AP Land to announce overseas project soon

By BUSINESS TIMES

PROPERTY developer Asia-Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land), which has just concluded a major asset rationalisation exercise, is planning to develop a township overseas.

Its joint managing director Low Su-Ming said the company will make an announcement on the proposed project soon. She declined to elaborate.

However, when asked if the new venture was linked to a wholly-owned subsidiary Platinum Landmark (Changshu) Ltd set up last December in China, she said: “Yes, it is related, and China offers great potential.”

Speaking to reporters after AP Land’s annual general meeting in Penang yesterday, Low said with the rationalisation exercise concluded and minimal bank borrowings, the group is poised to take advantage of opportunities in Malaysia and overseas.

On June 15, AP Land completed the sale of its prime assets under City Square Centre to MGP I (Mal) Sdn Bhd, a company which is advised by Macquarie Global Property Advisors, for RM680 million.

The assets are the Empire Tower, Crown Princess Hotel and City Square Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

“The unlocking of capital and cash from the divestment of City Square Centre has enabled the group to pare down substantially its borrowings,” Low said.

“Surplus cash will be re-mobilised into new projects and ventures that will provide higher yields and sustainable growth in the medium to long term to enhance shareholder returns.”

In the immediate term, the company’s joint managing director Low Gee Teong said, the group will continue to focus on existing developments, especially its Bandar Tasik Puteri (BTP) township.

“We are implementing several infrastructure and facility upgrades to further enhance the attraction of BTP as a growing urban catchment area north of the Klang Valley,” he said.

“With the completion of our golf course by September, we are looking to launch 100 golf-view villas later this year,” Gee Teong added.

For 2006, AP Land recorded revenue of RM68.2 million, a 39 per cent decline from RM111.9 million in 2005.

The group remained in the red, with a net loss of RM33.5 million compared to a net loss of RM6.6 million in the previous year.

The group’s net borrowing as at December 31 2006 stood at around RM358 million (before the divestment of City Square Centre), but the firm said this is expected to swing to a positive cash position after the transaction.

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