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Friday July 27, 2007

CIMB-Mapletree Management to raise RM1b for second fund



KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB-Mapletree Management Sdn Bhd will raise RM1bil for its second fund, CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 2 (CMREF 2), which it plans to launch in the first quarter of next year.

CMREF 2 is a private real estate fund managed by CIMB-Mapletree.

So far, it already had commitment of RM200mil, said chief executive officer Raja Noorma Othman.

"We will go on a roadshow in three months' time to the Middle East, Europe and Malaysia. The fund will be used to invest in properties regionally, " she told reporters after Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and CIMB-Mapletree signed an agreement to build an office tower within the Kuala Lumpur Sentral development on Friday.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop witnessed the ceremony.

CIMB-Mapletree acquired land of over an acre, known as Lot A, to house CIMB Group new corporate headquarters.

MRCB would construct and develop the office tower, with a net floor area of over 600,000 sq ft.

The total development cost is RM404mil including land.

Construction will commence in the fourth quarter and the project will be completed in early 2011.

Upon completion, the building will be leased to CIMB Group.

The latest acquisition was made through CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 1 (CMREF 1).

CIMB-Mapletree had fully allocated the RM400mil raised from institutional investors from Middle East in the first fund.

CMREF 1 was used to purchase two office towers, a retail property, and two residential projects, said Raja Noorma.

It also had a small investment in a shopping centre in Thailand.

CIMB group chief executive Datuk Nazir Razak said with the track record, the company was "quite confident" of going back to institutional investors from the region and Middle East to raise RM1bil for the second fund.

"We need the next round because there has been a lot of opportunities. We raised RM400mil and invested RM1bil. With RM1bil, we expect to invest over RM3bil in the next round," he said.

Meanwhile, Nor Mohamed said Malaysia's economy would not be significantly affected by the US sub-prime mortgages market crisis due to its strong fundamental.

"We have enough mechanism and flexibility to offset any negative factors emanating from the external environment," he said.

 
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