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HEADLINE INFLATION EXPECTED TO DECLINE TO 2.0%

In 2018, Malaysia’s headline inflation is projected to decrease to 2.0% despite the reintroduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on September 1, 2018. Back in 2017, the country’s headline inflation was 3.7%. However, the inflationary outcome in 2018 will be largely dependent on the extent of which the impact of SST is absorbed by the economy.

(NST, 31/08/2018)


SELANGOR TO STUDY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT COSTS

The Selangor State Government has proposed to establish a taskforce to examine the costs incurred by residential property developers at every stage of the development process, up until the point where the property is sold. Some of the charges that affect the cost of developing homes include land costs, labour costs, premiums and charges levied by municipal councils and charges by utility companies. Other stakeholders which will be involved in the study include property developers, suppliers, contractors, utility companies, government agencies and the banking sector.

(The Edge Financial, 28/08/2018)


GOVERNMENT WILL LOOK AT REVISITING FTA WITH GCC COUNTRIES

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) plans to discuss the possibility of reviving the free trade agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement was signed six years ago and is aimed at enhancing economic, commercial, investment and technical cooperation. The FTA was placed on hold since the region was impacted by various unfortunate circumstances such as the Arab Spring and the plunge in crude oil prices.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 28/08/2018)


KING GIVES ASSENT FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SST

The implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) was approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, thus allowing the new tax system to start on September 1, 2018. The breakdown of the SST is set at 10% for sales and 6% for services.

(NST, 29/08/2018)


SST THRESHOLD FOR EATERIES INCREASED TO RM1.5 MILLION

Under the Goods and Services Tax, the threshold for local eateries was initially set at RM500,000, which was then planned to be revised upwards to RM1 million under the new Sales and Services Tax (SST) regime. However, upon further deliberation, local eateries will now merely be subjected to the SST only if their annual turnover exceeds RM1.5 million. This followed feedback from restaurant operators, especially those in the Klang Valley with relatively high operational costs.

(NST, 31/08/2018)


MORE THAN 5,000 ITEMS EXEMPTED

More than 5,000 items will be exempted from the Sales and Services Tax (SST) compared with merely 545 items under the Goods and Services Tax. The Malaysian Government has already identified 5,443 items which will be exempted from SST, but this list has yet to be finalised.

(NST, 31/08/2018)


SMOOTHER RIDE ON JALAN BALAKONG

Commuters using Jalan Balakong connecting Cheras with Balakong and Seri Kembangan in Selangor will be able to enjoy smoother traffic once the road widening project, which commences in September 2018 completes in 2020. Parkland Group has volunteered to widen the 800m road at a total cost of RM8 million to fulfil its corporate social responsibility policy. The project will also include a permanent divider in the middle of the road, which means road users will have to use the designated u-turn points in the future.

(The Star & NST, 25/08/2018)


ECRL NOT CANCELLED YET

The Federal Government has reassured that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), along with other China based projects in Malaysia have not yet been cancelled. These projects are still being deliberated to decide if they should be cancelled or merely deferred. The study will also include finding alternative ways to execute these projects without costing too much money. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia opined that the status of ECRL’s construction depends on the outcome of negotiations between private companies involved.

(The Edge Property & NST, 25/08/2018)


THRIVEN SEES GROWTH AS NEW PROJECTS KICK IN

Thriven Global Bhd, formerly known as Mulpha Land Bhd, targets an exponential growth in its “top and bottom lines” supported by unbilled sales in excess of RM460 million, in addition to new sales. Revenue surged 83.47% to RM122.87 million from RM66.97 million in FY17, attributed by strong sales and progress billings for its landmark “Lumi Tropicana project” in Petaling Jaya, “Residensi Enesta Kepong” affordable homes and “eNESTa Kepong” serviced apartment project. With a total gross development value of RM2.05 billion, the group has ongoing and pipeline developments such as the 310 unit serviced apartment project called “Lumi Section 13” in Petaling Jaya (to be launched in 4Q19) and a commercial unit development in Bukit Panchor, Penang (to be launched in 4Q18).

(The Edge Financial, 27/08/2018)


SIME DARBY PROPERTY EYES UP TO 10% RECURRING INCOME CONTRIBUTION

By 2022 or 2023, Sime Darby Property Bhd (SDP) is targeting its recurring income segment to contribute up to 10% from its profit (prior to incorporating interest and tax). The company formed a joint-venture with Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd to develop an industrial park in the Bandar Bukit Raja Township in Klang. Additionally, a proportion of its recurring income stream stems from the 506 acre Pagoh Education Hub in Bandar Universiti Pagoh, which contains four institutions of higher education namely, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Politeknik Tun Syed Nasir.

By the end of 2018, the group aims to launch approximately 1,500 units of properties with a combined gross development value of approximately RM1.1 billion. The group will focus on launching affordable and medium-range landed properties in several townships such as Serenia City, Bandar Bukit Raja, Nilai Impian and the City of Elmina, whereby demand for such properties is strong. SDP has been approached by potential investors to develop the RM290 billion “Malaysian Vision Valley” project in Negeri Sembilan and was engaging with the Federal and State governments and local stakeholders, regarding its development.

The 378,997 acre project has come under scrutiny after the government decided to review the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project. The project was to be jointly developed by SDP, Retirement Fund Inc and Brunsfield Development Sdn Bhd. The company is looking to expand its existing land bank, which currently stands at 20,000 acres and is also looking to dispose of some of its land especially located in Kedah, to local developers.

(The Edge Financial & The Star, 29/08/2018)


UEM SUNRISE ON TRACK TO MEET RM1.2 BILLION SALES TARGET IN 2018

UEM Sunrise Bhd is on track to meet its RM1.2 billion sales target for 2018 as the group’s property sales has already exceeded half of the year’s target. In 2018, the group is planning to launch a total RM1 billion worth of property, with expected mid-market segment launches to be concentrated within the central region in 2019. A 72.7 acre site in Kepong is now at the planning stage and is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2018, with the launch of the first residential tower in 2019.

At the end of 3Q18, the developer will launch the “Residensi Astrea” condominium in Mont Kiara with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM326.7 million, and built-ups ranging between 1,364 sq. ft. and 1,859 sq. ft. With an estimated GDV of RM54.8 million, “Eugenia”, one of the phases within the “Serene Heights” Township in Bangi, (two-storey terraced homes) will also be launched in 3Q18. In 4Q18, UEM Sunrise intends to introduce “Iris Residences” in the Gerbang Nusajaya Township in Iskandar Puteri, with an estimated GDV of RM95.3 million. In 4Q18, the group additionally plans to launch their first commercial development (GDV: RM136.7 million) located within the mature area of Taman Nusantara, which fronts the Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters also in Iskandar Puteri.

(The Edge Property, 29/08/2018)


UEM SUNRISE TO DIVEST RM300 MILLION NON-STRATEGIC ASSETS

UEM Sunrise Bhd is targeting to divest up to RM300 million of its non-strategic assets (particularly its land in Iskandar Puteri, Johor), as part of its plan to rebalance its landbank portfolio and to purchase land in the Klang Valley. UEM Sunrise purchased 72.7 acres of land in Kepong back in April 2018, 2.9 acres in Mont’Kiara recently, and 19.2 acres in Equine Park. The company owns 6,200 acres in Iskandar Puteri, which is currently in various stages of planning and development. Approximately 3,000 acres have been allotted towards development or selective divestment, with close to 2,250 acres being in Gerbang Nusajaya.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


HUA YANG TO LAUNCH RM284 MILLION WORTH OF NEW PROJECTS

In FY19, Hua Yang Bhd is expected to launch new developments worth a total of RM284 million. Approximately 51% of the company’s new properties are worth RM146 million in Penang, while 29% of the assets with a value RM82 million are located in Johor. The remaining 20% or RM56 million worth of projects is located in Perak. New properties in the pipeline comprise high rise projects priced at less than RM450,000 per unit within the affordable housing segment. These will include new phases in existing townships of Bandar Universiti Seri Iskandar in Perak and Taman Pulai Hijauan in Johor.

Hua Yang is also in the midst of aligning its associate company, Magna Prima Bhd, in terms of management, operations, culture and products. The management is looking into clearing off Magna’s inventories prior to planning for new launches later in the year. Magna’s main project located on the Lai Meng School site, in KL’s Golden Triangle, is still in its planning stages, with no new launches expected to occur until a “more suitable time”.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 30/08/2018)


BANKING ON GOOD CONNECTIVITY AND SECURITY

Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, “LBS Alam Perdana” is located on a 469 acre leasehold site, which will be developed over eight phases with a gross development value of RM2.7 billion. LBS Bina Group Bhd has recently unveiled the third phase called “Rentak Perdana”, which comprises 856 double storey terraced houses and 28 double storey semi-detached houses. With a gross development value of RM475 million, the built up area for the terraced unit is 1,420 sq. ft. with prices from RM509,900, whereas the built up for the semi-detached units is 1,847 sq. ft. and these are priced from RM888,000.

The earlier phase of “Simfoni Perdana” townhouses, which offered 980 double-storey townhouses (1,191 sq. ft.) priced from RM368,000 is currently 88% sold. Priced from RM479,900, “Irama Perdana”, which features 673 two-storey terraced houses with an average built up size of 1,208 sq. ft., is now fully sold.

(NST, 30/08/2018)


ECOHILL 2 LINK BOON TO RESIDENTS

Scheduled to open by 2019, the 5.2km EcoHill 2 Link (an extension of the EcoHill Link) is expected to reduce travel time from Beranang in Selangor to the Lekas-Semenyih Interchange from 30 minutes, to a mere 10 minutes. With the completion of the Link, house owners and the wider public will have easy access to two new parks in Setia EcoHill 2 (the 17 acre South Creek and the 18 acre Adventure Park). S P Setia Bhd is working on a new housing project in Setia EcoHill 2 called “Barras”, the first of the starter homes series in the township. Scheduled to be completed in 2020, “Barrass” will have a collection of 20 ft. x 70 ft. double storey terraced houses, priced from RM513,000.

(NST, 30/08/2018)


SENTORIA SECURES TWO JOBS WORTH RM125 MILLION

Sentoria Group Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sentoria Bina Sdn Bhd, has secured two contracts from H.A Properties Sdn Bhd to design and build houses in Kuantan for RM124.8 million. One of the contracts include building and designing 420 single-storey terraced houses known as Taman Damai Sempurna in Sri Damai, Mukim Kuala Kuantan, Kuantan, for a contract sum of RM52.8 million. The second project entails a RM72 million job to construct 630 single-storey terraced houses known as Taman Seri Sempurna in Penor, Kuantan.

(The Sun, 30/08/2018)


GOVERNMENT REOPENS APPLICATION FOR APPROXIMATELY 700 UNITS OF KOTA BARU PPR

The Federal Government has revoked 700 units of the Kota Baru People’s Housing Project (PPR) from those who had been selected for the homes. This followed the discovery that the previous selection process was not done transparently and the units are now reopened for applications by those who are eligible. Scheduled for vacant possession by October 1, 2018, the Kota Baru PPR had completed construction in April 2018 at a cost of RM190 million, and is a 20-storey project comprising 1,000 residential units of which 325 units were involved in the resettlement of squatters, whereas the remainder was opened to those whose monthly income was RM3,000 and below.

(NST, 26/08/2018)


UPCOMING HIGHRISE PROJECTS IN SENTUL

There are three projects under construction by various developers in Sentul, including Rica Residence by Fajarbaru Properties Sdn Bhd, M Centura by Mah Sing Group Bhd and Sentul Point Suite Apartments by UOA Group. Most of these developments are scheduled for completion within four years. “Rica Residence” is a 39 storey tower with 473 serviced residences. With built ups ranging between 657 sq. ft. and 1,238 sq. ft., launch price for the units start from RM420,000. Situated on a 8.5 acre site, Mah Sing’s “M Centura” has a gross development value of RM1.3 billion. The project will have built ups ranging between 650 sq. ft. and 1,000 sq. ft., with indicative pricing from RM328,000. Subject to approvals, Mah Sing will launch Phase Two of “M Centura” in 4Q18 which comprises approximately 1,600 units ranging between 600 sq. ft. and 1,000 sq. ft., priced from RM350,000.

(NST, 30/08/2018)


SOLARIS PARQ – A TESTIMONY OF LUXURY

UEM Sunrise Bhd’s “Solaris Parq” development sits on a freehold land parcel spanning 18.76 acres and comprises four components (Residensi, Galleria, Suites and Office) to be launched in two phases. With a gross development value of approximately RM759 million, Residensi Solaris Parq (the first phase of “Solaris Parq”) is sited on 4.67 acres of freehold land located in the Dutamas enclave, encompassing an iconic high-rise serviced apartment development which comprises two 288-unit towers. Residensi Solaris Parq comes in five different built-ups ranging between 721 sq. ft. and 2,469 sq. ft., which are priced from RM873,000 per unit. Scheduled to be completed in 2022, “Residensi Solaris Parq” was launched in 2017 and is currently 80% sold.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 30/08/2018)


IREKA FOCUSES ON “MEDIUM-END” RESIDENTIAL HOMES IN NILAI

Ireka Corp Bhd has entered into an agreement with Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corp, one of the largest affordable housing developers in Japan, to jointly develop the “Dwi@Rimbun Kasia” project in Nilai. With a gross development value of RM400 million, the project will feature 382 residential units in a nine storey block and another parcel which will have 465 residential units in two blocks of 19 and 29 storeys.

(The Edge Financial, 30/08/2018)


HUB SS2 BUYERS RECEIVE KEYS TO UNITS

Selangor Dredging Bhd’s (SDB) commercial development, “The Hub @ SS2” in Petaling Jaya has been completed with vacant possession granted to buyers. The mixed commercial development comprises 13, two-and-a-half storey shop offices and 276 signature suites set in a central 44 storey tower. Facilities include a gym, swimming pool, lush landscaping with artwork and sculptures, advanced security features and fibre optic connectivity.

(NST, 28/08/2018)


MALAYSIAN BUSINESSES ANTICIPATE SLOWER GROWTH IN 3Q18

According to the Statistics Department of Malaysia, businesses expect growth to be subdued in 3Q18 due to lower confidence levels after recording positive business performance in 2Q18. Business performance in 2Q18 was positive with an overall net balance of +3.6%, mainly contributed by the services sector (+22.0%). As for 3Q18, overall business performance is expected to grow at a slower pace, with a confidence indicator of +6.0% compared with +7.8% registered in 2Q18.

In 3Q18, the services sector is expecting business performance to continue to grow with a confidence indicator of +16.5%, compared with +8.6% in 2Q18. Other sectors such as industry and wholesale and retail trade are also expecting their business situation to improve albeit at a moderate rate, with smaller confidence indicators at +2.1 % and +3.6% respectively. However, the construction sector expects the business situation to be more bearish with a confidence indicator of -7.7%.

(The Sun, 30/08/2018)


SPORTS RETAILER OPENS ITS LARGEST STORE IN MALAYSIA

With a combined size of 41,000 sq. ft., the SportsDirect store (28,000 sq. ft.) and its sister company, MST Golf (13,000 sq. ft.), has now officially opened and serves as the largest sports and golf shopping destination in Malaysia. The latest generation flagship store is situated in Petaling Jaya on Jalan 219, Section 51A, just off the Federal Highway. The new SportsDirect flagship store has a fresh, spacious, modern warehouse look, combining brand areas and sports zones.

(The Star, 25/08/2018)


DAY ROCK CORNER TO CLOSE ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2018

The 1,991 sq. ft. “Rock Corner” at The Gardens Mall, Kuala Lumpur, is the last remaining major record store, which will close down on September 2, 2018. The decision was made due to several factors including declining physical music sales, high rental and nearly all major music labels concentrating on streaming.

(The Star, 28/08/2018)


KR1M MAY BE REBRANDED

The Malaysian government will maintain the Malaysia People’s Shop 2.0 (KR1M 2.0) and will simultaneously provide opportunities to many other suppliers to supply goods to the store. However, the government did not rule out the possibility that KR1M would be rebranded in the future. The first phase of KR1M was “a flop” due to several factors involving unreasonable prices compared with other shops, political interference, non-strategic locations and poor feedback from the public. The KR1M programme still exists but many operators decided to take down its signage after the recent change in government. Currently, 51 KR1M 2.0 stores are still operational nationwide.

(NST & The Sun, 29/08/2018)


OPERATOR OF KFC, PIZZA HUT TARGETS RM5 BILLION REVENUE IN 2018

In 2018, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd (operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants) optimistically targets to hit a total revenue of RM5 billion in the Southeast Asian region. The company plans to open 36 additional KFC outlets and 20 Pizza Hut restaurants in Malaysia in 2019. There are currently 695 KFC restaurants in Malaysia.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


QL RESOURCES AIMS TO OPEN 90 FAMILYMART OUTLETS IN FY19

QL Resources Bhd, a FamilyMart convenience store franchisee in Malaysia, aims to open 90 outlets by the financial year ending March 31, 2019. Currently, FamilyMart has 59 stores in the Klang Valley.

(The Star & The Edge Financial, 29/08/2018)


KIP REIT ACQUIRES AEON MALL KINTA CITY, IPOH FOR RM208 MILLION

KIP Real Estate Investment Trust (KIP REIT) is acquiring the Aeon Mall Kinta City, a four-storey building with a net lettable area of 530,181 sq. ft. on Jalan Teh Lean Swee, Ipoh, Perak, from Pacific Trustes Bhd, for RM208 million. The 21 year old property is currently 100% leased to master tenant, AEON Co (M) Bhd, and has an annual rental of RM16.31 million. The lease is for a period of 10 years from September 29, 2015, to September 28, 2025, with an option to renew the lease for an additional period of five years.

(The Star & The Edge Financial, 30/08/2018)


EMPOWERED CONSUMERS TO TRANSFORM RETAIL SECTOR

Research has identified a new type of consumer (the empowered consumer, armed with technology) who will change the future of the global retail landscape. Empowered consumers seek convenience, read and write product or service reviews, compare prices online and interact with companies via social media. Approximately 26% of consumers worldwide are empowered consumers, with 52% of them being below 35 years old.

(The Star, 30/08/2018)


AEON TO SHUT DOWN INDEX LIVING MALL STORES

By 3Q18, Index Living Mall Malaysia Sdn Bhd (ILMM) will be closing down the remainder of its furniture outlets in Malaysia. The outlets are located at Aeon Shah Alam and Kota Baru, IOI City Mall in Putrajaya and Aeon Mall Tebrau City in Johor Bahru. ILMM is a 49:51 joint venture company between Aeon and Index Living Mall Company Ltd which was incorporated in Thailand. The outlet closures are expected to reduce its earnings per share and net assets per share for FY18.

(The Sun, 30/08/2018)


TM, UEM SCRAP HIGH-RISE VENTURE

Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and UEM Sunrise Bhd (UEMS) have decided to cancel the proposed development of a high rise mixed development along Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur. The proposed development comprised serviced apartments and retail elements, which were planned by Sunrise Quality.

(The Sun, 27/08/2018)


ENRICHED LIVING IN SETIA ALAM

S P Setia’s first high rise, Setia City Residences in Setia Alam, comprises 780 residential units spread across three towers, which are connected by a bridge to Setia City Mall Phase 2 and a future medical centre. “Setia City Residences” offers built ups ranging between 858 sq. ft. and 1,221 sq. ft. and the group’s Starter Home Collection double storey houses (“Adina”, “Alista”, “Careya”, “Carissa” and “Cassina”) offer land sizes of 18 ft. x 65 ft. and 20 ft. x 65 ft. Priced from RM500,000, approximately 400 houses have been sold.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


BINA PURI TO TAKE CONTROLLING STAKE IN RESORT DEVELOPER

Bina Puri Holdings Bhd plans to make Ideal Heights Properties Sdn Bhd (IHP), the developer of the Kuantan Waterfront Resort City (KWRC) project, an indirect subsidiary of Bina Puri. This is to be done by buying out stakes of six shareholders via the issuance of new Bina Puri and redeemable preference shares, in a RM42.7 million related party transaction.

IHP is the developer of a 500 acre site, the majority of which is subject to further reclamation situated on Jalan Kuantan-Tanjung Lumpur in Kuantan. The KWRC project comprises a mixed development for commercial and residential use with a development period of at least 17 years.

(The Sun, 29/08/2018)


IN PURSUIT OF CULTURE AND COMMERCE

Eco World Development Group Berhad is planning to launch a new residential phase in Eco Ardence known as “Nara” in the 533 acre Eco Ardence township in Shah Alam. Scheduled to be launched by 4Q18, “Nara” will comprise 308 residential units made up of Garden Homes and Courtyard Homes. Launched in April 2018, Ardence Labs spans 22 acres, with built-ups ranging between 290 sq. ft. and 2,000 sq. ft. Ardence Labs will comprise 26 retail and food and beverage shops, a supermarket, two football fields, a co-working space, an urban pet’s hotel, an events space, and an education hub.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


LURE OF VIBRANT QUAYSIDE LIVING

Sprawling across 257 acres, “twentyfive.7” is the latest offering by Gamuda Land. Phase 1 of the township comprises over 36.5 acres of landed properties, high-rise homes and shop-offices. Scheduled for completion in 2020, “Lucent Residence” comprises 279 semi-detached (Duet, Domus, Casa and Premio houses) and superlink homes (Light House, Ridge House, Cubiq House, Gable House and Flexi House). “Domus” offers built ups ranging between 3,155 sq. ft. and 3,173 sq. ft., whereas “Flexi House” offers built ups ranging between 3,272 sq. ft. and 3,240 sq. ft. Scheduled for completion by 2021, “The Amber Residence” has 596 serviced apartment units ranging between 560 sq. ft. and 1,000 sq. ft. in five different designs, at a starting price of RM418,418. Located below “The Amber Residence” are 34 retail lots to serve the immediate needs of the surrounding residents. Slated to be completed by 2020, the “Quayside Mall” is estimated to house 110 retail outlets including cafes, a cinema, restaurants and boutiques.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


MOL INCREASES STAKE IN PKT LOGISTICS GROUP

Japanese transport company, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL), has purchased a 14.27% stake in PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd (PKT). PKT owns and operates state-of-the-art, environment-friendly warehouses at its “One Logistics Hub” in Shah Alam, Selangor, offering over 592,045 sq. ft. of warehouse space. In 2014, PKT acquired a strategic 70 acre piece of land in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang, to develop the “One Auto Hub”, which is PKT’s landmark investment to support the logistics needs of automotive and electronics manufacturers in northern Malaysia. The first component, the 12 Waves warehouse, was inaugurated in May 2017 and offers over 645,834 sq. ft. of space for warehousing and value-add activities.

(The Star, 27/08/2018)


PANASONIC TO IMPLEMENT ROBOTICS SYSTEM WORTH RM47 MILLION BY 2022

Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd plans to invest approximately RM47 million in a robotics system to be implemented by 2022, in line with its aim to reduce dependency on foreign labour. Panasonic is also planning an expansion of a new building for its Shah Alam Plant II, which is estimated at approximately RM52.1 million, in order to facilitate growth for new product categories. The expansion will increase the production area by approximately 40% to house new infrastructure and facilities to undertake research and development and value-added activities.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 27/08/2018)


AREA PLANS INDUSTRIAL LOGISTICS HUB IN SELANGOR

AREA Group of Companies (AREA) and PNB Development Sdn Bhd have signed an agreement for the purchase of 212.54 acres of freehold land at Kota Seri Langat in Selangor, for RM320 million. With a gross development value of RM4 billion, AREA is now planning Selangor’s first gated and guarded, fully integrated and serviced industrial and logistics park named “The COMPASS @ Kota Seri Langat”. The site will be offering built-to-suit warehouses and manufacturing facilities with sizes ranging between 200,000 sq. ft. and 1,000,000 sq. ft. Smaller detached small and medium factories of between 12,000 sq. ft. and 75,000 sq. ft. will also be built for sale to cater to the demand for medium sized facilities in the Klang Valley.

(The Edge Property, 28/08/2018; NST & The Star, 29/08/2018)


MALAYSIA ON TRACK TO MEET 33.1 MILLION TOURIST ARRIVALS

In 2018, Malaysia is reportedly on track to achieve its targeted tourist arrivals of 33.1 million despite a slowdown in tourist arrival growth in 2017. Tourist arrivals declined by 3.36% to 25.9 million in 2017, from 26.8 million in 2016.

(The Star, 27/08/2018)


STUDY ON RM200 BILLION PROJECT

Set to be completed by the end of 2019, the Malaysian Government will conduct a feasibility study on the RM200 billion port and maritime city project on Carey Island before deciding whether to proceed with it. The Port Klang Authority has been given three months to identify and select consulting companies via a request for proposal, which the government will then evaluate before appointing a consultant.

(The Sun, The Edge Financial & The Star, 30/08/2018)


PARAMOUNT MAY LOWER PROPERTY PRICES BY 3%

Paramount Corp Bhd intends on lowering prices of its properties by between 2% and 3%, following the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on September 1, 2018. The reduction would be due to a 1% to 2% contraction in the cost of construction materials after the implementation of the SST. The reduction in residential prices was also closely related to the type of project and its location, as this would relate to whether Paramount would absorb the SST or pass it onto buyers.

(NST, 25/08/2018)


KEDAH WANTS SOFT LOANS PROVIDED TO LOWER INCOME GROUP

The Kedah State Government intends on discussing with Bank Negara Malaysia and several Federal Government agencies on ways to encourage financial institutions to provide housing loans for the “less fortunate” at the lowest rate possible. It included providing soft loans via low interest rates of less than 1%, with the repayment period extended to 35 years. The move is to help families whose household incomes do not exceed RM2,000 and those lacking a salary slip, as these individuals face greater difficulty in securing bank loans.

(The Sun, 27/08/2018)


INDUSTRIAL PARK INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT CRUCIAL TO ATTRACT INVESTORS

The development of infrastructure and facilities within industrial parks should be given priority to ensure that Malaysia will continue to attract investors and pursue the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0). Johor has been cited as one of the states that could be used as an example by developers in developing industrial parks which meet the needs of investors. Developers need to meet the standards and requirements set by investors and industries by building not only factories, but also facilities such as hostels, a recreational area, an auditorium, hotels and the provision of high-speed Internet access.

(The Edge Property, 28/08/2018)


WINNERS AND LOSERS OF SST

The sales and services tax (SST) regime is likely to have an impact on the earnings of manufacturers and importers, whereas healthcare and building material suppliers are among the major beneficiaries. Under the SST system, which will begin from September 1, 2018, several manufacturers and importers will have to pay a tax rate of up to 10%. Based on the list of goods to be taxed under the SST, manufacturers involved in the flavoured drinks, alcohol and tobacco, and automotive sectors are likely to face higher taxes. As for the producers in the rubber gloves, wood-based and electronic goods sectors, the tax is said to be limited to certain segments of their production. In the automobile sector, the “Complete Knocked-Down” models are exempted from the sales tax while the “Complete Built-Up” models are subject to the 10% sales tax. The healthcare industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries as consultation fees, medication, usage of medical equipment and ambulance services are exempt. Regarding the additional 6% service tax, the rate will only apply to food and beverage outlets that have a turnover in excess of RM1.5 million a year.

(The Star, 27/08/2018)


A SECOND WAVE FOR MSC – THE DIGITAL AGE

The Malaysian Government plans to reignite a second wave for the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) to fuel the country’s economy towards being more developed. The MSC programme was officially launched in February 1996 and was perceived as a crucial element to accelerate the objectives of Vision 2020 and to transform Malaysia into a modern state by 2020, via the adoption of a knowledge based society framework. It was created as a special economic zone and high-technology business district, with Cyberjaya being the heart of the corridor. The Malaysian Government will revive the MSC programme to promote “digitisation” of the country’s economy due to its importance in the current era.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 28/08/2018)


JCORP SET TO ATTRACT RM1.3 BILLION INVESTMENTS

Johor Corp (JCorp) expects to attract RM1.3 billion worth of investments for its Muar Furniture Park in Bakri, Muar, once 200 furniture companies move their operations to the park. JCorp was entrusted by the Malaysian Government to bring the furniture industry into Muar (built on agriculture land), to a more appropriate place such as the Muar Furniture Park. JCorp will provide a complete ecosystem, which includes infrastructure, cargo consolidation deports for export, workers’ residence and business and commercial zones at the park.

The park will have a one-stop marketing and exhibition centre and training programmes for skills upgrade, whereas plants of 10,000 sq. ft. will be built to assist small companies that were unable to purchase factory lots. To date, 100 companies have agreed to sign sale and purchase agreements to set up operations at the park. Work commenced in April 2018 on 988 acres reserved for the development of the park, which involves JCorp, the Johor State Government, Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Muar Furniture Association.

(NST, 27/08/2018)


MORE JAPANESE INVESTMENTS COMING INTO ISKANDAR

There has been a significant growth in investments, especially from Japan, into the Iskandar region. In 2017, the bilateral trade between Malaysia and Japan had grown by 14.7% to RM138.5 billion, exports from Malaysia to Japan increased by 17.5% to RM74.9 billion, whereas total imports rose by 11.6% to RM63.6 billion. Several start-ups from Japan have expanded their business on a small scale, but after achieving maturity, they will likely be inclined to choose the Iskandar region as a preferred location to boost their businesses.

(The Edge Property, 27/08/2018)


FOREIGNERS BARRED FROM BUYING FOREST CITY HOMES

The Malaysian Government has announced that foreigners will not be allowed to buy residential units at the US$100 billion (S$136 billion) Forest City project in Johor, nor granted visas to live in Johor. However, this decision has yet to be officiated and a finalised outcome will be contingent upon reviewing the feasibility of executing the ban. Country Garden has developed just a fraction of the planned reclamation of 4,942 acres, where Chinese nationals accounted for approximately 70% of apartment buyers in 2017.

(NST, The Sun, The Star & The Edge Financial, 28/08/2018)


PANEL TO REVIEW FOREST CITY PROJECT

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government will form a committee to review all the terms of the Forest City development project in Johor. The committee is tasked with going through the terms in the agreement and approvals associated with the project. The government has been informed that the residential units were “being offered for sale in China and not in Malaysia”.

(The Edge Property, 28/08/2018 & NST, 29/08/2018)


ECONPILE SECURES RM34 MILLION PILLING JOB FOR GEMAS-JB DOUBLE-TRACK PROJECT

Econpile Holdings Bhd has secured a RM34.1 million contract from YTL Corp Bhd’s subsidiary, Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd, to undertake bored piling and pile cap works for a portion of the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double track rail project. Econpile will be undertaking the contracted works between Paloh and Renggam, which are both situated in the Kluang district and is scheduled for completion in four months. The line encompasses 192km of electrified double-track, stations, electric train depots, viaducts, bridges, electrification and signalling systems between Gemas and Johor Baru.

(The Edge Financial, 30/08/2018)


THIRD LINK PROPOSED BETWEEN MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE

The Johor State Government is planning to build a third link between Malaysia and Singapore to reduce traffic congestion on the Johor-Singapore Causeway. Once completed, the link will connect Pengerang in east Johor to Pulau Ubin in Singapore. The State Government will draft a proposal for the construction of the link before submitting it to the Federal Government.

(NST, 31/08/2018)


EDUCATION MINISTRY TO HELP ESTABLISH UNIVERSITI JOHOR

The Ministry of Education will extend cooperation to smoothen the process of establishing Universiti Johor, which is expected to be one of the country’s leading higher learning institutions. On August 6, 2018, plans for Universiti Johor were submitted to the Johor Economic Planning Unit, the Ministry of Education, Higher Education Department and the education minister’s representative.

(NST, 25/08/2018)


FIRST PHASE OF US SCHOOL OPENS IN FOREST CITY

The opening of Phase 1 of the United States international school, Shattuck-St Mary’s Forest City in Johor Bahru, created history as the first of its campuses to be established in Southeast Asia. Resulting from a joint venture with Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the developer of Forest City, the school offers various facilities to support students’ academic, sports and artistic potential. With a total investment of RM935 million to develop the school in three phases, the first phase offers education from preschool to secondary levels. The project is part of a 24.2 acre education hub in Forest City, which will be expanded further. Phase 1 has welcomed approximately 150 students who are aged between 5 and 16.

(NST, 27/08/2018)


VERTICE SECURES RM27 MILLION JOHOR SUB-CONTRACT

Vertice Bhd has secured a RM27.35 million sub-contract from Kumpulan Liziz Sdn Bhd, who is the main contractor for the proposed Desaru Coast Marina, Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex and ferry terminal building in Desaru, Johor. Works are due to commence on August 29, 2018 and are scheduled for completion by May 19, 2019.

(The Edge Financial, The Sun & NST, 28/08/2018)


VISION 2030: BID FOR A GREEN, SMART PENANG

The Penang State Government has unveiled Vision 2030, a 12-year plan toward a family-focused, green and smart state. Penang 2030 is centred around four themes, which include: “Increase Liveability to Enhance Quality of Life”, “Upgrade the Economy to raise Household Incomes”, “Empower People to Strengthen Civil Participation”, and “Invest in a Built Environment to improve Resilience”.

(The Edge Property, 29/08/2018 & The Star, 30/08/2018)


PENANG TO CONCENTRATE ON MAINLAND

Over the next decade, Seberang Prai on the mainland will be the focus of development by the Penang State Government, as it will look into more affordable housing, roads and sports facilities for mainland residents.

(The Star, 30/08/2018)


MORE FLIGHTS TO AND FROM PENANG WITH NEW LCCT

The low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) by AirAsia is optimistically expected to be ready by 2022 to enhance connectivity from Penang. Scheduled to commence works in 2019, the proposed LCCT is located on a 54.4 acre plot within the Penang International Airport complex in Bayan Lepas, which is now subject to detailed design and survey. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the LCCT, with a built-up area of 376,7387 sq. ft., is expected to be built on the present site of the MAS Cargo Complex.

(The Star, 29/08/2018)


EWEIN SEES RECORD REVENUE ON “CITY OF DREAMS” PROJECT

Ewein Bhd anticipates a record high revenue and profit for the financial year ending December 31, 2018, which will be mainly fuelled by revenue contribution from its “City of Dreams” development. With a gross development value of RM800 million, “City of Dreams” in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang is a luxury sea-front development situated on 3.67 acres of land. The 40 storey freehold property development features 572 residential units with built ups ranging between 1,100 sq. ft. and 1,350 sq. ft. and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

(The Star, The Sun & NST, 28/08/2018)


SABAH OUT TO WOO INVESTORS FROM CHINA

Aggressive efforts are being made by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to lure foreign investors to Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, in a bid to boost the country’s economy. The Ministry is looking at bringing in a major investor in the chemicals and foam industry into Sabah, which is anticipated to generate 700 jobs.

(The Star, 25/08/2018)


SST IS NOT AN ISSUE FOR SARAWAK TOURISM

The Sarawak State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry anticipates that the Sales and Services Tax (SST) will not have an adverse impact on tourist arrivals into Sarawak despite an increase in certain prices of goods and services. In 2017, Sarawak registered 4.86 million tourist arrivals with a total spending of RM8.59 billion, which accounted for 7.9% of its gross domestic product. As of June 2018, there has been an increase of approximately 16% Y-o-Y compared with the corresponding period in June 2017. In 2017, tourist arrivals from Asean countries accounted for 49%, or 2.38 million arrivals.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 28/08/2018)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton