Malaysia’s IDR attracts major Middle East, Singapore investors

Singapore investors have been snapping up the properties within the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in the Malaysian state of Johor, according to Malaysian property firm UEM Land.

UEM said Singapore investors have so far accounted for 95% of the industrial properties sold on the 24,000-acre plot of land in Nusajaya. The developer said the majority of industrial property interest has come from small and medium businesses.

Singapore investors also make up for 50% of residential sales there.

UEM Land said it is currently in further discussions with Singapore firms for larger joint projects in the IDR, to keep ahead of competition.

“It’s not just one man’s dream; it’s founded on very strong foundations, one of which is Singapore. How do we complement Singapore? At the end of the day, these two governments need to collaborate. Because if we don’t, India and China will make us irrelevant in the future, so we’ve got to collaborate,” said Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, MD of UEM Land.

The 24,000-acre plot of land, just a 10-minute drive over the Second Link Bridge from Singapore, Is set to accommodate some 500,000 people when completed in 2025, up from the current 75,000 already there.

Since its launch early last year, 128 acres of industrial land has already been sold and UEM is aiming to sell a further 180 acres this year.

The largest investment to date came from Middle Eastern company Limitless, who is in a joint venture with UEM to pump some S$100 million to develop a 111-acre plot of land.

The developer is looking to spread its wings and gain further investment from overseas, but has noted some concerns.

“We notice that the prime concern, especially coming out of Singapore, is safety and security. So we decided that we need to address the concern,” said UEM Land’s MD.

To address the issue of security, UEM will be collaborating with General Electric to create a security masterplan. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Apr 2008

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