TILB focuses on mainland Penang projects

January 19th, 2011 Leave a comment

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-listed Tambun Indah Land Bhd (TILB) expects to complete the first of its seven ongoing property projects on mainland Penang in the first quarter of this year.

The company will complete the second phase of its RM79mil Juru Heights bungalow project by March, according to managing director Teh Kiak Seng.

“We have seven projects ongoing this year with a GDV (gross development value) of RM530mil. They include medium-cost apartments and mid-range housing developments,” he said after the listing ceremony of TILB on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Going forward, Teh said TILB would continue to develop projects on mainland Penang (as opposed to the island) as properties there were more affordable.

“We are getting more purchasers coming to the mainland because they can’t afford prices on the island,” he said, adding that it would be more viable for TILB to tap the mainland property market.

“The Penang state population is about 1.6 million. The island has 700,000 people. There are more people staying on the mainland and it is also attracting a lot of FDI (foreign direct investments),” Teh said.

He cited, as an example, Japan-based printed circuit board maker Ibiden Co Ltd, which has invested in a RM1bil plant at Penang Science Park. He also mentioned Nasdaq-listed Rubicon Technology Inc, a leading global light-emitting diode (LED) manufacturer, as well as US-based Honeywell Aerospace, a leading provider of avionics and electronics, which have also invested substantially in the mainland.

“Connectivity (in Penang) is also being improved with the construction of the second Penang bridge,” Teh said, adding that the Federal Government had big plans to develop Butterworth.

“Expansion at Butterworth Port has just been completed. The main railway station is also in Butterworth. All of this will create opportunities such as new jobs and attract more people, who will need to buy houses to be closer to the job market.”

Teh also said the Penang mainland property market was more active and had better growth prospects.

“During the recession in 2009, the Penang island property market grew by 0.3%, but mainland Penang grew by 9.3%,” he said.

“Also, from 2002 to 2010, the island housing market grew by 4%, but mainland grew by 5.4%.”

According to Teh, TILB has a land bank of close to 300 acres, all located on the mainland.

“We have an option of another hundred acres. We move very fast, we buy land and develop. We don’t buy land to keep as it’s too costly. This has been our business model since the beginning.”

TILB was negotiating with land owners in Penang to acquire land for projects in 2012 and “actively seeking” land in the Klang Valley, he said, adding: “We’ve seen some land in the Klang Valley but we haven’t bought any. We’re still looking but the project must be viable.”

On another note, Teh said the company had set a dividend payout policy of 40% to 60% of its annual net profit.

TILB recorded a net profit of RM25.37mil for its financial year 2010.

The company opened at 80 sen and closed at 80.5 sen, a 10.5 sen premium over its issue price of 70 sen. A total of 41.5 million shares were traded, making it the second most active counter of the day.

SOURCE: The Star

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