The Economist: Malaysia at risk of criss over debt
Malaysia’s debt situations is putting the country at risk of a crisis as it lacks the ability to bail out imprudent borrowers or protect against capital flight, reported The Economist. Foreign liabilities, the highest household debt-to-income ratio of any big emerging market, low foreign reserves and shrinking current-account surplus will contribute to the crisis risk. The Economist noted that some debt cycles end in crisis and recession, while others merely result in slower economic growth. Countries like Singapore, China and South Korea belong to the latter category, The Economist said. Its warning about Malaysia came after Bank Negara accepted dollar deposits for the first time in September to shore up currency reserves amid a ringgit plunge. (The Malay Mail Online)

SP Setia plans third Australian project
SP Setia Bhd is planning to develop a residential project in Melbourne, Australia with a GDV of A$34mil (RM105.75mil). The property developer had acquired its third piece of land, located about 11km east of the CBD, measuring 2,074 sq m for A$6.68mil (RM20.78mil) for the purpose. The site has a permit for a compact project of 48 apartments over four storeys. It will be the company’s third project in Australia, albeit a small one compared to Fulton Lane and Parque, its first two developments in Melbourne. (The Star Online)

TH Properties allocates RM220m for all Aussie projects
TH Properties Sdn Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Haji’s (LTH) property development arm, has allocated approximately RM220 million for all its Australian projects. It recently completed the A$220 million Bay Pavilions apartment project in Sydney ahead of time, which was launched in late 2013 and sold out. The company has embarked on further developments in Sydney with a gross development value over A$800 million. It has secured the Imperial Hurstville project with a GDV of about A$200 million, recently launched ONE The Waterfront, and plans to launch a high-rise apartment at North Strathfield next year. (The Star Online)

MRCB to raise RM612mil from private placement
Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) plans to raise gross proceeds of up to RM612.1mil through a proposed private placement of up to 20% of its issued and paid-up capital. It is planning to place up to 493.61 million RM1 shares to major shareholder Gapurna Sdn Bhd and independent third party investor(s). Gapurna currently has a 16.7% stake in MRCB, making it the second-largest shareholder after EPF (38.37%). The company plans to use over 60% of the proceeds for property development activities, 20% for general working capital and 14% to repay borrowings. (The Star Online)

KL beefs up security ahead of ASEAN Summit
Malaysia is beefing up its security ahead of the 27th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur this week, following the terror attacks in Paris last Friday that killed at least 129 people. An increased number of police personnel will be deployed to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), where the summit will be held from Wednesday to Sunday, to ensure the safety and security of some 3,000 delegates, which include world leaders from ASEAN, Japan, China, India, and the US. Terrorism is a real threat, with reports indicating that the IS militant group had put several Malaysian leaders on its target list. (AsiaOne)

Security around KL is amped up ahead of the 27th ASEAN Summit held at KLCC this week. (Photo from AsiaOne)

Security around KL is amped up ahead of the 27th ASEAN Summit held at KLCC this week. (Photo from AsiaOne)

Najib: Malaysia needs strong middle class to grow economy
Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that Malaysia needs a strong and growing middle class group (M40) in order to achieve the high-income advanced economy status by 2020. He said that in any capital market enterprise economy like Malaysia, the middle class – or middle 40% of the household income group – is the driver of the economy and thus central to the nation’s well-being, consumption spending and private investments. It also serves as a critical pool for talent, investment and entrepreneurship. There were plans to flourish the M40 group in Budget 2016, including tax relief measures, allocation for first time home buyers, and minimum wage increase to help those struggling to break into the middle class bracket. (Malaysian Digest)