Dudley House cheapest of MARA’s Australian property buys
National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) director Rafizi Ramli said that MARA’s investment arm, Mara Inc, had used a total of RM375.4 million to facilitate the purchase of 4 properties in Melbourne in 2013, with Dudley House being the cheapest. The properties are also yielding rental returns below the average market rates, according to documents from a MARA investment briefing. The most expensive purchase was the 746 Swanston Street bought for RM138.6 million, followed by 333 Exhibition Street (almost RM100 million) and 51 Queens Street (RM70.4 million). Rafizi said the purchase showed elements of negligence, power abuse, money laundering or ‘just downright stupidity’ by the Mara council. (The Malaysian Insider)

1MDB eyeing consortiums to develop Bandar Malaysia
1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) Bandar Malaysia mixed-use development is so large that it may require the combined expertise and financial strength of consortiums to ensure it success. Based on its size, there wold not be many Malaysian companies that would be able to afford to undertake projects on their own, hence the hope that companies will form consortiums to take on development projects. There are no plans to sell land in Bandar Malaysia. Details of the request for proposal (RFP) have been circulated to interested parties, and the construction for Bandar Malaysia is expected to start as early as 2017. (The Edge Property)

UEM Sunrise to sell Imperia Building to parent for RM137.8mil
Property developer UEM Sunrise has announced it has signed a sale and purchase agreement with its major shareholder UEM Group Bhd to sell its Imperia Building in Iskandar Malaysia for RM137.9 million cash. The move is part of UEM Sunrise’s plan to unlock the value of its assets and raise funds to redeem 450 million redeemable convertible preference shares (RCPS) that was issued by BND to UEM Group. (The Edge Markets)

KL-Singapore HSR project expected to generate RM100bil GDP
The KL-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project, which is scheduled to begin next year, is expected to bring in RM100 billion in gross domestic product (GDP). A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed to function as a project delivery vehicle, similar to the MRT Corporation for the development of the MRT project. RM70 billion is expected to be generated through construction, operations and multiplier impact activities, with the remaining RM30 billion through property, tourism and services sector. (The Sun Daily)

Renewed interest in Sabah landed properties
Landed properties in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah have seen renewed interest following the June 5 earthquake. People were concerned about whether high-rise apartments would be able to withstand future quakes, and despite the scarcity and higher value of landed properties, there have been increase in calls for terrace of semi-detached units. However, many real estate agents believe the impact to be only temporary. (Daily Express)

1MDB’s Air Itam and Pulai Indah land attracts interest
1MDB has announced that it has received significant interest for its land in Air Itam, Penang and Pulau Indah, Selangor. The company had announced its intention to monetise its land parcels through joint ventures or outright sales for its debt rationalisation process. (The Sun Daily)

Petrol_pump_mp3h0355RON95, RON97 prices increase for July
The retail prices for RON95 and RON97 petrol have increased by 10 sen (to RM2.15) and 20 sen (to RM2.55) respectively for the month of July. Malaysians have received advance notice about petrol prices in previous months, but Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said no prior notice will be given for new monthly petrol and diesel rates from now on. (The Malay Mail Online)

Firm hopes to create awareness of solar technology benefits
Atlantic Blue Sdn Bhd, a renewable energy company that markets the Solarvest systems, hopes to create awareness of the benefits of solar technology to both industrial and residential areas. The technology can help people save energy and ensure that utility bills cost only a fraction of monthly commitments. The company aims to be a leader in the market by securing at least 20% market share for the installation of solar panels in the northern region. (The Star Online)