Eco World makes over RM1b in property sales


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KUALA LUMPUR: Focal Aims Holdings Bhd’s ultimate parent, Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, seems to be breathing fire, raising more than RM1 billion in property sales over the past 30 days.

Buyers have rushed to grab the properties in Selayang, Selangor, and Johor, thinking that they will be getting the best quality homes in the market.

“It’s a rarity for an untested developer to receive such backing,” said Mercury Securities head of research Edmund Tham.

He added that Focal Aims, backed by the personalities in Eco World, could be a major player in Malaysia’s property development sector.

The confidence stems from market perception that Focal Aims and parent Eco World Development will ultimately be managed by Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

Liew, a dominant stakeholder in builder SP Setia Bhd before being taken over by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, was instrumental in creating market perception, equating SP Setia homes with quality.

Liew’s eldest son Liew Tian Xiong, together with Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf, a former director of SP Setia, and former stockbroker Datuk Eddie Leong Kok Wah gained control of some 65 per cent of Johor-based Focal Aims at RM1.40 a share some two months ago.

Some of Eco World’s assets are likely to be injected into Focal soon, people familiar with the matter said, adding that with the injection, a new shareholder will emerge in Focal.

Market chatter is that Tan Sri Syed Mokthar Albukhary will appear as the new stakeholder as the tycoon has a strong working relationship with the elder Liew and Leong.

Under Liew’s stewardship, SP Setia became Syed Mokhtar’s preferred builder, resulting in SP Setia partnering Tradewinds on a 50:50 basis to develop affordable housing under the PR1MA scheme at Taman Ikan Emas, Cheras.

While in Bangsar, the tycoon’s privately-held Mekar Gemilang Sdn Bhd has teamed up with SP Setia to develop an RM11 billion gross development value project in Federal Hill.

In April, DRB-HICOM Bhd said it had sold 623.29 acres of land to Eco World for RM604.65 million.

Some of the land was used by Eco World to launch its first two projects over the past 30 days, namely the Eco Botanic project in Nusajaya, Johor, and the Eco Sky project in Taman Wahyu in Kuala Lumpur.

Business Times : nation

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