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Old September 26th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #141
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New Delhi invites firms here to bid for infrastructure jobs
Published: 2008/09/26
BusinessTimes

MALAYSIAN construction companies have been invited to bid for infrastructure jobs in India, which plans to spend at least US$500 billion (RM1.7 trillion) over the next five years.

"I understand India is now one of the largest overseas destinations for Malaysian companies, which have about US$5 billion (RM17 billion) worth of Indian infrastructure projects," India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said.

His speech was read by India's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ashok Kantha, at the second Malaysia-India Economic Conference (MIEC) 2008 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Nath noted that bilateral trade between Malaysia and India had increased significantly since the first MIEC held last year.

"Malaysia is one of the leading trading partners of India in the Asean region. Annual two-way trade, which has been growing at an average of 30 per cent for the past few years, crossed US$8 billion (RM27 billion) in 2007.

"Based on current trends, the bilateral trade is expected to touch the US$10 billion (RM34 billion) mark by end-2008, two years ahead of the projected target," he said.

Investments from both countries are increasing in quantity as well as diversity, Nath added.

"Malaysian companies are showing keen interest in investing in telecommunications, power, petroleum and other sectors in India.

"Increasingly, Indian companies are looking at Malaysia as an investment destination, as evident from investments of about US$1 billion (RM3.43 billion) last year."
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #142
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Malaysia top foreign investor in Vietnam
Published: 2008/09/27
BusinessTimes

HANOI: Pledged foreign direct investment into Vietnam in the first nine months has reached US$57.12 billion (US$1 = RM3.43), jumping more than fourfold from the same period last year, government officials and state media said yesterday.

As of September 22, some 885 new projects have been licensed with a total investment of US$57.12 billion up more than 450 per cent from the same period last year, said Nguyen Viet Cuong, an official with Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Malaysia has topped the list of investment by country origin, with US$14.8 billion being invested in Vietnam so far this year. The figure was largely contributed by the US$9.79 billion project being licensed in September.

Taiwan came second in the list of investors US$8.6 billion, followed by Japan with US$7.2 billion. - AP
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #143
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MTD sees big payoff from Manila highway
By Zuraimi Abdullah Published: 2008/09/27
BusinessTimes

MTD Capital Bhd's top executives have hinted that it should reap handsome returns from its RM800 million highway venture in Manila from as early as March 2009.

Income from its power plant venture in Sri Lanka, meanwhile, should start streaming in from November this year.

Company executives said MTD will keep focusing on securing more construction, property, engineering, toll, power plant and port jobs in the 12 countries where it has a presence.

They also asked the government to review the contract for the RM1.2 bilion East Coast Expressway 2, given rising material costs.

Executive chairman Datuk Dr Nik Hussain Abdul Rahman is excited with MTD's Philippine prospects.

The 35km South Luzon Expressway toll project, Nik Hussain said, should start generating income from March next year.

"With a daily traffic of 120,000 vehicles, the road is as busy as our Federal Highway," Nik Hussain said after MTD's annual general meeting in Batu Caves, Selangor, yesterday.

MTD holds an 80 per cent stake in the privatised project on a build, operate and transfer basis with a 30-year concession.

"We can start collecting toll once construction of the two sections under Phase One completes by February," he said.

The two sections have a combined stretch of 28km, managing director Datuk Azmil Khalili Khalid said. The remaining 7km under Phase Two should be ready by the year-end.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #144
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Brem bids for two local jobs worth RM800m
By Sharen Kaur Published: 2008/09/27
BusinessTimes

BREM Holding Bhd, a construction and property firm, has been invited to submit proposals for two infrastructure contracts worth RM800 million in Peninsular Malaysia.

The contracts, worth RM500 million and RM300 million respectively, involve building roads and sewage plants, managing director Khoo Chai Kaa said.

"We are finalising the deals and may get a letter of intent for the bigger job by December," Khoo said at its annual general meeting in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Brem will work with a local Bumiputera partner to undertake the work, which has taken into account the risks of potentially higher cost of construction.

In addition, Brem is bidding for RM1 billion worth of infrastructure and building contracts in Malaysia, India, Thailand and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Brem is also setting up a corporate office in Bangkok to bid for building, highway, airport and port construction contracts.


"Thailand is the next upcoming construction market for us after China and PNG," Khoo said.

Brem now has RM750 million worth of jobs in hand, of which 80 per cent are for local works.

In PNG, it has a 22-year concession to supply water to Ports Moresby, and a RM20 million contract to upgrade the city's water system.

For China, Brem hopes to launch a RM150 million mixed housing and commercial development project in Zhongshan by December, marking its first property development venture overseas.

It has an indirect involvement in the project, which is to build 1,000 units.

"India, Cambodia and Vietnam will be the next growth areas for us to develop properties," Khoo said.

In Malaysia, Brem has RM1 billion worth of property projects in Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Kedah, which will be realised over the next five years.

Khoo said it hopes to sustain the company's net profit and revenue for the current year.

For the 12 months to March 31 2008, its net profit and revenue was RM37.4 million and RM130 milllion, respectively.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #145
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Land & General studying potential for Viet venture
By Vasantha Ganesan Published: 2008/09/27



PROPERTY developer Land & General Bhd (L&G) is studying the Vietnamese market as it looks to expand abroad further.

The group's current foreign venture is a residential project under a 50 per cent joint venture in Hidden Valley, Australia.

"We are looking at expanding abroad (further) and are looking at Vietnam as a potential for our overseas project," managing director Low Gay Teck said.

"We are in the preliminary stage of discussions with land owners in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi...we are doing a market study now," Low said following the company's annual general meeting yesterday.



However, he could not say when this venture is likely to take off.

L&G's focus now is its existing 32.4ha landbank. However, it continues to look for additional land.

Meanwhile, Low said that it has submitted plans for a 5,300-unit condominium project to be built in Bandar Sri Damansara. It is likely to be launched next year.

While he declined to reveal the gross development value of the project pending approval, he said that L&G hopes to sell the units for RM300 per sq ft.

While the condominium project caters to the middle to upper-middle income group, it will have the specification that are associated with high-end projects.

"With the current economic situation it has become more challenging for the group. We believe in innovative products. We will provide such landscape and facility that can be termed 'one of a kind' and which are only made available at high-end properties," he said.

Low quoted the examples of jogging tracks, gazebos, and reflexology paths as unique selling points.

Another project that it will launch in early 2009 is a commercial development which has offices as well as leisure components like a swimming pool and a gymnasium.

L&G also plans to upgrade its education unit, Sekolah Sri Bestari. Last year, the school made up about 16 per cent of revenue.

For the year ended March 31 2008, L&G posted RM2.59 million in net profit on RM37.59 million revenue.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #146
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Mah Sing plans overseas venture by 2010
Published: 2008/09/28

Once the property developer finds the right project in Vietnam, it may start residential and commercial developments in one or two years, says Mah Sing Group's chief

PROPERTY developer Mah Sing Group Bhd will begin its first international project within two years, says its top official.

Although overall, Asian economies have slowed, Mah Sing said it was the best time for the developer to plan and explore markets such as Vietnam, China, India and Indonesia.

"Once we find the right project, we may start in one or two years. The economy in Vietnam should recover in a year or so. Therefore, we are looking at residential and commercial developments in Vietnam," Mah Sing group managing director and group chief executive Datuk Seri Leong Hoy Kum said.

Business Times had previously reported that the developer was looking at a RM1 billion township project with a local partner in Vietnam.

Leong did not rule out the possibility of carrying out industrial developments as well.

"We can even put up an industrial park in Indonesia. But we are market-driven and will cater for what the market needs," he said.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:36 PM   #147
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Johor Corp unit to manage 5 Saudi hotels
By Vasantha Ganesan Published: 2008/09/29

JOHOR Corp's hospitality arm, Puteri Hotels Sdn Bhd, has signed to manage five luxury-class hotels in Saudi Arabia beginning September 2009.

The hotels, with a room inventory of between 270 and 350, will be located in Medina, Mecca, Riyadh and Jeddah.

"All of the new five-star hotels are being built," managing director John J. Roozemond said.

The first hotel, with a 267-room inventory, is scheduled to open in Medina in September 2009.

All hotels in Saudi Arabia are automatically syariah-compliant, which means, among others, that they will not serve alcohol, have a floor specially for women and serve halal food.

"There will be no entertainment except in-room entertainment," Roozemond told Business Times.

A second such hotel is set to open at the end of 2009 either in Medina or Mecca.

"We will manage the hotel and at the same time we will have a 50 per cent stake in the management company," he said.

Even prior to the opening of the hotel, Puteri Hotels has been involved in the provision of technical assistance.

The Saudi partner, Arab Resorts Areas Co (Arac), is wholly owned by one of the largest conglomerates from the Middle East - the Taiba Investment and Real Estate Development Corp.

Through this partnership, The Islamic Hospitality Management Corp was created to build and manage hotels and resorts throughout Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, London and other Islamic countries.

Puteri Hotels, which is best known for the five-star Puteri Pacific Hotel in Johor Baru, will leverage on this opportunity to expand this hotel chain for the niche market even outside of Saudi Arabia, including Malaysia.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #148
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Venturing into the 'Land of Fortune'
Published: 2008/09/28

PROPERTY developer Asia Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) yesterday launched a commercial development project in China's Changshu City, marking its first foray into the country.

The project, known as Platinum Galaxy Boulevard and located in the province of Jiangsu, will have a gross development value of about RM800 million once it is completed in three years. It sits on some 65,421 square metres of land which had been bought for about RM44.8 million.

AP Land's wholly-owned subsidiary, Changshu Platinum Landmark Ltd, will undertake the development.

"We have chosen Changshu City due to the growing affluent and friendly foreign investor policies," Low Gee Teong, the company's joint managing director, said in a press statement.

Low and the vice mayor of the city, Fang Jiang Gou, performed the official ground-breaking ceremony at the property development site yesterday.

Platinum Galaxy Boulevard will consist of 14 blocks in phase one of commercial units, with unique features and feng-shui elements, Low said.

The project is meant to cater to the needs of fast-expanding multinational companies as well as local ones.

According to Low, Changshu City has over 200 million multinational enterprises with established manufacturing and industrial operations.

"It will provide multinational and Chinese companies with an ideal platform for them to conduct their businesses as it combines style, functionality and tradition," he said.

Changshu City, popularly known as the "Land of Fortune", has a population of three million and 800,000 floating residents.

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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #149
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Mah Sing to start first overseas project within two years


KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd expects its first overseas property project to start in the next year or two, group managing director Datuk Sri Leong Hoy Kum said.

Noting that the current tough economic period was an opportunity for the group, Leong said it was a good time for Mah Sing to do proper planning and explore countries like Vietnam, China, India and Indonesia.

With Vietnam’s market expected to recover in a year or two, Leong said Mah Sing was looking at both residential and commercial project development there.

“We are exploring. So once we decide on the right project, we may start in one or two years’ time,” he said on Saturday at the groundbreaking for Southgate Commercial Centre.

Southgate, Mah Sing’s third commercial development in Kuala Lumpur, is expected to be completed in 2011.

Leong said the company was in talks with several foreign parties on an en bloc sale of two of the five building blocks at Southgate. The interested parties include those from the Middle East, Singapore and South Korea. The group hopes to finalise negotiations by the year’s end.

Leong said the Southgate project was in a prime location with good accessibility and provided long-term investment opportunity for investors.

Meanwhile, the Southbay City project in Penang, which has a gross development value of RM911mil, is awaiting the final stage of approval and is expected to be launched by year’s end or early next year. — Bernama
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #150
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Developer AP Land penetrates Asian giant’s property market
By WONG SAI WAN


CHANGSHU (China): Malaysian developer AP Land Bhd has launched its first venture in China with a commercial development in this province’s special economic zone.

According to its joint managing director Low Gee Teong, the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard is estimated to have a gross development value of 800mil yuan (RM400mil).

“Construction will start next month and Phase 1A is expected to be completed in 14 to 15 months.

“Response from the Chinese business community has been tremendous as 75% of the 600 units in the first phase is already spoken for by registered bookings,” said Low in an interview after the ground-breaking ceremony here on Saturday.

The 6.47ha development is being carried out by AP Land’s subsidiary Changsu Platinum Landmark Ltd. The project is especially attractive to the locals here because of its feng shui-based design.

“This project is our first foray into the property market in China and we chose Changshu city due to the growing affluent community and friendly foreign investor policies.

“Changshu is a tier three city (a rating standard by the Chinese Government for its cities) and has one of the top five GDPs in this city grouping,” he added.

He added that the second phase of the project could involve the construction of a hotel although the company was still re-looking its plans due to the overwhelming response to the project.

The AP Land group are the owners of the Federal Hotel and several other properties in Kuala Lumpur, Australia and Japan.

Low said the company was determined to build and grow a “significant franchise” in China and had already been approached by several parties over other projects.

“We are looking at two other projects on a joint-venture basis but we are still at the talking stages.”

Present at the launch was city mayor Wang Jian Kiang and vice-mayor Fang Jiang Guo.

Wang said in his speech that he was especially impressed with the design concept of the property as well as AP Land’s commitment to bring investment to the city.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #151
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Golden Plus aims to venture into Vietnam, India in 2009
Published: 2008/09/30




PROPERTY developer Golden Plus Holdings Bhd (GPlus), which derives most of its business from Shanghai, China, aims to venture into Vietnam and India next year.

It has hired consultants to do feasibility studies on both property markets, to gauge the potential demand for high-end property developments.

"The Malaysian market is a bit saturated. Because of the kind of population you have in India and Vietnam, we think the uptake for this kind of project on the development pitch that we have will be accepted quite favourably," said director Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy.

The company may partner local parties. However, talks have not started yet.



Jeyaraj said the expansion plan can only proceed when issues with creditors are resolved.

"We are expecting them to be resolved by end of November," he said after its annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

GPlus launched 10 blocks of luxury condominiums in Shanghai recently, of which, six blocks are open for sale. So far, half of that have been sold.

Executive director Low Thiam Hoe expects demand for high-end residential property in China to slow down, due to slower global economic growth and new government rules.

It plans to launch its mixed-development project next year, which will be ready by 2015, comprising a 500-room hotel, a shopping mall, and an office block among others.

Also, the company which had issues with shareholder Indian Corridor Sdn Bhd is compiling evidence to take legal action against Bursa Malaysia for violation of corporate governance.

"We are about 70 per cent done with compiling evidence," said GPlus counsel Datuk Krishnan Kumar.

Bursa Malaysia wants a special audit to be done on GPlus, to see if the company's financial and business affairs comply with listing rules.

Krishnan claimed the recent action by Bursa Malaysia triggered a conflict of interest as the lawyers for Bursa Malaysia are the same lawyers who had advised Indian Corridor.

However, Bursa Malaysia has denied this.

"Bursa Malaysia has been advised by Skrine that there is no conflict of interest involved in Skrine acting for Bursa Malaysia in this matter," it said in a statement.

GPlus' tussle with Indian Corridor and Pembangunan Qualicare Sdn Bhd, which own 19.75 per cent of GPlus, began last year.

The shareholders were unhappy with a management agreement signed between Yanfull Investment Ltd, GPlus' unit, and a Chinese company. At one point, Indian Corridor requested an investigative audit to be done on GPlus.

The company said it has no issues with the special audit.

"We have nothing to hide, but who is going to bear the cost?" Jeyaraj said.

So far, four audits have been conducted on the company, which costs more than RM500,000 in total. The special audit, which is also its fifth audit, could cost some RM500,000 alone, based on the job scope.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:01 PM   #152
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Scomi's monorail going places
By Marina Emmanuel Published: 2008/10/03 BusinessTimes



Scomi Engineering is believed to be in talks with a party in Bahrain to submit a proposal to the government there as well as readying a proposal for two monorail lines in Bangkok

SCOMI Engineering Bhd is set to submit proposals to the authorities in Bahrain and Thailand next year for urban monorail systems.

Sources said the company is using its network as an oil and gas player in the Middle East, Southeast and South Asia, and it has been doing the groundwork for monorail systems in some of these cities for over a year.

"The company expects to be busy with monorail systems in these markets over the next five years," a source told Business Times.

Scomi Engineering is believed to be in talks with a party in Bahrain to submit a proposal to the government there.

This week, the Bahrain government announced an overhauling of the country's public transportation through the introduction of a monorail metro system.

Media reports in the Middle East stated that the Bahrain government had ordered a feasibility study to revamp the transportation system to ease congestion on its roads and pre-empt mounting traffic.

Besides Bahrain, Scomi is also eyeing Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as potential monorail markets. It plans to use the Middle East as a launchpad to enter North Africa.

The source also said that the Thai government had visited many cities across the globe, including Kuala Lumpur, to study monorail systems.

"The Thai authorities are looking at ways to complement the country's rail-way projects with monorail systems to cut cost, noise and construction time," he said.

Monorails, he noted, can be completed in two to three years and halve the construction cost compared with that for elevated railways. It also reduces noise pollution because of its rubber wheels.

"Scomi is currently preparing to make a study and this will be followed up with a proposal for two monorail lines in Bangkok," the source added.

It was reported that Thailand's Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning had announced that two railway projects, the 12km Lat Phrao-Bang Kapi-Hua Mak Yellow Line and the 10km Tiwanont-Chaeng Watthana-Bang Sue Pink Line, would be converted from ordinary railways to monorails, which are reported to be more suited for construction along narrow routes.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #153
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Glomac to continue with overseas investments
Published: 2008/10/06
BusinessTimes

PROPERTY developer Glomac Bhd, unperturbed by the global economic turmoil, will continue to invest overseas, especially in Australia, through takeovers of commercial buildings.

Group executive vice-chairman Datuk Richard Fong Loong Tuck said there will be more opportunities to buy with the collapse of two venerable Wall Street institutions, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

"With the economic downturn, there will be a lot of good deals coming out in the market.

"Property owners may start to sell assets at below market rate, which is when we will buy," he told Business Times in an interview recently.

Fong said Glomac's business model is to buy old commercial buildings, refurbish them for better yields and sell at a higher price later.

Glomac made its presence in Australia in 2006 when it bought 380 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne for A$30.5 million (RM82.4 million).

The acquisition was through its unit, Glomac Australia Pty Ltd and partner Victoria Investments & Properties Pty Ltd.

The Lonsdale St property encompasses a commercial building and a seven-storey carpark complex, with 445 bays offering eight per cent rental yields.

"We are looking around in Australia for suitable office buildings to buy. We won't move (our focus) away from commercial buildings as they are easier to maintain and market," Fong said.

He said the Lonsdale St property, although worth A$40 million (RM108 million) now, will be retained until its value has appreciated by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

"When we sell it, we will also make on the exchange rate. The gains will be reinvested for new acquisition," Fong said.

"We are being opportunistic with our investments as the outlook in Australia for commercial properties is still doing well," Fong said, adding that d Glomac is also prospecting India and Vietnam for similar acquisitions. - By Sharen Kaur
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:13 AM   #154
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Ireka unit to manage Vietnam project


PETALING JAYA: Ireka Corp Bhd unit, Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, has been appointed development manager for the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park, Vietnam’s largest such park, covering about 37.54ha.

Speaking at the project groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Ireka executive director Lai Voon Hon said the landmark venture involved investments from four countries - Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Britain.

The development for the park in Binh Tan District was licensed and approved on July 10 by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City with a development cost of about US$400mil, Ireka said in a statement. Located about 10 minutes’ drive from the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City, the park would take nine years to complete with the first phase to begin operations in 2011.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:33 AM   #155
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #156
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Ireka to play big role in Vietnam project
Published: 2008/10/11




IREKA Development Management Sdn Bhd has been appointed development manager for the US$400 million (RM1.4 billion) Vietnam International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park.

Ireka Development Management, a wholly-owned unit of Ireka Corporation Bhd, said the 37.54ha park is Vietnam's largest.

Ireka Corporation executive director Lai Voon Hon said the landmark venture involved investments from four countries - Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and and the UK.

"The conceptualisation of the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park stems from the vision of our local partner, Hoa Lam Group (Vietnam), in collaboration with Shangri-La Healthcare Investment Liability Co (Singapore)," he said.



Development of the park was licensed and approved on July 10 by the Peoples Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

Located about 10- minute drive from the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City, the park would take nine years to complete, with the first phase to begin operations in 2011.

Upon completion, the park will be a fully integrated medical city, with about one million square metre of gross floor area.

The development consists of four components - healthcare, educational, support and community facilities such as hospitals, laboratories, medical suites, international school, service apartments and hotel. - Bernama
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #157
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AP Land-ing in China

Its venture into China may seem like a case of Johnny-come-lately but its first project in the economic zone of Changshu looks set to be a gem
BY Wong Sai Wan

AP Land Bhd’s adviser Tan Sri Low Yow Chuan looked every part of the old fashion towkay as he sat in a chair and watched customers file in to the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard showroom in Changshu, China. Resting his hands on his walking stick, the 74-year-old patriarch of the well known developer family was obviously pleased with the company’s latest venture as it was the realising of a dream he has had for quite sometime.

“I wanted to come and develop in China for many years. In fact, I wanted to venture to my ancestral province of Xiamen but due to various problems it never took off.

“Even for this project, we have been quietly coming here for more than three years before we finally decided to invest,” Low says in an interview after the ground breaking ceremony for the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard commercial project earlier this month. Low tells of how undeveloped China was when he first visited it together with a Malaysian Government trade delegation about 20 years ago.

“There were bicycles everywhere then but look at it now, everyone is driving a car.

“When we first got to Beijing, there were not enough hotel rooms to house all of us. We had to stay in a Government-run hotel but today, there are so many,” says Low, who at the age of 23, helped his father Tan Sri Low Yat complete the now famous Federal Hotel at Jalan Bukit Bintang.


Several Chinese parties who are impressed with the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard project have approached Gee Teong

Despite his role as the company adviser, his children, who now run AP Land, and senior staff sought his opinion (and approval) on the company’s project in China. It is proof that his views still hold sway.

But when asked if he could be interviewed for his opinion on the company’s Chinese venture, Low pointed to his sons Gee Tat and Gee Teong who are now chairman and joint managing director of AP Land respectively.

Gee Teong takes up the story of how the company, which in some form or another, has been developing property in Malaysia for the past 60 years, came into the Jiangxu province’s special economic zone of Changshu.

“Things are very strict now in China. There are so many regulations to follow but if you go by the book, everything runs smoothly,” Gee Teong said. The slowly-but-surely tactic adopted by AP Land seem to have paid off because it had also snared the confidence of the local authorities.

Its ground-breaking ceremony for the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard project was attended by the top three high officials of the city €“ the mayor, his deputy and the secretary of the city’s communist party.

Their presence for the launch of a commercial project of just 6.6ha is an indication of the relationship or quanxi (in Mandarin) the company has established with the local administrators.

Asked if AP Land was not too late in coming into investing into China, Gee Teong said that was not the case as the company had been coming to China to seek out projects for quite a while.

“If this is being late then it has become an advantage as we had been able to see what others had gone through.

“This is not our first overseas venture we are in Australia, Japan and Indonesia,” he added.

He said the overseas ventures will play an important part for the company and was expected to account for between 30% and 40% of the revenue in the future.


Low had wanted to come and develop in China for many years

AP Land recently acquired a piece of freehold land in Hokkaido measuring 3,082 sq m for RM18.9mil.

The project, called Shi-Ki which means four seasons, is a high-end residential development located in Niseko, said to be a major ski-resort destination in Japan. The project will generate an estimated GDV of 5.7 billion yen.

In Indonesia, AP Land now owns 36,000ha of land which will be the company’s second foray in the oil palm plantation business.

It plans to expand this to over 100,000ha in the near future.


Gee Teong unveiling the Lucky Panda statute with an official from the Szechuan Panda sanctuary. The company also donated 30,000 yuan to the sanctuary which was badly affected by the recent earthquake

The company has been rather low profile for the last 24 months after it cleared its debts with the sale of several properties including the City Square shopping complex, the Empire Tower office building and Crown Princess Hotel for RM680mil.

Its future in China looks bright as the launch of the Changshu development has proven to be timely.

Gee Teong let on that they had been approach by several Chinese parties who had been impressed with the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard project.

“We are looking at two offers €“ both are on a joint-venture basis. We have already started negotiations but it is still in the early stages.

“We are looking for some land bank in China both inside Jiangsu and also in other nearby provinces.

“It is our long term aspiration to grow and build a significant franchise in China. We are here to grow,” said Gee Teong.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #158
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The winning formula
BY Wong Sai Wan


FENG Shui, timing and pricing is the winning formula that AP Land Bhd has relied to successfully market its Platinum Galaxy Boulevad in Changshu, China.

AP Land joint managing director Low Gee Teong said the number of interested buyers for its 600 units of commercial development had been overwhelming.

‘’Response from the Chinese business community has been tremendous as 75% of the 600 units in the first phase is already spoken for by registered bookings,’’ said Low.

The project is estimated to have a gross development value of 800 million yuan (RM400mil) and will be developed in two phases.


Gee Teong unveiling the Lucky Panda statute with an official from the Szechuan Panda sanctuary. The company also donated 30,000 yuan to the sanctuary which was badly affected by the recent earthquake

It recently started its earth work for its first phase. Phase 1A is expected to be completed in 14 to 15 months.

Low explained that using feng shui or metaphysics principle in developing the project had turned out to be a major selling point among the locals.

The development will be a pedestrian mall with over 400m of walkway but with five entrances which will have individual feng shui elements including a moving galaxy structure complete with a light show.

The five lucky entrances are named gold, silver, health, treasure and good fortune.

The company has also adopted the “lucky panda” as a symbol for the project. A giant statute of the panda with a moving arm to invite in good luck just like the Japanese lucky cat doll that is popular in East Asia.

The statute was unveiled during the ground breaking ceremony held earlier this month.

He added that the second phase of the project could involve the construction of a hotel although the company was still re-looking its plans due to the overwhelming response to the project.

Asked why Changsu and not other bigger cities like Shanghai, Low said Changsu fitted the profile that his company was looking at.

“We wanted to venture into a second or third tier city with an affluent population. Changshu fitted our bill,” he added.

Changshu is actually a county-level city comprising 12 towns and two provincial economy and technology development districts. It is located in the south-eastern part of eastern-China’s Jiangsu Province as well as the Yangtze River Delta.


Several Chinese parties who are impressed with the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard project have approached Gee Teong

Due to its mild climate and delta soil, it has always been known as a major agriculture producer for the past 600 years. This is reflected in its name as Chang in Mandarin means “often” and Shu means “high harvest”.

Since it was given the status as a special economic zone, Changshu is one of the top ranking counties in China with its GDP reaching 97.2 billion yuan (RM48.6bil) last year. Its GDP per capita is an impressive 91,846 yuan (RM45,923) making it the third richest among the tier three cities in China.

The city has a sculptured look to with lush and well maintained gardens. Low said the location of the Platinum Galaxy Boulevard among several major industrial projects was also another attraction of the buyers.

Foxconn €“ one of the largest manufacturers of electronics and computer components in the world €“ has purchased a huge piece of land opposite the AP Land project.

Among others, Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone, Intel-branded motherboards and electronics for Dell, the PlayStation, Wii, Xbox 360 and Motorola cell phones.

A Toyota test track is also being planned within the vicinity.

Another plus for Changshu is that it is about 80km from Shanghai and a light rail is being built to connect the two cities cutting down travel time by half to less than an hour.

This will enable Changshu to also attract the high-pressured Shanghainese to play tourist. The railway project will be completed in 2011.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #159
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Ireka's Unit Appointed Development Manager For Vietnam Healthcare Park


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd has been appointed development manager for the US$400 million Vietnam International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park.

Ireka Development Management, a wholly-owned unit of Ireka Corporation Bhd, said the 37.54ha park was Vietnam's largest.

Ireka Corporation executive director Lai Voon Hon said the landmark venture involved investments from four countries -- Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and and Britain.

"The conceptualisation of the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park stems from the vision of our local partner, Hoa Lam Group (Vietnam), in collaboration with Shangri-La Healthcare Investment Liability Company (Singapore)," he said.

Development of the park was licensed and approved on July 10 by the Peoples Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

Located about 10 minutes drive from the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City, the park would take nine years to complete, with the first phase to begin operations in 2011.

Upon completion, the park will be a fully integrated medical city, with about one million square metre of gross floor area.

The development consists of four components -- healthcare, educational, support and community facilities such as hospitals, laboratories, medical suites, international school, service apartments, hotel and convention centre.

-- BERNAMA
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #160
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MTDCap may proceed with project in Chile
By Sharen Kaur Published: 2008/10/13
BusinessTimes

MTD Capital Bhd (MTDCap), a property and construction concern which also operates tolls, may proceed with a long-delayed US$1 billion (RM3.5 billion) township project in Chile after an arbitration against the Chilean government ruled in its favour.

MTDCap, via its units MTD Equity and MTD Chile S.A., filed a complaint with the International Centre for Arbitration under the auspices of World Bank in Washington in 2001.

Between 1996 and 1997, the two firms invested about US$17.5 million (RM61 million) in the planned real estate project on a 600ha site in Pirque region, 40km south of Santiago, Chile.

The Chilean government's Foreign Investment Committee had signed a contract approving MTDCap's project to build houses over a decade.

The investment, meanwhile, was on the premise that the necessary regulatory approvals will be granted by Chile's Housing Ministry.

One approval included the conversion from farmland to real estate. But the approvals required were refused on grounds that the project was contrary to government policy.

These actions resulted in a decline in the value of the investments and potential profits that the project would have generated.

As a result, both firms incurred large costs in the project, which the government claimed could not be realised.

Last year, the arbitrators decided in favour of the Malaysian investor. The Chilean authorities were ordered to pay some US$10.8 million (RM38 million) to MTDCap - the original investment plus the interest due.

A source close to MTDCap told Business Times that it is going through a process to see which is the best strategy to adopt to develop the 600ha land.

"MTDCap may build houses, condominiums, commercial units, malls and hotels after doing a due diligence," the source said, adding that it may look at developing the township on a joint venture with a Chilean firm.

Meanwhile, the source said MTDCap may invest in new property ventures to boost revenue for the segment.

Besides building properties in Malacca, and Bangsar and Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur, MTDCap, via MetaCorp Bhd, has a public housing project in Sri Lanka.

MetaCorp also has small pockets of land in Australia through a subsidiary.
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