CapitaMalls Malaysia plans to acquire more shopping centres

Newly-listed CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust wants to ride on strong consumer spending in urban centres like the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

It plans to acquire at least one or two more shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur and double its fund size to more than 4 billion ringgit, or nearly US$1.6 billion, in less than five years.

Shopping is one of the favourite past times in the Malaysian capital and CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust, the largest pure play shopping mall REIT in Asia, sees that as an opportunity to expand its portfolio.

It believes there is room to add two more shopping malls in KL and one each in the southern city of Johore Bahru and the central region of Malacca.

It also plans to continue enhancing its existing three Malaysian properties, the Mines and Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur and Gurney Plaza in Penang.

Sharon Lim, CEO, CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust, said: “There are still a lot of things to do. It’s not the end. It is only one or two years of work we have done. It has shown good results. I still have a lot of key space users (and) I have not maximised my floors space usage. We have not configured to the ultimate that we want so these will be rolled out throughout the years.”

CapitaMalls Malaysia plans to add another 60,000 square feet of retail space to the Mines, which was recently given a facelift.

Extensive enhancement work in the past two years saw its net lettable area increased by 12 percent, while monthly rental income has risen about 60 percent.

Among the unique attractions at the Mines shopping mall, shoppers can opt for hop on a cruise and enjoy a meal or even a massage while taking in the spectacular views of the lake.

Shopper traffic is expected to hit one million this month in conjunction with the on-going mega sale festival.

Despite the expected slowdown in the economy in the second half, the retail industry is forecasting 5 to 8 percent growth in sales bolstered by the coming festive season and school holidays.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Aug 2010

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