Manharlal Ratilal, a director of KLCC Property Holdings Bhd., comments on the developer’s new office and retail tower called Lot C which is scheduled for completion in Kuala Lumpur in October 2011.
KLCC Property’s main asset is the 88-floor Petronas Twins Towers in Malaysia’s capital, formerly the world’s tallest building. It is spending close to 1 billion ringgit ($312 million) on Lot C, a new 59-storey tower complex next door with 840,000 square feet of rentable office space and 140,000 square feet of retail space.
Manharlal spoke to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today. He also comments on the outlook for Mandarin Oriental Hotel, another property it owns neighboring Petronas Towers.
On Lot C’s contribution to earnings:
“We’re happy at the way things have progressed so far. It’s within budget and we think it’s going to be on target for Oct 2011, and it is going to add to more revenue earning capacity.”
On the impact of recently global economic uncertainty:
“We’re confident that we can get a very, very good occupancy rate. Global uncertainties come and go, but when we’re managing a property complex as important as this, it’s our job to make sure the fundamentals are strong and that whenever there’s a recovery we take advantage of that. We always want to be able to operate from a position of strength.”
On the outlook for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel:
“All the five-star hotels have seen some decrease in traffic arising from the after-effects of the financial crisis and the drop in business travelers. Also, a lot of business travelers being more conscious of the kind of class of hotels they’re allowed to stay in. What is important for us is that we keep on maintaining the Mandarin Oriental as the premium hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Of course, occupancy is down compared to previous years. It had a 57 percent average occupancy rate for the previous financial year.”
On land acquisition:
“The Kuala Lumpur City Centre area itself has adequate areas for development. We pace ourselves. We don’t want to be over-aggressive.”