Country Garden aims for Bursa listing

KUALA LUMPUR: China developer Country Garden Holdings aims to list its local unit on Bursa Malaysia and views the increased competition in the Iskandar Malaysia property sector as healthy, as this “would raise the living standards of Malaysians”.

Speaking after the opening ceremony of its second project in Malaysia — Diamond City — in Semenyih, Country Garden Properties (M) Sdn Bhd general manager  Lou Jun Jie said the firm welcomes the idea of more China property firms jumping on the bandwagon in Iskandar.

Lou also told the press last Saturday that the China developer is looking to list its local operations on Bursa. “If we want to be a long-term player in the country, we will want to be listed and to catch the attention of local investors.”

Following its maiden launch in Iskandar last year, the group has moved nearer to the country’s capital, planning to roll out a total of 1,050 units landed properties with a gross development value (GDV) of RM5 billion in Semenyih, Kajang.

Its regional sales and marketing general manager Urey told the press that after the launching two weeks ago, the first phase of the project, Block A, has been 70% snapped up, out of which 80% of buyers are locals.

“We will be launching our Block B roughly in August or September,” he said.

Situated in Semenyih, Kajang, the Country Garden Diamond City sits on a 257-acre (104ha) piece of land and will be developed in two phases, Block A and Block B, with 450 and 600 landed units planned respectively.

“We are focusing on the local market and we are not doing aggressive marketing programmes on this project in China,” Urey said, adding that only 20% of those who have taken up the units are from China.

Commenting on the product, Urey said the Diamond City adopts Spanish architecture. The project encompasses three types of landed homes, including bungalows, mansions and landed units at an average RM378 per sq ft.

Additionally. Its first phase consists of 114 units of link houses, 276 units of bungalows and 25 units of mansions. It also includes a clubhouse, a Spanish-style commercial street, infinity pool, children’s play area, bowling alley and a movie theatre.

The entire project is slated to be completed two to three years after the launch of Block B.

Urey said the group is aware of the competition in the Iskandar region given that numerous foreign developers have started to look into building properties there as well. “We face competition everywhere. It doesn’t only happen in Malaysia, we have competition back in China too.”

It is worth noting that another China-based property player Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd bought six plots of land in the prime area of Johor last year for a price tag of RM4.5 billion from the Sultan of Johor.  

It has been reported that the tracts have been earmarked for high-rise residential units, low-density housing, retail properties, offices, a hotel and a shopping mall.

The Country Garden group has a huge development in Danga Bay, Johor with a GDV of RM10 billion. Out of the 9,000 condominium units launched there last year, it has been reported that the group had secured a take-up rate of 67% within a short period.

Moving forward, Urey said the group will continue scouting for more land in Malaysia. “[The projects] can be developed on a joint venture basis or solely by the company.”

Without elaborating, Lou said that the firm is looking to launch projects in Rawang soon.

Country Garden Properties, which is developing the Semenyih project, is a joint venture between Country Garden Holdings and Malaysian property player Mayland Group with 55% and 45% stakes respectively.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 16, 2014.

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