Mah Sing eyes opportunities in KLIFD, Sungai Besi projects

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd is keen to get involved in the government’s efforts to redevelop prized tracts of land here.

Lauding the government's moves to get the private sector involved in the redevelopment of the Sungai Besi Kuala Lumpur Air Base and Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD), group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said  the 70% tax exemption for property developers in KLIFD over five years is a sign that the government wants to attract good developers.

"Landbanking is part of Mah Sing's aggressive expansion plan and we are keen to do both outright purchase and joint ventures on government lands that will be developed by the private sector.

"We have the track record, know how, branding and financial capacity to unlock and enhance the land's value for those good lands which fits our business model and allows us to value add," he said.

Leong was also pleased with the revised real property gains tax (RPGT) to 10% for disposals within the first two years of ownership.

"Prior to the tabling of the Budget, it has been widely speculated that RPGT will be revised to 25%.

"RPGT will still be only 5% for disposal between two to five years [and exempted] after five years and this sends a good signal to both the local market and foreign investors who can see stable continuity in government policies and a willingness to encourage genuine investments," he said.

Leong added that the higher ceiling of RM400,000 for first home purchases, up from RM220,000 prior, is good news for Mah Sing as some of its homes such as its [email protected] are priced at RM390,000 for built-ups of 2,000 sq ft.

On the extension of the 10% tax rate on real estate investment trusts (REITs) until 2016, he said the this would attract more foreign institutional property investors to take part in the country's real estate market which is still very attractive regionally.

"On this note, we are also heartened by the pioneer status with income tax exemption of 70% or investment tax allowance of 60% for five years, for hotel operators investing in new four and five star hotels.  As we have plans for four to five star hotels in our flagship commercial project Icon City in Petaling Jaya and Southbay City in Penang island, this will directly benefit us," he added.

Leong was also pleased with the government's move to get syariah-compliant financing for property developments, enabling buyers of homes priced under RM600,000 to start paying only upon completion of the projects.

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