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#The Edge Forum* Real estate investment forum continues to draw the crowd

PETALING JAYA: About 500 readers of The Edge Malaysia flocked to The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2013 at the Royal Bintang Damansara in Mutiara Damansara on Saturday May 11 morning for an opportunity to learn more about the current property market and investment trends directly from industry experts.

This is the seventh annual forum organised exclusively for The Edge readers. Themed "New Frontiers in Malaysia Real Estate Investment", the event was sponsored by Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and supported by Sunway Bhd.

"As Malaysia's leading and premier business and investment publication, we strive to continue to provide you, our readers, with credible, relevant and timely information to help you make informed business and investment decisions," said The Edge managing director Au Foong Yee in her opening speech.

The forum began with a session from Previndran Singhe, CEO of Zerin Properties who gave his insight and forecast of the Malaysian property market for the rest of the year 2013. He believes that the market will be more bullish now that the election is over.

This growth will be backed by firm domestic demand, high liquidity, vigorous private investment growth, strong infrastructure spending by the government and the expansion of the oil and gas industry, he said.

The next speaker was Ho Chin Soon, director of Ho Chin Soon Research Sdn Bhd, who provided a lively talk about the emerging hotspots in Penang, Iskandar Malaysia and Greater Kuala Lumpur. "Follow the infrastructure," he adviced the attentive crowd. Among the emerging areas in Klang Valley highlighted by Ho include Shah Alam North, Cheras South, Pekan Ampang, Dataran Sunway and Cochrane Cheras.

Datuk Steward Labrooy, Chairman of the Malaysian Real Estate Investment Trust Managers Association then took the stage for his presentation entitled "Is this the 'REIT' time?"

This was followed by a panel discussion themed “The impact of the KL- Singapore high speed rail.” The panelists were MBSB Senior VP of Corporate Business Nor Azam M. Taib, Sunway Executive Director Kumar Tharmalingam and Knight Frank Malaysia Managing Director Sarkunan Subramaniam.

The three experts agreed that the better connectivity between the two capital cities will benefit to both economies once it is completed. Smaller towns located along the line – among those proposed were Batu Pahat and Muar in Johor and Air Keroh in Malacca - are set to benefit from the improved connectivity from the high speed rail.

This line will definitely impact the economy, real estate, tourism, and transit oriented developments, said Sarkunan. “Wherever the train stops, there will be development and growth,” Kumar concluded.

The audience found the talk informative and helpful. “I look forward to this investment forum every year. It helps me understand in advance which areas to invest in,” said Chen YH, 60 who has attended the forum twice before. She added that she had bought a property linked to the LRT extension line in Petaling Jaya following last year’s talk.

Sharina S, 39, a second time participant who works outstation, said she decided to register for the event since she is back in town for the weekend. “I have gained some useful advice on the market trends going forward,” she said.

Forum attendees also took the opportunity to visit the booths of MBSB and Sunway displaying various financing products and property projects respectively at the entrance to the hall. Also drawing the crowd were the maps and books available at the Ho Chin Soon Research booth.

For the full coverage of The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2013, read the coming May 20 issue of City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge weekly.

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