Tan Sri Liew Kee SinKUALA LUMPUR (April 8): Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has obtained the approval of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to proceed with its proposed initial public offering (IPO) on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd.

The IPO will involve the issuance of up to 2.15 billion new shares of RM1 each in EWI, representing up to 89.7% of its enlarged issued and paid-up share capital, said EWI in a statement yesterday.

There will also be a bonus issue of up to 960 million free warrants in EWI on the basis of two warrants for every five shares held after the IPO, it added.

EWI executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin (pictured) said the SC's approval is a significant milestone in EWI's journey to become a listed entity.

"We look forward to completing the exercise by mid-2016. Once we are listed, we will be placed on a much stronger footing to grow our business internationally and take advantage of attractive new development opportunities which may be presented to us both in the United Kingdom and Australia," he said.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used primarily to provide ongoing working capital for the group's projects in the UK and Australia, and to repay borrowings undertaken to part-finance, among others, land and related acquisition costs, and project development expenditure.

As at Jan 31, 2016, EWI's three projects in London and one in Parramatta (West Sydney), Australia, have garnered cumulative sales of £712.5 million (RM3.93 billion), the statement noted.

The tally came from four projects: London City Island phase 2, which is located in East London and has achieved sales of £273.9 million since its launch in May 2015; Embassy Gardens phase 2 in Nine Elms, which has recorded total sales of £120.8 million following its launch in September 2015; Wardian London, situated next to the Canary Wharf in London, which was also launched in September 2015, has secured £186.4 million in sales; and West Village, Parramatta, which is close to 90% sold with A$265.6 million (RM784.75 million) in sales obtained since its launch in June 2015.

“We are delighted to have received such a positive response on all our projects launched to date. The support we received from our customers in Malaysia gave us a tremendously good start, but what is equally gratifying is the increasing number of buyers we have been able to attract from the countries the projects are situated in. We are also gaining a good international following which bodes well for our efforts to make EcoWorld (Eco World Development Group Bhd) a truly global property brand,” said president and chief executive of EWI, Datuk Teow Leong Seng.

EWI’s London projects saw some 52% of sales coming from UK-based purchasers, followed by 28% from Malaysia and Singapore, and 15% from China and Hong Kong.

Similarly, EWI’s Sydney project was strongly supported by Australian purchasers who made up 46% of its customers, with Malaysians and Singaporeans contributing 25% of its sales, and China and Hong Kong buyers contributing another 21%.

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 8, 2016. Subscribe to The Edge Financial Daily here.

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