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Central Pattana plans to enter Malaysia

Shopping mall developer Central Pattana, which runs 29 malls in Thailand, plans to open its first foreign outlet in Malaysia in 2018.

It will work through a joint venture with a Malaysian company in which it holds a 60 per cent stake. The new mall, under the Central brand, will be in Shah Alam, west of Kuala Lumpur.

To be built on about 44,000 sqm of land, the mall will have a net leasable area of 89,700 sqm, and cost about 8.3 billion baht (US$232 million) to build.

Senior executive VP Naparat Sriwanvit says Central Pattana plans to open 15 malls by 2020, three of them outside Thailand. Indonesia and Vietnam have been listed as potential targets because of their large populations and rising incomes.

As with Malaysia, the company plans to enter other markets through joint ventures with local partners.

Naparat says the Thai market is still promising, with room for expansion in the suburban areas of Bangkok and the provinces. The company plans to open a 1.9 billion baht mall in the southern city of Nakhon Si Thammarat at the end of next month, as well as two other locations outside Bangkok next year.

Central Pattana, with CentralWorld mall in central Bangkok as its flagship, saw its net profit rise 7 per cent last year.

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