TA Global looks forward to improved earnings

KUALA LUMPUR: TA Global Bhd, a subsidiary of TA Enterprise Bhd, looks forward to improved earnings from its property and hospitality projects in Malaysia and overseas.

The group is developing over RM7 billion worth of projects in the property and hospitality sectors, with about RM5.5 billion in Malaysia and the rest outside the country.

Locally, the group is developing its flagship project, the 48-acre freehold project called Damansara Avenue, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM4.2 billion. This includes the small office/versatile office (SoVo) with a GDV of RM400 million.

It is also developing TA3 and TA4 towers in Kuala Lumpur. With a GDV of RM1.3 billion, the projects will involve a five-storey podium and two 45-storey towers consisting of a hotel and serviced apartments opposite the Petronas Twin Towers.

Overseas, TA Global is embarking on a proposed joint venture with Canada's Birkbeck Trust for the development of the second tallest building in Vancouver with a GDV of about RM1.5 billion. The project consists of an eight-level underground carpark and a 64-storey building. It will comprise a four-level podium and a 60-storey block housing 61 guest rooms with supporting amenities and 249 units of residences.

TA Enterprise managing director and CEO Datin Alicia Tiah told The Edge Financial Daily that TA Global would start the construction of TA3 and TA4 next year. She described it as the "primest of prime property" in Kuala Lumpur. TA3 and TA4 locations are presently the Menara TA One building's open-air car park.

"TA Global is planning to call for a tender soon for Lot TA3 and TA4 developments and the project is set to complete in approximately 18 months after earthworks begin next year," Tiah said.

She said the hotel brand at TA3 and TA4 has yet to be confirmed. The group is looking at a 4½-star international hotel brand not found in Malaysia. The proposed hotel will consist of 300 to 350 rooms of average size.

On the RM400 million SoVo in Damansara Avenue, according to Tiah, the company hopes to launch the project next year. The SoVo development will comprise 979 units ranging from 500 sq ft to 700 sq ft, facing Damansara Avenue's 7.5-acre urban park with access to swimming pool facilities.

"The Azelia Residences and Ativo in Damansara Avenue are almost sold out," she added.

Tiah said TA Global's hotel business is doing well. "We know how to run hotels because we own six currently and are building another one in Vancouver," she said.

The group's six hotels are the Radisson BLU Hotel in Sydney, Australia; Westin in Melbourne, Australia; Swissotel Merchant Court in Singapore; Aava Whistler Hotel in Whistler, Canada; Swissotel in Kunshan, China; and Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

Tiah said piling for the Vancouver project had started, but the group has yet to obtain a brand name for the hotel.

She said TA Global has included the corporate social responsibility element in its hospitality project in Melaka, Avaa Malacca, a boutique heritage hotel.

"For the Melaka project, I'm running it as a profitable organisation. I am there to make money, but 100% of the profit goes to charity. I hope to raise RM500,000 to RM1.5 million in a year and then we can proceed with charity work," Tiah said.

TA Global recently purchased a heritage-listed property along the Melaka River for RM4 million. The property, 400m from the popular Jonker Street, is targeted to be a mid-scale boutique hotel with 18 rooms.

Tiah said contracts have been awarded and the hotel is now undergoing refurbishment for around RM3.7 million. It is expected to be ready in the third quarter of 2013.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Dec 14, 2012.

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