24 April 2012

Berjaya Land in talks with Parkson to open departmental stores at its RM7.5 billion Great Mall of China

(BJLAND opening stock price today (24.4.2012) was 86 sen)

BERJAYA Land Bhd (BLand) is in discussions with Parkson Holdings Bhd (PHB) to open a department store at its RM7.5 billion Great Mall of China (GMOC) in East Beijing, China.

"Parkson is expanding in China and we are trying to talk them into taking up space at GMOC but nothing is firm yet," BLand chief executive officer, Datuk Francis Ng Sooi Lin, told Business Times.

Parkson, a Lion group company, has more than 50 outlets in China and currently derives some 70 per cent of sales from the Chinese market.

The department store operator has indi-cated plans to open more stores in China and in Asia.

Shares of Parkson rose one sen to close at RM5.26 yesterday.

BLand, which has development projects in Malaysia, China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, remained unchanged at 87 sen.

GMOC will be the world's largest integrated entertainment and commercial shopping complex when completed in about five years.

The 18.5 million sq ft complex is being developed in two phases on the outskirts of Beijing in the Hebei province, some 30 minutes' drive from the Central Business District.

The developer is Berjaya Great Mall of China Co Ltd (BGMOC), which is 51 per cent owned by BLand, and the rest by Berjaya Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan via his Berjaya Times Square Caymen Ltd.

Under the Phase One development, BGMOC is building a retail and pedestrian mall, each with a built-up of more than one million sq ft, three theme parks and parking.

Ng said there is more interest in GMOC and BLand is talking to several other big names to take up the retail space.

With the completion of Phase One by October 2013, some 150,000 visitors are expected daily at GMOC.

"GMOC will attract a lot more visitors once fully developed because of the product offering," Ng said.

Unlike other shopping malls in Beijing, which are mostly shopping-driven, GMOC will be the first mall in China to house three indoor theme parks, as well as an indoor aquarium and monorail.

GMOC will also have a multi-purpose convention hall and Lyric Theatre, which will be one of the largest international arts and cultural exchange centres in China, for exhibitions, operas, performances and shows from all over the world.

The hall will integrate with the office towers, serviced apartments, business and leisure hotels under Phase Two, which will commence this year.



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