• 14 Jul 2016 1:41 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    The Tourism Research Australia (TRA) Tourism Forecast 2016 shows Australia is in the box seat to take advantage of growth in emerging economies including China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

    “These figures show China is a deep well of opportunity for Australia’s tourism industry, with its rising middle class generating continuing demand for the foreseeable future,” said Peter Shelley, managing director, Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

    “China is growing at such a rate that it is now due to become our largest market by volume two years earlier than expected, on top of the double digit expenditure growth we already see.

    “The rapidly growing Chinese middle class sees travel as an essential part of life and this is reflected in strong growth in aviation capacity as demand grows and Australia becomes more accessible to new areas of China.”

    As a member of the Tourism Forecasting Reference Panel that provides feedback to TRA on its tourism forecasts, Shelley said the top growth markets, led by China, were all new and emerging markets within the Asian region including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

    “Australia really is ideally placed to make the most of a rising middle class in Asia, but we are also likely to be spurred along by lower oil prices, increases in airline seat capacity as well as the lower Australian dollar, all of which presents a more compelling offering for intending travellers including our traditional long-haul markets.

    “This report gives both the industry, and government a clear indication of the potential success of Australia’s export tourism industry and where we must focus our efforts to maximise economic opportunity.

    “While an improved economic outlook in the US and UK  has seen a strong increase in visitation from these markets in the past year, we are likely to see a negative impact on the UK market as a result of uncertainty brought about by the Brexit result.

    “With international arrivals expected to increase by an additional 5.2 million by 2025 our industry is fast becoming one of Australia’s strongest exports.”


  • 12 Jul 2016 2:24 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    One of Malaysia’s largest air pollution control engineering company, DAV Engineering, has just launched their business in Australia. As the name suggests, it features a fervent focus on engineering fields that are Dust control equipment, Air blowers, and Vacuum conveying process equipment.

    Known for their quality engineering equipment maker in Malaysia, DAV Engineering has recently opened their doors to the Australian market. The company prides itself in its process engineering know how and capability to deliver, as well as their more than a decade of experience in this field.

    “Technical know-how and extensive engineering experience in the field of mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics make them a very reliable partner. It keeps them competitive in the new Australian market,” a client testimonial on the company says.

    In addition, they make product steel fabrication in house, making quality control more tenable and price more competitive.

    Past clients include big names in Malaysia and regional countries in fields ranging from mining, power plants to chemical industries.

    Their operation team are comprises technically competent and skilled workers. They continue to develop a company culture of excellence with the goal of making themselves a very reliable partner in the industry.

    DAV Engineering products are manufactured and designed in Malaysia. The products are classified in four general categories: (a) dust collector, (b) blower fan, (c) bulk material conveyor, and (d) equipment accessories.

    Large scale dust collectors are constructed using panels formed body, making export logistic practical and competitive.

    Industrial centrifugal blower fans are made to good quality and tested to performance.

    The company designs and builds pneumatic conveyors system. And other bulk material handling process equipment such as slide gate valve, air damper, diverter valve, rotary valve, counter weight damper, and filter cages.


  • 11 Jul 2016 9:00 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    AUSTRALIAN logistics-information technology specialist Containerchain is one of five businesses penalised by the Malaysian competition regulator for price-cartel activities.

    The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) has hit Containerchain and four container parks with a combined penalty totalling more than AU$200,000 for activities dating back to 2012-13.

    But Containerchain chief executive Luke Duffy says any impact will be limited and the business has learnt from the experience and is continuing to trade effectively in Malaysia and elsewhere.

    According to a statement released by the MyCC, infringements in relation to the Competition Act 2010 had been found against an information technology service provider to the shipping and logistics industry in the Penang area, namely Containerchain.

    Containerchain, together with four container depot operators, Ayza Industries/ Ayza Logistics, ICS Depot Services, E.A.E. Depot & Freight Forwarding and Prompt Dynamics were found to have engaged in price-cartel activities.

    The Competition regulator ruled Containerchain and the container depot operators infringed local law by entering into vertical agreements by way of practices which resulted in the container depot operators increasing depot gate charges imposed on their customers from Five Ringgit ($1.65) to 25Ringgit ($8.25) and the container depot operators fixing a rebate of RM5 to hauliers regarding depot gate charges.

    The MyCC also ruled the container depot operators infringed the Act by entering into a horizontal agreement to fix the RM25 depot gate charges together with the RM5 rebate, deemed to have the object of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the empty container storage, maintenance and handling services market within a five to 15km radius of Penang Port.

    The Commission imposed a total financial penalty of RM 645,774.00 ($213,194) on the five businesses and an additional penalty of RM7000 ($2311) for each day should they fail to comply with remedial actions.

    The remedial actions are:

    • The container depot operators stop implementing the agreed rate for the depot gate charges and rebate which arose from their anti-competitive conduct;
    • That clause 7 of the carrier access arrangement that stipulated the depot gate charge and the rebate or any similar clauses be removed as this clause is anti-competitive;
    • The carrier access arrangement published on the Containerchain system shall contain no clause which may allow the sharing of confidential information relating to any container depot operator who has subscribed to the Containerchain system;
    • Containerchain is to provide an undertaking to reconfigure the Containerchain system in order to ensure that it is not being used for any anti-competitive conduct;
    • All future prices and other trading conditions to be determined independently by all container depot operators who have subscribed to the Containerchain system.

    According to the Commission, the decision was made after the submission of the written and oral representations.

    Containerchain chief executive Luke Duffy told Lloyd’s List Australia “the fine has been paid and the corrective actions completed to the satisfaction of the MyCC”.

    Mr Duffy said receiving a final decision from the Commission was pleasing and there would be no appeal.

    “Containerchain has been co-operating and working with the MyCC for several years, and now looks forward to renewing its commitment to the container logistics market in Malaysia,” he said, maintaining there would be no long term impact on the viability of the business.

    “Containerchain is, and will continue to be, a viable and successful business both in Malaysia and overall.”

    The business presently operates in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

    “The MyCC decision does not stop Containerchain from operating in Malaysia. Containerchain already operates in Penang, and intends to offer its solutions to industry players in both Port Kelang and Johor Bahru (opposite Singapore) in future.”

     Mr Duffy conceded things could have been done differently.

    “In hindsight, there is no question that we would do things differently in Malaysia, and that this situation could have been avoided,” he explained.

    “With only small adjustments to our initial engagement strategy, we could have avoided being in breach of Malaysian competition law. We have certainly looked very closely at what we can do in future to avoid a similar situation occurring.”

    He noted some lessons from the experience.

    “The lesson we have learned from this is that we need to ensure that we completely understand local competition law before we begin to engage with industry players in a new market,” he said.

    “We cannot, and in future will not, assume that competition law in a new market is the same as competition law in the markets in which we already operate.”

    He denied any impact upon Australian operations.

    “This decision relates to a particular set of circumstances that occurred in 2012/13 in Malaysia.

    “It has no implications outside Malaysia, and no effect at all on anything that Containerchain is doing in Australia.”


  • 10 Jul 2016 8:52 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    It is no secret that property hunters have had their love affair with Melbourne – a bustling economy, good geography and a steady increase in property prices all but tick the top three boxes of the city’s investment appeal.

    Property investors – especially Malaysians – are no strangers to taking the risk when they see a good opportunity.

    One driver for Malaysians to buy property in Melbourne had been the general slowing down in the Malaysian property market, which led to many firms looking to add Melbourne to their property development portfolios.

    The increasing number of Malaysians showing interest spells good news for the Australian city’s sagging real estate sector that is still trying to recoup from the global slowdown. Melbourne is one of Australia’s most dynamic cities and is experiencing the largest population growth among the country’s capital cities, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an arm of the Australian government.

    “For each of the past 12 years, it has experienced the largest population increase of all Australian capital cities,” it said on its website.

    “Although the broader metropolitan area has been growing steadily for some time, the most noticeable recent population growth has been in the central business district and the inner-city areas adjoining the CBD.”

    Melbourne has proved to have a resilient economy and an enviable lifestyle, and this is helped by a competitive and successful business environment, its thriving arts and cultural scene, burgeoning diverse ethnic communities, exceptional food and wine scene, world-class education, exciting sports and entertainment as well as reliable infrastructure.

    World’s most livable city

    The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 Global Liveability Index, which assesses living conditions in 140 cities globally, has awarded Melbourne the top city for the fifth year running.

    Melbourne has consistently ranked as one of the world’s three most liveable cities since the index began in 2006, according to Invest Melbourne.

    “In 2015, Melbourne was once again ranked the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index – an accolade we’ve received five years running. This world recognised index rates 140 global cities across a range of liveability factors.

    “While this is our fifth consecutive year at the top of the table, we’re proud to have consistently ranked as one of the world’s top three most liveable cities since the index began in 2006,” its government said on its website.

    “Contributing to our ongoing top ranking is Melbourne’s consistent performance across five broad categories.

    “In 2015 we achieved perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure while we outranked Sydney in the areas of stability, and culture & environment.”

    Perhaps one of the key attractions of Melbourne is its selection of the best schools and universities in the world. Over half of all Victorians aged 15-64 hold some form of post-secondary qualification, while over one quarter have a university degree.

    “With 10 world-class universities, Melbourne has the highest ranked university in Australia and the third highest in Asia Pacific. In addition there are over 2,500 schools in Victoria of which over 1,300 are in Melbourne.”


    Deterring foreign property buyers?

    With so much attraction to bring interest and focus on the capital of Victoria, it makes sense that industry observers anticipate a rise in residential property demand.

    However, a recent move by the Australian government shows signs of dissuading foreign buyers from whipping up properties in Sydney and Melbourne.

    New South Wales with its capital city, Sydney proposed a stamp duty surcharge of four per cent and a 0.75 per cent land tax in its June 21’s Budget following the move by Victorian and Queensland.

    Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said she was confident the extra cost would not deter foreign buyers.

    “It’s been proven successful in Victoria, we also know that Queensland is moving in this direction and we also know that most foreign investors are likely to absorb this cost and proceed with their transaction anyway,” she said.

    “We do not feel that this will in any way compromise the property market at all.”

    Meanwhile, the Victorian government led by its capital city Melbourne announced in its 2016-2017 Budget to impose additional stamp duty for foreign buyers — ranging between three to seven per cent — effectively from July 1, 2016 and triple its land tax surcharge for absentee landholders from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent from 2017.

    Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB Research) opined that the recent cooling measures could curb speculation by foreign property buyers.

    “These cooling measures mentioned above should lead to moderation in demand for investment property with a consolidation of prices in Melbourne and Sydney. We expect buyers’ sentiment to be dampened in the short term,” it said in a June 17 research note.

    “Under our universal of stock coverage, a few listed developers have exposure to the Australian market.

    “SP Setia Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd and Matrix Concepts Holdings BHd have presence with majority projects concentrated in Melbourne which are subject to the stamp duty and land tax surcharge.

    “In term of percentage of remaining total gross development value, the exposure in Australia is relative small, with SPSetia at 2.9 per cent, Matrix at 1.4 per cent and UEM Sunrise at one per cent.

    “For new projects in pipeline, UEMSunrise is targeting to launch St Kilda by end of the year with GDV of RM750 million– circa 38 per cent of FY16’s total GDV launches).

    “As such, any slowdown in Australia’s property market is expected to impact UEMSunrise on its new sales.”


    Financing foes

    Many Malaysian firms have been actively involved in property construction, recent buying trends indicate that a lot more people who are currently in Malaysia might be interested in buying property in Australia.

    Many banks in Australia, as a result, have expanded their overseas mortgage loan facilities.

    However, in addition to the stamp duty surcharges and land tax surcharge, tightening measures are also being introduced to the banking system.

    “Local press reported that Westpac, one of the big four banks in Australia has announced stopped lending money to foreign property investors and tightening the rules for Australian citizens whose main source of income is derived from oversea after similar move announced by Commonwealth Bank,” HLIB Research added.

    “In term of geographical profile of buyers, foreign buyers (non-Australians) accounted for a large percentage, ranging from 54 per cent to 86 per cent.

    “The Chinese and Malaysian are the majority of the foreign buyers.

    “We understand that majority of Malaysian buyers secure financing from local banks. That said, we would expect tightening of lending rules on foreigners to dampen sales growth.”

    Despite all these negative bias given prolonged weakening of domestic consumer sentiment, Malaysian firms are steadfast in undertaking their projects in Melbourne. BizHive Weekly looks at the projects in detail:


    SP Setia well rooted in Melbourne’s market

    SP Setia Bhd (SP Setia) has its roots deep in Melbourne, with the group launching its third property in in the city soon.

    The group’s maiden property project in Melbourne, Fulton Lane, was completed ahead of schedule and the second project, Parque, which was fully sold and making significant construction progress further underscores the Group’s conviction to be on the lookout for strategic acquisition in Australia.

    “In November 2015, we successfully acquired a parcel of land in Carnegie, a suburb located 11km away from Melbourne’s central business district. The parcel of land in Carnegie is targeted to be launched in FY2016,” said Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, SP Setia non-independent non-executive chairman in its Annual Report 2015.

    “Delivering on promises was the main drive for the group in the year under review. Key phases and projects that were completed and delivered include the Fulton Lane in Melbourne,” he said, adding that the project was handed over two months ahead of schedule.

    “While the current economic environment is challenging, it also offers opportunities to the group to possibly acquire strategic landbanks at reasonable prices. As of December 31, 2015, the group has 3,907 acres of landbank with an estimated RM70.6 billion GDV.

    “We are on an active look-out to grow our landbanks both locally and abroad and to this end, we have acquired a third piece of land in Melbourne, Australia. This A$6.7 million site with an estimated GDV of A$34 million will fit nicely with our quick turnaround strategy as it came with planning permission to develop apartments.”

    Australia remains a crucial part of its growth strategy, SP Setia officials said, and that it, as a developer, is becoming increasingly familiar with the Melbourne market.

    Named Maison Carnegie, SP Setia’s third residential project will have a gross development value (GDV) of A$32 million and would be completed towards the end of 2017.

    It is being introduced to the market just six months after the developer acquired the land there for A$6.68 million.

    Carnegie is an established residential location in south-east Melbourne, located 12km from the city’s central business district (CBD).

    Fulton Lane is SP Setia’s first Australian venture – a high quality, high density apartment building that is supported by a genuine shopping and dining experience right in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district.

    Meanwhile, Parque Melbourne sets the benchmark for luxury residential living. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, the landmark building will feature a collection of majestic Melbourne residences above a picturesque and a residents only park spanning 9,000 square metres.

    Looking forward, SP Setia has bought a 1.02-acre site in Melbourne – the largest east-end Central Business District (CBD) development site in the city to be sold in over a decade – where it will undertake a mixed development project with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of A$640 million (RM1.91 billion).

    The property developer told Bursa Malaysia in an April 30 statement that it had secured its fifth site in Australia, 308 Exhibition Street, in “a highly competitive International Expression of Interest bidding exercise” from Australian telecommunications company Telstra Corp Ltd.

    Its Australian property development arm Setia (Melbourne) Development Co Pty Ltd has inked a conditional agreement to acquire the freehold land opposite the Carlton Gardens for A$101 million (RM300.96 million).

    Once transformed by the company, SP Setia president and chief executive officer Datuk Khor Chap Jen said that the site would be the epicentre of Melbourne CBD’s cultural, commercial, education and city garden hubs.

    “This development will boast a combination of multi-level retail, prime A-grade office space and luxurious apartment towers and will set a new precedent for premiere developments across Melbourne and revolutionise its urban landscapes,” he said in a statement.

    SP Setia proposed to redevelop the land into two residential towers comprising up to 800 residential units with a retail podium space. The development is slated to be launched in the second half of next year. As of December 31, 2015, the SP Setia group has 27 ongoing projects, with an effective stake of 3,907 acres in undeveloped land bank remaining and RM70.6 billion in gross development value.


    UEM Sunrise shines with three projects

    UEM Sunrise Bhd (UEM Sunrise) is another Malaysian corp making a name for itself in Melbourne, having had success with three residential projects, two of which made up the firm’s top sales for its financial year 2015.

    UEM Sunrise’s unit UEMS LaTrobe in December last year signed the agreement to dispose of the serviced apartments component of the La Trobe Street mixed-use development, Aurora Melbourne Central.

    “Aurora Melbourne Central mixed-use development is UEM Sunrise’s maiden project in Australia with a gross development value (GDV) of A$770 million.

    “The construction of the project has commenced, with the official ground-breaking ceremony held on September 21, 2015. Completion of Aurora Melbourne Central is scheduled for 2019,” it said.

    As the tallest building in Melbourne’s CBD, with an enviable location and unrivalled connectivity to transport networks, the 92-storey development comprises more than 120,000 square metres of built-up area and includes 941 residential apartments, signature retail spaces, strata offices as well as the 252-room serviced apartments.

    Aurora Melbourne Central is located in the heart of Melbourne, which is a major corporate centre while also renowned for its extensive annual calendar of festivals, exhibitions and major sporting events.

    Analysts across the board lauded the sale. MIDF Amanah Investment Bank was positive on the news as UEM Sunrise will be able to focus its resources on marketing and selling its other Melbourne projects.

    “Note that managing serviced apartments is not the core business of UEM Sunrise,” it said in a note after the sale.

    Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB Research) said with the enbloc sale, UEM Sunrise was then on track to meet its sales target for FY15.

    In fact, following the group’s financial year 2015 results, it is observed that top three sales contributors were Aurora Melbourne Central at RM721 million, Conservatory at RM622 million and its other project in Mount Kiara, Malaysia called Residensi Sefina.

    “We are very pleased with our projects in Melbourne, which have been attracting much positive interest not only from the local Melbourne market but also globally including from Malaysia and other international buyers,” the group rounded up in its Annual Report 2015.

    “Although the property market continues to be vibrant in Melbourne, we are conscious of the need to offer top quality products that not only appeal to the customers’ sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities, their current lifestyle as well as discerning amenity needs, but also to satisfy niche demands.”

    For example, Aurora Melbourne Central enjoys a superb location in the heart of the CBD and is the only residential development with direct underground connection to the rail network, the Melbourne Central Station as well as the CBD’s largest continuous retail precinct of over two million square feet.

    “Its groundbreaking ceremony on October 21, 2015 was a momentous occasion for the Company, marking the commencement of construction for our first project in Australia,” it added.

    “Conservatory, also located within the Melbourne CBD, has breathtaking views of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens. This development offers a unique proposition where city vibrancy meets garden tranquillity offering the best of both worlds.


    “Having enjoyed a very encouraging response for our first two developments, in July 2015, we went on to acquire a 21-storey tower on a 0.387-acre corner site on St Kilda Road, Melbourne’s most prominent boulevard that leads into the CBD.

    The tower offers panoramic views of the city, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, Albert Park and Port Phillip Bay and, being slightly less centrally located than the earlier two projects, will cater to a different target market.

    “We are in the midst of planning the development of this site into an ultra-luxurious residential development. With this development, we have a firm pipeline of projects in Melbourne.

    “On December 3, 2015, we entered into a Contract of Sale with Ascendas Hospitality Trust for the disposal of the 252-unit serviced apartment at Aurora Melbourne Central together with 10 car park lots and part of the ground floor retail space. Ascendas Hospitality Trust is to manage the development of this component into a four or five-star hotel.

    “Our expansion overseas supports an overriding strategy to expand our portfolio geographically. Geographical diversification has the advantage of reducing single market risks, as demand for property in different countries do not necessarily grow and ebb in sync.”

    For the year ahead, UEM Sunrise will be rolling out RM1.2 billion of projects against RM2.6 billion in FY15. This marked difference comes as the property developer will put more focus on the affordable segments in Malaysia.


    Maiden venture by Matrix Concepts

    Property developer Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd (MCHB) has made its maiden venture abroad with the recent launch of the M Carnegie boutique low-rise apartments in Melbourne.

    The project consists of 52 apartments which will be built on 1,865 square metres in the suburb of Carnegie – located some 15km from the Melbourne central business district.

    Managing director Datuk Lee Tian Hock said the entire project will have a gross development value of RM100 million. The apartments come in various sizes ranging from 52.9 square metres to 173.6 square metres.

    “Although we are confident that the units would be sold out, we decided to start our first foreign project on a small scale to mitigate any potential risk.

    “We are already being offered properties in Melbourne and I can confidently say that the M Carnegie will not be our first and last project in Melbourne which has been ranked as the world’s most livable city,” he said to reporters in his office recently.

    M.Carnegie is also strategically located with Australia’s largest shopping complex Chadstone Shopping Centre, the Monash University Caulfield as well as other facilities such as train and tram stations, supermarkets and schools all located within a short distance.

    Work on the project would begin in September and scheduled for completion in November next year.

    Researchers with BIMB Investment Management Bhd in a May 23 report pegged the group with a buy call following the group’s inaugural Australia project.

    “This will be the group’s maiden overseas project. The address is a prime location within the Melbourne Central Business District surrounded by excellent public amenities.

    “The project comprise of 52-units of low rise apartments with an estimated GDV of A$32 million,” it calculated.

    “The land cost to GDV is circa 20 per cent or A$6 million which is within the market value of such prime location. The group is targeting sales preview by end-May 2016.”

    Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB Research) also concurred with this view, adding its belief that this project will be well taken up given its location near Melbourne’s central business district.

    In other related news, Matrix Concepts’ wholly-owned subsidiary Matrix Concepts (Australia) Pty Ltd (MCAPL) has entered into separate sale and purchase agreements to sell properties in Australia to MCHB directors for A$2.11 million (RM6.39 million).

    Datuk Mohamad Haslah Mohamad Amin is buying a unit of two-bedroom apartment for A$755,000 and Datuk Lee Tian Hock is acquiring two units of two-bedroom apartments for A$1.36 million, both in Carnegie, Melbourne.

    The transactions are expected to be completed within 24 months from the date of the agreements of June 17.


    Salcon: Fresh off the boat

    Salcon Bhd (Salcon) is the latest Malaysian properteer to join the foray in Melbourne, announcing on June 27 that Salcon Development Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Salcon has incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary in Victoria, Australia known as Salcon Development (Australia) Pty Ltd.

    The initial issued and paid-up share capital of SDAPL is A$100 comprising 100 ordinary shares of A$1 each.

    The intended principal activity of SDAPL is property development.

    On Jun 30, Salcon announced that it has interests to acquire the 2,125 sq m land parcel, buying 16-22 Claremont Street from the private K&E Rogers Pty Ltd for A$37.88 million in a deal struck in early June.

    Given the general slowing down in the Malaysian property market, the group seeks to diversify its property development portfolio overseas.

    “This acquisition will allow the group the opportunity to ­establish a presence in the Australian property market, where demand for Australian properties has remained strong in key cities such as Melbourne, in ­particular in the inner-city areas,” Salcon said.

    The purchase consideration for the property was arrived at following an international expression of interest bidding exercise conducted by Colliers International and CBRE on behalf of the vendor and on a willing-buyer and willing-seller basis after taking into consideration of the market value of properties in the surrounding area and the development potential of the property.

    The South Yarra suburb of Melbourne is situated approximately 4km south-east of the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD).

    The property is strategically positioned in South Yarra, adjacent to the Chapel Street and Toorak Road shopping strips, as well as many of their associated amenities within a 1km/15 minute walking radius.

    The site is well serviced by public transport connections including the South Yarra Train Station in addition to trams along Chapel Street and Toorak Road. The site has easy vehicular access to and from the Punt Road/Hoddle Street Axis and the Monash Freeway.

    The group is proposing to develop the property into a residential development comprising of 336 residential units with a retail podium space. The gross development value is estimated to be A$230 million.


  • 04 Jul 2016 12:01 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    Asian property developer Salcon has swooped on ragtrader Roger David's former headquarters in Melbourne in response to a slowing property market in Malaysia.

    Salcon Development paid $37.88 million for the site in Claremont street, South Yarra, which has been earmarked for development.

    The group said in a statement to the Malaysian exchange that it was targeting Australia because of the "general slowing down in the Malaysian property market".

    "This acquisition will allow the group the opportunity to establish a presence in the Australian property market, where the demand for Australian properties has remained strong in key cities such as Melbourne, in particular in the inner-city areas," it said.

    The two-storey Roger David office is in the centre of a development storm that has transformed a former industrial precinct into a thriving high-rise residential hub.

    Salcon Development is an offshoot of the Salcon water management conglomerate which has interests in palm oil, plantations and engineering and a market capitalisation of around $227 million on the Malaysian stock exchange.

    The firm is a relative newcomer to property development in Malaysia and Australia having started its first real estate venture just three years ago in the fast-growing town of Selangor, about 10 kilometres outside Kuala Lumpur.

    Claremont Street will be its first foray into Australia.

    The Roger David family built the prominent retail chain around menswear stores that have been run from the South Yarra office since 1980.

    Last year, the firm won approval to replace the office with a 31-level, 399 unit apartment building which will tower over Melbourne High School nearby.

    The property was sold by CBRE and Colliers International.

    CBRE's Mark Wizel said despite the Victorian government and major banks giving developers plenty of reasons to be cautious, Salcon had determined underlying conditions were strong.

    The group would probably build fewer, but large, apartments aiming the project at a higher-end market, he said.

    Australia's eastern coast capitals, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, will see an extra 44,784 apartments built this calendar year, up almost a quarter on last year's 36,486.

    The flood of apartment construction recently prompted Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens to predict that the wave of settlements about to occur this year will push unit prices lower.


  • 30 Jun 2016 1:32 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    International budget hotel operator Tune Hotels has purchased a site from AMP in Melbourne for a reported $18.5 million.

    Tune bought the 540 Flinders Street property which has dual frontage on Flinders Street and Flinders Lane. A low-rise office building is currently on the 1742 sq m site which is leased through until August this year.

    The site has potential for mixed-use development and is located in a major height precinct.

    Tune Hotels was co-founded by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes who is also the co-founder and group CEO of prolific low cost airline AirAsia.

    The hotel group developed and opened its first Australian hotel in Swanston Street Carlton in 2013. Tune sold that property earlier this year for $52 million returning a nice profit. Tune Hotel Melbourne has since been rebranded under Accor Australia’s ibis banner.

    Tune Hotels CEO Mark Lankester said at the time that the hotel group was not leaving Australia but was actively pursuing other opportunities here. The group operates in 24 locations across Malaysia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, India and Kenya.

    It provides central and convenient locations with a limited service offering based on a ‘pay-as-you-use’ system designed to remove high operating costs of little used facilities in traditional hotel properties.

    CBRE Melbourne transacted the deal on behalf of AMP.

    Source: The Urban Developer

  • 28 Jun 2016 2:16 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines frequent flyer programme, Enrich, is offering members double the miles for their travel to Australia.

    In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said the offer period ends on July 7 and members can start travelling from July 1-Sept 30.

    Malaysia Airlines' Head of Enrich & Loyalty Khairul Nisa Ismail said members can also fly direct to their destinations without the worry of long layovers.

    "They can take this opportunity to experience our new lie-flat A330 Business Class seat to Sydney, designed for work, play and sleep.

    "For a truly rewarding experience, members can also earn double miles when they book on Agoda Pointsmax during this period," Khairul Nisa said.

    Tourism Australia's Regional General Manager, South/Southeast Asia & The Gulf, Michael Newcombe said:"We hope Enrich members will take this opportunity to visit Australia during the winter season and enjoy a variety of seasonal experiences."

    Enrich encouraged non-Enrich members to sign up for free and enjoy the loyalty programme

    Source: Bernama

  • 21 Jun 2016 3:51 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    Kota Kinabalu: NDL Realty is Melbourne Australia's, first real estate agency specialising in serving the needs of foreign investors, which was why the renowned company made its presence known in Kota Kinabalu last weekend marketing Melbourne's Volaire Apartments.

    "We have a robust platform which caters and meets all the guidelines a foreign investor seeks in a Property Manager," said Director Dih Luh Ng, who is the Officer in Effective Control of NDL Realty based at 353 Docklands Drive, Docklands, Melbourne VIC, 3008 Australia.

    "Our passionate and dedicated team understands that as a foreign investor, it may sometimes be challenging to own an investment property outside your own home country. We therefore work with you to offer a personal approach and a tailored service guaranteeing you that your property is in the best hands so you will never have to worry about it.

    "To ensure your confidence in our services, NDL Realty has adopted and rigidly follows a recognised Best Practice system of property management. We have developed a robust platform which caters and meets all the guidelines a foreign investor seeks in a property manager.

    "We pride ourselves in the 100 per cent principal and director involvement in your investment property.

    This allows you to experience the highest level of service as well as professional integrity at all times.

    We believe exceptional property management equals confidence for property investors."

    As Melbourne's fastest growing independent boutique real estate agency, servicing throughout all suburbs of Melbourne, NDL Realty understands that any property is an important asset to owners.

    "Hence, being an innovative independent agency that pride itself in tailored exceptional service, personal and caring property management service as well as transparent approach, NDL Realty brings a differential experience to their clients offering an impeccable service while guaranteeing a truly unique and simple property investment experience.

    The focus is to build long term relationship and provide clients with a peace of mind in their property investment journey.

    "We understand that each client has special needs and deserves personal attention in an ever-changing, complex real estate market. As such, we have developed a robust platform which caters and meets all the guidelines a foreign investor seeks in an agency. We offer a personal approach and tailored service guaranteeing service excellence is constantly achieved to ensure a hassle-free experience."

    "Our mission is to go above and beyond the industry norm to provide you with value-laden service.

    We provide our clients with the attention and detail that franchise agencies or larger networks simply cannot offer.

    "We pride ourselves on our service dedication and continuously offering the best service to all our clients.

    With this, we are able to strongly build our reputation and business on referrals.

    "As a multi-lingual team, our extensive experience in the field has afforded us skills set to building long term trust and relationship with all our clients. So, whether you are in need of a partner to manage your asset or a great place to live, we invite you to learn more about the high-quality, personalised service NDL Realty has to offer.

    "We believe in building long term trust with all our clients. NDL Realty specialises in residential leasing and property management, commercial leasing and property management, specific off-the-plan sales, conducting pre-settlement inspections. We have a robust platform which caters and meets all the guidelines a foreign investor seeks in a Property Manager," Dih Luh Ng said.

    NDL Realty takes pride in giving foreign investors transparent and very affordable fees.


  • 20 Jun 2016 9:15 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    Developer plans to build mixed development project with RM1.9bil GDV

    KUALA LUMPUR: SP Setia Bhd has bought a 1.02-acre site in Melbourne – the largest east-end Central Business District (CBD) development site in the city to be sold in over a decade – where it will undertake a mixed development project with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of A$640mil (RM1.91bil).

    The property developer told Bursa Malaysia that it had secured its fifth site in Australia, 308 Exhibition Street, in “a highly competitive International Expression of Interest bidding exercise” from Australian telecommunications company Telstra Corp Ltd.

    Its Australian property development arm Setia (Melbourne) Development Co Pty Ltd has inked a conditional agreement to acquire the freehold land opposite the Carlton Gardens for A$101mil (RM300.96mil).

    SP Setia president and chief executive officer Datuk Khor Chap Jen said that once transformed by the company, the site would be the epicentre of Melbourne CBD’s cultural, commercial, education and city garden hubs.

    “This development will boast a combination of multi-level retail, prime A-grade office space and luxurious apartment towers and will set a new precedent for premiere developments across Melbourne and revolutionise its urban landscapes,” he said in a statement.

    SP Setia proposed to redevelop the land into two residential towers comprising up to 800 residential units with a retail podium space.

    The development is slated to be launched in the second half of next year.

    As of Dec 31, 2015, the SP Setia group has 27 ongoing projects, with an effective stake of 3,907 acres in undeveloped land bank remaining and RM70.6bil in GDV.

    Setia Melbourne has undertaken two successful condominium projects in Melbourne (Parque and Fulton Lane).

    It is currently undertaking planning for another two niche development projects in Prahran and Carnagie, both of which are also located in Melbourne.


  • 15 Jun 2016 10:15 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    SUBANG JAYA: Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd expects LTE subscription in Malaysia to increase from the current 21 per cent to 61 per cent by 2021. This, according to Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka's president Todd Ashton, is in line with the group's findings in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. "LTE subscription will continue to grow in the Southeast Asia (SEA) and Oceania region and is expected to reach 100 million LTE subscriptions in this year alone," he told reporters at a media briefing held today. "Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand are among the countries in the region that are rolling out LTE and continuing to improve coverage. In fact, Malaysia is expected to hit 61 per cent LTE subscription by 2021, from the current 21 per cent." Ashton noted as well that by 2019; LTE will be the dominant mobile access technology in Malaysia as well as globally. The report also expects Malaysia to double its smartphone subscription penetration rate from 25 million currently to more than 40 million by 2021. There are currently five billion unique mobile subscribers globally.

    Source: News Straits Times Online

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