AME Elite expanding its land bank in other states


AME Kelvin Lee

PETALING JAYA: AME Elite Consortium Bhd is expanding its land bank to set up more industrial parks as foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country picks up, coupled with stronger trade flows.

The company operates its industrial parks under the i-Park brand, namely i-Park@Senai Airport City, i-Park@Indahpura, and i-Park@SiLC. All these parks are located in Johor.

With the reopening of international borders, the demand for industrial parks by foreign investors is expected to rise as this would facilitate their businesses. Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19, analysts are upbeat that it would not impact trade flows and FDIs into the country.

The integrated industrial space solutions provider, which is based in Johor, is looking to acquire land banks in other states as well.

The company specialises in the development and construction of integrated industrial parks and large-scale manufacturing plants.

Group managing director Kelvin Lee Chai told StarBiz that it has close to 63 acres of balance land bank and is in the process of acquiring 170 acres land in Southern Industrial and Logistic Clusters (SiLC) in Johor.

He said this acquisition is currently pending further representations to the Economic Planning Unit.

“Post-acquisition in 2022, we will see our land bank expand to about 232 acres, which is expected to last us for the next three to four years.

“We are exploring other areas including the central and northern regions of the peninsula to replicate this i-Park model and offer investors our i-Park advantages in other high-growth locations.

“Our key criteria for land purchases include high accessibility to freight or air transport, especially in supporting export customers.

“We also look into the dynamics of the workplace where there will be large and strong workforce potential in the surrounding vicinity to support the sustenance of i-Park customers. Another criteria is the land size, which should be at least 100 acres for us to adequately apportion spaces for integrated industrial park and workers’ dormitories,”

However, Lee said sourcing of the land would take some time as studies need to be undertaken and consideration of various factors are required at the right price points.

On FDIs, he added that the reopening of international borders would provide a boost in confidence to foreign investors, and would speed up the decision-making to invest in Malaysia.

“We have also seen more enquiries and scheduled travels to Malaysia from our foreign customers, to help seal the deal from our virtual engagements.

“Hence, we are optimistic that we will see better sales for our i-Park properties, as well as increased demand for our industrial workers’ dormitories,” he noted.

At present, it has two workers’ dormitories, i-Stay@Indahpura with an occupancy rate of 97% and i-Stay@Senai Airport City with an occupancy rate of 95%.

Due to the demand for more dorms, he said the company is investing RM25mil to expand i-Stay@Indahpura by another two blocks, which are slated to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

As for its construction and engineering business, Lee said the company’s construction and engineering tender book stands at about RM600mil. He said AME Elite targets to replenish its construction and engineering contracts within the RM150mil to RM200mil range per year.

The company recently won a RM359mil construction contract from Ye Chiu Non-Ferrous (M) Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned Malaysian unit of Shanghai Stock Exchange listed Ye Chiu Metal Recycling (China) Ltd, to build a new integrated property – office, warehouse and production facility.

With the clinching of this contract, it has boosted AME Elite’s current order book to more than RM400mil.

The company also plans to raise an estimated RM254.8mil from its proposed establishment and listing of a real estate investment trust (AME-REIT) on Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market by the second quarter of 2022.

For the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2021, the company’s net profit was at RM9.8mil compared with RM11.4mil a year ago. Revenue for the period stood at RM86.3mil against RM120.9mil previously.

On the prospect of the group for financial year 2022 (FY22), Lee said he is positive on the group’s performance.

He said this is due to the reopening of the construction sector and international borders. “We have received many inquiries and hope that this will be converted to sales. We expect the performance of the remaining quarters of FY22 to improve,” he said.

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AME Elite , i-Park , Kelvin Lee Chai , industrial parks , FDI ,

   

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