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Posted by on in Commercial

While some Singapore investors have started legal action against Brazil social housing developer EcoHouse, and others are losing sleep over the whereabouts of their investments, the company is still actively selling to new investors in other parts of the world despite a distinct lack of communication with its existing investors.

In Canada, for example, the company is responding to new potential investors with similar promises to those made to investors throughout Southeast Asia, including an estimated 1,000 people in Singapore. Agents in the U.K. are also still marketing EcoHouse developments.

An email from the head of EcoHouse' Canada operations lists very similar promises made to investors in Southeast Asia, including fixed annual returns for one- or three-year investments of between 15 percent and 17.5 percent, depending on how many units are purchased.

The sales pitch also says Ecohouse is [a] "Proven and secure investment. We have already paid out investors on our first two projects."

Mention is also made of protection of the investor's capital with an Escrow facility; however the wording of the follow-up contract allows EcoHouse to take money from the Escrow account at any time for the purpose of building the investors unit.

Selling has also been happening through the company's Shanghai office until recently, although that appears to have ended. Indeed phone calls and emails to all of the company's offices around the world are mostly now going unanswered.

In the last 24-hours PropertyGuru has been contacted by agencies from Sweden and Russia seeking more information about the situation regarding EcoHouse in Southeast Asia. Neither have allegedly been paid their commission and are worried for the investments made on behalf of their clients.

Many Singapore investors are also irked by the fact that their so-called protected investments have been used before the completion of their investment, while promised returns and capital repayments have been delayed.

The last official statement from EcoHouse to its investors came on September 1 through a London-based reputation management firm. It promised an update within a week.

Some investors were expecting payments last month and, along with the promised update, nothing arrived. According to the company's last update, four phases of development are due to be completed before the end of 2014.

Italian media has this week reported that players of Monza Football Club, the President being EcoHouse Chief Executive Officer Anthony Armstrong Emery, have not been paid. This echoes what has been happening with Alecrim Football Club in Natal, Brazil, where Emery was also involved.

It is understood Emery is now seeking institutional funding to compensate for the delays from the Brazil banks that the company is suggesting are responsible for delayed returns to its investors.

Requests by PropertyGuru for comment for publication have not been answered.

Credits: Property Guru

Tagged in: RCR Yishun
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Posted by on in Commercial

Asian interest is expected when the largest land holding in Brisbane's Chinatown Mall is offered for sale by Expressions of Interest next month.

The development presents an investment opportunity according to the marketing agency, with income and development upside.

The Valley Heart Portfolio, a 9,340 sqm landmark site in Brisbane's Chinatown Mall is on the market, and the portfolio consists of mixed-use buildings across two land parcels with prominent street frontages on Brunswick and Duncan Street.

Tom Phipps and Jason Lynch of Colliers International are exclusively marketing the opportunity which offers a collection of iconic properties and secure recurring income from quality tenants across net lettable area of 19,096 sqm.

Tom Phipps, Director of Capital Markets and Investment Services at Colliers International, said: "The offering is unique in its scale, with the portfolio commanding the largest land holding on Brisbane's Chinatown Mall, and just 1.2 kilometres from the Brisbane central business district.

"The size of the parcels offer a never to be repeated opportunity to create a world-class mixed use development in the heart of Fortitude Valley.

"The Valley Heart Portfolio offers the flexibility to hold the properties as an investment with future development upside, or immediately commence the development process while enjoying significant holding income," added Phipps.

The Valley Heart Portfolio consists of 315 Brunswick Street (TCB) which is located on a 4,510 sqm site and comprises 14,058 sqm of lettable area, with 31 Duncan and 143-153 Wickham Street (Chinatown) being situated on a 4,830 sqm site featuring 5,038s qm of net lettable area.

The portfolio is being offered for sale by Expressions of Interest closing at 4.00pm (AEST) time on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Credits: Property Guru

Tagged in: GLP Posh Projects
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Posted by on in Commercial

Property magnate Kwek Leng Beng has won the title of "Best Travel Entrepreneur of the Year" at the TTG Travel Awards 2014, held earlier this month in Bangkok, Thailand.

The chairman of London-listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) was honoured for setting new standards for his organisation's brand and for contributing to areas in the travel industry such as sustainability, training and education.

"I am very proud to be conferred the prestigious TTG Travel Entrepreneur of the Year. This honour would not have been possible without the support of many capable people who work with me as a team," said Kwek.

He added: "An an entrepreneur, I am determined to continue to acquire and build hotels that meet the latest needs and trends of our guests."

This achievement is the latest in a number of hospitality-related awards picked up by Kwek over the years. Other accolades include "Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year" and "Outstanding Contributor to Tourism" by the Singapore Tourism Board in 1997, and the "Asian Hotelier of the Decade" in 2000 by JLL Hotels and Arthur Andersen.

Mr Kwek expanded the M&C brand from just one hotel in the early 1970s to one of the largest hotel owners and operators in the world. The company now has more than 120 hotels.

M&C is a subsidiary of property giant CDL. Both M&C and CDL are members of Hong Leong Group Singapore.

Credits: Property Guru

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Posted by on in Commercial

Leading Indonesian property portal Rumah.com has appointed Rafael Jeffry Sani as Country Manager, where he will be responsible of spearheading Rumah.com's growth and strengthening the local management team.

He said: "I look forward to be part of this company and can't wait to lead Rumah.com as well as contribute to its business development in Indonesia. With my knowledge and experience, I want to give Rumah.com new perspectives, ideas, and innovations to reach its glory," Sani stated in the press release.

The appointment of Sani is the second strategic decision that Rumah.com has made in several weeks. The first one was a partnership with Emtek Group to strengthen its position in Indonesia's market.

Steve Melhuish, PropertyGuru Group's Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said that he is optimistic that Sani is the right one to lead Rumah.com to the top.

He added that Rumah.com has actually led the market, reflected from the number of downloads the platform gets which has doubled from last year's figure, and the fact that the platform has more than 8,800 property agents actively posting their property ads.

He said: "Rumah.com is obviously leading Indonesia's online property search market. Sani will bring in his experience as a businessman as well as leader to lead the company. With his proven capability of managing a fleet of different brands, Sani is the right man for Rumah.com's success."

Rumah.com, as one of PropertyGuru Group's property portals, is the biggest property portal in Indonesia. It has more than 2,000,000 visitors per month and provides more than 290,000 property listings.

As of the end of 2013 the associated App had received more than 1.3 million downloads.

Credits: Property Guru

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Posted by on in Commercial

Malaysia's annual budget for 2015 will be presented by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday afternoon, and is expected to contain provisions that will continue to stimulate the country's economic growth, improve its fiscal position and raise living standards.

"It will also help to ensure a smooth transition to the 11th Malaysia Plan which will provide the final push in transforming the country into an advanced and high-income nation by 2020," said Mr Najib, before chairing the 2015 Budget consultation meeting in May.

But how will it impact the property market? According to analysts, the new budget could provide relief to first-time home buyers by extending the stamp duty exemptions. Notably, the government waives 50 percent of the stamp duty for residential properties priced below RM400,000, but this measure is scheduled to expire by year's end.

In order to rein in speculation, the authorities could also further increase the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), noted Kenanga Research. In 2013, this tax was raised to 30 percent for properties held for less than three years. For those sold within four to five years, sellers have to pay 20 percent, up from 15 percent previously.

But if Budget 2015 introduces more stringent measures to stamp out speculation, it could negatively affect consumption and domestic demand, stated Affin Investment Bank.

Finally, the government may roll out a Goods and Services Tax (GST) rebate for construction materials used in low- to medium-cost houses, added MIDF Research property analyst Ahmad Annuar Abdul Rahman.

Infrastructure

On infrastructure, the authorities may allocate more funds to improve the country's railway networks. This includes ongoing projects in Kuala Lumpur and the upcoming regional commuter services connecting Singapore and Johor Bahru, said Maybank.

In particular, PM Najib revealed that the government is seeking long-term solutions to tackle traffic woes in the capital and surrounding areas.

"The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) could alleviate the problem by extending the distance of public transport to 51 km," he said, adding that every MRT train would have four coaches so up to 400,000 passengers can ride the MRT daily.

They will also extend the Light Rail Transit line by stretching the Kelana Jaya and Ampang route until Putra Heights.

In line with its objective of providing eco-friendly public transport, the Electrified Double Track Project from Ipoh to Padang Besar, Perlis would cater for commuters in the northern region.

Additionally, the government may earmark more development funds for states in the eastern and northern part of peninsular Malaysia, revealed Kenanga Research. In particular, Sarawak could receive more funds, mainly for its rail network and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), noted Maybank.

Finances

Meanwhile, the administration is seriously considering the Auditor-General's recommendation on improving government spending. "In this regard, we are taking a holistic approach in order to ensure prudent financial management. Any malpractice and shortcomings in government administration will also be addressed effectively," said Mr Najib.

As such, they could reduce subsidies on essential food items, such as flour, cooking oil and household gas, noted RHB Research.

To offset this, the authorities could raise the minimum wage accompanied by measures to enhance productivity, said Hong Leong.

Alliance DBS also believes that the government may slash corporate taxes by more than the one percent cut announced for 2016, as Malaysia's tax rates are still higher than its regional peers. However, other banks feel that the government could implement it sooner rather than implement a larger cut.

To alleviate the cost of living, they may also announce new tax reliefs for households, added Alliance DBS.

The authorities could also increase the cash assistance handed out under Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) by 300 ringgit. Notably, this scheme can be taken up by households with a monthly income of up to RM4,000 and individuals earning less than 2,000 ringgit. But this could cost the government RM7.5 billion by 2015, up from RM4.6 billion ringgit last year.

As for the impending GST, the government may include more exemptions, in addition to fresh food, educational fees, healthcare and public transport.

Credits: Property Guru

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