IJM Land targets RM2.5b new launches

KUALA LUMPUR (May 30): Property developer IJM Land Bhd is looking to achieve better sales for its FY13 ending March 31, on new property launches worth RM2.5 billion.

Its managing director and CEO Soam Heng Choon said the group managed to achieve RM1.4 billion in sales for FY12 and is hoping to surpass it with new launches slated for FY13.

"We hope to do better this financial year with new projects coming onstream such as Bandar Rimbayu and Seri Riana in Wangsa Maju," he said at the media preview of the group's Bandar Rimbayu township project on Tuesday.

The massive township project is expected to become the group's anchor development for many years.

With an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM11 billion spanning the next 15 years or longer, the project will comprise 11,000 homes on a huge 1,879-acre (751.6ha) landbank in Kuala Langat, Selangor near Kota Kemuning. There will be four precincts — the residential Flora and Fauna, a commercial hub and the high-end Bayu.

The entire township will be developed by Canal City Construction Sdn Bhd, a unit of Radiant Pillar Sdn Bhd, of which IJM Land and its associated company Kumpulan Europlus Bhd (KEuro) each holds a 50% equity stake.

Soam declined to comment when asked if IJM Land plans to purchase the remaining 50% stake in Radiant Pillar from KEuro, which needed to raise fund for its West Coast highway project.

"We are planning to launch our first product The Chimes in 4Q of 2012. The launch would consist of 526 link houses with built-ups of between 2,100 and 2,400 sq ft per unit," Soam said of the first phase of Bandar Rimbayu.

Soam said he could not provide the estimated GDV and prices of The Chimes as the project is still pending approval from the authorities. "However, I can say that these units would be affordable as there is a strong demand for affordable homes now in the Klang Valley," he added.

Soam said Bandar Rimbayu has received strong interest with over 2,000 registrants on its website. "We expect the take-up rate to be strong. We are hoping to launch 1,000 new units within a year," he said. IJM Land plans to fund the initial phase with bank borrowings and internally generated funds.

Bandar Rimbayu was previously known as Canal City, as it was initially supposed to include a waterfront development along an 18km canal connecting Sungai Klang and Sungai Langat.

The land was offered to KEuro by the previous Selangor government in exchange for a highway project and a flood mitigation job which included the canal. However, the canal project was called off as the current Selangor government viewed it as unnecessary.

The developer has since redrawn the plans and renamed it Bandar Rimbayu, with plans to turn it into one of the largest green townships in Malaysia.

Soam said Bandar Rimbayu is strategically located as it is connected by five highways — Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas), Expressway Lingkaran Tengah (Elite), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), Lebuhraya Kemuning Shah Alam (LKSA) and the proposed West Coast Expressway (WCE).

"We plan to offer a variety of products in Bandar Rimbayu. There are plans for low-cost housing as well as high-end properties," said Soam. The group on Tuesday signed an agreement with Telekom Malaysia Bhd to provide high speed broadband infrastructure (HSBB) in Bandar Rimbayu.

For FY13, Soam said IJM Land has also planned to launch new projects in the Klang Valley, Penang, Kuching, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu.

"The immediate launch would be Seri Riana in Wangsa Maju next month with units from 1,300 to 1,700 sq ft in size. We are mainly targeting families," he said.

In the last six months, IJM Land rose 8.5% to a high of RM2.31 in December but fell to close at RM2.04 on Tuesday.

This story appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on May 30, 2012.

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