Ascendas in deal to build $1.5b tech park in Iskandar
Oct 24, 2012
By Yasmine Yahya
Ascendas Land International has inked a joint venture agreement with a unit of Malaysia's UEM Land to develop a technology park in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor.
The tech park will be located in Nusajaya, one of the five flagship zones in Iskandar. It has a projected investment value of $1.5 billion.
Ascendas will hold a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture while UEM, the real estate arm of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, will hold the remaining 40 per cent.
In a statement yesterday, the two firms said the 210ha freehold tech park will offer quality infrastructure to support a range of industries such as electronics, pharmaceutical and medical devices, food processing, precision engineering, fast-moving consumer goods, logistics and warehousing and general engineering services.
The park is the closest industrial site to the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link checkpoint.
Ascendas is the latest of several Singapore firms that have made investments in Iskandar.
Last month, Raffles Education entered into a deal with Iskandar Investment to buy a land plot for Raffles American School.
The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is also setting up a campus there and Singapore-listed Health Management International has invested in a hospital on the eastern side of Iskandar.
"It shows a broadening investor interest in Iskandar," said OCBC economist Selena Ling. "Malaysia has been fairly serious about attracting foreign direct investment and Iskandar is their showpiece."
She added that one attractive factor is Iskandar's proximity to Singapore.
The tech park will have supporting lifestyle and social amenities such as training facilities and dormitories, retail and food and beverage outlets, and fitness and sports facilities.
The development is expected to take place in three phases over nine years with the launch of Phase 1 targeted in the last quarter of next year.
When fully completed, it is expected to host a business community of over 34,000 people.
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