Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BLand bullish on China, looking for more projects

The Great Mall: Construction in progress for the world’s largest integrated mall in Hebei province.

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) aims to have a bigger presence in China's property market after its maiden commercial development, the Great Mall of China (GMOF) in Yanjiau city, Hebei province, started construction recently.

BLand chief executive officer Datuk Francis Ng said despite the cooling measures by the Chinese government, the country's property market still offered good opportunities for growth.

Ng says market sentiment is still potentially strong across all major real estate sectors in China.

“We are keen on the tier-two cities such as Xiamen, X'ian, Chengdu and Tianjin as the land cost is relatively cheaper compared with the tier-one cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou,” Ng told StarBiz.

Ng said the tier-two cities such as Yanjiau city in Hebei province were witnessing huge level of infrastructure investment by the central government which had resulted in unprecedented city building and modernisation initiatives.

He pointed out that tier-two cities “which did not make the cut” earlier would be the cities to watch in the next decade because of the strengthening economies and emerging real estate activities in those cities.

“China's economy has over the last three years grown by over 30% in real terms to become the world's second largest economy.

“The market sentiment is still potentially strong across all major real estate sectors in China given its large and diverse economic activities, a strong presence of domestic firms and multinational companies, and a critical mass of international retailers and hotel operators there,” he said.

BLand's 51%-owned subsidiary, Berjaya Great Mall of China Co Ltd (BGM) is undertaking the development of the GMOC. The balance 49% is owned by Berjaya Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan through his private arm, Berjaya Times Square Cayman Ltd.

Ng said Tan bought the 76 acres in 2004 at a cost of RM30mil and in 2008, he divested 51% of his stake to BLand “at cost” of RM15.3mil, although the market value of the land had appreciated to RM2.5bil.

GMOC, billed as the world's largest integrated entertainment and commercial mall development with gross floor area (GFA) of 18.5 million sq ft, is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Presently, the New South China Mall in Dongguan with gross floor area of 9.58 million sq ft is the largest mall in China.

Ng said GMOC was expected to contribute to BLand's earnings by the middle of 2013 with the launch for sale of the retail space in August this year.

Since construction started in 2010, almost 40% of phase one of the project has been completed. Phase one comprising one million sq ft shopping mall and three theme parks is expected to be completed by October 2013.

BLand general manager of group properties and development Michael Pua said the project had received a lot of enquiries and interest.

“The target buyers are the Chinese investors, the local and international retailers,” he said.

By The Star

Low Yat investing up to RM389mil in China-Asean SME centre

From left: CIMB regional group treasury Kua Wei Jin; Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Bong Hon Liong; Low Gee Teong; CIMB Asean Research Institute CEO John Pang; Low Yat Group director, group finance, corporate planning and business development, Hoi Siew Choo; and Datuk J. Jegathesan looking at a model of the centre.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Low Yat Group expects to invest 650 million yuan (RM316mil) to 800 million yuan (RM389mil) for all three phases of its China-Asean SME Trade (CASMET) Centre in Changshu, China.

The first phase, which cost about 300 million yuan (RM145mil) was completed in 2011.

“The second and third phases are expected to be completed in the next few years,” said executive director Low Gee Teong at an event to promote CASMET.

He said the second and third phases would have a total floor area of 92,500 sq m and would be developed for commercial and small-office-home-offices.

The centre was developed by the Low Yat Group as a free trade area that will serve as a one-stop centre, providing Asean companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the necessary facilities and support needed to explore opportunities in China.

Low said the first phase of CASMET spanning 31,293 sq m comprised seven blocks with 213 units of commercial retail and office space and was built on a gross floor area of 38,341 sq m.

According to CASMET director and general manager Rebecca Deng, the first phase of the trade centre has secured an occupancy rate of 40%.

“About 15% of the companies are from China and the remainder from Asean,” she said, adding that there were six to seven companies from Malaysia already trading in CASMET.

Deng said the Malaysian companies were from the palm oil, batik and coffee industries.

CASMET director Datuk J. Jegathesan said estimates that China's economy might not exceed its previous year's growth of 9.2% this year was “not worrying” and should not deter local SMEs to invest in China.

“Every industry in the world goes through an economic cycle. China is not exempt from that cycle and it should not be a concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Low said CASMET would further enhance the social, cultural and economic relations, exchanges and co-operation among China and Asean countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

By The Star

I-Bhd injects touristic value into its i-City project

Upgrading: Eu says that with a riverfront food and beverage zone, t he company could add value, considering what was done in Singapore had enhanced tourism there.

PETALING JAYA: I-Bhd the developer of i-City has unveiled plans of developing an integrated leisure destination at its RM3bil i-City to mirror Clarke Quay in Singapore.

According to chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew, Clarke Quay@i-City would be developed in three phases with the first phase comprising a cosmopolitan food and beverage zone, which will be established independent of the Sungai Rasau upgrading works.

“When we were informed that the state is planning to upgrade Sungai Rasau as part of its flood mitigation programme, we decided to incorporate this into our plans to create a unique food, beverage and entertainment hub,” he said.

Eu said the company would spend RM50mil to set up the waterfront river deck, in tandem with the plans mooted by the state government, in a bid to generate income from tourism for i-City, in addition to its earnings from its commercial and residential projects.

He said that with a riverfront food and beverage zone, the company could add value, considering what was done in Singapore had enhanced tourism there.

“We target RM10mil to RM15mil investments every year for the next couple of years to bring in new rides and attractions,” he said.

The phase two riverfront development will be tied to the development of the shopping mall and the Sungai Rasau river upgrade while phase three, comprising of river-based rides and attractions, will be the last component of the i-City rides and attraction plan.

“For 2012, apart from refreshing the Snowalk theme with a science theme, i-City would be investing RM25mil in a kids gym as well as a three-acre water park,” he said.

The company also plans to construct a one million sq ft regional shopping mall, three hotels and an amphitheatre.

“We intend to re-locate all the existing rides and attractions to the shopping mall so that when the mall is opened in end 2015, it would be a unique mall with successful theme park operations,” he said.

By The Star

I-Bhd sells iHome trademark

PETALING JAYA: Property developer I-Bhd has entered into a deal to sell its “iHome” trademark in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and China for RM1.8mil cash to Hong Kong-based iHome Asian Trademark Holdings Co Ltd.

The company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia that the sale of the trademark was in line with the group's focus in property development following its cessation of the home appliances business.

By The Star

12 teams in second round of KLIFD tower design contest

KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Development Bhd and Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) have shortlisted 12 architecture teams for the second round of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) Signature Tower Design competition.

1MDB Real Estate chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib said the teams comprised collaborations of top and global architects.

"Our aim is to attract collaboration of local and global talents to reap cutting edge innovation and creativity on a global level for the Signature Tower," he said.

Meanwhile, PAM president Saifuddin Ahmad said they will ensure the subsequent stages of the competition continue to be conducted in a rigorous and transparent manner, mirroring 1MDB's own stringent procedures."

Among the criteria for the selection are the organisations' capabilities, experiences of firm or firms in collaboration and similar related past and current projects, especially on signature and landmark towers.

In a press statement released yesterday, it said the selected teams were informed on April 9 and have started working on their next submissions due on May 24.

From the 12 teams, a nine-member international jury will pick five winning teams to proceed to the third and the final stage.

Among the 12 teams selected include GDP Architects Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Foster+Partners Ltd, the UK, T.R Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Llewelyn Davies Yeang, the UK, and Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn Bhd.

By Business Times

12 teams shortlisted for tower competition

KUALA LUMPUR: Twelve architecture teams have been shortlisted for the second round of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) Signature Tower Design competition.

The teams comprised collaborations of top and global architects, said the 1Malaysia Development Bhd and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) in a joint media statement.

Among the criteria for the selection are organisations' capabilities, experiences of firm or firms in collaboration and similar related past and current projects, especially on signature and landmark towers.

They said the selected teams were informed on April 9 and had started working on their next submissions due on May 24.

From the 12 teams, a nine-member international jury will pick five winning teams to proceed to the third and the final stage.

The 12 teams selected include GDP Architects Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Foster+Partners Ltd, United Kingdom; T.R Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Llewelyn Davies Yeang, UK; Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn Bhd; and Arkitek KDI Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Bates Smart Pty Ltd, Australia.

By Bernama

E&O slightly higher on London property purchase

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) were marginally higher at midday on Tuesday amid the broader cautious market after its proposed acquisition of a central London property for £20.3mil (RM100.9mil).

At 12.30pm, it was up one sen to RM1.43.

The FBM KLCI fell 3.11 points to 1,580.69. Turnover was 727.97 million shares valued at RM608.86mil. Declining stocks beat advancers 379 to 191 while 314 stocks were unchanged.

PublicInvest Research was positive on E&O and reiterated its Outperform and RM2.20 target price.

The research house said the purchase of the London property, Princes House, was valued at £20.3mil by Jones Lang LaSalle. This, it said, suggested E&O was paying market value for the property.

"We like E&O for its well-located assets and we believe that larger developers' competitive positions have improved with their sizable landbank and ties with government-linked companies. The property industry is getting consolidated, with the larger developers commanding better margins and higher market share," it said.

PublicInvest Research said based on selling price of £1,500psf and estimated saleable area of 50,624sf post redevelopment, potential gross development value was estimated to be around £76mil or RM377mil.

By The Star

E&O buys UK property

Developer acquires Princes House in central London for RM100.9mil

PETALING JAYA: Lifestyle property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) has agreed to acquire its first major overseas property, a prime freehold office-cum-retail building in central London, for £20.25mil or about RM100.91mil.

The property, Princes House, commands a prime position on the west side of Kingsway in the heart of London's Midtown.

Tham: ‘The property will continue to be let for office use but offers E&O the opportunity in the future to harness its redevelopment potential.’

“A prominent neo-classical building called Princes House along Kingsway, the property will continue to be let for office use but offers E&O the opportunity in the future to harness its redevelopment potential, subject to planning permission,” said E&O managing director Datuk Terry Tham Ka Hon.

“This may include E&O branded serviced suites or residential apartments which would find a ready rental and sale market, given its proximity to the University of London, London School of Economics as well as the Inns of Court where student accommodation and legal offices are always in demand,” he added.

It is close to London landmarks like Covent Garden, the Royal Opera House, famous hotels and theatres such as The Waldorf, The Savoy, the Theatre Royal and the Lyceum Theatre. Princes House is also located close to the historic Inns of Court, the Royal Court of Justice and the Old Bailey.

Other notable establishments in the vicinity include the London School of Economics, corporate offices of Goldman Sachs, British American Tobacco, Deloitte and BBC.

Princes House enjoys excellent accessibility via two principal road connections being the High Holborn at the north and Strand from the south, which makes two principal road connections between the city and the west end.

Additionally, it is within nine minutes' walk from six major underground lines the Central, Piccadilly, Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo lines. The upcoming Crossrail link through Tottenham Court Road station is expected to further enhance the quality of accessibility to the area.

Constructed in the early 1920s, the Princes House is a mixed-use building comprising about 46,087 sq ft of office and retail space.

A section of the property is already rented out to a well-known retail brand and is immediately generating rental income.

The purchase will be funded by internal funds and bank borrowings.

By The Star

Legoland Hotel to be built in Nusajaya

Merlin Entertainments Groups has signed a management agreement with LL Themed Hotel Sdn Bhd to develop and build the Legoland Hotel in Nusajaya, Johor, the first in Southeast Asia and the fourth in the world.

LL Themed is a 51-49 joint venture company between Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd (DRH) with Iskandar Harta Holdings Sdn Bhd.

DRH Managing Director Nadziruddin Basri said: "We at DRH are focused in bringing new, innovative attractions to Malaysia's leisure and tourism offerings and to make Malaysia a destination of choice for both local and international travellers."

The hotel is set to heighten Legoland Malaysia theme park's experience with its fun and interactive designs and facilities, he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Legoland Malaysia General Manager Siegfried Boerst said the hotel was the first to be designed from a child's eye view and was scheduled to open for operations in the first half of 2014.

Dedicated to interactive family fun, the unique hotel will encourage families with young children to extend their visit to the resort and to take between two and three days to really enjoy more than 40 attractions in the theme park.

By Bernama

Khazanah to sell stakes in theme parks, eventually

RETURN ON INVESTMENTS: In the meantime, Themed Attractions & Resort says it will ensure visitors get good value for money at its attractions

KUALA LUMPUR: THEMED Attractions & Resorts Sdn Bhd (TAR), a unit of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, will divest some or all of its investments in theme parks in the Klang Valley and Johor, says its chief.

TAR, which was given an initial RM2.3 billion until 2015 to develop parks and attractions, has a majority stake in KidZania and will also wholly-own five other soon-to-open attractions in Johor.

TAR chief executive officer Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin said Khazanah would eventually dispose of its stakes in the projects.

“Khazanah took on those projects as they required big investments. But they have to be run commercially in order to be profitable, as we have to look at return on our investments.

“Eventually, we will look at how to unwind these attractions and get other investors to come in.”

Ahmad said the sales would be similar to many investments made by Khazanah, in which most were sold or the stake diluted.

“We may sell the entire stake or a partial stake. Khazanah may also decide to keep TAR, ISMAILwhich runs the parks, while selling the ownership,” he said.

In a recent interview with Business Times, Ahmad spoke of TAR’s various theme park projects due for completion by 2014 and the entrance fees that might be imposed.

“We are lifting the bar high (on the quality of parks). We have to develop and operate these attractions better than others in Malaysia and price them suitably. We want our visitors to leave thinking ‘wow, that was pretty good value for money’.”

He quoted Legoland, which will open at year end, as an example, saying that even for the Malaysian market, it was of an exceptional value.

A single entry has been set at RM110 per Malaysian adult and RM80 per child. The annual pass has been set at RM275 per adult and RM210 per child.

Legoland, a project by Iskandar Investment Bhd, will be managed by Merlin Entertainments.

What next for TAR?

“We are committed to Malaysian tourism and getting more tourists to come here. After that, we may consider going regional,” he said, adding that the experience it had gathered over the years would enable TAR to diversify into park management.

By Business Times

MRCB to build linking bridges at KL Sentral

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has invested about RM40 million to build several linking bridges to facilitate smooth movements between buildings at Kuala Lumpur Sentral.

Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohamed Razeek Hussain said the connection to Lot E, a green platinum building, has been completed, with escalators and elevators for the handicapped.

"We are also building a linkage from the KL Sentral Station to the lifestyle centre, Sooka Sentral, as well as for the Tun Sambanthan Monorail Station to the Nu Sentral Retail Mall," he told reporters after delivering his speech at Semasa Sentral Sdn Bhd's 11th anniversary today.

Mohamed Razeek said the linking bridges would be completed by end-July or in August. On passengers, he said, currently they are targeting 150,000 commuters daily.

"With the completion of the Mass Rail Transit in 2017, for the peak period between 8 am and 10 am, we are expecting the MRT to bring about 10,000 passengers an hour to the KL Sentral station.

"That will be an addition of 30,000 to 40,000 passengers, on top of the 150,000 daily. The station was built to cater to 250,000 commuters daily, so we are within the capacity," he said.

Mohamed Razeek also said MRCB would allocate another RM13 million to RM14 million for upgrading work at the station to improve the overall condition of the station.

"For the current financial year, we also plan to provide WiFi services for the passengers at the station to keep them occupied during their waiting time," he said.

On Eastern Dispersal Link in Johor Baharu, Mohamed Razeek said they are waiting for the government's feedback.

The EDL provides the link from Pasir Gudang to the North-South Expressway, Hulu Tiram and Senai, he said.

"We notice that Jalan Tebrau is now less congested, that means the EDL is performing its function, and would benefit people living in Johor Baharu.

"I must emphasise that it is toll-free for the people living there, and for the RM1.4 billion project cost, it is free forever," he added.

By Bernama

IJM to sell land in Rembau to Canal City

KUALA LUMPUR: IJM Land Bhd has agreed to sell a 285.88ha land in Rembau, Negri Sembilan, to Canal City Construction Sdn Bhd (CCC) for RM30.3 million cash.

The cash proceeds from the sale will be used for working capital of the group. The disposal is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year.

By Business Times

Surging house prices drive Singapore inflation

Price pressure: Workers cleaning the roof of the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore. Economists noted that inflationary pressures in Singapore have begun to emerge in other categories, particularly those that were more labour-intensive. — AP

SINGAPORE: Singapore's inflation accelerated sharply in March, led by a jump in the cost of cars and housing, suggesting the central bank may tighten monetary policy further when it comes up for review in October.

The city-state's consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.2% in March from a year earlier, the government said yesterday, far exceeding February's 4.6% pace and beating the estimates of all 11 economists polled by Reuters.

“Singapore is in danger of losing its low inflation status,” Robert PriorWandesforde of Credit Suisse said in a client note.

“The current episode is the second major' inflation shock Singapore has experienced in the last four years; but what makes this time different from 2008 is that inflation in most other Asian countries remains well contained.”

Headline inflation “could average around 5% year-on-year in the first half before easing gradually in the second half of 2012,” the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a joint statement.

They said housing would remain the largest contributor to inflation this year as rental contracts were renewed at “considerably higher” levels, especially in government-built HDB apartments, which tend to be rented out to people on lower incomes.

Housing, which rose 9.1% from a year earlier, and transport, which rose 8.6%, were the biggest contributors to inflation in March, data from MTI showed.

Economists noted that inflationary pressures in Singapore had begun to emerge in other categories, particularly those that were more labour-intensive.

“If we do see stronger price pressures, especially from healthcare and education, hinting at greater pass-through of wage costs, then the chances are (MAS) might do something else in October,” said Barclays economist Joey Chew.

The central bank surprised financial markets with its half-year monetary policy statement this month by saying it would let the Singapore dollar appreciate at a slightly faster pace because of persistent inflationary pressures.

By Reuters

Atrium REIT Q1 net profit up 2.2% to RM2.72m

KUALA LUMPUR: Atrium Real Estate Investment Trust's (Atrium REIT) first quarter earnings rose 2.2% to RM2.72mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 from RM2.66mil a year ago.

It said on Tuesday its revenue rose at a stronger pace of 13.1% to RM4.05mil from RM3.52mil. Earnings per unit were 2.23 sen compared with 2.19 sen.

It declared dividend per share of 2.20 sen compared with 2.15 sen a year ago.

"The improved result is due mainly to the additional contribution from the newly acquired Atrium USJ," it said.

Atrium REIT said correspondingly, the property operating expenses and the finance costs had risen due to the new acquisition.

However, interest income declined due to a decrease in deposits with licensed financial institutions. Part of the funds was used to finance the acquisition of Atrium USJ and also to refund the excess security deposits back to the tenant/lessee.

"The Atrium REIT intends to distribute at least 90% of the distributable income (realised) to unitholders for the financial year 2012, which is exempt from tax pursuant to Section 61A(1) of Income Tax Act, 1967," it said.

By The Star