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Mah Sing targets Klang Valley population growth

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd will continue to focus on property development in the greater Klang Valley as its population is expected to grow to 10 million by 2020.

“Out of a total of 44 projects, we have 30 concentrated in the Klang Valley. We are banking on population growth and the strategic locations of our properties,” CEO Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum told reporters at the Invest Malaysia 2013 forum yesterday.

The company is lining up its landbanking activities, with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM7.7 billion this year.

Leong said the group’s properties are affordably priced, compared with the booming real estate market in Kuala Lumpur.

“The indicative price for a three-bedroom suite starts at only RM280,000. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a similar price range for this type of property in the Klang Valley,” said Leong, referring to the Savanna executive suites in Bangi, Selangor.

On Mah Sing’s aggressive landbanking activities, Leong said the company will focus on key areas where it already has a presence. “We have concrete plans for the landbank we acquire as we prefer to develop as soon as possible,” he said.

The group recently acquired parcels of land in Senibong in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, for RM366 million and Taman Wahyu in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, for RM73 million.

Mah Sing’s acquisition of 14.16ha in Senibong indicates its growing presence in Iskandar, where it already has an integrated development project in the area called [email protected]

As the Johor government mulls a proposed tax hike for foreigners who own high-end properties in the southern state, the company believes buyers will remain interested in its projects. The proposed tax hike is expected to affect 130,000 foreign owners who own properties in Johor.

“We hope any implementation will take into consideration industry feedback and current market conditions. We believe genuine investors will see the long-term value proposition of owning Mah Sing’s quality properties.”

Leong said 10% of the company’s sold properties are owned by foreigners. Mah Sing hopes to increase the figure to 30% in the coming years.

Executive director Datuk Steven Ng Poh Seng said the group is targeting a 20% sales growth this year to RM3 billion. This will mainly be contributed by property launches worth RM3.7 billion in Penang, Johor, Sabah and in the Klang Valley.

The group had unbilled sales as at March 31 of RM3.55 billion, or about 2.3 times the revenue recognised from the property development division in 2012. The group is set to launch new projects in the Klang Valley, Iskandar and Sabah in this year.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 14, 2013.

 

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