More needs to be done to sell Malaysia - Glomac CEO

PETALING JAYA: Not enough is being done by the government to promote the sale of Malaysian properties to foreign buyers, Glomac Bhd's Chief Executive Officer Datuk Fateh Iskandar Tan Sri Mohamed Mansor said.

He said among countries in the Asian region, Malaysia has the best rules and guidelines that favoured sale of properties to foreigners and yet take-up was declining.

"Malaysians are actually underselling the country's property market to foreigners. Although guidelines have been liberalised to attract foreigners to purchase residential, commercial and industrial properties in Malaysia, not much is being done by the authorities to promote the Malaysian property market overseas," he told Bernama after the company's annual general meeting today.

He said foreigners today still prefer neighbouring countries because the Malaysia My Second Home or MM2H programme was not being aggressively promoted enough.

Fateh said Glomac's sale of up-market properties to foreigners were fully sold, but he feared future sales would slow down if this problem is not addressed.

From June 30th, 2009, the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) the guidelines were liberalised and foreigners can now purchase properties in Malaysia without the need to obtain FIC approval.

On another development, he recommended that the government establish a new economic model for low-cost houses in the Tenth Malaysia Plan. He explained that the federal and state governments should take over the obligation of building low cost houses as private developers have been dishing out affordable homes for a very long time.

"It's not that we want to shy away from our responsibilities, we will still participate. But now perhaps the government should undertake the task of building low cost houses and we, the private sector developers, will contribute a certain amount towards the obligation," he explained.

As for Glomac's property outlook, Fateh said the group got off to a good start in the current financial year ending April 30, 2010 as it completed the sale of Wisma Glomac 3 and Block B of Glomac Business Centre for RM72.6 million.

Todate, the property company has RM3 billion worth of ongoing projects, including projects valued at RM500 million launched recently.

"The projects launched in the current financial year is expected to generate a Gross Development Value of RM2.5 billion," Fateh said.

In the first quarter ending July 31 2009, Glomac achieved a lower revenue of RM59 million against RM79.5 million chalked up in the previous corresponding period.

However, pre-tax profit surged 57.1 per cent, year-on-year, to RM16.5 million from RM10.5 million registered in the same quarter in 2009. --Bernama
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