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Automotive, education ventures to 'complement Sunsuria's property development business'

KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): Property developer Sunsuria Bhd has decided to “turn up a notch” its diversification venture into the automotive and education sectors.

The Edge Malaysia has reported that it is going into two joint ventures (JVs) – “a 51:49 partnership with IAT Automobile Technology Co Ltd to mark its foray into the automotive sector, and a 30:70 JV with Victoria Education Sdn Bhd to strengthen its business presence in the education sector”.

Sunsuria founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap (pictured) told the weekly that the JVs “are part of the group’s strategy to enhance the value and vibrancy of Sunsuria City, its 525-acre integrated township development in Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya South”.

“Sunsuria City is designed with the three guiding principles of being smart, livable and sustainable. We try to put in as many smart and digital elements as possible. And then, obviously, we also have this education element. The JV with IAT is not just about car manufacturing and car design; it’s also about developing and growing talent for the automotive industry in our place,” he said in a virtual interview.

Ter explained that the automotive and education ventures are expected to complement Sunsuria’s property development business.

“We believe the automotive element will elevate Sunsuria City to become a global hub that could attract multinational corporations to locate their offices here.

“Meanwhile, our collaboration with Victoria Education to set up a MindChamps preschool would also complete our education ecosystem at Sunsuria City, which already comprises primary- and secondary-level schools, Concord College Malaysia and Xiamen University Malaysia,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ter said Sunsuria will continue to focus on the property development business, but “in a careful manner”.

“We have not been generating handsome profits in recent years as we have been slowing down our new launches. We knew that bad times were coming, so we tried to keep our overhead costs low. We need to make sure that our cash flow remains healthy,” he said.

Ter said it is more important for Sunsuria “to sail through the storm rather than look at short-term growth” and added that “it is wiser to remain conservative”.

“Currently, Sunsuria City itself still has 180 to 200 acres of land to be developed. Excluding the 150-acre occupied by Xiamen University, our total development area there is 375 acres.

“In other words, in terms of land size, there is still more than half of our area at Sunsuria City yet to be developed. There is more to come from us,” he said.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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