From left: AmBank Group group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir, AmBank Group managing director of retail banking Aaron Loo Boon Seng, Sime Darby Property chief marketing & sales officer Datuk Lai Shu Wei and Sime Darby Property group managing director Datuk Azmir Merican.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd is optimistic that there will be a demand for properties despite the anticipated further rise in the overnight policy rate (OPR).

Managing director Datuk Azmir Merican said Malaysia is still within a reasonably good interest rate regime even if Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) were to increase the OPR.

"We have been in a very competitive low interest rate environment for a while, and the government has to consider so many things," he told reporters after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Sime Darby Property and AmBank (M) Bhd here today.

Azmir said where Sime Darby Property is concerned, the demand for properties between RM500,000 and RM800,000 still exists.

BNM is expected to raise the OPR by another 25 basis points (bps) to 2.25 per cent in its monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting scheduled today and tomorrow (July 5-6).

The central bank had raised the OPR by 25 bps to 2 per cent at its third MPC meeting in May, lifting it from a record low of 1.75 per cent where it had languished for nearly two years.

Azmir, however, said the higher price of raw materials and labour shortage remained the company's main challenges this year.




"Hopefully, the prices of raw materials will stabilise and return to a more rational pricing when the supply chain normalises," he added.

Meanwhile, the MoU aims to offer buyers a sustainable financing option at a rate of 2.95 per cent for Sime Darby properties.

Azmir said the collaboration extends Sime Darby Property's digital initiative to provide buyers with a convenient and complete end-to-end buying experience.

"Our in-house innovations such as online booking system and virtual sales gallery with an internal consultation team have provided significant conveniences for buyers to view, register, select dream homes and payments to complete the ecosystem," he added.

AmBank group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said the partnership will provide a seamless customer experience that now includes a simplified loan application process.

"We have observed a growing demand for sustainability-linked financing due to the heightened awareness on combating climate change," he added. - Bernama

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