Monday, July 2nd, 2018


Will ‘Kerinchi’ sell as well as ‘Bangsar South’?

PETALING JAYA: While property valuers and real estate agencies are convinced that Bangsar South in Kuala Lumpur will continue to sell despite an expected name change to “Kerinchi” given its established location, they are divided as to whether it will impact the value of property there.

Managing director of VPC Alliance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a company of property consultants, valuers and estate agents, James Wong, believes a name change would negatively affect property values in the area.

“In our considered opinion, it is not advisable to change the name from 'Bangsar South' to 'Kerinchi',” he said, adding that foreign buyers are not familiar with “Kerinchi”.

Wong said the developer, UOA Development Bhd, wanted to differentiate the new development from Kerinchi, which comprises mostly low- and medium-cost flats.

“Hence, the name 'Bangsar South', although it is not adjoining Bangsar. The word 'Bangsar' connotes an upper class and desirable residential and commercial development. It was clever that UOA Development managed to get DBKL to approve the name 'Bangsar South',” he said.

Wong said the name of a project plays an important part of a property development's success and names like “Damansara”, '”Bangsar” and “Jaya” sell well, even though they may not be adjoining Damansara or Bangsar.

“A clear-cut example was when Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh township had a name change to 'Kota Damansara' and, immediately, there was a noticeable increase in property values in Kota Damansara. The new branding definitely improved the selling prices, rentals and take-up rates in Kota Damansara compared to the previous name, Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh,” he added.

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents past president Siva Shanker agreed to certain extent, entailing the role of branding among buyers who are more discerning and selective in their purchase decisions.

“Nowadays, branded developments and developers sell, which is why a branded developer can sell 75% of his project within two months, while a not-so-branded developer can only sell 20% in the same area,” he told SunBiz.

Siva said there are two aspects to branding, one is associated with the developer, for example Pavilion, SP Setia and Eco World while the other is associated with the property, which is where the project name comes in.

Acknowledging the value in branding, Siva does not agree with the name change mooted by Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil.

“In the last 10 years, a lot of time, effort and money has been spent to build a name at Bangsar South and I think the name change is a step in the wrong direction. Instead of changing the name of the entire area, perhaps the government could consider excluding the new enclave and maintain the name 'Bangsar South' for that enclave,” he suggested.

Siva, however, stopped short of saying that the move will impact property prices there, considering that it is a well-established location, with developers with planned projects there likely to continue using the Bangsar South branding.

“Real estate agents will also continue selling their properties there as Bangsar South projects. The area has grown too strong for a name change to make a difference,” he added.

Meanwhile, CBRE-WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen believes available ground facilities and infrastructure will trump branding.

“The name change is irrelevant. New buyers going in will see on the ground the facilities and infrastructure available,” he said, adding that developers will continue to sell upmarket products there despite a name change.

02/07/2018 23:26:14

From left: Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Warwick, Record and World Bank Group's incoming country manager for Malaysia Dr Firas Raad at the launch of the 18th edition of the Malaysia Economic Monitor yesterday.

SunPix by Zulkifli Ersal

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Dell becomes public company five years after buyout

SAN FRANCISCO: Dell, the onetime leader in personal computers and tech industry stalwart, said Monday it will become publicly traded five years after a contentious private equity buyout.

The company announced a stock swap deal with its software subsidiary VMware that will result in a reorganized tech giant that returns to the stock market, with founder Michael Dell retaining control as chairman and chief executive.

The move comes after a 2013 private equity buyout led by Michael Dell aiming to revive the company that fell behind when consumers turned to mobile devices instead of PCs.

“I am proud to lead this great company into its next chapter as we continue to evolve and grow to the benefit of our customers, partners, investors and team members,” Michael Dell said in a statement.

“Unprecedented data growth is fueling the digital era of IT, and we are uniquely positioned with our portfolio of technologies and services.”

The new Dell is far from the maker of personal computers that helped ignite the personal computer market in the 1990s.

It acquired the data storage group EMC in 2016 for a whopping US$67 billion (RM271 billion) and is a major player in software, security and cloud computing in addition to its PC business.

Michael Dell, who currently owns 72% of Dell Technologies common shares, struck a deal with the private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private in 2013 in an effort to reorganize without pressure from public shareholders.

The move came amid fierce opposition from some shareholders led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who called the plan a “giveaway.”

Dell will trade on the New York Stock Exchange after completion of the deal, expected later this year, the company said. — AFP

02/07/2018 22:05:22

Foreign attrition on Bursa enters ninth week

PETALING JAYA: Bursa Malaysia saw its ninth week of foreign attrition last week but at a slower pace, as the amount disposed by foreign investors retreated below RM1 billion to RM705.4 million net.

According to MIDF Research, offshore investors were net sellers from Monday to Thursday with none of the days recording attrition above RM300 million net.

“Monday had the highest net outflow during the week of RM291.4 million as the escalating trade dispute between the US and China stoked risk aversion,” it said in its fund flow report today.

Despite foreign selling activity slowing down to a tune of RM206.1 million net later on Thursday, the FBM KLCI dropped further to 1,665.68 points, the lowest close since January 2017 following the slump in Wall Street overnight.

The slump in Wall Street was spurred by President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s comments on the US’ hard line on trade in spite of Trump’s softer stance.

The tide turned on Friday when foreign investors mopped up RM259.4 million net, snapping a 37-day long episode of foreign attrition amidst window dressing activities.

The FBM KLCI followed suit to snap its four-day losing streak by closing 1.55% higher that day, the biggest daily gain so far in 2018.

“We note that Friday’s foreign net inflow is in conformity with other regional peers we track namely the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia,” said MIDF Research.

For the month of June, the amount of net outflows from Malaysia reached RM4.93 billion, bringing the 1H18 cumulative outflow in 2018 to RM6.82 billion net, offsetting more than half of last year’s total net inflow of RM10.33 billion.

“Nonetheless, Malaysia still has the second lowest outflow among the four Asean markets we monitor after the Philippines on a year-to-date basis,” it said.

Participation level of foreigners, retailers and local institutions experienced a weekly dip but activity levels are still deemed healthy as the average daily trade value is still above RM800 million for retailers, RM2 billion for local institutions and RM1 billion for foreign investors.