SHAH ALAM: Thailand-based retail conglomerate, Central Group, plans to create 300 retail outlets at its shopping mall project at I-City in Shah Alam, Selangor, which it is building jointly with I-Bhd.
Yesterday, Central Pattana Public Co Ltd (CPN), the retail development arm of Central Group, signed a 60:40 shareholders’ agreement with I-Bhd to develop the shopping mall.
The 1.5 million sq ft shopping mall is slated to be completed by end-2016, and will have a total GDV of RM580 million. CPN will bear about RM72 million of the development costs.
Kobchai Chirathivat, the CEO of CPN, said the retail space will be rental-based, with a combination of outlets from Thailand and Malaysia.
CPN, 59%-owned by Central Group, has been developing and operating malls in Thailand since the 1980s. It holds 24% of the retail market share in Thailand and has the largest share in Bangkok.
“We hope to attract bigger crowds to this part of Selangor, adding to the existing population of 500,000 to 600,000 here,” Chirathivat said after the signing ceremony.
He said Malaysia’s per capita income is almost double that of Thailand. This shows a higher purchasing power among Malaysians which can attract investments from foreign companies.
Chirathivat said CPN is also looking forward to cooperating with other property players in Malaysia, “However, for the time being, we are only focusing on this joint venture with I-Bhd.”
CPN is recognised as an experienced retail property management and development player in Thailand, owning 21 leading shopping malls in the country.
I-Bhd CEO Datuk Eu Hong Chew said CPN will take the lead in the design, development and management of the shopping mall, while I-Bhd will be responsible for maintaining the mall with the style and image of I-City.
“This project will not only shorten the learning curve of I-City in retail mall development, but also allow us the freedom to focus on other aspects of I-City’s development,” he said.
Eu said 20% of I-Bhd’s total GDV of RM5 billion will be derived from property development, and itss remaining 80% would be from the tourism and investment property segments.
I-Bhd has been on an uptrend since April 30, rising from RM2.17 to close at RM3.04 yesterday. This was a 11.36% or 31 sen increase from last Friday’s close.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 14, 2013.
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