LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH TO IMPROVE
Malaysia’s labour market has been suffering from weak productivity growth in the past several years and is lagging behind Singapore, Japan and South Korea, all of which are key regional economies that had once trailed Malaysia in terms of economic size per capita. In 2020, Malaysia’s labour productivity performance worsened further against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged the global economy. Based on latest data from the Statistics Department, Malaysia’s labour productivity declined by -5.4% in 2020, following two consecutive years of subdued growth. All economic sectors registered a contraction in labour productivity per employment in 2020. The biggest decline was seen in the construction industry whereby labour productivity plummeted by -15.7%. On the contrary, the smallest contraction was in the agriculture sector at -1.8%. Looking ahead into 2021, economists agree that the domestic labour productivity will likely recover as businesses no longer have to endure mandatory operational shutdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, productivity levels may remain soft as long as the country is yet to see major improvement in economic activities. The Department of Statistics Malaysia also reported that labour productivity continued to decline by -2.9% in 4Q20 after registering a contraction of -2.2% in 3Q20. By sector, manufacturing was the only sector that posted a positive growth of 3.2% in the quarter, in terms of value added per employment.
(The Star & NST, 17/02/2021)
MAHB PASSENGER MOVEMENT DOWN 82.6%
Passenger movement for Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports contracted by -82.6% to 2.1 million in January 2021 from 11.89 million in January 2020. The airport operator denoted that Malaysia recorded overall passenger movements of 800,000 for January 2021, a contraction of -91.6% compared with January 2020. Traffic at MAHB’s network of airports continues to be affected by the renewed interstate travel restriction of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from 13 January 2021 in Malaysia. KL International Airport (KLIA) registered less than 300,000 passenger movements, with international and domestic segments recording a decline of -97.6% y-o-y and -88% y-o-y, respectively.
(The Star, 16/02/2021)
SUKE CONSTRUCTION RECORDS 87% OVERALL PROGRESS
Construction works on the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) had recorded an overall progress of 87% as at the end of 2020, supported by full completion of the CB3 package. The CB3 package, which connects to Jalan Taman Putra with Jalan Merbau near Ampang town, was the first package to be 100% completed from eight construction packages for the SUKE project. Construction of the 2.7 kilometre (km) CB3 package passing through the Ampang Waterfront next to Bandar Baru Ampang and ends at Jalan Merbau near the Ampang LRT station, has taken approximately four years and was completed ahead of the initial schedule. Construction of the 24.4km SUKE Highway began on 29 August 2016 and upon completion, it is expected to reduce traffic congestion by at least 30% on the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and in high-density areas such as Cheras, Pandan Indah and Ampang. SUKE begins in Sri Petaling and ends in Ulu Kelang at the MRR2 that connects major highways such as DUKE, AKLEH, the KL-Seremban Highway, Cheras-Kajang Highway, BESRAYA Highway and KESAS Highway.
(The Edge, 17/02/2021)
CHIN HIN PROPERTY ARM TO BUY KINRARA LAND FOR RM59.76 MILLION
Chin Hin Group Property Bhd (CHGP)’s indirect unit Boon Koon Commercial Sdn Bhd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Perumahan Kinrara Bhd (PKB) to acquire a piece of land in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Selangor for RM59.76 million. Boon Koon Commercial is a wholly owned subsidiary of BKG Development Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a 100%-owned subsidiary of CHGP. The proposed acquisition of land measuring 1.38ha was in line with the group’s overall strategy to expand its property development segment. The land acquisition is expected to be completed by the 1H21.
(The Sun, NST & The Star, 19/02/2021)
EDOTCO TO EQUIP MERDEKA 118 WITH NEXT-GEN TELCO SOLUTIONS
Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) subsidiary, PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd, has appointed edotco Malaysia as its partner to equip the Merdeka 118 tower with next generation telecommunications technology solutions. The appointment will pave the way for edotco Malaysia to design, provide and maintain build-to-suit in-building telecommunications solutions (IBS), enabling seamless and reliable connectivity for the iconic tower. PNB denoted that equipping the tower with next generation IBS technology would ensure greater coverage in blind spots such as lifts as well as the basement, creating an enhanced user experience. Services by edotco will include telecommunication infrastructure for the office, hotel tower and retail mall. The three million square foot development soars into the clouds at 635 metres tall. Merdeka 118 is set to be the tallest building in Southeast Asia upon completion in 2022. Installation works for the IBS will be completed in time for the landmark tower’s opening in 2022.
MGB SECURES RM442.81 MILLION CONTRACT TO DEVELOP AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SELANGOR
MGB Bhd has secured a RM442.81 million contract to construct affordable home projects in Dengkil and Ijok in Selangor. MGB Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary MGB Construction & Engineering Sdn Bhd was awarded the contract by Seloka Sinaran Sdn Bhd (SSSB) and Kemudi Ehsan Sdn Bhd (KESB). Both SSSB and KESB are subsidiaries of LBS Bina Group Bhd, whereby LBS owns the majority of MGB shares. The projects entail the construction of two blocks of Rumah Selangorku Idaman MBI in Dengkil and Ijok. Work will commence on 1 March 2021 and is expected to be completed on 31 July 2023.
(The Edge, 17/02/2021)
TESCO MALAYSIA IS NOW LOTUSS STORES MALAYSIA
Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which operates around 60 Tesco and Tesco Extra stores nationwide, has officially changed its name to Lotuss Stores Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The company will complete its re-branding exercise by the end of 2021. Lotuss Stores Malaysia is a member of Thailand’s biggest agribusiness conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd (CP Group). The Thai group acquired Tesco Malaysia’s business in December 2020 following the asset sale by Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer. The British retailer sold its entire shareholding in Tesco Stores (Thailand) Ltd and Tesco Stores Malaysia to CP Group for an enterprise value of US$10.6 billion.
MYTOWN FORGES AHEAD WITH EXPANSION PLAN
MyTOWN Shopping Centre has unveiled plans to expand its offerings with the addition of new tenants besides enhancing the overall infrastructure in the months to come. The two main anchors are Malaysian innovative bookstore chain BookXcess and living concept store SSF, which will occupy approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of retail space. In addition to these two prominent brands, there will also be a 20,000 sq. ft. store expansion for retailer Panda Eyes. Leveraging its strong partnership network and maintaining a high occupancy rate, MyTOWN has been able to renew over 80% of its tenants. By utilising the 2020 first term expiries, MyTOWN has made key changes to its pool of tenants to further align consumer priorities and preferences to relevant offers of its core customer segment. In line with its growth, the shopping centre is set to redevelop its ground floor and unveil a new food and beverages precinct. A new drop-off zone at the town park entrance allows hassle-free access to the shopping centre in addition to existing access areas from the basement, MRT and rooftop parking.
LBI TO LAUNCH A PROJECT WORTH RM240 MILLION IN IJOK THIS YEAR
LBI Capital Berhad aims to launch a property project with a gross development of approximately RM240 million in Ijok, Selangor, in 4Q21. The project on 34 acres of freehold land will be developed in two phases. The first phase comprises 17 units of double-storey shop offices, 156 units of low-rise Rumah Selangor-Ku Type E (RSKU) which are three-storey townhouses and 140 units of double-storey terraced houses. The second phase includes 224 units of double-storey terraced houses. The project is located close to residential schemes such as Bandar Seri Coalfields, Desa Coalfields, Alam Perdana, Eco Grandeur and Taman Saujana Aman.
CAREPLUS TO ACQUIRE NEGERI SEMBILAN LAND FOR RM9.31 MILLION TO EXPAND WAREHOUSING CAPACITY
Careplus Group Bhd has entered into a conditional share acquisition agreement with Shin Heung Precision Co Ltd to acquire the latter’s subsidiary, Shin Heung Electronics Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which owns a piece of land at Oakland Industrial Park in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. The company intends to acquire the dormant company for a total cash consideration of RM9.31 million, given that it is the registered owner of a parcel of 2.03 acres of freehold industrial land. The proposed acquisition is undertaken in line with the group’s future and immediate expansion plans to increase its existing manufacturing capacity by commissioning new production lines for gloves. The property will be earmarked for warehouse and packing facilities.
(The Edge, 16/02/2021)
NEW HOTEL IN GENTING HIGHLANDS
LBS Bina Group Bhd has announced the soft launch of Scapes Hotel@Midhills in Genting Highlands, Pahang. It is a new 10-storey first flagship hotel under LBS comprising 176 rooms. Scapes Hotel offers holidaymakers a convenient location surrounded by top tourist attractions. Amenities within Scapes Hotel include a gymnasium, family and wading pools as well as aqua deck, outdoor jacuzzi and a zone for children. Hotel guests can enjoy these facilities before exploring the top tourist attractions nearby, including a golf course, theme parks, premium outlet stores and stunning cable car rides. Once the movement control order is lifted, the public can pre-book their stay and enjoy “Scapes Experience” promotional rates, from RM199 per room per night. This offer is valid from March to September 2021.
(The Star, 16/02/2021)
MULPHA, UEM SUNRISE CALL OFF DEAL TO DEVELOP NUSAJAYA LAND
Mulpha International Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd have mutually terminated their master agreement to develop parcels of land in Nusajaya. Mulpha denoted conditions precedent in the master agreement have not been fulfilled or waived during the extended conditional period and as such, both parties have agreed not to proceed. Leisure Farm Corp Sdn Bhd and UEM Sunrise have mutually agreed to terminate the master agreement, whereupon termination, shall become null and void, and of no effect whatsoever upon the expiry of the extended conditional period on 15th February 2021. To recap, back in 2016, Mulpha and UEM Sunrise signed a joint venture agreement to work as strategic partners to develop a mixed development on three parcels of land in Nusajaya with a gross development value of RM5 billion. Two parcels of land, located next to Mulpha’s Leisure Farm gated development, were to be developed by Mulpha and the remaining piece of land near Gerbang Nusajaya by UEM Sunrise.
(The Sun, 15/02/2021)