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Thursday, 28 February 2019

(NST) Sunway's net profit up 6.2pct, revenue at RM5.41b in 2018


KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Bhd’s net profit increased 6.2 per cent to RM658.99 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from RM620.59 million.

In a statement today, Sunway said this was mainly due to higher contributions from the property investment segment and treasury operations.

“With the adoption of MFRS 15, recognition of progressive profits of RM103.7 million from one of the group’s Singapore and China property development projects, which could have been recognised in the current period under the progressive revenue recognition treatment, has to be deferred until its completion.

“Excluding the effects of the adoption of MFRS 15 in the current period, the group’s net profit would have been up by 22.9 per cent from the previous year,” it said.

Its revenue in the same period increased 3.3 per cent to RM5.41 billion from RM5.24 billion, due to higher contributions from most business segments.

Sunway declared a second interim cash dividend of 2.0 sen per share and a share dividend distribution of one treasury share for every 100 existing ordinary shares held.

Based on the market price of Sunway’s share of RM1.62 as at today’s close, the share dividend distribution is equivalent to 1.62 sen per share.

Total full year dividend, including the first interim cash dividend paid of 3.5 sen per share, is 7.12 sen per share, up from 6.0 sen per share in 2017.

“We look forward to another good year ahead, supported by the resilience of our businesses. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will continue to perform satisfactorily in 2019,” said Sunway chief financial officer Chong Chang Choong.

Meanwhile, Sunway’s property development segment achieved sales of RM1.88 billion in 2018.

It targets to launch RM2.0 billion worth of properties in 2019.

“We closed the year with RM1.88 billion in sales on the back of successful launches both locally and overseas.

“For financial year 2019, we have an exciting line-up of projects to be launched with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM2.0 billion. Sunway Velocity TWO Tower B, Sunway Avila and Sunway Onsen Suites are now open for registration,” Sunway property development division managing director Sarena Cheah said.

She said the local launches will mainly be residential properties located within Sunway’s integrated townships or in close proximity to public transportation.

In the international market, Sunway will be launching its private condominium project in Clementi, Singapore with an effective GDV of RM1.0 billion.

(NST) I-City Tower: Selangor's future jewel


THE Jewel, standing at 73 floors (about 1,250 ft), will be the tallest skyscraper in Shah Alam and possibly Selangor when it is completed in 2025.

The eye-catching structure will also be the most iconic element in i-City, which is currently the centre of attention.

Last week, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said rapid developments in i-City, a project by I-Berhad, are capable of making Shah Alam one of the centres of the “golden triangle” area in Selangor.

Amirudin said the i-City development presents excellent economic space for those living in Selangor and Malaysia.

Markets valuers say i-City is set to become the central business district (CBD) of Selangor, placing the state on the world map.

“We expect more iconic towers coming up in i-City. I-Berhad is targeting local and foreign investors to lease or buy them. I believe there are investors talking to I-Berhad for purpose-built towers,” said a source close to the company.

The i-City idea was conceived in the 1990s, in line with Malaysia’s then aspiration of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

The 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis put a halt to the plan, and it was not until 2005 that i-City became a reality for I-Berhad founder and group executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong.

Back then, i-City wasaRM1.5 billion township with an approved built-up of about five million sq ft. Today it is a RM10 billion ultrapolis with an approved gross floor area (GFA) of 13 million sq ft.

Only about 40 per cent of the approved GFA was completed at the end of last year.

From an architectural viewpoint, the master plan for i-City comprises 24 high-rise towers. At least 10 towers have been completed, with another four currently under construction.

The remaining towers, including The Jewel, are on the drawing board.

By 2025/2026, i-City is expected to boast about 25,000 residents, some 30,000 knowledge workers and at least 29 towers.

The Jewel will be surrounded by at least two office towers, an international wellness and medical centre,amedical training centre, three luxury residential buildings and a CBD commercial square.

Based on current plans, Grade A offices will occupy Level One to 50 of The Jewel while a fivestar hotel will take up the top floors.

“The Jewel masterpiece is the final structure that will signify i-City’s place in Selangor’s development folklore. It is the icing on the cake. We may start construction this year or in 2020. The target completion is 2025,” Lim told NST Property

(NST) The next potential 'golden triangle'


A “GOLDEN triangle” is synonymous with an area noted for its economic success, prosperity and influence, a mongothers, and reflects the growth of a city.

China’s famed trinity of Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen, forming the outer tips of the Greater Bay Area, is apt representation of a golden triangle with its 68 million population, US$1.4 trillion (RM5.7 trillion) gross domestic product (GDP) and US$20,000 per capita income.

In the United States, even the hugely-successful Silicon Valley has its own golden triangle area with “golden” as an appropriate descriptor given the level of commercial, residential, retail and hospitality real estate projects in that particular region.

Back home, there is the highly-recognisable golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur, encompassing the Bukit Bintang and KLCC areas. This is the greater area that drives investments into the country and also home to a large number of expatriates.

Shah Alam, which is the capital city of Selangor, could very well be the next golden triangle as it has all the ingredients to be successful.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has said rapid developments in I-Berhad’s i-City, can turn Shah Alam into one of the centres of the Golden Triangle area in the state.

Selangor, with its almost 25 percentcontribution to Malaysia’s GDP, is the country’s economic power house andmost progressive and developed state.

According to Amirudin, total investment in the state last year may have breached RM14 billion, the second highest in the last 10 years.

He said the amount would double the Selangor government’s RM7 billion target.

“If you look at the record in the last 10 years, this is the second highest achievement for Selangor. The highest was in 2014 when we achieved over RM15 billion in investments,” he said after attending are ception inconjunction with the Federation of Hokkien Associations of Malaysia’s 2019 Chinese New Year celebration.

Amirudin hopes more local and foreign investors will come to Selangor.

A DESIRED LOCATION

Shah Alam typifies all that is desired as a location of choice.

Being the first planned city since Malaysia’s independence and the first city in the country to use a centralised sewage system and underground utility cables, Shah Alam’s pioneering moves over the years have seen it emerge from the shadows of its faster-growing neighbours to become a vibrant are a that has attracted property buyers and developers alike.

Due to its status as the state capital, Shah Alam, including i-City, are blessed with excellent infrastructure and connectivity, such as highways and roads, which link it to seaports and airports, as well as keep it within a 30-minute driving distance from all other areas in the Klang Valley.

The number of highways connecting i-City to the rest of urban Klang Valley attests to its strategic location at the heart of Selangor’s golden triangle.

Public transportation needs are also catered to, with the light rail transit (LRT) network from Bandar Utama to Klang having a station in i-City.

Property valuers said i-City, which is the biggest integrated development in Shah Alam that is linked to an LRT is fast shaping to be the heart of Selangor’s golden triangle.

Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd executive director (investment/research and consulting) Brian Koh said i-City is a well-conceived integrated sub-commercial centre for Shah Alam/Klang with live, work and playcomponents.

I-City would definitely lift up the image of Shah Alam and the overall Selangor as it further progresses, he told NST Property.

“I strongly believe that more foreign investors would set up shop in i-City. I-City has been an MSC Malaysia Cybercentre (development) for several years now. What will likely attract investors to i-City is the development’s MSC Malaysia Cyber centre status, excellent infrastructure and highway connection,” Koh said.

He applauded I-Berhad founder and group executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong for having done a fantastic job in putting the masterpiece together.

“He has the drive and vision to take the project (i-City) from concept to reality today despite the early challenges (interms) of market perception of the locationand limited track record. The completion of the Central i-City Mall will add to the buzz.”

WHAT MAKES I-CITY THE NEXT GOLDEN TRIANGLE?

1. Prosperity

i-City is now a sought-after residential address with its last residential launch, Hill10, having been snapped up at a benchmark pricing of RM1,000 per square ft (psf).

Located above the Double Tree byHiltoni-City, the Hill10 units are Internet of Things-ready and fully furnished with four-star hotel-standard designs.

“The demand for i-City as a residential address is also reflected in the speed at which the developer’s launch price has more than doubled from about RM450 psf for its i-Residence launched in 2012 (for an unfurnished unit) to that for Hill10 in 2017,” said Lim.

2. Influence

i-City has helped cement Shah Alam’s place on the world tourism map with its theme park being listed by CNN Travel as one of the world’s top 25 most colourful and brightest places.

Since its opening to the public in 2009, i-City’s theme park has attracted more than five million visitors a year to Shah Alam.

Its City of Digital Lights with one million LED lightscapes, the Red Carpet 2 interactive wax museum and the SnoWalk falling snow and ice carving experiences have continued to woo and wow visitors.

Lim said i-City is a distinct exception to the notion of Shah Alam lacking entertainment venues, with its blend of corporate, residential and leisure components ingredients of almost perfect living.

“It has been said that great cities have to continuously recalibrate, renew and reinvent themselves in response to ever-changing demographic, technological, economic, and global advancements.

“Against this backdrop, i-City will continue to push the boundaries yet again with its development of work places of the future — one which inspires innovation through the ability to focus, socialise, learn, collaborate and rejuvenate under a single space— and living spaces of the future, one which offers collaborative living spaces with quality facilities and office-standard technology,” said Lim.

3. Economic success

The i-City that is unfolding today isfounded on the determination to offer a fully-integrated lifestyle township with the infusion of cutting edge technologies, characterised by a number of strategic alliances with some of the world’s A-listers.

Lim said this strategy is a part of i-City’s vision to be an international park, a status conferred on it by the Selangor government as part of the administration’s drive for Shah Alam to be an international city.

From i-City’s perspective, being “international” not only means catering to the international community, but also being an investment location of choice for global companies, he said.

INTERNATIONAL APPEAL

Koh said what was once an industrialfocused area, the part of Shah Alam where i-City is located has had a positive impact on developments and properties.

“It has gentrified the area. Earlier phase pricing for residential properties were launched in the RM400-RM500 psf range.

I understand the latest pricing is RM1,000 psf,” he said.

Perhaps it is the international offering in i-City that is driving up property prices, not just for units within the development but also in the surrounding area, added Koh.

The 220-room Best Western i-Cityhotel is currently in its fifth year of operations.

Under construction is the 300-roomDouble Tree by Hilton i-City, and on the launch padis the Fraser Place service dapartments.

On the drawing board is a 400-room five star hotel to be operated by an international hotel group.

i-City open edits International Convention Centre (iCCC) in November last year, providing a platform to host Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions events and weddings.

Coming up next month is the opening of the RM850 million Central i-City Mall with one million sq ft net leasable area — developed as a joint venture between the Central Pattana Group of Thailand and i-City.

The mall will be augmented by the 300 units of CentralWalk high-street retail outlets.

Lim said it is envisaged that these retail developments would transform Shah Alam into a regional shopping centre and a destination of choice for cruise ships stopping at Port Klang.

15 YEARS ON FOR I-CITY

Lim has come a long way since the project was first envisaged over 15 years ago.

The first phase of i-City’s development comprising low-rise MSC Malaysia Cyber centre Office Suites was a pioneering move for Shah Alam as i-City became the first private sector MSC Malaysia Cybercentre development in the country.

The MSC Malaysia Cybercentre status, the International Park status as well as i-City’s recognition as a tourism destination have contributed to the vibrancy of the place.

With Central i-City Mall, iCCC and theme park, Lim expects i-City to receive 12 million visitors this year.

Lim said I-Berhad is confident to grow the numbers to 30 million visitors over the next five years, given the opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton, a second convention centre and the completion of Central Walk.

The Central Walk is one of the key features of i-City. It has multiple blocks comprising shopping, hospitality, leisure, convention and medical hubs.

From a master layout planning perspective, CentralWalk helps differentiate the commercial component of i-City with those of the residential and office components. It is already an extension of the City of Digital Lights.

This U-shaped complex stretches from the Red Carpet 2 in the north west corner of i-City to the new Central i-City mall in the south before U-turning to join TheJewel and the i-City LRT station in the north east corner of i-City.

Designed as a network of buildings with three wings, CentralWalk’s west wing comprises 300 retail units with the Red Carpet 2 and iCCC as the anchors while the Central i-City mall, coupled with the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, are the main stay of the south wing.

Lim told NST Property that the seeds of inspiration for i-City as a golden triangle development were planted back in 2005 when he and his management team visited Universal City in the United States.

Universal City is a 121h a development that is home to Universal Studios, NBC, Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and Universal CityWalk. The latter was designed by renowned American architect, Jon A. Jerde, who was also the master planner of i-City.

Lim said Universal City was seen as a perfect example.

Apart from being a tourism destination and a business centre for the motion pictures industry, the master plan for thesite included a residential neighbourhood and hotels.

“It opened our eyes to the possibility of a vibrant mix-used enclave for businesses, residences, hospitality and leisure to be undertaken by one developer with a longterm outlook, one which is financially sound and able to garner strong support from the authorities.

“We were especially attracted by the architectural concept of Universal CityWalk where a central pedestrian spine serves as a link to all the various components. Thus it is not surprising to see similarities in the architectural master plan of i-City with CentralWalk pedestrian spine being home to the shopping, leisure, hospitality and convention activities.”

Lim said considering that only about half of the approved gross floor area has been completed, there are still opportunities for i-City to contribute to the economic development and prosperity of Shah Alam, further strengthening its place as the centre of Selangor’s golden triangle.

“i-City’s RM3 billion Tourism Masterplan, one that has been presented to the Tourism Ministry, will see three hotels, a shopping centre, a theme park, three convention centres and a medical hub among the many other offer ingsin i-City. The next few years will see a five-star hotel and medical hub coming on stream, apart from the Double Tree which is currently under construction,” he added.

(NST) Over 51 developers to showcase projects


The three-day Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 expo which starts tomorrow will showcase real estate projects by top 10 developers listed on Bursa Malaysia, among others, and they will all offer a minimum 10 per cent discount to house buyers.

There will be a total of 51 private developers which are expected to showcase more than 20,000 units of residential properties that could easily be worth over RM15 billion.

During a media update on Monday, HOC organising committee chairman Datuk N. K. Tong said 26 developers will be offering 17,348 houses worth RM11.8 billion collectively at the property expo which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Tong said another 25 developers are still tabulating the value and total number of properties they are planning to showcase at the expo.

Analysts said it is no surprise that developers, such as LBS Bina Group Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, eco World Development Group Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd, would offer the highest number of units at the expo. LBS, which has set a RM1.5 billion sales target for this year, has most of its projects located in Klang Valley.

Managing director Tan Sri Lim hock San said last month that the group’s strategy was to focus on providing products with different prices, ranging from RM300,000 to RM600,000 per unit, to cater to buyers with different income levels.

LBS has 17 ongoing projects with a combined gross development value (GDV) of RM3.7 billion. The projects include the LBS Alam Perdana township in Puncak Alam, Kita @ Cybersouth township in Dengkil and Residensi Bintang Bukit Jalil condominium project.

“Getting at least a 10 per cent discount on their property, most of which are below RM600,000, is a good deal but it will depend on project and location. There are more savvy buyers in the market now and they will look for value-for-money deals,” said analysts.

UEM Sunrise may offer more properties from its projects in Johor of which market has been rather soft in the last few years, they said.

UEM Sunrise is the biggest property developer in Iskandar Puteri. It has numerous ongoing key projects, namely estuari, Puteri Harbour (GDV RM6.5 billion), East Ledang @ Iskandar Puteri (GDV RM4.1 billion) and Almas, Puteri harbour @ Iskandar Puteri (GDV RM1.9 billion).

Meanwhile, Mah Sing chief executive officer Datuk Ho Hon Sang confirmed that the company will offer around 3,000 residential units priced between RM500,000 and RM700,000 at the expo.

“We will feature 10 projects in the north, south and central regions, that are either in construction stages or have recently been completed.

They include M Vertica, M Centura and SouthVille,” Ho told NST Property.

He said the company would offer the standard minimum 10 per cent discount to all property buyers, give freebies such as hotel and food vouchers, as well as lucky draws.

LAUNCHPAD

NST Property understands that some developers will take the opportunity to launch housing projects at the expo.

Golden Land Bhd is expected to launch Anggun, its flagship residential development within the 1,618ha mature neighbourhood of Setia Alam in Selangor.

Sprawled on a 1.45ha plot at Persiaran Setia Perdana, Anggun has a GDV of about RM280 million. The development comprises two 35- and 33-storey towers with 500 apartments and 16 single-storey commercial units. The serviced apartments will have built-ups of 560 to 1,227 sq ft, priced at RM270,000 to RM649,000.

‘NO OLD PROPER TIES AT THE EXPO’

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon has refuted claims that the properties to be showcased at the HOC expo are old stocks.

“The expo is not like a premium outlet store where (when) it’s off season, you throw the products there to sell. The projects showcased at the expo are either recently completed or still under construction,” he said.

Soam said the majority of projects are located in Klang Valley, especially in Kuala Lumpur, Subang, Puchong, Shah Alam and Klang.

There are also properties from Rawang up to Seremban, he said.

“We want this to be a property supermarket where you can shop around for a high-rise or landed property, offered in all price ranges in several key locations. a bulk of the developers will offer units starting from RM300,000 up to RM1

million. Some developers will try to sell houses worth a few million ringgit each, but we all know the market is rather challenging now.

“House buyers will surely get a good offer. For instance, if you buy a property at the expo that is worth RM1 million, not only will you get a minimum 10 per cent discount but there will also be additional savings of about RM30,000 on stamp duty, based on the Sales and Purchase agreement value. The RM30,000 stamp duty savings are based on the RM900,000 final purchase price.

At the end of the day, you will get the unit for below RM900,000, so I am quite bullish there will be good take-up at the expo.

“Some generous developers will be offering free fully-fitted kitchen, free legal fees and easy downpayment schemes,” Soam told NST Property.

He hopes the HOC expo can achieve up to RM4 billion in sales.

“People will take time to decide and confirm their purchases... it is difficult to gauge the expected sales. However, for the entire campaign period, I think it will be good if we can achieve RM3 billion to RM4 billion sales,” he said.

The expo, which will be officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will have about 180 booths, majority of which have been booked by the developers.

The housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) will feature a government pavilion where 18 booths will be taken up by various government agencies, including Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Permodalan National Bhd and UDA Holdings Bhd.

The Federal Territories Affordable Housing Project (Rumawip) units will also be featured at the expo, Tong said.

Also participating are Malayan Banking Bhd, RHB Bank, Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Soam hopes the banks would help ease the financial burden of house buyers and that they would get the right margin of financing.

He also expects developers with money lending licence to offer their service at the expo to spur the sale of their respective projects.

The overall HOC 2019 campaign, which runs from January 1 to June 30, is a collaborative initiative between Rehda and KPKT to encourage home ownership among Malaysians.

(NST) UEM Sunrise to sell Hyatt House building?


IS UEM Sunrise Bhd toying with the idea of selling Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur, Mont’ Kiara?

Rumour has it that there are parties showing interest in four- and five-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur, and they are eyeing Hyatt House, which was officially launched in December last year.

“One of the trends right now is buying or selling hotels or hotel management companies. The demand is coming from existing management companies, investment funds and foreign buyers.

“Foreign buyers see the acquisition of hotels or a hotel management company as a solid way of entering the hotel market in Malaysia. There are some discussions and negotiations taking place in the market, especially for hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya,” said experts familiar with hotel deals.

“Whether UEM Sunrise will sell Hyatt House highly depends on the offer. On the other hand, for the buyer to be interested in Hyatt House, the hotel must have decent occupancy.

“The hotel maybe three months into its operation but I do believe that its occupancy is quite low currently given the actual shape and size of the expat market here and locals are cutting cost. I think there is a challenge to fill up hotel rooms,” said a market expert.

Hyatt House has 298 guestrooms, comprising 450-sq-ft studios as well as one- and two-bedroom suites of 480 and 750 sq ft, respectively.

The published rate for the studio is RM400 per night, while the suites range from RM450 to RM550 per night.

a UEM Sunrise spokesperson, in an email reply, said the company has yet to receive offers or proposals for Hyatt House.

The spokesperson did not rule out the possibility that the company would sell it should there be proposals.

“The company would evaluate them (the proposals) accordingly and review all aspects of the offer prior to making any decisions or announcements,” the spokesperson said.

The spokeperson did not respond when asked about Hyatt House’s current occupancy rate and the challenges that the hotel is facing.

SALE OF ROYALE CHULAN BUKIT BINTANG

Boustead Holdings Bhd said it is selling Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur for RM197 million to a Singapore-based company.

This confirmed NST Property’s report last month that Boustead had found a suitor for the four-star hotel.

The group had been seeking bids for the hotel.

Tenders closed on December 31 last year.

Boustead had set a reserve price of RM195million for the four-star property.

In a statement, Boustead said recently that its wholly-owned subsidiary Boustead Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd (BHR) had accepted an offer from hotel Royal Ltd for the hotel sale.

Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang offers good prospects, given its strategic location in one of the prime tourist areas and hotel belts of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, and this could have attracted the buyer.

Singapore media reported that Hotel Royal describes Jalan Bukit Bintang, where the hotel is located as “the Orchard Road of Kuala Lumpur”, and that the purchase is in line with the group’s initiatives to accelerate its growth through acquisitions.

On top of that, the proposed acquisition will “add synergy” to the group’s hotel operations in Kuala Lumpur, where it also owns the 285-room hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur, they reported.

Boustead said the sale price of RM197 million was reached on a willing-seller-willing-buyer basis.

“With this attractive offer price, we are of the view that this is the right time to dispose of the hotel,” said a Boustead spokesperson.

Zerin Properties founder and chief executive officer Previndran Singhe said the price is reflective of the value and the scarcity of such assets on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

“The deal really underpins the keen interest of investors, both local and foreign, in the hospitality sector of Kuala Lumpur,” he told NST Property.

For Boustead, the rationale for the sale is because BHR currently owns two Royale Chulan hotels in Kuala Lumpur, namely Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang and Royale Chulan kuala Lumpur, and they are both within close proximity to and competing with each other.

As such, the group decided to consolidate and focus on Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur to better capture the Kuala Lumpur market, the spokesperson said.

Boustead said Hotel Royal had paid a sum of RM3.94 million, being the two per cent earnest deposit of the disposal consideration, as part of the terms of the letter of offer.

The letter of offer is subject to, among others, Hotel Royal being granted an exclusivity period of one month starting February 19 to conduct a due diligence exercise on the hotel and BHR refraining from responding to (other than to reject) any enquiries, discussions, proposals or offers for or to continue, propose to, negotiate or hold discussions, and/or enter into any agreements, arrangements or understanding with any other parties during the exclusivity period.

It is also subject to the execution of a conditional sale and purchase agreement by the parties within the exclusivity period and the conditions precedent to the proposed disposal will include the statutory and regulatory approvals required under the Malaysian law and the Singapore stock exchange.

The 21-year-old 400-room Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang sits on a 0.31ha site in the tourist belt of Bukit Bintang.

It is one of eight hotels under Boustead’s hotel portfolio. The other six hotels are Royale Chulan Cherating, Royale Chulan the Curve, Royale Chulan Damansara, Royale Chulan Seremban, Royale Chulan Penang and Royale Chulan Hyde Park, London.

(The Star) More options for buyers

PASIR GUDANG: Developer Mah Sing Group launched its two new development projects in conjunction with its Chinese New Year celebration.

Its chief operating officer Benjamin Ong said its double-storey link houses and Ixora shoplots, with prices starting from RM641,000, were now open for registration.

“Both projects are located at Meridin East in Kong Kong. Its strategic location is conducive for both homeowners and businesses,” he said during Mah Sing Group’s Chinese New Year celebration held at Meridin East sales gallery here.

Besides the launch of the two projects, there was a line-up of exciting activities at the event.

A kite-flying event was also held and the public received a free custom-made red Mah Sing kite, much to their excitement.

A Chinese orchestra, wushu, Yahya Awal Dragon Dance group’s performances and lion dance kept the crowd entertained.


(The Edge Financial Daily) Sime Darby Property incurs maiden RM347m loss in 2Q

BY AHMAD NAQIB IDRIS

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd posted a maiden loss of RM347.5 million in the second quarter (2Q) ended Dec 31, 2018, against a net profit of RM138.08 million in the previous year corresponding quarter.

Revenue was 12.1% higher at RM788.81 million, from RM703.63 million a year earlier.

In a Bursa Malaysia filing, the property developer attributed the decline in performance to the gains on disposal of a subsidiary and associate recorded in the previous year, as well as high impairment of inventories, negative contribution from its Battersea project, and a higher tax provision.

For the cumulative six months, its net loss stood at RM318.7 million against a net profit of RM559.77 million in the preceding year. Revenue for the period increased 7.9% to RM1.27 billion from RM1.18 billion.

The group said its property development segment saw adverse impact from the impairment of completed inventories and write-off of development expenditure for two projects where launches have been deferred.

The group recorded RM7.7 million in share of loss from Battersea, as only three units of Phase 1 were delivered over the six-month period, compared to 494 units in the corresponding period a year earlier.

“These adverse charges were partially set off by the profit from the sale of land in Bandar Bukit Raja of RM122.7 million to Sime Darby MIT Development Sdn Bhd for the development of (a) managed industrial park. The profit on sale of land in the previous year amounted to RM84.3 million,” it said.

The property investment segment saw higher profit contribution due to a one-off in-come recognition amounting to RM7 million on the commencement of tenancy of an investment property and the gains on disposal of investment properties in the UK totalling RM5.6 million.

The better performance was also contributed by lower share of loss by Sime Darby Capita-Land (Melawati Mall) Sdn Bhd of RM1.1 million, compared to RM7.9 million a year earlier.

The group expects the Malaysian property market to remain muted and lacklustre amid a high volume of unsold properties, mismatch in demand and supply, strict lending policies and cautious sentiment among buyers.

Sime Darby Property closed up one sen or 0.86% to RM1.17 yesterday, valuing the company at RM7.96 billion.

(The Star) Bridge access to Jerejak isle

Yes, there will be a four-lane bridge between Penang and Pulau Jerejak islands.

But only pedestrians, cyclists and electric cars will be allowed across and development on the island will be the paragon of a green residential utopia.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said among the unique features of development plans for Pulau Jerejak was that no cars with combustion engines would be allowed to cross to the isle without special permission.

“Ambulances, fire engines and police cars will be allowed in during emergencies, of course. Utility vehicles like Tenaga Nasional trucks will need a permit.

“As for Penang Island City Council vehicles, such as garbage trucks, we will have to figure something out. Maybe a wagon pulled by an electric-powered vehicle will suffice,” he said.

According to Phee, many countries have specific townships or suburbs that demonstrate the highest standard of sustainability, and the state government wants Pulau Jerejak to have such a future.

“The developer will have to toe the line and show the utmost commitment to maintain the highest standards of urban planning for Pulau Jerejak,” he said.

Phee was commenting on recent outcries by local activists who expressed alarm over development plans for Pulau Jerejak.

They highlighted a brochure on the project in which the advertising copy introduced the planned project as ‘Queens Island (formerly known as Pulau Jerejak)’.

But Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow clarified that ‘Queens Island Condo and Villa’ was only the name of the project and not the island.

Pulau Jerejak (left) will be connected to Penang island via a four-lane bridge while a host of public amenities planned include jogging and cycling paths and even jetties for fishing activities.



“The development will only involve 80 acres (32.37ha). They (developer) do not own the island,” Chow told reporters last week, stressing that Pulau Jerejak would not be renamed.

The island is more than 360ha.

Phee said he was thankful to the NGOs because they helped to highlight worst case scenarios.

“I appreciate them. They alert us of possible problems.”

He revealed that only 1,200 residential units would be built in Pulau Jerejak and the population was not expected to exceed 8,000.

A host of public amenities will also be built there, including jogging and cycling paths and even jetties where Penangites can spend the day fishing.

Phee said the state would not compromise on maintaining high standards of sustainability and stakeholder consideration in Pulau Jerejak, which would be in accordance with the United Nation’s Local Agenda 21 guidelines.

“Just as we are planning for Batu Kawan to be a green industrial area, we want Pulau Jerejak to be a green residential area.

“Pulau Jerejak is a greenfield with no precedent or past town planning legacy. So the project can be planned and built in such a way that it will be the envy of the nation,” he added.


(The Edge Financial Daily) S P Setia eyes 10% property sales growth to RM5.65b in FY19

In order to achieve target it is planning RM6.8 billion worth of new launches
BY EMIR ZAINUL

KUALA LUMPUR: S P Setia Bhd is targeting new property sales of 10% to RM5.65 billion for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 (FY19), after it achieved RM5.12 billion sales in FY18, surpassing its RM5 billion target set for the year.

S P Setia president and chief executive officer Datuk Khor Chap Jen said local projects contributed RM4.12 billion or some 80% to the tally, while international projects generated RM1 billion or approximately 20%.

With unbilled sales in the pipeline amounting to RM12.32 billion, 45 ongoing projects and a balance land bank of 9,516 acres (3,850ha)with an estimated gross development value of RM149.7 billion as at Dec 31, 2018, Khor expects the group to stay resilient against pre-vailing market challenges, saying the outlook remains positive.

“We think the current challenging (economic) condition will still carry on in 2019. But we believe that the residential property market has bottomed out, so the worst is over and it can only get better. But how fast it gets better this year will depend on whether there will be any catalysts in the property market.

“We hope the economy gets better so that the sentiment will get better. We also hope that the government relaxes the lending guidelines — this will help spur the market,” he told a press briefing on the group's FY18 results yesterday.

Khor said the company can see that the government is already helping with affordable housing, in which it has come up with incentives for the segment.

“But we are hoping it will extend (the incentives) to the broader market,” Khor added.

In order to achieve the sales target, S P Setia plans to launch RM6.8 billion worth of properties in FY19, comprising RM6.66 billion local launches and RM139 million international launches, with the latter being new phases in Eco Lakes and Eco Xuan in Vietnam.

The local ones are mainly concentrated in the central region, with RM4.98 billion worth of launches planned. The planned launches in the southern region total RM1.17 billion, while the tally is RM349.3 million in the north. To the east, it plans launches worth RM163.5 million.

Khor said the company’s unsold units are at a manageable RM1.4 billion level, and that they have been steadily decreasing over the last few years. The tally, he noted, is below 30% of the group’s total sales.

The group’s net profit from the continuing operations in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4QFY18) fell 63% to RM101.55 million from RM276.03 million a year ago, as revenue dropped 23.4% to RM1.02 billion from RM1.33 billion, mainly on lower property development revenue.

The segment’s revenue came in at RM930.5 million versus RM1.26 billion a year ago, with pre-tax profit at RM224.2 million versus RM467.53 million previously. This was partly due to higher volume of development phases completed and handed over in the last quarter of FY2017, and because 4QFY17 had recognised profit from the completion of Phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station, it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

“Projects in the UK and Australia have to adhere to the completion method of accounting for revenue recognition, hence the completion of such projects will normally have material upside impact on the group’s profit,” it said.

For the full FY18, S P Setia’s cumulative net profit from continuing operations retreated to RM670.96 million from RM993.7 million a year earlier, as revenue declined to RM3.59 billion from RM4.29 billion.

The group declared a final dividend of 4.55 sen per share, which brings its full-year FY18 payout to 8.55 sen per share, a payout ratio of 70.1%.


(The Star) Ideal location in city centre

With its centralised location, One Residences Kuala Lumpur presents a spacious and safe retreat for homeowners to experience luxurious living in the city.

They can also enjoy panoramic views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline while taking full advantage of city living.

Homeowners will feel safe and secure in their own place with lifestyle hubs, educational institutions, healthcare amenities and entertainment located nearby.

It is situated in Jalan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, near the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) development and TREC KL, the city’s largest entertainment and F&B centre.

The 1.2ha leasehold serviced apartment project by Akisama Group has a gross development value of RM600mil.

The property consists of 684 units of serviced apartments in two 32-storey blocks.

Three layouts with built-ups ranging from 82.5sq m to 118.3sq m are available. Each block has 342 units, with prices starting from RM570,800.

Type A comprises two bedrooms and two bathrooms, while Type B and Type C layouts offer three bedrooms and three bathrooms, with an additional powder room.

Homebuyers will have exclusive access to various facilities which include an infinity swimming pool, children’s playground, multipurpose hall, gymnasium, fitness centre and sauna room at the seventh floor of the building.

Prospective buyers have the option to choose a fully furnished package for their apartments, which come with a dining and sofa set, kitchen cabinet with hob, hood and island, bedroom wardrobes, curtains, mattresses, televisions, refrigerator, washing machine, water heaters, air conditioners, ceiling fans and light fittings.

An example of the fully furnished Type B unit at One Residences Kuala Lumpur.



Akisama Group sales and marketing manager Eddie Chang said buyers could add RM45,000 to enjoy a fully-furnished home under Type A, while the package for Type B and Type C cost RM55,000.

“This will allow them to move in without any hassle,” he added.

Each unit owner will have two or three parking bays, located from the ground floor to the sixth floor.

Chang said residents could host events such as birthday parties and family gatherings at the multipurpose hall which can accommodate up to 200 people.

Chang said 80% of the serviced apartments which were completed in January this year had been sold.

He said One Residences Kuala Lumpur was suitable for various categories of buyers, be they students, retirees, millennials, foreigners or investors.

“Our project offers something for everyone,” Chang said at the grand house-warming event at One Residences Sales Gallery.

Those who refer a friend will earn RM3,000 each during the promotion period which ends today.

They can also earn a reward of RM3,000 each when they purchase a One Residence unit as part of its Buyers Repeat Purchase campaign and Akisama’s loyalty programme.

Chang said to-date, Akisama Group has completed more than 10 housing projects in the Klang Valley.

One Residences Kuala Lumpur is easily accessible via the KL-Seremban Highway, Besraya Highway and Mex Highway.

Public transport provides easy accessibility as LRT, Monorail, KTM and ERL are all nearby, including the upcoming MRT2 as well.


(The Edge Financial Daily) Mah Sing plans RM2.2b worth of launches

The projects will continue to focus on affordable homes in Klang Valley, Johor, Penang
BY TAN XUE YING

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd is planning new launches worth RM2.2 billion in gross development value this year — unchanged from last year — not withstanding the 25% year-on-year fall in net profit to RM271.60 million in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18).

The FY18 revenue was also lower at RM2.2 billion against RM2.92 billion in FY17.In the fourth quarter, the property developer registered a net profit of about RM66 million or a fourth lower than in the year-ago quarter, while revenue was down by a third to RM514.60 million, from RM760.84 million before.

The group has proposed a final dividend of 4.5 sen per share for FY18 against 6.5 sen previously.

In a press statement, Mah Sing managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the group sees potential to expand its land bank given it has some RM1.22 billion of cash as at end-December 2018.The group’s RM2.2 billion worth of projects this year would continue to focus on affordable homes at strategic locations in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.

“With disciplined financial management and a healthy balance sheet, we are in a good position to lock in more land and explore joint venture opportunities with a focus on affordable housing projects within Greater KL,” Leong added.

For FY18, Mah Sing’s property development earnings were mainly supported by a higher proportion of new sales secured from new projects such as M Vertica in Cheras, M Centura in Sentul and M Aruna in Rawang. These projects are expected to contribute more significantly once past the initial stages of construction, the developer said.

Other earnings contributors were Southville City in KL South, Lakeville Residence in Jalan Kuching, D’sara Sentral in Sungai Buloh, M Residence and M Residence 2 in Rawang, and M City in Jalan Ampang in Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Klang Valley, Ferringhi Residence in Penang, The Meridin@Medini, Meridin East, Sierra Perdana in Johor and Sutera Avenue in Sabah.

The group’s plastics segment also continued to contribute positively to group earnings, with improvements in its revenue and operating profit, pursuant to the sales of moulds.

Mah Sing closed unchanged at RM1, valuing the company at RM2.43 billion.


(The Star) Opportunity for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Kedai Ayamas licensing programme.

At the launch, Kara Holdings chairman Mohd Sahir Rahmat said Malaysian entrepreneurs were welcome to apply for the licensing programme.

“Ayamas outlets sell a variety of chicken-based products,” Sahir said.

Kara Holdings executive director Abdul Rahman Md Dawi said those interested in being part of the licensing programme could log on to www.kedaiayamas.my.

“We encourage more to join us and venture into this business because chicken is a popular and inexpensive protein.

“This is a good business venture for them to consider as the set-up cost is very reasonable.”

TTDI Ayamas outlet licensee Nur Azura Che Lodin showing some of the items available.



They can venture into opening a kiosk, store, restaurant and food truck.

Kara Holdings Special Projects head Abdul Hady Zabil said the programme allowed entrepreneurs to sell additional products which are a good fit for the Ayamas brand.

Ayamas licensee outlets are located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), TTDI Jaya, Melawati, Kota Damansara, Section 18, Shah Alam and Bukit Jelutong in Selangor; Bukit Baru, Melaka; Medan Gopeng, Perak; as well as a kiosk in Beserah, Kuantan, Pahang.

Abdul Rahman said there was no specific criteria to join the licensing programme.

“They must be interested to venture into business. If they do not have interest, then there is a higher chance of them failing.

“We will train them and no prior experience in the food and beverage industry is required,” Abdul Rahman added.

Support provided include manpower training, product and menu development, financial management, marketing and promotion as well as the supply of products.

There are 40 Ayamas outlets owned and operated by Kara Holdings nationwide.


(The Edge Financial Daily) Tourist arrivals for 2018 miss target for eighth year

But Tourism Malaysia director-general is confident of meeting 2019’s goal

BY SYAHIRAH SYED JAAFAR

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s tourist arrivals in 2018 fell short of its target once again, which makes it the eight consecutive year that it has missed its projection.

Despite the eight year of decline, Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof is confident that its target will be met in 2019.

For 2018, the tourism, arts and culture ministry reported 25.83 million tourist arrivals in Malaysia, compared with the target of 26.4 million. Year-on-year (y-o-y) this was a 0.4% decline from the 2017 figure of 25.95 million.

Tourist receipts for 2018 also fell short of the RM84.9 billion tar-get, and came in at RM84.1 billion instead. It rose 2.4% y-o-y from RM82.2 billion.

In terms of per capita expenditure, Malaysia saw a 2.9% y-o-y in-crease to RM3,257 from RM3,166, while the average length of stay climbed to 6.5 nights from 5.7 nights a year ago.

Musa blames the missed target as well as the y-o-y drop to a drop-in arrivals from Singapore, which fell 14.7% y-o-y in 2018 to 10.62 million.

Musa said there were a few reasons such as issues of traffic from the Johor-Singapore Causeway deterring tourists, as well as general changing travelling trends among Singaporeans.

“For Singaporeans, they are looking for new and different experiences as opposed to just being in the city. So we will have to take a different approach when promoting there,” he said in a press conference yesterday to announce the 2018 performance.

Musa stressed that Singaporean arrivals remain important to Malaysia as they make up the bulk of the volume. Though moving forward the ministry wants to depend less on this and increase the number from other areas.

“We need to prioritise other areas such as increasing medium- and long-haul travellers who will come in and spend more,” Musa said, adding that while Singaporeans frequent Malaysia, they spend roughly only two to three days in the country.

Aside from Singapore, other top tourist arrivals in 2018 were from Indonesia (3.28 million), China (2.94 million), Thailand (1.91 million), Brunei (1.38 million), South Korea (616,783), India (600,311), the Philippines (396,062), Japan (394,540) and Taiwan (383,922).

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi not-ed that arrivals from Indonesia and China, which made up Malaysia’s second- and third-largest arrivals, have been increasing. In 2018, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia climbed by 29% y-o-y, while the number of tourists from Indonesian increased by 17%.

Regionally, Mohamaddin said Asean arrivals continued to dominate the share of tourist arrivals to Malaysia with a 70.1% contribution. However, growth-wise, tourist arrivals from the region fell 7% y-o-y.

From other markets, tourist arrival growth was seen from Central Asia (82%), Africa (49%), Americas (26%), West Asia (25.3%), East Asia (24.3%), South Asia (13.4%) and Europe (7.8%),” he said during the press conference.

In terms of overall tourist expenditure, the Asean region remained the biggest contributor, contributing a total of RM48.5 billion.

West Asian tourists recorded the highest per capita expenditure with RM9,947, an increase of 6.1% compared with RM9,378.5 in 2017.

The top three distribution of tourist receipts went to shopping (33.4%), accommodation (25.7%), and food and beverages (13.4%).

For the medium- and long-haul markets, they occupied a 20.3% share and a 13.3% share respectively. Growth-wise, Mohamaddin said collectively, the medium- and long-haul markets grew 19.3% y-o-y.

Looking ahead, Musa said the ministry remains positive that it will be able to meet its 2019 targets of 28.1 million tourist arrivals and RM92.2 billion tourist receipts.

“It is important that the per capita expenditure and tourist receipt numbers increase. We may report less tourist arrivals however if more people are spending then that is good for the country,” he said.

Musa added that the ministry will focus on enhancing connectivity by working with airlines to open up more travel routes. It will also ramp up its “Visit Malaysia” promotional campaigns across the globe.

The government also previously announced in Budget 2019 that it would allocate RM100 million in matching grants to the private sector for running promotional and marketing campaigns overseas to increase the number of visitors to the country.