Developers seek clarity on ‘premature’ luxury property approvals freeze

By RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by AFIF ABD HALIM

PROPERTY developers are seeking clarification to better understand the recent freeze on approvals for the development of luxury commercial and residential properties that are priced above RM1 million as announced by the government recently.

The latest cooling measure by the federal administration in addressing property glut has largely been viewed as sketchy among industry players that only learned about the ruling over the weekend.

“It is still premature, and as for the industry, we are seeking more information on the move made by the government including engagements through Real Estate and Housing Developers Association,” Sime Darby Property Sdn Bhd MD Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin said on the sidelines of the group’s AGM and EGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

As the details of the ruling are still trickling, Amrin said that further explanation and information on the ruling should be furnished to the property industry players as soon as possible.

“All of us have been in touch with our peers, engaging to get more information. Of course, for us, we want to get to know as soon as possible,” he added.

Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani had said earlier that the ruling would only involve new submissions.

Amrin said the government intervention would mostly affect projects in Kuala Lumpur under the purview of the local authority, namely the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Meanwhile, at the Sime Darby Bhd’s general meetings, shareholders approved the conglomerate’s proposed demerger that would see the creation of three listed entities — Sime Darby Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property.

Under the exercise, Sime Darby would place its motors, industrial, logistics and other smaller provisions under Sime Darby Bhd, while the plantations and property divisions will be hosted by one separate company each.

After successfully demerging at the end of this month, Sime Darby Bhd is to be chaired by Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, while the group will be led by a new CEO, Jeffri Salim Davidson, who is now the deputy group CFO.

Current president and group CEO Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh will relinquish his current positions and subsequently be appointed the new executive deputy chairman and MD of the new Sime Darby Plantation Bhd.

The firm indicated that the listing reference price of its plantation and property companies shares will fall within the percentage allocation range of 60%-68% and 16%-19% respectively.

Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property will be listed on the Main Market on Bursa Malaysia on Nov 30.

Sime Darby’s share price closed at RM8.99, up two sen, or 0.22%, giving it a market capital isat ion of RM61.14 billion.