TRX City in advanced talks with big-name potential investors

KUALA LUMPUR: TRX City Sdn Bhd is in talks with potential investors from the financial sector for the RM40 billion Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project, said its CEO Datuk Azmar Talib.

“We are now in advanced stages of talks with various investors, some of them amongst the world’s most recognisable names in banking and finance,” he said in his speech during a site visit by foreign ambassadors and embassy officials yesterday.

“Today we have on board with us world-class investors that believe in our vision. HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, will base its Malaysian headquarters in a new US$250 million development in TRX,” Azmar said.

He said HSBC’s investment is significant, as the bank was also one of the early believers in Canary Wharf and Dubai International Financial Center.

Other notable investments in TRX include Lendlease, who will jointly develop the Lifestyle Quarters, Mulia International Group, who is building the Signature Tower, Veolia who is the concessionaire for TRX’s wastewater recycling plant.

Azmar said once TRX is open for business, the MRT station will be the busiest station in Kuala Lumpur, with two lines and up to 25,000 passengers every hour at its peak. He declined to take questions from the media and provided no further updates on TRX development.

TRX City executive director Tan Hwa Min said the 70-acre project has strong local and international partners onboard and will be ready from 2018/19.

“About 80% of developable land in TRX’s north site has been commercialised or under negotiation,” he said.

He said in the long run, the surrounding area will experience a significant urban regeneration and the Imbi area will see more developments.

Meanwhile, InvestKL CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah said there is still investor confidence in Malaysia due to strong fundamentals such as gross domestic product growth, ongoing maturity of infrastructure, cost of doing business and multilingual talent.

“There is also the lure of Asean; there are a lot of opportunities in Asean and Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia being in the hub of Asean. Overall, it is challenging times but there are still plenty of opportunities here as well as the region,” he said.

Zainal said investor interest are from various sectors including oil and gas, with seven large oil and gas firms moving from other locations to Kuala Lumpur in the past 20 months while engineering firms that are participating in projects here end up setting up their base here.

Asean has a big market so you see fast moving consumer goods companies heading up their supply chain up here, for example, and now we are pushing Digital Malaysia as well. Companies are beginning to have their digital hubs here too,” he added.

He said InvestKL aims to bring in at least 10 large multinational companies ever year and is on track to meet its targets this year. In total to date, it has more than 65 companies with committed investments worth over RM10 billion.

“It is going well, in terms of realised investments so far it is more than 30% and jobs on payroll is more than 60%. So, it is hard work and tough but so far so good,” he added.