TA Global Bhd chief executive officer Tiah Joo Kim (centre) said the land sale in Australia should complete in January 2018. He is flanked by TA Global executive director Kimmy Khoo and TA Securities Holdings Bhd research head Kaladher Govindan. NST photo by LUQMAN HAKIM

PETALING JAYA: TA Global Bhd’s shareholders, today, unanimously approved of the AU$245 million sale of 24.3-acre land in Australia, as the company seeks to maximise its asset monetisation initiative.

Three months ago, TA Global entered into a put and call option with Karimbla Properties Pty Ltd for the sale of the Little Bay Cove project.

It is a 33.6-acre freehold residential development master plan located towards the southern end of the Eastern Suburbs in the suburb of Little Bay Cove, just south of Malabar in New South Wales, Australia.

Karimbla Properties Pty Ltd is a unit of Meriton Properties Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest residential apartment developer.

“We estimate this sale to complete in January 2018. Proceeds from this sale will go to repay some of our borrowings,” said TA Global chief executive officer Tiah Joo Kim.

“We plan to repay AU$180 million in bank borrowings. By then, our overall gearing will reduce from 0.85 times to 0.61, a manageable level we are comfortable with,” he said.

Tiah was speaking with reporters after the company's shareholders meeting here today. Also present was TA Global executive director Kimmy Khoo.

It was reported that, effective 1st November 2017, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) had stopped approvals for the development of shopping complexes, offices, serviced apartments and luxury condominiums priced over RM1 million.

"I believe this new ruling by DBKL is still being finalised as discussions are still ongoing. Anyway, we’re launching two prime projects next year, of which, we have already secured the building permits. So, these projects are good to go," said Tiah.

He then highlighted the freeze on future development of premium residential and commercial properties could prove to be a litmus test separating financially strong players which would have staying power, from the weaker ones.

The company has two project launches in the pipeline. By the second quarter of 2018, TA Global plans to launch two residential towers in Dutamas near Publika mall, and the TA3 & TA4 skyscrapers at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).

The gross development value (GDV) of the Dutamas project is RM482 million while that of the TA3 & TA4 skyscrapers amounted to RM2.15 billion, respectively. Construction of the buildings at Dutamas and KLCC are slated for completion by the second quarter of 2021.

To a question why TA Global is pressing on to launch luxury properties next year when the current tepid market would prove to be challenging, Tiah replied “the market will take its natural course, and when it picks up, we’re ready.”

TA Global has a dividend policy of paying out between 20 and 50 per cent of its net profits to shareholders.

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