GOVT UNVEILS RM15 BILLION PERMAI STIMULUS PACKAGE FOR MCO 2.0

The government has unveiled PERMAI, its fifth economic stimulus package to date, worth RM15 billion spread over 22 initiatives aimed at combating the Covid-19 outbreak, safeguarding the welfare of the people and supporting business continuity following the implementation of the second Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0). The government has provided an additional allocation of RM1 billion for supplies, including additional reagents, screening kits and personal protective equipment, of which RM800 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Health. The balance will be allocated to the National Security Council and other relevant agencies.

The government will also recruit an additional 3,500 healthcare personnel (comprising assistant medical officers, paramedics, laboratory technicians and nurses) with an additional allocation of RM150 million. Besides that, Putrajaya will allocate RM100 million to enhance the cooperation between the public and private sectors in combating Covid-19. Private hospitals have agreed to receive and treat both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients to alleviate the strain on the public healthcare system. In terms of screening, the government has expanded the tax relief relating to full health screening expenses to include expenses for Covid-19 screening. A RM25 million allocation will be made under the government-linked investment company/government-linked company Disaster Relief Network programme for matching grants with government-linked companies for social initiatives. This includes the provision of community assistance to the elderly, homeless, the disabled and flood victims.

Regarding the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)’s i-Sinar facility, the prime minister announced several enhancements including the provision of an advance of up to RM1,000 from the amount applied under the i-Sinar Category 2 facility. The withdrawal process under Category 2 has also been simplified as members only need to provide a self-declaration that they meet the prescribed criteria and submit supporting documents online.

Meanwhile, the special tax relief of up to RM2,500 on the purchase of mobile phones, computers and tablets, which expired on Dec 31, 2020, will be extended until the end of 2021. PTPTN borrowers affected by the pandemic or the floods can apply for a three-month PTPTN loan repayment moratorium, with applications to be made up to 31 March 2021. The Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 under SOCSO will be enhanced, with all employers in MCO states now eligible to apply, irrespective of sector. Eligible employers will receive a wage subsidy of RM600 for each of their employees earning less than RM4,000. The wage subsidy limit of 200 employees per employer will also be increased to 500 employees. The initiative involves an additional allocation of RM1 billion, targeted to benefit 250,000 businesses employing more than 2.6 million workers. For those who had lost their jobs during the MCO period, the government has agreed to relax the conditions for the Employment Insurance System (EIS) programme.  Those who do not meet the minimum contribution conditions or those whose contracts were not extended after having been renewed for at least three times previously are now eligible to apply for the EIS assistance at a rate of 30% of their monthly salary for a period of three months. For SMEs, the government will be expanding the Prihatin Special Grant Plus assistance to cover 500,000 SMEs in the seven MCO States with a payment of RM1,000 each, while 300,000 SMEs in other States will receive RM500 each.

For taxi and bus drivers, a one-off assistance of RM500 was announced for 14,000 tourist guides and 118,000 taxi, school bus, tour bus, rental car and e-hailing drivers. To assist the cash flow of micro-enterprises and SMEs, the government will also expedite the implementation of microcredit schemes including soft loans amounting to RM390 million by Bank Simpanan Nasional, RM350 million by Agrobank and RM295 million by TEKUN.

The Danajamin PRIHATIN Guarantee Scheme will be enhanced, with the maximum financing limit of RM500 million to be increased to RM1 billion and the scope of financing to include working capital with a guarantee period of up to 10 years. The scheme is also now open to foreign-owned companies operating in Malaysia as long as Malaysians make up at least 75% of their workforce. The special tax deduction given to companies that provide at least a 30% reduction of rental on business premises to SMEs will also be expanded to include non-SMEs and extended until June 2021. The Human Resources Development Fund will also exempt the employer levy for companies that are unable to operate during the MCO and CMCO periods.

For business in hotels, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices and travel and tour agencies, the government has agreed to provide a special 10% discount on electricity bills. Electricity rebates will also be given to all TNB users, domestic and non-domestic, at a rate of two sen per kilowatt-hour, equivalent to a reduction of up to 9% for a period of six months from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021. There will also be an extension of the effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations under the Covid Act from 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.

(The Edge, The Sun, NST & The Star, 19/01/2021)


KRC ATTRACTS RM2.1 BILLION INVESTMENTS FROM LOCAL RUBBER INDUSTRY PLAYERS

The high-impact Kedah Rubber City (KRC) project in Padang Terap has thus far attracted potential investments of more than RM2.1 billion with more than 5,000 jobs generated by local rubber industry players. Buoyed by the attractive and comprehensive fiscal incentive package, industry players had given their commitment to be part of the project which is expected to start operating in 2Q22. KRC, spanning ​​1,243 acres in Padang Terap, is the first national status rubber industrial park project in Malaysia undertaken by the State government in collaboration with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA).

(NST & The Sun, 19/01/2021)


BNM KEEPS OPR AT 1.75% AMID CONTINUED RECOVERY OF GLOBAL ECONOMY

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 1.75% following the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, as it sees continued recovery in the global economy, although downside risks remain amid uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

(The Edge, 21/01/2021)


COVID-19: BNM SAYS BORROWERS CAN REQUEST LOAN-REPAYMENT MORATORIUM, CCRIS REPORT WON’T BE AFFECTED

Subsequent to the Malaysian Prime Minister’s RM15 billion economic stimulus package announcement, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) denoted that loan takers may request a repayment moratorium and that their Central Credit Reference Information System report will not be affected at a time when the nation contends with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

(The Edge, 19/01/2021)


CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PLANS TO ‘REVIVE’ MEGA PJ HIGHWAY PROJECT

PJD Link (M), has plans to revive a multi-billion-ringgit highway project across Petaling Jaya, Selangor, which was scrapped six years ago by the former Menteri Besar of Selangor. The Petaling Jaya Dispersal Link (PJD Link) follows a similar route as the controversial RM2.4 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project. Kidex was cancelled back in 2015 when the developer failed to submit a traffic impact assessment, social impact assessment and environmental impact assessment by the required deadline. The alignment is still subject to change based on ongoing engagement with related government authorities and stakeholders. The 34.3km four-lane elevated PJD Link is expected to cut travel time between Bandar Utama and Kinrara to 15 minutes, compared with approximately an hour by car.

(The Edge, 16/01/2021)


TROPICANA 100 CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED ONLINE

Tropicana Corp Bhd has launched the Tropicana 100 campaign for buyers to purchase their dream property from 20 January 2021 to 30 April 2021. The campaign offers 100% returns on booking fees, interest-free flexibility, legal fees borne, furnishing, financing as well as additional referral rewards. The first 100 purchasers will also be rewarded with RM2,000 worth of furnishing vouchers for every RM100,000 in property value. Customers can also choose their preferred property across various townships and developments, with an option of ongoing and completed properties encompassing commercial and residential developments in the Klang Valley, Genting Highlands, Johor and Kota Kinabalu. The Tropicana 100 campaign allows buyers to enjoy enhanced returns and take advantage of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for greater savings, as well as offering double the referral rewards for existing Tropicana buyers who introduce a friend or family member to purchase Tropicana’s properties during this period.

(The Edge, 19/01/2021)


DK-MY PROPERTIES UNVEILS THE SUITE PROJECT

DK-MY Properties Sdn Bhd has unveiled its latest project development called The Suite. The Suite is a freehold, fully furnished and affordable development in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, created for modern-day co-working and co-living environment. The flexible layout at The Suite offers the advantage of having two independent spaces within a single unit whereby one can work smart and live smarter with a home and office address under one roof, coupled with Malaysia’s first 24/7 contactless concierge service Sama+.

(NST, 21/01/2021)


PNB SELLS MENARA MIDF FOR RM140 MILLION

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is reportedly selling the 21-storey Menara MIDF in Jalan Raja Chulan to Singapore-based JD Hospitality Sdn Bhd for approximately RM140 million. The selling price for the tower was estimated at RM875 per sq. ft. when the building was first put up for sale more than 18 months ago. The fund manager had previously confirmed that it was in the midst of a sale process but that it was unable to disclose any details on pricing before completing the deal. It was reported that the new owner might retain the building as an office building but may repurpose it as a hotel at a later stage. The financial services provider is scheduled to vacate the premises and relocate to Malaysia’s tallest tower PNB 118 in 2H22.

The building has a gross floor area of 190,000 sq. ft. and net lettable area of 160,000 sq. ft. The 41-year-old Menara MIDF is located between Menara Affin and Holiday Inn Express in Jalan Raja Chulan. Previously called Kompleks Kewangan, Menara MIDF is a freehold asset, occupying a 36,382 sq. ft parcel. The building has two levels of basement parking with 208 parking bays.

(NST, 17/01/2021)


ECOFIRST TO BUY SUNGAI BULOH LAND FOR RM550 MILLION MIXED DEVELOPMENT

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary Opal Horizon Sdn Bhd, is buying seven parcels of land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor for a combined RM70 million. The land, in which Opal Horizon entered into a conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Radiant Nature Sdn Bhd (RNSB), is intended to be developed into a mix development project with an estimated Gross Development Value of more than RM550 million, which is slated to commence by the end of 2021. The proposed land acquisition has come at an opportune time for the group to increase its landbank within an area currently being developed to incorporate a MRT2 station. The proposed land acquisition is expected to be completed in 3Q21.

(The Edge, 19/01/2021)


SINGAPORE’S OXLEY HOLDINGS TEAMS UP WITH PAVILION TO BUILD OXLEY TOWERS AT KLCC

Singapore-listed Oxley Holdings Ltd has teamed up with property developer Pavilion Group for the development of Oxley Towers in the KLCC area of Kuala Lumpur. Situated close to the Suria KLCC shopping mall and Maxis Tower, Oxley Towers is a freehold property covering a land area of 12,554 sq m. The project, with a Gross Development Value of approximately S$1.1 billion, comprises two hotel towers with residences, an office tower and a retail podium linking all the three towers.

(The Edge, 20/01/2021)


WBG TO DEVELOP PROJECT WORTH RM40 BILLION GDV IN LANGKAWI

Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG), an integrated facility management, property and construction conglomerate, is planning to build a mixed development project in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, with an estimated Gross Development Value of RM40 billion. The project, dubbed Widad@Langkasuka, is expected to be completed within 15 to 20 years. WBG intends to erect a man-made island which will eventually span approximately 1,000 acres or 50% of the entire area, as currently, almost 90% of the 1,979-acre site consists of the ocean. Once completed, Widad@Langkasuka will comprise tourism components such as five and six-star hotels and resorts, an international golf course, an international business and office complex, shopping malls, higher learning institutions, healthcare facilities and luxury residences.

(The Edge, 21/01/2021)


CHB SECURES SUBCONTRACT WORTH RM134.02 MILLION FOR MIXED DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN PERAK

Cymao Holdings Bhd’s (CHB) unit has secured a subcontract worth RM134.02 million for a proposed mixed development project at Wilayah Sungai Kelian Baru, Mukim Batang Padang in Perak. CHB’s wholly owned subsidiary Billion Apex Sdn Bhd (BASB) has accepted a letter of award from HYC Properties Sdn Bhd for site clearance, hoarding and earthworks for the proposed project. The completion date for subcontract works is within 24 months from the commencement date, subject to obtaining requisite approvals from the relevant authorities for the proposed mixed development project.

(The Edge, 21/01/2021)


BINTAI KINDEN VENTURES INTO PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT

Bintai Kinden Corporation Bhd (BKC) is diversifying into the property development and management business to reduce its reliance on the Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) engineering business. Under the plan, the company will undertake two mixed property development and management projects that has healthcare facilities and wellness services, which are known as Holistica Melaka and Holistica Penang. With an estimated Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM558 million, Holistica Melaka is an integrated holistic and wellness themed mixed development project comprising condominium-hotel (condotel), residential condominiums, retirement and lifestyle apartments, wellness club as well as a medical specialist centre, which will be operated and managed by a reputable healthcare operator. Holistica Penang, with an estimated GDV of RM83.7 million, is a lifestyle condotel development project on Penang Development Land. The project features a 21-storey building comprising 98 condotel units.

(NST, The Star, The Sun & The Edge, 22/01/2021)


REHDA: PROPERTY PRICES NOW AT ROCK BOTTOM

The reinstatement of Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) and the surging number of Covid-19 daily new cases might have dampened market sentiment, but industry leaders do not foresee property prices continuing to move downwards as current prices have bottomed. The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) President denoted that current property prices have “hit the rock bottom”.

(The Edge, 20/01/2021)


AT GLOVE BUYS 18 ACRE INDUSTRIAL PLOT FOR RM10.5 MILLION

At Glove Engineering Sdn Bhd has acquired an 18 acre industrial plot in the Larut, Matang and Selama district in Perak from Seacera Porcelain Sdn Bhd for RM10.5 million. Its parent, AT Systematization Bhd (ATS), denoted that the sale and purchase agreement is expected to conclude within 60 days. The acquisition would allow ATS to establish a factory with the same efficiency as its maiden plant in Chemor, Perak. The expansion reflected the company’s ambitions to penetrate the rubber gloves market and be part of the whole ecosystem contributing to the strength and quality of Malaysian-led exports. The new factory will house up to 60 double former lines that can churn out 35,000 pieces of gloves per hour each.

(NST, 18/01/2021)


LOGOS’ FIRST VENTURE IN MALAYSIA TO DELIVER THE LARGEST LOGISTICS HUB IN ASIA

One of Asia Pacific’s leading logistics real estate specialists LOGOS has entered into a joint venture with a local partner to develop a sustainable integrated logistics, warehousing and e-commerce hub on three pieces of land collectively measuring approximately 71 acres in Section 16, Shah Alam, Selangor. The development which will be completed in phases, will consist of a total development area of 745,000 sq. m. and a gross leasable area of approximately 505,000 sq. m. spanning across five warehouse blocks. The multi-storey facility which will be one of the largest one stop logistics hubs in Malaysia upon its completion, is designed with the flexibility to cater to multiple tenants, featuring driveway, ramps and cross-docking features to facilitate logistics efficiencies and effective traffic management. Furthermore, it will also incorporate a drone landing pad, common canteen, workers dormitory, separation between pedestrian and heavy trucks movement and performance-based engineering for fire-fighting system as well as an ideal forklift travel path between dock area and the warehouse depth design.

(The Edge, 20/01/2021)


RIVERSTONE HOLDINGS SUBSIDIARY ACQUIRES LAND IN SELANGOR FOR RM5 MILLION

Riverstone Holdings, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Riverstone Resources, acquired a piece of industrial land at No. 17, Jalan Jasmine 3, Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Beruntung, Selangor, Malaysia for a consideration of RM5 million ($1.6 million). The land measures approximately 72,557 sq. ft. and was purchased to support the expansion of the group’s operations, as well as the expansion of production capacity for cleanroom gloves.

(The Edge, 20/01/2021)


BUDGET HOTELIERS URGE GOVT TO ACT FAST TO HELP TOURISM SECTOR

The Malaysia Budget Hotels Association (MyBHA) demanded that the government acts fast to help its association members, their employees and all tourism players who are hugely impacted by the reinstatement of the Movement Control Order (MCO). Echoing the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’ call earlier this week for “extreme measures” to help industry players, MyBHA suggested that the government introduce an automatic loan moratorium scheme for those affected. It also called on the government to increase the wage subsidy from RM600 to RM1,200 for six months, and for discounts or rebates to be given for utilities, along with special tax incentives.  Many hotels are in the midst of retrenching their employees, as they are worried that they would not be even able to serve the employees salary, pay their rentals, utilities and bank loans.

(The Edge, 16/01/2021)


ROYALE CHULAN BUKIT BINTANG SOLD AT RM177 MILLION, 10% LOWER THAN ORIGINAL PRICE

Singapore-listed Hotel Royal purchased the Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang Hotel Kuala Lumpur at RM177.3 million, 10% lower than the original price tag of RM197 million, according to Hotel Royal’s filing with the Singapore stock exchange.  Owned by Boustead Group, Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang Hotel is located in the Bukit Bintang entertainment zone and has faced increased competition within the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur as well as online platforms such as Airbnb.  The hotel was put up for sale in 2019 as part of the group’s overall plan to return to profitability by way of divesting non-strategic assets.

(The Edge, 19/01/2021)


MOBILUS WELCOMES ARRIVAL OF FIRST AUTOMATED RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM INTO ISKANDAR MALAYSIA

Mobilus Sdn Bhd has welcomed the arrival of the first Automated Rapid Transit (ART) system into Johor, which is set to be the site for a bus pilot-testing programme to be launched in Iskandar Malaysia in 1Q21. Mobilus is a 51:49 joint venture company established between Ireka Corp Bhd and CRRC Urban Traffic Co Ltd, a member of CRRC Group. The planning for the ART Bus Pilot Testing Programme in Iskandar Malaysia, which will showcase seven other bus manufacturers, is well underway after some delays due to the pandemic in 2020 and it is hoped that the project would be running by early 2021. This will be one of the test lines for the larger Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project, a comprehensive transit system for Iskandar Malaysia covering a network of more than 2,000km in Phase 1.

(The Edge, 21/01/2021)


RTS LINK WILL ADD VALUE TO ISKANDAR MALAYSIA PROPERTIES

The Iskandar Malaysia property market will benefit immensely from the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) connecting Johor Baru and Singapore. Connectivity and accessibility between Johor Baru and Singapore will be enhanced once the project is up and running by 2026. The project would help ease the infamous traffic congestion along the 1.05 km Causeway, a road and rail link between Johor Baru and Singapore. Residential developments in Johor Baru, especially those within close proximity to the RTS, will attract demand from various groups. This includes Malaysians working in Singapore, Singaporeans capitalising on the relatively lower cost of living in Johor Baru and investors. Improved connectivity and accessibility would also boost demand for commercial developments in the Iskandar Malaysia region. Demand for high-rise residences close to the RTS station would also improve, but it would be dependent on a confluence of other interrelated factors, including economic outlook and sentiment, job security and keeping the pandemic under control.

(The Star, 18/01/2021)


SANKYU BUILDS FIRST HR TRAINING CENTRE OUTSIDE JAPAN IN ISKANDAR PUTERI

Japanese conglomerate Sankyu Group is set to build its first human resources training centre outside Japan at the Medini Central Business District (CBD) in Iskandar Puteri, Johor. Medini would be among the group’s global centres for diverse personnel worldwide being trained in Malaysia. The centre is set to begin operations in 2022.

(NST, 19/01/2021)


WORKS ON BYPASS LINK TO START 1 FEBRUARY 2021

Construction of the bypass from Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to Lebuhraya Thean Tek in Ayer Itam, Penang, will start on 1 February 2021. The 6km toll-free road, with 1.8km on ground and the other parts being elevated, was scheduled for completion on 3 January 2025. The Package Two alignment and two other road projects are part of the Island traffic dispersal system of the proposed Penang Undersea Tunnel, a 6.5km tunnel beneath the seabed between Gurney Drive on the Island and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth.

The bypass would consist of three interchanges that include Lebuhraya Thean Tek, Jalan Bukit Gambir-Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah junction and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which will involve a ‘left in-left out’ access and an elevated U-turn. The agreement was between the State government and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), which is the design and build contractor of the three major roads and undersea tunnel project.

(The Star, 19/01/2021)


JADE MARVEL TERMINATES JVA FOR DEVELOPMENT OF HOUSING PROJECT IN PENANG

Jade Marvel Group Bhd and JSC Land Sdn Bhd have mutually agreed to terminate their Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) to develop a project in mainland Penang. Jade Marvel, through its unit Great Marvel Sdn Bhd (GMSB), will instead complete the development on its own. The termination of JVA was due to JSC being unable to obtain approval from the relevant authorities for the change of developer’s name from GMSB to JSC. On 21 September 2020, Jade Marvel announced its JVA with JSC to develop a housing project with a gross development value of RM25 million on a 3.23-acre freehold land owned by the former in Simpang Ampat, Seberang Perai Selatan. The construction work is expected to commence by the end of 2021.

(The Edge & The Sun, 20/01/2021)


ECOBUILT SECURES RM166.37 MILLION CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT IN SABAH

Ecobuilt Holdings Bhd has secured a RM166.37 million contract to undertake a mixed commercial development project in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The group’s wholly owned subsidiary, E&J Builders Sdn Bhd, has been appointed by Golden Wave Sdn Bhd as the main contractor for the project. The development includes main buildings and external works for retail (basement car parks, levels 1 and 2) and serviced apartments (basement and podium car parks, levels 2 to 14) along Jalan Wawasan. The project is expected to be completed on 4th May 2022.

(The Edge, 19/01/2021)


+603-21612522      

All rights reserved (C) 2019

Jones Lang Wootton