UEM-Samsung may bag KL118 job
Industry sources have said that the consortium comprising UEM Group Bhd and South Korean giant Samsung may be getting the RM3.4 billion construction project for the KL118 skyscraper. Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the owner of KL118, is believed to favour the UEM-Samsung consortium over two other shortlisted candidates, namely MRCB-China State Constructiong Engineering and WCT-Arabtec. One reason for the preference of UEM-Samsung seems to be their good working relationship with Turner Construction Co, the project managers of KL118, as Turner and Samsung have worked together on other skyscrapers such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, some industry veterans are sceptical of the project and questioned its timing. The KL118, when completed, will be Malaysia’s tallest building and the 6th tallest in the world. (The Edge Markets)

1MDB, subsidiaries exempted from tax for 10 years
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib, who is also the finance minister, said that 1MDB and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have been granted tax exemptions for 10 years, in reply to a Kampar lawmaker’s query about taxes paid by the strategic investment fund since 2009. Under Section 127(3A) of the Income Tax Act, the finance minister has total discretion in granting the exemption without the need to justify anything. DAP MP Tony Pua said the exemption given to 1MDB was not justifiable simply because the business of 1MDB had no special economic benefits for the country unlike tax breaks often granted to pioneer industries. (The Malaysian Insider)

Hunza Properties buys Penang land for affordable housing
Penang-based property developer Hunza Properties Bhd is acquiring a 3.924ha piece of freehold land in Bayan Baru, Penang for RM57.02 million cash. Its unit, Diamaward (M) Sdn Bhd, had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with WLB Properties Sdn Bhd for the currently vacant land, on which it intends to build affordable homes. The acquisition will be funded by a combination of cash and bank borrowings. (The Edge Markets)

Iskandar Malaysia attracted RM27.22bil investments from Jan-Sept 2015
According to a statement by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, the economic region had attracted committed investments worth RM27.22 billion between January and September this year. The amount drawn from committed investments from 2006 to September 2015 totalled RM185.34 billion, with local investors accounting for 59% and foreign investors 41%. The top five countries investing in Iskandar Malaysia were Singapore, China, US, Japan and Spain. The largest investments were in the manufacturing sectors, logistics, tourism, healthcare, education, financial services and creative industries. Other sectors supporting growth in the area include the property sector (residential, retail and industrial), followed by utilities, infrastructure and new technologies. (The Malay Mail Online)

Spain,_autumn_2011_097Hibiscus-shaped development for UEM’s Melbourne project
Leading Malaysian property developer UEM Sunrise is building a A$770mil (RM2.4bil) mixed-use development, called “Aurora”, in the shape of a hibiscus, Malaysia’s national flower. The development will have a 92-storey residential tower, which will be the tallest in the Melbourne CBD, and it will be the only residential development with a direct underground connection to the rail network as well as the CBD’s largest continuous retail precinct. The development will have 941 units, of which 95% have been sold, and will take 4 years to complete. (Bernama)

Rehda proposes tax relief for developers building affordable housing
Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) has suggested for Budget 2016 that the government provide tax relief for property developers building affordable housing. The cost of building houses has gone up since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as developers are not allowed to claim the 6% input, unlike those in commercial and industrial development, and the costs are ultimately passed on to home buyers. Besides the tax relief, Rehda’s Budget 2016 recommendations include revision of the Bumiputera quota policy to include the standardisation of rates and allocation, facilitation of home acquisition, reduce cost of doing business for the industry, increase affordable housing supply and encourage adoption of Industrialised Building System (IBS). (The Malaysian Reserve)