AGROCHEMICAL company Hextar Global Bhd is exploring an entry into the retail scene through the acquisition of a stake in the yet-to-be-completed Empire City Damansara Mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, sources say.
It is understood that Hextar, in which businessman Datuk Ong Choo Meng has combined direct and indirect interests of 69.02%, could buy a “substantial stake” in the mall and that an announcement on the matter may be made soon.
The RM500 million mall is part of the larger Empire City Damansara (ECD1) project — which has a gross development value of RM5 billion — developed by Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn Bhd (MEH). The project also comprises hotels, offices and apartments.
MEH was founded by low-profile businessman Datuk Sean Ng Yee Teck and his partner Datuk Danny Cheah. It also developed Empire Hotel and Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya.
Details of the deal remain sketchy but it is learnt that the parties have been negotiating a deal for over three months and talks are now at an advanced stage.
Empire City Damansara Mall, located along Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong, has a net lettable area of 2.5 million sq ft. It is understood that its value now is about RM500 million. The new opening date for the partially completed mall is expected to be 2023. “The mall will be operated by MEH,” a source tells The Edge.
When contacted for confirmation, Ong, who is the executive director of Hextar, declined to comment.
This is not Ong’s first retail foray. He recently emerged as the substantial unitholder of retail asset-focused KIP Real Estate Investment Trust (KIP REIT), which owns a portfolio of seven malls and has RM808 million in assets under management. Ong has a 20.087% stake in the REIT.
Last month, The Edge reported that his entry into KIP REIT will allow him to act as a sponsor, and potentially inject his portfolio of factories and warehouses under his other businesses into the REIT. Ong’s business ventures are diversified and include glove manufacturing, furniture, and plastic and industrial products.
Meanwhile, Hextar, which is involved in the entire agrochemical supply chain, from research and development to manufacturing and distribution, announced that it was also looking to establish a Syariah-compliant digital bank. In July, together with Fass Payment Solutions Sdn Bhd’s SPV Ihsan Equit Sdn Bhd, it entered into a consortium agreement with Dagang NeXchange Bhd’s major shareholder, Arcadia Acres Sdn Bhd.
In the first half ended June 30, 2021, Hextar posted a net profit of RM18 million on the back of RM213.52 million in revenue. This compares to a net profit of RM20.56 million and revenue of RM205.28 million achieved a year ago. In the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020, Hextar posted a net profit of RM44.48 million and revenue of RM418.64 million.
It is unclear how Hextar plans to finance the purchase. As at June 30, 2021, its total short- and long-term borrowings stood at RM106.07 million. It also had cash and cash equivalents of RM28.89 million as at June 30.
As for MEH, this is not the first asset it has sold in recent years. In the past, it had disposed of several of its commercial assets and land to pare down debts and for working capital. In 2017, the Empire Shopping Gallery was sold to Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) for RM570 million cash, with a call option to buy back the mall on the fifth anniversary of the sale. MEH also has the right of first refusal should PHB decide to dispose of the asset within five years. MEH currently operates this mall.
In 2019, MEH sold the four-star Wolo Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur to HYM Group for RM115 million. In the same year, the company offloaded its 61-acre tract of land in Damansara Perdana, Selangor, to Exsim Development Sdn Bhd for RM760 million. The parcel was originally earmarked for the development of ECD2. Exsim also purchased another 4.5 acres adjacent to ECD1.
Apart from the land purchase, Exsim also entered into an agreement with MEH to complete several of the outstanding developments within ECD1. MEH, which at the time had decided to wholly own and operate the mall, is now selling a portion of it to Hextar. MEH is understood to still be in control of two hospitality components — McGuffin Hotel and Autograph.
On Friday, shares of Hextar closed at RM1.25, valuing the company at RM1.6 billion.
Article Refer from www.theedgemarkets.com/article/hextar-mulls-acquisition-stake-pj-mall
东盟一直是全球供应链上重要的一环，而马来西亚凭借本国出色的工业基础和基建实力，在东盟中扮演着制造业排头兵的角色。在新冠疫情导致全球供应链紊乱，从而带来芯片荒、大宗商品涨价、海运价格暴涨的背景下，外资似乎已经提前看到了大马的优势和潜力，纷纷开始投资建厂。 大马在2021年上半年的外来直接投资表现强劲，与2020年上半年相比飙升了223.1%，这显示外国投资者对马来西亚稳定且有利的经济环境和商业生态系统充满信心。大马在制造业、服务业和初级产业取得外来直接投资和国内直接投资的批准投资总额达1075亿令吉，较去年同期大幅增长 69.8%。
除此之外，专注于高性能跑车、运动型多功能车（SUV）和轿车的德国知名汽车制造商 Porsche AG（保时捷）宣布，他们将与森那美有限公司（Sime Darby Berhad）合作在马来西亚吉打设立生产工厂。保时捷为了扩大其在亚洲的业务，该公司将在上海开设研发中心，并在马来西亚设立一座工厂。
保时捷在一份声明中表示，上海研发中心将帮助该公司更好地理解中国客户以及他们的需求，并且改进本地的产品开发。而马来西亚工厂将于2022年开始运营，保时捷将与该国贸易集团Sime Darby Berhad合作运营该工厂。新工厂将负责针对亚洲市场推出的车型的最终装配工作。
Glove maker Rubberex ventures into property investment via strategic stake in Empire City Mall in PJ
Making its first foray and diversification into property investment, glove maker Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd is undertaking a joint collaboration with Alliance Premier Sdn Bhd, EXSIM Holdings Sdn Bhd and JT Momentum Sdn Bhd (EXDJ shareholders) for the development and operation of Empire City Mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
In a statement on Monday, Rubberex said the collaboration will be done via a joint venture (JV) company, Alliance Empire Sdn Bhd, with Rubberex's executive director Lim Chee Lip spearheading the project.
Rubberex on Monday entered into a subscription agreement with Alliance Empire to subscribe 200,000 new shares or a 20% equity interest in the latter for RM180 million cash. Alliance Premier will hold 60% and EXDJ shareholders the remaining 20%.
The group said the diversification exercise comes at a time when the rubber glove industry's outlook seems to be waning from its peak of supernormal profits and high average selling prices as Malaysia and the rest of the world enter the endemic phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lim said Rubberex's diversification into property investment is in line with the group's long-term strategy of delivering sustainable growth, steady income and value creation to its shareholders.
Spanning 9.536ha of land, the development of the Empire City Mall is ongoing with construction works at 83% completion as at Oct 1. The registered proprietor of the Empire City Mall is Cosmopolitan Avenue Sdn Bhd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn Bhd -- which was founded by low-profile businessman Datuk Sean Ng Yee Teck and his partner Datuk Danny Cheah.
In a separate filing with Bursa Malaysia, Rubberex said prior to the entry of Rubberex as the shareholder of Alliance Empire, the latter will complete the acquisition of the Empire City Mall for RM480 million. It will then issue 600,000 shares and 200,000 shares in the company to Alliance Premier and EXDJ shareholders, respectively.
Empire City Mall has been independently valued at RM1 billion and the proposed subscription would enable the group to acquire a strategic foothold and participate in a sizeable completed mixed property development project within a relatively short period of two years.
"We are honoured to be collaborating with such established property players in the industry and look forward to elevating Empire City Mall to a premier retail destination when local and international borders reopen," said Rubberex's single largest shareholder Datuk Eddie Ong Choo Meng.
The Edge weekly on Oct 4 reported that Ong could buy a "substantial stake" in the mall and that an announcement on the matter may be made soon. "This is not Ong's first retail foray. He recently emerged as the substantial unitholder of retail asset-focused KIP Real Estate Investment Trust, with a 20.087% stake," the report said.
Meanwhile, Rubberex said the implementation of the proposed subscription and diversification exercises are expected to be completed by early 2022.
In the statement, EXSIM Group managing director Lim Aik Hoe said the mall is set to be one of the iconic tourism hotspots in Malaysia.
"Empire City Mall is a unique creation that would add value to the surrounding developments, with its distinctive architectural facade design," he said.
Rubberex shares fell one sen or 1.67% to close at 59 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM540.15 million.
Refer from www.theedgemarkets.com
HAVING struggled with the imposition of the movement control order (MCO) in 2020 more than in 2021, Penang’s housing market is poised to recover in 2022 as signs of sales picking up are getting more obvious.
This follows the adaptation of online presentations, virtual showrooms and other advanced technology with most purchasers are willing to attend online presentations and subsequently proceed with a booking.
“Developers have held firm on prices, even though activity has dropped. Rather than drastically dropping their selling prices, developers are providing all sorts of promotional packages to stimulate buyers,” observed Juwai IQI’s co-founder and group CEO Kashif Ansari.
“Is this a good time to buy? Very much so. With lower interest rates, developer incentives, and the ongoing Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), this is perhaps the best time to purchase in several years. The HOC has already been extended twice and may be discontinued after December.”
When economic growth climbs next year, Kashif expects property buyers to face more competition with rising construction costs which also suggests further rises in property prices.
“In 2022, we expect residential real estate in Penang to bounce back more quickly than in any other part of Malaysia except Johor,” he projected.
“By 2Q 2022, we expect borders to fully reopen and international visitor numbers to be trending towards pre-pandemic levels. Economic growth, employment, foreign investment, and tourism will recover. These trends will support further recovery in transaction volumes and prices.”
As one of the smallest and most developed states with a prominent international reputation, Penang is one of the best-positioned states for the post-pandemic recovery, according to Kashif.
“The pandemic is an external shock, and the subsequent drop in transactions and prices does not reflect any inherent weakness in the market,” he reckoned. “With the support of government initiatives and positive economic trends, the property market will recover along with the economy.”
Moreover, the price of luxury condominium in Penang are lower than in competitor cities like Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta where comparable residences there can be five-times more expensive.
“As for the foreign buyer market, it will take time to gain back their full confidence. However, Penang’s high-tech manufacturing and unique tourism assets make it desirable for second homes, retirement, and investment. We expect foreign buying to come back to prior levels in time,” added Kashif. – Sept 30, 2021
The government will focus on several sectors which are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including tourism, retail, and small and medium enterprise (SME), in Budget 2022 to be tabled later this month, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
He said the government is optimistic that the country’s economy will recover next year in line with the positive growth projections made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for 2022.
Tengku Zafrul said this can be achieved through the government’s high commitment to revive all pandemic-affected sectors.
However, he said, the recovery period may differ depending on economic sector.
“In the budget, we will give attention and assistance to all sectors including the most badly affected sectors, which are tourism, retail and SME.
"This year, Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow between three and four per cent, while the IMF and World Bank are forecasting a five to six per cent growth for 2022. This shows that our economy will recover next year,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Orang Asli settlement in Kampung Limbahan/ Jeti Sudin near Tasik Bera on Saturday (Oct 2).
Also present were Deputy Finance Minister I Mohd Shahar Abdullah and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
Tengku Zafrul added that the country’s latest economic growth forecast would be announced during the tabling of Budget 2022 on Oct 29, along with positive signs that could be seen following the government’s focus on reviving the economy.
Refer from www.edgeprop.my
Construction “giants” are said to be forming consortiums and JVs to prepare for the “eventual” construction tenders for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), The Edge Malaysia reported in its latest issue.
“YTL Corp is said to be partnering with Siemens and a bumiputera company, while SunCon [Sunway Construction Group] and IJM Corp are in a JV together.
“This is, of course, in addition to MMC Corp Bhd and Gamuda Bhd coming together again to bid for the project,” wrote the weekly.
MMC and Gamuda were the project delivery partners for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (MRT1) and the turnkey contractor for the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line (SSP or MRT2).
“Everybody is gunning for it. The big guns are preparing for it,” a source told The Edge.
MRT3 will link the MRT1 and MRT2 lines as it will go around Kuala Lumpur city. Earlier reports have revealed that the line will have 30 stations, with 10 being interchange stations and other MRT, light rail transit and KTM Komuter lines.
In April, MRT Corp CEO Mohd Zarif Mohd Hashim said the entire alignment will be about 50km, of which 40% will be underground. The project will take about a decade to be completed (initial plans said that it was seven years).
A CGS-CIMB Research report has stated that the MRT3 project is estimated to cost between RM27 billion and RM32 billion.
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