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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Naza starts KL Metropolis

PETALING JAYA: Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, the property arm of the Naza Group of Companies, is kick starting the ambitious RM15bil KL Metropolis development by collaborating with Australia-based Lend Lease to develop 4.43ha within the project.

In a statement, Naza TTDI announced that it had signed a heads of agreement to develop the land with a potential gross development value of RM4bil.

Both parties had set the project scope and commercial principles for a mixed-development which includes a regional retail centre, office, hotel and residential components.

Launched in October last year, KL Metropolis is located in the Jalan Duta area, spanning 30.55ha with matured townships like Damansara Heights, Sri Hartamas, Mont' Kiara and Bangsar surrounding it.

Naza TTDI deputy executive chairman and group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin said the collaboration augured well towards its aspiration and vision to position KL Metropolis as an international trade and exhibition district, where a hub for retail and commercial activities as well as residences will be created to complement the new Matrade Exhibition Centre that is expected to take shape in 2015.

He said that the collaboration would bring together the resources and experience of both parties in their respective areas of expertise and hopes to see the realisation of the joint venture by the end of the year.

Listed in Australia, Lend Lease is a Sydney-based integrated property and infrastructure group.

“Having operated in Malaysia for over 30 years, Lend Lease is delighted to be presented with this opportunity to partner in a landmark project in the country that helps to shape the city skyline, regenerate urban space and is setting new benchmarks in community creation, leaving a positive legacy for generations to come. KL Metropolis is a unique site in a unique city,” said Lend Lease chief executive officer for Asia Rod Leaver.

Naza TTDI recently awarded a RM555.9mil superstructure works contract to Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co Ltd for the new Matrade Exhibition Centre.

The superstructure works, which follow the completion of the foundation works in August, will commence in October and are expected to be completed by mid-2015.

The new development is expected to be the impetus for the development of other parcels of land within KL Metropolis in line with their target for the overall completion of the development by 2025.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd is the financial adviser to Naza TTDI for the KL Metropolis project.

It was reported that the project was inspired by Naza Group founder Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin and was the realisation of his vision, which was mooted 5 years ago.

The project design will draw inspiration from renowned international business districts such as Park Avenue in New York and Champs Elysees in Paris.

By The Star

Dijaya: New projects may fetch up to RM2,500 psf

MARKET TREND: Developer upbeat on W Kuala Lumpur Hotel & Residences project

DIJAYA Corp Bhd plans to launch serviced residences in Kuala Lumpur at a whopping RM2,000 per square foot (psf) to RM2,500 psf.

Senior Dijaya Corp officials said such price is now the going rate for new luxury properties in the city centre.

"We are looking at that price range for now. There are some projects launching at RM2,500 per sq ft in the city centre. Since we are launching only next year, we may re-look the pricing then," said its executive director Koong Wai Seng.

Dijaya is developing W Kuala Lumpur Hotel & Residences at the site where the historical Bok House used to sit on Jalan Ampang.

The project encompasses a 55-storey block with the first few floors housing the six-star 150-room W Hotel, and the rest to be occupied by the residences.

There will be 353 units of the residences, with estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM900 million.

The project is slated for completion in 2016.

Koong is upbeat on sales, saying that Dijaya had received several en bloc offers for the residences.

"We are tagging on the W Hotel address, which is known worldwide," he said yesterday at the signing of Dijaya's RM500 million commercial paper/medium term notes (CP/MTN) programme.

The serviced residences are part of eight projects worth RM2 billion that Dijaya is launching between the end of this year and December 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Kajang, Subang, Kota Damansara, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu.

The signing of the CP/MTN follows the completion of the company's amalgamation exercise in August involving the injection of RM1 billion worth of properties held privately by Dijaya chief executive officer Tan Sri Danny Tan Chee Sing.

The exercise helped Dijaya increase its landbank to 365ha in the Klang Valley, Johor, Penang and Sabah and which is to be developed over 10 to 15 years with a GDV of RM38 billion.

Dijaya deputy managing director Dickson Tan said part of the RM500 million (CP/MTN programme) will be used to develop projects and fund its expansion.

Dickson Tan said Dijaya is looking to acquire smaller developers and companies with sizeable landbank to become one of the country's biggest developers.

"Merger and acquisition is the next target for us to grow the company's business. There are several parties currently soliciting and talking," he said.

RHB Investment Bank Bhd and AmInvestment Bank Bhd are the joint lead arrangers/joint lead managers for the debt programme.

By Business Times

Naim targets RM3bil REIT with ‘mini KLCC’ project

KUALA LUMPUR: Naim Holdings Bhd is the latest property group to express ambitions of having its own real estate investment trust (REIT), with a target size of RM3bil. The plans, though, are in early stages, but will include new developments such as its “mini KLCC” project, which has yet to be named, at the old Bintulu Airport, that carries a gross development value (GDV) of some RM2bil.

This puts the Sarawak-based Naim Holdings, which also has a significant construction arm, in the same category of companies such as TA Global Bhd and KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, which have in recent times expressed interest in forming their own REITs.

Both property and construction arms contribute equally to the company's revenue.

Speaking to reporters at a luncheon yesterday, senior director for corporate services Ricky Kho said the company planned to launch the REIT in six to nine years, when its property assets had reached a “sufficient size.”

It was the company's long-term plan to generate recurring income and gain in property value, He said, adding that the REIT would allow the company to manage the tenant mix of its commercial property units to “maintain the dynamic and vibrancy of the entire development.”

If all goes as planned, Naim Holdings' REIT will be the first Sarawakian REIT.

The properties that will be injected into the proposed REIT include Naim Holdings' completed two-storey Miri Permy Mall. The remaining REIT properties that have yet to be completed are the development of the old Bintulu Airport, a mixed-development in Batu Lintang in Kuching, Pantain Piasau Residences and Piasau Camp in Miri.

Permy Mall's occupancy rate is 94%, and it is expected to generate rental income of RM8mil per annum. “It is already giving us a return of 12% on rental income,” Kho said.

The total development cost, including land and building for the Permy Mall, stands at RM52mil. As at Dec 31, 2011, the estimated fair value for the building and land was RM85mil and RM3.6mil respectively.

Naim Holdings aims to develop a “mini KLCC” at the old Bintulu Airport situated in the New Bintulu City Centre, with a GDV of RM2bil.

“We are going to have a shopping complex, condominiums, SOHO (small office home office) units and hotels,” Kho said.

The whole project will take about 10 to 15 years to be fully complete. The company will launch the shopping complex worth about RM400mil early next year.

Naim Holdings will be developing a 34-acre site in Batu Lintang, Kuching, for a mixed development with a GDV of RM1.8bil spread over 20 years. The company will build the residential segment by the end of next year.

The company has a landbank of about 2,620 acres with an estimated GDV of RM9.5bil. Kho mentioned that the company was still looking to increase its landbank in the Samaluju area in Bintulu.

The Sawarak-based company has about RM1.3bil in its construction orderbook, which is mainly for infrastructural work in the Sawarak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

Score is one of the five regional development corridors initiated by the Federal and Sarawak state government to develop and transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2030.

The corridor will encourage investments in power generation via energy resources like hydro-power, coal and natural gas, which have been found in Sarawak's central region.

The company was recently awarded a RM208.2mil contract via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Naim Engineering Sdn Bhd, for one of the work packages under the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit project in Kuala Lumpur.

By The Star

Naim Holdings to venture into REIT

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak-based Naim Holdings Bhd aims to move into real estate investment trust (REIT) business with properties en route for launching this year of gross development value of up to RM400 million.

Its corporate services senior director, Ricky Kho Teck Hock, said over the next six to nine years, the group aimed to launch properties of over RM3 billion in value.

He said the REIT business would generate recurring income and gain in property value.

"We have been focusing on our business in Sarawak all this while. Now we are looking to expand to Peninsular Malaysia.

"The company is searching for the right properties to acquire in the Klang Valley, Penang and Pahang," he said after delivering a luncheon talk entitled "Opportunities in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE)" here yesterday.

Kho said the group has about RM1.3 billion worth of construction tenders in hand and was also bidding for over RM2 billion worth of tenders within the SCORE area.

He said the group planned to launch the first phase of its New Bintulu City Centre and the Pantai Piasau residences in Miri next year. "The overall GDV of the 17ha New Bintulu City Centre is RM2.3 billion and the 14.97ha Pantai Piasau residences is worth RM251 million," he said.

By Bernama

Dijaya is confident of selling W Residences at RM2,000 psf

PETALING JAYA: Dijaya Corp Bhd is planning to price its W Residences service apartments at RM2,000 per sq ft (psf) when it launches the 352 units next year and this will also be one of the higher pricing for service apartments in Kuala Lumpur in recent times. Dijaya is confident that it will receive strong interest.

The most recent service apartment that has been transacted at an average price of RM2,500 psf is the Banyan Tree Signatures, developed by Lumayan Indah Sdn Bhd. Upon its launch earlier last month, all 173 units were already snapped up. Banyan Tree Signatures is located on a 1.46-acre plot at the junction of Jalan Conlay and Jalan Raja Chulan.

“We are very confident that we will be able to sell at RM2,000 psf. We have had en-bloc enquiries in the past. There have also been international interest. Bear in mind that our W Residences is our own product but will be on top of the W Hotel, thus tagging on to the W Hotel address,” said Dijaya's executive director Koong Wai Seng.

Situated on 1.28 acres of freehold commercial land along Jalan Ampang, the W Hotels & Residences will have 150 rooms while the residences will have 353 units.

In early 2011, Dijaya announced its partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, to develop a W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP from New York, the W Hotel & Residences will be located within the Golden Triangle and is situated along Jalan Ampang, across the Petronas Twin Towers.

Meanwhile, on news that Dijaya was open to mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the property sector, Dijaya's financial adviser Astramina Advisory Sdn Bhd managing director Wong Muh Rong said this was a natural growth strategy for the company, as the normal route of organic growth would take too long a time.

“Yes, M&A is our next target and there definitely is interest. It is, however, too preliminary to say anything now,” said Wong.

Yesterday, Dijaya executed the programme agreement and guarantee facility agreement in relation to its proposed 7-year commercial paper/medium term notes (CP/MTN) of up to RM500mil, to be guaranteed by RHB Investment Bank Bhd and AmInvestment Bank Bhd for up to RM300mil and up to RM200mil respectively.

Rating Agency Malaysia Bhd has accorded a short-term rating of P1 and long-term rating of AA2 in respect of the notes to be guaranteed by RHB Bank (tranche 1) and a short-term ranting of P1 and long-term rating of AA3 in respect of the notes to be guaranteed by AmBank.

The proceeds from the CP/MTN programme will be substantially utilised as working capital for Dijaya and its subsidiaries and also to fund development costs of new landbanks injected post Dijaya's amalgation exercise.

In the pipeline of Dijaya's upcoming launches include RM2bil worth of jobs to be launched next year. There will be roughly six launches spread out in the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor and Kota Kinabalu.

“Many of the service apartments we will be launching next year are going to be priced below RM500,000,” said Koong.

The signing (of the CP/MTN) follows the completion of Dijaya's amalgation exercise on Aug 30. Post amalgation, Dijaya's landbank has increased to 913 acres in prime locations to be developed over the next 10 to 15 years with an estimated gross development value of RM38bil.

By The Star

Developers say impact of increased RPGT not significant

KUALA LUMPUR: The increase in real property gains tax (RPGT) announced in Budget 2013 will not have significant impact on the property sector, according two developers.

Budget 2013 proposed a rise in RPGT from 10% to 15% for properties sold within the first two years and from 5% to 10% for those sold from three to five years.

Selangor Dredging Bhd managing director Teh Lip Kim told StarBiz: “The latest budget is all about reducing the deficit. To me, the rise is not that much.”

She said she did not see a slowdown in the property segment as a result of the RPGT increase and was confident of sales.

“I can only speak for myself. I don't see any problems in sales because the products we offer are different,” she added.

In a separate press conference, Dijaya Corp Bhd executive director Koong Wai Seng said the RPGT measure was “moderate.”

“I don't think most investors buy properties and hope to flip it within two years. So this 15% tax measure doesn't really worry us. If the RPGT had been increased for the later years, then yes, there would be some impact. On the whole, we are happy with the Government's move,” said Koong.

On the issue of affordable housing, Teh said that construction costs had gone up substantially largely due to rising material prices.

“I think it is the fluctuation in prices that is worrying the developers. Steel and concrete prices have not been stable and that leads to variations in construction prices.” She also attributed the current property prices to expensive land cost.

“What we should be mainly concerned about is infrastructure. If logistics and infrastructure were better, many people would not mind living further away,” Teh said, adding that the Mass Rapid Transit project was a necessity.

On the company shares that she had bought recently, she said: “I have been buying the shares since I became chief executive officer in 1998. It shows that I have confidence in the company.”

Teh had acquired 2.6 million shares at 71 sen each. Her direct interest in the company is at 17.52% and indirect interest at 40.03% as of Sept 18.

By The Star

Historic building to be city's catalyst

GEORGE TOWN: A newly-restored building in the centre of the city is going to be used as a catalyst to infuse new life and activity after dark into George Town.

Food People Sdn Bhd which has just inked a six-year lease to manage and operate the historic Loke Thye Kee Restaurant building at the key junction of Jalan Penang and Jalan Burmah, wants to restore the building's former iconic status and leverage on its heritage attributes to draw quality tenants to the three-storey building.

The company's two shareholders - DRB-HICOM's chairman Datuk Syed Mohamad Aidid Syed Mustaza and businessman Ong Ban Seang - are keen to promote events and activities which will draw its patrons, especially the young, into the city.

"We are in the process of identifying potential tenants who will help us make this area a must-stop destination for all good food synonymous with Penang," Food People's managing director Ong told Business Times.

"We hope to house a 24-hour food outlet and perhaps a retail outlet on the ground floor, a restaurant on the first floor and the top level which also serves as a roof-garden can become an exclusive lounge or be available for private functions." Ong added.

He said the restaurant is most likely to offer Malay or Hainanese cuisine which can be enjoyed by all Malaysians.

The Loke Thye Kee building which is ship-shaped, was originally owned and built in 1929 by one of Penang's influential community leaders at the time, Khoo Sian Ewe.

Loke Thye Kee which means "House of Happiness" in Hokkien Chinese, once housed a restaurant serving Hainanese food for almost 70 years until 1996, and was considered a premium venue for birthdays and weddings.

The building also served as the preferred site for matchmakers who would bring potential brides and grooms for their first meeting.

Of the RM2 million spent by the building's owners to restore the building, some RM130,000 came from Khazanah Nasional Bhd's subsidiary Think City Sdn Bhd.

Think City operates a public grants fund - the George Town Grants Programme - which is utilized for civil society and the private sector to engage on capacity building and capability development for the protection and development of living heritage, culture and architecture, and to provide support for the regeneration of the area.

By Business Times

New lease of life for George Town's heritage properties

The Unesco-listed George Town inner city is set to see further rejuvenation with several projects to be carried out over the next two years by premium boutique property development and management company, 1919 Global Sdn Bhd.

The company which has just completed the RM2 million restoration of the 83-year-old Loke Thye Kee building, is now set to rejuvenate its other properties in the city.

"Over the next 24 months, we are looking to restore 17 shophouses and a cinema in the Unesco-listed core zone here," building owner Jonathan Foo told Business Times.

The said buildings are the former Majestic Theatre which was built in 1926, a row of 12 shophouses along Jalan Phee Choon, and five heritage shophouses on Jalan Penang.

The 'Penang Road Heritage Row' project, according to the company's website, is described as a " unique cluster of five two-storey heritage shop houses, offering high profile commercial shopfronts on the first floor and a collection of boutique homestay suites on the second floor."

Meanwhile, the row of 12 two-storey shophouses, which are currently tagged as 'Phee Choon Place' are expected to house a collection of well-designed commercial and entertainment businesses on its ground floor, while the upper floor will offer luxury homestay units, featuring rooftop patios and other five-star amenities.

Foo, who is a Singaporean, did not indicate a budget for the proposed restoration of the properties, but said that the next project the company will embark on would be the five shophouses on Jalan Penang, once approval has been obtained from the local authorities.

On the company's plans for the former Majestic Theatre, Foo said all efforts will continue to maintain its heritage attributes as 1919 Global sets about restoring it into a commercial space.

The Majestic Theatre was originally built by the philanthropic land proprietor the late Khoo Sian Ewe and the building was known among the Chinese as the 'Shanghai Sound Movie Theatre.'

It was the first cinema in Penang to screen Chinese talkies, and the building offers 14,000 sq ft of double-height column-free space, with a distinctive and grand colonial facade.

"Currently in the submission phase and once restored, the Majestic Theatre promises to be the prestigious venue for any commercial or corporate venture," Foo added.

"As a company owning properties in the Unesco heritage area, we share the same goals as others in wanting to bring back life into George Town's inner city but we need to balance this with projects which are economically viable and businesses which are sustainable."

By Business Times