CapitaMalls Asia eyes Malaysia for expansion

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore’s CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, the shopping mall development arm of CapitaLand Ltd, is looking at Malaysia as a key growth area for its retail properties business.

Its Malaysia general manager Yong Kei Seng said with its recent listing in Singapore, the company was on the lookout for areas for future investments and developments.

“The listing of CapitaMalls recently in Singapore is a way forward for future investments and expansion of the company in Asia. And a key area is Malaysia,” he said Wednesday March 10 at the launch of The Mines shopping mall, previously known as The Mines Shopping Fair.

Yong said the company had successfully transformed The Mines into a contemporary shopping mall and was now in search of other malls to work on.

“The next mall to look out for is 1 Mont’Kiara in Kuala Lumpur which should be opened by the end of the year,” he said.

CapitaLand, through its subsidiary Mutual Streams Sdn Bhd, purchased Mines Shopping Fair Sdn Bhd (MSFSB) from Country Heights Holdings Bhd for RM435 million cash in 2007. MSFSB was a special-purpose vehicle to own and manage the mall.

Since then the group has invested RM100 million to upgrade the mall’s accessibility and facilities in order to provide a better shopping experience for visitors.

The mall’s nett lettable area has expanded 120,000 sq ft to 720,000 sq ft, with occupancy increasing to 98% from 83% since the acquisition, said The Mines CapitaMalls Asia senior centre manager Fern Tan.

“The tenants have also increased by 100 to our current number of 386 tenants, while average monthly traffic has increased from 650,000 in January 2008 to 1.2 million in December 2009,” she said.

CapitaMalls Asia manages 86 retail properties across 48 cities in Singapore, Japan, India and Malaysia, including Sungei Wang Plaza and Gurney Plaza, with total property value of S$20.3 billion (RM48.44 billion).
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