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1MK sale marks return of foreign interest in Mont'Kiara

KUALA LUMPUR: The enbloc sale of 1 Mont'Kiara (1MK) for RM333 million by Aseana Properties Ltd to a real estate fund management company affiliated with Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Group marks the return of foreign institutional interest in Mont'Kiara area properties.

An analyst said this could potentially benefit Sunrise Bhd, the area's largest developer and owner of several investment assets, notably the Publika mall at Solaris Dutamas, that could be monetised. The Publika mall, which will open early next year, has over 335,000 sq ft of net lettable space, some 5,000 car park bays and a district cooling system.

Aseana's sale of 1MK for RM333 million is understood to be for the retail mall with net lettable area of 250,000 sq ft, about 185,000 sq ft of office space and over 1,000 car park bays. The exact breakdown pricing for the different components, however, is not available.

The analyst said the sale was more notable for the fact that it signalled a return of foreign investors to Mont'Kiara after a slew of aborted deals during the recent global financial crisis.

In 2007, Sunrise had sold its retail space and car park bays within Plaza Mont'Kiara, just across the road from 1MK, to Quill Capita Trust.

In that transaction, Quill Capita Trust paid RM90 million for 73,408 sq ft of net lettable area and 1,499 car park bays. Following that, there were several proposed enbloc transactions with foreign buyers, but these were later aborted when the global crisis hit.

Among them were Sunrise's MK20 project, Mah Sing Group Bhd's The Icon @ Mont'Kiara and a DutaLand Bhd venture.

Sunrise's MK20 was a build-and-sell mixed development and was to be sold to Malaysia Commercial Development Fund Pte for RM767 million.

The Icon @ Mont'Kiara, an office tower in adjoining Dutamas, was earlier slated to be sold by Mah Sing to a consortium comprising Autron Corp and Kuwait Finance House for RM285.4 million. This was later aborted and Mah Sing has since relaunched it as a residential project.

Also cancelled was Dutaland's proposed joint-venture agreement with Stonehage Westcity Property Fund Ltd and Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) Ltd to develop properties worth RM1.8 billion on its Kenny Heights land in neighbouring Sri Hartamas.
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