MAINLAND CHINESE investors are now favouring Malaysia for real estate over more expensive Australia and Hong Kong, says The Financial Times in a report.
Chinese developers have increasingly made their presence felt especially in the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, where since the early 2010s a number of them have bought land in Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s most established economic zone, located in Johor state.
One of the earliest, Guangzhou-based Country Garden Holdings Co, bought 57 acres 23 hectares in Danga Bay, a planned waterfront city, from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) for 57 million ringgit (Bt444 million) in 2012.
The company launched 9,000 condominium units in 2013 that will be completed over several phases. The 18-billion-ringgit project will also include a mall.
IWH, Danga Bay’s master developer, counts Malaysian businessman Lim Kang Hoo and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor, the state investment arm, as shareholders.
According to FT, citing data from Real Capital Analytics, Chinese groups have invested more than US$2.1 billion (Bt72 billion) in Malaysian real estate over the past three years, compared with $985 million invested by Singaporean companies between 2014 and 2016.
These investments complement the others that Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, have drawn to Iskandar Malaysia. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and CapitaLand have projects in Iskandar Malaysia as well as Sydney-based Walker Group Holdings.
Last year, the economic zone drew in investments totalling 32.15 billion ringgit.