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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bolton aims to achieve RM1b in sales by 2014

SUBANG JAYA: Property developer Bolton Bhd aims to achieve RM1 billion in sales by 2014 from RM600 million currently, said executive chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya.

"Currently the company has RM619 million gross development value (GDV) of on-going projects and RM3.5 billion GDV of upcoming sales," he told reporters after signing an agreement to raise RM370 million and seal a joint venture development in Kota Kinabalu with Mobuild Sdn Bhd.

The fund raising agreement comprises RM230 million sukuk, managed by Affin Investment Bank and guaranteed by Danajamin Nasional, and a RM140 million five-year revolving loan by Affin Bank Bhd.

Azman said the money will be used for working capital and to acquire strategic landbanks.

"With this new fund raising exercise, we are now poised to embark on a landbank acquisition exercise to sustain the growth of the company for the next 10 years and beyond," he said.

Meanwhile, the 50:50 partnership with Mobuild will see Bolton entering Sabah to build 500 units of luxury condominiums and landed villas with a GDV of RM480 million in Kota Kinabalu. The project, on a 4.2ha plot, is expected to be launched in the first half of 2013.

Going forward, Azman said Bolton is vying for strategic land deals in Penang and Kota Baru to develop high-rise residentials.

Currently, Bolton's real estate landbank spreads across 404.7ha in the Klang Valley, Kedah and Penang.

By Business Times

UM Land to undertake RM1.4b GDV project

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer, United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land) is set to develop a mixed commercial and residential project in Medini, Iskandar Malaysia with a gross development value of RM1.4bil.

The proposed development in the southern development region will include townhouses, apartments, service apartments/small office house office (SOHO), hotels, retail promenade with food and beverages outlets and a specialty retail centre.

“The project is still in planning stage and it is expected to commence in the third or fourth quarter next year,” group CEO Charlie Chia tolf reporters after the signing ceremony for a lease purchase agreement between UM Land and Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) here yesterday.

The development will be implemented in four phases and would take six to 10 years to complete, Chia said, adding that the project will be located on the land UM Land acquired from IIB today.

Worth RM83mil, the 5.35 hectare land acquisition was entered through UM Land’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Lextrend Sdn Bhd, and IIB’s wholly-owned subsidiary Medini Development Sdn Bhd.

Also present at today’s event was IIB President and CEO Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim.

By Bernama

UMLand expects foreigners to snap up its Medini units

KUALA LUMPUR: UMLand Bhd is confident that its soon-to-be-launched project in Medini Iskandar will be snapped up by foreign buyers.

Its group chief executive officer, Charlie Chia, said 70 per cent of its boutique service residences known as Somerset Puteri Harbour apartments had been bought by foreigners including Japanese and Singaporeans.

UMLand's subsidiary Lextrend Sdn Bhd signed a lease purchase agreement with Iskandar Investment Bhd yesterday for 5.2ha of prime development land in Zone B of Medini at RM82.49 million.

Strategically located at the junction of the gateway to Medini and near Legoland, the land will be developed into a mixed commercial and residential project comprising business and lifestyle components with an expected gross development value of about RM1.4 billion.

"This real estate jewel is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2013," Chia said at a media briefing yesterday.

UMLand is also working with UEM Land to develop a mixed development project at its second parcel of land.

"With its strategic location neighbouring Singapore as well as its range of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, Medini@Iskandar Malaysia is poised to attract a growing influx of foreign and high level corporate investments."

UMLand has projects in four out of five flagship zones of Iskandar Malaysia and they include Bandar Seri Alam, Taman Seri Austin, Somerset Puteri Harbour and the forthcoming JB City Centre.

Iskandar Investment president Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said the Lextrend projects will be implemented in four phases and are scheduled for completion in the next three to five years.

Iskandar Malaysia wants to create an eco-system of a modern metropolis and a liveable city but its ultimate objective is to nudge capital appreciation for the real estate properties in Johor.

By Business Times

Reorganisation will unlock value of WCT Land, says group executive director

Goh (left) says WCT intends to increase the operating profit contribution of property development. With him is chairman Datuk Capt Ahmad Sufian

PETALING JAYA: WCT Bhd, which has proposed an internal reorganisation to separate its construction and property divisions, is aiming to grow its property business to be as signficant as its mainstay construction arm within five years.

The group's executive director Choe Kai Keong told StarBiz that post-reorganisation, shareholders and warrant holders of WCT would benefit in terms of efficiency, as the move would unlock the value of subsidiary WCT Land.

“This move is to streamline the business, and also to unlock the value of WCT Land. We are in a very exciting time for the property business, which will be as big as our construction arm in the next five years,” Choe said.

Choe pointed out that there were plans for two more malls, located in the Overseas Union Garden (OUG) area in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru, to be completed by mid-2015.

They are in addition to the group's Gateway @ Klia2, due to be opened in May 2013, as well as Aeon Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre in Klang, and Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya.

Choe said except for the Aeon Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre, which is leased to retailer Aeon Co Bhd, the other malls were managed by WCT.

The five malls would have a combined net lettable area (NLA) of 3.8 million sq ft.

There are also plans for four-star hotels and serviced apartments to be built at the mall sites in the OUG area, Johor Baru and Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya.

WCT currently owns and operates the four-star, 250-room Premiere Hotel in Klang South.

“So, five malls and four hotels with a combined 1,430 rooms within the next five years, as well as serviced apartments in mixed commercial developments. This is the direction we are heading in,” Choe said.

Last month, WCT had proposed an internal restructuring where a new investment holding company WCT Holdings Bhd, will assume the listed status of WCT.

The exercise will also include the transfer of WCT's entire shareholding in WCT Land Sdn Bhd, the group's property development arm, to WCT Holdings.

The effective holding of WCT shareholders would be unchanged before and after the proposals.

The proposed internal restructuring is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, the group is on track to hit its property sales target of RM700mil this year, after achieving RM500mil as at end-October.

WCT Land general manager of sales and marketing Stewart Tew said that the 1Medini condominium in Johor had contributed about RM300mil in sales this year, with the balance coming from property launches in Bandar Bukit Tinggi townships in Klang.

“We have sold about 90% of the 644 units at 1Medini, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM400mil,”

Tew also said the 1Medini strong sales was helped by the completion of the catalytic projects such as Legoland, Newcastle University of Medicine, Family Indoor Theme Park and the Medini area's exemption from restrictions for foreign buyers, such as the minimum floor price of RM500,000 for a residential property bought by foreigners.

“About 40% of 1Medini buyers are from countries such as Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.”

Tew said the recent launch of The Landmark retail offices (GDV RM180mil), which is next to the Aeon Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre in Klang, would also drive WCT's property sales this year.

On WCT's construction arm, Choe said year-to-date, WCT's engineering and construction arm had clinched RM1.9bil of new contracts.

They incuded a RM1bil deal in Oman to build the Batinah Expressway (package two), in a joint venture with Oman Roads Engineering Co LLC., WCT has a 80% stake in the venture.

“Our outstanding order book is RM4.1bil, which will keep us busy for the next three years. About half of this is in Oman and Qatar.”

Choe also said the company had tendered for RM3bil projects, consisting of close to RM2bil in Malaysia, and the balance in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, at an EGM yesterday, deputy managing director Goh Chin Liong said WCT intended to increase its recurring income from property development and investments.

“In our five-year business development plan, we intend to increase the operating profit contribution of the property development segment to 30% (in 2016) from 21% (in 2011),” he said.

In 2016, WCT hopes to increase its operating profit contribution from property investment to 25% and that from construction reduced to about 45%.

As of 2011, the earnings base of the construction segment stood at 64%. The property development segment contributes 21% to operating profit, and the investment and management segment contributes 15%.

At the EGM, WCT shareholders approved the proposed bonus issue and free warrants.

WCT has proposed to give three bonus shares for every 20 shares held, which will involve the issuance of up to 180.26 million new shares. Shareholders will also receive one free warrant for every five WCT shares held. Up to 240.34 million warrants would be issued.

The bonus issue will increase WCT's authorised capital to a minimum of RM1.1bil, comprising two billion ordinary shares of 50 sen each and one billion preference shares of 10 sen each. WCT's current authorised capital is RM800mil.

For the third quarter ended Sept 30, WCT posted a marginally higher net profit of RM40.3mil, or 4.91 sen per share, against RM39.2mil, or 4.87 sen per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter stood at RM441.7mil.

For the first nine months to Sept 30, WCT's net profit rose to RM119.8mil on revenue of RM1.18bil.

By The Star

State aims to revive abandoned low-cost project in Kg Sungai Yu

It May be an end to a long wait for buyers of a low-cost housing project in Taman Sungai Yu Indah, Kampung Sungai Yu, Tanjong Karang, as the project will be revived and expected to be completed in March 2014.

State Housing, Building Development and Squatters Committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said there were around 300 units of low-cost houses.

“It was a joint venture between Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) and a private company.

“I have received many complaints from buyers. They have to pay their loans to the bank and rent a house while waiting for the project to be completed and it is a burden to them,” he said.

Iskandar was responding to a question by Sulaiman Abdul Razak (BN - Permatang) who asked for the latest updates of the progress and when could the buyers move in.

Iskandar added that he had raised the issue several times at the state assembly meetings.

“I was told by the Kuala Selangor District Council that the project was to be revived and completed by 2010. But till now, it is still an abandoned project,” he said.

Iskandar said that one of the ways to revive the project was to convert it partially to medium-cost houses.

“One of the reasons that the project was abandoned is because the developers did not have the approval from the Selangor Land and Mineral Department,” he said.

Sulaiman said this was not a valid reason as the department was under the state government.

“How can it be converted to medium-cost houses when the structures have been built?” he asked.

Islander clarified that only some, of the structures were built, hence the remaining ones will be converted to medium-cost houses.

“It is up to PNSB to decide how many will be converted,” he said.

Lee Kim Sin (PR-Kajang) asked what action would be taken against developers that fail to deliver on time.

Iskandar replied that directors of those companies would be black-listed.

“It is insufficient to just blacklist the companies as each project is undertaken by different companies.

“Even then, some people use proxies and register the company under their spouse’s name,” he said.

By The Star