UEM Sunrise not affected by Khazanah’s board changes

The property developer will remain focused on running its business responsibly for its shareholders


UEM Sunrise Bhd will not likely be affected by the recent board changes at Khazanah Nasional Bhd which fully owns the property developer’s parent company, UEM Group Bhd.

UEM Sunrise MD and CEO Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the event that has taken place over the past few days has no impact on UEM Sunrise.

“Khazanah is a different entity altogether — they invest in companies like us via the UEM Group.

“We’re not worried (about the changes) because we’re professionals and we are answerable to our board, so there is a very clear corporate governance in place for us,” he told reporters at a briefing in conjunction with the group’s 50th year of community building celebration in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.

He said the property developer will remain focused on running its business responsibly for its shareholders, particularly in delivering its numbers for 2018 and preparing for next year.

Anwar Syahrin said the company has not engaged with the new board members at the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Last Friday, Khazanah announced that Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, currently CEO of the Employees Provident Fund, would be replacing Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar as MD of Khazanah effective Aug 20.

On July 31, the Prime Minister’s (PM) Office had also announced the appointment of the new board members at Khazanah effective immediately, including PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman, in a move to “clear the deck” at the strategic investment fund.

The other board members are Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, former Petroliam Nasional Bhd president and CEO Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, former Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Dr Sukhdave Singh and an investment banker Goh Ching Yin.

The appointments followed the resignations of nine former board members including Azman, which the fund said was done in order to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition under the new government.

Meanwhile, UEM Sunrise is maintaining its sales target of RM1.2 billion for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018, despite having seen “very good takeup rates over the past couple of months”, according to its CMO Kenny Wong.

“Whether or not that’s an effect of the new government, that’s hard for us to quantify, but I think there’s a general air of optimism, a buoyancy in the marketplace.

“And judging from our latest two launches, we see the demand is really coming back to the market,” he said.

Anwar Syahrin said property sales for the developer were also positive during the first five months of the year prior to the 14th General Election.

“It may not be directly related to the change in government — maybe the sentiment was already quite good, though I’m sure there is some element of that.

“It’s all about the economy, the feel-good factor and (consumer) confidence, so we believe it’s a combination of many things including external factors,” Anwar Syahrin said.

He said the group is on track to hit its sales target for this year as it has already achieved between 60% and 70% of the RM1.2 billion to-date.

In line with the government’s call to build more affordable housing to meet people’s needs, the developer is offering 300 units of landed and high-rise homes in Iskandar Puteri, Cyberjaya and Johor at prices starting from RM293,000, with downpayment from as low as RM1,000.

The campaign, which runs from Aug 6 until mid-September this year, includes Teega Puteri Harbour and Almas Puteri Harbour, Estuari Gardens @ Puteri Harbour, Bayu Angkasa and Residensi Ledang Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri, as well as Verdi Eco-dominiums and Symphony Hills in Cyberjaya.