Malaysia's giant investor YTL Group plans to keep increasing its investments in the United Kingdom, shrugging off Brexit uncertainty.
The diversified group currently has more than £3 billion (RM16.17 billion) worth of assets in the UK and is eyeing new investments, said executive chairman Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh.
“We have been a long-time investor in the UK and are very comfortable with the environment. We provide quality, stable jobs and give credit to our employees and the YTL family for our success in the UK.
“YTL currently owns Wessex Water Plc and five luxury hotels in the UK. We are also starting our flagship property development project, Brabazon, in Bristol. There are more to come as we are looking for opportunities,” said Yeoh in Bristol recently.
Brabazon is a mixed development located at the former Filton airfield in Bristol. YTL Development UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL group, acquired the disused Filton airfield and the nearby Brabazon Hangars in 2015 from BAE Systems.
The development is worth over £2 billion and will contain 2,675 homes and 25ha employment space, among others.
STRENGTHENING BILATERAL TIES
YTL’s tie-up with the UK started way back in 1989 through a partnership with British-based construction firm John Laing Plc for the Nucleus Hospitals project in Malaysia.
Together, they built 13 well-organised Nucleus hospitals and hospital management systems throughout Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak, under a British Aid grant.
By 2002, YTL emerged as the largest Malaysian investor in the UK with the acquisition of Wessex Water, one of the 10 Water and Sewerage Co, (WASCs) there.
Over the past 17 years of the YTL ownership, Wessex Water has consistently been rated as one of the best performing WASCs by OFWAT, the UK water industry regulator, and is three time winner of the Queen’s Award for Sustainability.
“After Wessex Water, we invested in five hotels across the UK. The latest investment is the Filton airfield, which is in the Wessex concession area,” said Yeoh.
The group, through YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd, owns and operates The Academy Hotel in Bloomsbury district, Threadneedles Hotel in London, Monkey Island Estate in Bray, Berkshire on the River Thames, Gainsborough Bath Spa in Bath and the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Yeoh reiterated that YTL is a long-term investor in the UK and the group is there to stay.