THE recent sale of Morning Star Holdings by its controlling shareholder, Lippo Group, to Malaysian conglomerate Malayan United Industries (MUI) is unlikely to bring any changes to its travel services operation, which is one of the largest in the territory. Morning Star finance director Ricor da Silveira said there would be no material changes to Morning Star Travel, the travel service arm of the company. The present board of directors is expected to remain for the time-being to ensure the smooth running of its travel services. The group's principal businesses are investment holding, hotel management services, travel and travel-related services, and hotel investments in Asia and Australia. With Lippo out of the picture, questions will be raised about the outlook for the group's property development as its former parent had strengthened its property investment through contacts in China. In July 1992, Morning Star entered a 50-50 joint venture with Suhua Industrial Co to acquire land-use rights in Suzhou for either the development of the land or re-sale of the land-use rights. The joint-venture company is actively pursuing development and re-sale land with a total area of approximately 380,000 square metres in the Kun Shan Development Area in Suzhou. It also plans to develop six residential blocks with a gross floor area of about 12,700 sq m in the eastern district of Suzhou for domestic sale. Pre-selling of the units has already begun. Morning Star also secured 55 per cent equity in another property project in Zhongshan in September 1992 which involves the construction of garden houses and low-rise apartments. Brian Oung of DBS Securities said that under Lippo, the group was able to secure good property development projects in China through its connections. ''Also, because of Lippo, Morning Star Travel was able to become the general sales representative of many airlines which provided substantial revenue,'' he said. MUI took over Lippo's 53.7 per cent stake in Morning Star for $144.57 million. The Malaysian conglomerate, listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, is involved in a wide spectrum of businesses including properties, construction, education, cement manufacturing and trading, and international investments. Considered one of the giants in the Malaysian corporate sector, it also owns the luxury Ming Court hotel chain which has properties in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Morning Star's hotel management arm, Vista International Hotels, which manages five hotels in Australia and two in China, may benefit from MUI's ownership of Ming Court in terms of providing synergy. Each chain could provide marketing for the other where it has a presence.