‘CHINA’S WANDA GROUP IN TALKS TO DEVELOP BANDAR MALAYSIA’
Talks at advanced stage and deal awaiting nod from China’s regulators, say sources
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.