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Iskandar Malaysia’s $20bn ‘Medini’ launched at Cityscape Dubai 2008

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, October 07 - 2008 @ 11:29

The catalyst development, previously referred to as ‘Node 1’, is located in Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s premier economic zone, and is expected to bring in Gross Development Value (“GDV”) in excess of $20bn over a period of 15 to 20 years.

The launch of Medini was announced on the first day of the event during a press conference jointly hosted by Malaysian-based Iskandar Investment Berhad (“IIB”) along with its established Middle-Eastern business partners in the development. Amongst them are Rim City Sdn Bhd (“RCSB”), Cultural Cluster Sdn Bhd (“CCSB”) and Mubadala Development Company (“Mubadala”), with the latter leading a consortium called Global Capital comprising other well-known industry players ALDAR Properties PSJC (“ALDAR”) and Millennium Development International (“Millennium”). Cultural Cluster Sdn Bhd (CCSB), is a special purpose vehicle which is majority-owned by Al-Nibras 2 Limited, a Labuan-based private fund company managed by Kuwait Finance House (Labuan) Berhad (KFHLB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad. The other shareholders are Khazanah, the government investment authority of Malaysia and the parent company of IIB, and Jumeirah Capital.

In her statement addressing an international audience of investors and media, Managing Director of IIB Arlida Ariff commented, “Medini is Iskandar Malaysia’s first sizeable world-class offering to the international property space. The development is undoubtedly strong in its strategic positioning, government backing, and supporting infrastructure and resources and when you add the invaluable commitment, experience and expertise of our Middle-Eastern partners – we’re looking at a winning formula.”

Medini is set to be a 2,300 acre international mixed-use urban development, located on prime greenfield land in the heart of Nusajaya which lies in between Malaysia’s second crossing to Singapore and the country’s southern Johor State’s New Administrative Centre (JSNAC). The

area is designed as a holistic destination of choice for an international community, with a balanced and seamless convergence of urban development with the natural environment. It will comprise various specialist and key zones to cater to an integrated lifestyle, where development plans are undertaken in parcels by the individual business partners.

“We decided to capitalize on the exposure provided by the Cityscape platform to launch Medini, and in tandem, open up a limited number of exclusive opportunities within our space here for commitment from keen investors,” says Richard Polkinghorne, Country Director of Millennium. The company, highly experienced in large scale and mixed use projects, will drive the 365 acre International Financial District (IFD) set to be the world-class hub of Islamic Finance in South East Asia, with the presence of international financial institutions, banks and corporations.

Another segment in Medini known as the Lifestyle and Leisure Cluster is headed by Mubadala, whose plans include the development of 1,240 acres of land into a City Centre, Golf Village, Medical and Wellness Village, Amusement Bay and a Residential District. Lastly, Cultural Cluster Sdn Bhd will undertake 624 acres in Medini to build the Creative Cluster which will include the Heritage District, Creative Park and Logistics Village.

IIB holds a 30% stake across these collaborations in the Medini development. The company acts as a pivotal force in driving various catalytic projects within Iskandar Malaysia by investing in strategic initiatives, either through shareholding stakes in joint ventures or through contribution of land within private-public partnerships that will accelerate and enhance growth of the economic region.

Mr Ali O. Al-Ghannam, Chairman of CCSB and the Department Manager, International Real Estate Department, Kuwait Finance House, Kuwait, commented, “CCSB reflects an important role that KFH plays in infrastructural development in Malaysia as well as Asia, in which the Medini is our largest investment. The strategic alliance between Malaysia and the Middle East as demonstrated by Medini will result in synergistic benefits for all the parties involved. Our mission is to develop Medini into a world class business destination by capturing various local, regional and international market segments. Consequently, the collaboration is testimonial of

KFH’s commitment in sharing our Middle Eastern experiences and ensures our continuous contribution towards the growth initiatives of Malaysia.”

On display in its very own Cityscape space are the designs, development plans and scale models showcasing the results of these master planning efforts for Medini. The Medini booth is hosted by all its partners in their first joint appearance in the international property arena to launch and promote their debut offering to prospective next level investors, developers and operators.

It will also be a first for ALDAR Properties, in bringing their development and management expertise to this part of the world. “We’re extremely excited about our prospects here in Malaysia. We see Medini as an excellent entry point for us and it represents a salient opportunity to internationalize our operations outside of Abu Dhabi,” says John Bullough, Chief Operating Officer of the company.

John Thomas, Global Capital’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, and representing the Mubadala consortium of investors said that, “Medini Iskandar is a very exciting project for the consortium. Each of the investors brings significant experience and value to this development which will play an important part in Malaysia’s economic growth. The strength of the relationships within the consortium and with the Malaysian government is a major driving force behind Medini Iskandar.”

During a separate session with the press, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Mokhtar, Chairman of IIB also commented:

“Malaysia’s long-term economic objectives will be strongly perpetuated with every success and progress made in Iskandar Malaysia. The launch of Medini is an important milestone for us, as we are now beginning to unlock our country’s true potential to be a globally competitive nation.”

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Tuesday, October 7- 2008 @ 11:29 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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