SELANGOR REMAINS INVESTORS’ TOP CHOICE
Local and foreign investors continue to choose the Selangor State as a preferred place for business despite the constraints imposed by the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 324 manufacturing projects were approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in the State, involving a total investment of RM18.43 billion. Of this, local investments accounted for RM6.95 billion (37.7%), while foreign investments made up RM11.48 billion (62.3%). The biggest investors were from Japan, followed by the Netherlands and China. The investment target is being maintained at RM12 billion in 2021 based on the projected decline in investment activity due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic recovery process experienced throughout the country.
(The Edge Property, 23/08/2021 & The Sun, 24/08/2021)
MALAYSIA’S CPI UP 2.2% IN JULY 2021
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July 2021 rose by 2.2% to 122.5 from 119.9 in July 2020. The increase was mainly driven by a double-digit increase of 11.6% in the transport group due to the setting of the RON95 petrol ceiling price to RM2.05 per litre since March 2021, compared with the average price of RM1.69 in July 2020. This was followed by furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (1.7%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.3%), and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.7%).
(The Edge Markets, 25/08/2021 & The Star, 26/08/2021)
3Q21 BUSINESS CONFIDENCE DOWN TO -21.3%
The confidence indicator has declined further to -21.3% in 3Q21, compared with -3.1% in 2Q21. The statistics were based on the Business Tendency Survey, which is conducted every quarter and reveals how businesses foresee their performance for the upcoming quarter and six months ahead. Within the sectors covered, all sectors anticipate unfavourable business conditions for 3Q21 in light of the severe and prolonged Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
(The Edge Property, 26/08/2021)
KULIM AIRPORT TO FOCUS ON PASSENGERS
The planned Kulim International Airport (KXP) is projected to rely heavily on passenger traffic despite repeated statements that it is to initially serve as a cargo airport. If all goes according to plan, KXP is slated to be ready by 2026, by which time the Penang International Airport would have reportedly gone beyond its maximum load of 12 million passengers per annum.
(The Star, 23/08/2021)
WCE PROJECT DELAY DUE TO MAIN CONTRACTOR’S POOR PERFORMANCE
Due to the poor performance of the main contractor, construction of the West Coast Expressway (WCE), which spans from the Beruas junction to Taiping Selatan, is experiencing delays in comparison to the actual schedule that was set. West Coast Expressway Sdn Bhd had then taken over the remaining construction work in Section 11 of the Trong State constituency. Slated to complete in January 2024, the Perak State Government has also been briefed on the matter and the Malaysian Highway Authority has committed to completing the remaining work on this project, in which 48% remains according to the new timeline.
(The Edge Property, 26/08/2021)
LAGENDA PARTNERS WITH SOLARVEST TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE TOWNSHIP
Lagenda Properties Bhd has appointed clean energy specialist Solarvest Holdings Bhd as its solar photovoltaic (PV) system partner to build the largest sustainable affordable township in Malaysia. Solarvest will instal 1,000 residential solar PV systems across three township projects developed by Lagenda Properties in Perak. Upon completion of the project, the three townships will potentially produce approximately 2.8GWh of clean electricity, which neutralises about 1,950 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
(The Edge Markets, 25/08/2021 & NST, 26/08/2021)
COUNTRY HEIGHTS PLANS PRIVATE PLACEMENT OF NEW SHARES
Country Heights Holdings Bhd proposes to undertake a private placement of up to 54.71 million new shares to raise an indicative RM58.81 million. The money will partially finance the construction cost for the group’s “Mines Wellness Suites” project, a 12-storey development that consists of 268 units of office suites in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, and “College Heights Estate” retail and industrial real estate development in Pajam, Negeri Sembilan.
(The Edge Property & The Star, 21/08/2021)
SAND NISKO CAPITAL SIGNS DEAL TO DEVELOP PROJECT IN MELAKA
Sand Nisko Capital Bhd’s subsidiary Len Cheong Resources Sdn Bhd (LCR) has entered into a joint venture agreement with one landowner of a parcel of land in Melaka, for the purpose of developing a mini township in Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah, Melaka. LCR’s role involves the application for approvals from the appropriate authorities and the construction works and completion of building units. In return, 12% of the total number of units developed will be the landowner’s entitlement.
(The Edge Markets, 23/08/2021)
GADANG SELLS LAND IN TAMAN MELAWATI FOR RM43 MILLION
Gadang Holdings Bhd is selling a parcel of residential land located on Jalan Kolam Air, Taman Melawati to SkyRia Development Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Nusa Jutamas Sdn Bhd) for RM43 million in order to repay bank borrowings and for the group’s working capital. The leasehold land measuring 413,883 sq. ft. (9.501 acres) comes with a development order and building plan approval for two 22-storey apartment blocks comprising 479 units.
(The Edge Markets, 23/08/2021)
DISPOSALS RAISE SIME DARBY’S CASH POSITION
Sime Darby Bhd has earmarked its massive 8,800 acres of plantation land in Labu, Negri Sembilan, and its port asset in China Weifang in Shandong, China, for sale as part of the group’s non-core asset monetisation exercise. The land in Labu, which was earmarked for the Malaysia Vision Valley project, is estimated to have a value of RM2.5 billion.
(The Star, 26/08/2021)
LEON FUAT IS UPBEAT ABOUT THE STEEL INDUSTRY
In line with efforts to broaden its product offerings, Leon Fuat Bhd began building a three-phase steel pipe manufacturing plant in 2018 at the Bandar Sultan Suleiman industrial area in Port Klang. With commencement back in 2H19, Phase 1 of the project for welded steel pipe manufacturing has a maximum production capacity of 5,000 tonnes of steel pipes per month. The company is in the process of completing Phase 2, which will include the construction of two additional buildings for the factory and warehouse, installation of machinery and equipment, including new pipe forming machinery, welding equipment and slitting equipment for the production of welded steel pipes with a larger size.
30 COMPANIES KEEN TO INVEST IN CHUPING VALLEY INDUSTRIAL AREA
A total of 30 companies had expressed interest to invest in the Chuping Valley Industrial Area (CVIA) as of July 2021. Out of the 30 companies, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Biotech Birdnest Processing Sdn Bhd, Next Generation Oil Sdn Bhd, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Asian Sustainable Transportation Institute and the Perlis Inland Port were committed and had received policy approval through the Perlis State Executive Council to implement investment projects in the CVIA.
(The Edge Markets, 25/08/2021)
PHASE 1 OF RUBBER GLOVE FACTORY IN BIDOR IS EXPECTED TO BE READY IN 2023
The first phase of the rubber glove factory in the “Integrated Glove City Development Project” in Bidor, Batang Padang, Perak is expected to be completed and start operating in 1Q23. Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd had obtained the planning permission, engineering plan and building plan approval from the Tapah District Council. Earthworks are currently underway at the project site, which would be followed by building construction as well as supporting infrastructure.
(The Edge Markets, 26/08/2021)
AIR PASSENGER TRAFFIC SOARS 62.5%
Malaysia’s total air passenger traffic jumped 62.5% to 1.3 million in 2Q21 from 800,000 in 2Q20 due to a low base effect. This was despite the implementation of various stages of the Movement Control Order between 4Q20 and 2Q21. However, the Malaysian Aviation Commission has revised downwards its forecast for passenger traffic in 2021 with a contraction of between 77.0% and 80.2% year on year, to 5.3 million to 6.1 million passengers. This is lower than its earlier projection in April 2021 of 18.9 million to 20.6 million passengers.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 26/08/2021; NST & The Sun, 27/08/2021)
MAB EXPECTS 4Q21 RESTART FOR LOCAL AVIATION
Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) expects the domestic aviation industry to restart in 4Q21 and to return to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2022, while the international market is projected to fully recover only in the middle of 2023 or 2024.
(The Sun, 27/08/2021)
JUSTGOOD TO GROW FARMING NETWORK
JustGood Group, a food distribution network company that uses end-to-end traceability practices, has identified potential partner farms for its smart precision farming network in Malaysia. JustGood has a 9.88-acre plot in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, which is being cultivated with 10 types of vegetables. The company plans to have four to six more smart greenhouses at its Batang Berjuntai farm by the end of 2021. Each smart greenhouse is circa 6,000 sq. ft. and can produce 1.6 tonnes of fresh vegetables a month.
SURVEY FINDS MALAYSIA AMONG SAFEST ASIAN NATIONS
Kuala Lumpur is ahead of cities such as Dubai, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and Manila in a global survey of safe cities. According to the Safe Cities Index 2021 conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the federal capital emerged 32nd out of 60 major cities. This time, Kuala Lumpur had an overall score of 66.6. This is just above average against the 66.3 in 2019 when it finished in 35th position. The Safe Cities Index is a global, policy benchmarking tool developed to measure urban safety by 76 distinct factors across five broad pillars of personal, infrastructure, health, digital and environmental security.
(The Star, 24/08/2021)
SUB-SALE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES REMAIN HOT
Malaysia’s sub-sale residential property demand rose 19.2% in 1H21 from a 2.5% contraction in 2020. One of the critical factors that supported demand recovery in 1H21 was the fact that property seekers were warming up to the idea of conducting their property search journey online. Moreover, the Home Ownership Campaign also had a spillover effect on the sub-sale residential segment as property seekers conducting due diligence continued to browse for sub-sale homes in the same area/vicinity in order to compare property prices.
JOHOR ECONOMY TO GROW BETWEEN 3% AND 5% IN 2021
The Johor State economic condition is on track towards recovery and is forecasted to grow between 3% and 5% in 2021. The forecast is based on the Bank Negara Malaysia updated projection of the national level at 3% to 4%. Nonetheless, Johor’s economy remained on the path of recovery in 2021, driven by the increasing vaccination rates which enabled the State to transition to the next phases in the National Recovery Plan.
(The Edge Markets, 22/08/2021 & The Sun, 23/08/2021)
IRDA HEADING TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) rolled out the Bus Rapid Transit system as one of the smart mobility initiatives to create an improved and efficient metropolis. Slated for completion by 2023, the buses will be fully electric to further lower their carbon footprint. The system covers 2,043 kilometres with three main lines which include Iskandar Puteri, Skudai and Tebrau, with 44 direct routes and 55 feeder routes.
ADVANCED ECOSYSTEM TO REALISE JOHOR VISION 2030
The acronym for New Economy, Experience and Talent (NEXT), is an innovative private-public partnership initiative by Iskandar Investment Berhad and its group of companies to spur digital innovation, budding next-generation technology economic activities and talent development in Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar NEXT encompasses advanced technology, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), Blockchain technology, drone and robotics, global business services (GBS), next-generation technologies, food security and talent development.
RM7.64 MILLION JOHOR BAHRU HOMELESS SHELTER TO BE READY BY JULY 2022
The RM7.64 million halfway house for the homeless in Taman Larkin Perdana, Johor Bahru, which is currently under construction, is expected to be ready by July 2022. Two other shelters for the homeless, namely in Taman Perling and Anjung Singgah in Taman Nong Chik, Johor Bahru, had been completed and would be fully operational soon.
DATA CENTRE BOOM
Paragon Globe Bhd is negotiating with five large global players to set up data centres in Johor. Some sites in Johor Bahru appeal to large tech players that are established in Singapore due to lower costs and the availability of high data speed connections between Johor and Singapore. Paragon reveals that the company along with a strategic partner, will be providing competitive rates for leasing fibre optic network connections to transmit data to Singapore.
(The Star, 21/08/2021)