Business News

Thursday, 1 November 2012 | MYT 12:00 AM

Gapurna wants to grow further design-build-lease business

KUALA LUMPUR: Gapurna Sdn Bhd, which will build and lease a building to a unit of UK-based Standard Chartered Bank, aims to develop more customised commercial buildings for multinational corporations (MNCs) on design-build-lease deals in the Klang Valley.

Director Imran Salim said Kuala Lumpur had competitive advantages for MNCs. “Our property prices are still relatively low, we have a strong and capable workforce and good infrastructure.

“Yes, we do see the opportunities for Kuala Lumpur to become a regional hub for a lot of MNCs,” said Imran after the signing of an agreement for Gapurna to build and lease a building to Scope International (M) Sdn Bhd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary and global shared services centre of Standard Chartered Bank, United Kingdom.

The building, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM250mil, will be located near Scope International's present premises in Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil.

According to Imran, the nine-storey building has an area of 450,000 sq ft and will be leased to Scope International for 14 years.

He said the building was expected to be completed in 12 months.

Gapurna group managing director Datuk Mohamad Salim Fateh Din pointed out that the company was also completing a 38-storey building with a GDV of RM1.1bil at 348 Sentral in KL Sentral that would be leased to oil giant Shell for 15 years.

“Shell is expected to occupy the building next year,” he said.

Mohamad Salim said the company worked with clients on the design and customisation of the buildings. “Clients have different needs and requirements for aspects such as safety in their business operations,” he said.

Gapurna, he said, also developed customised buildings for long-term lease agreements.

Imran also confirmed a recent report that there were plans for five custom-built office towers on the 40-acre plot located behind Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel.

“The office towers are in the first phase and will be on 12 acres. Development on the remaining phases will be based on market demand,” he said.

Meanwhile, Imran said the company was looking at the possibility of setting up a real estate investment trust (REIT) for its buildings.

“We are looking into many different opportunities about how we want to park our asset base. This is a natural progression for property developers who have long-term income from their buldings.

“They will package or park it into a REIT and we are studying this move,” he said.

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