Malaysia-Thailand Joint Mall Project

By DANIEL KHOO | Source: The Star
Property developer I-Bhd and Thai mall specialist CPN Global Company Ltd have entered into a joint venture to build a 1.5 million sq ft mall in I-Bhd’s flagship development i-City with a gross development value of RM580mil.

I-Bhd would have a 40% stake via i-City Properties Sdn Bhd (ICP) in the joint venture while CPN would have the remainder stake via two locally incorporated companies CPN Real Estate Sdn Bhd and CPN Malls Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Construction for the mall will begin next year and is targeted for completion by the end of 2016.

“We are honoured to spur the economy with this agreement, more so given that this is the first fruits of foreign direct investments for the country after the May 5 general election,” founder and executive chairman of I-Bhd Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said at the signing ceremony to mark the joint venture yesterday.

“At the end of the day, we envisage our shopping mall being a regional shopping paradise that is capable of boosting both the economic development of Shah Alam and Selangor as a whole,” Lim added.

CPN Real Estate, CPN Malls Malaysia and ICP would also enter into a shareholders agreement for the purpose of acquiring a part of the land in i-City to develop the mall.

The mall would be developed on a freehold plot of land measuring 11.12 acres with gross floor area of about 1.5 million sq ft and net leasable areas of 1 million sq ft.

The development marks CPN’s first foray into Malaysia.

“This important decision marks CPN’s first strategic move in Asean and our confidence in the Malaysian economy,” said CPN president and chief executive officer Kobchai Chirathivat.

CPN, according to a press statement, is the largest specialist developer and manager of large-format and integrated shopping centres established in June 1980 and listed since March 1, 1995 on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

“We believe ICP’s expertise in construction management as well as local market understanding and strong government relations will greately contribute to the successs of this project. In the same way, CPN will contribute our expertise in retail property development to make this project a great success,” Chirathivat said.

The joint venture would be led by CPN while I-Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew said the company’s focus would be on developing the rest of i-City.

“We pass it to the experts as we want to focus on developing the rest of i-City. They will take the lead in design, building and managing the mall,” Eu said.

Meanwhile, I-Bhd posted a huge increase of RM4.92mil in net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 compared to RM819,000 a year ago on revenue which rose by 213.82% to RM27.14mil. It said in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia that the earnings were mainly due to profit recognition from ongoing projects of the property development division and the introduction of more theme park games under the leisure division.