UALA LUMPUR (May 31): Marco Holdings Bhd — the distributor of Casio watches, calculators, digital cameras and musical instruments — plans to expand its business into property development in the next two years.

According to Marco chairman and non-executive director Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon, the timepiece and consumer electronics product specialist is mulling a plan to develop a 2.5-acre industrial land in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

“We are planning a condominium project in Setapak. We hope to develop the land in the next two years,” he told reporters, after Marco AGM here today. Tan, 76, is the single largest shareholder of Marco, with a 19.71% equity interest.

A quick check on Marco’s annual report 2016 showed that the Setapak land, measuring 10,112 sq m (about 2.5 acres), was acquired by the group in 1998. The plot's 99-year lease will be expiring in 2093. As at Dec 31, 2016, its net book value stood at RM12.37 million.

Tan stressed Marco does not intend to sell the Setapak land, as the group is keen to develop it, once it converts the land into residential use.

He, however, declined to provide more details on the condominium project, as it is still at a “very early stage”.

“We are still at the drawing board, so there is nothing concrete at the moment. By developing the land, we believe we could create better shareholder value (than selling it),” said Tan.

Besides the Setapak land, Marco also owns another vacant land in Bukit Katil, Melaka. The tract, measuring 61,432 sq m or 15.1 acres, was acquired by the group in 1995. This land, with its 99-year lease expiring in 2102, carried a net book value of RM28.86 million as at Dec 31 last year. — theedgemarkets.com

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