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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hua Yang plans affordable housing projects

Hua Yang Bhd plans to launch affordable housing projects with a total gross development value (GDV) of about RM500 million in the Klang Valley in its 2014 financial year.

Chief executive officer Ho Wen Yan said: "We are in the midst of securing land bank for these mixed development projects. The first launch will be in the next financial year."

He told Bernama today that the affordable housing projects would be in Selayang, Seri Kembangan and Desa Pandan.

"The company is constantly looking to replenish its landbank with specific areas in the Klang Valley being considered are Selayang, Seri Kembangan and Desa Pandan," he said.

Ho said the projects would take between three and five years to complete.

He also said that the company planned a gated development with a GDV of RM70 million in Perak in its financial year ending March 31, 2013.

According to Ho, the company was currently in the process of purchasing a piece of land, which was strategically located in Perak for the gated development. The project will comprise affordable terrace houses measuring 22x70 feet with price tags below RM400,000.

Ho said the company would continue to focus on affordable houses, a segment which Hua Yang had been getting tremendous response since it started its property business in 1978.

"We've been selling between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of our properties during our launches,” he said.

Hua Yang is in the midst of developing five projects with a total GDV of about RM983 million of which 85 per cent of the properties worth RM835 million have been sold.

Two of the five projects, namely Symphony Heights and One South with GDV of RM205.7 million and RM515.3 million respectively, are in Selangor.

Another project, Senawang Link which carries a GDV of RM17.8 million, is located in Negeri Sembilan. Its other two ongoing projects, Bandar Universiti Seri Iskandar with a GDV of RM56.3 million is in Perak while Taman Pulai Indah which has a GDV of RM187.8 million is in Johor.

By Bernama

Sentora to invest RM48mil to develop safari park

KUALA LUMPUR: Sentoria Group Bhd, en route for listing on Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd in the first quarter of this year, plans to invest RM48 million from internally-generated funds to develop a safari park.

Joint managing director, Datuk Gan Kim Leong, said the 35.28-hectare Bukit Gambang Safari Park in Bukit Gambang Resort City (BGRC) would commence operations by year-end.

"We are optimistic the safari park will follow the success of our first theme park," he said at the launch of the group's initial public offering (IPO) prospectus here today.

Gan said the company's first park, Bukit Gambang Water Park, has received over a million visitors since BGRC's opening in July 2009. "The addition of the second theme park would stake our place as an up-and-coming leisure and hospitality destination for visitors in Malaysia and the region," he said.

Sentoria is the developer and operator of BGRC in Kuantan, Pahang one of the largest integrated resort cities in Malaysia with 218.8ha.

The group has also carved out a niche in developing affordable housing primarily in Kuantan, Pahang.

Among its ongoing projects are Arabian Bay Resort, safari park and Taman Indera Sempurna 2.

Gan said the IPO would raise RM51.6 million in proceeds, of which RM27.7 million would be used for working capital.

He said RM11.2 million would be used to repay bank borrowings, RM9 million for purchase of property, plant and equipment and RM3.7 million to defray listing expenses.

The IPO entails a public issue of 60 million new ordinary shares and an offer for sale of 40 million promoters' shares at 87 sen apiece.

By Bernama

China investors propose industrial park

Officials from China has proposed to the Malaysian Government to establish a dedicated industrial park for investors from the world's second largest economy.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said China was Malaysia's largest trading partner last year, with total trade exceeding US$90 billion.

"Total trade surged by 20 per cent from 2010," he said when launching the prospectus of China Stationery Limited.

China's Ambassador to Malaysia Chai Xi said Chinese investors would come to Malaysia in a big way to participate in the government's economic transformation pogramme.

"Therefore, the setting up of an industrial park in Malaysia solely for Chinese investors will further enhance economic collaborations between the two friendly nations," he said.

Chai Xi said China-Malaysia bilateral trade was in Malaysia's favour.

"Our government is encouraging entrepreneurs to go abroad to invest," he said at the launch in Kuala Lumpur.

China Stationery Limited is the 10th Chinese company listed on Bursa Malaysia.

Lim said as China was Malaysia's major trading partner, there was an agreement for Malaysian and Chinese traders to settle their accounts in ringgit and renminbi.

By Bernama

EPF to channel RM1.5bil to fund FT special housing scheme

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will channel RM1.5bil to the Federal Territories Foundation as part of a special funding scheme to help eligible buyers purchase public housing units in the city.

Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the loan would be guaranteed against the housing unit itself.

He stressed that people should not be worried that EPF would be the “loser” should tenants default on monthly payments as the property was worth double or triple the price.

“We are not worried about not being able to pay EPF. If someone doesn’t pay up after six months, DBKL will buy it back. For DBKL to recover its costs, it has the right to sell off the unit to those on the waiting list.

“What’s important is that they (the buyers) can afford to pay. If they can’t, they should continue renting,” he said after meeting taxi drivers here yesterday.

The scheme, which starts on March 1, comes under the National Econo­mic Action Council’s (NEAC) People Housing Programme (PPR-MTEN) as well as DBKL public housing.

Raja Nong Chik said the fund would be handled by the Federal Territories Foundation, which would offer the scheme to eligible buyers in stages.

“The first stage involves 10,000 buyers. They will have to pay back between RM150 and RM300 a month if they get the loan. Interest will be charged but at a much lower rate than banks,” he said, adding that the loan must be repaid within 25 years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the scheme’s inception after launching the 2012 Federal Territories’ Day last week.

Regarding the issue of taxi drivers lobbying for the abolishment of the coupon system, Raja Nong Chik said he would raise their concerns with the Transport Ministry and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

By The Star

Aye to new housing loans

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed new housing loan scheme for those in the low and middle income group here can keep the city “thriving, vibrant and youthful,” said the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda).

Its president Datuk Seri Michael Yam said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry should be complimented for proposing the scheme.

However, he stressed that the scheme’s terms and conditions would have to be well drafted if the proposal was to be a success.

Factors such as geographic boundaries and income limits would also have to be properly defined, Yam said.

“Another thing that should be considered is risk management.

“This scheme will be very attractive to people who are otherwise unable to obtain bank loans due to the lack of steady income or personal reasons. We have to be able to properly deal with these high credit risks.”

Najib had announced on Saturday a special funding scheme to help low and middle income families own homes in the city.

The scheme, which comes into effect on March 1, will cover units built under the National Economic Action Council’s People Housing Programme as well as City Hall’s public housing programme.

“In Kuala Lumpur, many young people are now moving to other places because of high costs of living, and transportation issues. This scheme can attract people from elsewhere to live and work in the capital, and retain those already living here,” said Yam.

Many young Malaysians have expressed positive views about the proposed scheme.

“It can improve living standards for those in the city,” said university student Asyraf Syahir, 20.

“I hope the scheme’s terms will be favourable because houses in Kuala Lumpur are expensive. I would like to own a house here some- day,” said IT specialist Christine Leong, 24.

Marketing executive Lee Kim Kong, 25, said although the initiative was good, more holistic solutions were needed to address rising house prices.

By The Star

Tebrau Teguh to develop land in Johor

Tebrau Teguh Bhd has been appointed the developer for 167.13 hectares of land in Mukim Pantai Timur, Johor, which will complement Petronas' US$20 billion refinery and petrochemicals integrated development (Rapid).

The company said the land would be developed into a comprehensive mixed development which would complement the Rapid project.

The company is currently negotiating the technical, financial and legal aspects of the appointment with the Johor State Government's
Economic Planning Unit, it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.

The project is expected to contribute positively to the company's future earnings and net tangible assets.

By Bernama