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DBKL REVISITS “INCREASED” PLOT RATIOS FOR DEVELOPMENTS IN KULA LUMPUR

Property projects that were previously granted “Approval in Principle” with a higher plot ratio than what was permitted under the newly gazetted Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020), are required to seek fresh approvals from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, DBKL). According to DBKL, the requirement applies to all types of developments including commercial and residential schemes in the capital city. However, property projects which have already been granted the development order are unaffected and are allowed to proceed as planned. Developers of projects that have already been given the development order (DO) but have yet to commence are merely required to apply for a deferral of the expiry date of the DO. Prior to KLCP2020, the increase in plot ratio fell under a provision called ‘Rule Five’, whereby the project owner or developer was required to put up a notice in at least two newspapers for three days, along with a notice board on the site. This was to alert adjoining owners or other stakeholders to participate in a public hearing, before to DBKL’s granting of any approval.

(The Edge, 11/02/2019)


 

FT MINISTRY INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO GAZETTE PUBLIC PARKS NATIONWIDE

The Federal Territories Ministry is intensifying efforts to gazette public parks across the country, thereby covering at least 250 acres in each state. This is being done via the National Landscape Department under the ministry, in order to maintain and protect the parks in efforts of preserving public interest. It includes gazetting large scale public parks such as the 370-acre Bukit Kiara Federal Park in Kuala Lumpur.

(NST & The Edge, 11/02/2019)


 

TNB SIGNS MOU WITH THREE COMPANIES

Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) wholly-owned subsidiary, TNB Energy Services, via its unit, Maevi Sdn Bhd, has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with three companies as strategic partners for energy management and smart home projects. Under the MoU, Maevi will cooperate with real estate companies Protasco Development Bhd, Tan & Tan Development Bhd and software and engineering consultants, Diversified Gateway Bhd (DGB). The MoU with Protasco is for the supply and installation of the Maevi smart homes service for housing development projects. In the case of Tan & Tan (a wholly-owned subsidiary of IGB), the smart partnership is for the efficient management and asset supervision of IGB Bhd and the MoU with DGB is to explore the energy management market through the joint distribution programme.

 (NST & The Edge, 09/02/2019)


AFFORDABLE HOMES FOR BUMIPUTRA COMMUNITY IN SERI ISKANDAR, PERAK

The Perak Mentri Besar commended Team Keris Berhad (TKB) for building affordable homes for the bumiputra community in Seri Iskandar. At the launch of TKB’s Lestari IUS integrated development project in Seri Iskandar, Perak Tengah, the developer had responded to the community’s needs by building affordably priced homes. The project has over 595 residential homes and commercial units and is located next to Universiti Teknologi Petronas. The construction will be done in stages with the target date of completion being mid 2020.

 (The Star, 09/02/2019)


60% NEW PPRT HOMES TO UTILISE IBS TECHNOLOGY

In 2019, a total of 60% or 919 new units of the Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT) nationwide will be built using the Industrialised Building System (IBS). The Malaysian Rural Development (KPLB) Minister denoted that the 60% proportion was allocated from the full total of 1,532 PPRT units to be built in 2019. The IBS prototype will diminish construction costs from RM56,000 to RM45,000 per unit without compromising the quality of the housing units being offered.

(The Edge, 09/02/2019)


 

PN TO FOCUS ON FRANCHISE BUSINESS

Perbadanan Nasional (PN) plans to adopt a more aggressive approach under its five year blueprint to rebrand itself in the franchising business. The blueprint emphasises financing and being an investor or equity holder, as well as bringing more franchise businesses into the country. With an allocation of RM110 million for 2019, PN aims to bring in at least five master franchisors to Malaysia. From the RM110 million total expansionary allocation, RM35 million will be allotted towards franchise development, RM65 million for medium enterprise entrepreneurship development and RM10 million for retail space provision. As of November 2018, PN had 56 Gloria Jean’s Coffees outlets under its franchise business across Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Brunei. PN also has several McDonald’s, Marrybrown and Global Art outlets under its franchise and financing schemes.

 (NST, 11/02/2019)


F&B OUTLETS GET “BIGGER BITE” IN SHOPPING MALLS

According to a market research and consulting firm, shopping mall owners and operators are now allocating a higher percentage of their tenant mix towards food and beverage (F&B) retailers, partly due to competition from online platforms, which have impacted other types of retailers such as the fashion segment. Malls that have a high F&B tenant mix include the refurbished 3 Damansara (formerly Tropicana City Mall), which now has more F&B components compared to its initial offerings. Similarly, Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya has refurbished its lower ground floor, which now consists of more F&B retailers than it previously had. “Traditionally, F&B made up less than 20% of a mall’s tenant mix, but this can go up to 40% nowadays”. Within Sunway Velocity Mall, F&B makes up 27% of the mall’s current tenant mix and the owner is expecting this to soon reach 30%. More supermarkets / grocery stores are also incorporating food and coffee / wine bars, where people can enjoy a meal or a drink as well as a social experience before or instead of shopping, with some retailers integrating augmented reality into their stores, e.g. Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai and US-based fashion brand Reformation.

(The Sun, 11/02/2019)


 

DOMMAL EYES 300 DOMINO’S STORES

Dommal Food Services Sdn Bhd, the master franchise holder of Domino’s Malaysia, aims to have 300 outlets nationwide in 2020, from the current 236 stores. The company is expected to open 15 additional outlets in 2019 while focusing on expanding its presence in Sabah and Sarawak. The fast food chain recently opened five outlets, at an estimated cost of RM500,000 each in Perak, Melaka, Johor, Terengganu and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah).

(NST, 09/02/2019)


MALAYSIA’S IPI UP 3.4% IN DECEMBER 2018

Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index (IPI) expanded 3.4% year-on-year in December 2018 driven by the increase in all indices, including manufacturing (4.4%), electricity (2.7%) and mining (1%). In releasing the IPI for December 2018, the Department of Statistics Malaysia denoted that Malaysia’s IPI for 2018 increased by 3.1% compared with 2017, contributed by the growth in manufacturing sector (4.8%) and electricity sector (3.7%). However, the mining sector declined by 1.9% during the period.

 (The Sun, The Edge & NST, 12/02/2019)


 

MAHB RECORDS 3.1% GROWTH IN PASSENGER MOVEMENT

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has recorded 11.1 million passenger movements in January 2019, including the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA) in Turkey, which is a 3.1% growth over the corresponding period of 2017. The international sector registered 2.5% growth with 5.4 million passenger movements in January 2019, while the domestic sector grew 3.6%, thereby registering 5.7 million passengers. On a 12-month basis, the total MAHB network of airports grew 3.7%, therefore registering 133.5 million in passenger movement (the highest to date). Passenger movements at airports in Malaysia grew 3.2% in January 2019, registering 8.4 million passengers, while domestic and international passenger movements grew by 7.1% and 0.004% to 4.0 million and 4.4 million passengers, respectively.

(The Star, 12/02/2019)


EYEING 2024 TO WRAP IT UP

Despite the temporary halt in operations at Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) construction sites around Klang and Shah Alam, the project is still on track and is 12% completed. Construction work was temporarily halted as the government requested for budget cuts in the LRT3 project. Construction for the third LRT line  (measuring 37km) began in June 2017 and will now have 20 stations (including two which are integrated with existing LRT stations) and five provisional stations. The Istana Bukit Kayangan underground station along Persiaran Hishamuddin in Shah Alam is the only one which has been cancelled.  Starting from Johan Setia, Klang, and ending in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, the LRT3 cuts across three local council jurisdictions which include Klang Municipal Council (MPK), Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). MRCB George Kent is a 50:50 joint venture company between Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd, which were appointed as the project’s delivery partner (PDP) in September 2015. In October 2018, the PDP model was replaced with a fixed price contract, making MRCB George Kent the main contractor. MRCB George Kent has been tasked with completing the LRT3 by 2024.

 (The Star, 13/02/2019)


 

E&O MAKES CASH CALL OF UP TO RM550.3 MILLION

Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) aims to raise as much as RM550.3 million via a private placement and renounceable rights issue to fund its property development projects. The proposed private placement will involve the issuance of up to 10% of E&O’s issued share capital, which currently stands at 1.31 billion stocks. Of the funds raised, as much as RM300 million will be allocated for property development and/or reclamation works. Additionally, as much as RM200 million will be used to repay borrowings and RM48.8 million will be used as general working capital.

Among projects that E&O will fund with the amount raised is Phase 2 of its Seri Tanjung Pinang reclamation and property development project (STP2) and the upcoming residential property projects in Kuala Lumpur such as “The Conlay” and “The Peak”.

 (The Edge & The Star, 12/02/2019)


 

SCIENTEX PLANS FOR RM1 BILLION WORTH OF AFFORDABLE HOMES

Scientex Bhd is eyeing to launch RM1 billion worth of affordable properties during the current financial year (FY19), similar to last year’s target. Its unbilled sales currently stand at RM500 million as at 1QFY19. The group plans to launch around 15 projects in 2019 and currently has developments in Johor, Melaka, Perak and latest in Rawang. The group is looking to plan more projects around the Klang Valley after launching its Rawang project. The group currently has a total landbank of 3,300 acres.

 (The Edge, The Star & NST, 12/02/2019)


 

KERJAYA PROSPEK SECURES RM280 MILLION CONTRACT FOR SUBANG JAYA PROJECT

Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd has secured a RM280 million contract from HCK Capital Group Bhd to erect the main building for a development project in Subang Jaya. Kerjaya Prospek’s wholly owned unit, Kerjaya Prospek (M) Sdn Bhd, has accepted the letter of award from HCK Capital’s subsidiary, HCK Builders Sdn Bhd. The 28-month contract is targeted to be completed by July 2021, which covers the construction of the main building for the proposed project comprising retail and office components. The project will be rebranded to ‘Edumetro’ from its previous name of ‘Remix 2’.

(The Edge, The Star, The Sun & NST, 13/012/2019)


ECONPILE SECURES RM209.3 MILLION CONTRACT

Piling and foundation specialist Econpile Holdings Bhd has secured a RM209.3 million contract to undertake basement and substructure works for Phase 2 of the Pavilion Damansara Heights mixed development in Jalan Damanlela.  Econpile’s wholly owned subsidiary, Econpile (M) Sdn Bhd, has received a letter of award from Domain Resources Sdn Bhd to undertake the proposed works.

(The Edge, The Star, The Sun & NST, 13/012/2019)


 

FM: TRX PROJECT HAS BEEN DETOXIFIED

The RM40 billion Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project has been “detoxified” as part of a review conducted on all government-related projects by the Pakatan Harapan administration, according to the Malaysian Finance Minister (FM). The government believes that all of its investments should go through rigorous analysis in line with the principle of competency, accountability and transparency. While the government does the necessary detoxification of assets, such assets should not become collateral damage to the past excesses of the previous government. This project is the symbol of the successful isolation and quarantine of those projects which had certain issues so that those unconnected and unrelated can proceed based on market laws and the best international practices. It has now been cleaned up and is moving forward as a world-class, international, global project.

The Exchange TRX has secured RM2.15 billion in financing facilities for five years from a consortium of banks comprising Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, Malayan Banking Bhd, Standard Chartered and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. The willingness of the four financial institutions in providing financing facilities to the project demonstrates how far TRX has progressed since the Pakatan government took office. Formerly known as the Lifestyle Quarter, The Exchange TRX is a 17-acre mixed used development within the larger 70-acre international TRX financial district development. It is being developed by a 60:40 joint venture between Australian developer, Lendlease, and the FM’s wholly owned, TRX City Sdn Bhd. The Exchange TRX will comprise a hotel, a grade A office, residential apartments, retail and leisure offerings, all integrated along with a new 10-acre city park. Construction for the mall is expected to be completed in 2021, while the hotel and office components will be completed in 2022. Construction of The TRX Residences is expected to start in 2Q19 and will take four years to complete. TRX will start opening its doors to its first tenant in 2Q19. The gross development value of The Exchange TRX is estimated to be in the excess of RM9 billion, with TRX City’s net investment amounting to RM1.2 billion, which is funded by land injection into the joint venture.

(The Edge, The Star, The Sun & NST, 13/012/2019)


VIZIONE-VERTICE JV ACCEPTS RM815 MILLION PENANG MEGA INFRASTRUCTURE JOB

Vizione Holdings Bhd‘s joint venture company with Vertice Bhd has accepted a RM815 million contract from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd to undertake construction works for Package 2 of the Penang Mega Infrastructure project. The JV company is Buildmarque Construction Sdn Bhd, in which Vizione and Vertice have a 50% stake each in the JV. The award is for the construction of a 5.7km by-pass from Bandar Baru Ayer Itam, which connects to Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

 (NST, 12/02/2019)


MALAYSIA “CAN POST 4.8% TO 4.9% GDP GROWTH FOR 2018”

Malaysia is capable of achieving Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of between 4.8% and 4.9% in 2018 on the back of recent stronger economic figures, says the Malaysian Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister. The manufacturing sector is expected to continue to drive the country’s exports and economy despite the continuing challenges in the US-China trade dispute.

(The Sun, NST, The Star & The Edge, 14/02/2019)


WHOLESALE & RETAIL TRADE VOLUME INDEX UP 7.7% IN 2018

The volume index of wholesale & retail trade expanded 8.1% to 173.8 points in 4Q18, compared with the corresponding period in 2017. This led to the full year volume index registering a growth of 7.7% year-on-year to 168.9 points. This growth in 4Q18 was driven by retail trade with an 11.8% jump. The volume index of wholesale trade grew 6.2% to 182.2 points in 4Q18 compared with 4Q17, supported mainly by non-specialised wholesale trade (9.9%) and wholesale of household goods (9.1%). In 4Q18, the retail trade sub-sector registered a growth of 11.8% to 183.3 points year-on-year, driven by sales of information and communication equipment in specialised stores (15.1%) and sales of other goods in specialised stores (13.2%).

(The Sun & The Edge, 14/02/2019)


MALAYSIA’S POPULATION GREW TO 32.6 MILLION IN 4Q18

The Department of Statistics Malaysia released a report on demographic data for 4Q18, which showed that the country’s population grew 1.1% to 32.6 million, compared with 32.2 million in 4Q17. In totality, 16.8 million were males and 15.8 million were females, with Selangor emerging as the most populous state with 6.5 million people and Putrajaya recording the lowest population with 91,900 people. The report also showed that there were 127,400 live births in 4Q18, a decline of 2.5% compared with 4Q17, which had 130,600 live births with Selangor registering the highest number of live births at 25,600 and Labuan the lowest number at 420 births in 4Q18. There were 41,400 deaths in 4Q18, which was a decrease of 1.9 per cent compared with 4Q17, which had 42,200 deaths.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA RULES OUT GLOBAL RECESSION IN 2019

Bank Negara Malaysia does not anticipate a global recession to happen in 2019, subsequent to the International Monetary Fund’s warning of a sharp slowdown which was triggered by trade tensions. In 4Q18, Malaysia’s economy grew 4.7%, driven by resilient private consumption and gradual recovery from earlier supply disruptions in commodity-related sectors. Overall, the economy grew 4.7% in 2018 supported by resilient private sector spending, increased net exports and continued expansion in the services and manufacturing sectors. Headline inflation declined to 0.3% in 4Q18 mainly due to negative transport inflation. In 2018, headline inflation averaged at 1% and is expected to average moderately higher in 2019.

(The Sun, NST, The Star & The Edge, 15/02/2019)


MRCB: LRT3 WORKS TO RESUME IN 2H19

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) denoted that works for the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) will resume in 2H19, after progress was stalled for about a year amid the government’s move to reduce project costs. MRCB has signed a fixed-price contract with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and is now going through some redesigning of the project prior to restarting works.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


KXP AIRPORTCITY TO MANAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF KULIM AIRPORT

A special entity known as KXP Airport City Holding Sdn Bhd has been set up to plan, coordinate and manage the development of Kulim International Airport. The Kedah state government has reportedly obtained approvals from the Federal Government to develop the new RM1.6 billion airport located in the Kuala Muda district. The new airport will concentrate on logistics and cargo transport during its early stages of operations.

(The Star & The Edge, 14/02/2019)


NO OPEN TENDER FOR 988 ACRE PROJECT TOOK PLACE

The Mentri Besar of Perak has admitted that an open tender was not carried out in awarding the development of a 988 acre plot of forest land to a company, with a paid-up capital of merely RM2.00. Instead, the company was given approval to proceed with the project via the Perak Forestry Committee task force. The development project involves areas in Kledang Saiong and the Bukit Kinta Forest.

(The Star, 14/02/2019)


PERAK HOUSING DEVELOPERS MAY APPLY FOR BUMIPUTERA QUOTA RELEASE

The Perak state government will allow housing developers to apply for properties under the Bumiputera quota to be released to other buyers if the properties are not sold by the Perak Housing and Property Board within six months. The Menteri Besar of Perak expressed that this was incorporated in the new Perak Housing Policy, which comes into effect on April 1, 2019. The reduction in the time frame from two years to six months is meant to alleviate the burden on housing developers as they would have to bear damages and maintenance costs of unsold properties. If the properties are unsold after six months, the developers may apply for 50% of the Bumiputera quota to be released to other buyers, on the condition that the properties have achieved physical construction of 30% and that 60% of the non-Bumiputera lots have already been sold. Developers may apply for the remaining 50% to be released after physical construction has reached 80% and that 90% of the non-Bumiputera lots have been sold. Developers who sold Bumiputera lots to non-Bumiputera buyers prior to attaining approval from State authorities would be subject to fines or double levy payments.

The state government will increase the ceiling price for “Rumah Perakku I” and “Rumah Perakku II” houses to attract private developers to build such properties. The prices of Rumah Perakku I houses will be increased from RM70,000 to RM90,000 and from RM140,000 to RM180,000 for Rumah Perakku II houses. In line with the price increase, the minimum built-up of Rumah Perakku I houses in “Zone A” will be increased from 860 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


HOUSING PROJECTS WITH ISLAMIC CONCEPT TO BE DEVELOPED IN PERAK

The Perak Islamic Economy Development Corporation will be developing idle pieces of land owned by the State Islamic Religious and Malay Custom Council with projects for affordable housing based on the Islamic concept. Among areas identified for the projects to be developed between 2020 and 2021 include Kampar, Alor Pongsu and Chemor. The implementation of these projects is based on the Islamic concept that adheres to shariah requirements and is to create awareness among buyers about wakaf (endowment) land. The prices offered for houses in all these projects will not exceed RM250,000 per unit in efforts to uplift and sustain the economy of Muslims within the state. The first project comprising 10 affordable double-storey terraced houses based on the Islamic design concept is expected to be completed in 2020.

(The Edge, 15/02/2019)


CONDOMINIUM PROJECT APPEALS TO LOCALS

Admiral Residence, an affordable luxury condominium project in Kota Laksamana, is getting overwhelming support from locals with approximately 95% of its buyers being locals. Admiral Residence has a gross development value of RM500 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 when it will be the first luxury condominium in Malaysia equipped with rooftop solar panels’ Once the solar panels are in place, they will generate 720,300kW per hour per year or the equivalent of RM375,996 in savings per year.

(The Star, 15/02/2019)


MARA TO REDEVELOP 18 OLD BUILDINGS

Eighteen old building sites and premises owned by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) in Melaka, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan have been identified to be redeveloped to provide more conducive retail space. Most of the buildings and premises owned by MARA are over 30 years old and are in need of a new look in the face of changing times. MARA is actively undertaking the transformation of rural premises comprising old buildings and is aiming at providing more comfortable retail space. Under the effort, MARA focused on several approaches including erecting new buildings on existing MARA land, demolishing old buildings and rebuilding and giving a facelift to existing buildings. MARA is targeting a total of 10,000 business lots by 2050 to encourage more entrepreneurs which can benefit from doing business.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


DEFINE: FOOD RESTAURANT TO OPEN AT COLONY@STAR BOULEVARD KLCC LUXURY COWORKING SPACE

The Define Food Group will be opening its second outlet in May 2019 at Colony’s flagship and largest luxury co-working space to date at the Star Boulevard KLCC penthouse, which will take-up 2,000 sq. ft. of space. Spanning 35,000 sq. ft., Colony@Star Boulevard KLCC will be equipped with a 12,000 sq. ft. rooftop event space with a 2-storey high ceiling co-working space with views of KLCC and is set to open in April 2019.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


BERJAYA LAND BEGINS 2019 WITH THE TROPIKA LAUNCH IN BUKIT JALIL

Berjaya Land Bhd is expecting a busy 2019 with several development projects planned for launch in 2019. Slated for launch on February 23, 2019, its latest condominium development in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, is called “The Tropika”. With a total of 868 units spread across four towers, the 6.5-acre freehold project offers golf course views and has a gross development value of slightly over RM700 million. Only one tower with 229 units will be initially launched with unit sizes ranging from 732 sq. ft. to 1,318 sq. ft. The price per sq. ft. ranges from RM750 to RM820 per sq. ft. and all units come with two car park bays.  The maintenance fee is expected to be around 40 sen per sq. ft. Below the residential units are nine retail shop units and an allocated 23,000 sq. ft. space for a supermarket/grocer.

(The Edge, 15/02/2019)


SUNZEN BIOTECH ACQUIRES LAND IN KLANG FOR RM12 MILLION

Sunzen Biotech Bhd has acquired a plot of industrial land in Klang from EA Dutas Sdn Bhd for RM12 million. Sunzen denoted that the land, which is approximately 1 acre in size, housed a three-storey office and a single-storey factory building. Currently, Sunzen is renting the property for RM300,000 per annum and utilising the three-storey office as its corporate office and the factory is used as the group’s warehouse.

(The Edge, 15/02/2019)


PENANG CM REFUTES CLAIM THAT PAN ISLAND LINK HIGHWAY COST HAS ESCALATED

The Penang Chief Minister has strongly refuted claims that the cost of the state’s proposed Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) highway has escalated to RM9 billion. The assertion that “PIL 1 is the most expensive highway to be built in history” is described as invalid. The cost that has been officially announced is RM7.5 billion. The 19.5km PIL 1 highway, under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), is mainly proposed to alleviate heavy traffic on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and adjacent arterials such as Pengkalan Weld, Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jalan Jelutong and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah. The PIL1 highway is also expected to improve accessibility to various areas along the north-south corridor of Penang Island, thereby significantly shortening north-south travel time to “approximately 15 minutes” from Gurney Drive to the airport.

(The Edge, 14/02/2019)


PENANG REHDA’S MESSAGE TO BANKS: “LOOSEN HOUSING LOAN RULES”

Banks should reveal statistics of defaulters to justify their strict rules on housing loans, according to the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang. Banks have become a lot stricter on giving out housing loans over the years but Rehda has ascertained that individuals have been able to continuously service their loans as they want to keep their houses. As such, banks should be more receptive towards “the efforts of the developers and the Government in assisting people towards owning their own homes”.

(The Edge, 15/02/2019)


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