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SEVERE IMPACT ON GROWTH UNLIKELY

Malaysia’s economic growth will not be severely hampered by “lower” global oil prices. Mineral exports represent 8.8% of total national exports, whereas investments within the mining sector account for 13.8% of total investment in the country. Non-commodity sectors represent more than an 18% contribution to the country’s economy, while mining only represents 8.4%.

(NST, 17/11/2018)


3Q18 EXPORTS EXPAND 5.2% TO RM251 BILLION

In 3Q18, Malaysia’s exports of goods grew 5.2% to RM251 billion from 2Q18. Main products, which contributed to the increase, were the electrical and electronics segment, which increased by RM9.6 billion (10.7%) to RM99.4 billion, followed by crude petroleum (70.6%) and refined petroleum (2.8%). Imports also increased 6.3% to RM225.8 billion, with consumption goods accounting for 8.4% of total imports. This was an expansion of RM980.1 million to RM18.9 billion and was mainly attributable to “durables, semi-durables and non-durables.”

(NST, 17/11/2018)


FDI RISES TO RM614.7 BILLION IN 3Q18

In 3Q18, Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) increased to RM614.7 billion from RM590.3 billion recorded in 2Q18. The manufacturing sector was the highest FDI recipient (41.4%), followed by financial and insurance/takaful activities (22.3%) and wholesale and retail trade (7.2%). The top three FDI source countries were Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.

(NST, 17/11/2018)


THREE-STEP MOVE TO BOOST ECONOMY

The Malaysian government will adopt a three-pronged approach to improve the country’s economy to confer confidence to investors and raise the quality of life for the people. The three points include “pro growth” to energise the economy, “pro job” to generate employment opportunities and “pro poor” to overcome poverty and “rebuild” the country.

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 19/11/2018)


 

FT MINISTRY RENEGOTIATING 74 PROJECTS CONTRAVENING KLCP 2020

A total of 74 projects that contravened the newly-gazetted Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020) are now in the renegotiation process. Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has received 176 applications, whereby a total of 102 development projects have been approved under the KLCP 2020.

(The Edge Property, 19/11/2018)


 

SELANGOR LOOKING AT INSURING PRIVATE LOW-COST FLATS

The Selangor authorities are planning to secure services of an insurance company to provide coverage for private high-rise, low-cost homes. There are more than 1,300 private flats in Selangor, most of which do not have sinking funds and are uninsured.

(The Edge Property, 19/11/2018)


 

MANDATORY “SIA” ON MIDDLE TO LOW-COST DEVELOPMENTS

A compulsory social impact assessment (SIA) will be carried out on every affordable low-cost housing development to uplift the quality of life for consumers. By making the SIA a requirement, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) hopes to provide the public with a better quality of living and generate added value to homebuyers.

KPKT has also applauded Gamuda Land for building the first “Rumah Selangorku” via the Industrialised Building System, which delivered houses 12 months earlier than scheduled, while maintaining quality. With such advancements in construction technology, the government is confident in achieving its aspiration of building 200,000 units of affordable houses per year. Located on an 11-acre freehold land, “Gapurna Bayu” with a total of 714 units comes in built-ups with configurations of 700 sq. ft., 750 sq. ft., 900 sq. ft. and 1000 sq. ft.

(StarProperty, 20/11/2018)


 

NO LICENCE WILL BE GIVEN FOR CASINO ON PULAU TIOMAN

The Pahang State Government has no plans to consider applications to open a casino in Pulau Tioman near Rompin. Notwithstanding the licence for a casino, plans to build an airport on the island were being discussed between Federal and State Governments and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council, but there has yet to be a decision on the matter.

(NST, 20/11/2018)


NEW CITY PLAN WILL TURN IPOH INTO A “SUSTAINABLE CITY”

Scheduled to be ready by 2020, the new Ipoh Local Plan 2035 is aimed at turning Ipoh into a “sustainable, competitive and liveable city.” The plan will replace the Ipoh Local Plan 2020 and Ipoh Heritage Tin City Special Area Plan 2020, which were gazetted in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Consultants and selected focus groups will be involved in discussing the new plan, which includes land usage, infrastructure, transportation, tourism, landscaping and environmental conservation.

(The Edge Property, 21/11/2018)


 

SELANGOR TO ASSIST FIRST TIME HOUSE BUYERS

The Selangor State Government will work with developers and financial institutions to assist Selangor citizens in purchasing their first home, by assisting buyers in attaining a 10% deposit. The housing development project consists of three medium-cost apartment comprising 340 units, which are to be built in Mukim Batu, Gombak district.

(The Sun, 22/11/2018)


 

SOLVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROBLEMS

The Malaysian Government is aware of the difficulties faced by low-income groups in buying homes, although numerous initiatives have been carried out for the “B40” group (households earning a monthly income of RM3,900 or less). The ministry is aware of the imbalance between socio-economic status and housing options. As such, the government is taking proactive measures to resolve these issues and has identified several main problems, which include affordability, supply not coinciding with demand and lack of innovation in the housing industry.

(The Star, 22/11/2018)


 

RIVER OF LIFE: MINISTRY RENEGOTIATES TO CUT COSTS

The Federal Territory Ministry is renegotiating with Ecoriver Construction Sdn Bhd to get a reduction in the contract value of the River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur. Project work had commenced on May 7, 2018 and was optimistically expected to be fully completed on November 3, 2019 with a contract cost of RM99 million. The project is currently 25.89% completed.

(The Edge Property, 22/11/2018)


DIRECT TO PHU QUOC, VIETNAM FROM MALAYSIA

AirAsia has become the first airline to fly directly from Malaysia to Phu Quoc in Vietnam. Passengers flying from destinations along AirAsia’s extensive network including China, India, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, can also connect seamlessly to Phu Quoc via Kuala Lumpur. All travellers are allowed visa-free entries into Phu Quoc for up to 30 days. AirAsia flies between Kuala Lumpur and Phu Quoc four times a week.

(The Sun, 21/11/2018)


MAHB DOUBLES EARNINGS IN 3Q18

In 3Q18, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) net profit doubled to RM168.49 million from RM80.93 million a year ago, contributed by higher group revenue, other income, and lower overall cost recorded in the current quarter. MAHB’s network of airports recorded 99.6 million passengers in 3Q18, representing a growth of 4.5% over the corresponding period of 2017. During the similar period, international passengers traffic improved by 6.8%, whereas domestic passenger traffic increased by 2.5%.

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 22/11/2018)


 

LOW FARES, EXTRA FLIGHTS FOR CNY

For the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration period, AirAsia Group has announced additional late night flights with fixed low fares to accommodate travel demand on popular routes between January 31, 2019 and February 12, 2019. The late night flights will be available for travel between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Sibu and Miri. AirAsia will be offering fixed low fares of only RM99 one-way from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, RM149 from Kuala Lumpur to Miri, Sibu and Kuching, and RM199 from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu. Additional flights during the promotion period from Kuala Lumpur to Penang will be at 10.50pm, while flights from Penang to Kuala Lumpur will be at 12.15am.

(The Sun, 22/11/2018)


 

NUMBER OF AIR TRAFFIC PASSENGERS EXPECTED TO HIT 100 MILLION IN 2018

Malaysia’s air traffic passenger is optimistically expected to grow between 1.1% and 2.2% due to reduced domestic capacity. This will result in passenger traffic of between 100.3 million and 101.1 million in 2018. The growth in international traffic is expected to surpass domestic growth for the third consecutive year. In 1H18, Malaysia recorded 50.3 million international and domestic passengers. The passenger traffic growth was primarily driven by international traffic as Malaysian carriers increased international seat capacity by 8.8%. In 2019, passenger traffic growth is expected at between 2.2% and 3.3%, supported by private consumption and potentially lower airfares as airlines shift their focus to short and medium-haul destinations.

(NST, 23/11/2018)


 PARAMOUNT’S 3Q18 PROFIT FALLS 81% TO RM15.6 MILLION

Paramount Corp Bhd’s net profit for 3Q18, declined by 81.14% y-o-y to RM15.62 million due to the “absence of a one-off gain” from the disposal of Sri KDU campus in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, to Alpha Real Estate Investment Trust a year ago. The group’s upcoming launches include commercial development at Atwater in Section 13, Petaling Jaya (scheduled for launch in 4Q18) and a new mixed-development projects located in the vicinity of Klang’s main business and commercial area, where the group is constructing a new Sri KDU international school, which is scheduled for completion in 2020.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 23/11/2018)


 

MKH TO LAUNCH KAJANG EAST FINAL PRECINCT

MKH Bhd will be launching the final precinct (Precinct 1) of its 130-acre “Kajang East” township in Kajang, Selangor by the end of 2018. With a gross development value of RM257 million, Precinct 1 comprises 329 double-storey terraced homes, 16 double-storey semi-detached and 12 three-storey semi-detached houses. To date, MKH has opened 255 of the 329 terraced houses for sale and have achieved a circa 91% of booking rate. Set to be completed by September 2021, the built-up areas of the terraced units are from 1,850 sq. ft. with prices starting from RM729,000.

At the end of August 2018, MKH had opened the registration for “Nexus @ Kajang Station” project. Located directly opposite the Kajang Mass Rapid Transit station, the serviced apartment project comprises three residential towers (Block A, Block B and Block C) with a total of 1,202 units. Block A is under PRIMA housing scheme, while Blocks B and C are to be sold to Tenaga National Bhd staff and the public respectively. Block A and Block B are joined and share the same facilities while Block C has its own facilities. The estimated maintenance fee for Block A and Block B is RM0.18 per sq. ft. while Block C is RM0.30 per sq. ft. Priced from RM288,000, the residential units have a built-up of between 770 sq. ft. and 1,050 sq. ft. To date, the developer has only opened Block A for sale and has recorded a 58% of booking rate. MKH is targeting to open Block C for sale by March 2019 at a slightly higher price than units in Block A.

(The Edge Financial, 23/11/2018)


FIRST LUXURY CONDOMINIUM TO HAVE SOLAR PANELS

Eco-friendly solar panels are set to reduce electricity bills for buyers of the “Admiral Residences” condominium project in Melaka. Developer Tanjung Ratna Sdn Bhd and I2 Energy Sdn Bhd have signed an agreement to install solar panels at the premier residential condominium project that is currently under construction. Once completed, “Admiral Residences” will be the first luxury condominium in Malaysia equipped with solar panels on its rooftops.

(The Star, 22/11/2018)


 

MAH SING TO HOST PREVIEW FOR TOWER C

Mah Sing Group Bhd is hosting a public preview for Tower C of the “M Vertica” project in Cheras. The first two towers in M Vertica (Tower A and Tower B) have registered 85% and 80% in sales respectively, since their launch in 1Q18. The two towers offer a total of 1,493 units, with prices starting from RM450,800. Tower C will have 752 units with built-ups of 850 sq. ft. (three bedrooms) and 1,000 sq. ft. (four bedrooms), with prices starting from RM506,000.

(NST, 22/11/2018)


 

EXCEL FORCE TO ACQUIRE MYEG TOWER ASSET

Excel Force MSC Bhd is acquiring commercial space in MYEG Tower for RM9.86 million from Mammoth Empire Holding Sdn Bhd. The company has also signed a put option agreement with Mammoth Empire to obtain an option at its sole discretion to sell the property back to Mammoth Empire. The property is to be sold back at the sum equal to 66.67% of RM9.86 million, within six months from the date of delivery of vacant possession of the property.

(NST, 17/11/2018)


 

COMMERCE.ASIA LAUNCHES GROWTHX PROGRAMMES

Commerce DotAsia Ventures Sdn Bhd (Commerce.Asia), a fast-expanding omni-channel commerce ecosystem builder, has launched Silicon Valley-based GrowthX Academy and GrowthX Accelerator in Malaysia. GrowthX Academy will train talents on the skills and methodologies required to grow businesses online and GrowthX Accelerator provides a Market Acceleration Program that provides a formula for startups and corporates to commercialise their innovation. GrowthX is located at a 5,000 sq. ft. facility in DOJO (the latest Malaysia Digital Hub) in Menara Amplewest, Kuala Lumpur.

(NST, 20/11/2018)


 

COMMON GROUND PLANS TO EXPAND

Common Ground Works Sdn Bhd has plans to open 12 venues by the end of 2018 with at least an average 80% occupancy rate. In early December 2018, Common Ground will open its first venue outside of the Klang Valley, in Georgetown, Penang. By the end of 2018, the company will have over 20 outlets in Malaysia and it will open four outlets in the Philippines by 1Q19 and 10 outlets by the end of 2019. The company has recently signed a partnership with CPN Thailand, and in 2019, it will focus on expanding across Bangkok. The master plan for the next three to four years will be building on a strong community across Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam and Indonesia.

(NST, 21/11/2018)


 

RIYADH GROUP INDONESIA ENTERS MALAYSIA

With an investment value of RM1.9 billion, Riyadh Group Indonesia (RGI) has expanded into Malaysia with the acquisition of 65% controlling stakes in Mainstay Properties Sdn Bhd, which owns Space U8 Mall in Bukit Jelutong, and a 65% interest in Horizon KLPO Sdn Bhd. Horizon KLPO is the landowner of 25.6 acres of land in Serenia City and six factory lots. The land in Sepang was originally earmarked for the development of “Horizon Village Outlet” project (HVO) to be operated by the US-based outlet shopping centre specialist (Horizon Group Properties). The joint venture will result in the revamping of the 592,015 sq. ft. Space U8 Mall into a commercial centre featuring various Indonesian brands and products, culinary and entertainment outlets. The agreement will also include the building of a mixed-use development of the new HVO, where the project will integrate both residential and commercial spaces. The projects will comprise a two-storey premium outlet village and six tower blocks that will house a hotel, high-end service apartments, and medical and wellness centres.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 21/11/2018)


 

PIZZA HUT CONTINUES TO EXCEL

QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd has implemented various upgrades to the Pizza Hut chain restaurant to ensure that the 36 year-old brand continues to excel in Malaysia. The company is now committed in opening at least 60 new branches within the next three years, in both the city centre and the suburbs. Pizza Hut also offers its products through the FoodPanda platform.

(NST, 21/11/2018)


LG ELECTRONICS PLANS 15 MORE BRAND SHOPS

LG Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd optimistically expects to unveil 15 more of its brand shops throughout Malaysia by 2019. Currently, LG has 40 brands shops and is expanding significantly in 2019 in line with rising demand for the brand.

(The Star, 23/11/2018)


 

MAMMOTH EMPIRE SELLS MULTIPLE ASSETS

Mammoth Empire Holding Sdn Bhd (MEH) (developer of the RM5 billion “Empire City Damansara” (ECD1)) is attempting to raise RM800 million in order to enable the paring down of debts, complete long-delayed projects and provide sound financial-footing for the group by mid-2019. Located along Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, the 65-acre “Empire City Damansara 2” (ECD2) land is located opposite the 28-acre ECD1 project. The ECD2 land was divided and sold to two parties, whereby 45 acres of land went to a yet-to-be-announced joint venture (JV) between Exsim Development Sdn Bhd and Binastra Construction Sdn Bhd. The remaining 20 acres was sold to Aset Kayamas Group.

The JV was said to be buying a 4.55-acre undeveloped site in ECD1, whereby a Ritz Carlton was originally planned to be developed on it. Scheduled to fully complete the mall in 2019, MEH is also negotiating to sell two hotels in ECD1 (the Autograph Boutique Hotel and the Marriot Hotel) and is keen to sell the “McGuffin Hotel”, if it receives an attractive offer. The company is also in talks to sell “Wolo Bukit Bintang” and has settled issues relating to the “Empire Remix” project. MEH still plans to link ECD1 and ECD2, which will be called “Sky Parade Garden” and is scheduled to be completed in two stages: Stage 1 by the end of 2019, and Stage 2 by 2020.

(The Edge Property, 17/11/2018)


 

BBCC INVITES LOCAL START-UPS TO BE PART OF MALAYSIA GRAND BAZAAR

Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) is looking at bringing in more local start-ups to be part of its Malaysia Grand Bazaar (MGB) component, which is part of the Entertainment Hub. MGB offers 100,000 sq. ft. (200 kiosks) with customised and compact retail spaces (100 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft.) for local start-ups to showcase their products such as artisanal handcraft items, tradition-inspired creations and authentic local cuisine. Other than the kiosks, BBCC also plans to manage a 5,000 sq. ft. retail space in MGB. Circa 40 tenants have signed up ahead of the MGB opening in 2021. Other components of the Entertainment Hub include the first Zepp Kuala Lumpur concert hall in Southeast Asia, a 12-screen cineplex and a banquet hall for up to 1,200 people. With an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM8.7 billion, the 19.4-acre BBCC is being developed by Bukit Bintang City Centre Development Sdn Bhd on the former Pudu Jail site. Phase 1 of BBCC (19.4 acres) comprises a four-level basement carpark, the Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport KL Mall, the Canopy by Hilton Hotel, a transit hub, an entertainment hub, a lifestyle street, The Stride strata office, two blocks of serviced apartments (Lucentia 1 and 2) and three underground vehicular tunnels. Scheduled for its first handover in 1Q21, construction of Phase 1 is 25% completed.

The 47-storey Lucentia 1 and 35-storey Lucentia 2 have recorded sales rates in excess of 90% and 60%, respectively. With a combined GDV of RM736 million, Lucentia 1 and 2 will comprise a total of 666 units with built-ups ranging between 454 sq. ft. and 882 sq. ft., and prices are averaged out at around RM1,700 per sq. ft.

(The Edge Property, 19/11/2018)


 

INDUSTRIAL GROWTH HAS BIG IMPACT ON REAL ESTATE

The greatest impact and growth for Malaysian real estate will be driven by the industrial sector. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and heightened connectivity particularly contributed by the West Coast Expressway (WCE), demand for better industrial assets such as warehouses for tech companies. The WCE will connect main coastal towns, including Kiang, Kuala Selangor, Teluk Intan, Setiawan, Manjung and Hutan Melintang, among others. Once completed in 2022, the highway, with 21 interchanges, will span circa 233km and link to existing highways, such as the Shah Alam Expressway and the North Klang Valley Expressway.

(NST, 19/11/2018)


 

MARA’S ASIA AEROSPACE CITY MASTER PLAN TO BE REVAMPED

The development of Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (MARA) RM1.7 billion Asia Aerospace City (AAC) project in Subang, Selangor, is expected to resume with several construction and design adjustments. The 81 acre aerospace hub, that had stalled for a couple of years will still be under the purview of Mara’s subsidiary, Mara Aerospace and Technologies Sdn Bhd, with the inclusion of Khazanah Nasional Bhd as its new collaborator. The revamped master plan, however, has to be ratified by the Malaysian Government, prior to stakeholders proceeding with any form of modification.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 19/11/2018)


 

MMAG TO ACQUIRE KLANG LAND FOR COURIER AND LOGISTICS EXPANSION

For RM12.67 million, MMAG Holdings Bhd will acquire Active Trio Deluxe Sdn Bhd, which owns a 197,851 sq. ft. parcel of industrial land in the Seri Alam Industrial Park in Klang, Selangor. With the proposed acquisition, MMAG’s warehouse/storage land area will increase from 403,000 sq. ft. to 601,000 sq. ft. The proposed acquisition will facilitate MMAG’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Line Clear & Logistics Sdn Bhd’s future courier, logistics storage and warehousing needs in the area of Kapar.

(The Edge Property, 20/11/2018)


 

PERAK GOVERNMENT TO EXPEDITE AEL ENGINEERING’S APPLICATION FOR LAND

The Perak State Government will assist in expediting the application from AEL Engineering Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of Singapore’s Interplex Group of companies) to lease and develop part of a 2.5-acre site owned by the Federal Government, for expansion purposes. AEL Engineering had made an application on October 31, 2018, to procure land for use as a store and parking area, as its existing area was limited. The company produces automotive components, medical devices and computer racks for export, and is expected to invest up to RM25 million over five years to expand its operations.

(The Edge Property, 20/11/2018)


 

NEXTGREEN SEES RETURN TO PROFIT IN FY19

Nextgreen Global Bhd (formerly BHS Industries Bhd), which has been making losses for three straight years, expects to return to profit in FY19 due to improved market conditions and the commercialisation of its Green Technology Park (GTP) in Pekan, Pahang. The 410-acre GTP project is being developed over five phases and is scheduled for completion in 2020. Phase 1 of the RM2 billion project (nearly completed), features a pulp and paper mill factory and a tissue paper factory. Phase 2 will involve the setting-up of a new factory with the capacity to produce box liner paper and corrugated paper, while Phase 3 will involve another tissue paper factory. Phase 4 will involve the construction and development of an agro-feed feed mil and a fertiliser plant. Phase 5 has been earmarked for light industries involving the construction and development of packaging and printing factories.

(The Edge Financial, 21/11/2018)


 

FOUR SEASONS KL LAUNCHED

The Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur conducted its soft opening more than four months ago and officially launched on November 18, 2018. Located next to the Petronas Twin Towers, the 65-storey hotel has 209 rooms, which include 198 guest rooms and 11 suites, 242 private residences and 27 serviced apartments. According to Venus Assets Sdn Bhd (the landlord), circa 70% of the residential units have been sold.

(NST, 19/11/2018)


 

REGEN REHABILITATION LOOKS TO EXPAND

ReGen Rehabilitation International Sdn Bhd, which recently launched its ReGen Rehabilitation Hospital (centre of excellence) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, aims to open at least one hospital in each major state such as Johor, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak, and also the northern region. The 96-bedded hospital (the first private rehabilitation hospital in Malaysia) is a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Select Medical Holdings Corp (US-based rehabilitation provider). ReGen practises an integrated patient care model whereby rehab specialists work together with a professional medical team based on programmes designed for each patient’s specific needs.

(The Sun, 21/11/2018)


 

PARAMOUNT DIVESTS STAKES

Paramount Corp Bhd will sell its 65% stake in the business and operations of KDU University College and KDU Penang University College and a 70% stake in KDU College, to the Australia-based University of Wollongong (UOW) for a total sum of RM38.5 million. Via the strategic partnership, UOW will bring higher education expertise from Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai to elevate KDU in an increasingly competitive market.

(NST, 20/11/2018 & The Edge Financial, 21/11/2018)


 

WORK ON REMBAU SPORTS COMPLEX TO CONTINUE

Scheduled to be completed by 2019, construction work on the RM27 million Rembau Youth and Sports Complex in Chembong, Rembau, Negeri Sembilan is currently 30% completed. Once ready, the complex will have a synthetic turf field, running track and a hall which can house six badminton courts or 1,500 people at any one time. The complex will also have floodlights, two futsal and sepaktakraw courts each, one basketball and netball court each, and an office for the Rembau district Youth and Sports department staff.

(The Edge Property, 21/11/2018)


 

TOPVISION EYES BIGGER MARKET WITH NEW REGIONAL CENTRE

Topvision Eye Specialist Bhd aims to raise RM12.02 million in gross proceeds to fund the setting up of an international eye treatment facility to be known as Topvision International Eye Specialist Centre (TVIESC) in the Klang Valley. Of the RM12.02 million in gross proceeds, RM10 million will be utilised to build TVIESC and set up two ambulatory care centres in the southern region. The setting up of TVIESC is slated to begin in 4Q18 and will cater to international patients, particularly Indonesians.

(The Sun, The Edge Financial & The Star, 22/11/2018)


 

KPJ PROPOSES PUBLIC-PRIVATE TIE UP

KPJ Healthcare Bhd has proposed a public-private partnership with the Health Ministry that allows government hospitals to use some of the facilities at private hospitals and help cut down waiting time. KPJ has officially introduced a new outpatient block with an extensive range of services to the public. The eight-storey building costing RM55 million has started operations in March 2018. The full-fledged specialist hospital has 43 specialist consultants from diverse disciplines. KPJ has 25 hospitals throughout Malaysia; of which six are located in Selangor.

(The Star, 23/11/2018)


AIRPORT REIT AN INTERESTING CONCEPT

Malaysia should look into other types of government related assets to be “securitised” if the proposed airport real estate investment trust (Airport REIT) is successful. A lot of assets could be included into the Airport REIT, given that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd has been allocated RM800 million of capital expenditure towards the 80 acre Kuala Lumpur International Airport Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone, slated to be operational by 3Q20.

(NST, 19/11/2018)


 

HOUSING MINISTER SUPPORTS FUNDMYHOME

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government supports “FundMyHome” as an option that eases the process for first-time buyers to purchase a home. Those who may benefit from the programme include individuals who can afford a house, but do not have a regular income stream and those without bank accounts, which could affect one’s ability to obtain a mortgage.

(The Edge Financial, 21/11/2018)


 

IMPROVED END-FINANCING ACCESS AND STANDARDISATION OF BUMIPUTRA QUOTA RELEASE MECHANISM

The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Malaysia has urged the Malaysian Government to make end-financing more accessible to homebuyers and standardise the Bumiputra quota units release mechanism nationwide to help solve the property overhang problem and encourage homeownership. Currently, every state has different requirements on Bumiputera unit allocations and the release mechanisms can also vary. Besides this, a lack of market supply data is also one of the reasons causing the overhang properties.

(The Edge Property, 23/11/2018)


 

 70% CHOOSE DESKTOP OR MOBILE CHANNELS

Circa 70% of Malaysians choose to shop via desktop or mobile channels according to a survey by Wirecard (a growing digital platform in the area of financial commerce). Total sample size of the survey was 3,193 consumers over the age of 18 in Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey concluded that price, special offers and product quality were the main factors influencing the purchasing decision of global shoppers. Asian consumers have high expectations for omni-channel shopping experiences whether online or in-store. On average, 90% of Asian consumers were likely to combine different channels, such as mobile, applications, in-store or desktop, to shop for their items with the primary goal of effortlessly comparing pricing.

(NST, 21/11/2018)


 

GET SET FOR THE UNVEILING OF THE HOMES THAT MALAYSIANS CO-CREATED

The Lafarge-EdgeProp MYHOME survey that ran for circa two months from February 28, 2018 to April 15, 2018 garnered approximately 14,000 respondents with more than half of the respondents below the age of 35. Circa 40% of the respondents say they have an average budget of between RM400,000 and RM600,000 followed closely with 39% with less than RM400,000. The remaining are willing to pay above RM600,000 for a home. In summary, the survey found that a majority of Malaysians still prefer a landed home with a built-up size of between 1,000 sq. ft. and 1,999 sq. ft. Circa 35% stated their preference for terraced home/townhouse while the remaining would like to have semi-detached homes (22%) and detached/bungalows (25%). Only 18% choose a non-landed home, namely condominium or apartments.

(The Edge Financial, 23/11/2018)


 

32 NEW JOHOR HOME OWNERS GIVEN OFFER LETTERS

Thirty-two of 71 people who successfully applied for the Bangsa Johor Dream House (RIBJ) have received offer letters for their new homes in Bandar Dato Onn. Work on more than 500 RIBJ houses began in July 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The project will see the construction of 29 two-storey bungalows, 156 two-storey cluster houses and 203 two-storey terraced houses. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018, the RIBJ project in Bandar Baru Majidee will comprise 320 three-room apartments on 6.7 acres of land.

(NST, 22/11/2018)


 

PENANG GOVERNMENT WANTS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING FROM CHEAPER HOMES

The Penang State Government is seeking a new mechanism to curb low-cost and low medium-cost home owners from profiting from the sale of such property. Under the plan, owners of low-cost and low medium-cost homes will have to sell their properties to the authorities “at a mutually acceptable price”. The authorities will acquire the units of those who are planning to sell and will resell such units to those applying for low-cost and low medium-cost houses.

(The Edge Property, 19/11/2018)


 

 PENANG GOVERNMENT PLANS NORTHERN CORRIDOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

The Penang State Government plans to build a new international airport to accommodate airport needs in the State after 2050. The proposed Northern Corridor International Airport will be built on reclaimed land at Batu Maung near Pulau Rimau, which is within the same locality as the existing airport. Although all infrastructure and road networks for the construction of the new airport are available, the proposal is still in its planning stage and is required to go through various processes such as feasibility studies, attaining approvals to reclaim land from the sea, attaining Environmental Impact Assessment approvals and ascertaining funding.

(The Edge Property, 17/11/2018)


PHASE 2 TO BE COMPLETED IN 2020

The second phase of the Penang Sentral integrated mixed development project, which comprises approximately 409,000 sq. ft. of commercial and retail space, is expected to be completed in 2020. Piling works for the first phase of the project have been completed and the second phase will commence soon. The commercial and retail components are expected to bring-in a “whole new level of freshness” to retailing in Butterworth.

(The Edge Property, 19/11/2018 & NST, 20/11/2018)


ALOFT HOTEL TO OPERATE IN ASPEN VISION CITY

The joint venture between Aspen Group and IKEA Southeast Asia has signed a memorandum of understanding with Marriott International, appointing Aloft Hotel as the operator of the planned 30 storey hotel at Aspen Vision City in Batu Kawan, Penang. Scheduled to be completed in 1Q23, the 260,000 sq. ft. hotel will be the first international brand hotel in Batu Kawan, Penang. The first phase of Aspen Vision City comprises the 25-acre Central Island Park, Vervea shop offices and the IKEA Batu Kawan store. The JV has invested RM105 million in the first phase and circa RM45 million will be invested in the second phase over the next five years.

(The Edge Financial, 22/11/2018)


PENANG HILL HOTEL PROJECTS TO GO AHEAD

The controversial decision to build two new hotels on Penang Hill will go ahead despite strong protests from pro-green groups. Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) assured the public that the two hotels would be developed on the existing footprint with no hill clearing involved. The proposal involves the refurbishment of a Convalescent Bungalow and the redevelopment of 13 dilapidated buildings.

(The Star, 21/11/2018)


 

AIRASIA TAKES OVER 2 RURAL ROUTES

The Malaysian Government has taken out two routes under the Rural Air Services (RAS) agreement, Kota Kinabalu-Sibu and Kota Kinabalu-Bintulu, which will be operated by AirAsia from January, 2019. These routes are to be eliminated from RAS due to high demand and due to the fact that they are no longer classified as “rural areas”. The new operating agreement between the government and AirAsia will be for a six year period ending in 2024.

(NST, 22/11/2018)


 

RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton