UEM Sunrise to divest non-strategic land worth RM400m-RM500m in FY20

The proceeds from the sales will be utilised to acquire strategically located assets and lands, particularly in the central region

By SHAHEEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

UEM Sunrise Bhd plans to dispose of non-strategic land plots totalling RM400 million to RM500 million this year as part of its portfolio rationalisation move and raise funds.

CEO and MD Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the proceeds from the sales will be utilised to acquire strategically located assets and lands, particularly in the central region.

“We are currently in talks with potential buyers for the identified pockets of land in Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur (KL), while the sale in the Southern region has begun negotiations.

“We are continuing our effort on portfolio rebalancing as the returns don’t meet our investment criteria,” he said in a media briefing in KL yesterday.

Anwar Syahrin added that the property developer has identified lands in several areas including Seri Kembangan in Selangor and some other pockets of land for disposal.

In the financial year 2019 (FY19), UEM Sunrise divested land assets totalling RM429 million.

On growth prospects for FY20, Anwar Syahrin said the group targets sales of RM2 billion, derived from landed developments in the southern and central regions.

“So far, we are on track to achieve the target and it has been within our expectation. We didn’t expect the first quarter to be an easy quarter following the festivals,” he said.

On its ongoing mixed development in Durban Point in South Africa, Anwar Syahrin said the group is in talks with a new joint venture to develop the project, which is expected to be launched in the second half of 2020.

“I have yet to receive feedback…I need to go there and talk to the parties. The previous preferred partner had changed their mind. We’ve identified a new partner that could pursue the development further,” he said.

Anwar Syahrin said the group is currently moving towards building a compact development while eyeing development in Australia and the UK.

“We are now looking at more ‘chewable’ projects which can give us the right return and investment. We started off planning 970 units…I’m more comfortable between 100 units and 200 units. The UK, for example, is the area where we don’t need to go big, 40 units to 50 units are enough for us,” he said.

Anwar Syahrin said the property group is now looking at lands that could be developed into five to 10 niche projects of which could be launched in the next 12 months to 18 months.

UEM Sunrise closed two sen or 3.25% higher at 64 sen yesterday, bringing it a market capitalisation to RM2.86 billion.