Its developers plan to make pitch at Cityscape Asia exhibition here
SINGAPOREAN companies have yet to make big property investments in Malaysia's Iskandar region, but the developers in charge of planning the area are hoping that this will change soon.
Malaysian developers UEM Land and Iskandar Investment Berhad are both participating in this year's Cityscape Asia exhibition and conference in Singapore, and are aiming to attract more property investments into Iskandar Malaysia, which is located in southern Malaysia.
UEM Land, the master developer of Nusajaya, a key development project within the Iskandar Malaysia, has seen many buyers from Singapore pick up units in its residential projects in the Iskandar region.
Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, managing director of UEM Land, says that for the company's East Ledang and Horizon Hills projects within Iskandar, foreigners make up 65 per cent and 55 per cent of buyers respectively. And some 90 per cent of all foreign buyers come from Singapore.
The company plans to start selling homes in Puteri Harbour - an upmarket waterfront and marina area within Iskandar - this year, and is hopeful that take-up will be strong.
However, when it comes to Singaporean developers' willingness to invest in Iskandar, the response has not been as keen.
For the land that UEM is in charge of, some RM600 million (S$247 million) of foreign investment has been secured, says Mr Wan Abdullah. However, none of it was from Singaporean companies. Companies from the Middle East have been most keen in investing in Iskandar.
By contrast, interest in Iskandar's Southern Logistics & Industrial Clusters (SiLC) - an advanced technology community - has been stronger. Singapore-based investors make up 40 per cent of investors at SiLC, and include companies such as Jurong Technologies Industrial Corp and Yongnam Holdings.
UEM is now hoping to partner Singaporean developers to build homes and develop retail and hospitality properties within Iskandar.
Iskandar Investment Berhad, which is in charge of other parts of Iskandar, also hopes to attract more investors from Singapore.
'For Singapore investors, we believe that Iskandar Malaysia plays a complementary role,' said Arlida Ariff, chief executive. 'It will enable and provide them with the facilities to build and expand their organisations further.'
The response from Singaporean investors has been favourable, she said, and added that discussions are ongoing.
Iskandar Malaysia has nearly met its overall foreign direct investment target of US$13 billion for the phase ending in 2010. To date, Iskandar Malaysia has altogether drawn more than US$11 billion, or 92 per cent of its targeted investment amount.
Source: Business Times, 21 May 2009