KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World International Bhd’s (EWI) monetisation strategy is progressing on track with a planned portion of the funds generated from the sales of its completed stocks earmarked for reinvestment. The balance will be repatriated to Malaysia for a planned distribution to shareholders.
“Our monetisation strategy has progressed well, enabling us to repay all the project development loans for our Australian projects as well as all the bank borrowings of our EW-Ballymore joint-venture.
“At the Group level, we have also begun receiving some repayment of our shareholders' advances from EW Ballymore,” said EWI president and chief executive officer Datuk Teow Leong Seng.
However, despite the resurgence in demand seen over the last seven months, selling prices for properties have not increased at quite the same pace as yet, he said in a press release from EWI.
He attributed this to the market sentiment which continued to be weighed down by inflationary concerns and rising interest rates, compounded by geo-political tensions caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Interestingly though, rents in London have been going up particularly at our EW-Ballymore projects due to their prime location, transport accessibility and excellent liveability. Such rental growth augurs well for an eventual price recovery which should help us to achieve better overall returns from the sale of our completed properties for the benefit of our shareholders,” he continued.
Teow highlighted that EW-Ballymore currently has about £400mil worth of completed properties which are readily monetisable given the sustained interest received on all three projects within the portfolio.
“Once the remaining completed properties in our EW-Ballymore portfolio as well as our Australian projects are sold, EcoWorld International will have substantial cash reserves to be deployed.
“We intend to set aside a portion of the cash generated for reinvestment in new projects for our future growth – the balance we are targeting to be repatriated from the United Kingdom and Australia for distribution to our shareholders within the next one to two years,” Teow said.
Meanwhile, EWI is on track to achieve its sales target of RM2bil for FY2022. Total sales plus reserves as of May 31, 2022 adds up to RM1.533bil which is 52% more than RM1.012bil recorded in the same period of FY2021.
Embassy Gardens and London City Island continue to be the biggest contributors to sales and reservations, generating RM549mil and RM304mil respectively.
However, it registered a loss before tax of RM66.53mil in 2Q 2022 as compared to a profit before tax of RM18.52mil reported for 2Q 2021. This is due to fewer handovers of properties sold to customers in the current quarter as the majority of units sold had been handed over in the last financial year.