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MITI AIMS TO ATTRACT THAI INVESTORS

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is engaging with Thai prominent business figures in bids of enticing them to invest in Malaysia. Thailand is Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner globally and second largest in Asean. Bilateral trade has increased by 25% over the last decade, from US$18.31 billion in 2008 to US$22.97 billion in 2017, which accounts for 5.6% of Malaysia’s global trade.

(NST, 08/09/2018)


GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW MAJOR POLICIES

Major national policies will be reviewed by the Malaysian Government to ensure sustainable economic development and distributive justice. Malaysia’s manufacturing and services sector continued to draw investments from global companies, which further justifies the need to improve on such policies. New policies, directions and initiatives spearheaded by the Malaysian Government will be discussed and debated in a parliamentary session in October 2018.

(NST, 08/09/2018)


SELANGOR SEEKS HI-TECH INVESTMENTS

The Selangor State Government is seeking more “high technology” investments in maintaining the momentum of economic growth. Selangor is experiencing thriving services from banking and insurance, logistics, education and healthcare. The government also intends on attracting more life sciences investments to Pulau Indah, which houses the Selangor Bio Bay. The government is seeking investors who are in the business of targeted usage of enzymes in food production, medicine for humans and livestock, cosmeceuticals and producing vaccines.

(NST, 12/09/2018)


CHINA-BACKED PIPELINE PROJECTS CANCELLED

Malaysia has cancelled three China-backed pipeline projects. The plans comprise two oil and gas pipelines which cost more than US$1 billion (RM4.15 billion) each and a US$795 million pipeline that would link the state of Melaka to a refinery and petrochemical plant in the state of Johor.

(NST, 11/09/2018 & The Edge Financial, 12/09/2018)


MALAYSIA WELCOMES CHINESE INVESTMENT

Malaysia has no intention of abandoning China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) and will continue to forge a closer relationship with the world’s second largest economy. The Malaysian Government’s approach has been misunderstood following the recent decision to cancel certain China-Malaysia projects. The BRI was launched in 2013 and serves to connect 65 countries via sea, air, land and rail links, which will open up more opportunities particularly for Malaysian investors. The presence of Chinese companies in Malaysia remains strong, with ten of them having shown an interest in investing in the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park.

(The Edge Property, 12/09/2018; NST & The Sun, 13/09/2018)


MALAYSIA CAPABLE OF SUSTAINING 5% GDP GROWTH

Malaysia is capable of sustaining a 5% annual economic growth as the new government reviews mega projects and copes with hefty debts left by the previous administration. In August 2018, Malaysia reduced its 2018 growth forecast from a 5.5%-6.0% range, down to 5%, and reported a subdued 2Q18 expansion of 4.5%, compared with 5.4% in the previous period.

(NST, The Star, The Sun & The Edge Financial, 14/09/2018)


ASEAN ECONOMIES SET TO “OUTPERFORM”

According to a McKinsey & Co report, 8 out of 18 outperforming emerging economies will be in Southeast Asia. Four of them, which include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, had an average per capita gross domestic product of more than 3.5% over 50 years, from 1965 to 2016. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam grew at a faster pace over a shorter period, as they recorded a 5% growth annually in the 20 years leading up to 2016. According to the report, Asean countries will need to address issues such as shifting trade patterns, demographic changes, advancing automation and artificial intelligence, and growing income inequality. These efforts will help the region stay ahead of peers and keep gaining ground on advanced economies.

(NST, 14/09/2018)


GOVERNMENT EXPECTS CHANGES IN HOUSING PRICES AFTER SST EXEMPTION

The Federal Government expects a more positive response from housing industry players following its decision to exempt construction services and certain building materials from the Sales and Services Tax (SST). The government will also review the current corporate tax rate in order for the country to maintain its competitiveness. The announcement of the new corporate tax rate will be made during the tabling of “Budget 2019” on November 2, 2018.

(The Malaysian Reserve & NST, 10/09/2018)


F&B OPERATORS TO ENJOY TWO SST EXEMPTIONS

Food and beverage (F&B) shop operators are only subject to the SST if they exceed a threshold turnover value of RM1.5 million. The sale of cigarettes in F&B shops, which do not exceed the threshold value of RM500,000 annually, will also be given SST exemption.

(The Malaysian Reserve, The Edge Property & NST, 10/09/2018)


CALL FOR ALL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS TO BE MET NEAR HIGHLAND TOWERS

Residents living near the Highland Towers site have urged the authorities to ensure that all safety requirements are met prior to redeveloping the site. A proposal to turn the site into a park has been welcomed by local residents, but the Selangor State Government should only go through with the plans after the government has studied all safety issues in the area. The transformation of the site into a park is scheduled to commence in 2019.

(The Edge Property, 10/09/2018)


GOVERNMENT TO SET ASIDE 10% OF AFFORDABLE HOMES FOR FIREFIGHTERS

The Malaysian Government plans to allocate a 10% quota for the ownership of affordable homes to staff of the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia. The criteria for those eligible will be worked out, with priority given to those with “many children” and those who are “single mothers”.

(The Edge Property, 10/09/2018)


GOVERNMENT WILLING TO REVIEW LIST OF ITEMS

The Malaysian Government is willing to review the list of items under the Sales and Service Tax (SST), which may result in adding more exempted items. The government is prepared to amend the existing list, but this should be done with due diligence, as any deductions or exemptions would lead to a loss of revenue.

(NST, 11/09/2018)


MINISTRY TO SET UP MORE FIRE AND RESCUE STATIONS

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government plans to set up a fire and rescue station in highly dense townships with a population of 10,000 people to improve response time during emergencies. The plan was to build a Class D category fire station that caters to basic fire and rescue operations nationwide.

(NST, 12/09/2018)


TASK FORCE PROBES 97 LAND TRANSACTIONS

A special task force has been probing 97 dubious transactions of 675.27 acres of Kuala Lumpur City Hall land worth RM5.63 million. Out of the 97 land transactions, 43 transactions may proceed with the sale, whereby 5 of these transactions are priced lower than the market price as they comprise Federal Territories Affordable Housing projects. Additionally, 19 projects were recommended to be cancelled, whereby 10 of these have involved deposits being refunded, eight had been cancelled but the parties involved have appealed for renegotiation, while one other transaction has gone to court. Approximately 15 transactions are postponed and 20 others will be further investigated.

(The Edge Property, 13/09/2018; The Star, The Sun & NST, 14/09/2018)


COMMUNITY SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR PPR RESIDENTS

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is looking to introduce a neighbourhood support system under the National Community Policy (NCP) for families residing in People’s Housing Projects (PPR). Under this system, stay-at-home mothers within the same community can provide assistance at the community centre or childcare centre at their PPR, to look after children below seven years old when their parents are not around. KPKT is now finalising the NCP, which is scheduled to be ready by the end of September 2018. Once the NCP is announced, the community support system will commence in stages at all PPRs in Malaysia.

(The Edge Property, 14/09/2018)


HIGHLAND TOWERS REDEVELOPMENT PLAN SET TO BE UNVEILED IN DECEMBER 2018

The Highland Towers redevelopment plan is scheduled to be unveiled in December 2018. Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya is preparing for demolition works of three towers comprising an aggregate of 150 residential units, once the authorities settle insolvency and compensation issues. Since the redevelopment committee was formed at the end of June 2018, it has identified the ownership status of 148 units (two units were unsold).

(The Edge Property, 14/09/2018)


DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN MELAKA AND SABAH IN DISCUSSION

Direct flights between the Melaka International Airport and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport will be finalised after discussions within Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad and will be implemented succeeding cooperation from the Ministry of Transport.

(The Star, 14/09/2018)


IPOH-BANGKOK FLIGHTS IN THE PIPELINE

Scheduled to commence operations in 1Q19, the Perak State Government is securing an agreement on AirAsia’s direct flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh, to attract more tourists from Thailand to the state. Besides boosting air connectivity to Perak, the Perak State Government is in preliminary discussions with their counterparts in the southern Thai town of Betong, which is situated opposite Perak’s Pengkalan Hulu. Betong will have a new airport in 2020 and the Perak State Government expects the new airport to spur tourist arrivals by utilising the existing land border in Betong-Pengkalan Hulu.

(The Star, 14/09/2018)


CCM IN DEAL TO SELL LABU LAND PARCEL

Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd (CCM) has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Rock Link Sdn Bhd, to dispose of a RM21.5 million piece of land in Labu, Negri Sembilan.

(NST, 08/09/2018 & The Malaysian Reserve, 12/09/2018)


TCC TO INVEST IN TRX?

TCC Group (one of Thailand’s largest conglomerates) is looking at increasing its investments in Malaysia, including the possible foray into the services industry in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). TCC Group is involved in several industries including food and beverages, properties, consumer goods and trading. Berli Jucker Pcl is part of the TCC Group and serves as a major industry player in Malaysia.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


SINGAPORE’S ARA ON LOOKOUT TO ACQUIRE ASSETS IN MALAYSIA

Singapore-listed ARA Asset Management Ltd will consider acquiring retail, commercial and logistics properties in Malaysia, adding that these properties would have the potential to generate attractive and stable returns within a three to five-year time frame. In Malaysia, ARA owns five retail properties: Klang Parade and Citta Mall in Selangor, 1 Mont’ Kiara in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh Parade in Perak and AEON Mall Melaka. The five assets have a total net lettable area of 2.56 million sq. ft., and are held in ARA Harmony III, a private real estate fund of ARA.

(The Edge Financial, 12/09/2018)


PROPERTY SEGMENT TO REMAIN LACKLUSTRE FOR CERTAIN PRODUCTS

Yong Tai Bhd’s focus for FY19 will be on Encore Melaka (a performing arts theatre at Impression City in Kota Syahbandar) and to clear remaining inventories for its property segment, which stood at approximately RM400 million. In the next two to three years, new properties will not be launched amid “weak sentiment in the property market”. Yong Tai’s unbilled sales from its property development segment currently stand at approximately RM1 billion. Remaining inventories required to be cleared in FY19 include Amber Cove (exclusive serviced apartments), The Dawn (condominium) and The Apple (luxury serviced apartments) all located in Melaka, and U-Thant (a high-end condominium) in Kuala Lumpur. The Terra Square development (a retail mall within Impression City in Melaka) is temporarily suspended due to funding-related issues caused by China’s capital control measures.

(The Edge Financial, 12/09/2018)


WESTPORTS ACQUIRES LAND UNDER THE SEA FROM PKNS TO EXPAND TERMINAL

Westports Holdings Bhd is acquiring a RM116.19 million parcel of “under the sea” leasehold land measuring 381 acres, which is situated off Pulau Indah in Selangor, from Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS). The purpose of the purchase is to expand the container terminals as the current preliminary port design for Container Terminal 10 to Container Terminal 19 requires additional land. This would accommodate a new wharf and container yard space to facilitate effective operations of the new container terminals. The utilisation of the proposed land for terminal expansion purposes will be after the necessary land reclamation works. Westports has already implemented the land reclamation process at its existing Container Terminal’s 6, 7, 8 and 9.

(The Edge Financial & The Star, 14/09/2018)


RYAN & MIHO: AN URBAN OASIS IN PETALING JAYA

Ryan & Miho, OSK Property’s latest serviced apartment, is strategically located in Section 13, Petaling Jaya. Sprawling over 5.94 acres of land, “Ryan & Miho” comprises 1,084 residential units within two 30 storey towers. With floor areas ranging between 678 sq. ft. and 990 sq. ft., the units are laid out in practical and functional 2, 3 and 3 + 1 bedroom configurations with a yard and a balcony in each unit. “Ryan & Miho” is also designed to fulfil the Green Building Index (GBI) criteria and is striving for the “GBI Gold” standard.

(StarProperty, 12/09/2018)


TRANQUIL LIVING IN KOTA KEMUNING

Amverton Bhd’s latest offering in Kota Kemuning is “Amverton Greens”, a freehold low-density condominium facing the Kota Kemuning Golf and Country Resort. Located on 4 acres of land, the condominium development comprises 280 units with built-up sizes ranging between 953 sq. ft. and 1,528 sq. ft. Scheduled for completion by 2021, the starting price for a three-bedroom and two-bathroom unit is RM490,000 or RM510 per sq. ft. Situated next to “Amverton Greens”, the company still owns an 8 acre undeveloped parcel which will be used for future development.

(StarProperty, 14/09/2018)


PARAMOUNT INTRODUCES CO-LABS

“Co-labs The Starling” is the latest and biggest co-working office space by Paramount Coworking, a subsidiary of Paramount Group. Opened on July 16, 2018, it is currently 20% occupied with start-ups, small companies and freelancers, which are predominantly involved in e-commerce, fintech, proptech, and small medium enterprises. “Co-labs The Starling” comprises rooms with configurations of 56 private office suites with two to six desks provided for, 60 fixed desks and 30 flexi desks with a maximum capacity of 400 occupants. There are also modular rooms where partitions can open up to fit more people within a single room. Among facilities offered are nap pods, nursing rooms, hot showers, hot beverages, printing facilities, product photography studio, recreational games room and private meeting rooms. The first Co-labs by Paramount Coworking was opened in 2017 at Utropolis Marketplace in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. Spanning 4,000 sq. ft., it is currently 90% occupied with a seating capacity of 80 occupants.

(The Edge Financial, 14/09/2018)


FAST FOOD CHAIN DEBUTS DELIVERY SERVICE

A&W (M) Sdn Bhd has launched a delivery service in partnership with Singapore’s Honestbee (an online concierge and delivery service) and is targeting an increase in annual sales of between 5% and 8%. The service will cater to customers located within a 3km radius of participating A&W outlets and to date it is provided by eight restaurants in the Klang Valley.

(The Star, 08/09/2018)


COOLBLOG TARGETS SMALL AND BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS FOR ITS NEW FRANCHISE

CoolBlog Dessert Sdn Bhd is targeting small and budding entrepreneurs for its new CoolBlog X franchise. With the main markets for CoolBlog X set to be in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru, the company is targeting a nationwide opening of 20 kiosks by the end of 2019.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


IT RETAILERS STILL UPBEAT WITH SST

Retailers of information technology (IT) products are not expecting a severe impact on their businesses with the reintroduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on September 1, 2018. Most IT retailers are still upbeat about the reaction of consumers, with several stores maintaining the pre-SST prices for products that were brought in prior to the inception date. Despite having to increase prices due to the re-implementation of the tax system, IT retailers do not expect any heavy impact on their sales performances.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 12/09/2018)


L&G PLANS TO LAUNCH THREE PROJECTS IN THE KLANG VALLEY WORTH RM4.2 BILLION IN 2019

In mid 2019, Land & General Bhd (L&G) aims to roll out three projects with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM4.2 billion in the Klang Valley. These projects are “Aria Rimba” (a township) at U10, Shah Alam, a serviced apartment project at The Mines Resort in Seri Kembangan and a high-rise residential development in Bandar Sri Damansara.

The 120 acre leasehold township development in Shah Alam, with a GDV of RM1.1 billion, comprises terraced homes, semi-detached homes, Rumah Selangorku and commercial developments, which will be developed in four to five phases over the next five to six years. L&G also plans to launch a serviced apartment project in The Mines Resort, which is located close to the South Lake of the resort and will have an estimated GDV of RM1.6 billion. This leasehold development will comprise 2,222 serviced apartment units housed in six blocks and is now pending approval by the relevant authorities. Also in the pipeline is another high-rise residential development on Sri Damansara Club’s land in Bandar Sri Damansara, which carries an estimated GDV of RM1.5 billion. This development is now in its final planning stages.

L&G also recently soft-launched its “Seresta @ Bandar Sri Damansara” project which has an estimated GDV of RM480 million. Seresta, which is phase two of its “Foresta” serviced apartment project, offers 452 units housed in two 47 storey towers, with built-ups ranging between 1,300 sq. ft. and 1,800 sq. ft. The average selling price for “Seresta” is RM650 per sq. ft. and it will be officially launched in October 2018. Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the “Sena Parc” township development in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan, was launched in April 2018 and was well-received, as 110 two-storey terraced houses were booked out of a total of 163 homes. “Sena Parc” is a 220 acre township built on a freehold tract on the former Tuanku Jaafar Golf and Country Resort, which is located close to Seremban town centre.

(The Edge Property, 12/09/2018)


ALYA KL – MOST LUXURY GOLF RESORT

Formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club resort (KLGCC Resort), Sime Darby Property’s “Alya Kuala Lumpur” (Alya KL) is a premier integrated project with a gross development value exceeding RM8 billion. There are eight development parcels spanning 61 acres that cover residential (bungalows, courtyard villas, serviced apartments, strata condominiums), offices, retail and premier recreational venues. The first completed parcel is “East Residence”, a gated and guarded community of low density luxurious courtyard villas (112 units) and 15 residential suites, ranging between 4,442 sq. ft. and 5,488 sq. ft. The second parcel is “Senada Residences”, comprising two towers with 429 serviced apartment units priced between RM1,100 per sq. ft. and RM1,200 per sq. ft., as well as offices and retail spaces. Parcel 3 is “Jendela”, which comprises three serviced apartment towers with units ranging between 807 sq. ft. and 4,628 sq. ft. plush penthouses and retail space. The rest of the Alya KL master development covers TPC Kuala Lumpur’s two 18 hole championship golf courses, the Par 71 East and Par 72 West Courses and a clubhouse.

(NST, 13/09/2018)


GAMUDA LAND LAUNCHES ‘NATURE SANCTUARY, FUTURE CITY’ THEMED GAMUDA COVE

Gamuda Land has unveiled its latest 1,530-acre township, “Gamuda Cove”. Scheduled to be completed by 2038, the mixed development with a gross development value of RM20 billion comprises residential units, commercial, offices, healthcare, and educational components. Three phases of the residential units will be completed within “FY18”. The first phase of landed residential units will be launched in September 2018, whereas the first phase of condominium units will be completed in March 2019. The developer expects to complete the second phase of landed units by the end of FY18.

(StarProperty & The Edge Property, 14/09/2018)


JULY 2018 IPI HIGHER AT 2.6%

Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index (IPI) growth rate increased marginally to 2.6% in July 2018 Y-o-Y (June 2018 Y-o-Y: 1.1%) supported by an increase in the manufacturing (5.2%) and electricity indices (4.5%). Meanwhile, the mining sector output registered a decline of 5.9% in July 2018 Y-o-Y due to a decrease in the natural gas index (-15.2%).

(The Star, 08/09/2018)


HILTON TO DOUBLE PRESENCE IN MALAYSIA

United States-based hospitality chain, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, will introduce nine additional hotels in Malaysia with an inventory of 3,000 rooms. The new launches in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor, will result in a total of 18 Hilton branded hotels with 6,400 rooms in Malaysia. Planned openings include: the 255-room Hilton Garden Inn Puchong built by Millennium Land Sdn Bhd and the 267-room Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman North owned by Singapore’s Royal Group Capital, the 315-room Hilton Garden Inn Johor Bahru developed by Capital World Ltd and DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam, owned by I-Bhd property. The opening of Canopy by Hilton Kuala Lumpur in Bukit Bintang marks the debut of the Canopy by Hilton lifestyle hotel brand in Malaysia and also in Southeast Asia. Scheduled to open in three years, the 478-room hotel will be developed by Hass Holdings Sdn Bhd.

(The Edge Property, 08/09/2018)


MALAYSIA EYES “TOP 10 TOURISM SPOT”

Malaysia aims to be among the world’s top 10 tourist destinations in 2019 as the country’s position was ranked 12th in 2017. In 2018, the tourism industry targets 26.4 million in foreign tourist arrivals, with a total expenditure of RM84.9 billion. From January 2018 to end April 2018, Malaysia recorded 8.4 million in tourist arrivals, with a 37.2% increase in China tourists, India (21.2%), South Korea (26.5%), Canada (28%) and the United States (23%).

(NST, 09/09/2018)


MAHB AIRPORT TRAFFIC GREW 2.9% Y-O-Y IN AUGUST 2018

In August 2018, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports served 11.78 million passengers, up 2.9% Y-o-Y, largely due to growth in passenger movements at its Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey. The peak traffic in August 2018 was partly due to the summer holidays in Turkey and the Hajj travel season. In terms of international passengers, it registered a 3.2% Y-o-Y growth to 5.64 million in August 2018, while domestic passengers grew 2.7% Y-o-Y to 6.14 million. The domestic passenger movement growth was mainly contributed by low cost airlines, AirAsia and Firefly, therefore offsetting the continuous reductions posted by other airlines.

(The Edge Financial, The Sun & NST, 13/09/2018)


2018-2020 TOURIST ARRIVALS, RECEIPT TARGETS LOWERED

Malaysia implemented a realistic 17% downward revision to its forecast for the number of tourist arrivals for 2020, from an earlier target of 36 million, to 30 million. It also expects to earn lower tourism receipts of RM100 billion in 2020, which is a 40% contraction from the earlier estimate of RM168 billion. Accordingly, the tourist arrival targets for 2018 and 2019 have also been revised down to 26.4 million and 28.1 million from an earlier forecast of 33.1 million and 34.5 million respectively. The country is also expected to earn RM84.9 billion and RM92.2 billion in tourism receipts for 2018 and 2019 respectively, which is comparatively lower than unrealistic earlier targets of RM134 billion and RM151 billion respectively.

(The Edge Financial, 14/09/2018)


ENCORE MELAKA NEEDS “TIME TO ‘IMPRESS”

Yong Tai Bhd is optimistic that its “Encore Melaka” (a live performance highlighting the city’s rich history and cultural heritage) will successfully deliver on its ticket sales target of 85,000 a month, over the next six to nine months. It is expected that 30% of the group’s sales forecast will be from local visitors, tourists from China (40%), Asean visitors (20%) and 10% from other markets.

(The Edge Financial, 12/09/2018)


NO SST IMPACT EXPECTED FOR THEME PARKS

Themed attractions and parks operators are not expecting the Sales and Services Tax (SST) to affect their industry. Instead, evident urbanisation will lead to more families visiting theme parks amid heavy investments into the sector.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 12/09/2018)


RIDING ON REITS

On October 26, 2017, Bursa Malaysia introduced the all-share Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Index to capture a unique market segment that is representative of companies in the REITs market. This was executed irrespective of the index constituents being of a Retail, Office, Hotel, Industrial or Diversified nature. Taking into consideration the normalised level of the REIT Index on January 2, 2018 at 984 points, to date, the value has now contracted by 3.7% to 948 points.

(The Star, 08/09/2018)


SHARING ECONOMY CAN BE NEW REVENUE SOURCE

Malaysia has an abundance of room for the “sharing economy” (economic activity involving online transactions) to grow, in view of the presence of companies such as Grab, Airbnb and Foodpanda. The definition of “sharing economy” varies between countries and is based on the benefits sought, which may include economic, environmental and social aspects. The emergence of the modern sharing economy will create a new revenue source by utilising Malaysia’s under-utilised assets coupled with today’s technology. The effective use of under-utilised assets owned by individuals could generate extra income, particularly in terms of assets with high costs and low-frequency usage, including vehicles, power tools and accommodation.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


EXPECTED PROPERTY “PRICE REDUCTION” TO BOOST SECTOR

The expected “price reduction” of between 6% and 10% for houses in the “RM300,000 and above” range is set to be a positive catalyst for the property sector. The property market “improved by 4% in 1Q18”, as buying sentiment continues to improve.

(NST, 13/09/2018)


HEALTH MINISTER CONSIDERS SETTING UP REIT FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS

The Ministry of Health is planning to set up a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to obtain additional funds of up to RM3 billion to improve the quality of health services in Malaysia. The proposal is expected to be implemented by the end of 2018.

(The Edge Property, 08/09/2018)


KUL-SIN FLIGHT ROUTE IS “TOP 5” BUSIEST ROUTE

The Kuala Lumpur Singapore (KUL-SIN) flight route is among the top five international passenger routes, as global air travellers exceeded four billion in 2017. The rise in air passengers in 2017 was supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares. The KUL-SIN sector was the fourth-biggest international/regional route, posting 2.8 million passengers in 2017 but 0.3% lower compared with 2016.

The Hong Kong-Taipei Taoyuan route tops the list with 5.4 million passengers in 2017, a 1.8% growth from 2016, followed by Jakarta Soekarno Hatta-Singapore (3.3 million passengers), Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.1 million) and Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon (2.7 million).

(The Malaysian Reserve, 12/09/2018)


CIMB OFFERS LOWER FINANCING RATES FOR GBI RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND HYBRID VEHICLES

To embrace environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd have rolled out preferential financing rates for new hybrid vehicles and residential properties certified under the Green Building Index (GBI). Loan applicants will be offered a 10 basis point (0.10%) reduction in interest rates versus the applicable promotional interest rate for new hybrid vehicles and GBI-certified residential properties.

(The Edge Financial, 14/09/2018)


COUNTRY VIEW UNIT SECURES RM232 MILLION LOAN

Country View Bhd’s wholly-owned unit, Country View Resources Sdn Bhd, has taken a syndicated banking facility of up to RM232 million from RHB Islamic Bank Bhd and MBSB Bank Bhd. The banking facility will be utilised to part-finance the purchase of 164 acres of vacant land in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, worth RM310 million and to reimburse preliminary expenses to develop the land totalling RM34.9 million.

(NST, 08/09/2018 & The Malaysian Reserve, 12/09/2018)


 

  

SCIENTEX UNVEILS TOWNSHIP WITH GDV OF RM1.3 BILLION

Scientex Bhd has unveiled its township development, “Taman Scientex Utama” in Senai, Johor, with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.3 billion. The 121 acre township comprises residential and commercial components, whereby more than 85% of the new development will be priced in the affordable range. The first and second phases of Taman Scientex Utama, bearing freehold status, feature 510 double-storey terraced houses and 195 three storey terraced houses with a land area of 18ft. x 65ft. The first phase will also feature 56 three-storey shop offices with a land area of 22ft. x 70ft.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


DIVERSITY IN FOREST CITY HOUSE BUYERS

Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the master developer of Forest City in Iskandar Malaysia, has experienced a significant increase in the number of buyers from Singapore and Malaysia, citing marketing efforts via its sales galleries in both countries. Marketing efforts of the project has also targeted other countries such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Dubai, and Japan. To date, the developer’s customer base is “diverse and originates from close to 30 countries”.

(The Edge Property, 12/09/2018; NST & The Star, 13/09/2018)


PIP TARGETS RM15 BILLION INVESTMENT

Pengerang Industrial Park (PIP), developed by Johor Corporation (JCorp), will be the only large-scale industrial area in Pengerang, Johor, and is expected to attract approximately RM15 billion in total investments. To date, more than 10 prospective investors have registered their interest to operate in the industrial park which supports Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development projects. Scheduled to be completed within 24 months, the 781 acre PIP will be developed with an inclusive ecosystem to meet demands for the oil and gas industry, especially downstream industries. JCorp is also planning to work with the Johor State Government to plan and develop the 294 acre PIP2.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


FOREIGNERS WELCOME IN FOREST CITY

The Johor State Government has welcomed foreigners to invest and buy property in Country Garden Group’s US$100 billion (RM410 billion) Forest City project in Johor. The State Government believes that Malaysia has set comprehensive laws that protect the rights of foreign investors and companies, including the process of purchasing property.

(NST, 13/09/2018)


FMM PENANG SUPPORTS PIL

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang has supported the implementation of the Pan-Island Link 1 (PIL 1) Highway and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) based on the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). The PIL 1 Highway is a 19.5km, dual three-lane highway running from Gurney Drive to Penang International Airport and the PSR project will entail the building of three man-made islands located in the South of Penang Island. FMM noted that any delays in the execution of PTMP and PSR by the Penang State Government may cause prolonged productivity loss from worsening traffic congestion. Additionally, opportunity losses may arise from constrained growth, as the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone has no available land for future expansion. PTMP is a state-initiated project, costing an estimated RM46 billion, which features an undersea tunnel linking the island to the mainland, highways, Light Rail Transit, monorail and extensive bus connectivity on both the island and the mainland.

(The Sun, 12/09/2018)


SPAD QUESTIONED OVER LRT PROJECT FOR PENANG

The Penang State Government questioned the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) regarding the status of the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas Light Railway Transit (LRT) project, which was submitted in March 2016. The government had not received any communication from SPAD other than the two meetings in Putrajaya, which were held two years ago. The proposed LRT line, which is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan, will cover a distance of 30km with 27 stations running from Komtar to future reclaimed islands in the south of Penang Island.

(The Sun, 14/09/2018)


ECO HORIZON TO LAUNCH BRYDON SEMI-DETACHED AND BUNGALOWS BY 4Q18

In 4Q18, Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) will launch the first phase of its leasehold strata titled “Brydon” (second collection of the Eco Horizon township development) at Batu Kawan in Penang. With a gross development value of RM556 million, “Brydon” comprises 382 semi-detached homes with built up areas ranging between 2,777 sq. ft. and 3,553 sq. ft. and 13 bungalows (4,025 sq. ft.) priced from RM1.2 million and RM2.2 million respectively. The township’s first collection called “Ashton” was unveiled in September 2017 and comprises 704 terraced houses, super-linked homes and garden homes. The two storey terraced houses have a land size of 22 ft. x 70 ft., while the super-linked homes and garden homes have a land size of 25 ft. x 75 ft. and 30 ft. x 60 ft. respectively. With prices starting from RM868,000, “Ashton” is now over 70% sold.

(The Edge Financial, 14/09/2018)


SUNWAY PENANG MEDICAL CENTRE SET FOR COMPLETION BY 4Q20

The Sunway Group is optimistically expecting to complete phase one of the Sunway Medical Centre project in Seberang Jaya, Penang, by 4Q20. Construction commenced on September 7, 2018 and the 180 bed hospital with a gross development value (GDV) of RM300 million will have a six-bed intensive care unit. Phase two (hospital expansion) will increase the bed capacity to 350 and add RM100 million to the total GDV.

(The Star, 08/09/2018)


PENANG REHDA SAYS POSSIBILITY OF “LOWER HOME PRICES IN PENANG”

The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Penang (Rehda) is advising that there may a 6% to 10% discount on condominium and serviced apartment prices due to the Malaysian Government’s decision to exempt building materials from the Sales and Service Tax. Backdated to September 1, 2018, prices of residences costing RM300,000 and above could cost up to 10% less. Additionally, Rehda is suggesting its members could offer a discount of 6% for residences costing below RM300,000, which could be made applicable to new and existing projects.

(The Edge Financial, The Star & NST, 12/09/2018)


LOW-COST HOUSE PRICES TO REMAIN THE SAME

The expected drop of up to 10% in Penang’s housing prices will not include low-cost and low medium-cost houses that are being built “at a loss”. The prices for low-cost and low medium-cost units will remain at RM42,000 and RM72,500 respectively although the Sales and Service Tax (SST) has been exempted for major construction materials. The current construction cost for a low cost unit is RM120,000 but it is sold at only RM42,000. The Penang State Government will, however, consider reducing the pricing on its affordable housing projects following a move by Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Penang to generally reduce housing prices by 10% for those costing above RM300,000 and 6% for affordable housing.

(The Sun & The Star, 13/09/2018)


PROJECTS WILL PUT PENANG AT RISK

The RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) highway project will change the landscape of Penang Heritage City. PIL 1 will cut across hills, lakes, residential and commercial areas, which affect the Youth Park, Hindu temple, Kek Lok Si Temple and other areas, therefore causing sinkholes, flash floods and landslides. According to the Environmental Impact Assessment report, there will be an effect on areas such as Kampung Baru, Sungai Ara, Masjid Al-Huda, Kampung Tersusun, Kampung Manggis and Bayan Baru. These areas will experience traffic congestion, negative geological impacts like poor water quality caused by river alignment activities (527m in Kampung Tersusun and Kampung Baru), noise pollution, and potentially social impacts on public safety.

(NST, 10/09/2018)


SINGAPORE KEEN TO BOOST TIES WITH SABAH

Singapore wants to boost economic, trade and investment ties with Sabah, especially in tourism, technical and vocational education and property development. Leaders in both Singapore and Sabah discussed the launch of direct flights from Singapore to Sabah’s east coast, adding that the State of Sabah will send a team to Singapore to study the feasibility of developing technical and vocational education.

(NST, 09/09/2018)


SABAH DEVELOPERS ON THE LOSING END OF CURRENT SYSTEM

Sabah developers have long been faced with extended approval processes, which is one of the reasons for rising property prices in the state. A 76% approximate drop in value of new launches was experienced from RM7 billion in 2012 to RM1.7 billion in 2016. In order to reduce property prices by approximately 5%, faster approval time frames are required in order to reduce lengthy approval processes, which currently spans between 24 and 36 months. A longer duration leads to developers then transferring the costs of land premiums, interests on loans and other operational costs to buyers.

(The Edge Property, 12/09/2018)


NO DELAY IN PAN BORNEO HIGHWAY PROJECT IN SARAWAK

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has reassured that there are no delays in the Pan Borneo highway project in Sarawak as it is progressing smoothly according to the schedule announced by the Ministry of Works. The 2,325km Pan Borneo Expressway from Telok Melano in Kuching to Lawas in North Sarawak, is being built at a cost of RM29 billion.

(The Edge Property, 08/09/2018)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton