London City Island project by Eco World International Bhd. - NSTP/Courtesy of Eco World

ECO World International Bhd (EWI) is negotiating with institutional investors, submitting planning applications and securing funding for a proposed deal in the United Kingdom.

This is for the company’s Build-to-Rent (BtR) business in the UK which, according to its president and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Teow Leong Seng, is going from strength to strength.

EWI expects this segment to be a significant driver for its growth in the UK, it said in a statement last week.

Its joint-venture unit, EcoWorld London, is actively pursuing new opportunities to tap the growing institutional demand for

purpose-built BtR developments in the UK and targets to finalise the terms for a sizeable deal before year-end.

Teow said this is expected to contribute significantly towards achieving the company’s sales target of RM6 billion for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

“Along with the remaining projects planned for launch under the EcoWorld London portfolio, these efforts will not just contribute towards meeting our sales target for FY2019 and FY2020, but also extend EWI’s earnings visibility well beyond FY2020 as the projects are targeted for completion from FY2021 onwards.”

Teow said the strong sales contributions from new EcoWorld London projects over the last three months have validated the company’s strategic decision to venture into London’s mid-mainstream residential sector where demand remains robust despite Brexit headwinds.

EcoWorld London launched its Verdo residential blocks in Kew Bridge in February and it has achieved a healthy take-up of 43 per cent to-date, with good responses

from local and foreign buyers.

This positive response led to the launch of a new phase of Millbrook Park (Phase 2) in May to cater to the large number of downsizers in the matured locale.

Meanwhile, Eco World Development Group Bhd president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah said the group recorded RM1.03 billion sales in the first seven months of its financial year ending October 31.

The year saw the group start on a slow note with only RM230 million sales in the first four months.

Chang said following the official launch of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) on March 1, there was strong rebound in sales.

There was also strong growth in revenues achieved at EcoWorld’s projects, such as Eco Grandeur, Eco Ardence, Eco Horizon and Bukit Bintang City Centre.

“Thanks to the HOC, it is truly a buyer’s market today. However, despite the extremely competitive landscape, interest in all our developments remains strong,”he said.

Chang added that while the sectoral outlook in Malaysia continues to be challenging, there are green shoots emerging as a good number of saleable unsold units would have been cleared from the system through the HOC.

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