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MAH Sing Group Bhd, one of Malaysia’s top property developers, is focusing on launching more mid-range or affordable residential properties that are priced below RM1 million, in the next three years.

Its chief executive officer Ng Chai Yong said although the firm has mixed products ranging from various types of residential and commercial properties, it would launch more affordable homes to provide opportunity to first-time buyers.

Meanwhile, Mah Sing’s executive director, corporate and investment, Datuk Steven Ng Poh Seng, said the company’s future plan is in line with the government’s aim to encourage home ownership, especially among the middle-income earners.

“In the last two years, we have been accumulating land to develop townships to focus on the mass-market.

“Eighty seven per cent of our residential property launches are priced below RM1 million this year and next year over 84 per cent of our products will be below RM1 million,” he said at a media briefing after the groundbreaking ceremony of Mah Sing’s Southville City@KL South direct interchange access and the launch of Block C1 for Savanna Executive Suites, yesterday.

Southville City is a new master plan township of 173.20ha, expected to serve more than 230,000 catchment within Bangi and over 1.13 million catchment from the surrounding neighbourhoods such as Seremban, Kajang, Semenyih, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Nilai and Dengkil.

It is a sustainable mixed-use township development and has an estimated gross development value of RM8.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the direct interchange access from North-South Highway will provide access into and out of Southville City and it is estimated to be completed by 2018.

The completion is expected to coincide with the handing over of the vacant possession of Southville City’s first-phase development, the Savanna Executive Suites, which are 956 sq ft three-room apartments priced from RM350,000.

He is confident it will be sold out by the first quarter of next year.

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FRASER & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) will be launching the first phase of its integrated property development, dubbed  “Fraser Square”, in April next year.

The property would comprise three high-end condominium towers to be developed on 5.14ha at Section 13, right at the heart of the Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Its non-independent and non-executive director Datuk Ng Jui Sia said the project was expected to be completed in six years and would diversify the company’s portfolio.

“The first phase will see the launch of an initial 300 units and the next phase will depend on market response.

“Despite some of the cooling measures currently in place, we are hoping that with the Fraser branding, consumers in Malaysia will have the confidence in purchasing the units.

“We foresee the second phase to be launched in the second half of next year. Although the show house is under construction, our sales gallery will be open soon.”

Ng added that F&N has landbank remaining in Johor, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Butterworth (Penang) and Kajang (Selangor).

On the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Ng said since it is a national tax policy, F&N will be affected as it is part of the value chain.

“We will have no choice but to pass on the GST to consumers. But we will do our best to cushion the impact.

“If we have to absorb some of the taxes, we will. You never know, some retailers may even decide to absorb it, but we will have to see how it turns out.”

The Fraser Square project will have a total gross development value of RM1.7 billion.

The units in Phase 1 will be priced at between RM750 and RM1,000 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, its property general manager Cheah Hong Chong said F&N is expecting mixed responses for the project as it is located in the prime area of Petaling Jaya.

“We have units of various types and sizes to meet purchasers’ needs, including families, individuals or businesses.

“Due to the GST implementation, we expect property price hike of only three to four per cent, which is minimal as properties are exempted,” said Cheah.

Meanwhile, F&N is also eyeing to become Asean’s No. 1 player in the food and beverage (F&B) business through acquisitions.

Ng said as one of its strategies moving forward and narrowing the gap with its competitors, the company is in talks with several parties.

“We expect to see continued revenue growth for the financial year 2015 and it should surpass our yearly average.

“Next year’s performance will depend on the market sentiment and our brand resilience,” he added.

“By 2020, we should be able to reduce the gap in our bid to become the top F&B player in Asia.”

For the fourth quarter ended September 30, F&N’s recorded lower earnings at RM62 million against RM80 million a year ago.

Its revenue for the period was higher at RM965 million against RM897.5 million a year ago.

F&N said solid performance and higher contributions from all its business units, driven by Dairies Thailand, had helped to contribute to the increase in the group’s total revenue.

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MEDINI Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the company behind the flagship development of the Medini township in Iskandar Malaysia, will focus more on commercial projects in the near future to complement the many residential projects undertaken by other developers.

The master developer of Medini made a conscious decision last year to stop selling its land in the development.

Having sold 80 per cent of its land, it is holding on to the balance to further develop office space to kick-start the project’s business district of the project.

“The 20 per cent will comprise half-commercial and half-residential developments. But because most of the developers are building residential projects, we are not embarking on such projects in the near future. 

“What we want to do is to focus on commercial projects to complement residential projects.

“Our view is that we need to encourage a working population
to be established in Medini, to bring life to the area — to help create demand for other amenities, such as retail, food and beverages — and that would encourage those who work in Medini to stay in Medini,” Medini Iskandar managing director and chief executive officer Khairil Anwar Ahmad said.

This year, the company has come up with a smart city master plan to promote sustainable development in Medini.

In line with this, Medini Iskandar has also embarked on a process of taking over Medini’s township management.

On the back of RM1.5 billion in investments, it is maintaining all the parks, roads and coordinating the utilities (water, sewerage, power supply) as well as installing a high-quality fibre network to establish an open access information and communications technology platform.

“The development of the business district, ownership of township management, sustainable development — these are the three things we are putting in place to help fellow developers in Medini have a leg up on other property companies in the Iskandar region.

On the drawing board for possible future “activation” are crowd-pulling activities such as Medini Jazz Festival, Medini Rugby 7s and an art festival to showcase works of artists.

“Together, we are co-branding ourselves so that people understand that Medini is a destination,” Khairil said.

The most impressive of the projects that make Medini an attraction is Legoland, which is a runaway success.

The Gleneagles Hospital and a wellness resort by the Khazanah-Temasek joint venture, scheduled for completion by end-2015, are sub-destinations that are expected to add to Medini’s allure.

Medini also enjoys international experience via its three shareholders — Iskandar Investment Bhd (a Khazanah-controlled company) that owns 60 per cent, Japan’s Mitsui (20 per cent) and Dubai’s United World Infrastructure (20 per cent).

Khairil said when Mitsui came on board as shareholder last year, the Japanese brought along their expertise in sustainable design.

As for big name tenants, China’s Huawei stands out. The Chinese giant has signed a three-year lease where they are showcasing their products and bringing their regional customers to the venue.

Goldbury, which deals in SAP solutions for the automotive industry, has set up office there to conduct training.

“The board has approved our first high-rise building and we should start construction in March next year. It is a 24-storey office building due for completion in 2018.

“All these buildings are developed for rental income. We are not selling any of the space as we want to control the tenant mix. We want to encourage the Grade A names to come and set up office here. 

“We are looking at companies from Singapore and Malaysia,” he said, adding that Medini Iskandar is eyeing financial services, leisure and tourism, logistics, healthcare and education sectors.

On the possibility of a listing, Khairil said: “It is something that we have not decided on.

“Taking the IPO (initial public offering) route in our aspiration to raise capital for development activities and expansion of the company is one of the options we will consider.

“But there has been no decision by the board as far as an IPO is concerned,” he said.


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