By THE EDGE
SINGAPORE: Eastern and Oriental Property Development Bhd (E&O Property), which recently won IR Magazine’s award for best investor relations in the Singapore market by a Malaysian company, is planning to make the island republic its regional sales hub.
In September, E&O Property opened an office and sales gallery in Singapore, investing about RM500,000 in the venture.
E&O Property group executive director Eric Chan said Singapore was one of the company’s largest bases of overseas buyers and investors mainly due to the similarities it shared with Malaysia.
He said Singapore’s strong economy, high per capita income and high levels of liquidity contributed to the viability of investing in Malaysian properties.
With 10% to 15% of its properties taken up by foreigners, half of whom were Singaporeans or Singapore-based investors while other foreign buyers included those from Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, Chan said.
“It is part of our strategic business plan to be a committed regional player. We hope to open up more sales offices throughout Asia-Pacific in the next few years.
“With this Singapore office and sales gallery, we can better reach out to Singaporeans as well as the foreigners based here and in the region,” he told The Edge Financial Daily here recently.
E&O Property would, however, gauge the performance of its Singapore arm before venturing further into the region while continuing to make sales trips to its other markets, he added.
Chan said the company hoped to establish itself as a global niche developer and may explore strategic tie-ups in expanding its presence worldwide such as with Singapore property developer GK Goh Plc.
“It is this network that we hope will enlarge our business opportunities in Singapore as well as in the region,” he added.
E&O Property, which has a 691ha landbank in Malaysia, would also consider developing property across the Causeway if the opportunity arose, Chan said.
He said as the Singapore economy continued to expand, growth in the property market would also be sustainable, largely due to the scarcity of land there.
“We would definitely consider making a foray into property development or perhaps even the hospitality business, like hotel operations,” he said.
With the recent investor relations award under its belt, E&O Property seems to have already garnered acceptance in its new market.
Based on research conducted with over 400 analysts and portfolio managers from around Asia, the award, given at the IR Magazine Southeast Asia Awards recently, was jointly won with Public Bank Bhd.
The only Malaysian property developer to have won the award, E&O Property remained bullish on the property sector back home, expecting the sector’s upward trend to continue into the near term while boosted further by the country’s growth corridor projects, he added.
The company planned to have RM4 billion in gross development value (GDV) of its properties, spread between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, available for sale next year, and would increase the size of its landbank as the opportunity arose, he said.
“Malaysia is back on the radar of foreign investors as property prices in Malaysia are among the lowest internationally and are affordable compared with the region,” he added.