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Malaysia property 'perfect' for Chinese buyers

Updated: 2015-01-28 07:38
By Xie Yu in Hong Kong (China Daily)

The largest French governmental asset to be sold outside of France may go to a Chinese buyer, according to land agent CBRE Group.

The French embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been put up for sale, and Chinese buyers have expressed interest in investing, according to CBRE, the sole agent.

"The French embassy is one of the few opportunities for a large, landmark development in the prime KLCC area. The solid interest we've garnered to date includes multiple Chinese developers, who may be strong contenders for this prime piece of real estate," said Nabeel Hussain, associate director of CBRE Malaysia, on Tuesday.

The piece of land along Jalan Ampang covers 8 acres, and is close to major landmarks including the Petronas Twin Towers and the Suria KLCC shopping center.

As for pricing, the best reference might be the neighboring British embassy, which sold recently for 200 ringgit ($61.60) per square foot. If sold at a similar price, the French Embassy project would be worth roughly $21.5 million.

"The most attractive thing is it offers size and volume, which is rare in the prime region. The front part is for commercial development and the back part can be developed into a mixed-use project," according to a CBRE manager.

It is perfect for Chinese investors as they can create large integrated developments that include retail, offices and serviced apartments, he added.

Malaysia has been a familiar market for Chinese developers for years. China's property tycoons, including Country Garden, R&F Properties and Greenland Group, have been investing heavily in land since 2012.

Chris Boyd, executive chairman of CBRE Malaysia, said the embassy sale is the largest sale of a French governmental asset outside France to date.

It is not rare for diplomatic missions to streamline their real estate holdings overseas, following the seminal sale of the Australian embassy in Tokyo in 1988.

xieyu@chinadaily.com.cn

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