By THE STAR
ISTANA Group is poised for exciting times. The Indonesian property group is embarking on a fast-track expansion domestically and abroad and is sourcing for projects in countries outside South-East Asia.
The group began some 20 years ago in West Java’s capital of Bandung, dealing mainly in residential homes, but later diversified into commercial property development.
“We were not really hit by the financial crisis in the early 1990s,” chairman Ginawan Chondro told a Malaysian media briefing recently.
“I think we weathered the crisis via a lot of prudent management. When it was over, we decided to expand our operations beyond Bandung and venture into the development of commercial properties,” he said.
Today, the group has completed about 30 projects with a total gross development value (GDV) of over US$1bil.
Ginawan said with the expansion plans, the group hoped to multiply its GDV five folds over the next five years. It now has about 20 ongoing projects in Bandung, Jakarta and Bali.
Properties of note include Jakarta’s shopping mall Plaza Semanggi and Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali, a 250ha cultural park featuring what will be the tallest statue in the world.
There are also two projects in Singapore. Sepang GoldCoast is its first Malaysian venture.
Ginawan said the group was also in partnership with the Lippo Group to list three of its shopping centres – Jakarta’s Istana Plaza, Plaza Semanggi and Bandung’s Bandung Indah Plaza – as a real estate investment trust on the Singapore stock exchange come June.
The Lippo Group will also be its partner to expand to countries like China, India and Vietnam.
“We are now sourcing for opportunities and hope to announce some plans in China by year-end,” he said.