‘CHINA’S WANDA GROUP IN TALKS TO DE­VELOP BAN­DAR MALAYSIA’

Talks at ad­vanced stage and deal await­ing nod from China’s reg­u­la­tors, say sources

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

KUALA LUMPUR

Acom­pany con­trolled by China’s rich­est man has emerged as the fron­trun­ner for the Ban­dar Malaysia de­vel­op­ment, fol­low­ing the sur­prise moveby Malaysia last week to boot out a con­sor­tium that was to buy a ma­jor­ity stake in the project, Sin­ga­pore’s Straits Times re­ported yes­ter­day.

Quot­ing govern­ment of­fi­cials and fi­nan­cial ex­ec­u­tives close to the sit­u­a­tion, the news­pa­per said ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Dalian Wanda Group to take a cen­tral role as mas­ter de­vel­oper had reached an ad­vanced stage and the agree­ment was await­ing ap­proval from China’s fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tors.

This is be­cause Wanda’s in­vest­ment would in­volve a large out­flow of cap­i­tal, some­thing Bei­jing was dis­cour­ag­ing as part of a wider eco­nomic strat­egy to pre­serve China’s de­plet­ing reserves, said the re­port.

Wanda, con­trolled by bil­lion­aire Wang Jian­lin, owns the world’s largest cinema chain, along with theme parks, foot­ball clubs and ho­tels.

Should the pro­posed plan re­ceive the green light from the Chi­nese govern­ment, an agree­ment would be signed dur­ing a trip by Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak to Bei­jing this week, the ex­ec­u­tives were quoted as say­ing.

Na­jib is visiting China to at­tend the Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion to­mor­row and Fri­day.

The Straits Times said de­tails of Wanda’ pro­posed in­vest­ments in Ban­dar Malaysia are be­ing ironed out.

It high­lighted that the Malaysian govern­ment of­fi­cials noted that the new deal would be sub­stan­tially higher than the pre­vi­ous RM12.3 bil­lion val­u­a­tion tag for the en­tire project.

The re­port said Wanda had pro­posed to use half of the de­vel­op­ment for tourism and en­ter­tain­ment-re­lated ven­tures val­ued at US$8 bil­lion (RM35.2 bil­lion).

Wanda and China’s Green­land prop­erty group had in­di­cated in­ter­est in par­tic­i­pat­ing in Ban­dar Malaysia when se­nior ex­ec­u­tives from the pri­vate com­pa­nies met Na­jib dur­ing his visit to China in Novem­ber last year, the of­fi­cials were quoted as say­ing.

TRX City Sdn Bhd, whol­ly­owned by the Fi­nance Min­istry, had aborted the sale of a 60 per cent stake in Ban­dar Malaysia Sdn Bhd for RM7.41 bil­lion to IWH CREC Sdn Bhd (ICSB) on grounds that ICSB had not met its pay­ment obli­ga­tions de­spite been given 12 ex­ten­sions.

ICSB is a con­sor­tium com­pris­ing Iskan­dar Wa­ter­front Hold­ings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Rail­way En­gi­neer­ing Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC).

Ban­dar Malaysia is the big­gest de­vel­op­ment site in Malaysia in a key strate­gic po­si­tion. Upon com­ple­tion, it will of­fer many busi­ness, in­vest­ment and em­ploy­ment opportunities, in­clud­ing the Kuala Lumpur In­ter­net City, the hub for the new Dig­i­tal Free Trade Zone. Bernama

An artist’s im­pres­sion of Ban­dar Malaysia. Af­ter com­ple­tion, the de­vel­op­ment will of­fer many busi­ness, in­vest­ment and em­ploy­ment opportunities.

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