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City&Country: Briefs

Greater KL to drive rapid growth
The aspiration for Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley (Greater KL/KV) is to drive rapid growth parallel with upgrading the city’s liveability, according to the government in its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP): A Roadmap for Malaysia.

For this National Key Economic Area (NKEA), Greater KL/KV extends beyond the boundaries of Kuala Lumpur. It covers 10 municipalities — Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Kajang, Subang Jaya, Selayang, Ampang Jaya and Sepang.

The current population of Greater KL/KV  is estimated at six million and contributes about RM263 billion to the nation’s gross national income (GNI), proving that Greater KL/KV is the engine of the nation’s economic growth. It is a unique NKEA in that it has a geographical focus rather than an industry focus like the other 11 NKEAs.

Sunway inks MOU to explore mixed development project in China
Sunway Holdings Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shanghai Zhushengyuan Real Estate Co Ltd (SZRE) to explore the feasibility of a number of projects, including a mixed development in Wuguang New City in Wuguangxincheng, Changsha in China.
In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Oct 22, the group said under the terms of the MoU, both parties will jointly undertake feasibility studies and bid, invest, construct and develop plots of land in the proposed development. The MoU is valid for 18 months unless either party decides to extend the period.

Rising KL office supply draws mixed views, may affect REITs
Office-based Malaysian real estate investment trusts (M-REITs) may see some pressure given that more office space will come onstream in the coming years, say property players.

However, some REIT managers say this is not a huge cause for concern as it will take a while for new supply to come onstream and demand for office space should rise over the next few years, given the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“The ETP is supposed to create more jobs as we move towards becoming a services-based economy; the new jobs will come from new companies and new offices,” AmFirst REIT CEO Lim Yoon Peng said.

“There appears to be an overhang in supply at this point, but by the time the new offices are completed in three to four years, there should be stronger demand, especially with more foreign financial institutions coming in.”

Permaju to diversify into property development
Following its proposed acquisition of property development company Hardie Development Sdn Bhd (HDSB), Permaju Industries Bhd plans to diversify into property development.

In an Oct 20 filing, the group said it expected its property development activities to divert at least 25% of its net assets from existing business activities or contribute to at least 25% of its net profit, as the launch of its first project is slated for 4Q2010.

“The proposed diversification is part of the group’s plan to expand its business activities to enhance the group’s overall long-term growth prospects,” it said. adding that its foray into property development would contribute positively to its future earnings and improve its financial position, given the prospects of the property development industry.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 830, Nov 1-7, 2010

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