Jumaat, 13 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Business

TM, Celcom and DiGi in pact


KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) expects some RM400mil to RM600mil in revenue over 10 to 15 years from its wholesale bandwidth collaboration with Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd.

Under the agreement, TM will provide wholesale bandwidth connectivity via TM Next-Gen Backhaul Services for aggregation and access sites jointly owned by Celcom and DiGi, covering between 3,000 and 5,000km in Peninsular Malaysia.

This forms an important part of the ongoing network collaboration initiative between Celcom and DiGi announced in early 2011, particularly with regard to the joint ambition to roll out more than 10,000km of fibre network available.

TM will support Celcom and DiGi's transmission requirements, while enabling both companies to optimise cost and efficiently utilise its infrastructure.

TM group chief executive officer Tan Sri Zamzamzairani said the collaboration involved two phases of development.

"The first phase will be from 2014 to 2016 followed by the second phase deployment of additional sites for mobile access and aggregator sites across the peninsula," he said at the signing ceremony witnessed by Communication and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Jailani Johari.

Zamzamzairani said the partnership would not only help improve TM's revenue and growth, but would also strengthen TM's position as a broadband champion.

DiGi CEO Henril Clausen said the collaboration would enable the company to obtain quick access to fibre infrastructure to support future network capacity demands.

"Infrastructure sharing among industry players is gaining traction around the world. Our collaborative effort marks another clear move to be more operationally efficient as an industry, and by leveraging on synergies created we will be able to build and utilise our assets more efficiently, optimise costs and avoid duplicating network infrastructure," he added.

Celcom CEO Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly said the collaboration would ensure Celcom subscribers benefited from quality data and voice services.

"We're committed to improving our nationwide network for coverage and speed in the long run and this represents one of many key investments into network quality that Celcom is currently implementing," he said.

Shazalli said the collaboration was in line with the Government's call for greater industry partnerships.

Commenting on dropped calls – where a phone call is terminated unexpectedly because of technical reasons – Jailani said the industry was fully committed to reduce them.

He said they (dropped calls) were part of celcos' key performance indicators to measure their performance.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said that celcos had given their commitment to reducing dropped calls.

On another note he said communications interruptions in flooded areas had been fully restored.

He said base stations in the area were submerged in water causing the interruptions during the floods.

Homes in KL South, anybody?


Transit home.

That's one way to view acquiring real estate at the fringe of the Klang Valley or neighbouring suburbs, if you are native to the capital city.

In this case, it's Southville City in Bangi, Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd's most expansive township yet. Mah Sing Properties is a subsidiary of Mah Sing Group Bhd.

According to Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd township residential chief operating officer James A. Bruyns, many buyers are keen on a transit home for the work week.

"We have buyers who live with their families in Seremban and work in Kuala Lumpur. Having this property to go home to would alleviate their travelling. They can put up during the week and return to their families in the weekend," he tells StarBizWeek.

In addressing the distance between Bangi and commercialised areas such as Petaling Jaya and the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Bruyns explains the initial scepticism people expressed when Mah Sing acquired land in Cyberjaya.

"They said is was too far, but our Garden Residence have proven to be very successful due to the Maju Expressway (MEX), which means that the project is only 20 minutes from KL," he says.

It would be a matter of educating and sharing the information with the public as Bangi isn't very far at all, he adds.

"As a matter of fact, Bangi is no further from Petaling Jaya than it is to get from Petaling Jaya to Kuala Lumpur. The difference is that you can get from Bangi to Kuala Lumpur via a direct route," Bryuns says.

Mah Sing just had its direct interchange – a RM120mil project – for Southville City approved.

It will allow residents to turn off from the North South Expressway directly into the township.

Residential component

Overall, Southville City, built over freehold land, will have a gross development value (GDV) of RM5.13bil.

It will be launched in phases, starting with its residential component, the Savanna Executive Suites with a GDV of RM1.5bil.

The eight blocks of apartments feature 25-storeys of three-bedroom layouts in three size categories – 956 sq ft, 1,017and 1,960 sf ft – at an average price of RM280 per sq ft (psf).

These units will be partly furnished with an air-conditioning system and basic fittings.

The towers will consist of three levels of basement car park, two levels of retail lots, followed by a further three levels of car park and 25 floors of executive suites.

Like most other comprehensive residential developments, Savanna Executive Suites will sport an integrated podium with modern facilities such as an aqua gym, herb garden, reflexology park, maze garden, yoga deck as well as a nursery area.

Typical amenities such as a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, children's playground, launderette area and BBQ area are included.

Currently, the township sports a 20-acre (8-ha) sales gallery and plus show village (landscaping), all of which cost over RM10mil to build, according to Mah Sing Properties group chief operating officer Adam Leow.

The area also features a 15-ride, admission-free theme park, which has been running for several weeks and will end in mid January.

A small collection of motorised bicycles are prepared for visitors who want to tour the vicinity. In the future, proper biking lanes with parking stations will be set-up – linking all precincts – so as to promote healthy living and provide a safe route for patrons to get around.

All of this gives rise question of the necessity for such an expansive showroom.

Leow says that was part of a sampling of what the township will be,

"Southville City is a major development for the long term. Before we begin, we want to give people something tangible to experience that they can enjoy. We are very confident about its success. There is a trend of home-buying moving southward. Looking at our project here, others are waiting to kick off with theirs," Bruyns says.

"Savanna Executive Suites would appeal to first time home buyers, and also people who want to relocate from outstation to be closer to the capital," Bruyns says, adding that over 90% units have been pre-selected in the launch of its first four residential towers.

"The majority of buyers are from KL, Seremban, Klang and Ampang. We've had some interest from Johor as well," he says.

The towers are slated for completion at the end of 2017, about the same time as the interchange.

Following that, Mah Sing will proceed to build Garden Link Homes – a compound adjacent to the towers comprising 196 units of two and a half to three-storey link houses.

With a GDV of RM150mil, these units will have a built-up area of 2,650 sq ft, going for an average indicative price of RM324 psf.

Savanna Executive Suites and its two storeys of retail units, the Garden Link Homes come under what will be called Southville East.

Bruyns alludes to plans for a street mall, a boutique-style retail street in the vicinity in the future, where visitors can shop and sit down for a meal.

"It'll be the longest retail street in the country," he says.

Following these phases, the developer will build commercial units as well as semi-Ds and bungalows.

Amenities such as a primary and secondary school, clinic, police station as well as a mid-sized convention centre would be part and parcel of the development.

"Once residents experience living here they will know that it is very convenient and hassle free to live in Southville City. That is why we call it KL South," Bruyns says.

Report: Malaysia's Petronas seeks higher prices for its LNG to S.Korea


KUALA LUMPUR/SEOUL: Malaysia's Petronas is seeking higher prices for the 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year it supplies to South Korea's Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), Petronas sources said on Friday.

The Petronas contract is one of several that KOGAS, the world's largest corporate buyer of LNG, is currently renegotiating, and a settlement could pave the way for a sharp jump in long-term LNG prices from Malaysia to South Korea.

The move to hike prices comes as Asian LNG users are looking for ways to jointly leverage their buying power to lower prices of the fuel.

"We would be happy if we could get above 13 percent of crude oil," one Petronas source directly involved with the negotiations said but declined to say what the current pricing formula is.

A second Petronas source said the Malaysian state-run company is aiming to renegotiate its contract with KOGAS to 13 to 13.5 percent of crude oil prices, and that the current pricing formula is below 10 percent of crude oil prices.

Some industry insiders estimate that long-term LNG prices from Malaysia to South Korea could jump by as much as a third due to the renegotiations.

Long-term prices of around 13 percent of crude oil would put Malaysian LNG prices into South Korea at around $14.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). Current LNG spot prices are around $19 mmBtu.

It was not immediately clear if KOGAS would agree to the price hike. But its options are limited, given strong regional demand for LNG and South Korea's growing dependence on the fuel to feed its power plants due to cuts in nuclear power.

KOGAS has said it aims to cut its reliance on spot market purchases of LNG, citing difficulties in obtaining cargoes due to high prices.

Sources at both Petronas and KOGAS said the negotiations are continuing. A KOGAS source said that talks with Petronas are ongoing and might be wrapped up at the end of the year or in early January.

A KOGAS spokesman said he had no knowledge of the matter, while Petronas declined to comment.

Petronas' 20-year supply contract with KOGAS began in 2008 and prices can be reviewed every five to eight years. - Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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