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MBSB to buy building in PJ as headquarters

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with PJ Sentral Development Sdn Bhd to buy a 27- to 30-storey office building for RM239.24 million.

The “grade A” office building is part of the first phase of a proposed mixed development project named PJ Sentral Garden City which will contain MBSB’s flagship banking hall. The whole development will consist of five office towers and a 1.61ha central park.

“The proposed acquisition will create visibility for the group which is in turn expected to further strengthen and enhance the group’s corporate image, identity and presence,” the group said in its filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

“It will also allow the group to consolidate and centralise its business units as well as business functions to achieve greater operating efficiency,” it added.

MBSB currently houses about 700 employees in its two office premises in Damansara Heights — in Menara MBSB which is owned by the group and Menara I&P 2 which is rented. The new building will not only house the group’s subsidiaries under one roof, but will also boast an electronic banking customer service area as well as a larger information technology data centre to cater to the group’s core banking platform.

Last month, the group began its move towards computerisation when it launched its new MBSB Integrated Core Banking System (MICoB).

The MICoB will be crucial to the group’s aspirations in obtaining a banking licence, said chief executive Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman prior to the launch. Ahmad noted that next year would be a good year.

The developer, PJ Sentral Development, is 70% owned by Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd and 30% owned by PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd.  Nusa Gapurna in turn is a 60:40 joint venture between property developer Gapurna Sdn Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund. MBSB’s building will have 281,455 sq ft of net lettable area (NLA) as well as four basement carpark levels and one service floor. That works out to about RM850 psf based on the total NLA.

The group, which provides personal and property financing, will fork out RM71.77 million in internally generated funds to finance the project while the remaining RM167.47 million will be from bank borrowings.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Dec 13, 2012.

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