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Old November 6th, 2008, 05:45 AM   #201
rizalhakim
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Haven on Sandy Island
By Cecilia Chow of The Edge Singapore
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Last year, bungalow prices at Singapore’s Sentosa Cove, a hot destination for the moneyed crowd, overtook those of freehold Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) in the traditional premium districts of 9 and 10. And even early this year, four sea-facing bungalow lots at Sentosa Cove were sold at a high of S$1,697 (RM4,047) psf. The highest price achieved for a GCB this year was for the one at Leedon Road that went for S$1,303 psf.
The question is whether prices of the 99-year leasehold luxury houses in Sentosa Cove, which is turning into an island for the discreet rich, will be sustainable in the long term.
Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corp Bhd’s managing director and real estate tycoon, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, is confident the discerning among the super rich have not seen their wealth dented by the vagaries of either the stock market or bank collapses. Last month, the developer boldly launched for sale the luxury villas on Sandy Island, one of five man-made islands at Sentosa Cove. “There’s already tremendous interest in the project despite the global problems,” says Yeoh. “The discerning of the world would love to have a global address in Singapore, [and] if you really have the DNA to produce the excellence you promise, the world’s discerning will come, and they will love it. In that way, I’m not afraid.”

Tailor-made villas by star architect and landscape designer
Each of the 18 villas on Sandy Island will be designed by world-renowned Italian architect, Claudio Silvestrin, the man behind the design of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Turin, 26 Giorgio Armani flagship stores around the world, and the interior of rap artist Kanye West’s New York loft.
Jamie Durie, one of Australia’s leading gardening gurus and a regular on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, will do the landscaping for the villas. Construction has already begun, and the villas are targeted for completion in 2011.
The Sandy Island villas measure 7,500 to 9,200 sq ft in built-up area, and 7,000 to 10,000 sq ft in land area. Silvestrin has named the villas after 18 of the greatest Italian masters of art and architecture in history — such as Villa Michaelangelo and Villa Leonardo da Vinci. “Each will be a masterpiece — a unique, bespoke home,” says Yeoh.
So far, three of the Sandy Island villas, which are priced from S$13.9 million to S$18 million each, have already been sold. Two of the buyers are believed to be Singapore citizens and the other, a foreigner. The highest transaction price achieved was S$2,100 psf — which breaks the record for the price achieved on a GCB, which hit S$1,899 psf in September last year, when a buyer paid S$25.5 million for a 13,423 sq ft freehold site on Nassim Road, considered the most prestigious GCB address.
In the first phase of the launch, the developer will release six more villas for sale. The target audience? “These are the super rich who are sitting on assets worth at least a few hundred million, and even if they lose a couple of million in the stock market, they will not feel the pinch,” says Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore, the sole marketing agent for the villas on Sandy Island.
Yeoh uses himself as an example. “I’m a consumer as well as a developer,” he says. “You think people like me won’t look for a product like that? I would. Price is not an object for me. But I would like to know the pedigree of the development — are you making it a masterpiece that will stand the test of time?”
Each villa will have five bedrooms, with the living room offering dramatic waterfront views, a swimming pool, a private berth large enough for a 12m boat, a passenger lift serving all four floors, as well as car-lift access to a basement garage that can fit two luxury cars. The villas will also feature top-end fittings and accessories from Italian brands such as Poliform, Boffi and Viabizzuno.
“The construction costs [of the villas] are probably the highest in the market for a landed housing project by a developer, given the quality of the materials used, and the fact there will be a passenger lift as well as a lift for the cars to an underground garage,” says Savills’ Ku. “The over 7m-high ceiling, stone cladding, curved walls and staircases, luscious landscaping and vertical gardens, water features and ponds — these are the added touches that spell luxury.”

Sentosa Cove bungalows versus GCBs
According to Savills, the pricing of the Sandy Island villas is “very attractive”, given the reputations of the architect and landscape designer, as well as the quality finishings. Already, the asking prices of some of the newly completed bungalows in Sentosa Cove offered by the individual owners are S$15 million to S$18 million. For instance, there’s a sea-facing bungalow with a land area of 7,813 sq ft, and a built-up area of 5,855 sq ft along Ocean Drive sporting a price tag of S$18 million, or S$2,304 psf.
While the market for GCBs is relatively mature and has gone through several property cycles, the bungalows on Sentosa Cove have yet to go through a full cycle, being a relatively new niche market, notes Shaun Poh, DTZ’s senior director of investment advisory services. “Waterfront living is untested in Singapore, but it’s a unique asset class, and foreigners can purchase it easily,” says Poh. “As for GCBs, foreigners are not allowed to buy unless they are permanent residents, have the approval of the Land Dealings [Approval] Unit and the bungalow is no larger than 14,000 sq ft.”
In 2005, the Singapore government made it easier for foreigners to buy landed homes on Sentosa Cove with fast-track approval by the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit within 48 hours, compared with six to eight weeks for landed home purchases on the mainland of Singapore itself. Also with effect from that year, high-net-worth individuals who want to apply for permanent residency in Singapore can either place S$5 million worth of financial assets with a bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or show at least S$3 million worth of assets and a bungalow on Sentosa Cove.
“Every bungalow at Sentosa Cove is different,” says DTZ’s Poh. “In the last few cycles, GCB prices were the last to fall, but the first to recover. And GCBs can only increase through the subdivision of larger plots. However, at Sentosa Cove, there are only 300 bungalows, and it has an attractive lifestyle offering — waterfront living, with private berths for boats. So it’s quite hard to compare it with GCBs on the main island.”
DTZ notes that there are still foreigners who are looking for bungalows at Sentosa Cove, mainly Europeans and Middle Easterners, “but of course, not in the same quantity as last year”, says Poh. “There are still people out there who are eyeing AAA-rated bungalows, and if it’s a rare gem and they have the means to buy it, they will.”

Creating luxury homes with global appeal in Singapore
YTL purchased Sandy Island jointly with privately held Malaysian company, LP World Sdn Bhd, for S$89.7 million in March last year. That sum works out to S$617 psf based on a land area of 145,443 sq ft. Prior to the purchase of Sandy Island, YTL and LP World also acquired the Lakefront Collection in September 2006 for S$50.2 million, or S$378 psf. The site can potentially be developed into 12 to 15 villas.
YTL also acquired Westwood Apartments on Orchard Boulevard for S$435 million (S$2,525 psf), inclusive of development charge. That transaction still holds the record for the highest price achieved for a collective-sale site, and the property is located in the most prestigious part of the Orchard area in the vicinity of Four Seasons Hotel, Camden Medical Centre, Wheelock Place and the upcoming ION Orchard shopping mall. Westwood Apartments will be torn down and redeveloped into “an awesome masterpiece”, says Yeoh. A competition was held to appoint a world-renowned architect for the development, and the winner will be announced soon.
More recently on Oct 28, YTL Corp announced a proposed S$285 million acquisition that will give it a listed presence in Singapore. It will buy a 26% stake in Macquarie Prime REIT (MP REIT) and 50% of Prime REIT Managment Holdings Pte Ltd from Macquarie Bank Ltd, the holding company for the REIT’s manager and property manager. MP REIT owns over S$2.2 billion of prime retail and office properties in Singapore, Japan and China. YTL intends to rename MP REIT to Starhill Global REIT.
One of Malaysia’s highest-profile conglomerates, the Bursa Malaysia-listed YTL Corp — with a market capitalisation of RM9.7 billion as at Oct 15 — owns internationally renowned luxury resort Pangkor Laut Resort, which Hollywood actresses Joan Collins and Jodie Foster, golfer Nick Faldo, and Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine have visited, and the late world-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti pronounced “a paradise” when he saw it. The group also owns Tanjong Jara in Terengganu, Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, The Chedi Phuket and a six-star resort hotel in St Tropez, France. “The common denominator is that it’s close to nature, it’s very green, and the materials we use are not jarring, there is no ‘bling bling’ here,” says Yeoh.
YTL also has a stake in the Eastern & Oriental Express train that runs from Singapore to Bangkok. “Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his wife Cindy and their four children have been on my train,” says Yeoh. Apart from leisure travel, property and hotel development, the diversified conglomerate also operates the express rail link service between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and KL Sentral station, and is involved in the construction, power generation and utilities businesses, with a 100% stake in Wessex Water Services in the UK and a stake in ElectraNet in Australia.
YTL is obviously investing in Singapore for the long haul. “The two properties in Sentosa and Westwood Apartments give me a rare opportunity to do something really, really unique for the world,” says Yeoh. “What I’ve noticed from very discerning people who are very wealthy is that the price doesn’t matter. So, there will only be 18 discerning people on Sandy Island.”

Cecilia Chow is the editor of City and Country, The Edge Singapore
Sandy Island by YTL
architect - claudio silvestrin


http://www.sandyisland.com.sg/
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Old November 6th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #202
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ATSA Architects latest project
Mix Development Abu Dhabi-Al Reem Island























http://www.atsa.com.my/project1.asp
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Old November 7th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #203
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DRB-Hicom, MMC sign deals for JEC projects
06-11-2008:

KUALA LUMPUR: DRB-Hicom Bhd announced yesterday it had signed an agreement with Jazan Economic City Land Ltd (JEC), Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and GIIG International Holding Co Ltd to explore business prospects in connection with the setting up of an integrated automotive cluster.

Called the Jazan project, it comprises manufacturing, sales, services, distribution and supply of commercial and passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy vehicles and automotive components in the Jazan Economic City at Jizan province in Saudi Arabia.

DRB-Hicom told Bursa Malaysia yesterday the Jazan Economic City was located along the Red Sea, 60km northwest of Jizan City, encompassing 113 sq km with a coastline of about 12km.

Meanwhile, MMC Corporation Bhd announced that its sub-subsidiary MMC Ports Ltd had signed a memorandum of understanding with SBG and JEC to collaborate and jointly explore the development of an industrial port at JEC.

MMC Ports is a unit of MMC International Holdings Ltd, which in turn is wholly owned by MMC. JEC is jointly controlled by MMC International unit MMC Saudi Holdings and SBG.

MMC also announced that MMC International, SBG and Chalco Hong Kong Ltd had signed a letter of intent with CPI Power Engineering Company Ltd to enter into negotiations on a contract for the design, engineering, procurement, supply, installation, construction, commissioning, startup, and testing of a 2,400MW captive power plant that will supply power to an aluminum smelter at JEC.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #204
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Sunway unit gets Singapore deals
Published: 2008/11/07

SUNWAY Holdings Bhd's wholly-owned unit of Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd, through Sunway Concrete Products (S) Pte Ltd, has won contracts worth RM408.1 million from Singapore's Straits Construction Co (Pte) Ltd.

It told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that the contracts are to supply and deliver concrete components for several building works in Singapore.

Sunway said the contracts will boost its outstanding order book to about RM4.2 billion and contribute positively to earnings for the financial year ending 2009 onwards.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #205
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WCT wins RM235m Abu Dhabi job
Published: 2008/11/07

WCT Bhd (9679) said its 50 per cent-owned joint venture company, Cebarco-WCT WLL, has secured a build-only contract from ALDAR Properties.

The contract is for marina landslide facilities for Yas Island development in Abu Dhabi for RM234.9 million.

Work is due for completion in the fourth quarter of next year, said WCT.

Under the build-only contract, the entire construction cost will be borne by Aldar while Cebarco-WCT will receive advance and progress payments as work progresses.

WCT said the contract is expected to contribute positively to its group’s earnings and net assets for the financial year ending December 31, 2009. - Agencies
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:03 AM   #206
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WCT set for stronger Q3 earnings
By LAW KAI CHOW


WCT Bhd is expected to report stronger earnings in the third quarter ended Sept 30 (Q308) given its huge exposure in the Middle East. But it faces pressure to replenish its order book due to the sluggish global economy, analysts said.

WCT’s outstanding order book stood at RM5.1bil, of which RM3.5bil came from petrodollar countries and the remaining from domestic building and infrastructure works. Existing contracts are expected to support the construction division until financial year ending Dec 31, 2009 (FY09).

OSK Research is concerned that there may be a slowdown in new jobs flow. With the drop in oil revenue, it is unlikely for the United Arab Emirates to continue to embark on mega projects and any new jobs secured would be insufficient to replenish WCT’s RM1.1bil Abu Dhabi F1 and RM1.8bil Meydan Racecourse, Dubai jobs.

WCT’s management has re-iterated that the Middle East would continue to be its growth driver. This year, WCT secured additional works for the F1 job worth RM850mil of which the group has a 50% share and and is vying for more top-up works for the F1 track. It was reported that WCT has secured about RM1.5bil worth of projects this year and it is targeting to get another RM2bil worth of jobs in 2009.

Some analysts have trimmed WCT’s FY10 earnings forecast by 10% to 15% year-on-year on concerns that new contracts would not be sufficient to replenish the completed jobs.

According to Bloomberg estimates, WCT’s net profit is expected to jump 50% to RM208mil in FY08 from RM137mil a year ago, while analysts contacted by StarBiz projected net profit ranging from RM172mil to RM246mil.

For the first half of the year, WCT registered a net profit of RM100mil on the back of revenue of RM1.86bil. Analysts have forecast WCT’s third quarter net profit - expected to be released this week - to be around RM54mil.

FY09 earnings are expected to be higher than FY08, with analysts projecting an average 11% to 18% annual growth rate.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 07:11 AM   #207
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Scomi gets letter of acceptance for RM1.8b Mumbai monorail
Published: Monday November 10, 2008 MYT 1:59:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Scomi Engineering Bhd has received the letter of acceptance for the proposed RM1.84bil monorail system project in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Scomi Engineering said on Monday the project would be undertaken by the unincorporated consortium of Scomi Enginerring and its partner, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) with L&T as the consortium leader.

It received the letter of acceptance dated Nov 7 from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority of India for the award of the contract.

Scomi Engineering said the lump sum contract price for the design, development, construction, manufacturing, supply, testing and commissioning of the monorail system awarded to the L&T and SEB Consortium was RM1.84bil.

Based upon Scomi Engineering’s scope of works, the value of the award was RM823.29mil.

“The success of Scomi Engineering in winning this tender cannot come at a more challenging period considering the current state of the global economic climate.

"The risk that are involved in relation to this project include inter-alia, operational, financing, foreign exchange and sovereign risk,” it said.

Scomi Engineering said SEB would seek to limit and mitigate these risk through, amongst others, the establishment of an active risk management plan.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #208
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Scomi wins RM1.8b Mumbai monorail job
Published: 2008/11/10




SCOMI Engineering Bhd (7158) has bagged a monorail contract in Mumbai, India worth RM1.846 billion under its unincorporated consortium with Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T).

The stock jumped almost 13 per cent in the afternoon session of trading.

In its filing to Bursa Malaysia today, Scomi said L&T would be the consortium leader as the parties did not intend to incorporate a joint-venture company to undertake the project.

L&T, a construction company, has a successful track record as a builder of rail-related infrastructure projects, including the New Delhi Metro.
The 19.5km monorail project commences from the southwest side of the city at Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacob Circle) heading northeast to Chembur.

The deal involves the design, development, construction, testing and commissioning of the system including safety certification for commercial operations within 30 months from the date of issue of the letter of acceptance.

The operation and maintenance of the system would be for three years after the commissioning of the system.

Based on the Scomi Engineering’s scope of works, the value of the award is RM823.299 million.

The monorail project is expected to contribute positively to the future earnings of the company, it said. — Bernama
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #209
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IJM tipped to build Kerala medical city
Published: 2008/11/10


KOZHIKODE (Kerala): A consortium comprising IJM Bhd and Malaysia Allied Health Science Academy College (MAHSA) is tipped to develop a medical city in Kerala once the state government gives its nod.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and Malaysia’s Construction Industry Development Board, both parties of the consortium, are engaged in serious talks to ink the agreement for the RM433 million (US$120 million) project in Kinalur in Kozhikode City.

“Through the CIDB we signed the memorandum of agreement with the Kerala state government in September and hope to sign the final agreement any time soon.

“The estimated investment for the first phase is likely to surpass US$120 million and could be completed in three years’ time.

“Malaysian companies have expressed interest to develop this project. This is a good opportunity for our country to export the expertise we have and develop our own technical knowledge,” Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed, who visited the project site, said. - Bernama
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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #210
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Scomi clinches RM1.85b India job
By Marina EmmanuelPublished: 2008/11/11

Scomi Engineering Bhd (7366) and its Indian partner, Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), have won a RM1.85 billion contract to build a monorail system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

It is Scomi Engineering's first overseas monorail contract as well as India's first monorail system.

Scomi Engineering, which is part of oil services group Scomi Group Bhd, has also pre-qualified for a 20-25km monorail line proposed for the Pune Metropolitan Region.

Company officials told Business Times that they expected the tender for the Pune project to be called by early next year.

"We have been actively presenting our monorail technology proposals in Bangalore, New Delhi and Patna in India; Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Bahrain in the Middle East; Hanoi in Vietnam; and Lagos in West Africa," Scomi Group chief executive Shah Hakim Zain said in a statement.
Scomi Engineering shares rose 16 per cent to close at 81 sen yesterday.

Although Scomi Engineering and L&T do not plan to incorporate a joint-venture company, Scomi estimates that its share of the job will be worth RM823.3 million.

It received the letter of acceptance from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) last Friday. It expects to complete the job in five years.

Shah Hakim said Scomi Engineering plans to undertake a significant portion of its engineering development and manufacturing activities in Malaysia.

He said the monorail project awarded to the consortium by MMRDA will cover the design works, development, construction and commissioning and maintenance of the monorail system.

Works on the 19.54km monorail system in India's financial capital will begin from the west side of Mumbai at Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacob's Circle) heading northeast to Chembur through Wadala.

The first phase is expected to be completed within 30 months, Shah Hakim said.

"The design of our Scomi Urban Transit Rail Application (Sutra) for this project makes it possible to execute our work on a fast track since it requires a small footprint and facilitates implementation with minimal demolition of structures.

"Other advantages include greater reliability, high manoeuvrability, lower cost and an eco-friendly design," he added, saying that these factors have made the monorail an attractive option in land-scarce Mumbai.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 02:55 AM   #211
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #212
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WCT coping well with lower costs
By LAW KAI CHOW


Construction at another WCT flagship mixed development, Platinum Plaza in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will begin for the shopping mall by end of 2009, while the launch of the office component was expected by 2010.

When completed, it will be the second biggest shopping mall in Vietnam. Spanning 9ha, Platinum Plaza will will also comprise a business class hotel. However, the GDV of the project is still under planning.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #213
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Myanmar allows Mercy to build hospitals
Friday November 14, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Mercy Malaysia (Mercy) is the first international non-governmental organisation allowed to build two small hospitals and 12 rural health centres in Myanmar’s Irrawady delta area.

The medical facilities that will serve a population of more than 260,000 will cost more than RM3.5mil.

Mercy vice-president Ahmad Faizal Perdaus said 37 townships in the delta and Yangon divisions were affected by Cyclone Nargis on May 2. The health amenities were being built, he said, because 80% of the people live far away from clinics and hospitals.

“New facilities through the health clinics will also make clean water accessible to about 60% of the population.

“Soon after Cyclone Nargis struck, Mercy was the first group to set up mobile clinics in partnership with Save the Children.

“In addition, disaster response training in partnership with the Myanmar Medical Association was organised and we also distributed tarpaulin sheets to schools under repair.”

Ahmad Faizal thanked Malaysians for chipping in to help the people of Myanmar, adding that Mercy was able to raise about RM5.7mil.

He said that more than RM1mil was used for emergency response and mobile clinics and RM1.2mil for psycho-social work and disaster preparedness programmes.

Cyclone Nargis swept through the Irrawady region and Yangon, affecting the lives of an estimated 2.4 million people.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #214
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AP Land’s luxury project in Japan
By ANGIE NG


It will launch a high-end residential development project soon

ASIA Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) will be breaking into Japan’s lifestyle property market with the upcoming launch of its maiden project in Niseko, Hokkaido by the year-end.

“Lifestyle projects are in vogue in Japan to cater to the well-heeled and savvy travellers. We are also exploring opportunities in Osaka and Tokyo,” AP Land joint managing director Low Su Ming told StarBiz.


An artist's impression of the Shiki Niseko

AP Land’s resort project, called Shiki Niseko which means four seasons, is a high-end residential development located in Niseko, a popular ski-resort destination.

Low said there were vast opportunities to be tapped in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and Russia, for the resort-type property developments.

The project will generate an estimated gross development value of US$52mil.

Located in the most sought after part of Niseko-Hirafu, the project is set to make waves with its unique design.

Low said the project will be designed by internationally acclaimed architect DBI.

“Located centrally with good access to the ski lifts, Shiki is built over a 3,082 sq metre planned space with seven storeys of architectural ingenuity,” she said.

There will be a combination of 45 fully furnished two- and three-bedroom apartments, including four penthouses. The units will be priced from US$1mil to US$2mil.


The land, which was acquired for RM18.9mil in February is located near ski lifts and surrounded by restaurants, bars and retail outlets.

AP Land will be the first Malaysian developer to undertake a property development in Niseko.

“The arrival of AP Land will open up Niseko to yet another growing Asian market, especially investors from Singapore and China,” she said.

Singapore is on the verge of engaging in a more vigorous way with the Niseko market while the strengthening of the renminbi against the US dollar in the past several years, had made it much cheaper for the Chinese to buy property in Japan.

“Located on Niseko’s doorstep with direct flights from Shanghai to Chitose, China represents a huge market opportunity,” Low said.

Meanwhile, major ski tour operators in Britain such as Ski Independence, Crystal, Kuoni and Inghams are also featuring Hokkaido in their tour booklets.

Low said the Niseko area would continue to enjoy remarkable growth, adding that investment return had been incredible in recent years, with further capital growth expected.

“Niseko is clearly a world-class ski location, with its real estate still a fraction of the price of comparable international destinations. Summer bookings were up by 100% this season.

Following the influx of holiday makers to the area, Niseko resort operators and the local government are working together to improve its infrastructure and amenities including shuttle bus routes, new shuttle services and high speed internet by next November.

“Niseko’s natural assets differentiate it from the other ski resorts.

“These include an average 13 meters of powder snow in an era of declining snowfalls; true four-season beauty and an unspoiled pure environment.

“Its close proximity to other fast growing Asian capital cities also ensure its rapid growth into a sought after resort destination,” Low pointed out.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 05:51 AM   #215
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Property roadshow to attract Japanese investors
By ANGIE NG


MALAYSIA Property Inc (MPI) will kick off its maiden international property roadshow in Tokyo on Dec 6 and 7 to attract Japanese institutional investors to Malaysia’s shores.

According to executive director Yu Kee Su, the two-day roadshow will project the advantages of Malaysia as a property destination.

”In Malaysia, foreigners can buy an unlimited number of property; register the property under their names; and there is no real property gains tax, inheritance and transfer tax. In Japan, these taxes are as high as 60%,” Yu pointed out.

He said with the Japanese yen now at its strongest, “Japanese investors buying properties overseas will get an immediate 20% discount, at the current exchange rate.”


Yu Kee Su
“Japan’s strong yen and the Japanese government’s decision to allow its real estate investment trusts (REITs) to invest overseas will promote greater interest among its investors in Malaysia’s property.”

Yu expressed confidence that the road show would be well-received in spite of the current global economic uncertainties.

The Tokyo road show is the first of the Far East’s property promotions by MPI, a joint public and private sector initiative formed early this year to promote Malaysia’s property internationally, that will also cover Britain and the Middle East in the coming months.

“It is a challenge to the organizers to ensure the success of the Tokyo road show as there has yet to be any Japanese institutional investors in Malaysian properties,” Yu said.

Under Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Malaysia is already a top choice among Japanese for long stays and retirement.

“There are already investors from the Middle East and South Korea buying our local property en bloc and off the plan but none yet from Japan. We hope the road show will change that,” Yu said.

MPI is organising the road show with Ohana International Co Ltd as the event manager. It has the support of the Japan Travel Bureau (JBT) and the Long Stay Foundation (LSF), both of which have brought in record numbers of Japanese retirees under MM2H.

Also partnering in the Japan road show entitled “Luxurious Malaysia, long-stay, property and financial fair” at the Mitsui Life Insurance Hall, Otemachi Tokyo, are HSBC Tokyo and Mitsui Life Insurance. Both will send direct mail and emails to their vast clientele of the upcoming road show.

Some 1,000 prospective clients are invited including institutional investors such as Ishin Hotel REIT Management, RETEC Co Ltd, Orix Property, Hotel Management International, ING Property Investment Advisory Co Ltd, Renessance Capital, Star Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Realty Japan, Toyo Securities Co., Ltd, and Shinko Securities Co, Ltd.

Yu said participating developers in the road show would be invited for roundtable discussions and meet Japanese REIT investors and fund managers at private meetings and at business matching sessions during their stay.

Keen Japanese investors can join Ohana’s “Discover Malaysian Property Tour” to visit and familiarize themselves with the local property market assisted by the participating Malaysian developers.

Ishihara Shotaro, a MPI board advisor, said cash-rich Japan was lagging behind the US and Britain in foreign investment.

“The time is right to promote Malaysia’s property in Japan as the stronger yen against other currencies would make living cost and property prices much cheaper,” he said.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #216
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Malaysian builders plan RM11b China development
By Hamisah Hamid
Published: 2008/11/18



A GROUP of Malaysian builders plans to build commercial and residential properties with development value of up to RM11 billion in Shenyang, China.

The consortium signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shenyang Province authorities in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

A special purpose vehicle, known as Shenyang-Malaysia Development Sdn Bhd (ShenMas), has been formed to undertake the conceptual planning, land acquisition, funding issues and feasibility studies.

The project will take place in the Shenyang Finance and Trade Development Zone (SYFTD).

The proposed development, themed "Modern Islamic Lifestyle", is expected to be completed within five years.

ShenMas executive director Datuk Lim Kim Wah said a definitive agreement was expected to be signed in June next year.

"The project is expected to start by the end of next year. We will form a consortium and Bina Puri will be one of the companies," he told a news conference after the signing between ShenMas and the Administrative Committee of Shenyang Province.

At the signing, ShenMas was represented by its chairman, Senator Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, and the Shenyang authority, by vice-director of SYFTD administrative committee, Sui Zhong Qing.

The signing was witnessed by the Economic Planning Unit's head of special unit for overseas project, Tan Sri Zaini Omar, and the Chinese embassy's head of mission, Gu Jing Qi.

The project will be developed on a 17.96ha site in one of the most centralised Muslim community living areas in China.

Shenyang is the capital city of Liaoning Province. The province is located south of northeast China, which has about 100,000 Muslims.

Lim, who is the former group chief executive officer (CEO) of Bandar Raya Development Bhd and Magnum Corp Bhd, said that about 30 per cent of the commercial properties will be sold to foreigners and the rest to locals when the development is completed.

Meanwhile, Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) managing director and CEO Datuk Dr Adnan Alias said he did not expect any problems in financing the project.

He said the project will use syariah-compliant financing. To date, AmInvestment Bank Group and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd have issued letters of support for the project.

IBFIM is the syariah adviser to the proposed development.

The project was made possible because of the close rapport between the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH) and the Shenhe district authority in Shenyang.

In August this year, the KLCAH organised a trip to Shenyang, which was led by Adnan.

The Shenhe authority said it chose the Malaysian group instead of groups from Singapore and Hong Kong which had approached the authority to develop the land because of Malaysia's leadership in the international Islamic finance sector.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #217
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Singapore mulls requests to open casinos in stages
Published: 2008/11/18

SINGAPORE: Singapore is "carefully considering" proposals by Las Vegas Sands Corp and Genting International plc to open their casino resorts in the city state in "progressive" stages.

Each of the multibillion-dollar projects must still open as an "integrated resort" rather than a "standalone casino", S. Iswaran, senior minister of state for the Trade Ministry, said in Parliament yesterday.

Las Vegas Sands, battling to avoid bankruptcy, suspended construction of casinos in Macau this month to focus on its Singapore project, Marina Bay Sands, scheduled to open at the end of 2009. The company raised US$2.1 billion last week by selling preferred stock and warrants to help finance development projects.

"The Singapore Tourism Board remains in dialogue with Marina Bay Sands and continues to work with them to facilitate the project's completion," Iswaran said. "It would be fair to say that due to the global financial crisis and the slowdown already evident in our tourism sector, there may be some impact on the integrated resorts' business when they open." - Bloomberg
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:09 AM   #218
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Shenmas to develop RM11b project


KUALA LUMPUR: Shenyang Malaysia Development Sdn Bhd (Shenmas) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Administrative Committee of the Shenyang Finance Development Zone to develop a Muslim community centre cum regional finance centre in Shenyang City, China.

The project, with a gross development value of RM11bil, will start by end 2009 and is expected to be completed within the next five years.

The proposed project is on a mixed basis, comprising both commercial and residential development.

“Shenmas has been given 128 days to undertake a feasibility study with the signing of the MoU.


Datuk Dr Adnan Alias
“I think by June next year everything should be finalised,” said the head of the special unit for overseas projects, Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Zaini Omar.

The land is situated within the Shenyang Finance and Trade Development Zone, in Shennhe District, Shenyang City. It will be divided into two parcels, with the first measuring about 64,319 sq m and the second, about 117,488 sq m.

Meanwhile, Islamic Banking and Financing Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM) managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Dr Adnan Alias said it would discuss with potential financiers, the structure of financing for the project.

So far, IBFIM, the financial advisers for the project, had received letters of support from AmInvestment and CIMB Islamic.

Asked whether there would be any problem securing financing due to the current credit crunch, Adnan said: “We don’t foresee much difficulty in raising the needed finance.” — Bernama
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #219
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IGB investing RM2b in China
By DAVID TAN


It intends to develop tourist-class hotels<

GEORGETOWN: IGB Corp Bhd, which operates the “Cititel” hotel chain, plans to invest RM2bil over the next five years to develop “tourist-class” hotels in China under a new brand name.

The group, which considers 3- to 4-star hotels as tourist-class, also has plans for such hotels in other regional cities, from Bangkok to Sydney.

Cititel Hotel Management Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Eric Lim told StarBiz the group planned to build about 20,000 tourist-class hotel rooms in the third and fourth-tier cities in China.

“These tourist-class hotels would be called Cititel Super-Express Hotel, a new brand name which we are developing,” he said. “There would be at least 1,000 rooms for each of the Cititel Super-Express Hotel to be developed in China.”



Lim said the move would “enable us to tap into the tourist-class market segment in China,” and that the group had “already identified some of the sites for the hotels.”

Over the next three to four years, the IGB group will also draw up plans for similar hotels to be developed in Bangkok, Jakarta, Vietnam, and Sydney.

“In Sydney, the plan is to develop a four-star hotel under the St Giles hotel brand name.

“In Makati, Manila, we are now building the RM150mil St Giles hotel, which should be ready by March 2010,” Lim said.

In Malaysia, the group plans to develop Cititel Express Hotels in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, and Ipoh over the next three to four years as well.

“The RM55mil Cititel Express in Kota Kinabalu should be ready in July 2009, while the Cititel Express in Penang is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010,” Lim said.

The Kota Kinabalu Cititel Express hotel would have 275 rooms and Penang Cititel 550 rooms, he said.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #220
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YTL Corp bullish on Sandy Island project
By EUGENE MAHALINGAN


High-end development draws interest from global investors

PETALING JAYA: YTL Corp Bhd is upbeat on its high-end Sandy Island property project at Sentosa Cove in Singapore as response has been encouraging despite the global financial crisis, said YTL Singapore Pte Ltd international real estate director Kemmy Tan.

Tan said the YTL group was positive about the outlook of the property market in Asia.

“We believe there will be continued growth in interest for Asian properties as the economic downturn will also bring about opportunities for investors,” she told StarBiz in an e-mail interview.

A subsidiary of YTL Corp, YTL Singapore manages all YTL group’s projects in Singapore.


An artist's impression of YTL Corp's Sandy Island waterfront villas

Apart from Sandy Island, YTL Corp has two other projects in Singapore – the Lakefront on Sentosa Island and the Westwood Apartments on Orchard Boulevard.

To date, YTL has sold three of the 18 luxurious waterfront villas on Sandy Island.

“We have received interest from local and regional buyers as well as those from as far as the US and Europe,” Tan said, noting that the current buyers were Singaporeans and other nationalities.

So far, there were no takers from Malaysia but “we will definitely be prospecting buyers from Malaysia,” she said.

The 99-year leasehold properties at Sentosa Cove have built-up areas ranging from 7,500 to 9,200 sq ft, with a starting price of S$13.9mil.

Tan said the growing base of the affluent in Singapore motivated the YTL group to venture into the luxury property market there.

“Singapore is well positioned as the regional financial hub and its competitive economy has made it an ideal place for investments,” she said.

“It is also becoming a regional base for multinational corporations and the increase in foreign talent has boosted the demand for luxury property.”

She added that the exclusiveness of the Sentosa Cove area made it particularly appealing to potential buyers.

“Only 2,500 homes can be developed there, of which 400 are landed. It is an exclusive marina community and is the only place in Singapore that allows foreigners to own landed property,” she said.

The Sandy Island villas, each with its unique design, come with a large living area and master bedroom, private pool, boat berth by the waterway, garden and private lift.

cool!!!!
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