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E&O confident of its new launches

KUALA LUMPUR: Eastern and Oriental Bhd (E&O) is confident its new property launches this year will be well received by the market given the current positive sentiments, said executive director Eric Chan Kok Leong.

One of the company’s latest developments is the St Mary serviced apartments located in a strategic location here. Comprising three towers, the 169 units at Tower C have already been 80% sold since a soft launch in June 2009, Chan said.

The company is now taking Tower A of 288 units on a road show to Singapore, Hong Kong and Guangdong in China. The launch in Malaysia is expected soon.

Chan said the Tower A units have a view of the KLCC. He said no renovations are required as the kitchens are fully furnished and the lightings installed.

Purchasers enjoy advantages such as free loan documentation, something Chan said would attract foreign property investors. “If someone from Hong Kong or Singapore wants to buy a unit, he just needs to pay 10% (as down payment). No legal fee payments are needed,” he told reporters after the company's AGM here today.

Meanwhile, E&O plans to launch the next phase of its Seri Tanjung Pinang flagship development in Penang next year.

On the company’s outlook, Chan was confident it would return to the black in the current financial year. It posted a net loss of RM32.1 million on the back of RM304.4 million in revenue for the year ended March 31, 2009. “We are confident. The first-quarter results show that we are already in the black with profit of RM5 million. We expect the second quarter to be better,” he said.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to strengthen E&O’s balance sheet. The company also intends to raise RM500 million – of which RM100 million has been raised so far through the disposal of assets. The exercise, Chan said, was to ensure that the company was well funded to drive the development of its upcoming launches as well as to be able to capitalise on opportunities.

The company is ready to launch in two to three years time properties in Penang and KL with a gross development value (GDV) of RM4 billion.

E&O has a total land of 1,677.2 acres. Of these, the bulk or 1,345 acres are located in Penang and the rest here. These tracts include those in Seri Tanjung Pinang and Gertak Sanggul in the north and Jalan Conlay, Jalan Gallagher and Ukay Heights here.

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