Oxley Holdings buys $5m Cambodian site

Oxley Holdings buys $5m Cambodian site

SINGAPORE - Local developer Oxley Holdings is buying a site in Cambodia for US$4.1 million (S$5.1 million), less than a month after the firm announced its maiden overseas acquisition in Kuala Lumpur.

The firm said yesterday that it entered into an agreement on Wednesday to buy the freehold site measuring 24,692 sq ft in Phnom Penh - its first acquisition in the kingdom.

The plot was purchased through its 49 per cent-owned unit Oxley-Worldbridge (Cambodia) from Home Ground Investment. Oxley said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange yesterday that it derived the purchase price by considering current market prices of properties in the surrounding area and the land's development potential.

The purchase of the site, located at Village 13, Sangkat Srah Chork, Khan Daun Penh in the Cambodian capital, will be financed through Oxley's internal resources and bank borrowings.

Oxley said it intends to develop the site, subject to getting approval from the local authorities.

Oxley's chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong said: "Our plans are currently still quite fluid, as we need to first determine the best way to maximise the plot potential. At this point in time, our inclination is to move in the direction of an integrated development, combining residential, commercial and possibly hospitality units within the project."

Last month, Oxley announced that it was buying a 99-year leasehold site in Kuala Lumpur from the Malaysian government for about $111.5 million.

Oxley clinched the 1.9ha plot after it bought a Malaysian-incorporated company which has the rights to acquire the site.

But experts say local developers are mainly focused on buying land in Singapore, due to the risks involved in overseas expansion. "Look at the way developers have been bidding for land sales (in Singapore), despite knowing that there's a big supply (of homes) coming up," said International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong.

Local developers are generally risk-averse, as they are concerned about land management in other countries in contrast to how Singapore deals with land issues such as zoning and masterplanning, he said. However, emerging markets in the region still present good opportunities, he added.

ocheryl@sph.com.sg


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