Ringgit plunges to 16-year low
Domestic political concerns, falling oil prices and global financial headwinds has sent the Ringgit to a 16-year low of 3.8092 against the US dollar yesterday. Malaysia’s currency is Asia’s worst-performing exchange rate this year, and there have been suggestions to remove the ringgit peg to the dollar in order to re-energize the economy and lure new foreign investment. (Bloomberg)


Abu Dhabi bank exploring expansion into Malaysia
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is considering expanding into markets in South East Asia and Africa, countries with a large Muslim population, to diversify revenue and boost growth. The bank has ‘looked closely’ at Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Algeria, Morocco and Jordan. However, the bank will only be looking to do acquisitions in 2016, as part of its plan. (Bloomberg)

Shareholders give OSK Property and PJ Development merger green light
The merger of OSK Property Holdings Bhd and PJ Development Bhd, valued at RM1.71 billion, has been given the green light by shareholders of OSK Holdings Bhd. The move is set to place OSK Holdings as a first-tier property company in Malaysia, with a total gross development value of RM13.3bil. It will have a total land bank of 1,297 acres in Malaysia and another 5 acres in Melbourne, Australia, RM1.5bil in unbilled sales and new projects in the works. (The Star Online)

Member of Parliament for Pandan Rafizi Ramli speaks during a press conference on Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) scandal, at the National Oversight & Whistleblowers (NOW) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on June 29, 2015. (The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli)

National Oversight and Whistleblower (NOW) director and member of Parliament for Pandan Rafizi Ramli speaks during a press conference. (The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli)

Malaysian businessman earned RM51mil selling Aussie property to Mara
The National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) has revealed that a Malaysian businessman has made around RM50 million by selling off two Australian properties (333 Exhibition Street and 51 Queen Street) to Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) in early 2013, barely a few months after buying over the properties. The man, identified as Datuk Ding Pei Chai, had set up two special purpose vehicles and later sold them to Mara for a huge profit. NOW director Rafizi Ramli had met him personally and said that if his version of events is true, Mara must have been “extremely stupid” to overpay for the two properties. The authorities were urged investigate Ding as well as those involved in the Mara property purchase to ensure public funds were not misused. (The Malay Mail Online)

WSJ: 1MDB scandal proof of one-party rule failure
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an opinion piece yesterday that said the abuse of public entities for private gain was not unusual in Malaysia and illustrated the failure of Umno’s one-party rule in the country with “racial preferences and patronage”. The US paper also noted that plunging oil prices has depleted public funds, leading to internal strife from those “used to feeding”. Najib is expected to sue the WSJ over its reports and allegations. (The Malay Mail Online)

GUH bids for RM1.6bil water projects
GUH Holdings Bhd has submitted tenders for 10 water and waste water treatment plants projects, located in the central and northern regions, worth about RM1.6 billion this year. The group also plans to launch about RM140 million worth of landed properties in Seremban, while its development project in Simpang Ampat, Penang is being revamped to increase the value of the GDV. (The Star Online)

AlloyMtd to redevelop London landmark into mixed development
Kuala Lumpur-based infrastructure development company AlloyMtd Group has received approval from the London Borough of Hackney (LBH) Planning Committee to redevelop a landmark site in London, One Crown Place, into a mixed development with gross development value of £451mil (RM2.67bil). (The Star Online)

Sabah earthquake caused RM94.8 million in damages
The damages to property, infrastructure and public assets after the Sabah earthquake on June 5 is being assessed at RM94.8 million, based on a report from the state Public Works Department covering 61 damaged buildings, 22 roads, one bridge and 22 slopes. A total of 136 houses in Kota Belud and 269 houses in Ranau were also slightly or moderately damaged. (Bernama)