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MALAYSIA’S ECONOMY TO EXPERIENCE MODERATE GROWTH IN 2019

The Malaysian economy is expected to experience moderate growth in 2019 due to challenging external factors including the United States (US) Federal Governments’ temporary shutdown, which lasted for 35 days, from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 (the longest government shutdown in the US history), uncertainties in the US’ monetary policies, the slowdown in China’s economic growth and the ongoing trade tension between the US and China.

(The Edge Property, 08/04/2019)


MALAYSIA EXPECTED TO MEET 4.9% GDP GROWTH

Malaysia is expected to meet its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 4.9% despite the challenges it faces, due to positive effects of implicit stimulus, financed by RM37 billion in refunds for the goods and services tax and income tax. The Malaysian Government is seeking to increase Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to GDP to 41% by 2020, compared with 37% in 2017. The government is also targeting to raise SMEs’ contribution to total exports to 23% by 2020, from 18% in 2017.

(The Star, 10/04/2019)


KPKT WANTS MORE FIRE STATIONS IN THE COUNTRY

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) hopes to set up more fire stations all over the country in order to speed up response time during emergencies. Currently, there are four classes of fire stations which include Classes A, B, C and D, that are classified based on various criteria. KPKT is proposing to create a new category, Class E, which is for smaller scale fire stations to be set up on islands and remote areas.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


CONSTITUTIONAL CLAUSE TO BE AMENDED

A clause in the Federal Constitution which refers to the exemption given to government buildings for the attainment of the “Fire Certificate” (FC) is expected to be amended in about two months in order to compel all government buildings to obtain the FC. It was reported that circa 140 government buildings nationwide (39 of which in Putrajaya) had not obtained the FC.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


PERAK WORKING ON ATTRACTING INVESTORS

The State of Perak is experiencing steady growth as 57 projects worth RM2.27 billion in investments had been approved in 2018. Several high-impact projects were expected to take off in Perak including Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd’s RM1.5 billion plant expansion, the Proton and Geely Automotive City in Tanjung Malim, the natural gas pipeline project from Ayer Tawar to Kinta Valley, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority project in Kantan and Chemor, the construction of the West Coast Expressway and growth of Pulau Pangkor as a duty-free island.

(The Edge Property, 07/04/2019)


GOVERNMENT PROPOSING URBAN REGENERATION LEGISLATION

The Federal Territories Ministry is recommending a new urban regeneration law. Current urban redevelopment projects are being carried out under a set of urban regeneration implementation guidelines, which were prepared in collaboration with the Town and Country Planning Department and based on the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

The proposed guideline will be long-term, comprehensive and will provide guidelines to deal with an economic downturn, and dilapidated, abandoned and uneconomical projects which the government or private sector can follow up on.

(The Edge Property, 08/04/2019 & The Sun, 09/04/2019)


EXPERTS SAY 6% DIGITAL TAX WILL BE BORNE BY CONSUMERS

The new 6% tax set to be imposed from January 1, 2020 on foreign digital service providers will be borne by the consumers, according to tax experts. Foreign providers will bill their clients the necessary tax and pass the collection onto the government, in the same way that local businesses collect the service tax from customers.

(The Edge Financial, 10/04/2019)


APPROACH PLAN HOLISTICALLY

Under the Selangor Structure Plan 2035, developments within 400m of transit stations such as Light Rail Transit, Mass Rapid Transit and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) have the potential of being Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zones. The Selangor Structure Plan states that a TOD zone has a plot ratio (density of residential and commercial units in a specified area) of 1:8. Under the Selangor Structure Plan, developers have to adhere to nine principles which include providing affordable housing in the TOD zone. Other principles include high-density developments, eco- buildings, walkways and cycle lanes, public amenities, the availability of feeder buses, less parking bays and mixed developments with various activities.

(The Star, 10/04/2019)


ECRL TO UNDERGO CHANGE OF ALIGNMENT TO NEGERI SEMBILAN

The alignment of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will be rerouted to Negeri Sembilan if it is resumed after negotiations with the Chinese government at the end of April 2019. A decision was expected to be achieved during the Federal Government’s visit to the republic in order to discuss lowering construction costs for the mega project.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


ECRL DEAL TO INCLUDE PALM OIL BUY

Current re-negotiations on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) may see its construction price pegged at RM50 million to RM60 million per km and a commitment by the Chinese government to buy Malaysian palm oil and bring in projects. Constructing a rail track on normal terrain usually costs circa RM50 million per km, whereas for tunnelling and areas with challenging soil condition occur, the cost can be up to RM60 million per km.

(The Sun & The Star, 08/04/2019)


CONSULTANT TO REVIEW HSR COST REDUCTION PLAN

MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd plans to appoint a Technical Advisory Consultant (TAC) to review technical aspects of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project’s cost reduction options. The TAC will review and validate proposed infrastructure assets within Malaysia, such as alignments, stations and HSR maintenance facilities. The review is also expected to include “on-the-ground” data collection activities such as topography survey data, soil investigation and ground condition assessments.

(The Star & The Edge Financial, 09/04/2019)


AIRASIA ADDS QUANZHOU TO ITS ASIAN ROUTES

From May 1, 2019, AirAsia will fly direct from Kuala Lumpur “secondary” cities in China such as Guilin, Shantou, and Nanning. The Kuala Lumpur – Quanzhou service further grows its footprint in China and will provide greater accessibility to both Malaysian and Chinese travellers.

(The Sun, 09/04/2019)


MAHB PASSENGER TRAFFIC UP 3.7%

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports, including the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey, recorded 33.4 million passenger movements in 1Q19, representing a growth of 3.7% from 1Q18. MAHB’s Malaysian operations growth was driven by the domestic sector, partly due to higher seat capacity offered by airlines.

(The Edge Financial & NST, 11/04/2019)


AIRASIA ADDS EXTRA FLIGHTS FOR HARI RAYA

AirAsia is adding 437 extra flights during the Hari Raya festival (May 30, 2019 to June 16, 2019). The additional flights are from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Sandakan, Tawau, Alor Setar, Kota Baru, Langkawi, Terengganu, and Johor Baru to Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Tawau and Alor Setar.

(The Sun, 12/04/2019)


SEACERA LOOKING FOR “REPUTABLE PARTNER” TO DEVELOP SEMENYIH LAND

Seacera Group Bhd (tile manufacturers) that diversified into construction and property development is looking for a “reputable partner” to jointly develop Seacera’s estimated 500 acre Semenyih land in Selangor. With an estimated gross development value of RM10 billion, the land is expected to be developed over 15 to 20 years. Nonetheless, Seacera will not discount the possibility of disposing of the land because the company lacks “expertise” in property development.

(The Edge Property, 08/04/2019)


UTUSAN TO TRANSFER PROPERTY, PAY NYLEX IN DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

Nylex Bhd has entered into an agreement with Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd for both parties to settle their legal dispute over the refund of deposits totalling RM10 million. Under the agreement, Utusan will transfer “The Trax”, a mixed development located near Utusan’s headquarters at the Jalan Chow Sow Lin area, to Nylex. Utusan and will also reimburse Nylex for the stamp duty of the assignment or transfer of the Trax by March 31, 2021 instalments.

(The Edge Financial, 09/04/2019)


SIME DARBY PROPERTY EYES RM2.3 BILLION SALES

Sime Darby Property Bhd expects to achieve a sales target of RM2.3 billion for FY19, with the six-month Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) serving as a catalyst as the market faces a slowdown. In conjunction with the HOC, which began in January 2019, Sime Darby Property inaugurated a campaign (Primetime8) in March 2019, to launch eight projects with 1,200 units in eight weeks. Over the four-week period, the developer has launched three new projects and has previewed one. Two of the projects that were launched by the developer have been fully sold. Meanwhile, 73% of “Serenia Adiva” (the developer’s third project launched) has been sold.

(The Star, 10/04/2019)


FELDA TO REVIEW LAND LEASE AGREEMENT WITH FGV

The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) will be reviewing the land lease agreement (LLA) it has with FGV Holdings Bhd. The financially-stressed agency intends to revisit the terms of the LLA for a “fairer deal”. Felda should receive an annual payment of RM248 million plus a 15% share of plantation profits generated from the 99-year lease of its commercial land. However, Felda only received an average of RM400 million a year from FGV, which was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2012, versus the minimum requirement of RM800 million per year required to manage the plantations and ensure the livelihood of settlers.

(The Edge Property, 10/04/2019)


NEXTGREEN SELLS SUBSIDIARY TO SINGAPOREAN FOR US$1.2 MILLION

Nextgreen Global Bhd has sold its wholly owned subsidiary, BHS Palau Incorporated, to a Singaporean individual for US$1.213 million. The disposal of BHS Palau is to streamline Nextgreen Global’s business activities to focus and capitalise on its green technology, which includes the development of the “Green Technology Park” concept in Pekan, Pahang and other states. BHS Palau was incorporated in the Republic of Palau and is the owner of 174,644 sq. ft. of leasehold land in the Republic of Palau.

(The Sun, 10/04/2019)


IOI PROPERTIES SEES RECOVERY IN PROPERTY MARKET

IOI Properties Group Bhd, which has planned at least three property launches in 2019, foresees that the real estate market “will recover in next to no time.” The group plans to launch “The Clio 2 Residences” in IOI Resort City, “Stellar Suites” in Puchong and “Alanis” in Warisan Puteri. The Clio 2 Residences comprises three blocks and 550 units built on four acres of freehold land. Block A will be launched in May 2019, offering 152 units sized from 829 sq. ft. to 1,216 sq. ft. Priced from RM492,000 to RM714,000, the three blocks will be completed in 1Q20. Meanwhile, Stellar Suites, which will be launched at the end of May 2019, is the group’s first SOVO project in Puchong. In Sepang, the group also plans to launch “Alanis”, a serviced apartment with a “SOHO” concept, located within its Warisan Puteri Township.

(The Sun, 11/04/2019)


HALTED RANTAU PR1MA SCHEME TO BE READY BY MAY 2020

The halted 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) scheme in Bandar Ekar, Rantau, is expected to be completed by May 2020. The PR1MA housing scheme comprises 766 units, 210 units of which are single-storey while the remaining are double-storey units. Circa 80% of the units are sold and the project is 56% completed.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019 & The Star, 08/04/2019)


SIME DARBY PROPERTY’S “ELSA” SOLD OUT ON LAUNCH DAY

Sime Darby Property Bhd’s first affordable product priced under RM500,000, the “Elsa”, was sold out (100% sales) on its launch day. Located in Bandar Bukit Raja, the “Elsa” comprises 165 units of 20 ft. x 65 ft. freehold double-storey link homes.

(The Edge Financial & NST, 08/04/2019)


HOUSING PROJECT FOR MELAKA FISHERMEN TO BE READY IN 2019

A housing project for fishermen worth RM7.64 million in Kuala Sungai Baru, Alor Gajah, Melaka, is slated for completion in 2019. The project, covering 13.8-acres of land, was abandoned more than a year ago prior to construction being revived and is now circa 98% completed. A total of 60 qualified fishermen in the area would have the opportunity to own the houses priced at RM45,000 per unit.

(The Edge Property, 11/04/2019)


CORA PRECINCT AT ECO ARDENCE TO BE UNVEILED IN MAY 2019

Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia) is expected to unveil a new phase of landed home at its “Eco Ardence” township in May 2019. Slated for completion in 2022, the 41-acre freehold “Cora” precinct comprises 102 units of semi-detached, 44 units of bungalows and 104 units of garden homes. With an indicative selling price from RM1.9 million, the semi-detached homes measure 35 ft. x 80 ft., with built-ups ranging between 2,567 sq. ft. and 2,719 sq. ft. The bungalows are built on two land sizes (50 ft. x 85 ft. and 56 ft. x 95 ft.) having built-ups ranging between 3,363 sq. ft. and 4,343 sq. ft., with indicative prices from RM2.9 million.

(The Edge Financial, 12/04/2019)


SUNWAY SEES GOOD FOREIGN BOOKING

Sunway Onsen Suites by Sunway Group in Ipoh is expecting higher bookings by Chinese, Thai and Singaporean investors. Slated for completion in 2022, the first tower of the project comprises 252 serviced suites. The serviced suites comprise a studio, two-bedroom and three bedroom variations, ranging from 592 sq. ft. to 1,184 sq. ft. with a starting price of RM391,000. There are also six units of luxurious Onsen Villas, which start at 2,712 sq. ft.

(NST, 06/04/2019)


HOSTEL FOR POOR STUDENTS TO BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF 2019

Slated to be completed by the end of 2019, a student hostel is being constructed at SJK(T) Ladang Midlands in Shah Alam, Selangor. The hostel will accommodate 200 students and is intended to assist students from poor families.

(The Star, 08/04/2019)


PJ SECTION 14 HIGH RISE PROPOSAL MET WITH PROTESTS

A proposed high-rise mixed development project located on a plot of land near the Asia Jaya Light Rail Transit station has encountered protests from Section 14 residents. The proposed development which is still at the application stage will comprise three blocks of 40, 48 and 52 storeys with over 2,000 residential units, including circa 600 affordable homes. The plot of land currently has merely one road connecting it to the one-way-loop, thereby raising concerns about traffic and population influx amongst residents.

(The Edge Property, 08/04/2019)


INTA BINA SECURES RM108.49 MILLION CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT

Inta Bina Group Bhd has secured a contract worth RM108.49 million from Lembah Suria Sdn Bhd to build a 40 storey affordable housing complex in Mont’Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. The contract period will span 32 months and commences upon site possession on April 15, 2019.

(The Sun, 09/04/2019)


VIZIONE ACQUIRES PEMBINAAN ANGKASA

Vizione Holdings Bhd’s wholly own subsidiary, Vizione Development Sdn Bhd, has entered into a sale of shares agreement to acquire the entire stake in Pembinaan Angkasa Permai Sdn Bhd, for purposes of venturing into property development. Pembinaan Angkasa Permai had a joint-venture agreement with Hanacekap Sdn Bhd to jointly develop a 39,138 sq. ft. leasehold commercial site in Mukim Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, to build one serviced apartment block called “The 216 Residences”.

(The Edge Property, 10/04/2019; The Sun & The Star, 11/04/2019)


ASPEN PLANS SERI KEMBANGAN DEVELOPMENT

Aspen (Group) Holdings Ltd plans to develop a RM300 million serviced apartment on a 131,158 sq. ft. commercial site in Seri Kembangan with Selangor Agricultural Development Corp (PKPS). Scheduled for completion within four years from the date of the joint venture agreement, the company plans to launch the project in 4Q19.

The Edge Property, 10/04/2019 & The Star, 11/04/2019)


PLAN TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SELANGOR

Menteri Besar Selangor Incorporated (MBI Selangor) and Railway Assets Corp (RAC) will draft a comprehensive development plan to build affordable homes across RAC’s land in Selangor. Both parties will collaborate in developing these assets, with focus being on the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) concept and affordable homes. RAC, which owns circa 3,611 acres of railway land in Selangor, is also tasked to manage, administer and maintain assets related to railway infrastructure and ancillary facilities in Malaysia.

(The Edge Financial & NST, 12/04/2019)


PAVILION REIT TO RELOOK AT BUKIT JALIL MALL OWNERSHIP

Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has opted not to participate in the ownership of the under-construction “Pavilion Bukit Jalil” mall to avoid unwanted risks, but believes that the asset will be worth reconsidering upon its completion. Pavilion REIT hopes to receive another invitation from the owners upon completion of the mall between September 2020 and 2021.

(The Edge Financial, 08/04/2019)


SUNSURIA FORUM CELEBRATES RETAIL OPENING

Sunsuria Bhd has officially launched the retail outlets of Sunsuria Forum @ 7th Avenue in Setia Alam. With a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM1.3 billion, Phase 1 of Sunsuria Forum comprises retail shops and small offices, whereas Phase 2 with a GDV of RM950 million comprises a lifestyle mall, serviced apartments and SOHO Suites. Some of the food and beverage outlets at Sunsuria Forum include Subway, Secret Recipe, Tealive, Heycha, Alibaba & Nyonya Express, Tokyo Don, Artelier Coffee, and Double Happiness Sekinchan. Other lifestyle retail partners are Village Grocer, Caring Pharmacy, Focus Point, Circle of Life (a store selling second-hand goods for a charitable cause), home and living shops, beauty salons and BookXcess.

(StarProperty, 11/04/2019)


DESB PLANS UP TO RM120 MILLION INVESTMENT

Cosmetic and skincare manufacturer, Dr Esence Sdn Bhd (DESB) has allocated RM55 million to RM120 million for the next two years, to diversify its business locally. The company aims to venture into the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and biotechnology sectors, among others. The company will grow their export markets via strategic alliances and will open flagship brick-and-mortar stores in Malaysia.

(NST, 09/04/2019)


MERIDIAN TO SELL ASSETS TO FUND MALAYSIA TOURISM CITY IN MELAKA

Meridian Bhd is selling a number of its assets including a mall and an office building in Seberang Perai, Penang, and land parcels in Cyberjaya, Selangor, in order to fund the 622 acre Malaysia Tourism City (MTC) in Kota Linggi, Melaka. Phase 1 of the MTC project comprises a weekend market which is slated to open in the mid of 2020, an adventure park (scheduled to open by the end of 2019), a 15 acre water theme park (to be completed in three years) and bungalows. The 480 bungalows with circa 9,000 sq. ft. allocated towards each plot will have a built-up of 2,000 sq. ft. and are priced between RM700,000 and RM800,000. As for Phases 2 and 3, there will be a designer moto-tourism park, a shopping mall and entertainment centre, a convention centre, a medical centre and “contract farming” (an agreement between farm producers and buyers) of organic food.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


LBS LAUNCHES AFFORDABLE HOMES AT KITA@CYBERSOUTH

LBS Bina Group Berhad recently launched its latest 633 acre township development, Kita@Cybersouth in Dengkil. The success of earlier phases has prompted the launch of a new phase known as ‘Kita Harmoni’, which comprises 674 units of 20 ft. x 65 ft. double-storey terraced houses priced from RM560,000. To realise the national homeownership agenda, the “Kita Impian” component offers 964 serviced apartment units priced from RM250,000, with built-ups of between 551sq. ft. and 901 sq. ft.

(StarProperty, 10/04/2019)


VANKE WORKS ON KUALA LUMPUR LAND

Vanke Co Ltd (Vanke) is working on its flagship project on a 6.9 acre land (formerly the Serani Row plot) on Jalan Raja Chulan, close to the Bukit Nanas heritage zone and forest reserve. Vanke is looking at the project’s planning aspect in order to comply with the local authorities’ policies and regulations and in meeting local market needs. Phase One will comprise a retail space and apartments of 500 sq. ft. (studio) to 800 sq. ft. (two-bedroom units), which targets city dwellers and expats.

(NST, 11/04/2019)


85% OF SUNWAY VELOCITY TWO DEVELOPMENT SOLD

Sunway Property has achieved 85% sales for Sunway Velocity TWO. The RM2 billion development comprising four residential towers, two commercial towers and retail units, is connected to the integrated development of Sunway Velocity. The project has 872 residential units in its first phase.

(NST, 12/04/2019)


MALAYSIA SET TO BE AIRBUS’ REGIONAL HUB

Airbus Helicopters is positioning Malaysia as its regional hub in order to function as a strong base for Airbus Helicopters, with the addition of an AS365 Dauphin full-flight simulator offering customised training for operators in the region and customers globally. The simulation centre has already been offering H225 training to pilots and crew from customers in the military and civil sectors throughout the Asia Pacific region.

(NST, 06/04/2019)


HONG LEONG ASSURANCE EMERGES AS SUBSTANTIAL SHAREHOLDER OF ATRIUM REIT

Hong Leong Assurance Bhd has emerged as a substantial unit holder of Atrium Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Atrium REIT is an industrial asset-focused trust with total assets under management of RM278 million as at FY18. Its property portfolio comprises five 100%-occupied industrial properties located in the Klang Valley, which include Atrium Shah Alam 1, Atrium Shah Alam 2, Atrium Shah Alam 3, Atrium Puchong and Atrium USJ.

(The Edge Property, 09/04/2019)


MALAYSIA’S FEBRUARY 2019 IPI RISES 1.7%

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index (IPI) expanded 1.7% y-o-y in February 2019, supported by growth in the electricity and manufacturing segments. The manufacturing sector index rose 3.7% in February 2019, compared with February 2018 after recording an increase of 4.2% in January 2019. Major sub-sectors contributing to the increase in February 2019 were food, beverages and tobacco products (6.3%); non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products (4.6%); and electrical and electronics products (3.1%). The electricity sector index grew 4.9% y-o-y in February 2019. However, the mining sector index recorded a decline of 5% in February 2019, compared with February 2018, due to the decline in the natural gas index (-5.6%) and crude oil index (-4.3%).

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 12/04/2019)


MALAYSIA POSTS 5.5% GROWTH IN FEBRUARY MANUFACTURING SALES

Malaysia’s manufacturing sales rose 5.5% in February 2019 to RM65.8 billion, versus RM62.3 billion in February 2018. The Department of Statistics Malaysia indicated that the increase was driven by growth registered in transport equipment and other manufactures products (9.1%); electrical and electronics products (5.7%); and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (4.8%).

(The Sun, 12/04/2019)


SINGAPORE FIRM HAD OFFERED 100% HIGHER PRICE FOR BOUSTEAD’S HOTEL

The price offered by Singapore’s Hotel Royal Ltd to acquire the Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang Hotel is almost twice the price quoted by Malaysian companies. The proposed sale of the hotel to Hotel Royal by Boustead Holdings Bhd for RM197 million was done properly via an open tender and in accordance with the relevant rules. However, the final decision will be made by the Economic Planning Unit.

(The Edge Property, 10/04/2019)


SUNWAY REIT GETS NOD FOR RM550 MILLION SUNWAY UNIVERSITY LAND BUY

Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (Sunway REIT) has received the green light from shareholders for its proposal to acquire three tracts of land which houses Sunway College and Sunway University, for RM550 million. Upon completion of the acquisition, the portfolio size of Sunway REIT will increase from circa RM7.3 billion as at June 30, 2018, to RM7.8 billion.

(The Edge Financial, 09/04/2019)


KPJ TAWAKKAL ALLOCATES RM200 MILLION FOR NEW TOWER BLOCK

KPJ Tawakkal Specialist Hospital (TSH) has set aside RM200 million for the construction of its new tower block, which upon completion will add 120 beds to the hospital and boost earnings. KPJ TSH’s bed capacity currently stands at 200 beds and construction of the new block was scheduled to begin by the end of 2019.

(The Sun & NST, 10/04/2019)


LYF RAJA CHULAN TO OPEN IN KL IN 2020

The Ascott Ltd (Ascott), CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, is bringing its co-living “lyf” brand to Kuala Lumpur to ride on the growing community living culture among “millennials”. Situated along Jalan Raja Chulan, the co-living property is scheduled to open in 2020.

(The Edge Financial, 12/04/2019)


SNAPSHOTS OF THE AUCTION PROPERTY MARKET IN 2018

In 2016, there were 26,101 property auction cases worth RM9.836 billion, which was a 9.2%, decline from 28,750 cases, with a total reserve value of RM7.632 billion in 2015. However, the number of auction properties spiked to 32,611 properties with a total reserve value of RM15.56 billion in 2018. The number of foreclosure properties in 2018 increased by 15.4% in volume and 27.6% in value, from 28,262 cases worth RM12.2 billion in 2017. Malaysia’s Central region, comprising the states of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Negeri Sembilan, accumulated 17,712 foreclosure cases (reserve value of about RM9.7 billion), making it the region that contributed 54% of foreclosure cases in the country. The Northern region (Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak) had 6,860 cases worth RM1.9 billion while the Southern region (Johor and Melaka) saw 4,444 foreclosure cases valued at RM2.3 billion. Circa half (51%) of the foreclosed residential properties were landed houses (of which circa 80% were terraced houses) with a total reserve value of RM6.2 billion.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


BOOST EXPECTS GTV TO GROW 30 TIMES

Boost, the electronic wallet application (e-wallet) developed by Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd, is targeting a 30 time growth of its Gross Transaction Value (GTV) in 2019. Boost also targets to close the year with a total of five million users. In 2018, Boost grew its user-base by nearly six times and today has 3.9 million registered users. Moving ahead, Boost foresees that the market may move towards a consolidation to between three and five main players in the next two to three years.

(NST, 08/04/2019)


LAUNCH FOR CYBERJAYA DATA CENTRE

Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is set to launch the TM One twin-core Klang Valley Data Centre in Cyberjaya by the end of April 2019. With a gross floor area of 400,000 sq. ft., the data centre is the second of two major facilities planned by TM to meet the anticipated demand for growth driven by data and hosting technologies.

(NST, 10/04/2019)


GETS GLOBAL-KPIT TO SET UP E-MOBILITY HUB

Gets Global Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s KPIT Technologies Ltd to establish an e-mobility centre. Gets Global will provide its marketing expertise for the Joint Venture (JV) and bidding for the identified projects within the Southeast Asian region.

(The Sun, 10/04/2019)


SINGAPORE DROPS ILS PROCEDURES FOR SELETAR, MALAYSIA SUSPENDS RA OVER PASIR GUDANG

Malaysia and Singapore have agreed that in the spirit of bilateral cooperation, Singapore will withdraw the Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for Seletar Airport while Malaysia will indefinitely suspend its permanent Restricted Area (RA) over Pasir Gudang. With this agreement, both countries look forward to FlyFireFly Sdn Bhd’s (Firefly) commencement of flights to Seletar Airport effective April 2019.

(The Edge Property, 06/04/2019)


MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE TO SUSPEND BORDER RAIL LINK

Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to suspend the Rapid Transit System (RTS) linking Johor Bahru and the island republic for a six-month period. The suspension of the RTS project is for both countries to review the scope and costs on how to do it more efficiently and to lower the fare. The RTS will link Johor Bahru with the Woodlands North station on Singapore’s Thomson-East Coast mass rapid transit line. It was originally targeted for completion by the end of 2024, but is currently behind schedule following several postponements at Malaysia’s request.

(The Edge Financial, 09/04/2019)


HYPERMARKET OPENS SECOND OUTLET IN STATE

NSK Holdings Sdn Bhd plans to open more hypermarkets in Johor as the state offers good growth prospects and business opportunities. The company had identified several locations suitable for its hypermarkets in order to reach out to more customers in Johor. Located on Jalan Johor Baru-Kota Tinggi, the company’s second NSK hypermarket in Ulu Tiram, Johor, is officially opened for public accessibility. Its first outlet in Johor, NSK Pandan, was opened on January 13, 2019 and is located approximately 10km from the newly opened hypermarket.

(The Star, 09/04/2019)


KOHLER OPENS FIRST JOHOR BARU SHOWROOM

Kohler (American manufacturer of bath and kitchen products) is further expanding its presence in Malaysia with the official launch of its first showroom in Johor Bahru. The brand is expanding its distribution footprint while driving the kitchen and bathroom industry in Malaysia.

(NST, 09/04/2019)


JOHOR WANTS 16.6 MILLION VISITORS IN 2019

Johor aims to attract at least 16.6 million visitors by the end of 2019. In 2018, Johor recorded 15.84 million visitors, an increase of 1.4 million people compared with 14.44 million tourist arrivals in 2017. The Johor State Government also targets an increase in the number of visitors who stayed at least one night, to 8.4 million visitors. The government is expects to have 17.4 million visitors within the state in 2020, following Johor’s move to host the Malaysia Games and Visit Johor Year 2020.

(The Star, 06/04/2019)


PENANG AIMS TO MAINTAIN FDI FLOWS IN 2019

For 2019, Penang hopes to attract the same amount of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from 2018’s figure of RM5.8 billion, despite external challenges of a cyclical downturn in the electronics world and looming ill effects from the US-China trade war. In 2017, it was a record setting achievement when RM10.8 billion worth of net investments were recorded, inclusive of private investments. Cumulatively over the last 10 years, Penang received RM58 billion in FDIs.

(The Sun, 09/04/2019)


PENANG’S PIL AND LRT TO GO AHEAD

Construction of the RM9 billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) line and the RM9.6 billion Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) are scheduled to commence in June 2020. The PIL has received approvals from the Department of Environment in March 2019 while the LRT is expected to receive conditional approval from the Transport Ministry in May 2019. Both mega projects will be tendered to local and international companies at the end of 2019.

(The Star, 08/04/2019)


E&O CONSTRUCTING FIRST BRIDGE TO STP2

Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) is currently constructing the first linked bridge from Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 1 (STP1) to Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2A (STP2A). Spanning circa 400m in length, the bridge will also provide up to five metres of designated pedestrian walkway and bicycle lanes on both sides. Construction of the first STP2 bridge began in June 2018. With piling works currently ongoing, it is scheduled for completion by 1Q21. When completed, the bridge will accommodate four traffic lanes of two-way traffic, connecting the road adjacent to Straits Quay in STP1 to STP2A.

(The Edge Property, 11/04/2019)


TAMBUN INDAH UNIT TO ACQUIRE PENANG LAND

Tambun Indah Land Bhd’s 70%-owned unit Mustiara Sdn Bhd has proposed to buy 27 parcels of freehold land measuring 209.54-acres in the South Seberang Perai District, Penang, from TPPT Sdn Bhd, for RM131 million.

(The Edge Financial, The Sun, NST & The Star, 10/04/2019)


RM316.9 MILLION ALLOCATION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF RURAL ROADS IN SABAH

In 2019, the Rural Development Ministry is committed in further strengthening Sabah’s rural transport network via the implementation of 81 rural road construction projects involving an allocation of RM316.9 million. Three rural road construction projects have been completed, 30 projects were under construction, while the rest were in various stages of implementation. As many as 44 social amenity programmes would also be implemented including upgrading and repairing of mosques and suraus, multipurpose halls, bridges and drainage systems in the rural areas of Sabah, which involves an allocation of RM6.47 million.

(The Edge Financial, 08/04/2019)


PUTRAJAYA TO TAKE OVER PAN BORNEO SABAH HIGHWAY

The Sabah portion of the Pan Borneo Highway will be under the purview of the Ministry of Works. However, details on the Sarawak portion are unavailable. As at March 27, 2019, the Sarawak portion of the highway was 38% complete, with an original deadline set for June 30, 2021, whereas the Sabah portion is currently 12% complete with the deadline set for December 31, 2021.

(The Edge Financial, 10/04/2019)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton