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MRT CORP IS FIRST IN ASIA TO ACHIEVE BIM LEVEL 2 ACCREDITATION

Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) has become the “first infrastructure developer in Asia” to achieve Level 2 accreditation in the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line, in accordance with British standards. BIM is the process of creating and managing digital representations of 3D models and related information to support the decision-making process throughout the life cycle of a construction project. Designed to reduce design conflicts to avoid high repair costs later on, approximately 1,000 conflicts were identified for each MRT site and resolved via this platform prior to construction. BIM Level 2 involves the use of 3D models and information shared with all project stakeholders through the same Common Data Environment (CDE) database, which optimises the control and accuracy of project data – from the concept and design phase, to the construction and final project phase.

(NST, 22/12/2018)


WCT AND TSR BINA SECURE RM676.8 MILLION CONTRACT

WCT Bhd and TSR Bina Sdn Bhd have secured a RM676.8 million contract from PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd to construct a shopping complex. WCT and TSRB are wholly-owned subsidiaries of WCT Holdings Bhd and TSR Capital Bhd respectively. The contract includes the construction and completion of an eight-level shopping complex podium, including the architectural works for the basement, retail area, residential drop-off and core, tower link-bridge and external works. The shopping complex will form part of the integrated development undertaken by PNB Merdeka Ventures called Merdeka 118, which comprises among others, the PNB 118 Tower, the Park Hyatt Hotel and an observation deck.

(The Star, 22/12/2018)


GET VALUE FOR MONEY CLOSER TO HOME

NSK Trade City is bringing great deals to shoppers at its latest store in Persiaran Mahkota Cheras, Cheras. Located on the ground floor of BMC Mall, it spans 40,000 sq. ft. and adopts a retail and wholesale concept to cater to those living in the surrounding areas. BMC Mall is the group’s 21st outlet and it is one of the biggest in the Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan. The group also plans to set up NSK outlets in Johor Baru and Malacca in 2019.

(The Star, 22/12/2018)


 

RANGE OF INITIATIVES PLANNED TO BOOST TOURIST ARRIVALS NEXT YEAR

The RM70 registration fee for new tourist accommodation will be waived from January 1 to March 31 2019 to encourage operators to register their businesses with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry. The premises include hotels, resorts, lodges, hostels and homestays nationwide. The ministry has set a target of 28.1 million tourists and receipts of RM92.2 billion in 2019. To ensure Malaysia remains competitive, the ministry has begun studying the country’s Tourism Policy and is in the final phase of finalising it. The policy is founded on six key thrusts – administration transformation; setting up investment zones for tourism projects; tourism digitalisation; focusing on quality tourists; strengthening commitment towards sustainability and raising human capital capacity.

(NST & The Star, 22/12/2018)


 

THE KLANG VALLEY’S EVER-CHANGING RETAIL SECTOR

BY JONES LANG WOOTTON

A considerable number of retail centres and podiums in the Klang Valley’s development pipeline are located in proximity to existing malls. This means they will have overlapping catchment areas and will potentially be competing for the same consumers. The newer malls should, however, attract more retailers and consumers at the expense of the more secondary malls. Some, however, will be positioned entirely differently and those of good quality will perform well. Looking to the future, the report notes that retail developments in the Klang Valley continue to face a number of challenges including slowing take up and a significant increase in supply, with an approximate 47 million sq. ft. of retail space potentially entering the market over the medium to longer term.

Many developers will no doubt be reviewing their proposed projects in terms of the suitability, viability and marketability. Therefore, various projects, especially those still at planning stage, are unlikely to materialise although planning applications can still be made (each proposed development will be judged on its own merits). Any developer thinking about launching a retail development should relook at their proposal to make sure that it is sustainable and feasible. Some developers may have been overly ambitious and need to be aware that the market will become more competitive and challenging, with approximately up to 7.0 million sq. ft. scheduled for completion in the next 15 months alone. Developers of successful retail centres generally recognise that “shopping” is no longer about consumption. It is an experience and to meet today’s consumers’ expectations, shopping centres need to have good quality public spaces, convenient circulation and also provide services and leisure facilities, where people can meet, relax and be entertained.

This concept also helps brick and mortar retail to remain relevant as the concepts of dining and convenience stores cannot be replaced by on-line portals.  Although traditional store formats could be less relevant today, innovative show room and demonstration room stores — offering a good shopping experience — are expected to continue to emerge. The retail sector is always constantly changing and those with up-to-date information and are willing to embrace the changes will have a better opportunity to capitalise on future opportunities. Prime A malls and lifestyle centres are expected to continue to thrive while increasing their experiential elements. Alternatively, secondary and tertiary malls may require greater capital investments to refresh, repurpose and address physical and functional obsolescence. This may prove to be an “uphill task” for the multiple owners of stratified developments because management and sustainability issues often get in the way. These buildings comprise approximately 25% of the total supply (net lettable retail space) in the Klang Valley.

The larger regional malls and the niche neighbourhood malls with the essentials to perform well and grow will continue to attract a steady influx of shoppers. Even though visiting shopping centres is a popular “leisure culture” in Malaysia, those malls without a unique selling point or point of differentiation will find it difficult to compete with other malls, which generally sell similar retail merchandise and brands as they have a similar tenant mix. Mixed use developments have become a popular trend with the residential-retail mix being the most popular combination with developers. One of the factors contributing to the weakened occupancy rate is Selangor state’s planning guideline regarding any residential product built on land with a commercial title, which currently states that 30% of the gross floor area (GFA) of the residential component must be allocated for retail use.

After the third year of being open, the rate of attracting retailers significantly tapers off and some retail centres actually see retailers vacating their outlets in the fourth, fifth and sixth year of operation. The disparity between average occupancies of prime (90%) and secondary (63%) assets in Greater Kuala Lumpur currently stands at 27 percentage points. This is expected to widen further as more retail centres, particularly the secondary grade stock, become exposed to the risk of slowing take up and increasing vacancies. The issue of oversupply, however, should not be gauged purely on an overall basis. On a micro basis, such as the numerous sub-districts of Greater Kuala Lumpur, there appears to be some localities which are not as overdeveloped as some others. Based on Jones Lang Wootton’s research, for example, in the southern Region 1 which includes Cheras, Kajang, Semenyih and eastern Bangi, the retail space per capita is only 4.3 sq. ft. This is well below the City Centre and Greater Kuala Lumpur average of 9.3 sq. ft. Another region with a relatively low retail space per capita is the northern region of Sentul, Gombak, Kepong, Selayang and Rawang, at 4.8 sq. ft. These areas, which may see a nominal decrease of retail space per capita by 2020, could therefore have a better potential to absorb modern, quality retail developments or refurbished, repositioned older shopping centres than other localities in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

Note: This is the second of a two-part article written by Jones Lang Wotton (Research and Consultancy)

(The Star, 22/12/2018)


 

UNSOLD COMPLETED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES INCREASE BY 48.35%

Malaysia is entering 2019 with unsold completed residential units rising to 30,115 units as at September 30, 2018, an increase of 48.35% from the 20,304 units a year ago. According to the Valuation and Property Services Department’s (JPPH), the total value was RM19.54 billion, a 56.44% rise from RM12.49 billion a year ago. If serviced apartments and small offices home offices (SOHOs) are included, the overhang value increases to 40,916 units, valued at RM27.38 billion. JPPH defines an overhang as completed unsold units nine months after issuance of certificates of fitness, signifying that a dwelling is fit for occupation. May units are within the RM200,000-RM250,000 price range with approximately 3,500 unsold but the majority is priced at RM500,000 and above, with more than 12,000 units. Johor has the highest number of completed unsold units in the country, with 6,053, a 55% increase from the 3,901 units a year ago followed by Selangor, Penang and Kedah. Kedah with an estimated population of about 2 million, has an overhang of 3,450 units, a marginal reduction of 2.38% from a year ago. Selangor’s residential overhang rose to 4,524, up 25.81% and Penang increased 43.59% to 3,261 units.

(The Star, 24/12/2018)


 

MALAYSIA’S ECONOMY LIKELY TO GROW IN FEBRUARY 2019

Malaysia’s economy is likely to grow in February to April 2019, says the Department of Statistics. In the “Malaysian Economic Indicators: Leading, Coincident and Lagging Indexes for October 2018” report, the annual change of the Leading Index (LI) showed an improvement of negative 0.7% in October 2018 from negative 1.7% in September 2018. The LI is designed to monitor the economic performance direction in an average of four to six months ahead. Concurrently, the monthly change of LI augmented in October 2018, registering a growth of 1.2% to attain 119.3 points from 117.9 points in the previous month. Meanwhile, the Coincident Index (CI), which examines the current economic activity, rose 1% in the reference month. Two components that contributed significantly to the increase were volume index of retail trade (0.5%) and real contributions to EPF (0.2%), he said. The annual change of CI grew further to 3.9% in October 2018 as against 3.4% in the previous month.

(The Star & The Sun, 25/12/2018)


 

FEDERAL GOVT APPROVES 11 INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN KEDAH

The Federal Government has approved 11 infrastructure projects for immediate implementation in Kedah. Among projects approved by the Economic Affairs Ministry, were construction of a multipurpose hall in Pokok Sena, rebuilding of Muadzam Shah Mosque, a hall in Kuala Nerang and a mosque in Changlun. The Ministry also approved special additional allocation to complete a community hall in Taman Gurun Jaya, Gurun; repair works at landslide in Taman Selasih, Kulim; repair and upgrading of mosques and surau in Kedah; reconstruction of Kampung Tong Pelu Mosque, Pedu; construction of a business complex and bazaar in Sungai Petani and renovation work of Permatang Gedong Mosque in Kuala Muda The projects approved by the Finance Ministry were the Sungai Merbok Off-River Storage (ORS) involving the construction of a tower tank and replacement of water pipes in Merbok and Tanjung Dawai, as well as renovation of Al-Fateh Mosque in Bandar Baharu.

 (The Edge, 25/12/2018)


TCB SECURES RM79.8 MILLION JOB FROM KWASA

TSR Capital Bhd (TCB) has secured a contract from Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd for the construction and completion of elevated road works in Sungai Buloh, Selangor worth RM79.8 million. TSR Capital’s wholly-owned subsidiary, TSR Bina Sdn Bhd, had received a letter of acceptance issued by Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd. TCB said the job would entail the proposed construction and completion of elevated roads crossing junction at Persiaran Atmosfera / Persiaran Jati, upgrading of four arm at grade junction at Kwasa Puteri / Persiaran Sg Buloh and ancillary works which include earthwork, drainage and infrastructure works along Jalan Sungai Buloh at Kwasa Damansara Township Development in Sungai Buloh.

(The Star & The Sun, 25/12/2018)


 

DMSB EXPANDS 3S CENTRE IN IPOH

Daihatsu (M) Sdn Bhd (DMSB) has relocated and expanded its 3S centre in Ipoh, Perak, which offers sales, after sales service and spare parts to support growth. The new 84,942 sq. ft. outlet, equipped with 11 bays and three hoists, will be a catalyst in accelerating its business while accommodating rapid growth.

(The Star, 25/12/2018)


 

SUNWAY REIT ACQUIRES PROPERTIES WORTH RM550 MILLION

Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (Sunway REIT) has acquired lands and buildings worth RM550 million from Sunway Destiny Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunway Bhd. The acquisition includes three parcels of leasehold land in Bandar Sunway, Selangor and buildings comprising a five-storey academic block with a lower ground level (South Building), a six-storey academic block with a lower ground level (North Building), a 13-storey academic block together with a two-storey basement car park and four blocks of five-storey walk-up hostel apartment. It also includes sports facilities comprising a football field, basketball, netball and tennis courts. The acquisition is expected to be completed in 1H19.

(The Edge, The Star, NST & The Sun, 25/12/2018)


MELAKA RECORDS RM1 BILLION IN INVESTMENTS IN JANUARY-SEPTEMBER 2018

The Malaysia Industrial Development Authority has approved investments worth RM1 billion in Melaka for the January-September, 2018 period. The investments were made in seven sectors, namely medical, food, electronics, petroleum, transportation, metal manufacturing and non-metallic mineral sectors, and comprised both local and foreign investments.

(The Star & NST, 28/12/2018)


TOLL HIKE FREEZE TO COST GOVT RM994.43 MILLION IN 2019

The government will maintain the existing toll rates for all vehicle classes on 21 highways (including PLUS, Linkedua, Kesas, Elite, LPT 1, Besraya, NPE, LDP, Akleh, BKE, Duke, Mex, Lekas, SDE, Sprint, SKVE, SPDH, NNKSB, Guthrie Corridor, JPP2 and Smart) across the country, which would have been eligible for an increase in 2019. The government will incur an estimated RM972.75 million in compensation payments to the relevant highway toll concessionaires for 2019. There will also be a toll hike freeze for buses on eight additional highways and along with the abolition of motorcycle tolls for the Penang Bridge (First Penang Bridge), the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge (Second Penang Bridge) and the Second Link in Johor will be abolished as from January 1, 2019, which will cost the government RM994.43 million in 2019.

(The Star, The Sun, The Edge & NST, 28/12/2018)


UOA DEVELOPMENT BUYS TWO PANTAI PLOTS IN KL FOR RM24.67 MILLION

UOA Development Bhd has acquired property developer Naik Makmur Development Bhd for RM24.67 million cash, to expand its existing land bank in the district of Pantai, Kuala Lumpur. Owned by Lembah Bayusegar Sdn Bhd, Naik Makmur holds two parcels of freehold land in Pantai totalling 0.62 acre, which UOA plans to develop.

(The Star & The Edge, 28/12/2018)


 

PIZZA ON FIRE PLANS EXPANSION VIA FRANCHISING

Local pizza brand, Pizza On Fire is aiming to use its franchising business as the main strategy to expand in the local marketplace and is in discussions with Perbadanan Nasional Bhd to franchise the brand. The group believes in the brand’s potential and wants to give the opportunity to other entrepreneurs to build the brand. Pizza On Fire currently has four outlets, located in Damansara Perdana (Selangor), Pantai Chenang (Langkawi), South Key (Johor Bahru) and the latest in Kota Damansara (Selangor). The group hopes to bring about the franchise model by end of 2Q19 and the current plan is to open 10 outlets in 2019.

(The Star, 27/12/2018)


MKH-USAHA NUSANTARA IN MIXED KL PROJECT

MKH Bhd is partnering with Usaha Nusantara Sdn Bhd (UNSB) for a mixed development in Kuala Lumpur with an estimated gross development value of RM554 million. The project will be developed on 3.011 acres of land via a joint venture entity, Quantum Density Sdn Bhd, in which MKH and UNSB hold 50% and 49% respectively. The project land fronts Jalan Tun Razak, adjacent to MKH’s ongoing residential apartment and commercial project, TR Residence.

(The Sun, 27/12/2018)


 

NEW STRATEGIES TO BOOST TOURISM

New strategies will be implemented by Tourism Malaysia to drive Malaysia’s tourism industry, to position it as one of the country’s leading sources of revenue. Among the steps to be implemented are optimising the use of information and communication technology to create an engaging approach in promotion, publicity and advertising efforts. To encourage the arrival of tourists from the medium and long distance markets and to reduce dependence on regional markets, the ministry will initiate more smart partnerships with industry players, such as working with international carriers that have a wide network. In addition, the ministry is looking at the prospects of promoting Malaysia as a film destination through collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and other agencies. For international level promotions, Tourism Malaysia is focusing on “first and second tier cities” such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hydrabad in India and Beijing and Shanghai in China.

(NST, 27/12/2018)


 

AIR ON PARK, HUB FOR HIGH-TECH EDUTAINMENT

AEON CO (M) Bhd has embarked on a new venture called the “Air On Park” (AOP) a 6,500 sq. ft. secured access-controlled indoor hybrid family recreational centre located at AEON Mall Shah Alam. AOP’s vision is to bring the “outdoor feel” indoors, creating an avenue for family and peers to “do things together, have fun together and be fit together” with three zones boasting different attractions. AOP is dedicated to being a one-stop destination for all ages to find excitement, from an indoor playground to gaming stations and edutainment.

(NST, 27/12/2018)


ECOFIRST SEEKS TO JOINTLY DEVELOP RM1.25 BILLION GDV PROJECT IN PENANG WITH LONE PINE GROUP

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd is seeking to jointly develop a RM1.25 billion gross development value mixed residential and commercial project in Paya Terubong, Penang with Penang-based Lone Pine Group. The group has signed a share sale agreement to acquire a 70% stake in Geo Valley Sdn Bhd, a member of the Lone Pine Group, for RM44 million cash. Geo Valley owns seven pieces of land totalling 32.8 acres in Paya Terubong. The pieces of land in Geo Valley are intended to be developed as residential and commercial development. Geo Valley has planning permission and building plan approval for the development of three blocks of medium-cost apartments, one block of controlled price apartments and commercial shop lots on one out of the seven pieces of land measuring 21.73 acres.

(The Edge & The Sun, 28/12/2018)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton