Property industry likely to consolidate via M&As, says IOI

By BUSINESS TIMES

IOI says there will be a major shift to commercial development and more retirement and nursing homes and performing arts theatres will come on stream.

PETALING JAYA: IOI Group’s chief says the property development landscape in Malaysia will undergo massive changes and there is a high possibility of the industry consolidating through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

IOI Group executive director Datuk Lee Yeow Chor says there will be a major shift to commercial development and more retirement and nursing homes, private community centres, and performing arts theatres will come on stream.

“Property development will become more and more a property redevelopment business with a lot of old buildings being replaced with new towers. There will be a lot more old buildings undergoing refurbishment.

“We have seen army camps being converted to housing projects and schools turning to malls like The Pavilion,” he said yesterday at the 15th National Housing and Property Summit 2012.

Lee said the embassies and high commissions in Kuala Lumpur are also expected to be demolished to make way for new developments, creating more vibrancy in the market place.

One such case is the British High Commission, which will be demolished to make room for a new urban development.

“Overseas, we have seen the Wharf around River Thames in London being converted into an integrated development. Now there is the SP Setia-Sime Darby consortium planning to redevelop the Battersea Power Station in London.

“IOI is also converting an army camp in Singapore into an integrated development known as the South Beach Centre. I believe this will be the way forward for developers worldwide,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, on the consolidation of the property sector here, Lee expects some developers to fade away and be replaced with smaller players who will have big ideas through M&A.

The M&A trend started in 2009 with the merger of Pelangi Sdn Bhd, Petaling Garden Sdn Bhd and Island & Peninsular Sdn Bhd to create I&P Group.

In 2010, UEM Land Bhd acquired Sunrise Bhd, creating the biggest property group in Malaysia with a market capitalisation of over RM9 billion.

– Malaysia Property News

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