INCREASED NUMBER OF LOWER-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS IN 2020
In 2020, a majority of households experienced a decline in income compared with 2019, with many households from a higher income group shifting to a lower one due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, there was an additional 12.5% of households with income less than RM2,500. Meanwhile, 20% of households from the M40 group with income between RM4,850 and RM10,959 has moved to the B40 group, whereas 12.8% of households in the T20 group has shifted to the M40 group.
(The Star, 07/08/2021)
MALAYSIA’S JUNE 2021 IPI BEATS EXPECTATIONS
Malaysia’s 1.4% growth for its June 2021 Industrial Production Index (IPI) data came in less severe than expected due to a smaller-than-expected contraction of 0.2% in manufacturing output. Malaysia’s June 2021 IPI was also supported by a 10.3% growth in the mining index, led by support from natural gas, although the electricity index continued to decline by 4.8%.
(The Star & The Edge Markets, 09/08/2021)
WEAK SENTIMENT TEMPORARY
Consumer sentiment is expected to take a hit before rebounding by the end of 2021 as the labour market continues to remain weak, fuelled by restrictions arising from the more infectious Covid- 19 variants. The Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) suffered a pullback in 2Q21, slipping 34.6 points to 64.3 from 98.9 points in 1Q21.
(The Star, 09/08/2021)
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES TO 4.8% IN JUNE 2021
The unemployment rate in Malaysia has climbed to 4.8% in June 2021 involving 768,700 persons, compared with the May 2021 unemployment rate of 4.5% involving 728,100 unemployed persons. With a surge of Covid-19 cases, the labour force was faced with a challenging situation in June 2021 following the implementation of the Full Movement Control Order whereby only essential economic and services sectors were permitted to operate.
(The Sun, The Edge Markets & The Star, 09/08/2021)
E-COMMERCE INCOME IN 2Q21 RISES 23% YEAR ON YEAR TO RM276.6 BILLION
Malaysia’s e-commerce income for 2Q21 rose 23.3% year on year to RM276.6 billion due to transaction growth driven by the manufacturing and services sectors. Coming from a low base, the services sector registered a 20.5% year on year increase to RM404.5 billion.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 11/08/2021; The Sun & NST, 12/08/2021)
BIRTH RATE DECLINED, DEATHS INCREASED IN 2Q21
A total of 111,573 babies were born in 2Q21 compared with 116,688 in 2Q20, whereas a total of 44,307 deaths were recorded in 2Q21 compared with 40,241 in 2Q20 (10.1% increase). Malaysia’s population in 2Q21 was estimated at 32.66 million, an increase of 0.2% compared with
32.58 million in 2Q20. The total population comprised 29.96 million citizens (91.8%), while 2.69 million (8.2%) were non-citizens.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 11/08/2021; The Sun, 12/08/2021)
SPNB TO MANAGE NEW GOVERNMENT LOW-COST UNITS
The management of newly completed People’s Housing Projects (PPR) and those scheduled for completion in 2021 will be taken over by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB), which was previously handled by agencies under the State Government. To date, construction of 11 new PPRs had been completed involving more than 40,000 units, with four of them in Pahang, three in Kelantan, and two each in Langkawi and Johor.
(The Edge Markets, 07/08/2021 & NST, 08/08/2021)
MM2H PROGRAMME TO BE REACTIVATED IN OCTOBER 2021
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme will be reactivated with improvements to policies and application conditions to strike a balance between security and economic aspects. New applications for the programme will be processed and managed by the Immigration Department beginning October 2021 after all legal processes are completed. Among the improvements to the MM2H programme include the setting of a ceiling on the number of participants, namely the principals and dependants, at any one time, with not more than 1% of the total Malaysian population.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 11/08/2021)
BNM REVISES REFERENCE RATE FRAMEWORK
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) released the revised Reference Rate Framework, effective 1st August 2022, whereby the standardised base rate will replace the base rate as the reference rate for new retail floating-rate loans. Reference rates are publicly accessible interest rates that are used by financial institutions as a basis for pricing loans. Under the revised Reference Rate Framework, the standardised base rate will be used as the common reference rate for all financial institutions for their new retail floating-rate loans. The standardised base rate will be linked solely to the Overnight Policy Rate.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 11/08/2021; The Sun, 12/08/2021)
MINETECH SECURES RM11 MILLION ELEVATED ROAD JOB
Minetech Construction Sdn Bhd has secured a RM11.3 million contract for the design and construction works of an elevated road in Selangor from Wangsa Keringat Development Sdn Bhd. The road works are part of Wangsa’s four-block condominium project.
(The Edge Markets, 11/08/2021; The Sun & The Star, 12/08/2021)
MARII, PEKEMA TO SPEED UP EV INFRA DEVELOPMENT
The Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and the Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders Association of Malaysia (Pekema) have signed an agreement to accelerate Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure development. The parties would collaborate to set up 1,000 EV charging stations around the Country by 2025. They will also co-develop connective applications that include e-payment, charger locators, battery management systems and service centre networks for the charging ecosystem.
(The Star, 12/08/2021)
IJM SECURES RM258 MILLION ECRL JOB PACKAGE IN TEMERLOH
IJM Construction Sdn Bhd has secured a RM258 million contract from China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Temerloh, Pahang. Due to commence at the end of August 2021 for 24 months, the contract includes the construction of substructure and partial superstructure works for the Sungai Pahang bridge and T-Beam fabrication and installation of this bridge and other bridges in Section Six of the rail link.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 12/08/2021; NST, 13/08/2021)
KSK LAND “DELVES” TO DRIVE SMART, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTS
KSK Land Sdn Bhd will use “Delve” to drive smart, sustainable developments through real-time data-driven feasibility and massing studies. “Delve” is a software that uses generative design and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help developers create better neighbourhoods faster, with less risk.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 12/08/2021; The Sun & NST, 13/08/2021)
QUILL GROUP COLLABORATES WITH POLICE CO-OPERATIVE
Quill Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Koperasi Polis DiRaja Malaysia Bhd to collaborate in property development and construction. The collaboration would explore new opportunities in the delivery of services and solutions on property development and construction.
(The Star, 07/08/2021)
SIME DARBY TO LAUNCH PROJECTS IN ELMINA GREENS AND BUKIT JELUTONG
Sime Darby Property plans to launch a new phase of semi-detached homes in 4Q21 at its “Bukit Jelutong” township and 124 units of semi-detached and two units of detached homes in “Elmina Gardens”, Shah Alam. The 124 semi-detached project is the final phase of the “Hevea Homes” at Elmina Gardens. Phase 1 of Hevea secured a 90% booking rate in three months from its launch on 29th December 2020. Phase 2 was launched on 24th April 2021 and 70% of its homes have already been booked.
KANGER TO STRENGTHEN NEW BUSINESS SEGMENTS
Kanger International Bhd aims to strengthen the contribution of property investment and management business to the group’s revenue. To achieve that objective, the company recently made an en-bloc purchase for the development of 126 serviced apartment units in Antara @ Genting Highlands for RM142.9 million, whereby the project is expected to be completed by 2024.
(The Star, 09/08/2021)
MORE HOMES FOR NEEDY
The Pahang State Government will build 104 additional units of Pahang People’s Homes from September 2021 under Phase 3, especially for the needy. Priced at RM65,000 each, a total of 206 units will be built in 2021. A total of 98 units worth RM6.37 million have been completed and occupied under Phase 1.
(The Sun, 12/08/2021)
MORE RETAIL BUSINESSES FACE COLLAPSE
Despite the projected 4.1% compounded annual growth rate for Malaysia’s retail industry, the sector will likely face continued revenue loss if the current movement restrictions are extended. According to the Malaysian REIT Managers Association, the outlook for the sector in the near term remained grim, with retail Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) managers experiencing further rental income losses.
D&O OFFERS TO ACQUIRE AN ELECTROPLATING SERVICES FIRM FOR RM55 MILLION
D&O Green Technologies Bhd (electronic components maker) offered to acquire Syntronixs Asia Sdn Bhd (precision electroplating services firm) for RM55 million. Syntronixs’ current operation is located adjacent to the group’s existing plant in Melaka, where there is a vacant land area of 96,875 sq. ft. which will be available for D&O’s future expansion.
(The Edge Markets, 11/08/2021)
TRI-MODE TO INCREASE WAREHOUSE CAPACITY IN PULAU INDAH
Tri-Mode System (M) Bhd (integrated logistics service provider) is acquiring a parcel of land measuring 234,432 sq. ft. for RM15.94 million to expand its warehouse in Pulau Indah Industrial Park (PIIP). The group plans to build a 150,000 sq. ft. warehouse on-site in the next one or two years given the current overwhelming demand for warehouse services.
(The Edge Markets, 12/08/2021)
PAHANG GEARING UP FOR TOURISM GREEN BUBBLE
Tourism Pahang has identified Fraser’s Hill in Raub and Pulau Tioman in Rompin as potential tourist destinations to be reopened under the green bubble, pending approval from the National Security Council.
TRAVELODGE CITY CENTRE CONVERTED INTO B40 PKRC
The Travelodge City Centre on Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur has been converted into a Covid-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) to cater for asymptomatic Covid- 19 patients and those in Category 1 and 2 from the Bottom 40 group. The centre has been operating since 7th August 2021 and will accommodate Covid-19 patients for 10 days, or based on the Health Ministry’s instruction.
GAGASAN NADI IN TIE-UP TO OFFER HOUZKEY TO ANTARA RESIDENCE BUYERS
Gagasan Nadi Cergas Bhd is in partnership with Maybank Islamic Bhd to offer the HouzKEY programme to homebuyers of its “Antara Residence” development. Through HouzKEY, qualified buyers can purchase “Antara Residence” units with 100% financing and zero payment throughout the construction period. The programme also entitles buyers to own a freehold unit of the development with low monthly payments. Slated to be completed in 2H22, the development has registered a 68% sales rate as of 31st March 2021.
(The Sun & NST, 13/08/2021)
TIONG NAM PLANS RM336.4 MILLION CAPEX FOR WAREHOUSE EXPANSION
Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd plans to allocate RM336.4 million in Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) to expand its warehousing capacity. The group had acquired two plots of vacant land with an aggregate size of 62.5 acres within a free commercial zone in Senai Airport City, Johor Bahru, from Senai Airport City Sdn Bhd for RM136.4 million. For the planned new warehouse with a 1.1 million sq. ft. built-up area, Tiong Nam will submit building plans to the local authorities in 2021 and is targeting for the warehouse to be completed in 2H23.
PENANG SURGING FORWARD
Lam Research Corporation is ready to commence operations at its new RM1 billion facility in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang, which will serve as a hub for its manufacturing operations in Asia. The facility, which is the US company’s latest and largest manufacturing facility, has an 800,000 sq. ft. built-up area on a 34-acre site.
(The Star, 11/08/2021)
WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES FOR WELD QUAY SEAFRONT
With an investment of RM120 million, a project by MPDT Capital Berhad dubbed ‘MPDT 1880 Heritage Reborn’ on a 268,624 sq. ft. site within the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site will complement Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. The proposed development includes 26,700 sq. ft. of seafront F&B outlets while the vehicle showroom will be 10,500 sq. ft. and the e-sports arena will be 16,700 sq. ft. There will also be 5,000 sq. ft. of restaurants above the sea while the flight simulator training centre certified by Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia will occupy 46,000 sq. ft. to house Level-D Full Flight Simulators and Level Two Flight Training Devices.
(The Star, 09/08/2021)
SARAWAK RETAINS ALLURE AMONG INVESTORS DESPITE PANDEMIC
Sarawak had secured RM15.7 billion worth of investments in 2020. Four multinational corporations in Sama Jaya have already begun to implement their RM6.31 billion expansion plan, which is a testament to their confidence in the State Government’s ability to manage its economy amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Sarawak State Government is embarking on the “PostCovid-19 Development Strategy 2030” to propel Sarawak to become a developed State by 2030. It aims to make the State driven by data and innovation, where all Sarawak folk enjoy economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment. The strategic plan’s main engines of growth are anchored on six economic sectors manufacturing, commercial agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining and social services. These are reinforced by seven enablers including digital transformation, innovation, basic infrastructure, transport, utilities, renewable energy, and education and human capital development.