Saturday, February 2, 2013

Qatar may invest US$5b in Pengerang, Johor

Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla said Qatar Holding is eyeing mainly petrochemical projects in Johor and its investments in the sector will exceed US$5 billion.
Qatar Holding LLC, a Middle East sovereign wealth fund which owns the Harrods Group, is looking to spend half of the US$10 billion it plans to invest in Malaysia in petrochemical projects in Pengerang, Johor.

"We are in discussions about this. We may invest up to US$5 billion in the next three to four years in petrochemical projects here (in Pengerang)," Qatar Holding vice-chairman
Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla told reporters after the ground breaking ceremony of the first Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said the proposed plan follows the group's decision to spend over US$10 billion in various sectors including financial, retail and hospitality in Malaysia.

(From left) Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, Qatar Holding LLC vice-chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa looking at an artist’s impression of the Harrods Hotel.

Reuters reported that Pengerang is expected to accumulate RM170 billion in investments by the time it begins operations in 2016. The complex includes the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemicals Development project by state-owned oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

Meanwhile, Qatar Holding and Jerantas Sdn Bhd will jointly spend RM2 billion to build the Harrods Hotel, which is located on a 2.27ha of land between Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Conlay here belonging to Jerantas. It will be the world's third Harrods hotel.

The Qatar group is also planning to build Harrods hotels in London and Sardinia in Italy.

"The seven-star hotel will have 200 rooms and will be developed alongside two residential towers, an office building and a retail podium with direct access to the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall," said Hussain.

In July last year, Qatar Holding and Jerantas had signed a memorandum of understanding for the Qatar group to participate in the mixed development project.

Hussain said construction on the property is expected to start in July and completed in 2016.

Tender for the construction of the hotel will be awarded in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said approval for hotel developments in Kuala Lumpur will be expedited based on the Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) technical requirements.

The move was based on DBKL's study called "KL Structure Plan 2020" which had concluded that 83,770 rooms were needed to accommodate lodging demands. Last year, DBKL had registered 11 multinational companies in the city from six in 2011.

Jerantas is a joint venture between Gagasan Simfoni Sdn Bhd, which owns 64%, and PS Trading Sdn Bhd with 34%.

Qatar Holding has an interest in Gagasan Simfoni, while PS Trading is a subsidiary of Tradewinds Corp Bhd, the franchise holder for Harrods retail outlets in Malaysia.

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