Eco World has reason for optimism following Brexit decision

Eco World International Bhd executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin (left) and ex-London mayor Boris Johnson, a leading campaigner for the Brexit camp.

KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World International Bhd (EWI), which has three ongoing property development projects in London, sees a silver lining in the result of Britain’s referendum on its European Union membership as the weaker sterling is expected to lower the investment costs for it and its customers.

EWI executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said in a statement on Friday that with the results of the EU referendum now known, the long uncertainty that caused many investors to hold back on decision making, was finally over. 

“Britain is still a hugely important economy in Europe with highly principled, professional and competent leaders. I have every confidence that the British government will do their utmost to take proactive measures to relive post-Brexit concerns and move the United Kingdom forward on every front,” he said.

Liew said that all three EWI projects in the UK's capital city had performed “tremendously well” to date with a good mix of demand from local UK-based customers and international buyers. 

“A weaker sterling will in fact help our Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese and Hong-Kong based customers by bringing down their cost of investment,” he said.

“Further, customers from these countries buy London properties for reasons which have nothing to do with whether the UK is a part of the EU,” he added.

On the corporate front, Liew commented that he was optimistic for the group going forward.

“Boris Johnson, a prominent Brexit leader is pro-development as proven by his track record as Mayor of London. He is backed by many senior and experienced leaders and now that the British people have spoken, the entire British Government will be focused on ensuring that Britain sends out a clear message that it remains ready and open for business. This will benefit companies seeking to invest and grow their business in the United Kingdom,” Liew said.

“For EWI specifically, it should be noted that through our proposed initial public offering, we will be raising equity in ringgit. Now that the sterling has dropped, it means that the cost we have to inject into the UK to pay for the development of our three projects there will be lower,” he said.

He added that if this situation held, it would also make it cheaper for EWI to acquire new sites post-listing.
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