Etiqa to complete 4th property project by mid-2018
By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By TMR File
ETIQA Insurance Bhd, a subsidiary of Maybank Ageas Holdings Bhd, is set to complete its fourth property investment project with a gross development value of RM500 million in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Maybank Ageas CEO Kamaludin Ahmad (picture) said the building, named Menara Etiqa, is projected to be 98%- occupied by tenants upon completion.
“Many people have shown interest in the office spaces we offer, including some financial institutions. We will be taking three to five floors, depending on the demand out there, as we are quite flexible with the occupancy,” he said at the topping-off ceremony of Menara Etiqa yesterday.
The fourth property investment for Etiqa, the building offers 380,000 sq ft of subdivided suites for leasing.
Located in Jalan Bangsar, the 38-storey building is expected to be made available to tenants by July 2018.
Kamaludin said the project will be followed by Etiqa’s fourth building next year. “For next year, we’ll get more involved in property investment.
That is it for us, and the focus will be channelled into getting the tenants here in the building,” he said.
The appointed leasing agent for the building is Savills Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Its executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd said despite the pressure faced by the office and commercial building segment, the situation could still be salvaged via offices upgrading as required by tenants.
“It’s a common knowledge that office market is now weak, and that primarily reflects on the over excessive building that is prevalent in the country.
This, however, is a long-term investment for Etiqa.
“There is still a healthy take-up of the office space and a lot are coming from tenants who want to upgrade their spaces,” Boyd said.
He added that half of the office buildings in the city centre are considered outdated in design, and do not meet the current standards and requirement.
“The rental rate for Menara Etiqa might be between RM6.50 and RM6.75 per sq ft per month.
By international standards, it’s still very inexpensive. “If a company can move from a RM5 per sq ft building to a RM6.50 per sq ft space, it will be a very valuable upgrade for them.
As it is, at least 50% of the offices in Kuala Lumpur are considered old by Malaysian standard, and doesn’t match up to today’s requirement, in terms of mechanical and electrical equipment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Etiqa chairman Datuk R Karunakaran said the property segment is part of the insurance company’s strategy in diversifying its core business into ventures with long-term returns.
“Etiqa embarked on this project as part of our core business strategy of optimising the longterm sustainable returns, by diversifying our investment assets to include property.
“It is also designed to have full range of ‘MSC’ compliance, while conserving the environment.
“We are recognised for this with the Green Building Index ‘Gold’ rating, and Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia GreenRE ‘Platinum’ rating,” he said.