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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mah Sing upbeat on Penang projects

Teh (right) and Mah Sing executive director Lim Kiu Hock with a model of Southbay Plaza.

Contribution to sales expected to rise to 13% this year

GEORGE TOWN: Mah Sing Group Bhd's projects in Penang is expected to generate about RM325mil or 13% of the projected RM2.5bil sales for 2012, compared with RM70mil or 3% of the RM2.2bil sales for 2011.

The key contributors from Penang included the Southbay Plaza and Legenda@Southbay, group chief operating officer Teh Heng Chong said at Mah Sing's “Realising Dreams Property Showcase” held in conjunction with the group's 18th anniversary celebration in Penang recently.

The event showcased 11 projects that it was currently undertaking nationwide.

“The Legenda@Southbay has generated about RM40mil since January, while the Southbay Plaza has generated RM80mil since May.

“The other project that we expect to generate the remainder this year is the first phase of the Ferringhi Residence in Batu Ferringhi.

“Pending approval, we plan to launch about RM180mil worth of low-rise condominium villas in July 2012,” Teh said.

He said Mah Sing would focus on residential properties priced below RM1mil in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, and Penang. “At present, about 70% of our launches are in this price segment, which comprises mainly small serviced residences and linked homes.”

Teh said: “We are also continuing to develop gated and guarded residential properties priced above RM1mil in good location, which is about 30% of the group's launches for 2012.”

He said the Klang Valley would still make up the bulk of the group's sales target, as it had 28 projects there.

Penang was also an important market as its contribution had risen to 13% from 3% in 2011, he added. “We are looking now for an over 100-acre site in Seberang Prai for a township development.”

Teh said he was positive on the outlook for the property market in Penang as the most of the buyers of Mah Sing's properties are largely Penangites. “Our foreign customers come from Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

By The Star

Ho Hup, Malton settle development dispute of Bukit Jalil land

KUALA LUMPUR: Ho Hup Construction Company Bhd and its 70% owned Bukit Jalil Development Sdn. Bhd (BJD) have reached an amicable settlement with Malton Bhd over the developmental rights of the 60-acre land in Bukit Jalil.

Ho Hup said on Tuesday they had reached a settlement with Malton's unit Pioneer Haven Sdn. Bhd and agreed to discontinue its appeal to the Federal Court.

Ho Hup would also "withdraw the suit and any ancillary matters related thereto without admission of any liability and with no order as to costs and no liberty to file afresh, inter alia, upon the execution of the supplemental agreement".

The company said the settlement saw two key variations to the joint development agreement signed more than two year ago.

Under the variations, the joint development would be on 83.3% or 50 acres of the Bukit Jalil land instead of the entire 60 acres.

The remaining 16.7% or 10 acres would be developed by BJD. Of the 10 acres, it said about 5.9 acres of land had approved development order based on plot ratio of 3.09.

"Parcel A consists of an office tower and shop offices. The balance of BJD's land measuring approximately 4.1 acres and with a minimum of 139,321 sq metres in gross floor area is earmarked as development for high rise residential units," it said.

BJB would also be entitled to 18% instead of 17% of the estimated gross development value, subject to a minimum of RM220mil.

In addition, Pioneer Haven agreed to pay for and on behalf of BJD and Ho Hup towards the servicing of monthly interests and the redemption of the secured loan of RM75mil from Insas Credit & Leasing Sdn Bhd and the payments would treated as an advance of part of BJD's entitlement.

Pioneer Haven also agreed to help BJD secure bank financing of up to RM20mil to develop the latter's land.

By The Star

Kumpulan Jetson in JV to build 33 condominiums in Penang

KUALA LUMPUR: Kumpulan Jetson Bhd is teaming up with Fortress Effect Sdn Bhd to undertake a luxury residential development project in Penang, comprising of 33 high-rise condominiums.

Kumpulan Jetson said on Tuesday Fortress Effect was nominated by China's Everbright International Construction Engineering Corporation to be the co-developer in the project.

Everbright's unit Everbright International Engineering Sdn Bhd will take part in the project on a joint venture basis.

Kumpulan Jetson's entitlement under the proposed joint development would be 30% of the gross development value and Fortress Effect's entitlement 70% of the GDV.

The parties agreed that Everbright International Engineering would be appointed the designated contractor to undertake the construction and completion of the project.

By The Star

Qatar Hlg, Jerantas to sign MoU on Harrods Hotel

KUALA LUMPUR: The world-renowned Harrods department store has set its eyes on Malaysia as the site of a Harrods Hotel.

An invite sent to the media said Qatar Holding LLC would be signing a memorandum of understanding with Jerantas Sdn Bhd today to explore Malaysia, specifically Bukit Bintang, as the ideal site for the next Harrods Hotel development.

According to sources, Qatar Holdings will be working with Tradewinds Corp Bhd (TCB) on the venture.

TCB holds the franchise for the Harrods retail stores in Malaysia and had indicated as early as 2008 in its annual report that it could collaborate with Harrods in future residential, commercial and hotel projects, especially in Kuala Lumpur.

According to a source, there is also a possibility of Harrods Residences opening together with the Harrods Hotel.

“The Harrods Residences will be sold at a higher price than The Banyan Tree Residences,” the source said.

In September last year, the then Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail revealed that a consortium of three developers was proposing to build the Harrods Hotel.

Apart from Qatar Holding and TCB, sources identified the third interested party as Datuk Desmond Lim.

Qatar Holding and Lim both are the major unitholders of the Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Ahmad Fuad had at the time identified a piece of land in Jalan Conlay near Restaurant Seri Melayu as a suitable site for the hotel.

The restaurant, which is owned by Amcorp Group Bhd, sits on land that is leased from Lembaga Kraftangan Malaysia.

Lembaga Kraftangan comes under the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry and acts as the custodian for the Federal Lands Commissioner.

It is understood that the government had put out a tender for the sale of the said land.

It also understood that Lim owns the lease on the strip of land where the Chulan Square restaurants are located.

The signing of the MoU, to be held at the Pavilion Mall, here, will be attended by Qatar Holding vice-chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla and Jerantas corporate representative Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Ismail.

A search on the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) revealed that Jerantas' main shareholders are PS Trading Sdn Bhd (33.99 per cent), Gagasan Simfoni Sdn Bhd (65.99 per cent), with Saharuddin Abdullah and Sumami Kiman each holding one share.

The directors of the company, appointed in March 2012, include Datuk Manan Md Said, Raja Sa'adi Raja Amrin and Shaharul Farez Hassan. Shaharul is group chief executive officer of TCB.

Manan and Raja Sa'adi have an equal share in Gagasan Simfoni and are directors of the company.

The Harrods department store in Knightbridge, London, was sold in 2010 by Mohammed Al Fayed to the Qatari royal family's investment firm Qatar Holding, which is also the investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

It was reported previously that a Harrods Hotel was planned on the rooftop of the department store. The status of this project is unknown.

By Business Times

Qatar plans Harrods hotels in Kuala Lumpur

Qatar Holding LLC said it plans to open Harrods-branded hotels in cities around the world including New York and Paris, two years after buying the British luxury retailer from the family trust of Mohamed Al-Fayed.

The Doha-based company, an arm of Gulf Arab state’s sovereign wealth fund, signed an agreement with Malaysian partners today for a proposed hotel in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang shopping district. A hotel management company will be established to seek out similar projects around the world, according to a joint statement by Harrods Ltd and Qatar Holding.

“We have already decided to build a Harrods Hotel in London, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Sardinia, Italy,” Qatar Holding Vice Chairman Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla told reporters in the Malaysian capital today. “We are looking to invest more in Malaysia because we think the economy is growing.”

Qatar Holding paid 1.5 billion pounds (US$2.3 billion) for Harrods in 2010, including its landmark store in London’s Knightsbridge district, which opened in 1849 and counted Sigmund Freud and Oscar Wilde among its customers. The hotel initiative is part of a strategy to develop the brand beyond retailing

The Kuala Lumpur hotel would be the group’s first in Asia. It also wants to open in China, Al-Abdullah said.

Chelsea Barracks

Construction will start in a year on a 5.5-acre (2.2 hectare) site in the Malaysian capital, he said. About RM2 billion (US$634 million) will be spent on the development, which will comprise as many as 300 hotel rooms, apartments and retail space, said Al-Abdullah.

Its preference is to build on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, such as London’s Chelsea Barracks site or Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, according to the statement.

“Qatar Holding ultimately intends to grow Harrods into a global enterprise that defines the luxury retailer and leisure sectors,” it said.

Qatar Holding is part of the Qatar Investment Authority, which is the largest shareholder in the J Sainsbury Plc grocery chain in the U.K, and invested US$2.8 billion in Agricultural Bank of China Ltd’s initial public offering last year.

By Bloomberg

BB Sentral Station be built as standalone

The BB Sentral Station will be built without integration with Bukit Bintang Plaza (BB Plaza), said a joint statement by MRT Corp and UDA Holdings today.

As such, access to the station will now be independent of the mall, but located along the five-foot way in front of BB Plaza, the statement said.

Several other access points to the station will also be built from the surrounding roads, it added.

MRT Corp and UDA issued the statement in response to recent media reports related to the construction of the BB Sentral Station, located near the plaza.

The statement said MRT Corp has revised the station design to avoid having direct integration with BB Plaza. However, the revised design allows for integration to take place later, if and when BB Plaza is re-developed in the future.

Thus, based on the revised standalone design, neither BB Plaza nor UDA office building need to be demolished to accommodate the construction of BB Sentral Station.

According to the statement, the standalone BB Sentral Station will be accessible from the ground level in front of BB Plaza. At all times during the construction, pedestrian access into BB Plaza from the front entrance will remain open, it said.

A covered walkway will be built for the safety of pedestrians and shoppers, while a hoarded entry into BB Plaza will also be built. “Business As Usual” signages will be put up at strategic sections of these hoardings, it said.

The statement said four businesses namely Gloria Jeans’ Coffees; Hot & Roll; Starbucks Coffee (seating area only); and MADO Ice Cream located outside BB Plaza will make way for the work. MRT is a new rail transport system for the Klang Valley.

The Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK) Line runs for 51 km, from the north-west town of Sg Buloh to the south-east city town of Kajang. Upon completion, it will comprise 31 stations, and serve 1.2 million people along the route.

By Bernama