France confirms wing part is from MH370
French investigators have formally identified the piece of airplane debris, known as a flaperon, which was washed-up on the remote French island of Reunion in July, as part of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370). Malaysian authorities had already declared that the wing fragment was from the missing plane, but until now French investigators could not confirm the statement. Paris officials said the investigators used maintenance records to match a serial number found on the flaperon with the missing plane. (New Straits Times Online)

China’s Agile eyes mid-market housing projects
China-based property developer Agile Property Holdings has considered venturing into Malaysia’s mid-market property segment if there is strong demand. Its CEO Wilson Ren said that the company would follow market demand and would go for it if there was demand for mid-market properties. It plans to acquire more land in Malaysia for future projects, particularly in the Klang Valley for housing developments. Through its local unit, the company yesterday launched Agile Mont Kiara, its first high-end residential project with a GDV of RM1.2 billion. The Chinese property developer is also working with Tropicana Corp Bhd to build high-end serviced apartments in Bukit Bintang. (The Rakyat Post)

UDA to redevelop Bangsar complex into high-tech serviced apartments
The under-utilised Kompleks Niaga Utama (KNU) in Bangsar will be redeveloped into fully furnished service apartments by UDA Holdings Bhd, with a GDV of more than RM250 million upon completion by 2019. The new redevelopment will comprise a 38-storey residential tower complete with rooftop pool and the latest remote technologies for tenants to manage their homes via mobile devices. The 14 traders at the building would be given 3 months’ notice to move to Pudu Sentral and Pertama Complex. The building is located in a high yield property zone within the affluent Bangsar area of Kuala Lumpur, with the land worth around RM35mil. (The Star Online)

Work on KL-SG HSR to be awarded by 2017
Work packages for the multi-billion ringgit Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project will be awarded by 2017 at the earliest, with completion slated for 2022. The project is estimated to take about 5 years to complete, said SPAD chief development officer Dr Prodyutt Dutt. Preliminary works such as tender documents are currently being prepared by both sides, and consultation is needed with the Singapore government on the exact date on awarding the HSR project. (The Edge Markets)

SHL Consolidated banking on build-then-sell model to increase earnings
Property developer SHL Consolidated Bhd plans to weather the softening property market with its build-then-sell (BTS) business model, said executive director Datuk Yap Chong Lee. The BTS model allows more flexibility to the company in planning the scale of its property projects, as well as deter speculation and meet the targeted completion date. SHL will continue to focus on developing affordable housing project as there is still high demand for it, but noted that demand has slowed for landed properties. The company will launch landed properties known as “Tecoma” within Goodview Heights in Sungai Long this year. (The Sun Daily)

EcoFirst expects better results in FY16
Property developer EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd expects to see its performance pick up for its financial year ended May 31, 2016 (FY16), driven by its RM300 million luxury condominium project, Upper-East@Tiger Lane in Ipoh, Perak. The group said that over 80% of its 529 condominium units have been taken up. EcoFirst’s purchase of a 62-acre land in Ulu Kelang for RM145mil, which will be the site of a mixed-use development to be launched later this year, is also expected to contribute to its revenue. (The Sun Daily)

How many people were there at Bersih 4?
Even though there is no doubt that last weekend’s Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur was the biggest street demonstration this year, there have been conflicting figures cited by the organisers (who claimed up to 500,000 participants) and the police (only 50,000 people). Based on aerial shots of the 34-hour rally in the nation’s capital, independent social media research firm Politweet estimates the turnout to be between 80,000 and 100,000 people. In its latest study shared with Malay Mail Online this week, the total estimated attendance for Bersih 4 is between 79,919 – 108,125 participants, with a peak on August 29 with between 45,000 – 62,000 people. Politweet’s analysis of the two-day rally described the figures running into the tens of thousands as a “historical achievement”. The research firm estimated the number of people based on capacity of a square grid, adjusted with a 15% margin of error. (The Malay Mail Online)

Aerial view of the Berish 4 rally (Photo from Malaysiakini)

Aerial view of the Berish 4 rally (Photo from Malaysiakini)