S P Setia confident of achieving RM4b sales target

SHAH ALAM (Feb 23): S P Setia Bhd is still confident of achieving its sales target of RM4 billion in its financial year ending Oct 31, 2012 despite Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) new guidelines for loan borrowers.

President and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who welcomed the ruling, said the move would ensure only genuine buyers who had no financial problems own a property.

"The whole idea of the central bank is to dampen property bubble or credit bubble which is going on.

"Though the ruling will definitely affect the property sector, but we in SP Setia is confident that we can still achieve RM4 billion sales, driven by both local and foreign property sales," he told a media conference after the company's annual general meeting here on Thursday.

Under BNM's new guidelines that took effect from Jan 1, a prospective loan borrower will be assessed based on net income basis (instead of gross income) after deducting statutory deductions for tax and EPF and all other debt obligations (eg. car loan, other housing loan, credit cards).

Liew said S P Setia had already locked in sales of RM933 million for the first quarter of its current financial year ended Jan 31, 2012.

This represented a 27% increase over the sales achieved in the corresponding period of previous year of RM737 million.

Liew said sustained demand for properties in the group's existing projects in the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang would continue to underpin the group's sales performance in the 2012 financial year.

"We have many exciting new projects to help us capture new markets and further diversify our product mix.

"Our strong balance sheet also gives us ample room to continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to acquire good landbank thereby locking in future growth," he said.

Meanwhile, Liew said the S P Setia group also was keen on the London and Vietnam markets and was looking at opportunities there.

"We are looking at acquiring land in downtown Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for our property projects which will be more customer-based.

"S P Setia is also looking at acquiring land for property projects in London city as we want to make London an important market for S P Setia," he said.

Elsewhere, he said the group was targeting at least 30% to 50% sales of its projects in Singapore would be from Malaysian buyers despite the 10% increase in stamp duty for foreign buyers in the republic.

In Singapore, he said, the group would launch its maiden project namely a high-rise condominium development called Woodsville. — Bernama

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