Talam looking to increase property investments in China


PROPERTY developer Talam Corp Bhd is looking to increase its investments in China, especially in residential and commercial projects in Changchun City in Jilin Province, said executive chairman Tan Sri Chan Ah Chye.  

“Having been in China since 1993, we are familiar with the business terrain there and have developed a strong working relationship with the local authorities,” said Chan, who is also economic adviser to Jilin Province. 

Speaking at the requotation of Talam shares and the listing of Kumpulan Europlus Bhd (KEB) on the KLSE main board yesterday, Chan said with the completion of the rationalisation and merger exercise of Talam and KEB, both the companies would be well placed to expand into other new growth markets. 

“KEB, which has emerged as a construction and infrastructure group, will also be able to tap opportunities in China,” he added. 

Under the rationalisation exercise, the property divisions of Talam and Europlus have been consolidated under Talam, while KEB now handles all their non-property related businesses comprising construction, infrastructure, manufacturing and plantations.  

Shares of both Talam and Europlus were suspended from trading on Oct 14, pending completion of the merger exercise. Talam was last traded that day at RM1.75 and Europlus at RM1.13.  

At the opening bell yesterday KEB, which has assumed the listed status of Europlus, saw its first trade done at RM1.50 while Talam opened at RM1.80 on re-quotation. KEB eventually closed at RM1.23 and Talam at RM1.61. 

A total of 11.656 million KEB and 16.43 million Talam shares changed hands during the day.  

Chan said Talam would be finalising plans to complete a new 37-storey commercial complex and the upgrading of its four-star Maxcourt Hotel in Changchun City. 

The new Yin Hai Commercial Complex located adjacent to the Maxcourt Hotel will have a gross area of 107,614 sq m with two levels of basement parking, a seven-storey shopping podium, and a 28-storey office and serviced apartment tower. 

Undertaken by Jilin Province Maxcourt Hotel Ltd, a 85:15 joint venture with the Jilin Province Transport Department, the project is scheduled for completion by the end of next year for a gross development value (GDV) of 800 million yuan (RM400mil). 

“The whole construction cost of the complex is estimated at 144 million yuan, with about 84 million yuan incurred since work started in April. So far, the basic structure for the basements and podium block as well as three floors of the tower block have been completed,” Chan said. 

He said the podium block, with a floor space of some 35,000 sq m, would be sold to one of the leading banking groups in China for an expected 146 million yuan.  

“We are also in the process of finalising the sale of the Yin Hai Commercial Complex, which is expected to fetch about 120 million yuan, to unlock our investments there to venture into other viable projects,” he added. 

As for the Maxcourt Hotel, Chan said the 180-room establishment, which commenced operation in 1999, would be expanded to 350 rooms.  

 Stock Watch On TALAM

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