,403 condominium units, villas and bungalows, 935 hotel rooms, a one million sq ft retail mall that will be the largest in Jeju, a medical facility and a market place which will comprise super luxury shops and single-storey residences.

The landmark tower will be a 45-storey hotel, which will be the tallest building on the island. Complementing that is a 505-room casino hotel, which will be South Korea's largest casino complex, Tan said.

"We are launching the villas and market place first to attract higher paying customers to the development. Once the market is guaranteed and it creates an aspirational image, we will release the medium-tier properties," he said.

Tan said BJR hopes to start constructing the villas and market place by August this year.

According to him, BLand has invested close to US$150 million (RM450 million) on infrastructure works for the project, which was completed in December last year. The project will take five to six years to develop.

"We are targeting the Koreans and Europeans. We don't think the European market will be strong because of the eurozone debt crisis but we expect same sales there. We are also targeting China and Japan," Tan said.

Berjaya Jeju Resort recently won an award in the category of mixed- used development for South Korea at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2012.

By Business Times

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