Felda to sell assets, reduce debts by year-end
Felda chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said the plantation group would first need to improve its cash flow and pare down some of its borrowings. Describing Felda’s cash flow as “almost empty”, he pointed out that restructuring some of its RM8bil borrowings and selling its properties in London, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu would improve its short-term cash flow. Additionally, the weak crude palm oil (CPO) price contributed to the cash-flow issue. Overall, Megat Zaharuddin is targeting to turn around Felda in two years, which he reckoned to be a tough task. For this year, he is targeting to reduce Felda’s borrowings to RM6.5bil from RM8.05bil as at June 30 by selling its properties. He said the assets include hotels, apartments and student hostels, which carry an acquisition cost of about RM2.2bil. (The Star Online)

Gamuda Land to launch 1,530-acre Gamuda Cove in southern Klang Valley
Gamuda Land will be launching its latest township development with a GDV of RM20 billion in two months. Dubbed Gamuda Cove, the 1,530-acre leasehold township is located in southern Klang Valley along the Elite Highway and opposite Cyberjaya. “It will take about 20 years to complete the whole project. We are going to soft launch the masterplan and the first three phases by the end of this month while the official launch will be taking place in two months after the soft launch,” said Gamuda Land project director Aw Sei Cheh. The township will be divided into a few districts comprising landed and non-landed residential areas, a central business district, leisure and entertainment, knowledge and information corridor, wellness oasis, central park and an art, culture and tourism village. The entire project will have more than 23,000 residential units. (The Edge Markets)

Glomac plans RM1bil worth of launches
Glomac Bhd targets to step up the pace of new launches so as to capitalise on the improved consumer sentiment. Its upcoming launches in FY19 totaling RM1 billion will remain in the mid-market and affordable segments, while the landed residential projects in townships such as Saujana Perdana in Sungai Buloh, Selangor and Saujana Jaya in Kulai, Johor continue to sustain steady sales. The group has also secured an international retailer for Glo Damansara Mall, which is expected to increase the mall’s occupancy from 45% to 85%. However, it expects the performance for FY19 to be challenging even with the planned future launches. Glomac Bhd’s net profit dropped 31.6% to RM1.01 million in 1QFY19, mainly due to the completion of certain phases of Saujana KLIA in Sepang, Selangor in the previous financial year and lower construction activities during the quarter. (The Edge Markets)

Australia’s Lendlease secures financing for TRX project
Australian property and infrastructure group, Lendlease, is believed to have secured financing for the development of its 17-acre Lifestyle Quarter in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). Work on the site has picked up considerable pace of late, sources said. Lendlease Asia CEO Tony Lombardo declined to say how much loan financing the Australian group is seeking for its urban regeneration project – its first in Malaysia – but said both local and foreign banks are involved. Lendlease was the first developer to wade into TRX. It is the only company to have signed a joint-venture (JV) agreement with TRX City Sdn Bhd, then known as 1MDB Real Estate. According to Lombardo, theGDV of the Lifestyle Quarter is expected to exceed RM9bil. (The Star Online)

China’s global real estate purchases hit new high
Buyers from mainland China purchased RM9.5 billion worth of residential and commercial properties last year. More than four-fifths of the investment was in the residential sector, according to Juwai.com, China’s leading real estate website. Chinese buyers acquired residential properties worth RM8.3 billion and commercial real estate worth RM1.2 billion. “There is no secret why these buyers like Malaysia. (Among them are) proximity, affordability, quality of life, and a regulatory framework that allows them to contribute to the country and feel comfortable and safe there,” said its CEO Carrie Law. Last year, China became the world’s largest international commercial real estate investor, just as it did in the residential sector in 2015. She said Chinese international property buyers are motivated by a desire to diversify their assets, hedge their risks, fund an overseas lifestyle or education, or seek higher returns. (NST Online)