Asia property boom puts Hunza in high spirits

By BUSINESS TIMES

PROPERTY developer Hunza Properties Bhd (HPB) is banking on the increase of property prices across the region to push the sales of its high-end projects in Malaysia.

Chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the property boom in cities across Asia such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang bodes well for local players like HPB.

For example, residential properties in Shanghai are currently going for RM7,000 per sq ft and RM15,000 per sq ft in Hong Kong.

In Singapore, properties are priced as high as RM7,000 per sq ft compared with RM3,000 per sq ft last year.

“Residential property prices in areas such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) have also soared to RM1,000 per sq ft from RM600 per sq ft two years ago, while prime areas in Penang like the Gurney are now valued at RM500 per sq ft compared with RM350 per sq ft,” he told reporters after announcing the company’s third quarter results for the year ending June 30 2007 in Penang yesterday.

Khor said the Government’s bid to stimulate the property sector via exempting real property gains tax was expected to boost the property industry and serve as a positive stimulus in encouraging foreign and local investors into the local property sector.

“At the moment, the property value in Kuala Lumpur is approaching RM1,000 to RM2,000 per sq ft, while in Penang prices are on the rise from RM500 to close to RM800 per sq ft,” he added.

HPB has four high-end projects, including the Mutiara Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur on which 60 per cent of the construction work is completed and Alila, Tanjung Bungah in Penang on which 50 per cent of the construction work is completed.

The company will be launching its high-end luxurious condominium project called Infinity in Tanjung Bungah Penang this year, while its RM344 million Gurney Paragon project in the upmarket Pulau Tikus area will be launched in July.

Khor said of the 275 condominium units at the Gurney project, around 100 have been earmarked for foreign buyers.

“The project has been soft launched and we have been receiving encouraging response due to the higher prices demanded for similar units in the region,” he said, adding that the units would be priced between RM420 per sq ft and RM480 per sq ft.

Also in the pipeline for HPB is a joint venture development project in Tanjung Bungah on land measuring 1.6 ha.

“The land which adjoins our Alila project belongs to a company called Nilai Arif and we plan to jointly build townhouses there. However, details of the project are still being finalised,” he said.

For its third quarter ended March 31 2007, HPB posted a pre-tax profit of RM11.5 million, from RM3.2 million in the same period last year.

Pre-tax profit for the cumulative three fiscal quarters was RM35.6 million, as compared with the corresponding cumulative period of RM19 million, reflecting an 87.3 per cent increase.

HPB yesterday also announced a 5 per cent interm dividend.

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