Phase two of Pudu Ulu park includes wedding reception facilities
The Federal Territories Ministry has allocated RM11 million for phase two construction of Pudu Ulu Recreational Park in Cheras. The 13-hectare project, which is expected to complete in August 2016, follows the 12-hectare phase one project, which was completed in November 2007. The park is aimed at creating a public park with various recreational facilities, which will include a main plaza suitable for wedding receptions and a paddling pool for children. (Malay Mail Online)

Good news for renters, not so much for buyers
Siva Shanker, the immediate past president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), is absolutely certain that for the next one to three years, the biggest winner will be the rental market. Rental charges for condominium units to expected to drop by 20% to 40% due to oversupply in the market as many projects will be completed from the end of this year until 2017. With the property completed, the developers’ interest-bearing scheme (DIBS) ends and housing loan kicks in, so buyers have to start servicing their loans. With the current challenging market, it will be difficult to sell units, and rental will drop due to competition to get tenants. However, Siva stresses that not the entire housing sector will be affected; “it will be with the RM500,000 to RM800,000 condos, the high-end residential condos and shoebox units like SoHo, SoVo and SoFo, which have been built by the dozens.” (The Star Online)

Titijaya in JV to develop government land in Bukit Bintang
Titijaya Land Bhd has signed a shareholders agreement with Amona Development Sdn Bhd to form a joint venture company named Metrogale Development Sdn Bhd to develop a piece of government land in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. The proposed land, measuring approximately 1.1ha, is located in Kuala Lumpur’s golden triangle. In exchange for the proposed development, the JV has planned to build school facilities within the vicinities of Kuala Lumpur and Greater Klang Valley area. (The Malaysian Insider)

O&C Resources acquires 51% of Masbe Coffee, expands into property development
O&C Resources Bhd has acquired a 51% stake in Masbe Coffee Sdn Bhd (MCSB) for RM5 million. The deal will provide the company the rights to develop a 0.15ha piece of freehold land at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur with a gross development value of RM204.94 million. The approved development for the land is a block of 145 service apartment units, although MCSB may apply for a revision of the development order upon finalisation of the new joint venture agreement. O&C Resources is involved in manufacturing, trading and marketing of babycare accessories, medical contraceptive condoms and toys. (The Edge Markets)

EcoFirst 1Q profit triples on mall income, condo development
Property developer and manager EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd has tripled its 1QFY16 profit to RM2.34 million, from RM716,000 previously, attributed to recurring mall income and its ‘Upper East @ Tiger Lane’ condominium development in Ipoh, Perak. It announced that more than half of the 529 luxury units sold at the end of the quarter, and is currently 50% completed. This saw the group’s revenue quadrupling to RM23.33 million, from 1QFY15’s revenue of RM5.13 million. The group expects stronger contribution in FY16 from Upper East due to its rapid progress, while rental income from its two malls – 1Segamat Mall in Segamat, Johor and the South City Plaza in Sri Kembangan, Selangor – will continue to provide a substantial source of recurring income for the group. (The Edge Markets)

Hitachi to collaborate with more Malaysian property developers
Japan’s Hitachi Ltd hopes to collaborate with more property developers in Malaysia and propose an integrated solution in energy-saving technology and energy management system (EMS). Earlier in March this year, it had signed a collaboration with Sunway Group for a joint study on energy-saving technology and EMS that will be implemented in commercial buildings, facilities and condominiums in townships owned or managed by Sunway. The move will provide a better understanding to Hitachi on the development landscape in Malaysia, and an opportunity for Hitachi to further deliver innovations that answer society’s challenges. Hitachi chairman and CEO Hiroaki Nakanishi said the company would not hesitate to work with other developers to learn more about the industry, and is willing to offer its expertise in various other sectors in Malaysia. (Malaysian Digest)

PanaHome to launch 4 projects in Klang Valley next year
PanaHome Corp aims to launch two condominium and two landed property projects in the Klang Valley with a combined gross construction cost of about RM344 million in 2016. the two condominium projects are scheduled for ground-breaking in April and July 2016, with targeted completion in March and July 2019, while the landed homes will be launched in 2016 and estimated to complete in November 2017 and August 2018. It plans to achieve 50bil yen (RM1.78bil) in sales for financial year 2018 from its housing business in Asia, with Malaysia expected to generate 15bil yen (RM540mil). PanaHome had in April set up a wholly-owned subsidiary PanaHome Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, which will focus on the expansion of the housing business in the Asean region except Malaysia. In Malaysia, PanaHome Malaysia will transfer the projects it has in the Asean region except Malaysia to PanaHome Asia Pacific, so that it could focus on the business in the country. (The Star Online)

Smart houses built by Panahome for the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town. Wakabayashi says the group could utilise the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town model to expand its housing business in the Asean region. (Source: The Star)

Smart houses built by Panahome for the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town. Wakabayashi says the group could utilise the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town model to expand its housing business in the Asean region. (Source: The Star)

Russian plane crashes in Egypt, 224 killed
A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday shortly after losing radar contact near cruising altitude, killing all aboard. A militant group affiliated to Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt, Sinai said it had brought down the plane “in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land”. The Metrojet Airbus A321 was flying from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia when it went down in central Sinai soon after daybreak. Communications between the plane and air traffic control were normal before the incident. (Reuters)

A child's shoe is seen in front of debris from a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. (Reuters: Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

A child’s shoe is seen in front of debris from a Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (Reuters: Mohamed Abd El Ghany)