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AIRASIA X LAUNCHES KL – FUKUOKA, JAPAN ROUTE

AirAsiaX has launched its direct inaugural flight between Kuala Lumpur and Fukuoka in Southern Japan, thereby providing over 156,000 seats per year on the new route. It is currently the only direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Fukuoka and in 2019, AirAsiaX is planning to fly up to three more destinations in Japan.

(The Star, 02/03/2019)


THIRD STATE TO OFFER “HOP-ON HOP OFF” BUS SERVICE

Slated to commence services in the middle of March 2019, Perak is the third state to offer the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus service, after Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The 28km route will have 13 stops over a journey of 1.5 hours. From the bus terminal, the bus will pass through the Ipoh High Court, Little India, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Jalan Sultan Iskandar and back to the terminal. The fare has however, still not been officially determined.

(The Star, 04/03/2019)


CHIC ADDRESS WITH STELLAR VIEWS

Malton Berhad will unveil the first two blocks of “Duta Park Residences” in Kuala Lumpur with an indicative selling price starting from RM492,000. Overwhelming response was received for 840 units which comprise the 59-storey Tower B and 40-storey Tower C during the preview, with a starting price from RM573 per sq. ft. Slated for completion by 2022, the 4.94 acre “Duta Park Residences” comprising three residential towers, carry an estimated total gross development value of circa RM1 billion. The units’ built-up area ranged between 858 sq. ft. and 1,538 sq. ft.

(The Star, 02/03/2019)


FOCUS ON AFFORDABLE HOMES

The Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) will continue to focus on building affordable homes in Selangor to provide people in the low and middle income groups the opportunity to own a home. PKNS has launched the “Selangorku Idaman Residensi” project in Selangor Cyber Valley and priced at RM232,000 per unit, the project comprises 864 units, including four units suitable for disabled people.

(NST, 03/03/2019; The Sun & The Star, 04/03/2019)


SPATE OF EXITS AT THE CURVE

A recent spate of exits of several long-time tenants at “The Curve” and “eCurve” in Mutiara Damansara in Petaling Jaya, has left many wondering about the future direction of the two shopping malls, which are owned by Boustead Holdings Bhd. In the first two months of 2019, Laundry (a bar / restaurant in a large corner-lot with alfresco dining), Pho Hoa (a Vietnamese restaurant) and Hadramawt (a Middle Eastern restaurant) have moved out. These are in addition to other tenants that left The Curve in 2018, including restaurants such as “The Apartment”, Johnny Rockets and Bubba Gump. Several existing tenants have voiced concerns about low shopper traffic and fewer activities at the two malls compared with 2018. However, according to Boustead, the occupancy rate of The Curve and eCurve was 93% and 92%, respectively, as at the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Boustead denoted that the reason some of “The Curve’s” long-time tenants, such as Bubba Gump and Pho Hoa, moved out was because they were exiting the country.

(The Edge Financial, 04/03/2019)


PRIVATE FINANCING TO FUND PENANG AIRPORT EXPANSION

The Penang International Airport (PIA) will be expanded through a private financing initiative (PFI) as the Malaysian Government is running short on funds. By the end of 2019, a private company will be selected through an open tender to expand the PIA at an estimated cost of RM1.2 billion. Completion of the project, will allow PIA to accommodate 16 million passengers a year compared with current 6.5 million.

(The Edge Property, 04/03/2019)


EWEIN PROFIT RISES ALMOST 11 TIMES

In 2018, Ewein Bhd posted a record net profit of RM42 million, almost 11 times the RM3.9 million net profit recorded in 2017. Currently, the group is constructing its sea-front development on a 3.67 acre site known as “City of Dreams” (gross development value of RM800 million) in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, which overlooks Gurney Drive, on Penang Island.

(NST, 02/03/2019)


AIRBNB, ILLEGAL OPERATORS CAUSING PENANG HOTEL’S OCCUPANCY TO DECLINE

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang branch has claimed that the emergence of illegal Airbnb accommodation is among the main causes for Penang hotels’ occupancy rate to decline. MAH is unable to compete with Airbnb or illegal accommodation operators in terms of offering cheaper rates, due to the higher costs of operations which hotel operators have to bear.

(The Edge Property, 02/03/2019)


TRANSIT CENTRE FOR THE HOMELESS TO BE BUILT SOON

A 3,300 sq. ft. transit centre will soon be built on Jalan C.Y. Choy, Penang, to provide shelter for the homeless. The design and proposal for the building has already been completed. The Penang State Government is aiming to make the Homeless Transit Centre the first “three net zero” building (zero waste, zero water and zero energy) in Penang and intends on achieving the Global Peace Index (GPI) for the project.

(The Star, 02/03/2019)


JANUARY EXPORTS EXCEED FORECAST WITH A BOOST FROM CHINA AND THAILAND

Malaysia’s exports in January 2019 rose at a faster-than-expected pace of 3.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM85.4 billion, underpinned by expansion in exports. The Statistics Department announced that “re-exports” were valued at RM17.5 billion (0.4%) and accounted for 20.5% of total exports. Domestic exports increased RM2.5 billion or 3.9%, to RM67.9 billion. The department denoted that on a y-o-y basis, export growth was attributable to higher exports to China (RM919.4 million), Thailand (RM823.3 million), South Korea (RM775 million) and the United States (RM680.8 million). On a y-o-y basis, higher imports were mainly from China (RM2.7 billion), Saudi Arabia (RM1.2 billion) and Taiwan (RM696 million).

(The Star, The Sun, NST & The Edge, 05/03/2019)


EPF SUGGESTS AN “IN-DEPTH STUDY” ON SALARIES IS REQUIRED

There should be an in-depth study on the salaries and wages of employees by taking into account the cost of living, according to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). EPF pointed out that emphasis should not merely be given towards increasing the percentage of contribution to the provident fund, but also to the wage levels of employees. The contribution of 12% and 11% by employers and employees respectively, is the fifth highest in the world.

(The Star, The Sun, NST & The Edge, 05/03/2019)


FM: MALAYSIA’S 1% INFLATION PROVES SST MITIGATED PRICE RISE

The Malaysian Finance Minister (FM) denoted that Malaysia’s 2018 inflation, which was at 1%, versus 2017’s 3.8%, is proof that the Sales and Service Tax (SST) played a significant role in mitigating price increases, compared with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In a statement, it was mentioned that 2018’s inflation at 1% also proved the government’s move to control fuel prices had “lightened the people’s burden”. The decrease in the number of taxable goods and services is proven via the decrease in government income, whereby annual SST collection stands at RM21 billion compared with the GST’s annual collection of RM44 billion.

(The Edge, 05/03/2019)


BANK NEGARA KEEPS OPR UNCHANGED AT 3.25%

Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 3.25%, as it anticipates that Malaysia’s growth will be sustained in 2019 with continued support from private sector spending.

(The Edge, NST, The Star & The Sun, 06/03/2019)


 

NEW SMART SELANGOR ROUTE EASES TRAVEL FROM KAJANG TO PUTRAJAYA

The Smart Selangor free bus service has two new routes from Kajang to both Putrajaya and Bandar Baru Bangi. Buses on the KJ04 route that ends on Dataran Gemilang, Putrajaya, have 34 stops, including the Putrajaya mosque, government offices, the public library, Alamanda Putrajaya and the Presint 9 and 16 residential areas. Meanwhile, the KJ05 route has 29 stops including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the PKNS Complex, Section 9 and 16 residential areas, the Bandar Baru Bangi clinic, Greenview Islamic School and the UKM KTM station.

(The Star, 05/03/2019)


 

PROPOSED PERAK-KEDAH HIGHWAY TO UPLIFT RURAL ECONOMY

A highway linking Kedah and Perak without passing through Penang could have a big impact on the socio-economic well-being of rural residents, especially in the Baling district, according to the Kedah Menteri Besar. The proposal will soon be forwarded to the federal government for consideration.

(The Edge, 05/03/2019)


 

SMOOTHER TRAFFIC FLOW INTO CITY CENTRE WITH NEW FLYOVERS

Motorists entering Melaka via the Ayer Keroh toll can now reach the city centre in 20 minutes due to two new flyovers which opened in February 2019. The elevated interchanges in Ayer Keroh and Peringgit were part of several planned traffic dispersal projects to solve traffic congestion in the state. The flyovers allow motorists to bypass the cross junctions that lead to the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) in Ayer Keroh and Batu Berendam in Peringgit. The Federal Government had previously approved an allocation of RM461 million for two traffic dispersal projects in Melaka under the 11th Malaysia Plan. Approximately RM385 million was meant for the construction of the two new flyovers, while the remaining allocation was for a double-lane road from Paya Rumput to Sungai Udang, in order to address traffic congestion at the Sungai Udang – Paya Rumput – Ayer Keroh Highway (Lebuh SPA).

(The Star, 06/03/2019)


TARGET TO APPROVE BETWEEN 8,000 AND 10,000 AFFORDABLE UNITS IN EVERY YEAR AND SELANGOR STATE PLANS TO BUILD 30,000 AFFORDABLE HOMES BY 2025

The Federal Territories Ministry wants to approve between 8,000 and 10,000 affordable homes every year whilst the Selangor government plans to build approximately 30,000 units of affordable homes by 2025.

(The Edge, 05/03/2019)


HANDOVER OF BUKIT JALIL APARTMENTS

Homeowners of Residensi Jalilmas in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, were given the keys to their new homes ahead of schedule. The project, built over 3.26 acres of land, comprises two 39-storey blocks with 1,050 units in total. Each unit is 800 sq. ft. with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one carpark and each unit was sold for RM198,000. This is the seventh Residensi Wilayah project completed by Aset Kayamas Group. In total, the developer has completed 4,770 units and two more projects, Residensi Kepongmas and Residensi Wangsamas, with a total of 1,995 units, are scheduled to be completed in 2019.

(The Star, 06/03/2019)


 

A&W SETS ASIDE RM25 MILLION FOR OUTLET OPENINGS and REFURBISHMENT

A&W Malaysia Sdn Bhd has allocated RM25 million as capital expenditure to open approximately 15 outlets and refurbish up to six restaurants in 2019. A&W targeted to open 20 more outlets in 2020, of which eight outlets will be drive-through restaurants.

(NST, 06/03/2019)


 

ACMAR AND WYNDHAM JOIN TO BRING LUXURY TO KUALA LUMPUR

Wyndham Hotel & Resorts was recently appointed as the management company of D’Rapport Residences and Wyndham Acmar Klang Hotel. D’Rapport Residences is Acmar Group’s flagship luxury condominium development while Wyndham Acmar Klang Hotel will be the Royal Town of Klang’s first upscale hotel. Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, with approximately 9,000 properties worldwide is the world’s largest hotel franchisor and provider of hotel management services. Embracing the concept of “an oasis in the heart of Kuala Lumpur”, D’Rapport Residences is a high-end development focusing on fitness, wellness and environmental sustainability. Wyndham Acmar Klang Hotel will offer 300 rooms and 188 residences. The hotel will be the venue for conventions and events in Klang, with its eight fully equipped meeting rooms and a grand ballroom that can hold up to 2,200 people.

(Starproperty.com.my, 05/03/2019)


MIEA: EXTEND HOC 2019 INCENTIVES TO BUYERS OF SECONDARY PROPERTIES

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) has urged the government and stakeholders to weigh the importance of the secondary residential property market by reviewing incentives offered during the six-month national Home Ownership Campaign 2019 (HOC). This is to be extended to first-time home buyers looking to purchase from the secondary market. The secondary property market contributes approximately 80% of all residential property transactions in the country, compared with circa 20% of new properties (the primary market). For first-time home buyers of secondary properties, MIEA proposed that stamp duty exemption on the Instrument of Transfer (IoT) be extended from January 1 to June 30, 2019, for properties priced between RM300,001 and RM1 million and that stamp duty be exempted on the IoT for loans up to RM1 million, are to be given during the same period.

(The Star, The Sun, NST & The Edge, 05/03/2019)


KHAZANAH MULLS POSSIBLY SELLING LEGOLAND

Khazanah Nasional Bhd (KNB) is open to the sale of its Legoland Malaysia Resort theme park in Johor, if the offer “is reasonable”. Legoland Malaysia is owned by a Khazanah unit and is operated by British-based, Merlin Entertainments Plc. It is the first Lego-themed Park in Asia with more than 15,000 Lego models.

(The Edge, The Star, The Sun & NST, 06/03/2019)


 

CMS PARTNERS CHINA’S CCCC TO BID FOR INFRA PROJECTS

Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS)’s unit, PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (PPESW), is partnering with China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to bid for jobs under the Sarawak Coastal Road Network project and the Second Trunk Road project within the State. CMSs’ 51%-owned PPESW has incorporated a joint venture company with CCCC known as PPES Works CCCC JV Sdn Bhd, to tender for jobs under these projects. The JV is 70% held by PPESW, with the remaining 30% being held by CCCC’s Malaysian subsidiary, China Communications Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd.

(The Edge, 05/03/2019)


VERTICE WINS RM100 MILLION LRT3 CONTRACT

Vertice Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary has secured a RM100 million job related to the construction of the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project. Vertice’s unit, Vertice Construction Sdn Bhd, had accepted a sub-contract offer from Reaplite Industry Sdn Bhd, which functions as the main contractor for the LRT3 precast viaduct (u-trough girder). The construction period will span approximately 24 months commencing March 6, 2019, to March 5, 2021.

(The Star & The Edge, 07/03/2019)


CHEAP TRAVEL PASSES BOOST MRT USE

January ridership for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (MRT SBK) mass rapid transit rail line has gone up by 40%, compared with the corresponding period of 2018, whereas ridership for all Rapid Rail services rose 13%, mainly due to the introduction of subsidised travel passes. Commencing January 1, 2019, commuters using the “My100” travel pass are able to benefit from unlimited rides for 30 days, on all forms of RapidKL rail and road transport, which includes the MRT, LRT, monorail, BRT Sunway, RapidKL buses and MRT feeder buses. Additionally, “My50” pass holders will benefit from unlimited rides for 30 days on all RapidKL buses and MRT feeder buses (excluding the BRT), for RM50.

(The Edge, 07/03/2019)


 

FM HOPEFUL OF “EARLY” ECRL TALKS

The Malaysian Finance Minister (FM) is hopeful that talks on reducing the price of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will be carried out prior to the Prime Minister’s visit to China in April 2019. Discussions between Malaysia and China’s Communications Construction Co are ongoing. The government has already paid RM200 million in interest to the main contractor of the project, China Communications Construction Co, based on the RM55 billion loan amount.

(The Sun, NST, The Star & The Edge, 08/03/2019)


 

NOW YOU CAN TRAVEL FROM PUTRA HEIGHTS LRT TO KLIA FOR JUST RM10

Travellers who want an alternate way to get to KL International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 can opt for an airport shuttle service from the Putra Heights LRT station for only RM10.00. Those who wish to get to the two airports can buy a combo ticket at any LRT, MRT, BRT or monorail counter. The airport shuttle services began operations in February 2019 to help increase connectivity and seamless travel for passengers. The combo ticket is sold for RM10 and comprises rail and bus tickets for a one-way journey. The journey from Putra Heights to KLIA and KLIA2 takes about 40 minutes, with a bus departing every 30 minutes. Putra Heights was chosen due to its strategic location, as it connects the LRT Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line. Those at KLIA and KLIA2 who wish to continue their journey on the Kelana Jaya or Ampang line can also ride the shuttle bus which will ferry them straight to the Putra Heights LRT station and go to their respective destinations.

(The Star, 08/03/2019)


 

KELANTAN TO GAIN FROM FIVE FEDERAL PROJECTS

Kelantan stands to benefit from positive spill-over effects stemming from certain developments, as the Federal Government channels its priorities towards the completion of five key projects, namely: the East Coast Expressway Phase 3 (LPT3), Sultan Ismail Petra Airport expansion and upgrading, the Pasir Puteh-Machang-Jeli new route, Kota Bharu-Kuala Krai Expressway and the Palekbang-Kota Bharu Bridge.

(NST & The Edge, 08/03/2019)


NS GETS 8,651 APPLICATIONS FOR TYPE A HOMES

A total of 8,651 applications for Type A homes costing RM80,000 have been received by the state government to date. However, currently, 1,384 units of residential homes belonging to the Type A would be handed over to the low-income group soon. After a lot drawing session of the Type A Affordable Homes at Sarimban Hill Park (Shang Garden) lots will also be drawn at Bukit Senawang Perdana, Taman Kasturi Tampin, Taman Seraya Rembau, Taman Iringan Bayu Mambau,Zamrud Batu Kikir, Taman Juasseh Sentosa Kuala Pilah and Bayu Indera Lukut. This affordable home-ownership property project is a private initiative to comply with the implementation of the Negeri Sembilan Housing Policy. In an effort to increase the number of affordable homes projects in the state, the state government had informed the Ministry of Housing and Local Government on the availability of 11 sites in all the districts in the state, which could be used as affordable housing project sites.

(The Edge, 07/03/2019)


 

RUMBIA RESIDENCE COMING UP ON LAST RESIDENTIAL PLOT IN BANDAR SRI PERMAISURI

The last residential plot in the mature Bandar Sri Permaisuri township in Kuala Lumpur is being developed into the Ari Permaisuri high-rise residential development with a gross development value of RM450 million. Comprising two phases, the first phase comprises a RumahWIP affordable housing project, Residensi Akasia, which was launched in 2018 and Rumbia Residence @ Ari Permaisuri, a condominium which will be launched on March 9, 2019. Ari Permaisuri is located on an 8.05-acre leasehold site at the 216 acre Bandar Sri Permaisuri which is a joint venture development between Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Dwitasik Sdn Bhd. Rumbia Residence comprising a 35 storey single block condominium with 284 units. There are two unit built-up sizes of 990 sq. ft. and 1,227 sq. ft. The bigger unit has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, two of which are en-suite. The price ranges from RM580 per sq. ft. to RM650 per sq. ft. while the maintenance fee is 35 sen per sq. ft. The project is slated for completion by 2021. Residensi Akasia, the RumahWIP project at Ari Permaisuri, consists of 200 units in a 24 storey block. The unit built-up sizes are from 807 sq. ft. with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Dwitasik plans to introduce the last phase of Ari Permaisuri called Ixora Residence during the launch of Rumbia. The group want to start registrations for Ixora during Rumbia’s launch. Ixora Residence will consist of 321 units housed within a 42-storey tower.

(The Edge, 08/03/2019)


 

S P SETIA-TRADEWINDS JV SIGNS MASTER AGREEMENT ON CHERAS DBKL FLATS’ REDEVELOPMENT

Retro Highland Sdn Bhd, the 50:50 joint venture between S P Setia Bhd and Tradewinds Corp Bhd, has signed a master agreement with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the redevelopment of the council flats in Cheras. The agreement was signed to outline the overall planning, design, construction, completion and commissioning of the project, called Quality Sustainable People Housing (QSPH) development. The deal involves 138.25 acres of DBKL land. Under the agreement, Retro Highland will carry out the QSPH development in four phases comprising the construction and completion of 5,650 units of three-bedroom units measuring 850 sq. ft .each, with amenities, on 60.45 acres of the DBKL land. In return, Retro Highland will be awarded 77.8 acres of leasehold land in Cheras, 25.55 acres of which it will acquire for a mixed development project, which has estimated gross development value amounting to RM16.3 billion over a 15-year period.

(The Edge, 08/03/2019)


MALAYSIA’S TEALIVE PARTNERS JAPAN’S GIFTEE INC

Japan’s eGift service, giftee Inc, has made its foray into the Malaysian market by extending its business-oriented eGift System to homegrown bubble tea brand, Tealive. Local subsidiary Giftee Malaysia Sdn Bhd began sales of eGifts, compatible with Tealive services at more than 200 outlets in Malaysia (excluding AEON Delica and MaxValu outlets). Tealive said eGifts could be purchased from online purchase portals for various brands, and are issued at the time of purchase. The purchaser can then give the eGifts they have purchased to friends and family via SMS, WhatsApp and other services, allowing for instant gifting with a personalised greeting. eGift System links to PoS (Point of Sale) and other systems, allowing cashiers to scan the voucher to allow instant redemption. Each eGift has a unique URL, and when the eGift is validated, data such as the date or time of the store visit, name of the store visited, type of eGift and details of any bundled selling can be instantly collected,

(The Star, 07/03/2019)


 

PARAMOUNT AIMS TO MAINTAIN RM1 BILLION SALES FOR 2019

Paramount Corp Bhd (PCB), which achieved its highest sales ever of RM1 billion in 2018, aims to capture another RM1 billion in sales in 2019 despite the challenging property market. The bulk of the sales in 2019 would come from projects such as Atwater (Section 13, Petaling Jaya), Berkeley Uptown (Klang), Bukit Banyan (Sungai Petani), Lakeside (Cyberjaya), Greenwoods (Sepang) and Utropolis Batu Kawan (Penang). The group aims to launch RM1.3 billion worth of properties in 2019, including Berkeley Uptown, a new project. The mixed project has a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.2 billion and the first phase will be launched in two weeks’ time. With Sri KDU International School anchoring the project, PCB is very optimistic of the sales rate. Other launches planned for the year include the retail and office components of Atwater; Phase 3 of Utropolis Batu Kawan comprising serviced apartments; and landed homes in existing projects, namely Greenwoods in Salak Perdana, Sepang, and Lakeside.

In terms of its co-working space, Paramount plans to add three sites to its Co-Labs brand in 2019. The three sites are NAZA Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Sekitar 26 in Shah Alam, Selangor, and expansion of its existing space in Starling Mall. It currently has 20,000 sq. ft. in Starling Mall and 3,500 sq. ft. in Utropolis Glenmarie. By end-2019, it is estimated to have a total of 60,000 sq. ft. offering about 1,200 seats.

(The Sun, NST, The Star & The Edge, 08/03/2019)


JOHOR STATE GOVT DOES NOT RULE OUT BUYING KHAZANAH’S ASSETS

The Johor State Government does not rule out the possibility of acquiring Khazanah Nasional Bhd assets in the State that are up for sale, including the Legoland Malaysia Resort theme park. Khazanah, through 60% subsidiary Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), also owned equity interest in other projects in the State, including Medini and EduCity.

(The Edge, 08/03/2019)


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Jones Lang Wootton