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Monday, February 26, 2007

Property Talk - Out of the zone

For a moment, i thought i was in the twilight zone. Or at the very least, like Rip Van Winkle, had woken up 15 years in the future.

What brought me to this conclusion was a real estate transaction reported just before Chinese New Year that blue-chip builder SP Setia had sold 38 acres of commercial land in Bukit Indah within johor's emerging iskandar Development Region for RM65psf.

A currently Greenfield site in johor for RM65psf. or over RM2.8 million an acre? What was even more eye opening was the fact that accompanying the report was a quote by Citigroup that it had previously tagged land in the area at RM20psf.

These values have all the oomph of forward thinking. i was tempted to say "wishful thinking", but that would have implied they were plumped up, and that can't be right since the deal has been inked-with one of the country's most respected corporate citizens no less.

Still, i couldn't get my head around the benchmark price. Benchmark? it's more like one of those flags you plant on a mountain after conquering it.

Good on SP Setia....good on the fact that it managed to find Raion Capital, a special purpose vehicle, to pick up the site for RM106.97 million cash. And good for Raion for being able to lease to Aeon Co, operator of the jusco brand, a three storey shopping mall it will build there. The arrangement struck by these players must be at the core of the RM65psf value. Because real estate valuation comparative methods aren't.

One of the most recent deals of a similar nature i could find was back in March 2004, when another public-listed developer, Plenitude, sold also to Aeon 30.03 acres in its Desa Tebrau township fronting the JB-Kota Tinggi Highway for RM39.241 million, ot RM30psf.

That plenitude's site is closer to JB city and surrounded by a more established catchment population-presumably an essential retail requirement-makes the 200 per cent contrast seem that much more glaring. It's even more so when Raion's deal is put next to the humble price of RM4.60psf SP Setia paid to Prolink Development for the whole Bukit indah site back in 1999. And to think, Citigroup said it's now worth RM20psf.

How times have changed.
More than show that wealth can grow in just a few short years when you buy into the right location, the latesttransaction reveals the power of vision. in this case, the iskandar Development Region plan by the federal government which is being implemented by Khazanah Nasional seems to have fuelled such positive optimism that mountains have been conquered.

Wondering how the sums could work out for Raion, i punched out the reported numbers: On top of the land cost, it will build the shopping mall with 600,000sqft of nett area for RM180 million, bringing the whole caboodle to RM287 million, or a shade under RM480psf based on the nett built-up size.

To make investment sense, i figured a special purpose vehicle such as Raion would want an average of 10 per cent returns from Aeon over its 15-year lease tenure. Which means its RM480psf investment would need to generate around RM4psf in rent every month. Certainly, that's no small change for Aeon, especially since it said it is prepared to sink in another RM35 to RM40 million of its own money into the project.

Although records point out that Raion is a RM2 public limited company incorporated just a week before the transaction with SP Setia was done, assuming the deals it entered into were done at armslength, it would be among the first to ride on the wave of investments that is the product of a parallel dimension rather than of real-time transactions.

Whether that dimension is vision linked or financially created will soon be revealed when Raion's financial advisor announces more details on the acquisition in the near future.

Until then, i can imagine fund managers and investors alike are keeping their eyes on the companies with prime tracts of land in land in south johor, in the hope they too will see their asset values blossom.

Like what Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone said, "You're travelling through another dimension-a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: Your next stop-the Twilight Zone!"

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some like it broad - Wanta Mee

You've heard much about the wantan mee. But there is a variant of this popular noodle dish which oringinated from Shouthern China, made famous by Hong Kong chefs called chou-meen (broad noodles).

While most noodle connosisseurs may be divided on which is the better version, I strongly recommend wantan mee lovers to try chou-meen for a really filling meal at a stall, coffeeshop or hawker centre.

Although the yow-meen (fine noodles) outsells the chou-meen at any given day, savouring the broad noodles is truly a unique experience.

This particular variant of the wantan noodle is also prepared as a kwon-lou (with dry dark soya sauce gravy) or chee-suay (soup) dish. And like the ordinary wantan noodles, the serving is always generous.

A meal costs between RM3.50 and RM5050 depending on the amount of noodles called tan-chor (single serving) or mar-meen (double helping).

The standard garnishing is char siew (caramelised roast pork), chopped spring onions and choy sum. If you order the dry variant, you'll get a small bowl of wantan in soup. I recommend chee-suay chou-meen or broad noodles in soup.

Like the fine wantan noodles, customers do have the choice to customise their orders with siew yuk (roast pork), siew ngap (roast duck) and siew phai kuat (roast spare ribs).
Broad noodles are also used in curry laksa dishes which can be found in small towns and kampung coffeeshops throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

Top five recommendations for chow wantan meen

Petaling jaya
1 corner coffeeshop opposite UOB Bank near Menara MPPJ, New Town. This place needs no recommendation for dishing out the most electrifying wantan noodles ever! Check out the pork ribs broad noodles which came highly recommended.

Kuala Lumpur
2 Meng Shiang coffeeshop at Taman Cheras. It'll be tricky finding this stall run by a husband and wife team. Customers queue up from as early as 11am for takeaway. Highly recommended, is the kwon lou wantan charsiew chou-meen.

3 Coffeeshop next to Bunga Raya food court at Jalan Bunga Raya. Down south, people like their wantan noodles hot and spicy and this place lives up to its name for serving a good tasting and generous portion of wantan noodles.

4 Comer stall at Taman Ser Tebrau, johor Baru. This place is located at the last block adjacent to the shell petrol station. You can see the owner doing his noodle acrobatics but city dwellers here prefer fine noodles.

5 Pun Chun coffeeshop in Bidor town. Broad noodles a la wantan and a concoction of killer pickled green chilli pepers makes this place a must if you decide to head North. Noteworthy is the awesome prawn wantan and if you love ngap thui meen or duck thigh noodles, this is the place to be.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Road Tax Reduce & Toll Rise in Malaysia.

Road Tax Reduce
Some Malaysian is very happy with the Road Tax Reduce.
Let's look at the simple calculation below.
Road Tax Reduce = RM50 for 1 year
For per day = RM50/365
= RM0.1370/day (WAU!!!! What a big saving for Malaysian)
Syabas !!! To our Government!!!

Toll Rise
Imagine a person who is using Kesas Highway from Klang To K.L. (To & From)
(That means - using a full package on this Highway)
Past Toll Rate = RM1.50 per toll x 6 tolls = RM9.00 per day
Present Toll Rate = RM2.20 per toll x 6 tolls = RM13.20 per day
Different = RM0.70 per toll
For 1 day = RM0.70 x 6 tolls (To & From)
= RM4.20 / day

Normal Working Days for Normal Person = 240days / year
For One Year = 240days x RM4.20
= RM1,008.00 (Different - Old & Present)

As such, present Toll Rate = RM13.20/day x 240 days
= RM3,168 per year

But Some Crazy Guyz Work for 365 days / year
For One Year = 365days x RM4.20
= RM1,533.00 (Different - Old & Present)
Full Toll Rate Calculation = RM13.20/day x 365 days
= RM4,818 per year

For others toll ; you can calculate on your own... using the same method.
If Average Malaysian Salary is RM2000.00/mth. (For easy calculation purpose)
That's means he/she will be spending his/her 2 months salary / year just to pay on his toll.
Syabas !!! To all Malaysian…. For Being Deaf & Dumb….

IOI Mall - 7 Ferbruary 2007 - about LDP highway toll