Malaysia's DRB-Hicom sells $197 mln worth of land

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 Mon Apr 8, 2013 6:24am EDT

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom Bhd has sold land in the southern state of Johor to a property developer for 534.73 million ringgit ($174.89 million), it said on Monday.

DRB-Hicom, owned by tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, has sold 248 hectares (1 sq mile) to a unit of Malaysian construction and investment firm Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, according to stock exchange filing.

"Given the large landbank DRB-Hicom presently owns ... the proposed Johor lands disposal allows the group to immediately capitalise on the increasing demand for land in Johor," DRB-Hicom said.

Malaysia wants to aggressively develop Johor, especially the Iskandar region, a 2,200 square km (850 square mile) economic zone three times the size of Singapore, separated from the wealthy city-state by a narrow strip of water.

DRB-Hicom also sold a three-hectare area in the capital city Kuala Lumpur to another unit of Eco World for 69.92 million ringgit ($22.87 million).

DRB-Hicom expects to make profit of 143.72 million ($47 million) the sale of the land, it said.

Shares in DRB-Hicom remained unchanged at 2.59 ringgit per share. The benchmark stock index dropped 0.04 percent. ($1 = 3.0575 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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