Malaysia’s FIC diversifies portfolio, launches $9m student housing property in UK

Felda Investment Corp's website.

Felda Investment Corp (FIC) has launched its £58.5 million ($9.05 million) property in London, marking its foray into the UK market for student accommodation.

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FIC, a subsidiary of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), has been working on diversifying its investment assets from its current hospitality focus. It aims to become a prominent Malaysian investment firm with wide ranging businesses globally.

The UK property – Felda House Wembley– was officially opened on Thursday, a year since its construction started in October 2014. The property was completed in July, and is FIC’s third property investment in London.

Felda group chairman Mohd Isa Abdul Samad noted that the investment in student accommodation segment is timely and strategic, as this segment has been steadily emerging over the years as a significant mainstream global investment category.

“(It has been) attracting strong interest from investors, particularly institutional investors due to the attractive potential returns and value,” he told the media at the opening.

Samad said he believes the UK investment will yield sustainable long-term returns and will generate better returns on investment.

The two factors, he pointed out, bolstering the investment are the stronger foreign currency compared with the Malaysian Ringgit, and that London continues to grow its reputation as one of the most preferred location for higher education globally, thus the supply-demand imbalance in student housing is expected to grow.

Samad added that the opening of Felda House Wembley is “an extension of Felda’s strong presence in the hospitality industry, adding to current momentum both locally and internationally”.

Felda currently owns 12 hotels and resorts, including Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments and Grand Plaza Kensington, both in London.

The property is already in operation and has secured almost 100 per cent occupancy. There are 450 fully furnished studio units and en-suite rooms with communal kitchens and living rooms.

Located in the heart of Wembley, Felda House Wembley is strategically near colleges and universities in Central London, such as London School of Economics, University College London and University of Westminster.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.