Malaysia's biggest builder, YTL Corp Bhd, and Lehman Brothers Investments Pte Ltd (LBI) have agreed to jointly develop a 270 million ringgit (79 million U.S. dollar) luxury resort in Thailand's Koh Samui island, local media reported on Friday.
The two may team up again for more such projects across Southeast Asia, YTL managing director Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said after signing the agreement with LBI in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
YTL is looking for properties in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines. In Malaysia, it is keen on eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, and central state of Pahang, he said.
LBI, meanwhile, which has a strong property portfolio in Thailand, hopes to announce some investments in Malaysia in the coming months, said Charles Rubin, Lehman Brothers' head of global real estate group in Southeast Asia.
LBI is also interested in getting into Indonesia, he added.
"We're looking forward to more joint ventures with Lehman. Independently, we're both moving in the same direction," the New Straits Times quoted Yeoh as saying.
He strongly believes that real estate in Asia has yet to realize its full potential.
"Whilst the Mediterranean and the Caribbean took 25 years to develop to realize their full potential - and property prices did indeed appreciate by 15,000 percent over the period - I foresee Southeast Asia will take only 10 to 15 years to realize its potential," he said.
Aside from Malaysia, YTL has luxury hotels in regional tourist top spots such as Phuket and Bali in Thailand and Indonesia respectively.