MRCB to launch billion-ringgit REIT in 5 years

By BUSINESS TIMES

MALAYSIAN Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) plans to launch a billion-ringgit real estate investment trust (REIT) made up of commercial properties at KL Sentral in five years.

“A REIT will happen when our properties mature. It takes about three years for the buildings to come up and rentals to roll in,” MRCB group managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan told Business Times after the company’s annual and extraordinary general meetings in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Assets that may be injected into the REIT include Plaza Sentral 1 & 2 and office towers.

Shahril said the RM8.3 billion KL Sentral is expected to contribute some 50 per cent to the group’s revenue this year.

The company is on track to achieving net profit of RM60 million and revenue of more than RM800 million for its financial year ending December 31 2007, up 83 per cent and 51 per cent respectively over last year’s.

The results will represent MRCB’s third straight year of more than 50 per cent growth following the rollout of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) and rising demand for its high-end property developments.

“Our overseas operations in Dubai and Bangladesh will contribute less than 10 per cent to revenue as most of the projects commenced only this year,” he said.

On the Penang monorail project, Shahril said MRCB is waiting for the Government to finalise the specifications, routing and alignment before finalising the project cost.

“We have put in our papers and started work. The cost will be decided when the structure is finalised,” he said.

Shahril told reporters earlier that MRCB was eyeing new markets in the Middle East to replicate its Malaysian businesses like building urban transportation hubs and working on engineering and infrastructure projects.

He said the group’s next venture overseas will be in Saudi Arabia where it has begun talks with the locals to provide solutions in its area of expertise.

“We are also bidding for power transmission jobs, transportation hub development and toll highway concessions in Malaysia and overseas to expand our current order book of RM2.5 billion,” he added.

Shahril also said that MRCB is still waiting for a final decision by the Government to provide a transmission solution for power to be generated at the Bakun Dam.

He, however, declined to comment if MRCB would take a 70 per cent stake in Peninsular Metroworks Sdn Bhd, which has the concession for the Penang Outer Ring Road project.

“On our side, we are not willing to comment about details on any particular projects. We do view Penang as a big area for our involvement, and we are always looking for opportunities to expand our businesses. Hopefully, in the near future, we will see some of our strategies coming into action,” Shahril said.

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