M’sian developers unfazed by EU withdrawal

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 25 Jun 2016

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Executive Vice-Chairman of Eco World International Berhad with former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian property developers with projects in Britain believe proactive measures will be taken to manage post-Brexit concerns.

“Britain is still a hugely important economy in Europe with highly principled, professional and competent leaders,” said Eco World International executive vice chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

Eco World’s three projects in London are London City Island (Phase 2) in East London, Embassy Gardens (Phase 2) in Nine Elms and Wardian London facing Canary Wharf.

Liew said all projects had performed well, with a good mix of demand from Britain-based customers as well as international buyers.

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

“Furthermore, customers from these countries buy London properties for reasons which have nothing to do with whether Britain is a part of the European Union,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Liew noted that London’s position as a prime destination for global real estate investment was unlikely to change since factors like transparency of laws, security, ease of ownership and London’s attraction as a global educational, cultural, and tourism hub were still intact.

The Malaysian touch is also seen in the redeveloping of Battersea Power Station, an ambitious £8bil regeneration project in London.

The developers are S P Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

Sime Darby, in a press statement, reiterated its long-term commitment as a shareholder of the Battersea Power Station project.

“We are confident the iconic development will continue to generate interest in the longer term, and London will continue to remain a key investment destination and financial centre,” it added.

Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) managing director Datuk Seri Terry Tham said the company maintained a flexible and agile stance in the face of any changes in the market environment.

“Our UK projects are underway and are expected to progress as planned,” he said.

The company’s projects in Britain include Prince House along Kingsway, comprising private residential apartments, service apartments and retail, as well as ESCA House, a small-scale conversion project of offices into 26 private apartments.

Others are Thames Tower and Landmark House at Hammersmith, which it acquired in 2015 and still going through planning process.

Property consultant Knight Frank Malaysia says Malaysians will continue to be attracted to Britain’s property market, which is supported by strong economic and market fundamentals.

Its managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said while some Malaysians who had recently bought property and included a Brexit clause might choose to abort their purchase, institutional investors, including the EPF, LTAT and KWAP, would choose to hold on to their assets for the time being.

He is confident that stability would return to the market after the news had been digested.

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