Thursday, March 22, 2007

E &O Property Development Bhd (E&OPD)

E&OPD has been carving a reputation for itself in the Pearl of the Orient since embarking on the freehold Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) seafront development in October 2005.

The 980-acre township being undertaken on reclaimed land was master-planned by the internation-ally-renowned architectural firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo.

While the scale of the development alone is enough to make the island's population and real estate fraternity sit up, it is the new urbanism concept of providing walkable residential neighbourhoods set amidst landscaped parks, boulevards and seafront esplanades that is setting the company apart from the rest.

In the 240-acre first phase, terrace, semi-detached and detached houses will be developed alongside condominiums and serviced apartments in gated and guarded precincts.

Of these, 90 per cent of the 166 terraces called Ariza have been sold despite prices starting from RM775,000 for intermediate units and RM980,00 for the corners, while the 38 plots of bungalow land have found buyers willing to pay between RM170psf and RM250psf.

Judging from the over-whelming response, STP is envisaged to set the pace for the island's upmarket residential prices as well as design and quality standards for years to come.

SP Setia Bhd (SPS)
Another developer carving a name for itself on Penang island is SPS with its 112.6-acre Setia Pearl island gated residential development.

Situated in the southern segment of the island and about 2km from the Penang international Airport, this RM800 million venture has also been designed for the upper income market segment, with three-storey, five-bedroom terrace houses tagged from RM600,000.

To support the pricing, SPS is infusing the development with lifestyle amenities such as a clubhouse (complete with swimming pool, sauna, squash court and ballroom) and residential precinct names such as the isle of life, the isle of Aroma and the isle of Palm.

Although new to Penang, SPS has a track record of introducing innovative concepts to its developments in the Klang Valley and Johor Baru.

In the south, the company is riding on the resounding response to its 1,054-acre Bukit indah and 452-acre Bukit indah 2 in Gelang Patah; 889-acre Setia indah in the Tebrau Corridor; the 740-acre Setia Tropika located off the Kempas interchange; and the recently unveiled RM2 billion Setia Eco Gardens township in Pulai.

The latter is a 949-acre venture that is expected to raise the bar for residential developments in the state and showcase concepts johoreans have never seen before. Among them:Eco-themes where lush garden oases, water parks, boardwalks and resort-like facilities for fishing and canoeing will prevail.

Cyberjaya here we come


A top indian property developer has made tracks into the country and made Cyberjaya in Selangor its first stop.

The Embassy Group of Bangalore purchased a 10-acre site near the up-and-coming KL-Putrajaya Dedicated Highway at the end of last year for RM20 million (or RM46psf) via a joint venture company MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd.

Upon it, work is underway to complete two office blocks, each with 250,000sq ft of space, by the end of this year.

it is understood that the premised will be occupied largely by the IT-related businesses currently renting premises the Embassy Group has built in Bangalore and who now want to blaze an expansion trail into Southeast Asia.

Over the past two decades, Embassy has built for lease over 11 million square feet of residential and commercial space in one of india's most popular IT cities.

According to Cyberjaya developer, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, "if the project is successful, Embassy will purchase an additional 20 acres to build more space".

"The construction of the two office blocks in the first 10 acres will involve some RM100 million," said its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang.

Setia Haruman is controlled by the Emkay group, which also controls MKE group Sdn Bhd. The latter owns 60 per cent of the MKN-Embassy joint venture.

Last week, MKN subsidiary Laketown Sdn Bhd engaged property consultancy Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd to lease and manage another of its ventures in Cyberjaya, the RM300 million NeoCyber project comprising shop-offices and serviced apartments on a 20-acre site.

When completed, this project will also provide student accommodation for the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Health at large

health at large 6Saving hearts Have a change of heart and live a quality life is the resounding message that three organisations are communicating to Malaysians.

Concerned with the growing number of Malaysians suffering from heart diseases, the National Heart Association of Malaysia(NHAM), National Heart Foundation of Malaysia (NHF) and Pfizer has joined forces to create greater national awareness of heart health among the public. One of the group's first initiatives from the public-private partnership was the production of an education video compact disc (CD) on Heart Health which was jointly unveiled by the three organisations at a media briefing recently.

Produced in three languages, the 30-minute video CD aims to provide over 5,000 doctors nationwide a visual aid to raise awareness of heart diseases among their patients and empower them with information to care for their hearts.

"We are happy with this collaboration between the public and private sector to support public education on heart disease. As doctors, our concern is primarily for the well being of our patients, not only in treatment, but also in educating them on prevention of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, high clolesterol and obesity among others.

"We hope that our patients will benefit from the video to further understand the implications of heart disease and start taking preventive measures to change their lifestyles now", said Dr Ahmad Nizar Jamaludin, President of the National Heart Association of Malaysia.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Malaysia. The number of heart disease related cases in local hospitals have shown significant increase. In 2005, hypertensionrelated disease cases in hospitals rose to 38,445 compared to 32,886 in the year 2000. Other heart disease related cases amounted to 25,362 last year vs. 17,598 in 2000.

Today, 30% of Malaysians suffer from obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol while 8.5% suffer from diabetes, according to the Health Ministry. In calculating those percentages against the country's population of 25 million, approximately 7.5 million people suffer from heart disease risk factors while 2.1 million are diabetic.

The increasing rate of cardiovascular diseases among the people continue to consume a large portion of the country's healthcare budget and the Health Ministry has further allocated funds uner the Ninth Malaysia Plan in a mission to bring down the incidences of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity through health education and promotional activities.

According to Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin, Director of the National Heart Foundation of Malaysia and also President-elect of the Malaysian Medical Association," Our investment in heart disease awareness programmes have been increasing annually as we believe that empowering the community with information and other resources wil help them attain healthier lifestyles.
"We want the public to feel responsible sor their health and we are confident that this education video on Heart Health will yet be another resource to learn about heart disease prevention."
Despite mounting research and advances in treatment, Malaysians are not getting the message that heart diseases is claiming more lives and has become the leading cause of morbidity, if not mortality in the country.

"Our common goal is to save lives", said John Latham, Managing Director of Pfizer Malaysia. "With a collaborative effort, we hope to make the society aware of the risk factors for heart disease and to motivate them-with the help of their health care professionals to take an active role in their heart health," he added.

The education video CD on Heart Health produced by the three organisations with the contribution of cardiovascular experts is distributed through doctors who are registered with NHAM and participating clinics nationwide. To attain a copy of the video, individuals are encouraged to visit their nearest healthcare professionals or contact NHF at 03-26934709 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Cyberjaya here we come

A top indian property developer has made tracks into the country and made Cyberjaya in Selangor its first stop.

The Embassy Group of Bangalore purchased a 10-acre site near the up-and-coming KL-Putrajaya Dedicated Highway at the end of last year for RM20 million (or RM46psf) via a joint venture company MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd.

Upon it, work is underway to complete two office blocks, each with 250,000sq ft of space, by the end of this year.

it is understood that the premised will be occupied largely by the IT-related businesses currently renting premises the Embassy Group has built in Bangalore and who now want to blaze an expansion trail into Southeast Asia.

Over the past two decades, Embassy has built for lease over 11 million square feet of residential and commercial space in one of india's most popular IT cities.

According to Cyberjaya developer, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, "if the project is successful, Embassy will purchase an additional 20 acres to build more space".
"The construction of the two office blocks in the first 10 acres will involve some RM100 million," said its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang.

Setia Haruman is controlled by the Emkay group, which also controls MKE group Sdn Bhd. The latter owns 60 per cent of the MKN-Embassy joint venture.

Last week, MKN subsidiary Laketown Sdn Bhd engaged property consultancy Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd to lease and manage another of its ventures in Cyberjaya, the RM300 million NeoCyber project comprising shop-offices and serviced apartments on a 20-acre site.
When completed, this project will also provide student accommodation for the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science.

Building on a flying startRelaxed laws

Building on a flying startRelaxed laws and advent of low-cost long-haul carrier spark hope of more foreign ownership

The foreigners are coming, and at least two prominent township builders are suiting up to welcome them as purchasers.

Recent relaxations of foreign ownership laws, the expected increase in tourist arrivals this year due to efforts by the Tourism Ministry and the evolution of AirAsia into the first lowcost long haul carrier in the region are the fodder TH Properties Sdn Bhd and Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd are feeding on to drive sales in their townships.

"The expansion of the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal(LCCT) in Sepang together with AirAsia's move into the long-haul sector should increase tourist arrivals to our shores," said TH Properties chief executive officer Syed Mohamed ibrahim.

"With the more liberalised package to attract foreigners to own a second home here (under the Malaysia My Second Home plan), I'm confident this increase will translate into better sale of properties."

Syed Mohamed pointed out that his township, the 5,116-acre Bandar Enstek, is "only eight minutes from the LCCT and 15 minutes from KLIA" and besides having lifestyle residential units, also contains educational, medical and commercial properties that would suit foreign requirements.

For Setia Haruman, developer of Cyberjaya, its chief operating officer Lao Chok Keang said the development is "poised to enjoy a spillover of foreign IT firms currently operating in india".
"Indian developers are now coming here to build ITcentres for their (foreign) clients who are expanding into Asia," he said (see sidebar).

"Their top choice is of course Cyberjaya as we have the most modern technological infrastructure in the country."

Lao said with the move, he expects the townships's foreign working population of 3,600-making up 20 per cent of the area's total IT workforce-to grow by another 1,200 by the end of this year.
To tap into their wallets, Lao said he is modifying some up-and-coming launches so that the products are "in tune with foreign tastes and expectations".

"We have converted some condo projects into upmarket villas to cater to middle-management individuals, priced between the RM300,000 and RM400,000mark," he said.
"For the top-management, they can choose from bungalow plots priced between RM75psf and RM80psf."

Lao said in india's IT hotspots such as Hyderabad and Bangalore, foreigners have had to put up with paying exhorbitant rents for old buildings that are often in poor state of repair.
"In Cyberjaya, however, they can look forward to occupying and even owning state-of-the-art property at a fraction of the price."

To educate both locals and foreigners on the offerings and incentives available in the township, he said Setia Haruman will be conducting an investment seminar in April.
"Locals should also consider investing in Cyberjaya as they will be able to rent their properties to foreigners who may not want to buy," Lao said, adding that returns of seven per cent is achievable for shop and condominium units and up to eight per cent for the villas.
Meanwhile, in Bandar Enstek, Syed Mohamed said the spreading of AirAsia's wings means "even middleclass Europeans who want to escape their country's cold winters can now own a home in a warm sunny country".

"We are extremely excited AirAsia has gone long haul, and we're already working with them for mutual benefit," he said.

Syed revealed that the first tie-up will take the form of a Tune Hotel in Bandar Enstek.
Tune Hotel was founded by AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.
"I can say that we are in an advanced stage of discussion and are close to finalising the deal," said Syed Mohamed.

"Hopefully this will be the first of many joint endeavours between our two companies."