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Property roadshow to attract Japanese investors
Monday, 17 November 2008, by Angie Ng, The Star, Malaysia

MALAYSIA Property Inc (MPI) will kick off its maiden international property roadshow in Tokyo on Dec 6 and 7 to attract Japanese institutional investors to Malaysia’s shores. According to executive director Yu Kee Su, the two-day roadshow will project the advantages of Malaysia as a property destination.

”In Malaysia, foreigners can buy an unlimited number of property; register the property under their names; and there is no real property gains tax, inheritance and transfer tax. In Japan, these taxes are as high as 60%,” Yu pointed out.

He said with the Japanese yen now at its strongest, “Japanese investors buying properties overseas will get an immediate 20% discount, at the current exchange rate.”

“Japan’s strong yen and the Japanese government’s decision to allow its real estate investment trusts (REITs) to invest overseas will promote greater interest among its investors in Malaysia’s property.”

Yu expressed confidence that the road show would be well-received in spite of the current global economic uncertainties.

The Tokyo road show is the first of the Far East’s property promotions by MPI, a joint public and private sector initiative formed early this year to promote Malaysia’s property internationally, that will also cover Britain and the Middle East in the coming months. “It is a challenge to the organizers to ensure the success of the Tokyo road show as there has yet to be any Japanese institutional investors in Malaysian properties,” Yu said. Under Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Malaysia is already a top choice among Japanese for long stays and retirement.

“There are already investors from the Middle East and South Korea buying our local property en bloc and off the plan but none yet from Japan. We hope the road show will change that,” Yu said.

MPI is organising the road show with Ohana International Co Ltd as the event manager. It has the support of the Japan Travel Bureau (JBT) and the Long Stay Foundation (LSF), both of which have brought in record numbers of Japanese retirees under MM2H.

Also partnering in the Japan road show entitled “Luxurious Malaysia, long-stay, property and financial fair” at the Mitsui Life Insurance Hall, Otemachi Tokyo, are HSBC Tokyo and Mitsui Life Insurance. Both will send direct mail and emails to their vast clientele of the upcoming road show.

Some 1,000 prospective clients are invited including institutional investors such as Ishin Hotel REIT Management, RETEC Co Ltd, Orix Property, Hotel Management International, ING Property Investment Advisory Co Ltd, Renessance Capital, Star Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Realty Japan, Toyo Securities Co., Ltd, and Shinko Securities Co, Ltd.

Yu said participating developers in the road show would be invited for roundtable discussions and meet Japanese REIT investors and fund managers at private meetings and at business matching sessions during their stay.

Keen Japanese investors can join Ohana’s “Discover Malaysian Property Tour” to visit and familiarize themselves with the local property market assisted by the participating Malaysian developers.

Ishihara Shotaro, a MPI board advisor, said cash-rich Japan was lagging behind the US and Britain in foreign investment.

“The time is right to promote Malaysia’s property in Japan as the stronger yen against other currencies would make living cost and property prices much cheaper,” he said.


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