HEADLINE INFLATION STABLE AT 4% IN NOVEMBER 2022
The Star, 31/12/2022
Headline inflation continues to remain stable at 4.0% in November 2022, similar to October 2022, as the increase in core inflation was offset by lower inflation in other categories, namely fuel and fresh food, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The central bank said core inflation increased slightly to 4.2% during the month from 4.1% recorded in October 2022, mainly due to the increase in prices for food away from home.
NEGERI SEMBILAN EXPECTS TO RECORD RM9 BILLION INVESTMENTS IN 2022
The Sun & The Edge, 31/12/2022
The Negeri Sembilan Government is expecting total investments to reach more than RM9 billion in 2022. The investment momentum has strengthened in the State, with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) recording approved investments totalling RM1.48 billion up to 2Q22. In addition, investment applications of another RM6.44 billion have been submitted to MIDA and are awaiting official approval. This includes RM6 billion from Samsung SDI Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd to build a factory to make electric vehicle battery cells in Phase 2 of Kawasan Perindustrian Tuanku Ja’afar, Senawang. The State succeeded in recording investments worth RM5.76 billion in 2021, which exceeded its RM5 billion target despite facing Covid-19 constraints. The state recorded investments totalling RM7.93 billion involving the manufacturing sector, real estate, finance, and trade distribution services in 2020, versus RM6.77 billion in 2019.
MALAYSIA ON STRONG FOOTING TO ATTRACT QUALITY INVESTMENTS
The Sun, 06/01/2023
Malaysia’s economy is on a strong footing to attract quality investments, denoted International Trade and Industry Minister (ITIM). The minister said that although challenges still remain due to global economic uncertainties, China’s move to reopen its borders next week bodes well for Malaysia, as China is the nation’s largest trading partner. The move will help our exports and economy. Domestically, efforts focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles in key sectors, enhancing the ease of doing business, and moving up on the value chain in sectors that the country is strong in will also help cushion the impact of global economic headwinds.
Malaysia is forecasting a 4% growth in 2023, inflation at 4% and an unemployment rate of 3.6%. Malaysia is expected to register a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.0-9.0% in 2022. For the first nine months of 2022, the nation’s economy expanded by 9.3% and 14.2% GDP growth was registered in 3Q22 amid robust domestic and external demand as well as an improved labour market. There are several possible concerns that could affect the global economic growth prospects which include monetary and fiscal tightening, global tensions such as the Ukraine-Russia war which disrupted supply chains as well as exporters’ capacity in meeting ESG market demands.
MAXIM MALAYSIA EYES NORTHERN EXPANSION
The Star, The Sun & NST, 03/01/2023
E-hailing company Maxim Malaysia is planning to expand its services to more towns in 2023, especially in the north of the peninsula, to meet rising demand. The company operates in 50 towns nationwide and has between 200 to 500 drivers in each town, carrying out services such as e-hailing, courier, cargo and food deliveries. The company’s plan for 2023 will focus on towns in the north such as in the states like Kedah, Perlis, Penang, and northern Perak which have a high number of users. In Kedah, Maxim Malaysia has operations in Alor Setar, Sungai Petani, Kulim, and Langkawi. The company is monitoring the level of demand in other towns in Kedah and in the States nearby. Maxim Malaysia has also expanded its services to laundry and grocery deliveries as well as towing service for cars, which can be accessed via its Maxim application.
PADANG BESAR-HATYAI TRAINS RESUME OPERATIONS
The Padang Besar-Hatyai train services resumed operations after it was closed following December bombing incidents on Thailand’s side of the railway track. Padang Besar to Hatyai trips are available at 9.55am and 4.40pm (Malaysian time), while the return trips from Hatyai to Padang Besar are available at 8.30am and 3pm daily. The fare for a one-way trip is up to RM7. The State Railway of Thailand had recently announced that the train service for the Hatyai-Padang Besar sector would resume operations after the completion of repair works on the railway track before the New Year 2023.
STELLA WINS RM41.22 MILLION ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN SERENDAH
The Star, The Edge & The Sun, 05/01/2023
Stella Holdings Bhd has won a RM41.22 million road construction project in Serendah, Selangor from engineering consultancy services company RSM Builders Sdn Bhd. The project, awarded to its wholly owned unit Mewah Kota Sdn Bhd, involves the construction of a new road from Federal Route 3208 (which links Sungai Choh to Bukit Beruntung) to the UMW High Value Manufacturing Park area in Serendah. The contract’s date of completion is on 24th February 2024.
KTC GROUP USES CLOUD TECH TO BUILD SMART CITIES
The Star & The Sun, 03/01/2023
KTC Arkz Group Sdn Bhd, a niche property-based group, aims to use cloud technology for its ”smart-cities” high-rise development projects to meet the rising demand for modern technological applications. KTC Group recently signed a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) with a technology-solutions multinational to install technology-based facilities for working professionals, business owners, investors and academia at its development projects. KTC’s decision to employ cloud technology was because it would help open up a wealth of new experiences and knowledge for users as it was important for the industry to become more efficient by digitalising their business operations. The MoC would enable the parties to jointly develop and implement various cloud-based digital solutions for state-of-the-art services and experiences for a leading-edge technology ecosystem in projects that the company has earmarked, particularly in Perak and Selangor.
MAJUPERAK TO DISPOSE OF 332 ACRES LAND TO PERAK AGRO CORPORATION FOR RM9.53 MILLION AS DEBT SETTLEMENT
The Edge, 06/01/2023
Majuperak Holdings Bhd has decided to dispose 332 acres leasehold land in Perak to a wholly owned unit of the state’s agricultural development agency, Perak Agro Corporation for RM9.53 million as a debt settlement. The land, located in the Mukim Sungai Tinggi, District of Larut & Matang, is currently charged to Perak Agro Corporation Sdn Bhd as security to the loan owed by Majuperak.
YOUNG BUYERS SHOW APPETITE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING WITH DARULAMAN LAGENDA
The first phase of Darulaman Lagenda township in Sungai Petani, Kedah was fully booked days after its launch, with a majority of the sales consisting of young buyers. The project has 282 units of affordable landed homes, with 53% of purchasers aged between 20 and 30 years old while 41% of buyers were between 31 and 40 years old. The price of the landed houses in Phase One of Darulaman Lagenda started from RM200,000. The township has easy access to the North-South Expressway (PLUS) and is in proximity to healthcare facilities, convenient super and hypermarkets, shopping malls, and educational institutions.
The property developer behind Darulaman Lagenda, Lagenda Properties Berhad, worked in partnership with Bina Darulaman Berhad to create affordable landed properties for young buyers. Approximately 73% of their buyers were from Kedah and Pulau Pinang, 80% were government servants, and 97% were Bumiputera.
TASK FORCE ON ABANDONED HOUSING PROJECTS TO BE SET UP
The Star, 31/12/2022
A special task force will be set up to deal with abandoned or “sick” housing projects in efforts to protect home buyers. The Local Government Development Minister said there are over 300 projects that are currently abandoned as of October 2022, a situation that requires immediate attention. The task force is formed to look into these issues to protect the home buyers’ interest and to find a win-win formula with the developers to solve this issue and make sure the industry survives. A “sick” housing project is one that has been delayed by more than 30% of its scheduled process or where the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) has lapsed. The ministry is reviewing the National Housing Policy (2018-2025) to promote sustainable and affordable housing agenda. Following the pent-up demand from recent restricted residential launches as well as a slow but steady recovery in the general economy, numerous affordable projects have been developed for the B40 and M40 market. The ministry is targeting to build 83,728 units of affordable houses throughout the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), whereby 22,209 units were already completed, 47,637 units are under construction, and the remaining 13,882 units should be completed by 2025.
CREST BUILDER GETS CONSTRUCTION JOB WORTH RM250.52 MILLION
The Star, The Edge & The Sun, 05/01/2023
Crest Builder Holdings Bhd has secured a construction contract worth RM250.52 million from Sime Darby Property (Bukit Raja) Sdn Bhd. Crest Builder Holdings Bhd’s unit Crest Builder Sdn Bhd had been awarded the contract to build three condominium blocks with a car park podium in Putra Heights. The contract period is 36 months from 2nd February 2023 to 2nd February 2026.
KUALA TERENGGANU-BASED RETAILER TO SPEND RM14M TO OPEN 2 MORE OUTLETS
The Sun, 03/01/2023
Sabasun HyperRuncit Sdn Bhd, a bumiputra-owned retail company based in Kuala Terengganu, is investing about RM14 million to open two more branches by the middle of 2023. The new outlets in Kemaman and Kuala Berang districts were selected based on several factors such as competition and increasing population growth in those districts. To date, the group have six supermarket outlets, one each in Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Berang, Kuala Nerus, and Kampung Baru (Kuala Lumpur), and two in Kemaman.
GAMUDA BUYS RM360 MILLION RAWANG LAND FOR MIXED DEVELOPMENT WITH RM3.3 BILLION GDV
The Edge, The Star, NST & The Sun, 04/01/2023
Gamuda Bhd’s unit is acquiring eight parcels of freehold land in Rawang collectively spanning 532 acres for RM360 million. Gamuda’s wholly owned subsidiary Gamuda Land (Botanic) Sdn Bhd is buying these lands from Kundang Properties Sdn Bhd for a mixed development with a gross development value of RM3.3 billion over a 10-year period. The land acquisition is synergistic to the group since the land parcels are located next to its existing 810-acre Gamuda Gardens township in north Sungai Buloh and are easily accessible via three major expressways, namely North-South Expressway, LATAR Highway, and Guthrie Corridor Expressway. The development of the subject land following the Kundang Jaya acquisition is planned as an extension of the existing Gamuda Gardens township and aims to offer Gamuda’s branded homes with the right product concept and price to differentiate from other developers.
CREST BUILDER UNIT WINS RM478.89 MILLION JOB TO BUILD CONDO BLOCKS IN DESA PARKCITY
The Edge, 04/01/2023
Crest Builder Holdings Bhd’s unit has secured a RM478.89 million contract from Perdana Parkcity Sdn Bhd to build two condominium blocks with a car park podium and retail units in Desa ParkCity. The contract will span 39 months from 5th May 2023 to 4th August 2026.
MAH SING SETS A MINIMUM OF RM2.2 BILLION SALES TARGET FOR 2023
NST & The Star, 04/01/2023
Mah Sing Group Bhd forecasts a higher sales target of RM2.2 billion for 2023, owing to the recent launches of M-series properties. Healthy balance sheets support the company’s confidence in the M-Series of affordable homes. Mah Sing will also continue to scout for and acquire new land. Beyond 2023, the mid-to-long-term outlook remains positive, supported by strong fundamental demand for properties due to the young demography. Mah Sing’s M-series of affordable projects in multiple residential hotspots have seen healthy take-up from homebuyers. Recent launches such as M Astra Tower B in Setapak (95% sold), M Senyum Phase 2 Camellia 2 in Salak Tinggi (98% sold) and M Panora Phase 1A in Rawang (100 % sold) have recorded strong sales rates. Upcoming projects like M Nova in Kepong, upcoming new phases of M Senyum (Phase 3), M Panora (Phase 1B) as well as Meridin East (Jasmine and Erica West) in Johor Bahru have also received overwhelming registrations of interest.
AREA ADVISORY SIGNS DEAL TO BUY LAND IN DELAPAN SBEZ TO BUILD DATA CENTRES
The Sun, 06/01/2023
AREA Real Estate Advisory Sdn Bhd (AREA), a regional based private equity and advisory firm has signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with Northern Gateway Sdn Bhd (NGX), the master developer of the Delapan Special Border Economic Zone (Delapan SBEZ). The HOA will allow AREA to acquire and develop a 150-acre freehold industrial zoned parcel within the Delapan SBEZ in Bukit Kayu Hitam, exclusively for data centres. The data centres established within the park will be benchmarked to Uptime Institute’s Tier III and Tier IV certification standards. Uptime Institute is the global standard bearer for digital infrastructure performance. Their tier standards have been used in the design, construction, and operations of thousands of sites in more than 110 countries. The 4,400-acre Delapan SBEZ features a free commercial and industrial zone and is strategically located at the northern end of the country’s North–South Expressway and Malaysia Federal Route 1, where the border crossing to Thailand is located. The North–South Expressway is connected to Thailand’s Route 4 or Phetkasem Road which goes all the way to Bangkok. It also has access to the Bukit Kayu Hitam inland port. The development will also adopt green sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon footprint of the data centre park, with the first phase of development slated to commence 4Q23. The development aims to be a catalyst for high value job creation among the clients of cloud services and storage as well as encourage manufacturers of data centre equipment and servers to localise production, which will in turn create more jobs and grow the local economy.
D’NONCE BUYS CHERAS LAND FOR RM17.5 MILLION
The Star, 06/01/2023
Paragon Union Bhd is selling industrial land in Cheras, Selangor for RM17.5 million to D’nonce Technology Bhd with proceeds from the sale earmarked chiefly for working capital and repayment of bank borrowings. The proposed sale of the land, which contains a single-storey detached factory with a three-storey office annexed, is expected to be completed in 2Q23. Currently, the land is occupied and utilised by Paragon Union for the manufacturing and warehousing of car carpets and automotive components. The group plans to relocate the existing operations to other manufacturing and warehouse facilities it owns in Taman Cheras Jaya and Semenyih post-disposal, stating that the disposal would not cause any major disruption to its business operations.
SUNCON SECURES RM1.7 BILLION DATA CENTRE CONSTRUCTION JOB
The Edge, 04/01/2023
Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon) has entered into a RM1.7 billion contract to provide general contractor services for a data centre construction project in Sedenak Tech Park (STeP), Johor. The construction firm’s wholly owned subsidiary Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd entered into the contract with Yellowwood Properties Sdn Bhd on 31st December 2022. The contract’s scope of works includes design and build for piling and structural precast concrete works; data centre main building architecture works; mechanical and electric services, telecommunications, control and security installation and associated works, including primary plant; and external ancillary works consisting of roads, surface water drainage, sewer drainage, external water reticulation, external mechanical and electrical services, fencing, gates and landscape works. The works are expected to be completed by 3Q24.
PENANG CABLE CAR PROJECT GOOD TO GO
The Star, 03/01/2023
The Penang cable car project is good to go and set to be operational in roughly three years. Penang Chief Minister and Penang Hill Corp chairman recently announced that a leading integrated rolling stock and rail services company, Hartasuma Sdn Bhd, has secured the design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) contract for the Penang Cable Car project in Penang Hill. This project requires an investment of approximately RM245 million by Hartasuma to be done via a public-private partnership initiative with the state government. Hartasuma will own the concession for this tourist attraction over the next 30 years, where it will be responsible for the DBFOT throughout the period. Penang Hill currently sees about 1.3 million to 1.8 million visitors a year. The cable car would help the tourist-load balancing by complementing the almost 100-year-old funicular railway from Ayer Itam. The Penang cable car system will have a capacity of 1,000 passengers per hour at a speed of six metres per second, using 43 gondola cabins. There will be 15 towers along the line, and the journey from the lower to the upper station will take 10 minutes.
PENANG SEES EXPONENTIAL INCREASE IN MEDICAL TOURISM WITH BORDER REOPENING
The total revenue for Penang’s medical tourism has increased exponentially from RM66 million in 2021 to RM285 million in 2022, following the reopening of the country’s international borders. Although the numbers achieved in 2022 had yet to surpass that of the pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, the resurgence of medical tourists to Penang had been very encouraging. In 2019, Penang received nearly 480,000 medical tourists, generating RM730 million in revenue. This amounted to nearly 50% of the total revenue for Malaysia from medical tourism. Penang had been the top contributor in terms of revenue generated for medical tourism in Malaysia, earning more than 50% of the country’s pre-pandemic income. Indonesia has always been our major source market for medical tourism, given our language and cultural similarity. In the first 11 months of 2022, Penang welcomed almost 144,975 international medical arrivals, of which Indonesia contributed 54%, followed closely by Bangladesh and India.
TANJUNG ARU IN LINE FOR MUCH-NEEDED REVAMP
The Star, 04/01/2023
Sabah has given the nod for the reclamation of the state’s iconic Tanjung Aru beachfront. The State Government has agreed to a 15-year contract to mine and dredge sand for reclamation works, in a bid to widen the tourist hotspot. Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) recently signed a contract with Handal Borneo Resources Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Handal Energy, for the extraction and sale of marine sea sand at the Sunken Barrier Shoal, Hayter Shoal and Bunbury Shoal, all located northwest of the city. According to reports, 153 million cubic metres of sand will be mined for the reclamation effort as well as recreational beaches.