Thursday, 3 August 2017

(The Star) Penang-based Aspen to launch maiden project in Klang Valley next year

GEORGE TOWN: Aspen Group, which launched an initial public offering (IPO) on Singapore’s Catalist board recently, is planning a venture into the Klang Valley next year.

The Penang-based property developer is expected to launch an affordable housing project in Kajang comprising 2,200 units on 18 acres by the first or second quarter next year.

President and group executive officer Datuk M. Murly said the base case of the project’s gross development value (GDV) would be RM500mil.

“However, we will aggregate services by bringing in frills amounting to RM250mil to add more value to the GDV. It will be RM750mil then,” he said during a press conference at Aspen House in Macalister Road yesterday.

“The project will be carried out in three phases,” he added. The project, Murly said, is located on the former Kajang Hill Golf Course.

The company recently launched its IPO, offering 173.3 million shares at 23 Singapore cents (72.5 sen) each.

These include 4.35 million shares for the public and 168.9 million placement shares. The company aimed to raise net proceeds of S$36.72mil (RM115.77mil) for land acquisition, repaying bank borrowings and working capital.

According to Murly, the group chose Singapore as a listing destination because it planned to be a regional player.

“We have moved one step ahead to comply with financial regulation and corporate governance of an international country. The recognition is very important for a young company like us.

Murly said the Aspen Group is one of the largest listing on the Catalist board.

“We have attracted a very good pool of institutions, corporate and private individuals to take up the IPO shares,” he said.

Murly said he was looking at expanding its business beyond Penang and the Klang Valley.

“We are looking at countries in the South-East Asia region like the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia.

He said these countries are quite similar in terms of demographic and economic condition.

“We have good global brands to work with, and that gives us an added advantage to talk to the policy makers or landowners of the respective countries,” Murly said.

“We are in a very good position to penetrate such markets,” he said, adding that the company has collaborations with Ikea South East Asia, Columbia Asia Group, IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd, LG Electronics and several others.

Murly said the company has RM1.3bil of unbilled sales for the next two years which will put the company in a different level.

“About 90% of our profit and revenue is not recognised yet. Imagine when it hit the balance sheet. Our performance will be respectable in the next two years,” he said.

Murly said the company’s focus lies on developing affordable residential and mixed development properties at strategic locations.