KUALA LUMPUR (May 9): The company controlled by China's richest man is now the front runner to lead the development of Bandar Malaysia after Putrajaya last week dropped the consortium that was earmarked to buy a majority stake in the project, the Singapore daily The Straits Times reported today.

Government officials and financial executives familiar with the situation said negotiations with the Dalian Wanda Group to take the main role as master developer is now at an advanced stage and the deal is awaiting approval from the Chinese government's financial regulators, The Straits Times reported.

This is because the Wanda Group's investment would entail large outflows of capital, something Chinese authorities are trying to put a stop to as part of efforts to preserve the country's reserves, said the report.

An agreement will be signed during a trip by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Chinese capital this week if the plan gets the approval from Beijing, the executives told the Singapore daily. Najib will also be in China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The financial executives also told The Straits Times that Wanda has proposed to use half of the development for tourism and entertainment-related ventures valued at roughly US$8 billion (RM34.73 billion).

Earlier this week, Malton Bhd said it is "not" in talks with the Employees Provident Fund and Dalian Wanda to jointly bid for the Bandar Malaysia property project.

Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd is China's largest commercial property company and the world's largest cinema chain operator. It is owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin.

Last week, the master developer of Bandar Malaysia, TRX City Sdn Bhd, announced that the share sale agreement with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd – who on July 21, 2016 assigned its benefits and responsibilities to IWH CREC Sdn Bhd – regarding the sale of 60% of the issued and paid-up capital of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, has lapsed.

Bandar Malaysia, to be developed on the former Royal Malaysia Air Force Sungai Besi airbase site, is poised to be a catalyst for economic growth and national development.

Among others, it will feature Kuala Lumpur Internet City, the hub for the new Digital Free Trade Zone.

It will also be Malaysia’s transport nucleus, connecting the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail, MRT lines, KTM Komuter, Express Rail Link and 12 highways.

  1. Putrajaya gives nod to ECRL integrated land use master plan
  2. Nga: Malaysia to continue learning home-building innovation from China
  3. DONE DEAL: Bungalow, Seksyen 3, Desa Putra, Kajang