February, 2016 | Biz Info

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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tycoon land sales raise questions


A few tycoons are selling large swathes of their land in Malaysia, either directly or through companies they control. Could this be a sign of the times, in the sense that these businessmen are looking to cash out of an asset class that is set for a prolonged downturn?

“You get the feeling like these tycoons are reading the market and acting on it,” says one fund manager.

Just last month, Guocoland (M) Bhd, a company controlled by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan said its associate company announced it was selling a large piece of land in Sepang to Petronas-owned Putrajaya Holdings Bhd.

Around RM116mil of the sales proceeds will be attributable to Guocoland, in which Quek has around 65% interest.

At around the same time, Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng decided to sell 400 acres of his privately-owned land to IOI Properties Group Bhd for a whopping RM1.58bil.

Lee will be paid mostly in shares, nudging his stake up to 58.56% from 51.47% but will also be getting cash of around RM158mil from the sale.

Lee has since explained that the deal shows his belief in the long-term prospects of IOI Properties and that the land will enhance the prospects of the latter.

He also said that he would use the cash proceeds from the sale to buy more shares in IOI Properties. But some observers say his move, of putting his privately owned land into his listed company, can be read as a decision to not want to take the risk of holding this land in these troubling times, but rather move it into his listed company.

Another notable vendor of land in recent times is Tan Sri Danny Tan. Through his listed Tropicana Corp Bhd, he has sold more than RM1.5bil worth of land this year alone.

Tan also sought to sell a large piece of land in Gelang Patah Johor to Singapore-listed Albedo Ltd for which he would have assumed control via a reverse takeover.

That deal has since been aborted and it isn’t clear if Tan has sold that piece of land, which was valued at almost RM2bil at the time of the proposed deal.

Last year, Tan Sri Desmond Lim’s Global Oriental Bhd sold 15 acres of land in Seri Kembangan to Singapore incorporated Qingdao Investment Pte Ltd for RM142mil while in 2013, DRB Hicom Bhd, controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar divested close to 250 acres of land in Johor to Eco World Development Group Bhd for more than half a billion ringgit.

Public Bank launches e-fixed deposit account

Public Bank Bhd recently launched the PB e-fixed deposit account (PB eFD) which is for customers opting for e-banking.

PB eFD is a “Go Green” paperless fixed deposit account which allows the customers to create the accounts, make placements and also withdraw online via PBe Online Banking (PBe).

With PB eFD, customers will benefit from the fixed deposit (FD) interest rate just by applying for a PB eFD account and make FD transactions anywhere via PBe throughout the whole week.

The PB eFD placements are carried out in real time with minimum placement from as low as RM1,000.

PB eFD is open to individual customers aged 18 years and above as well as sole proprietors, who have existing conventional personal current accounts or savings acounts and who have registered for PBe.

The bank said the facility would enable customers enjoy their interest earned before the maturity as PB eFD offers the option of monthly automatic crediting of interest into customers’ current account or savings account.

PB eFD also offers automatic renewal for the same tenure at the prevailing board rates for the convenience of customers.

In conjunction with the launch of PB eFD, Public Bank is running a “PB eFD Campaign” from Jan 12 to March 31 offering higher promotional interest rates of up to 3.60% per annum for three months and above.

With “PB eFD Campaign”, customers can watch their money grow and earn competitive interest rates.

Customers just have to open a PB eFD account via PBe and make a minimum PB eFD placement of RM1,000 during the campaign period in order to enjoy the higher promotional interest rates.

Came back from Kota Bahru Yesterday

2 days ago, I booked Firefly by MAS to Kota Bahru for 2 guests for $665 including seat allocation and taxes. After that I booked Hotel Perdana for 1 night for $280 which is right smack in town and very central and convenient. It is very near to KB mall where we went to have our dinner at Pizza Hut. I also booked the new Proton Saga from Hawk Rental for $180 for more than 1 day or 24 hours. We visited a client at a local school and was successful in getting a project which is slated to be completed by end of the month! It was a last minute thingy and that is why the need was urgent. The lady client is related to Kelantan royalty and they stay in a double storey bungalow with 4 cars, one of them a new Mercedes. There are 6 rooms in the bungalow and I enjoyed the trip; no doubt it was short as we had to come back and mobilise our workers after payment was done.

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

We celebrated Valentine’s day at Winter Warmers Restaurant in Times Square last night, costing $149.90 per couple. My partner ordered lamb shank while I had seabass with lemon capers as the mains. Our appetizer was scallops and mushroom soup. I had rose tea while he had rose capuccino topped with cream. For dessert, we had strawberry ice-cream and chocolate brownie. Upon payment of the dinner, I was given a nice cute teddy bear in red skirt which look like a rose. Earlier in the morning, my partner bought me a stalk of rose for $12.

Thereafter, we walked around M Mall and phase 1 of Times Square which is slated to be refurbished at an astonishing $10 million face lift for the empty shop lots. Crazy Cowboy has good business every night since its inception with cowboy songs and life band at its premise.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Monkey in 2016


Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve and I have tar pau my dinner already. My mum and youngest sis are in Singapore, dad and I in Penang and second sis and hubby in UK still pursuing for their PhDs with 1.5 years to go should there be no more delays. Well, I have lots of reading materials stocked up and the computer to keep me occupied this CNY. Normally we would have gone to Hatyai as a family of 4, but this year we were split. The year of the fire monkey has arrived and gone is the year of the Ram, my youngest sister’s zodiac sign. I am happy staying in my apartment instead of moving in with dad for a few days. There are a lot of events going on in M-Mall downstairs and finding food is not a problem. Dad has my replacement meal to take instead of driving out to buy food. The replacement meal is not cheap either; it cost me $14 per packet which is to be mixed with water, stirred and drunk. Anyway, Happy Chinese New Year and hopefully things don’t look so bleak as printed in the press.

Typed 8 Quotations Yesterday

Yesterday was a full working day for me. I had to type 8 long quotations, format them properly in a table and make sure everything is in order before emailing them out together with brochures and pictures. Most of the days it is like this, except for today, I just finished with 2 quotations and that’s it. My boss gets enquiries very often via the handphone or e-mails. Gone are the good old days when you have to hire many sales personnel to run the show and travelling around to clinch business and close the deal. Working in a home office is cosy, but not easy! There is plenty of work to do every single day and work can never finish. There will always be something to do every day!

More work today to input purchase receive

Today is the beginning of February and I have just received the tax invoices for last month from our suppliers. It is time to key in purchase receive for January for a few of those copies. I have been sleeping more and more in an air-con room under my silk duvet. It is not that I am getting lazier but there are less opportunities on the internet and writing gigs. So, when you have nothing to do, just read or laze in bed to recharge your batteries. Chinese New Year is just next week away and I have no plans to travel this time round. Perhaps just stay put in my apartment and go downstairs to walk around M-mall with its awesome embellishments and huge famous characters right out of block buster movies.