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MALAYSIA’S ECONOMY AT A NEW HEIGHT IN 2018

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, Malaysia’s economy reached a new height of RM1.45 trillion in 2018 (at current prices), after a rebasing exercise from base year 2010, to 2015. Consequently, the Gross National Income per capita stood at RM43,086 in 2018.

(The Edge Financial, 07/05/2019)


BNM CUTS OPR RATE TO 3%, FIRST REVISION IN OVER A YEAR

Bank Negara Malaysia has reduced the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3%, which is the first cut in three years, as economic conditions continue to moderate. The central bank correspondingly set the ceiling and floor rates of the corridor for the OPR to 3.25% and 2.75%, respectively.

(The Edge Property, 07/05/2019 & NST, 08/05/2019)


FACELIFT BOOST FOR OLD HOUSING SCHEMES

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia is committed in providing improved living standards for those residing in old housing schemes. One of the plans is to redevelop housing schemes over 30 years old, particularly for high-rise residential properties. Most of these units are small, whereby some merely offer either one or two rooms. Under the National Housing Policy 2.0, the minimum requirement for an affordable housing unit would be three rooms and two bathrooms, with a built-up size of 900 sq. ft. To better protect strata property owners and occupants, the ministry was working on reforming the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) and Strata Management Act. This would include better monitoring of the buildings’ condition and maintenance.

(NST, 04/05/2019)


KL STILL 4TH CHEAPEST IN BUILDING COST

Kuala Lumpur stands as the fourth cheapest city in terms of construction cost, according to the “International Construction Costs 2019” report published by Arcadis (the global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets). The survey depicted that Kuala Lumpur remained as one of the least expensive cities for construction compared with 2018, where it was ranked 47th.

(NST, 09/05/2019)


65.2 ACRES OF TAMAN TUGU LAND TO BE HANDED OVER TO AWAN

The Malaysian Government has agreed to the handing over of 65.2 acres of land at Taman Tugu worth circa RM1.87 billion to the National Heritage Trust (AWAN), for the purpose of conserving them as “green lungs”. The area will be gazetted as a rainforest park and is aimed at preserving Taman Tugu as a tropical forest area. AWAN is a special body established to manage and protect Taman Tugu, and when the land is surrendered to the trust agency, this would mean that this piece of land cannot be sold, developed or mortgaged. Circa 33.6 acres of land in close proximity to Taman Tugu is being maintained as a green area, which translates into the entire green lung project spanning 98.8 acres.

(The Edge Property, 09/05/2019)


GOVERNMENT PLANS HOUSING SCHEME FOR ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FRATERNITY

The Malaysian Government plans to introduce a special housing scheme for members of the arts, cultural and entertainment fraternity. To be known as the “Seni Harapan Community Housing”, individuals eligible include those in film and television industry. The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will cooperate with the Housing and Local Government to ensure that this project “takes off”, in order to ensure that the social and economic welfare of those from the arts, culture and entertainment industry are not neglected during their senior and twilight years.

(The Edge Property, 09/05/2019)


PUTRAJAYA ‘QUITE RECEPTIVE’ TOWARDS MRT3 PROPOSAL AFTER REDUCED COST

Putrajaya and Gamuda Bhd are understood to have been in talks about reviving the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), by halving the MRT3’s earlier cost of RM45 billion, which translates into a reduction of approximately RM22.5 billion. The 40km MRT3 was originally planned to pass through Kerinchi, Jalan Duta, Setiawangsa, Salak Selatan, Pandan Indah and Bandar Malaysia, via underground rail tracks.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


WCE UNLIKELY TO BE READY IN TIME FOR HARI RAYA

The 233km West Coast Expressway (WCE) is unlikely to be ready for use during Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2019. The Malaysian Highway Authority is working hard to ensure four packages involving three in Perak and one in Selangor could soon be accessed by the public. The three packages in Perak are the Hutan Melintang-Teluk Intan (19.1km) line, Lekir-Changkat Chermin (28km) line and Changkat Chermin-Beruas (16.6km) line.

(The Sun, 09/05/2019)


MRL TO WORK ON NEW EIA FOR ECRL IN 3Q19

Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) is expected to work on a new feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the 640km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) in 3Q19, as the entire rail alignment will be detailed out by then. Regarding the EIA, MRL highlighted that renegotiations were conducted on the premise that the original engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning agreement was still in place.

(The Edge Property, 09/05/2019)


GOVERNMENT HIRES CONSULTANTS TO REVISE HSR PROJECT

MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian project delivery vehicle of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project (KL-Singapore HSR), called for a tender to appoint a Commercial Advisory Consultant (CAC) for the project review exercise. The appointed consultant will be required to develop a new business model that will enable optimal project life-cycle cost, provide updated ridership forecasts and an assessment on the benefits that the rail project will bring to the country. MyHSR Corp had previously called for a tender to appoint the Technical Advisory Consultant (TAC) in April to assist in technical matters. The CAC tender that MyHSR is launching, now looks into addressing the commercial aspects of the project. With the appointment of both the TAC and the CAC, a comprehensive project review exercise will be completed, whereby a report will then be prepared and submitted to the government, prior to the end of the suspension period in May 2020.

(The Star & The Edge Financial, 10/05/2019)


MMC CORP SUBMITTED REVISED PROPOSAL ON MRT3 AT THE END OF 2018

MMC Corp Bhd had submitted a proposal to revise the Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3), which is also known as the Circle Line, to the Malaysian Government at the end of 2018. The proposal provided an alternative for reducing the project cost, which was at RM45 billion under the original plan. Priority for the proposal plan of the MRT3 will be given to high-density places.

(The Edge Property, 09/05/2019 & The Sun, 10/05/2019)


BICYCLE LANE LINKING SETAPAK TO KAMPUNG BARU READY BY 2020

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) expects the bicycle lane linking Taman Melati in Setapak to Kampung Baru to be completed by 2020. DBKL, along with cooperation from the Drainage and Irrigation Department, had also planned for the Sungai Bunus Park to be part of Taman Titiwangsa, which will then be directly connected to the Taman Kejiranan Hot Spring in Setapak.

(The Star, 10/05/2019)


INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE TO IRON OUT DETAILS WITH IWH-CREC OVER BANDAR MALAYSIA

Putrajaya has appointed an independent committee to “help iron out” details in the RM7.41 billion acquisition of 60% of the “Bandar Malaysia” project by IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd. Bandar Malaysia is expected to draw-in major international financial institutions, multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies, to locate their regional headquarters within Bandar Malaysia. Also planned for is the construction of a “People’s Park” and 10,000 affordable homes within the mega project.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


SALCON’S UNIT SECURES CONSTRUCTION SUB-CONTRACT WORTH RM18.33 MILLION

Salcon Bhd’s unit has secured a sub-contract worth RM18.33 million from PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd. Slated for completion by October 31, 2019, the sub-contract is for the construction and completion of mechanical and electrical works, relocation of existing utilities, and trunk sewer diversion at PNB Merdeka Venture’s construction of the Jalan Belfield Tunnel.

(The Edge Property, 07/05/2019)


GADANG PROPOSES PRIVATE PLACEMENT TO RAISE RM62 MILLION

Gadang Holdings Bhd has proposed to undertake a private placement of new ordinary shares, to raise up to RM62.12 million in construction project expenditure and the repayment of bank borrowings. The group has currently identified three ongoing projects that will be funded from the proceeds, which will include the construction and completion of a viaduct guideway and other associated works from Serdang Raya to Universiti Putra Malaysia, the designing and building of a 288-bed capacity Cyberjaya Hospital, and works for traffic dispersion and improvements along Jalan Tun Razak and its vicinity.

(The Star, 09/05/2019)


SIN HENG CHAN TO SELL MELAKA LAND FOR RM14.4 MILLION

Sin Heng Chan (Malaya) Bhd (SHC) is selling a 5.9 acre leasehold land in Melaka to Sumber Setiamas Sdn Bhd, for RM14.39 million. The land can only be used for commercial building purposes and cannot be transferred or leased without approval from the Melaka authorities.

(The Edge Property, 09/05/2019)


MORE HOMES FOR M40: PR1MA

Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA) is undertaking a transformation exercise to better fulfil its mandate and to consequently adapt to market conditions in order to ensure that the organisation is better aligned with the Malaysian Government’s national housing agenda. Currently, the government entity is undergoing a due diligence process that is expected to conclude in June 2019. PR1MA commended the government’s decision to continue with the housing programme in achieving its main objective, which is to build quality homes in urban and suburban areas and making them affordable to the “rakyat”, particularly in terms of the middle-income (M40) group.

(The Sun, The Star & The Edge Financial, 09/05/2019)


OVERWHELMING RESPONSE FOR FIRST PHASE OF ‘REEF OF TROPIC’ BY SP SETIA

SP Setia’s “Reef of Tropic” (Phase C1) in Setia Eco Glades, Cyberjaya, registered a 100% sales rate at its launch. The freehold double-storey link homes collection which comprises 152 units, is targeted to be completed by the middle of 2022. Ranging from 1,770 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. in size, each 20’ x 70’ unit of Phase C1 offers an evergreen modern tropical design with fully extended layouts and a further 20’ landscaped back lane.

(StarProperty, 08/05/2019)


LUXURA LINK VILLAS UP NEXT

Gamuda Land will launch the final phase of landed residences in “twentyfive.7” in May 2019. Luxura’s two and three-storey link villas feature five layout types with built ups ranging between 2,605 sq. ft. and 3,466 sq. ft. The final phase sits on 36.52 acres of land and will comprise 315 units.

(The Star, 08/05/2019)


PARKCITY, CAPITALAND TO LAUNCH FIRST JV PROJECT AT DESA PARKCITY

ParkCity Property Holdings Sdn Bhd and CapitaLand Ltd are set to launch their first Joint Venture (JV) development, “Park Regent” (a premium condominium project), at Desa ParkCity. Set to be launched in 3Q19, the 5.6-acre project will have 505 units across two towers.

(The Edge Financial, 08/05/2019)


INTA BINA SECURES RM178.2 MILLION SERVICED APARTMENT JOB

Inta Bina Group Bhd has secured a contract from Southville City Sdn Bhd, to construct two blocks of serviced apartments for RM178.2 million. Phase 1 comprises 329 units of serviced apartments and 148 units of affordable serviced apartments, whereas Phase 2 comprises 488 units of serviced apartments. The completion period for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project will be 30 and 31 months respectively, from the date of commencement.

(The Edge Financial, The Sun & The Star, 09/05/2019)


YFG SECURES RM21M JOB

YFG Bhd has secured a RM20.84 million contract from O&C Construction Sdn Bhd to undertake mechanical and electrical works for the construction of a 41-storey office suite building in Bandar Sunway, Selangor. The project is slated for completion within 36 months.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


TOWER REIT OFFERS CO-WORKING AND CO-LIVING SPACES

Tower Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is “reinventing” itself via co-working and co-living spaces. The HLX (Malaysia’s first innovation exchange) will be a one-stop facility that integrates corporate and tech start-up communities under one roof. The makeover of Menara HLA, to include the HLX, involves redeveloping 250,000 sq. ft. (63% of the building’s total 400,000 sq. ft. of net lettable area) in two phases. The first phase will be ready by the end of 2019 while the second phase will be completed by December 2020. Tower REIT is partnering with AltSpace by Lyfz Co-Living, to operate co-living spaces at the HLX.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


MCDONALD’S TARGETS RM3 BILLION SALES IN 2019

McDonald’s Malaysia is targeting RM3 billion sales in 2019 after recording a 19% y-o-y growth in 2018. The company aims to open 170 more restaurants by 2025, remodel 200 existing restaurants and generate 10,000 new jobs. It also plans to open 20 new drive-thru restaurants in 2019 to complement the 167 existing drive-thru restaurants. There are currently 278 McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia, serving 13.5 million customers each month.

(NST, 04/05/2019)


7-ELEVEN MALAYSIA: PARCEL SERVICES NEXT

7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, which opened its 2,323rd store in Plaza Arkadia, Desa ParkCity, is looking at introducing “Razer Parcel Plus” services in 7-Eleven stores, as its next available in-store service. The Razer Parcel Plus service is currently in its trial stages at about five of its stores, whereby customers can have their parcels delivered to their nearest 7-Eleven stores.

(The Sun, 09/05/2019)


INDOOR PLAYLAND IN BANGSAR REOPENS AFTER RENOVATION

Jungle Gym (Kids Adventure Playland) in Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur, has undergone expansion over the past few months from 6,000 sq. ft. to 23,830 sq. ft., in order to cater to the rising number of visitors. One of the major changes was the conversion of the skating rink into an event space. The site has the capacity to accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 380 people. The in-house restaurant, “Food Tree”, will open its doors to diners for the first time, offering a selection of dim sum.

(The Star, 08/05/2019)


GAMUDA LAND TIES UP WITH 8 FIRMS

Gamuda Land Bhd has roped in eight local and foreign companies to bring-in an array of facilities to the Gamuda Gardens Township. They include New Zealand-based Skyline Enterprises, which will build Malaysia’s first “Skyline Luge” attraction at the RM10.1 billion in gross development value township. The other seven are Arena Legacy, Ecocana Sports, Wedding by Emma, 7-Eleven, Mr DIY, Petron and Beaconhouse (offers pre-school and secondary school education). The world-class “Skyline Luge” facility will be built on a 322,917 sq. ft. hill site overlooking Gamuda Gardens’ panoramic greenery, five cascading lakes and two waterfalls, while offering adventure rides in the sky (the Skyline Zoom Ziplines).

Slated to be completed within 15 years to 20 years, the Gamuda Gardens City Centre will boast a one million sq. ft. regional retail mall with entertainment elements, healthcare and wellness places, learning institutions, events grounds, cinemas and Food and Beverage offerings. With a land size of 810 acres, Gamuda Gardens will comprise link houses, linked villas, semi-detached houses, bungalows and serviced apartments, with commercial retail and corporate offices.

(NST & The Star, 04/05/2019)


KLK LAND LAUNCHES CLUBHOUSE, SALES GALLERY

KLK Land Sdn Bhd has launched the Bandar Seri Coalfields residents’ clubhouse (BSC Clubhouse) and sales gallery. Located on a 2.5 acre site within the 1,001 acre Bandar Seri Coalfields integrated township, the BSC Clubhouse is designed to enhance amenities and promote a healthy lifestyle for the community in Bandar Seri Coalfields, while the KLK Land Sales Gallery aims to better serve its customers’ needs. KLK Land is also expected to launch the next project at “North Haven Coalfields” in 2H19, with “Hampton Residences” currently open for registration.

(StarProperty, 06/05/2019 & NST, 07/05/2019)


SKYWORLD SEEKS MORE LAND IN KL

SkyWorld Development Group, which is acquiring a 13.6 acre site in Setiawangsa for RM176 million from Kuala Lumpur City Hall, is looking to buy more land in the capital city. SkyWorld is planning to undertake an integrated development dubbed “SkySierra” in Setiawangsa. With a total land area of 4.7 acres, the first phase (The Valleys) will feature three residential towers: Tower A (48 storeys), Tower B (43 storeys) and Tower C (54 storeys). Slated to be launched by the end of 2019, the three towers will offer a total of 1,309 units with prices starting from RM450,000 and built-ups ranging from 800 sq. ft. to 1,318 sq. ft.

(NST, 09/05/2019)


LBS SEES GROWTH POTENTIAL IN DORMITORY TOWN

LBS Bina Group Bhd plans to launch Phase 3 of the “Kita @ Cybersouth” development in Dengkil. Dubbed “Kita Harmoni”, the project comprises 674 double-storey terraced houses priced from RM560,000. Set to be launched in May 2019, “Kita Impian” offers 964 serviced apartment units priced from RM250,000, with built-ups ranging between 551 sq. ft. and 901 sq. ft., and seven units of shops priced from RM400,000.

(NST, 09/05/2019)


ALIPAY: CHINA TOURISTS SPEND MORE IN MALAYSIA

Malaysia is the seventh largest market worldwide for Chinese tourist overseas spending, moving up from ninth place y-o-y. Malaysia has now overtaken Singapore for the first time since the inception of Alipay in May 2017. Other than that, coffee shop chains alongside personal care and beauty chains had experienced a surge in transactions.

(NST, 09/05/2019)


AVILLION POISED TO EXPAND CHAIN OF OPS

Avillion Bhd is unfazed by the current market condition and is looking to acquire several hotels and resorts in key tourism markets such as Langkawi and Sabah. Future plans of the company include the setting up of hotels and resorts and managing properties for third parties within the region.

(NST, 09/05/2019)


ASCOTT AIMS TO BE LARGEST HOSPITALITY COMPANY IN MALAYSIA

The Ascott Ltd is striving to become the largest hospitality management company in Malaysia. Currently, it is the largest international serviced residence operator in Malaysia, with a total of 4,102 serviced apartment units across 18 properties in the country. The group is planning to expand in Malaysia with new hotel brands under TAUZIA Hotel Management, which were recently acquired. There are six hotel brands under TAUZIA, which include Harris Hotels, Fox Harris Hotels, Yello Hotels, Préférence, Harris Vertu Hotels and POP! Hotels. Luxury boutique hotel “Liu Men Melaka” had its soft-opening in March 2019, and is under the Préférence brand. Ascott will be expanding the Préférence brand hotels while bringing other TAUZIA brands into Malaysia.

(The Edge Financial, 10/05/2019)


WORLD’S FIRST HASBRO-THEMED WATER PARK TO OPEN IN MELAKA

Meridian Bhd is planning to team up with M101 Holdings Sdn Bhd (which has signed a licensing agreement with US-based toy and board game company, Hasbro Inc) to open the world’s first Hasbro-themed water park in Melaka. Set to open in 2022, the water park occupying 15 acres of the 622-acre Malaysia Tourism City in Kota Linggi, features licensed intellectual properties such as My Little Pony, Nerf and GI Joe.

(The Edge Financial, 07/05/2019)


LITTLE IMPACT ON PROPERTY SECTOR

The latest overnight policy rate cut is expected to have a negligible impact on the Malaysian property sector, in light of muted gross development product growth. Homebuyers’ purchasing power will likely increase in tandem, but the upside is expected to be limited, especially for properties within the affordable range of RM300,000 to RM500,000. The sensitivity analysis shows that every 25-basis-point cut in the borrowing rate will reduce the monthly housing loan instalment by merely RM32 to RM69, or raise a buyer’s eligible loan amount by RM3,000 to RM15,000.

(The Star, 09/05/2019)


IDLE GOVERNMENT LAND CAN BE USED FOR AGRICULTURE

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry Malaysia will study methods on how to provide opportunities for farmers and smallholders to utilise idle government lands that are not earmarked for development purposes, in order to increase their income, and the country’s crop yields.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


CAGAMAS TO HELP LOWER M40 GROUP TO OWN HOUSES

Cagamas Holdings Bhd is exploring new business initiatives to help those in the lower Middle 40% group with good credit standing but without sufficient savings, to own houses. One of the initiatives includes addressing the gap affecting such groups.

(The Star, 04/05/2019)


MALAYSIA IS NO. 1 IN SOUTHEAST ASIA – ON PROPERTY OBSESSION

Malaysia has topped the list as the most property-obsessed country in Southeast Asia. Globally, the country is fourth, behind UAE, USA and Taiwan. The findings were derived from an online survey by HSBC, which finds that Malaysians spend an average of 4.37 hours viewing properties, which is way longer than working out at the gym (1 hour), reading books (1.95 hours) or reading/watching the news (2.27 hours). Almost half (46%) of Malaysians have also cut back on bigger expenditures such as cars, holidays and luxury items, in order to be a property proprietor. Meanwhile, the survey also showed that on a global scale, the decision to buy is often impulsive, with 38% of individuals making property based decisions purely on their first impression.

(The Edge Property, 07/05/2019)


CHEAPER TO MOVE TO SEBERANG PERAI

Relocating the Penang administrative centre from the island to the mainland is the preferable choice over spending RM46 billion on the Penang Transport Master Plan to ease traffic congestion. Moving the seat of the State Government to Seberang Perai would go a long way towards alleviating traffic on the island.

(The Sun, 10/05/2019)


TT VISION SETS ASIDE RM4 MILLION CAPEX

In 2019, TT Vision Holdings Bhd has allocated RM4 million in capital expenditure (capex) to expand its plant on a 2 acre plot at the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone in Penang. Slated to be fully commissioned by 3Q19, the expansion will increase the plant’s total floor space from 22,000 sq. ft. to 53,000 sq. ft., and boost operational capacities.

(NST & The Star, 10/05/2019)


KEN HOLDINGS MULLING PLANS TO BUILD RESORT VILLAS IN PENANG

Ken Holdings Bhd is looking into building resort villas on its two-acre beachfront land in Batu Ferringhi, Penang. The resort would likely comprise villas with private pools, which slightly differs from most hotel concepts in Batu Ferringhi. The timeline is still being finalised but the main aim is to assist the group with its recurring income growth.

(The Edge Property, 04/05/2019)


DEWAN SRI PINANG TO BE PENANG’S ‘SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE’

Dewan Sri Pinang, a civic centre established since 1972 at the north seafront of the World Heritage Site in Penang, is set to become an international icon for arts and culture for Penang. In order to achieve similar international standards as the Sydney Opera House and London’s Royal Albert Hall, the function and purpose of Dewan Sri Pinang would be enhanced via building upgrades.

(The Edge Financial, 07/05/2019)


CONSTRUCTION OF HYATT CENTRIC HOTEL TO SPUR SABAH’S ECONOMY

The construction of a Hyatt Centric hotel in the city centre of Sabah is optimistically expected to boost Sabah’s economy. The Hyatt Centric hotel is being built by Hyatt Group and Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd Group, at a cost of RM270 million. Set to be completed with operations commencing in 2021, the 22-storey hotel comprises 220 rooms, which will function as the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Malaysia.

(The Edge Property, 06/05/2019)


ELECTRONICS BRAND EXPANDS TO SIBU

LG Electronics has launched its first shop in Sibu, which houses a wide variety of home entertainment and home appliance products. Reinforcing its motto of “Creating a Better Life”, this marks LG’s 33rd brand shop in Malaysia.

(The Star, 07/05/2019)


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Jones Lang Wootton