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MIER LOWERS 2018 GDP GROWTH FORECAST

Having previously projected the economy to grow at 5.5% for 2018, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) has reduced its forecast to 4.7% due to the subdued economic growth in 1H18. A passive 2H18 is anticipated while accounting for the slowdown experienced in exports, industrial production, private consumption and private investment. As for 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to range between 5% and 5.5%.

(The Sun & The Edge Financial, 17/10/2018)


 

DIGITAL ECONOMY TO CONTRIBUTE 20% TO GDP

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has projected that the digital economy will contribute 20% towards the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. Previously, at the end of 2016, the digital economy had contributed 18.2% towards the country’s overall GDP. Regarding the progress of the digital economy for 2017, MDEC is currently in the process of compiling the data as it is derived from various different sectors.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 18/10/2018)


 

REFORMING GOVERNANCE A PRIORITY

The Malaysian Government has revealed its plans for the second term of the 11th Malaysian Plan (11MP) spanning the years 2018 to 2020, putting emphasis on enhancing the resilience of the nation’s economy and the well-being of the people. Efforts will be made to strengthen Malaysia’s economic base and the prosperity of Malaysians based on six thrusts: to reform governance towards enhancing transparency and efficiency of public services; to enhance inclusive development and well-being of the people; to pursue balanced regional development; to empower human capital; to enhance environmental sustainability via green development; and to strengthen economic growth.

(NST, The Star & The Edge Financial, 19/10/2018)


 

REVISED 11MP LAUDED BUT EXECUTION REMAINS KEY

Economists are largely positive on the updates to be made to the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) following the Malaysian Government’s mid-term review of the five-year road map. The optimistic outlook stems from the economic and governance reforms that the government aspires to achieve, as it is viewed as being more realistic given the fiscal condition of the nation. Some of the economic measures include cuts in development spending and flexible fiscal targeting to shore up growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth expectations have been scaled back to between 4.5% and 5.5% from the previous target of between 5% and 6%. By 2020, the fiscal deficit target is expected to be at a “wider albeit more realistic” GDP of 3% versus the prior 0.6%, and the development expenditure ceiling was cut by 15% to RM220 billion compared with the original RM260 billion.

(The Edge Financial, The Star & The Sun, 19/10/2018)


 

GOVERNMENT WILL REVIEW BUMIPUTRA QUOTA

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government will review the bumiputra housing quota system. The review involves thoroughly studying the quota for the sale of bumiputra lots (not applicable to affordable housing), with the sole intention of addressing the housing and property surplus of the bumiputra quota. The review will study the weaknesses in implementing the quota system, including factors influencing the “unsold unit” phenomenon.

(The Edge Property, 13/10/2018 & NST, 14/10/2018)


3 TYPES OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

By mid-November 2018, the Malaysian Government will introduce three price categories of affordable housing which will be developed under the National Housing Policy. The three new categories are to include houses worth RM150,000 and below; between RM150,000 and RM300,000; and between RM300,000 and RM500,000.

(NST & The Star, 13/10/2018; The Malaysian Reserve, 15/10/2018)


 

GOVERNMENT TO BUILD 200,000 AFFORDABLE HOUSES

In total, 200,000 affordable houses are scheduled to be built in the remaining period of the 11th Malaysia Plan. This initiative is in line with the objective to improve the wellbeing of the people, whereby efforts will be intensified to provide quality and affordable housing, thereby increasing home ownership. The National Affordable Housing Council will be established to oversee the implementation of affordable houses nationwide. Various public affordable housing initiatives under several ministries and agencies will be rationalised under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, whereby these rationalisation exercises will enable expedited implementation of affordable housing programmes to benefit Malaysians. The government will review subsidies relevant to affordable housing programmes, in order to ensure that programmes are sustainable to optimise government resources and reduce dependencies on government allocations. In this regard, suitable incentives will be considered for developers who provide affordable housing, particularly in meeting demands from low and middle income households.

(The Edge Property, 18/10/2018)


 

SELECTED HIGH-IMPACT PROJECTS WILL GO AHEAD

The Government will undertake high-impact projects, according to the Mid-term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020. The government will still have circa 4,000 projects in the pipeline involving the building of affordable houses, schools and hospitals and infrastructure. Projects that have been revised / deferred include the East Coast Rail Link, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail and the Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3) Circle Line. Projects that will continue include: Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE), Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH), Putrajaya-KLIA Highway (MEX II), Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), River of Life, MRT2, Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3), Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double Track, West Coast Expressway (Perak-Selangor), expansion of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Bahru, Central Spine Road (Bentong Bypass), expansion of the Penang International Airport, Lembangan Sungai Pinang flood mitigation project, Sungai Muda flood mitigation project, Pan-Borneo Highway, Rural Water Supply projects, Rural Electricity projects, and Petronas Floating Liquefied Natural Gas 2.

(The Edge Financial, 19/10/2018)


 

AVALON AIRPORT’S NEW TERMINAL TO BE COMPLETED SOON

The new A$38 million (RM112.7 million) international terminal being built at the Avalon Airport in Victoria, Australia, is expected to be completed in November 2018. AirAsia X will fly in from Kuala Lumpur (KL) on December 5, 2018 to begin its twice daily KL-Melbourne-KL flights.

(The Star, 16/10/2018)


 

MRCB-GK RECEIVES LETTER TO RESUME LRT3 WORKS

MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd (MRCB-GK) has received a letter from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, indicating that the Malaysian Government has agreed to continue with the proposed Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT 3) project from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, for a revised total cost of RM16.6 billion. Total costs include land acquisition costs, interest during construction and other costs. The implementation concept of the project has been remodelled from a Project Delivery Partner regime to a Fixed Price Contract regime.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 17/10/2018; The Edge Financial, The Star & The Sun, 18/10/2018)


 

WEST COAST EXPRESSWAY 60% COMPLETE

The construction of the 313km West Coast Expressway (WCE) from Banting in Selangor to Taiping in Perak is 60% complete and will open in stages commencing 2019. The entire WCE project will be completed by 2022, two years after the initial deadline of April 2020, due to land acquisition and changes made towards the alignment to Section 7 at Tanjong Karang, Selangor.

(The Edge Financial, 19/10/2018)


DOLPHIN GETS RM7.2 MILLION JOB

Dolphin International Bhd has secured a RM7.2 million contract from Syarqiah Holdings Sdn Bhd to supply construction materials for upgrading facilities related to the Train Cargo Terminal in Padang Besar, Perlis. Dolphin will also construct a three-storey office building, in addition to improving train tracks, yard container and entrance and exit lanes for container trucks.

(The Sun, 16/10/2018)


 

MNC WIRELESS, SPNB DANA EXTEND DEADLINE FOR JOINT VENTURE

MNC Wireless Bhd and SPNB Dana Sdn Bhd have agreed to take three additional months to set up a business in providing short-term loans for down payments and differential sums for SPNB Dana affordable housing projects. In October 2017, MNC Wireless and SPNB signed a subscription and shareholder agreement to form a 30:70 equity JV company for the venture. They have until January 23, 2019 to move forward with the plan.

(The Sun, 16/10/2018)


 

TIARA HILLS BY MODERN AGE DEVELOPMENT “FRESHENS UP” A TRADITIONAL HOUSING AREA

Modern Age Development Sdn Bhd has introduced “Tiara Hills” in Taman Taynton View, Cheras. Situated on an elevated 11.9 acre freehold site, this gated and guarded residential project comprises three phases and has a total gross development value of circa RM300 million. Priced from RM547 per sq. ft., the 52 units of three-storey and two-and-a-half-storey superlink homes at Tiara Hills are designed with built-ups of 3,253 sq. ft. and 3,725 sq. ft. Phase 1, comprising 16 semi-detached houses, has been completed and has received the certificate of completion and compliance (CCC). The current phase comprising 52 three-storey superlink houses will be completed in early 2019, while Phase 3 comprising 43 three-storey superlink houses and courtyard homes, is scheduled for a sales launch at the end of 2018.

(The Star, 17/10/2018)


IJM LAND, OIB FOCUS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING

IJM Land Bhd’s next launch in Shah Alam 2, Puncak Alam, Selangor, is on November 18, 2018, which will be Phase 2 of Alam Suria Enclave (5C). Phase 2 will comprise 96 link houses measuring 20 ft. x 70 ft., with a built-up size of 1,620 sq. ft. priced from RM519,000. Phase 1 of 5C with 119 units launched in July 2018, was fully sold in less than four months.

Oriental Interest Bhd (OIB) unveiled the first phase of “Myra Alam” in June 2018, which has a gross development value of RM300 million and comprises 223 terraced houses, 364 condominium units and 394 units of Rumah Selangorku apartments. Situated on a 35.5 acre plot of land, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2023. With an approximate booking rate of 50%, Phase 1 of Myra Alam comprises 106 double-storey terraced homes with a built-up area of 1,865 sq. ft. priced from RM475,000.

(NST, 18/10/2018)


 

XIAN LENG INKS MOU TO PARTICIPATE IN PR1MA IN KEDAH

Xian Leng Holdings Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TH Mestika Sdn Bhd to participate in constructing a 500-unit block at Ulu Melaka in Langkawi, Kedah, under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA). Under the MoU, TH Mestika will be responsible for the planning, designing and providing machinery and equipment for construction works, while Xian Leng will provide resources and services for construction.

(The Edge Financial, 16/10/2018)


 

74% TARGETED RESIDENTIAL SALES PRICED BELOW RM500,000

Circa 74% of residential properties by Mah Sing Group Bhd is targeted to be sold in 2018, with prices below RM500,000.

(The Edge Financial & The Star, 16/10/2018)


 

RESIDENSI ASTREA MONT’ KIARA GETS MEDIOCRE RESPONSE

UEM Sunrise Bhd has recorded a booking rate of approximately 50% for its “Residensi Astrea Mont’Kiara”. The 37-floor condominium offers six different built-up sizes, ranging between 1,364 sq. ft. and 1,859 sq. ft., with prices starting at RM1.2 million. Situated on 2.4 acres of freehold land with a gross development value of RM323 million, the 240 condominium units are targeted to be completed in 1Q23.

(The Edge Financial & NST, 18/10/2018)


 

CPCG SETS SIGHTS ON MALAYSIA

China’s Pacific Construction Group Ltd (CPCG) is planning on investing in a regional office in Kuala Lumpur, along with RM10 billion to be invested over the next 10 years in infrastructure and education. CPCI Holdings Sdn Bhd (CPCG’s Malaysian subsidiary) plans on escalating investments, particularly for federal projects, which will benefit wider societal segments. Currently, CPCI is involved in one construction project in Malaysia via open tender, which is a RM200 million contract to build workers’ quarters in oil palm plantations owned by Felda Engineering Ventures Plantations Sdn Bhd in Sahabat, Sabah.

(The Edge Property, 13/10/2018)


MYNEWS EXPECTED TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE WITH NEW PRODUCTS

Mynews Holdings Bhd has introduced new food and beverage (F&B) products as a prelude to the roll-out of its ready-to-eat (RTE) facility. The targeted operational date for the food processing facility has however been delayed to the end of 1Q19. Mynews has devised new F&B products under the “Maru Kafe” brand for its stores in order to remain competitive against its peers. Thus far, Mynews has integrated Maru Kafe into one store in Avenue K, with plans to extend this product offering in batches of 50 stores commencing mid-October 2018.

(The Edge Financial, 15/10/2018)


QSR BRANDS GOES AHEAD WITH RELISTING

QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd, the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Malaysia, will relist its shares on Bursa Malaysia. Proceeds from the IPO will mainly be utilised for the expansion of KFC and Pizza Hut businesses across the country within 12 months. To date, QSR Brands operates 810 KFC and 467 Pizza Hut outlets across Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei. QSR Brands plans on expanding its network of KFC outlets, rationalising its network of Pizza Hut outlets, as well as enhancing its technological and digital capabilities to improve customer reach and drive growth.

(The Star, 16/10/2018 & The Edge Financial, 17/10/2018)


 

LG ELECTRONICS TO OPEN MORE STORES IN MALAYSIA

LG Electronics Malaysia plans to open at least 20 more LG stores nationwide by 2020, in addition to its 27 existing stores. LG expects to open seven new stores, to make up a total of 34 stores nationwide by the end of 2018. The company is also planning to set up at least two additional store-in-stores (SIS) in key cities over the next two years. The SIS outlet allows for customers to experience their products first-hand.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


 

NEW MALL UNVEILS UPCOMING TENANTS

Sunsuria Forum @ 7th Avenue, Setia Alam, has unveiled its retail tenants for its “Sunsuria Forum Street Mall”. Among the food and beverage retail partners are: Village Grocer (anchor tenant), Baskin Robbins, Subway, Secret Recipe, Tokyo Teppan, Tokyo Don, Alibaba & Nyonya, Tealive, Artelier Coffee, LN Fortunate Coffee, The Double Happiness Sekinchan, Focus Point and Caring Pharmacy. Street Mall is in the process of being handed over to lot owners, with retailers set to officially open their business by 1Q19. Additionally, Sunsuria Forum will also feature Signature Kitchen, 19 Hair Lounge and Nufa Aesthetic on the first and second floors of the corporate office block. Sunsuria Forum is a freehold integrated development comprising a 31-storey tower with 346 corporate office units, SOHO suites and a lifestyle mall.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


 

RETAIL OUTLETS MUST HAVE NEW SST PRICES BY NOVEMBER 15, 2018

From November 15, 2018, all supermarkets and grocery chain outlets nationwide must coordinate and come up with new prices for all types of goods they sell, under the Sales and Services Tax (SST) system. Companies that manage such businesses were given a two-months leeway period to make the necessary price adjustments from the previous goods and services tax to the current SST, which was implemented on September 1, 2018. Imposition of the sales tax rate was not identical across all goods as they ranged from 0%, 5% and 10%, whereas the service tax rate was 6%.

(The Edge Financial, 19/10/2018)


 

WCT NOW FREE TO LIST ITS INVESTMENT PROPERTY ARM

The ongoing court tussle between WCT Holdings Bhd (WCT) and AEON Mall Bukit Tinggi has come to an end after the two parties agreed to an amicable out-of-court settlement. The two parties have executed a supplemental lease agreement to further renew the lease period for six additional years commencing November 21, 2017. This was subject to options to renew for a further two terms, comprising six and three years respectively. WCT will continue to lease its investment property to AEON, with expectations of rental rate increases from 2019 onwards. In addition, AEON is agreeable to allowing WCT to proceed with its property development on the open car park space that will be linked to the mall. The listing of WCT’s investment properties was put on hold previously as the rental dispute was debated in court.

(The Edge Financial, 19/10/2018)


 

SUNWAY VELOCITY TWO WILL HAVE A GDV OF RM2 BILLION

Sunway Property is developing “Sunway Velocity Two” on an 8.05 acre site in Cheras, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM2 billion. The project comprises four residential towers and two commercial towers to further add value to the successes of “Sunway Velocity”. “Sunway Velocity Two” will be a Green RE certified development, which will include energy efficient and motion sensor lighting, and rainwater harvesting. The first phase of the launch will comprise two residential towers (both 53 storeys), whereby the layout of Tower A units will range between 635 sq. ft. and 1,281 sq. ft., whereas Tower B will range between 635 sq. ft. and 1,119 sq. ft., with an indicative price from RM527,000.

(NST, 16/10/2018)


 

KERJAYA PROSPEK TO DEVELOP PROJECT WORTH RM1 BILLION

Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Luxury Hotels International Management Co BV (a subsidiary of Marriott International Inc). KPP is tasked to design and build the proposed mixed development project, whereas Marriott International will be given a 10-year contract to operate Courtyard by Marriott. Marriott International will also provide technical consultation on the development and design of the hotel, and to correspondingly develop marketing and branding strategies. The mixed property development project, which is located near Old Klang Road in Kuala Lumpur, has an estimated gross development value of RM1.1 billion. The project, with a gross built-up area of approximately 3.5 million sq. ft., will comprise a 276-room hotel within a 38-storey tower, office space of 100,000 sq. ft., a retail mall measuring 300,000 sq. ft., and two 68-storey towers housing 1,199 units of serviced apartments (priced from RM800 per sq. ft.). Slated for completion in 2022, construction for the basement floors is in progress and a soft launch is targeted for 1Q19.

(The Edge Financial, The Star & The Sun, 17/10/2018)


 

SECOND PJ BUILDING UP FOR SALE BY SATO

Sato Malaysia Electronics Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (the Japan-based barcode manufacturer) has put up for sale a 4-storey plant in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The asset is a 99,684 sq. ft. building located on a 2.42 acre site, and priced at circa RM50 million. In 2017, Sato sold a five-storey industrial complex, which included passenger and cargo lifts, for RM29 million to Despark College. The complex encompasses a gross built-up of 82,000 sq. ft. and sits on 1.35 acres of land.

(The Edge Property, 13/10/2018)


 

MITI SECURES RM806 MILLION WORTH OF JAPAN INVESTMENTS

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) secured RM806 million worth of investments from Tokyo and Osaka. Circa RM80 million stemmed from Japan Lifeline Co. Ltd, which will build its first factory outside of Japan at the North Penang Science Park, whereas RM74 million came from Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd for the construction of a logistics facility with cold storage services in Malaysia. Of the remainder, RM355 million was derived from Daikin for its new factory and RM297 million was from Dai-ichi Seiko Co Ltd., which will manufacture plastic parts for automotive sensors in Kuala Lumpur.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


 

PTP ON TRACK TO ACHIEVE 5% GROWTH IN VOLUME

In 2018, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is on course to register a 5% growth in its handling of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). PTP recorded a total throughput volume of 8.4 million TEUs in 2017, which was an increase of 1.2% compared with 8.2 million TEUs in 2016. PTP is a joint venture between MMC Corp Bhd and APM Terminals. The port development area comprises 3,499 acres for the port terminal and free zone area. PTP has attracted investments worth of RM2.4 billion in its free zone services and over 40 companies have relocated their business to its free zone area with over 11,000 workers. The free zone area totals approximately 1,584 acres, whereby the nature of businesses includes warehousing, logistics and manufacturing.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA SIGNS TOURISM MOU WITH AZERBAIJAN

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding, Malaysia is expected to experience an increase in tourist arrivals from former Soviet Republic nation, Azerbaijan, of between 1,500 and 2,000 people, which is part of a tourism initiative between the two countries. Malaysia recorded a total of 1,035 tourists from Azerbaijan, an increase of 12.1% from the number reported in 2016. The growth trend continued in 2018 with an increase of 18.8% in arrivals for the first four months.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 16/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA TAKING STEPS TO ATTRACT MORE CHINESE TOURISTS

Malaysia is taking aggressive steps to reverse a decrease in tourist arrivals from China, whereby one of the barriers includes the visa process. The Malaysian Government is working towards improving the visa issuance process to be faster and more efficient whilst ensuring that the price is not too high.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 16/10/2018)


 

GAMES COURTS FOR RAWANG HOUSING AREA BY 2019

The Selayang Municipal Council plans to turn a plot of idle land in the Rawang housing area into a sporting area equipped with basketball, volleyball and sepak takraw courts. The 0.5 acre land slated for the various courts is situated behind the Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Alayam Hindu temple off Jalan 7, Taman PKNS in Rawang. Construction will commence in March 2019 and is scheduled for completion before mid-June 2019.

(The Star, 17/10/2018)


IJN TO BRANCH OUT OF KL TO PROVIDE SERVICE TO MORE PEOPLE

The National Heart Institute (IJN) is intending on setting up branches in the northern, central and southern regions of Peninsula Malaysia to bring its medical treatment and healthcare services to more people and to enhance its role in medical tourism. Construction of its first branch in Johor Baru will commence in 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in three years. The government-owned private hospital is currently in discussions with an interested party to set up a second branch in the Klang Valley. IJN is also looking for places on the mainland of Penang, either close to the second Penang bridge or Kulim in Kedah.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


 

COUNTRY HEIGHTS TO PUMP RM500 MILLION INTO MINES CAR CITY CENTRE

Country Heights Holdings Bhd (CHHB) will allocate RM500 million to develop its Mines Car City Centre (MCCC). Scheduled to be completed over a five year period, the company will be consolidating RM1.3 billion worth of assets and facilities for the MCCC (circa 296 acres of land). CHHB had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AsiaAuto Venture Sdn Bhd to form a new company (NewCo) for the MCCC. NewCo will conduct automotive-related programmes, develop an auto lifestyle centre and conduct other auto industry-related businesses.

(The Star, 19/10/2018)


HBA TELLS REHDA TO REDEDINE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

According to the National House Buyers Association (HBA), affordable housing should be priced between RM150,000 and RM300,000 in Kuala Lumpur and offer at least 800 sq. ft., with two bedrooms. Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) should also lower its threshold of affordably-priced homes, which is currently RM500,000 in Kuala Lumpur, to better match the affordability levels of individuals with low median monthly incomes.

(The Edge Property, 15/10/2018)


 

STATE-BASED POLICIES FOR UNSOLD HOMES

It has been suggested that the Malaysian Government should adopt state-based policies to clear the stock of unsold affordable homes in the country. The number of unsold affordable housing units in Malaysia pointed to an ineffective policy that did not reflect realities on the ground. High prices of houses and non-strategic locations of newly built units under the government’s affordable housing scheme have resulted in a rise of unsold residential properties in recent years. A recent report shows that while the national median income level hovers between RM4,360 and RM9,619, the middle income threshold is different in each state. Households with incomes below RM2,000 consume 95% of their income on average and those with incomes below RM5,000 have to cut back on spending.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 16/10/2018)


 

WIDENING HOUSEHOLD INCOME DISPARITY

The wealth gap in Malaysia is widening although the income growth among the middle group (M40) and low (B40) group is moving faster that of the “rich”. The situation is such because income levels of T20 households in the country in 2016 continued to grow, but its growth was at a slower pace compared with five years earlier in 2010. Interestingly, the wealth gap narrowed after the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash and the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis, but did not reduce during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Although the gap between Malaysia’s “rich” and “poor” continues to widen, income inequality has improved, judging by the decline in the Gini coefficient (which measures income inequality) from 0.513 in 1970 to 0.399 in 2016.

(The Edge Financial & The Star, 16/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA UP ONE PLACE TO 25TH IN GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS LIST

Malaysia rose one spot to the 25th place out of 140 countries with a score of 74.4 in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). Additionally, Malaysia was one of three non-high-income economies featured in the top 40: Malaysia (25th), China (28th), and Thailand (38th). In terms of macroeconomic stability, Malaysia ranked first, whereas it was ranked 24th for institutions, 32nd each for infrastructure and ICT adoption, respectively, 15th for financial system and 19th for business dynamism. According to the GCR, adaptability and agility of all stakeholders (individuals, governments and businesses) will be key features in successful economies, adding that Malaysia ranked 9th among “future-ready” nations.

(The Edge Financial, NST & The Star, 18/10/2018)


 

SPIKE IN PROPERTY LAUNCHES PRICED AT RM500,000 AND BELOW

According to a recent Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Property Industry Survey, most respondents reported having launched properties in 1H18 (1H18: 40%; 2H17: 34%), whereby the number of units launched experienced a 12% contraction (1H18: 13,233; 2H17: 15,082). The data also showed that although launches experienced a reduction, sales performance, on the other hand, grew by 6%. The average selling price in most states fell within a range between RM100,001 and RM500,000, except for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (between RM500,001 and RM700,000). The percentage of respondents with unsold units increased from 66% in 2H17 to 75% in 1H18, with the majority having up to 30% unsold stock. Most of the unsold units appeared to be equally distributed within the price ranges between RM250,001 and RM500,000 (mostly in Kuantan and Alor Setar), between RM500,001 and RM700,000 (mostly Johor Bahru and Shah Alam) and between RM700,001 and RM1 million (mostly Johor Bahru and Puchong).

(StarProperty, 16/10/2018)


 

SENAI AIRPORT CITY – “THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL HUB”

By 2025, Senai, Johor will be transformed with the completion of the Senai Airport City (SAC), a 2,718 acre logistics and industry hub which is expected to service various industrial segments. The city is being developed in five phases, which will comprise a free industrial zone, a hi-tech and general manufacturing area, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul centres, and logistics and mixed developments. Master developer, Senai Airport City Sdn Bhd, is currently in talks with 12 multinational companies and manufacturers which are scouting for a regional distribution hub within the area. The developer also plans to attract existing Johor-based companies that are looking to relocate their businesses or are planning for expansion.

Of the total area (1,200 acres) earmarked for the first phase, circa 400 acres has been allocated to house free trade zones, which offer the exemption of import and export duties for manufactured products (80% of the finished goods are mandated for overseas markets). SAC has also allocated 700 acres towards the hi-tech and manufacturing segment, 499 acres of which is currently undergoing earthworks and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 16/10/2018)


PAIRED ROAD ALREADY DELAYED

Works on the RM545 million Jalan Bukit Kukus paired road project in Penang (an alternative road linking Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam to Lebuh Bukit Jambul) will be delayed by a year till mid-2020, due to unforeseen obstacles during construction. The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) will construct 2.8km of the stretch, while PLB Land Sdn Bhd and Geo Valley Sdn Bhd will construct the remaining 1.4km and 0.7km respectively. MBPP which is working on the 2.8km stretch costing RM275.6 million faced a delay due to land acquisition issues, realignment and relocation of cables. The project is 69% done and is to be completed by early 2020. PLB Land had faced issues with big rocks and boulders. The RM150 million section has progressed 36% and is scheduled for mid-2020 completion. Geo Valley faced legal issues as the residents affected by their section of the project took up matters with the Appeals Board and the case was pending. The RM120 million stretch by Geo Valley is currently 18% completed.

(The Star, 15/10/2018)


 

PENANG UNDERSEA TUNNEL “STILL ON”

The feasibility study and detailed design for the RM3.5 billion undersea tunnel project in Penang will be submitted by the end of October 2018, in order to be deliberated by federal and state authorities. The Penang State Government remains positive on the implementation of the mega infrastructure project, which would link Persiaran Gurney on the island to Bagan Ajam on the mainland. The tunnel will be built by China Railway Construction Co Ltd, which is Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd’s engineering, procurement, commissioning and construction contractor due to its expertise in underground construction.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 18/10/2018)


 

IDEAL UNITED BINTANG TO ACQUIRE SHARES IN 3 FIRMS FOR RM353 MILLION

Ideal United Bintang International Bhd (Ideal UBI) has proposed to purchase shares in three property development companies (Modular Platinum Sdn Bhd, Ideal Homes Properties Sdn Bhd and Premium Flame Development Sdn Bhd) in Penang for RM353.1 million from its controlling shareholder. The three target companies have mixed-development projects underway in Penang. Modular is currently jointly developing a 200,585 sq. ft. tract in Barat Daya, Penang, with Koperasi Tunas Muda Sungai Ara Bhd. Known as “Imperial Grande” the development comprises two blocks of apartments with 938 units, 65 shoplots or offices, and has a gross development value (GDV) of RM499.8 million. As at August 31, 2018, the project was at 10% completion with the balance to be completed in 2021. Ideal Homes is also undertaking a joint development with Koperasi Tunas Muda on a 554,018 sq. ft. parcel in Barat Daya, with a GDV of RM665.4 million. The project is at 10% completion with the balance to be completed in 2022. Premium Flame is developing two plots in Barat Daya with a total estimated GDV for Imperial Ville of RM246.5 million which is at 18% completion. The balance of the development is estimated to be completed in 2022.

(The Edge Financial, The Malaysian Reserve, The Star & The Sun, 16/10/2018)


JAYA GROCER OPENS ITS FIRST PENANG STORE

Jaya Grocer has opened its first outlet in Penang inside the Gurney Paragon Mall. Set up at a cost of RM6 million (excluding merchandise), the new store (28th store in total), has a floor space of 25,000 sq. ft. Approximately 4,000 sq. ft. is reserved for food and beverage counters, whereby customers will be able to enjoy their signature “cook-for-you” service once the Grocer Canteen is opened at the end of 2018. Jaya Grocer will also open three new outlets between now and March 2019, two be sited in the Klang Valley and one will be “down south”.

(NST, 18/10/2018)


NEW CHINESE SCHOOL IN BATU KAWAN

Costing between RM8 million and RM10 million, the Federal Government will build a new Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina or SJK(C) in Batu Kawan. The 24-classroom school with 35 pupils in each class is to be built on a 6 acre plot provided by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and is scheduled for completion in 2021. Upon completion, the new school could take in up to 840 pupils. The Ministry of Education will either provide a new operating licence for the school or relocate SJK(C) Kuang Yu in Kuala Muda to the site.

(The Star, 16/10/2018)


 

FEDERAL AND SABAH STATE GOVERNMENTS AIM TO RESOLVE HIGHWAY ISSUES

The Federal Government is collaborating with the Sabah State Government to resolve issues concerning the Pan Borneo Highway project, including land acquisition. The Works Ministry reassured that the project will be implemented and will remain toll-free. In Sabah, the project is broken into 35 work packages worth RM12.8 billion, with seven packages already implemented between April 2016 and December 2017.

(The Star & The Edge Financial, 15/10/2018)


 

PLANS TO DESIGN KUCHING AS A “COMPETITIVE, HEALTHY CITY”

The Sarawak State Government is planning to design Kuching towards becoming a “competitive and healthy city”. However, it is a challenge for the current government to elevate Kuching City to the next level of development. The existing public transport system comprising buses, taxis and private cars is creating regular traffic jams at particular junctions and times. For the future growth of Kuching City, the government may introduce the bus rapid transit and the light rail transit to solve existing traffic problems and to prepare basic infrastructure for future growth.

(The Edge Property, 17/10/2018)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton