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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Arabs are out others in, in Medini land

Syed Mohamed(left in pic):‘The Arabs will no longer be involved, but it was good that they came initially.’ File picture shows Iskandar Investment Bhd president/CEO Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim (left) and UEM Land Holdings Bhd managing director/CEO Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim exchanging documents on Jan 10, 2011, after a signing ceremony to mark their collaboration to form a joint venture company offering security services in Nusajaya at Iskandar Malaysia, Johor. UEM an early investor is also involved in other developments in the Iskandar area.

KUALA LUMPUR: Arab investors who were originally the master developers of 2,230 acres at Iskandar Malaysia known as the Medini development will no longer be involved and about 80% of that land has since been sold to other foreign investors, including those from East Asia.

“If the Arabs are not willing to develop the land, we cannot let the project be left idle, there must be activity on the land. In fact, we had initiated this (to get other investors) who are from China, South Korea and also Japan to invest in the land,” Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) president/chief executive officer Datuk Syed Mohamed Ibrahim said in an interview.

He added that the Arabs “will no longer be involved in Medini, but it was good that they came (initially).”

Five years ago, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co was the leading consortium investing US$720mil (RM2.1bil) in Medini Iskandar Malaysia to jointly develop 2,230 acres. But the global crisis had thrown the Arab property world into disarray and that had somewhat slowed the development of the Medini parcel.

Hence, IIB had to get other investors, including those from Singapore, North Asia and domestic players.

“The interest (from the foreign investors) came to our office and we facilitated the deals with the foreign investors,” he added.

But it cannot be denied that the Arabs did put in the money when Malaysia wanted foreign investors to invest in Iskandar Malaysia, which is the country's first economic corridor.

Since then, Malaysia has had investors from other parts of the world including domestic investors who had bought plots of land to develop. One of the bigger foreign investors thus far that has invested RM2bil in Medini's development is Beijing-based real estate developer, Zhuoda Real Estate Group. The Sunway Group has bought 691 acres to undertake a mixed development.

The 2,230-acre Medini development would house lifestyle and leisure development. IIB's overall land bank in Johor is 8,889 acres, of which 2,230 acres are for Medini and Legoland theme park and hotel. Nearby, there is also a educity, a wellness centre and a creative studio, UK-based Pinewood, that will be housed.

For the educity, nine universities and campuses will be sited and they include Singapore's Raffles University, University of Southampton Malaysia campus, Malborough College Iskandar Malaysia, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Reading Malaysia and the Netherlands Maritime Institute.

IIB is 60%-owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, 20% each by Employees Provident Fund and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

Syed Mohamed said parties from China had wanted to buy the entire Medini area, but because it would be developed into a cosmopolitan area, they had to ensure there was a mix of investors from different parts of the world.

“We have got a nice problem as far as genuine interest from potential local and foreign parties for the land is concerned. We have a suite of investors and we have no restrictions to sell the plots of land to foreigners. There is a lot of interest for land and while there is limited land out there, we are not ready to open the over 6,000 acres for sale presently,” he said.

He would rather wait for land prices to appreciate before opening the over 6,000 acres for development.

Turning to Legoland, Syed Mohamed said the theme park, sited on 76 acres, will open its doors in the fourth quarter of this year. At a cost of US$700mil, the company is also getting a water theme park because of its strict procurement process.

“For the price of one we are getting two theme parks. The water theme park will open in 2013 together with the Legoland theme park hotel,” he said.

Thus far, IIB has managed to sell 10,000 of the unlimited one-year theme park entry passes which are being offered at a special price of RM195. He is targeting one million visitors per year but has yet to promote the theme park in Indonesia, which he believes has a huge potential market.

By The Star

Mah Sing enters Sabah with Sutera Avenue

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd will enter Sabah property market with a mixed development, called Sutera Avenue with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM830million.

With this project, the group's landbank now stands at 490.4ha with remaining GDV and unbilled sales worth an estimated RM16.27 billion.

This provides the group with strong earnings stream for the next five to seven years, group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said.

Sutera Avenue will be developed on about 3.5ha of prime commercial land along the coastal highway in Kota Kinabalu's central business district.

Leong said the group is keen on Sabah market due to its vibrant economy, strong tourist trade and its population base provides a large market segment.

"Sutera Avenue is a perfect fit with our business strategy; the location is second to none, facilities and amenities abound, and we can launch the project quickly in line with our fast turnaround business strategy.

"We shall develop the project over five years, and intend to commence registration of interest by the second half of this year, as early as the third quarter," he said in a statement released yesterday.

The project is Mah Sing's second land deal in many months, as the developer has a landbanking target of acquiring new projects with potential GDV of RM5 billion in 2012.

Mah Sing's wholly owned subsidiary, Capitol Avenue Development Sdn Bhd had signed a joint development agreement with Paduan Hebat Sdn Bhd for the proposed joint development of 1.7ha for an entitlement of RM39 million or about RM210 per square foot (psf).

Capitol Avenue is also granted an option to jointly develop with Paduan Hebat another 1.76ha of adjacent site at an entitlement price of RM216 psf or abour RM41.5 million, within six months of the agreement.

In the first phase of the development, covering 1.7ha, the group plans to develop multi-storey shop offices fronting the coastal highway. This will be complemented by street mall retail lots and serviced apartments.

"These shop offices with generous lot sizes will incorporate a new and unique concept - inspired by Mah Sing's 30 Jewels and Gourmet Street shops in its flagship Icon City Petaling Jaya - appealing to both business owners, investors and future tenants.

By Business Times

UEM Land targets more foreign joint venture deals

The merger of UEM Land and Sunrise Bhd in early 2011 had provided a much-needed boost to the company, which now has property developments in Canada and management projects in Singapore.

UEM Land Holdings Bhd hopes to seal joint venture (JV) deals with major property developers in India, Vietnam and Myanmar by year-end, as part of its aspiration to become a global property player by 2015.

Managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said the company is now in discussions with the developers.

"It will be good if we can ink a deal with each party by year-end. Our aim is to have a strong regional presence," he said yesterday.

Wan Abdullah said UEM Land, which is the property development arm of state-owned Khazanah Nasional Bhd, has big targets as it approaches 2015 and 2016.

By then, it hopes to achieve a much higher revenue and net profit, with more land in its pocket, he said at the MIDF Investment luncheon talk. Also present were UEM Group Bhd MD and CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris and MIDF group MD Datuk Mohd Najib Abdullah.

The acquisition of Sunrise had increased UEM Land's landbank in prime areas of central Kuala Lumpur, Mont Kiara and Seri Kembangan.

For the financial year ended December 31 2011, UEM Land posted a net profit of RM301.7 million on revenue of RM1.7 billion, up 55.1 per cent and 261.5 per cent, respectively, from 2010 financial year.

UEM Land's headline KPIs (key performance indicator) for 2012 is to launch RM4.5 billion worth of projects and achieve property sales of RM3 billion.

"We are looking at net profit growth of 40 per cent, and return of equity of 10 per cent. By 2015, you can imagine the numbers we are targeting," Wan Abdullah said.

UEM Land's current projects include East Ledang and Puteri Harbour in Nusajaya, Johor; Symphony Hills in Cyberjaya; 28 Mont Kiara, Arcoris Mont Kiara, Angkasa Raya and Summer Suites in Kuala Lumpur; and Quintet in Richmond, Canada.

Its partners for some of the developments are Bandar Raya Development Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, UM Land Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, MCL Land and Emkay Group.

Wan Abdullah also said that UEM Land is looking for more strategic partners to undertake land development in Nusajaya, especially at the Southern Industrial & Logistics cluster to up the ante.

By Business Times