Weak ringgit bringing business, property buyers from Singapore
Despite the economic woes due to a weak ringgit, tourism-related businesses and the property sector are seeing increased business from Singapore. A real estate consultant said the currency’s devaluation had caused Singaporeans to flock to Malaysia as they get more for their money, citing the June school holidays that saw Singaporeans crossing the Causeway in droves. Tourism-related industries such as F&B, hotels and other accommodation were boosted, along with shopping malls and even car wash oulets. Even the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee did deter them. The exchange rates also saw projects in Iskandar Malaysia and the KLCC area taken up by foreign investors. (The Malaysian Insider)

KLCC Property stapled group Q2 earnings up 19%
KLCC Property Holdings Bhd (KLCCP) Stapled Group’s earnings increased 19.2% to RM179.86 million for the second quarter of 2015, on the back of a 1.1% drop in revenue. The group’s office and retail property investments contribute about 90% to its profit. However, its hotel operations saw a loss of RM1.55mil from a year ago. KLCCP’s ordinary shares and units of the KLCC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) – which include the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara 3 Petronas and Menara ExxonMobil – together create the stapled securities. (The Star Online)

WCT unperturbed by tenants moving out of Paradigm Mall
Paradigm Mall, which opened three years ago, saw 18% of its tenants close and move out about two months ago after the first wave of tenancy renewals, leaving behind vacancies that have yet to be taken up. However, WCT Malls Management Sdn Bhd seems unflustered, even though it admits it may take up to 5 months to find tenants for empty units – which make up about 8% – in a slow retail market due to low sales and even lower consumer sentiment. The malls anchor tenants have renewed their tenancy agreements, and the management is trying to renegotiate with the closed units while looking out for new tenants. (The Malaysian Insider)

MKH to launch RM1bil JV project in Kajang
MKH Bhd has entered into a joint venture agreement with Sim See Hua Brothers Sdn Bhd, Segamurni Corp Sdn Bhd and Joint Power Development Sdn Bhd for a property development project in Kajang with an estimated gross development value of RM1 billion. The project will be on 130.05 acres of land adjacent to the Kajang 2 township development. (The Star Online)

Malaysia reserves fall below $100bil threshold
Malaysia’s international reserves have fallen below the $100 billion threshold as Bank Negara struggles to slow the ringgit’s decline in the face of a drawn-out political crisis. As of July 31, the currency reserves fell to $96.7 billion, the lowest since September 2010. The ringgit has lost about 11% value against the US dollar this year despite Bank Negara selling dollars and buying ringgit since June to stem the slide, which saw it at 3.922 against the dollar on Friday. (The Edge Markets)

Yong Tai banking on property, plans projects RM7bil worth of projects
Garment manufacturer Yong Tai Bhd is expanding its presence into the property market, and has entered into memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with five companies to launch property development projects with a combined gross development value of RM7 billion over the next 8 years, located in Malacca, Klang Valley and Johor. The company ventured into property development last year, and is banking on property development to turn around its loss-making garment business, which will be reduced in terms of operating and administrative costs. (The Star Online)

UEM Sunrise positive of market demand in 2015
UEM Sunrise Bhd is maintaining a positive outlook on the property market demand this year, despite the weakening ringgit. CEO Raymond Cheah said that the market is currently at a moderate level as buyers are being cautious, while as a property developer, building houses or infrastructure projects during this time will benefit them as material costs will be cheaper. The company is not worried as land values would still go up every year. The first phase of the company’s Gerbang Nusajaya project, Nusajaya Tech Park, would be completed in the fourth quarter this year. (The Malaysian Insider)

KSWP will continue investing in overseas properties
The Employees Provident Fund (KWSP) will continue its overseas property investment in Japan, UK, France and Germany in order to provide a steady dividend stream for its contributors, which number about 14 million. The fund’s head of global real estate private markets department said it was out of ncessity because it had ‘become a big fish in a small crowded pond’ with Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Haji and the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP). (The Star Online)

High household debt in Malaysia is a cause for worry, says expert
The household debt in Malaysia is very high compared to other countries, with 50% of the income of Malaysians going into paying debts, making it a cause for worry, said economist Dr Muhammad Abdul Khalid. Although this is acceptable for those with savings, it is worrying for those who do not, which make up about 90% of Malaysians. Even those with investments only have a small amount in the accounts, while young people fresh out of university already have debts of over RM25,000. In addition to government policies to help the people, financial and consumer literacy is important too. (Astro Awani)