BSEL to invest Dh15bn in Malaysia - Emirates24|7

BSEL to invest Dh15bn in Malaysia

Johor Bahru is barely 25 minutes from Singapore by car and land prices are just 1/25 of mainland rates. (AFP)

BSEL Infrastructure Realty, the Ajman-registered firm that is a wholly-owned unit of India's BSEL Infrastructure Realty Limited, yesterday said it has signed a deal with the Malaysian Government to invest Dh15 billion in developing a metropolis.

The Iskandar city will be developed over 12 years with Malaysia's statutory body Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), BSEL said in a statement. IRDA will help BSEL secure necessary government approvals and licences from government authorities to develop 70 million square feet of land in the Johor Bahru region of Malaysia.

The Dh15 billion will be invested in three tranches at four-year intervals. In the first phase, BSEL will invest Dh2 billion, followed by Dh4 billion in the second phase and Dh9 billion in the third.

Johor Bahru is an attractive proposition for real estate companies for two main reasons: close proximity to Singapore (it is barely 25 minutes drive) and land prices being 1/25 of Singapore mainland prices.

Of the 70 million sq ft of land development, 80 per cent will comprise residential and the rest will be commercial space. This development of land will commensurate with the investment cycle in three tranches. In the first phase 10 million sq ft of land will be undertaken for development, followed by 20 million sq ft of land in the second phase and lastly, 40 million sq ft of land in the concluding phase.

Christina Cabading, President of BSEL UAE, said: "We are excited to partner with IRDA on this prestigious project. With this new business avenue, BSEL will be catapulted to the next level. Of the five economic zones, BSEL has pledged to invest in the two zones – Financial District and Nusajaya.

"This is a great opportunity for investors from the UAE to invest in Malaysia and reap the benefits."

IRDA Chief Executive Officer Dato Ikmal Hijaz Hashim said: "The collaboration between IRDA and BSEL is significant as it is the first of its kind with an UAE company in Iskandar.

"IRDA will endeavor to assist and facilitate BSEL in their investments within Iskandar Malaysia and obtain the necessary approvals and incentives [where applicable] from the relevant authorities.

"And I am personally committed to ensure that investors to Iskandar, such as BSEL, get the full support of the IRDA."

IRDA is a federal government statutory body responsible for realising the vision and objectives of making Iskandar Development Region a metropolis of international standing.

IRDA is the sole authority empowered by the government to plan, promote, facilitate and undertake development in the region.