EcoWorld’s Bukit Bintang project set for year-end launch
Eco World Development Group Bhd said it is on track to launch its RM8.7 billion Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project by year-end, after obtaining shareholders’ approval yesterday. The group is now in the process of pre-planning for the launch and marketing, while construction is expected to start in the first quarter of next year. The BBCC development project will comprise a mall, entertainment block, strata offices, office tower, two hotels, serviced residences and serviced apartments. It will be built on 19.4 acres at the former Pudu Jail site and take 8-10 years to complete. (The Sun Daily)

Real estate ethics body takes first step forward
A growing coalition of almost 50 professional real estate bodies from around the world has announced the selection of a committee of independent experts to write the first international ethics standards for real estate professionals. The 50 bodies, including the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA), represent many thousands of real estate practitioners, including those from Russia, China, France, USA, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and the UK. (Asia Asset Management)

BMI Research: Ringgit to hit 4.20 by year end
Research house BMI Research reported in its outlook for Malaysia that the ringgit will hit 4.2 against the US dollar by the end of 2015, despite the country’s GDP upgrade. It said its original forecast of RM3.7 was no applicable. The ringgit is now trading at 4.0945 to the US dollar after hitting a 17-year low of 3.9365 last week. (The Malaysian Insider)

Compugates, Penang firm to develop RM1.5bil Dengkil project
Compugates Holdings Bhdand a Penang-based private property developer, Main Uptown Sdn Bhd, have signed a joint venture agreement to build a mixed development project with gross development value (GDV) of RM1.5 billion in Dengkil, Selangor. The proposed mixed development will comprise service apartments or SoHo/SoVo/SoFo units. Main Uptown will carry out development and construction, while Compugates is the owner of the 99-year leasehold land measuring 38.3 acres. (The Malaysian Insider)

Audio equipment manufacturer buys Johor property development company for RM15.5m
Acoustech Bhd, an audio equipment manufacturer, is buying a 100% stake in JM Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, a Johor-based property developer, for RM15.5 million. Acoustech cited strengthening its earnings base and enhancement of its long term growth prospects as the reason for the acquisition. It would also ensure that the group is not solely dependent on its existing core business, in view of the challenging business environment and uncertain consumer market. (The Edge Markets)

Strong pound lowering interest in UK properties
Sime Darby Bhd had reported a “softening interest” in its London properties by Southeast Asian buyers, especially Malaysians, due to the rise in the British pound and a rapidly weakening ringgit. UK daily The Independent noted that Sime Darby’s Battersea luxury homes saw a 10% drop in value thanks to a volatile home property sector and dampened demand for high-end penthouses in the city. (The Malay Mail Online)

Takaso to raise RM36.75m, expand into property development
Takaso Resources Bhd is planning to raise RM36.75 million through renounceable rights issue of new irredeemable convertible preference shares (ICPS), and diversify its business to include property development. The group is currently involved in manufacturing rubber products and baby products, and recently expanded into the construction segment. It expects the property development business to potentially contribute at least 25% to future net profits and/or net assets. (The Edge Markets)

Bangkok bombing victims remains sent back to Penang
The remains of the four Bangkok bombing victims, who were from the same family, have been sent back to Penang yesterday. The four caskets were accompanied by blast survivor Neoh Ee Ling, who lost her husband, daughter, mother and brother in the tragic incident on Monday evening. Of the seven family members, only Neoh and her father survived. The remains of a fifth family victim have yet to be identified. (New Straits Times Online)