Malaysians' overseas land-grab: Blame Canada!
By JACK WONG
<a href=http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/27/business/20070627125106&sec=business>Malaysia Star, Malaysia </a>
KUCHING: More than 3,500 Malaysians bought land in Ottawa, Ontario, last year, a fourfold increase from 2003, said Walton International Group consultant Callistus Nilson Banti.
"Their total investments grew to C$49mil (RM169mil) from C$8mil (RM26mil) during the same period," he told The Star here on Wednesday.
He said there were 700 investors in Sarawak, who contributed one-third of the company's Malaysian revenue.
Calgary, Alberta-based Walton, a North American "land banking" company, set up its Kuching office last year, five years after opening its Kuala Lumpur office.
Nilson Banti said Walton now managed some 26,000 acres of land in Canada and 700 acres in the United States for some 35,000 investors in both North Amercia and Asia.
"About 92 acres of land in Ottawa is still available for sale to Malaysian investors. The land in Texas was offered to Singaporean investors last week, and might be open to Malaysians soon," he added.
He said most of the land was agriculture land, and that investors would reap good profits when it was converted for commercial purposes.
Nilson Banti claimed that annual returns for investors ranged from between 14.4% and 42%.
He said the minimium investment was C$10,000 for one unit, which is equivalent to one-sixth of an acre.
"The reservation (booking) fee is C$2,000. When the sales and purchase agreement is signed, an investor will pay the balance of the purchase price.
"There is no administrative or other hidden costs," he said.
He said investors could sell the land six months after purchase, but had to pay at least 21% in taxes to the Canadian government.