KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's upcoming tallest skyscraper, The Exchange 106, has signed up tenants for nearly half of its floor space to large institutions, an industry source said.
The 106-storey project in Kuala Lumpur will be ready by the end of this year.
The tenants have taken up to 47 per cent of the 2.6 million sq ft of the project's floor area, with another 9 per cent under negotiation, the source said.
Those who have signed up are "big space users" and are mainly from Malaysia's financial and lending sector, the person said.
When completed, The Exchange 106 will be 492m tall. This is 40m taller than the current tallest structures in Malaysia, the 452m high, 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers.
The Twin Towers which were ready in 1998 were the world's tallest buildings until 2004.
In Malaysia, The Exchange 106's bragging rights as the country's tallest tower will only last for a few years.
Another structure in Kuala Lumpur will eventually take its crown, the Merdeka PNB 118 - with 118 floors and a height of more than 500m.
Previous reports say that this project, which is being developed by Malaysia's national equity fund Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), will be ready by 2020.
The tallest skyscraper in the world today is Dubai's Burj Khalifa with a height of 828m.
The Exchange 106 is located in KL's planned new financial district Tun Razak Exchange, or TRX, which is at the southern edge of downtown KL.
The tower project is being built by Indonesia's commercial property developer Mulia Group.
Malaysia's Ministry of Finance Inc was reported to have recently bought a 51 per cent stake in Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd, the project's developer and a unit of the Indonesian group.
The Mulia Group bought the 1.38ha TRX land in 2015 for RM665 million from then-1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia finance ministry company now named TRX City Sdn Bhd.
The Exchange 106 has an asking rental price of RM17 (S$5.68) per square foot - higher than the RM13 psf sought by Menara 3 Petronas Towers, which sits beside the Petronas Twin Towers development.
According to Christopher Boyd, executive chairman of real estate advisers Savills Malaysia, the various incentives and favourable tax practices given to The Exchange 106 are equivalent to about RM2 psf. This means the effective rental rate is actually lower than RM17 psf.
TRX will house KL's largest underground MRT station.