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Thursday, January 26, 2012

RM650mil Hunza projects

Facelift: The group has spent RM10mil to restore the heritage structure and a further RM3.5mil to transform St.Joseph’s Novitiate building in Gurney Paragon, now known as St. Jo’s, into a new dining and entertainment hub in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: Hunza Properties Bhd is launching about RM650mil of residential properties in Kepala Batas in Seberang Prai and Tanjung Bungah on Penang island this year.

Group executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong told StarBiz that residential properties worth about RM300mil in gross development value (GDV), comprising double-storey semi-detached, terraced, and low-medium cost houses, had been planned for Kepala Batas.

“We have already started work on the houses and will launch the properties for sale in the second half of 2012,” Khor said. “After the launch, the group will still have about 350 acres of undeveloped land-bank in Kepala Batas, which will be used for residential development.”

In Tanjung Bungah, Khor said the group would launch Alila 2, a 265-unit condominium project, in the second half of this year. It would have a GDV of about RM350mil.

“The condominium units will have built-up areas ranging from 1,700 to 3,000 sq ft,” he said.

On the group's proposed mixed-development project with an approximate GDV of RM6bil to RM7bil on a 16.2ha site in Bayan Baru, Khor said the group had engaged two internationally renowned architect consultants to advise on the master plan.

He said the group had just acquired a 2ha land to develop 1,000 low-cost homes for the households currently occupying the over 16.2ha site. “We have initiated steps to obtain approval from the local authorities to develop the low-cost homes.”

Khor also said the group was targeting to complete the Gurney Paragon shopping mall in November 2012.

“So far we have committed to lease out about 45% of the over 700,000 sq ft of nettable area of the shopping mall,” he said.

On the preservation of St. Joseph's Novitiate building in Gurney Paragon, now known as St. Jo's, Khor said the group had spent RM10mil to restore the heritage structure and a further RM3.5mil to transform it into a new dining and entertainment hub in Penang.

“Hunza will work hard to continue to bring in established names that have yet to set up a presence in Penang to open their businesses in Gurney Paragon,” he said.

Khor said the multi-purpose hall of St. Jo's would be used for hosting events such as meetings, conventions, and weddings.

St. Jo's was completed and formally opened in 1918 by the De La Salle Brothers, who pioneered education in Malaysia and around the world.

By The Star

SP Setia climbs to 6-month high

With a higher buyout offer in place and an assurance that its chief Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin will continue to helm the company, SP Setia Bhd's stock climbed to an almost six-month high yesterday.

State investor Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) roped in Liew as a joint bidder and improved on its last September solo bid of RM3.90 a share for the property developer last Friday.

The joint bidders are now offering RM3.95 for each SP Setia share and 96 sen for each warrant, instead of 91 sen before.

The stock rose by 1.5 per cent to close at RM3.94 yesterday, off an intra-day high of RM3.97.

Analysts from RHB Research Institute and MIDF Research said the offer was "fair" and advised minority shareholders to accept it.

Both raised their target price for SP Setia to RM3.95 to match the offer price.

"The revised offer will be a win-win situation for both parties as PNB could leverage on Liew's expertise in the running of SP Setia while SP Setia will have the backing of a strong shareholder," MIDF said in a note to clients yesterday.

HwangDBS Vickers Research, meanwhile, raised its target price to RM4.50 from RM3.90 and said investors were better off holding on to the shares given that there will be management continuity for three years.

Under the new deal, Liew will keep his 8.56 per cent stake in SP Setia and remain as its group president and chief executive officer for three years, during which he will have sole responsibility for the mana-gement and general conduct of the business.

No changes will be made to the board, and PNB will keep its two board seats.

"We welcome this news as it removes uncertainty over the future of SP Setia, particularly with regard to Liew's involvement," Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB) .

With PNB's backing, analysts believe SP Setia stands an even better chance when bidding for government land parcels.

MIDF Research said the offer is fair given the current uncertainty in the world economy and the normalising growth rate of the property sector.

"From last week's briefing, Liew indicated that SP Setia is soon signing the Bangsar land deal, which is estimated to yield a gross development value of RM10 billion.

"However, in the near term, outlook for the overall property sector will still be rather challenging, and we thus advise investors to accept the offer," RHB Research said.

The deal is expected to be completed by end-March.

By Business Times

SP Setia at 6-month high

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd rose six sen, or 1.5%, to close at RM3.94, its highest level in almost six months and one sen short of the revised offer price jointly proposed by its president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

Meanwhile, analysts have hailed the revised takeover offer as a “win-win” deal for all parties as it would enable Liew to stay at the helm of the property developer with full control over the next three years.

“This is close to our best-case scenario where there is incentive for top management to stay on and take SP Setia to greater heights. It is a win-win situation for all parties and a share price catalyst,” CIMB Research analyst Terence Wong said in a note to clients.

Liew’s commitment to stay on in SP Setia has been viewed positively by analysts.

SP Setia had on Friday notified Bursa Malaysia about the revised offer, which raised the offer price by five sen each for the shares and warrants to RM3.95 and 96 sen, respectively.

Liew, PNB and SP Setia would also enter into a management agreement for Liew to remain in his current position for three years following the close of the revised offer.

Among others, Liew would continue to oversee and manage the operations of SP Setia within the ordinary course of its business and enter into contracts or arrangements for and on behalf of the company.

As a joint offeror, Liew is not allowed to sell his 8.6% direct shareholding of 158.2 million shares, or 8.6% stake, in SP Setia, but he would be given a put option to sell the shares to PNB in tranches over three years at an exercise price of RM3.95.

Under the terms of the put option, Liew can choose to sell his stake to PNB at RM3.95 or in the open market at the then prevailing market price, which thus acts as an incentive for him to continue to grow the value of the company.

However, Liew's wife, who has a 2.3% stake in SP Setia, will be accepting the revised offer.

PNB and its related parties currently hold 38.6% of SP Setia while Liew has a direct and indirect stake of 10.9%, which adds up to a combined 49.5% interest.

“We view positively Tan Sri's (Liew) commitment to stay on and retain his direct stake without getting any premium even though he will only be allowed to exercise the put option gradually over three years.

“This signals his commitment and confidence that he can take SP Setia to the next level and add value to the company and share price,” CIMB Research said.

Kenanga Research said in a report that the slightly higher offer price is a show of good faith to minority shareholders, adding that SP Setia would have more bargaining chips to bid for government land with the backing of a shareholder like PNB.

As PNB intends to retain the company's listing status, RHB Research Institute noted that post-takeover, the joint offerrors might have to pare down their stakes via a placement exercise to maintain the stock's mandatory 25% free float.

Kenanga Research said investors with a 12-month view should accept the revised offer as there might be cheaper entry points when the stock succumbed to an expected downtrend in the property sector. However, it said longer-term shareholders might want to stay invested as liquidity could tighten up in the future, preventing substantial accumulation.

By The Star