SEREMBAN: Property developer Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd (MCHB) has made its maiden venture abroad with the launch of the M.Carnegie boutique low-rise apartments in Melbourne.
MCHB group managing director Datuk Lee Tian Hock said 52 apartments would be built on 1,865 sq m in the suburb of Carnegie, located some 15km from the Melbourne central business district.
“The entire project will have a gross development value of RM100mil,” he told reporters at his office in Seremban.
Lee said 20 of the 52 units costing between A$419,500 (RM1.26mil) and A$859,000 (RM2.59mil) were sold out when the project was launched in Melbourne last week.
The apartments come in various sizes ranging from 52.9 sq m to 173.6 sq m.
“Although we are confident that the units would be sold out, we decided to start our first foreign project on a small scale to mitigate any potential risk.
“We are already being offered properties in Melbourne and I can confidently say that the M.Carnegie will not be our first and last project in Melbourne which has been ranked as the world’s most livable city,” he said.
Lee said those who wished to buy the property should do so before July 1 as the Australian authorities have introduced a new policy which will increase the stamp duty from the current 3% to 7%.
He said M.Carnegie was also strategically located with Australia’s largest shopping complex Chadstone Shopping Centre, the Monash University Caulfield as well as other facilities such as train and tram stations, supermarkets and schools all located within a short distance.
Work on the project would begin in September and scheduled for completion in November next year.
“For those who wish to lease our their properties, we guarantee them 5% returns annually,” he added.
Source: Star Online
SUBANG: For years, the family of Corporal Robert Bowtell in Australia has heard about his exploits in the Vietnam War.
Almost five decades after he was killed in action, Bowtell’s remains, as well as those of 31 other Australian servicemen, were making their way home yesterday.
His grandson, Corporal Christopher Bowtell, 27, was part of a group of Australian servicemen who loaded the caskets onto the two aircraft heading for the Royal Australian Air Force base in Richmond, Sydney.
Christopher, who is serving in the Second Combat Engineer Regiment of the Australian Army, said his family was excited at the prospect of his grandfather’s remains finally arriving home.
“We are all going to be together and be there to wait for his return home,” he said during the handing over ceremony fo the remains at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base here.
Christopher, who is currently based in Butterworth, said his grandfather had been investigating a tunnel in Vietnam.
“He went in and the tunnel collapsed. When they got him out, he had already suffocated,” he said.
Present at the yesterday’s ceremony were Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Baharum and Australian Repatriation Commissioner Major-General (R) Mark Andrew Kelly.
The return of the remains was the result of a joint operation – Ops Reunite – between the Malaysian and Australian governments.
The operation saw a team of archaeologists, anthropologists and forensic odontologists from the Australian Unrecovered War Casualties Agency and Defence Ministry working together with other forensic specialists to exhume and identify the remains.
The remains, which were previously buried at the Commonwealth War Graves in Terendak Camp, will be given a national-level military ceremony before being re-interred at graves throughout Australia.
Due to the request of family members, three remain buried at the Commonwealth War Graves.
Source: The Star Online, 1st June 2016
Tee Kim Siew, who heads the real estate arm of one of Malaysia's larger conglomerates AlloyMtd, is not too worried about the threats of over-supply and falling values that now confront other big league developers.
That's because for Mr Tee and the AlloyMtd, the mantra has always been to build for the local market.
For an offshore developer, especially with its financial heft, AlloyMtd has a surprising lack of major CBD projects. But it does have an impressive array of boutique projects clustered around inner suburban Melbourne.
Starting with a joint venture developing a resort on the Whitsunday Islands a decade ago, AlloyMtd turned its interest to Melbourne. Its first project was a modest $20 million apartment building in North Melbourne in 2011.
That was followed soon after by a $25 million, 39-unit development in Port Melbourne, and then a $40 million, 59-unit in South Yarra.
The Kuala Lumpur-based developer is now embarking on its most ambitious project yet, also in South Yarra, a $60 million development designed by Elenberg Fraser.
"We see a lot of developers from the region go for really big projects," Mr Tee told The Australian Financial Review on a recent visit to Melbourne.
"We felt we needed to study the market. We don't want to compete with them, but there is a niche in which we can play.
"We decided we wanted to be a boutique player.
"We believe that wherever you go, whatever you build, whatever you sell is for the local market."
Treading its own path
As a result, AlloyMtd does not follow the path taken by many of its regional peers, which use their networks in Asia to market their Australian apartments.
Instead the Malaysian developer's apartments are aimed squarely at local owner-occupiers.
Its boutique, "go local" approach is not due to any lack of means. In London, it is pursuing a $1 billion, mixed use project at 1 Crown Place. It will comprise a small hotel, retail, office space and 247 apartments.
With interests in infrastructure, engineering, construction and development, AlloyMtd is active in 15 countries. In Malaysia alone it is the second largest toll road operator and develops residential townships along with its other businesses.
As with its Melbourne approach, the residential element of AlloyMtd's London project is also pitched towards a local market of owner-occupiers, rather than offshore investors who are buying for different motivations.
"If we sell to the Asian community then what happens at night is that most of the lights will be off. We want the lights to be on. We're mindful of that," Mr Tee said.
At the Rockley Gardens project in plush South Yarra, the developer has reduced the original number of units from 78 to 49, making each apartment larger, in response to a market which, Mr Tee said, is now favouring higher end, more spacious dwellings.
One-bedroom apartments will range up to $630,000, two-bed properties up to $1.55 million and three-bed apartments up to $3.5 million.
Now privatised, with a worth in the realm of $1 billion, the Malaysian conglomerate is also on the hunt for passive assets in Australia. It was a recent bidder on One Collins Street, a Melbourne CBD office property with a bluechip address that was eventually bought by property magnate Harry Stamoulis for $125 million.
"If it's something worth looking at, we'll look at it. If it's too big we are always willing to team up with another party," said Mr Tee.
"The thing we look for is yield and capital value. We love recurring income."
Malaysia Airlines will be using Amadeus technology to expand its services throughout Australia and to increase passenger service and satisfaction levels.
Amadeus will supply a new Passenger Service System (PSS) - the Amadeus Altéa Suite. It’s a huge step forward for Malaysia Airlines and will enable it to expand services in Australia and from its Kuala Lumpur hub as well as manage reservations, inventory, departure control, ticketing, passenger self–service check-in, departure control and e-commerce.
It will be able to offer travellers enhanced speed and convenience, a sophisticated web booking experience, state of the art mobile applications and bundled offers to suit individual needs. Passengers can expect a leaner, more agile experience, from booking tickets to pre-purchasing excess baggage, meals and managing loyalty points, all at the click of a button. The suite also includes comprehensive analytics for continuous improvement.
Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Christoph Mueller said, "We are determined to give Malaysia Airlines the technology platform it needs to provide the world’s best services to our customers. The move to Amadeus, underpinned by a ground breaking continuous release approach to development, will truly put Malaysia Airlines at the leading edge of airline technology globally."
Hazem Hussein, Executive Vice President, Airline Commercial, Amadeus Asia Pacific added, “We are pleased to be selected by Malaysia Airlines to help the airline optimise its operations and revolutionise the customer experience. By choosing Altéa, Malaysia Airlines will join a strong group of more than 120 forward-thinking airlines that understand the necessity of flexibility and customer centricity that our technology is able to bring to its operations.”
The agreement will also ensure Malaysia Airlines have even greater co-operation with its codeshare partners and within the oneworld alliance, enabling a streamlined customer experience between member airlines.
With this advanced technology, Malaysia Airlines will reinvent itself and be well-equipped to embrace the complex and dynamic conditions in this ever-changing global airline market.
Source: iTwire.com, 5 May 2016
Malaysia-based S P Setia Berhad announced on Friday (29 April) that it has secured a prime site in the upper east-end of Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) for A$101 million.
This is the property developer’s fifth acquisition in Australia, and comes right after another acquisition in Melbourne just two weeks ago.
Located at 308 Exhibition Street, the approximately 44,563 sq ft site was acquired from Australian telecoms giant Telstra in a highly competitive expression of interest exercise.
“This is the largest east-end CBD development site (in Melbourne) to be sold in over a decade,” said Dato Khor Chap Jen, President and CEO of SP Setia.
He added: “This development will boast a combination of multi-level retail, prime A-grade office space and luxurious apartment towers.”
The site is situated close to universities, government buildings, hospitals and public transport networks, such as trams and bus routes.
The A$640 million development is slated to be launched in the second half of 2017.
Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg, 1 May 2016
Implementing strategies to increase workforce participation and productivity are important elements to growing the economy and business success. Changing the way we think about work and how employees participate in the workforce is happening around the world. Malaysia’s new focus on increasing flexible work opportunities is good for employees and their families, and is also a very positive step for Malaysian business and the economy. Increasing opportunities to work flexibly are good for all employees as it can give them the opportunity to manage their work and family commitments. In particular, it can enable women to continue to be part of the workforce.
When flexible work policies are well implemented, employers reduce their recruiting costs, experience improved productivity, and help to retain staff with vital corporate knowledge and skills. In short, flexible work can benefit the bottom line. Malaysia recognised the importance of increasing workforce participation and has established flexWorkLife.my initiative, a collaboration between the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and Talent Corporation Malaysia, to facilitate the return of women to the workforce. Malaysia has made good progress in this area over the past few years with a 6.8 per cent increase in the rate of women of working age participating in the workforce since 2010. However, there is an understanding that with a participation rate of just under 55 per cent, there remains a significant opportunity to grow the number.
A study from the World Bank suggests Malaysia could achieve an economic growth dividend of about 0.4 per cent a year by attaining higher female participation rate in the workforce. Implementing flexible work practices is not without its challenges and businesses have a leading role to play in developing policies that encourage their employees to seek flexible work arrangements. Initiatives like flexWorkLife.my can assist in shifting attitudes towards flexible work. A recent survey conducted by CPA Australia in Malaysia and across the Asia Pacific showed many men and women have a negative perception of the impact working flexibly could have on their career prospects.
The survey showed that regardless of gender more than a quarter of respondents with flexible work arrangements believed it would have a negative impact on their prospects for promotion. The results were somewhat more positive in Malaysia than Australia and Hong Kong, with respondents from Malaysia less likely to believe that working flexibly would negatively impact promotion chances (20 per cent) than respondents from Australia (35 per cent) and Hong Kong (31 per cent). Respondents from Malaysia were also more likely to believe that flexible work would have a positive impact on the quality of work they perform (36 per cent) than respondents from Australia (20 per cent) and Hong Kong (24 per cent). On the other hand, Australian respondents were significantly more likely to have requested flexible work arrangements (72 per cent) than respondents from Hong Kong (35 per cent) and Malaysia (44 per cent).
While the survey results and the Government’s flexWorkLife.my initiative are positive indications on flexible work in Malaysia, there is room for further changes to business culture. Many employers have made much of their desire to increase opportunities for workplace flexibility, but unfortunately it would seem the employee experience is not matching up to some of the rhetoric from employers. Having the right policies in place is only part of the solution. T
he culture of an organisation, the leadership’s commitment to the policies and their consistent implementation throughout the business is critical. From this year publicly listed companies in Malaysia are being required to disclose the gender representation of board members and key senior management in their annual reports. This additional disclosure is a positive step. We need to maximise our levels of workforce participation. Creating workplace practices that allow maximum participation is both economically and socially beneficial.
Source: New Strait Times, 25 April 2016
Australian developer Lendlease has signed an agreement with Malaysia's Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to collaborate on training programme for safety supervisors.
The Safety Supervisor Apprenticeship Programme is the first formal apprenticeship collaboration between the public and private sectors in Malaysia. The aim is to provide an integrated approach to industry-recognised construction training.
Apprentices who successfully complete the course will receive a formal CIDB and Lendlease qualification. The successful completion also earns the trainee certification by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and CIDB Akademi Binaan Malaysia.
These certifications are required before the apprentices can be appointed as site supervisors on projects.
This training model is similar to apprenticeships offered in the construction industry in Australia and the UK, where trainees earn an allowance while attending a college course and undergoing on-the-job training.
The programme varies from 12 to 24 months, subject to trainees' experience.
Dinesh Nambiar, Head of Lendlease in Malaysia, said: “Safety is one of our guiding principles and we are committed to incident and injury-free workplaces. Through this programme, we hope to attract youths to join and stay in the construction industry.”
Source: GCR 12 April 2016
Malaysia will remain on the radar of Eco World Development Group Bhd now and in the long term.
Its president and chief executive officer, Datuk Chang Khim Wah, said Eco World, however, was looking to further expand its overseas exposure.
“As you know, the Securities Commission (Malaysia) recently approved our plans to subscribe up to 30 per cent of Eco World International Bhd’s (EWI) proposed initial public offering.
“EWI is our way of targeting the United Kingdom and Australia markets strategically. What the market needs to know is that Eco World and EWI are separate entities.
“Eco World will continue to focus on Malaysia while EWI will look into further opportunities in the UK and Australia,” he said at Invest Malaysia 2016, here, yesterday.
EWI’s projects in London and West Sydney had secured cumulative sales of £712.5 million (RM4 billion) as of January 31. Upon completion of the EWI acquisition, Eco World can consolidate a proportionate share of the earnings, including those arising from the sales secured by EWI.
“Apart from contributions to future earnings, our proposed subscription for up to 30 per cent of the shares in EWI will provide us with many cross-branding and learning opportunities,” said Chang. He said the company would concentrate on the UK and Australian property markets for now.
Separately, it was confident of hitting a sales target of RM4 billion this year on the back of positive reception of its 11 ongoing projects and also the Bukit Bintang City Centre project, here. The 11 projects included Eco Botanic in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor. “Our projects have a gross development value of RM81 billion, encompassing 3,000ha spread across the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang. This will keep us busy for up to 12 years,” said Chang.
Source: New Strait Times, 13 April 2016
Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp), through its indirect subsidiary Morning Charm Sdn Bhd, has entered into a joint venture (JV) to own and operate community pharmacy stores and distribute pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products.
The diversified group told Bursa Malaysia that Morning Charm, which is 80% owned by BCorp’s unit Berjaya Group Bhd, would hold a 75% stake in the JV company Monarch Wonder Sdn Bhd and Melbourne-based CW Retail Asia Pty Ltd would own the rest.
CW and its affiliates (CW Network) supply goods and services to pharmacies and operate pharmacy chains in Australia which include, among others, pharmacies operated under the names of Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and e-Pharmacy.
“Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist are large pharmacy chains which have a total of 376 stores to date,” said BCorp, whose businesses include direct selling and the trading of household and healthcare products under the Cosway Corp group.
CW Network is one of Australia’s largest pharmacy retailers, with a combined annual turnover of over A$3.2bil (RM9.7bil). It employs over 9,500 workers.
Monarch Wonder will operate a chain of pharmacies in Malaysia and other countries under the co-brand name of Chemist Warehouse Berjaya Asia or such other co-brand names as mutually agreed.
The JV company will supply goods and services to Cosway Pharmacies, which will be rebranded as Berjaya My Chemist pharmacies, and Tigas Alliance pharmacies.
“All Chemist Warehouse Berjaya Asia and Berjaya My Chemist pharmacies are members of Tigas Alliance, a pharmacy banner group in Malaysia which operates pharmacy services fulfillment, marketing and group-buying infrastructure,” BCorp said.
On the rationale for the JV, BCorp said the project would enable the BCorp group to expand and strengthen its pharmacy distribution and retail businesses under the co-brand names, as well as making its foray into the pharmacy warehousing business sector.
BCorp shares gained half a sen to close at 40 sen yesterday, with 20.806 million shares changing hands.
Source: The Star, 4 March 2016
Petronas Lubricants International (PLI), the global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm of Petroliam Nasional Bhd, has opened a new office in Parramatta on Friday, marking its expansion to form a wider Asia-Pacific portfolio.
PLI said in a statement that through the establishment of PLI Australia Pty Ltd (PLIA), it expected to better serve its customer base in Australia and New Zealand, as well as to realise its plan to capture 4% of the market share in the two countries by 2021 and increase the company’s sales volume by 32%.
PLI managing director and group chief executive officer Giuseppe D'Arrigo said: “We are pleased to officially establish our business operations in Australia, after being present here for almost 15 years through our partnership with CNH Industrial. This will greatly enlarge our reach and significantly strengthen the presence of Petronas brand in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the group’s bigger market expansion strategy.”
Petronas Lubricants’ presence in Australia/New Zealand dates back to 2002. It first introduced its AmbrA and AkcelA lubricants in Australia through a third-party licensing agreement whereby proprietary formulations of both products were developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial, for the latter’s agricultural, construction machinery and industrial vehicles.
Established in 2008, PLI manufactures and markets a full range of high-quality automotive and industrial lubricants products in over 80 markets globally.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, it has over 30 marketing offices in 27 countries, managed through regional offices in Kuala Lumpur, Turin, Belo Horizonte, Chicago and Durban.
Source: The Star, 18 March 2016
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