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Mah Sing to continue land acquisition and joint ventures to boost expansion

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd will continue to acquire prime land and enter into joint ventures in future, to further boost its expansion strategy.

Managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the group is keen on both privately held and government land, that could be developed, as it had the track record, experience, branding and financial capacity to unlock and enhance the value.

"This year should be another good year, particularly for developers, with a knack for creative product development and market strategies, among others.

"The mid- to high-end residential segment in well established locations should continue to thrive together with the mass housing market, echoing the government's call to provide affordable housing," he told reporters after Mah Sing's Annual General Meeting here on Thursday, June 30.

To date, the group has a total of 34 projects in Greater KL (Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley), Penang and Johor Bahru, which yield a combined remaining gross development value (GDV) and unbilled sales of approximately RM14 billion to last for five to seven years.

Leong also expects the positive sentiment for the property market to continue, riding on the favorable employment conditions and stable economic growth.

"It is a good time to buy properties now, in view of the rising construction cost environment as buyers can lock in current property prices and enjoy borrowing rates, which are still very reasonable.

"Buyers should consider the developer’s track record, in terms of product delivery, quality, service and potential upside of the property," he said, adding, the group will maintain its focus on the local property market for its expansion plan.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2011, Mah Sing reported a net profit and revenue of RM41.2 million and RM311.8 million respectively.

"We surpassed our shareholders' expectations last year and are working hard on achieving another good year in 2011 with more launches coming up in the second half," Leong said.

Macquarie Equities Research, the latest research firm to have initiated coverage of the group, has forecast Mah Sing's earnings to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% over financial years 2011-2013.

In order to provide continuous value enhancement to shareholders, the group is aiming for a RM5 billion market capitalisation within five years, from its present RM2.2 billion. — Bernama

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