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Friday, April 6, 2012

Naza TTDI’s listing agenda

Listing plan: TTDI Sdn Bhd deputy executive chairman cum group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin posing with the model of the KL Metropolis project which has a gross development value of RM15bil. The company plans to go for listing on Bursa Malaysia in the next three to five years.

It plans to go public in 3 to 5 years to become among the biggest players

SHAH ALAM: Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd is eyeing a listing on the local bourse in the next three to five years to achieve its aim of becoming one of the largest property developers in the country.

Deputy executive chairman cum group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin said although internally the company was “all set to go”, it would be more prudent to wait for the right time to undertake the listing exercise.

“We want to ensure the company realises the right value from the listing and will wait for the right market conditions and external factors before proceeding,” Faliq told StarBiz.

He said the local market would be quite challenging these few years given the high number of projects coming onstream, especially high-rise residential and commercial projects.

To address the market uncertainties, Faliq said Naza TTDI would be launching projects with good demand including terrace houses, shop lots, and also its “bread and butter” township products.

Naza TTDI, the property arm of the Naza Group, will also be looking to expand outside of the Klang Valley to other fast growing markets such as Penang and Sabah.

The company owns 800 acres of land in Bertam on the mainland of Penang which it plans to start developing around end-2013.

As for Sabah, Faliq said the company was eyeing Kota Kinabalu.

“With the new airport in Kota Kinabalu, there has been a surge in tourist arrivals from various countries including Hong Kong and South Korea who are keen to invest in properties there,” he added. On the sales target for 2012, Faliq said Naza TTDI was confident of making it to the RM1bil league this year. The company recorded sales of RM655mil last year.

On its plate are several high impact projects. Platinum Park in the KLCC vicinity would comprise three Grade A office towers, two luxury service apartment towers and one hotel um luxury service apartment tower. The RM4bil project is due for completion in 2016.

KL Metropolis is a 75.5 acre mixed development comprising residential, commercial, retail, office towers, as well as exhibition and convention, and arts and culture facilities.

The master plan for KL Metropolis, positioned as Kuala Lumpur's International Trade and Exhibition District, was launched last October. The project will have a gross development value of RM15bil.

Naza TTDI's unit, TTDI KL Metropolis signed a privatisation agreement with the Government and Syarikat Tanah dan Harta Sdn Bhd to develop the Matrade Centre on 13 acres in Jalan Duta at a cost of RM628mil.

Naza TTDI will be developing the balance of 62.5 acres in the vicinity into an integrated mixed development.

The tender to build the superstructure for the Matrade Centre, slated to be the country's largest exhibition and convention centre, will be closing soon.

Work on the superstructure is to begin in June and the building is to be handed to the Government by end-2014.

Faliq said Naza TTDI also has two ongoing township developments - TTDI Alam Impian, a 208 acre township development in Section 35, Shah Alam; and TTDI Grove, a 118 acre township in Kajang.

“These are our bread and butter projects that we can depend on during a market downturn,” he added.

By The Star

I-Berhad to build condos, duplex houses

I-Berhad is set to build 348 condominium units and 20 duplex houses in the city of digital lights in Seksyen 7 here. Each residential unit in i-City starts from RM340,000.

The i-Residence project constituted 20 per cent of the 29ha i-City development, I-Berhad CEO Datuk Eu Hong Chew told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony officiated by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim here today. Present was Shah Alam Mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan.

Eu said i-City, dubbed the first lighscape tourism destination in Malaysia with state-of-the-art LED technology showcase, would also have a new attraction inspired by Clarke Quay, a riverside development in Singapore.

It was in line with the state government's project to upgrade the 7-km Sungai Rasau that cuts across i-City, he said.

"We will build floating restaurants like Clarke Quay that can draw more tourists but the project will start after the Sungai Rasau upgrade that is expected to take about nine months," he said.

This development was included in the estimated gross development value of RM1 billion, he added.

By Bernama

KSL Resort set to be a hit among travellers

JOHOR BARU: Operator of KSL Resort Johor Baru, one of Malaysia's biggest city hotels, says there is big potential for the hotel industry here.

KSL Resort executive chairman Ku Hwa Seng said the city's average occupancy rate had increased from 68 per cent two years ago to 78 per cent last year.

Riding on this, Ku is confident that KSL Resort will be a hit among travellers and businessmen.

KSL Resort is having its soft opening today.

"Banking on the high occupancy rate, our resort hotel is offering another alternative for tourists and visitors who want a combination of business and leisure during their stay in the city.

"This is not only the biggest hotel in Johor, but also the biggest city hotel in the country," Ku told a media briefing at the hotel on Wednesday.

The five-star resort hotel, built on top of the KSL Mall in Taman Century, will feature 868 rooms in two face-to-face 20-storey tower blocks.

Developed at a cost of RM200 million by KSL Holdings Bhd, the hotel will be fully opened by May 15.

Ku said the resort hotel formed part of the RM1 billion development in the area, which also features the shopping mall, which was opened in December 2010, and an exclusive condominium called D' Esplanade Residence, scheduled for opening in the third quarter of this year.

It is called a resort hotel as the facilities are more that of a resort than a city hotel.

Among the resort facilities coming up at the hotel are a water theme park, electronics golf simulators, a lake-type swimming pool, among others.

Of the total rooms, 596 are superior rooms, 239 are deluxe rooms and 33 are suites.

The resort hotel also boasts the biggest restaurant seating 560 persons.

It will also have a pillarless ballroom on the seventh floor to accomodate up to 1,000 people.

By Business Times

L&G unscathed by new ruling

High-rise: Low with a model of Damansara Foresta

Developer continues to rake in sales despite Bank Negara’s lending guidelines

KUALA LUMPUR: Land  &  General Bhd (L & G) has been recording encouraging sales numbers despite Bank Negara's move to implement responsible lending to contain surging household debt.

L & G currently has three ongoing projects, two of which are residential projects Elements@Ampang and Damansara Foresta. The other is 8trium, a commercial project.

Managing director Low Gay Teck said that for the months of February and March 2012, 100 units of Elements@Ampang had been booked and sold. The project has a total of 1,040 units and is currently selling for RM850 per sq ft. The bookings and sales for February and March 2012 have amounted to about RM60mil.

Its residential development Damansara Foresta in Sri Damansara has recorded almost a 100% sell rate in both Tower A and Tower B. In Tower D, more than 15% have been sold. Tower D has not been officially launched yet. The buyers were either from the company's database or have registered with the company.

L & G looked to officially launch Tower D in two months, said executive director Ferdaus Mahmood. “We hope we can launch Tower C with Tower D. It depends on the market.”

The Damansara Foresta units, which range from 1,400 to 1,600 sq ft each, are currently selling for about RM600 per sq ft from RM500 to RM550 per sq ft. The project is due for completion by end-2014.

The 8trium project, which is also located in Sri Damansara, is expected to be completed in two months. The project has had a sell-rate of about 93%.

At the company EGM yesterday, the proposal for L&G to provide further financial assistance of RM43.86mil to its subsidiary Elite Forward Sdn Bhd was approved by the shareholders.

Elite Forward, which has a 50.01% stake in Elements@Ampang, is undertaking a joint venture with the Mayland group. The project, which has a gross development value of RM700mil and will cost RM460mil to build, is due for completion in June, 2014.

L & G was also exploring land acquisitions to expand its land bank in Johor Baru, Penang, and the Klang Valley in the next six months, Low said.

By The Star

'Penang has potential to become boating hub'

GEORGE TOWN: Phuket-based entreprenuer and boating enthusiast Kanit Yongsakul is bullish over Penang's potential in turning into a marine playground, if sufficient international-class marinas are available in the island state.

The developer of two marinas in Thailand - one in Phuket and the other in Krabi - said Penang has all the right attributes of becoming a port of choice for the well-heeled boating crowd.

"I see no reason why new yachts which are built in England need to be uploaded in Singapore before heading for Phuket, instead of Penang where you have a deep seaport and the potential to create many jobs for the marine industry," he told Business Times on Wednesday.

Khanit, who has been a leading figure in Phuket's marine industry for almost two decades and the developer of the island's first marina in the early 1990s, is no stranger to Penang where he sails regularly.

Singling out attributes such as good food, a multi-cultural population and George Town's Unesco listing status, Khanit said Penang can do with at least two more marinas on the island's southern and northern parts.

"This will ensure there is no competition between the developers of marinas and plenty of new jobs can be created, while the island's population can be spread out," he added.

The island is now home to two fully-operating marinas at Straits Quay in Seri Tanjung Pinang and one operated by the Marine Police Department at Batu Uban.

Kanit, who is the founder of the Phuket Boat Lagoon, said some issues in Penang marinas need to be addressed if the authorities are serious about raising the island's profile as a boating spot.

"There is currently a shortage of fuelling facilities along with suitable and accessible local food outlets for the crew of the boats berthing here.

"There is also a need for safe anchorage and good road accessibility to marinas."

The civil and mining engineer, who built Phuket's first marina with 80 berths, suggested that incentives such tax holidays be given to developers of marinas here.

By Business Times

TDM secures nod on land for Terengganu hospital

KUALA TERENGGANU: TDM Bhd has received the state government's approval on the lease of land in Batu Burok to build and operate a new 130-bed specialist hospital.

Chief executive officer Badrul Hisham Mahari said the new hospital will cost RM170.2 million, excluding the cost of the lease of the land and incidental fees.

"It will be financed by internally generated funds and/or bank borrowings, which the board has yet to decide," Badrul Hisham said after the company's shareholders meeting yesterday.

Chairman Datuk Roslan Awang Chik said the new eight-storey hospital will replace the current Kuala Terengganu Specialist (KTS) hospital which is operating near maximum capacity.

"The hospital, on a 23,424 sq m land, will be the city's flagship specialist hospital that will serve about 338,000 people of Kuala Terengganu," he said.

Roslan said construction will start immediately after the completion of the lease documents, to be signed with Tabung Amanah Warisan Ne-geri Terengganu, owner of the land.

The hospital is expected to be completed within 24 months.

It will provide more comprehensive healthcare facilities, accommodate more in-patients, operate more specialist clinics and other quality healthcare services, Roslan said.

Its features include five operating theatres, a 12-bedded intensive care unit (ICU) and one-and-a-half storey car park with 281 parking bays.

The current KTS Hospital has 33 beds, a two-bedded ICU and two operating theatres.

It also offers consultancy services on general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics and anaesthetics.

On TDM's healthcare division, Badrul Hisham said with an average 12 per cent increase in the number of patients since 2007, it has recorded consecutive average annual increase in revenue of RM31 million.

For the past four years, the division contributed an average of seven per cent to the group's pre-tax profit.

By Business Times

Stamp duty charge may affect wealthy property owners in UK

Kuala Lumpur: A couple of changes in UK's property tax structures announced in late March may affect wealthy Malaysians who have bought into that property market.

On March 21, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne introduced a new 15% stamp duty rate, three times the previous level for residential properties over £2mil (RM9.8mil) bought in the name of companies.

Property consultancy Savills said while it needed to look at details of the anti-avoidance provisions, the 15% stamp duty “marks the end of the use of corporate vehicles to avoid stamp duty.”

It added that a 15% stamp duty charge for such transactions was probably a sufficient deterrent.

“The big question is whether there will be an opportunity for those who have used this route to undo it without being hit by the proposed capital gains tax charge,” said Savills in its research report.

“We'll also need to look at whether transfer from corporate to personal ownership triggers a stamp duty charge at 7%,” Savills said.

Savills said the move could impact on London's attractiveness to such buyers.

“However, much depends on the detail,” the report said.

Zahid Alauddin, senior partner at Kingfields (Singapore), said there were two reasons why a corporate vehicle was used when buying property. The first may be to circumvent the hefty 40% inheritance tax. The second may be that wealthy individuals want to protect their privacy.

“The 15% rate for investors usingcompanies to hold UK properties will be hard-hitting and may deter people to hold properties using such structures.”

A further sting in the tail came from changes in capital gains tax rules for overseas companies, said Zahid.

The British government imposed a real property gains tax of 28% on properties of £2mil and above. There was no capital gains tax on real estate for foreign buyers prior to the budget.

The charge of capital gains tax is to be extended to gains realised on disposal by “non-resident non-natural persons” of UK residential property.

“Non-natural persons” would include companies, collective investment schemes (including unit trusts) and partnerships in which the non-natural person was a partner, said Zahid. These changes will apply from April 6, 2013.

“Only time will tell the impact of these measures,” said Zahid.

Since 2009, the demand from overseas investors for London's prime real estate has resulted in double-digit price increases in prime London areas. The global financial crisis had sent prices into a trough in 2008.

Henry Butcher group said the move would have no effect as most Malaysians bought below £1.5mil.

By The Star

MBSB plans to sell land

Its Johor and Sungai Buloh properties can earn over RM200mil

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) expects to realise more than RM200mil from the sale of strategic land in Sungai Buloh and Johor.

Zaini: ‘We have a bigger loan target initially.’

“The Johor land will be disposed of under a scheme endorsed by the board this morning, while the Sungai Buloh land disposal is still waiting for legal confirmation,” said MBSB president and chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman.

He said the company would sell and recover in full its investments while also benefiting from land appreciation over the years.

“By Monday you would see some bidding process, and another piece of Johor land under the disposal scheme is waiting for the customer to confirm payment,” he said after the company AGM.

According to its annual report, the company owns 22.7 acres of leasehold land in Bandar Yahya Awal in Johor and 14-acre freehold land in Sungai Buloh. They have a combined net book value of RM93mil.

The company still has about 58 acres of vacant land in different parts of Malacca with a book value of RM53.1mil which is said to be legacy land left by the previous management who had attempted to venture into property development, albeit unsuccessfully.

MBSB, which is 65.5%-owned by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), also expects to grow its loan base by 15%-20% this year, after recording net loans and advances growth of 42% to RM15.2bil compared to the same period in 2010.

Riding on that achievement, MBSB doubled its net profit to RM325.4mil for 2011 from RM145mil in 2010.

“We have a bigger loan target initially, but in the face of reality, market conditions and also the issue of domestic operating parameters, we feel that the target is a realistic figure,” Zaini said.

On potential mergers and acquisitions, he said it was up to the shareholders to decide.

“My mandate is very simple, which is to make as much profit as possible for the company. At this stage, we don't have any plan for any corporate exercise,” he said.

He said this was the third year MBSB was under the new management transformation programme.

“There will be further initiatives to strengthen the business. Over the last three years, we have achieved a collective profit before tax of RM715mil, which included the provision of about RM300mil. All in all, we have made about RM1bil excluding the provision,” he said.

On the company's expansion plan, he said MBSB would open 10 more branches in addition to 10 representative offices throughout the country.

“We would spend about RM700,000 to set up each branch. It would be quite extensive in terms of look and services, and we would focus more on fee-based income at our branches,” he said.

On the responsible lending guidelines imposed on the financial industry by Bank Negara, Zaini said the company was operating under the guidelines although it was not governed by them.

“The guidelines are not entirely new to us as we had always look at an individual's disposable income. As such, we do not expect a big impact as a result, We are always sensitive and mindful of the authorities' reasons for such guidelines,” he said.

He also expects the recent pay hike for civil servants to benefit MBSB's personal finance business.

By The Star

Yung Kong unit selling land for RM12mil

KUALA LUMPUR: Yung Kong Galvanising Industries Bhd (YKGI) subsidiary Star Shine Marketing Sdn Bhd (SSM) has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Kota Tropika Development Sdn Bhd to dispose of a parcel of freehold vacant land in Klang for RM12.218mil.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, YKGI said that the land was disposed of to reduce SSM's bank borrowings and interest expense.

“This is part of YKGI group's strategic transformation plan,” it said.

The disposal is expected to be completed by July.

By Bernama

Hua Yang arm to acquire land for RM15.2m

Hua Yang Bhd's unit Yoon Lian Realty Sdn Bhd has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Peter Brickworks Sdn Bhd to acquire 156 lots of freehold titles in Ipoh for RM15.2

The proposed acquisition of 8.4 hectares of land is in line with the company's plan to expand its presence in Perak, it said in its filing to Bursa Malaysia here today.

The exercise is expected to be completed by the third quarter of the financial year ending March 31, 2013.

By Bernama

Landowners in talks over MRT project

KUALA LUMPUR: Two landowners are negotiating a settlement with the developers of the multi-billion ringgit Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) project over the acquisition of their land here.

Mayland Century Sdn Bhd and Spirit Domain Sdn Bhd, the registered owners of the land, applied to the High Court for leave for judicial review yesterday.

In its application, Mayland Century is seeking to quash the declaration of the Federal Territory Lands and Mines director in respect of the intended acquisition of 1,492sq metre of their land in mukim Petaling here for the project that will be carried out by Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp).

In its application, Spirit Domain wants an order to quash the decision of the same Lands and Mines director seeking to acquire a few lots of land, each covering 199sq metre.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim set May 21 for mention after meeting the parties in chambers.

Speaking to reporters later, Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail said the two landowners were currently negotiating with MRT Corp for a possible settlement.

“Both sides (the landowners and MRT Corp) are looking into reaching an amicable settlement,” Noor Hisham said.

In their court papers filed on Feb 20, Mayland Century asked for the land acquisition proceedings to be stayed pending disposal of the application.

Mayland Century stated that the Lands and Mines director, in making the declaration to acquire the lands, had acted without sufficient ground, unfairly and contrary to the rules of natural justice.

Mayland Century named the director and the Federal Territory land administrator as respondents.

In the application filed by Spirit Domain, also on Feb 20, the company named the FT Lands and Mines director, the Government and MRT Corp as respondents.

Alternatively, Spirit Domain wants the court to issue an order declaring that the decision to acquire the lands is null and void and of no effect.

By The Star

Ireka to finish Viet hospital job by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: The City International Hospital managed by Ireka Corp Bhd's unit, Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, is slated to complete by end-2012.

"Along with economic growth, social healthcare is one of the major concerns in Vietnam.

"Given the increasing demand for quality overseas medical treatment, the park will be the first integrated healthcare development in Vietnam, which will provide a comprehensive healthcare environment from facilities, hi-tech medical equipment to professional medical staff," said President and Chief Executive Officer Lai Voon Hon in a statement today.

The hospital is the first general hospital to be completed within the "Medical City" located in Vietnam’s largest medical hub, the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park.

The hospital, developed by Hoa Lam-Shangri-La Healthcare Ltd Liability Company, will eventually have other facilities such as laboratories, medical suites, a staff residential area, medical exhibition centre & shopping mall, service apartments, international schools and a residents’ clubhouse.

Ireka’s associate company, Aseana Properties Ltd, holds a majority stake in Hoa Lam-Shangri-La Healthcare Ltd Liability Company.

Currently, the hospital is more than 50 per cent completed, with the bulk of the brick works completed.

Plaster works, mechanical and electrical services and the selection of architectural finishes are ongoing, whilst the selection and purchase of major medical equipment for the hospital were completed recently.

By Bernama

PNB remains keen on London

PERMODALAN Nasional Bhd (PNB) will continue to buy more properties in London despite aborting its plans to acquire an office building there.

President and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said the decision to not pursue what could have been PNB's fourth property in London was due to "it not meeting some of our criteria".

"We identified the property and after doing our due diligence, we decided not to buy but this does not mean that we will stop looking for the right investment," he told reporters here yesterday.

A news report on Tuesday said the office building called Woolgate Exchange was to be acquired by PNB for some RM1.3 billion.

Hamad Kama Piah said PNB had spent RM4.88 billion on properties abroad since 2010, including one in Australia and three in London.

PNB's three London properties are One Exchange Square, 90 High Holborn and Milton and Shire House while in Brisbane, it is an office block called Santos Place.

PNB hosted a gathering of the fund manager's group of companies participating in its coming 13th Minggu Saham Amanah Malaysia (MSAM).

MSAM is aimed at educating the public on investment, while encouraging them to participate in the unit trust industry.

To be held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, from April 20 to April 28, twelve PNB subsidiaries are taking part along with 38 other participants including regulatory agencies, government agencies, PNB's unit trust agents, companies from Sabah and the media.

Its key partners are Malayan Banking Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, I&P Bhd and UMW Holdings Bhd.

Others include Chemical Co of Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, MNRB Holdings Bhd, NCB Holdings Bhd, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd and Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd.

"We are targeting 200,000 visitors this time around and hope to be able to showcase to them (PNB's unit trust investors) the companies we are investing in so that they are aware of where their money goes into," said Hamad Kama Piah.

MSAM 2012 will offer grand prizes to some lucky visitors such as a Ford Fiesta 1.6L (from Sime Darby), a Toyota Hilux from UMW Holdings, and a Perodua Myvi 1.5 Extreme.

By Business Times