Eco Horizon benefits from business growth and employment prospects in Batu Kawan

Eco Horizon, which is well situated in the centre of Batu Kawan's commercial area in Penang is riding on booming job opportunities and commercial activities there, says Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB).

The investment bank said that Eco Horizon has seen robust sales, particularly following the change of its land title from leasehold to freehold in 2021.

Eco World Development Bhd is developing Eco Horizon, which has a GDV of over RM7 billion. The first phase of landed homes in the 300-acre township, named Ashton, was launched in 2017.

According to Maybank IB analyst Wong Wei Sum, the project has RM6.5 billion in remaining gross development value (GDV), which is 11 per cent of Eco World's total GDV.

Eco Horizon made up 12 per cent of Eco World's overall sales in the fiscal year 2022.

Wong said that Maybank IB visited Eco Horizon in December 2022.

Blessed by its prime location and the right products, Eco Horizon is benefitting from rising demand for property there, she said.

"Located opposite IKEA Batu Kawan and Aspen Group's commercial development, namely Vervea shop offices, Eco Horizon has received a decent response on its products despite its premium pricing and competition nearby from developers like Aspen and Paramount," said Wong.

Apart from its prime position, Maybank IB attributes Eco Horizon's success to the suitable product offerings, like landed properties, as opposed to its competitors, who are mostly engaged in high-rise, she said.

"We continue to like Eco World for its hands-on and creative management team. We also like its attractive dividend yield of six per cent and relatively healthier balance sheet (0.31x net gearing as at Oct 2022)," she said.

Slower-than-anticipated property sales and a longer-than-anticipated property sector downturn, delays in receiving approvals for projects, higher-than-anticipated raw material costs, and labour shortages that impede project completion which could result in liquidated ascertained damages are some of the downside risks, according to Wong.

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