Malaysian GLCs snapping up London properties above market rates, say realtors 

(TMI) – State-linked Malaysian firms are buying up London properties at inflated prices in an otherwise stagnant United Kingdom property market, raising fears that a meltdown could wipe away millions in public funds.

Several realtors have pointed to Felda’s £97.9 million (RM495 million) deal for the 198-unit Grand Plaza service apartments in Bayswater, London, as an example of an overpriced buy, saying that high-end real estate agents Savills and Knight Frank had only valued the property at £80 million (RM408 million) in the past few years.

“The UK property market is stagnant in most places but in London. But what Malaysian companies are paying is insane and could go very wrong,” said a Malaysia-based realtor who declined to be named.

The Malaysian Insider had reported that the deal was being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and had been reported to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The realtor said several other Malaysian government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Tabung Haji (Pilgrims Management Fund) had also bought commercial properties in the English capital.

“Some agencies are by-passing the real estate agents and going straight to the sellers to pay prices higher than what is on offer,” said one real estate agent specialising in London properties.

“The real estate agents lose the commissions but more importantly, the prices are not justifiable. Who ends up losing in the end? Malaysians.”

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