Almost 23,000 young Malaysians bankrupt within past 5 years
Approximately 22,663 Malaysians age 35 or younger were declared bankrupt from 2011 to September 2015. The major reason for bankruptcies for the young age group was failure to manage their financial resources responsibly, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri. The government is adopting proactive measures to stem the number of insolvency (inability to pay off debts) cases among young adults, with 67 outreach activities conducted this year to create awareness of the issue. The programmes are aimed at creating greater consciousness on how to manage finances, and educate youths to be more responsible in managing their finances and avoid potential insolvency struggles. (New Straits Times Online)

Banks: Eligible first-time home buyers will get financing
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) says first time home buyers who are eligible will continue to be able to obtain financing. Buyers need to make sound decisions of what they can afford based on their financial circumstances. ABM said that the business of its member banks was to lend or extend credit, and did not have any intention to make lending more difficult, in response to a recent report on banks being “overly cautious” on mortgage loans for first-time home buyers. It pointed out that banks would usually finance up to 90% of the price of the property for first-timers, and some offer special housing loan packages to suit buyers’ needs. ABM encouraged consumers to apply for government schemes to assist in their property purchase, and to fully and accurately disclose all material information regarding their financial position when applying for a loan. (The Star Online)

sime darby property logoSime Darby Property one of Malaysia’s ‘best companies to work for’
Sime Darby Property Bhd has strengthened its status as one of the best workplaces in the region by claiming the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2015 (Malaysia Chapter) award recently. The award recognises and honours world-class corporations that show high levels of employee engagement and outstanding workplace cultures. Central to Sime Darby Property’s success is its ability to attract and develop talent. The company has put in place various policies covering recruitment, training and development, labour practices, human rights and workplace health and safety. Employees are given the opportunity to learn new skills and move forward in their careers. Sime Darby Property acting managing director Datuk Jauhari Hamidi said the recognition validates its efforts in making Sime Darby Property a great company to work for. (The Sun Daily)

Global slowdown will impact Malaysia, says Wahid
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said that the slowdown in the global economy would definitely impact Malaysia, given the country’s reliance on services and manufacturing sectors. He said that given the structure of Malaysia’s economy, the country projects moderate GDP growth of 4% to 5% next year. It is hoped that the manufacturing sector would continue to drive the economy forward, and the infrastructure projects will help sustain growth in 2016. On the domestic front, it was important to monitor consumer sentiment, after it fell to a new low in 3Q due to deteriorating current income, soaring prices, and a bleak job outlook. (The Edge Markets)

IOI Properties sees 14% net profit increase in 1Q year-on-year
IOI Properties Group Bhd reported a net profit of RM115.48 million for the first quarter (1QFY16), up 14% from a year earlier, on the back of a 59% jump in revenue from the previous year. The company said its three segments – property development, property investment, and leisure, hospitality and other operations – had all performed better during the quarter. Its property development segment saw a 41% increase in operating profit, while its property investment division soared 74% from retail growth, and its leisure, hospitality and other operations saw improved performance attributed to Four Points by Sheraton, amusement park District 21 and Icescape Ice Rink at IOI City Mall. (The Edge Markets)

EcoWorld on track to hit RM3bil sales target
EcoWorld Development Bhd has seen solid take-up rates for its new launches, and will likely achieve its RM3 billion sales target for the latest financial year despite the challenging property market. Its flagship Eco Sanctuary project in Canal City, Selangor saw a take-up rate of 70% for its Phase 1 development, which comprise about 700 landed properties. EcoWorld’s innovative concept for the project allowed for its units to be priced higher than other nearby residential projects, and the response has been impressive considering the stiff competition, coupled with softening demand for primary market transactions. As at end-Aug, the group has locked in RM2.37 bil in sales from new launches. (The Star Online)

Eco World recently unveiled its Eco Sanctuary in Selangor to the media (Photo from The Star Online)

Eco World recently unveiled its Eco Sanctuary in Selangor to the media (Photo from The Star Online)

Gemas-JB double tracking details made public
The 197km double-tracking railway line linking Gemas to Johor Baru has a proposed alignment with 11 stations and an addition three stations to be built later, according to the Notice for Public Inspection released last week. Current plans are for the railway line to run through Segamat, Genuang, Labis, Bekok, Paloh, Kluang, Mengkibol, Renggam, Layang-Layang, Kulai and Kempas Baru. The three additional stations – Senai, Chamek and Tenang – have not been confirmed yet. One of the interesting aspects to note is that the Johor Baru station will be elevated. (The Edge Markets)

Magna Prima achieves RM85m net profit for 3Q
Magna Prima Bhd continues to show strong performance in the current year, reporting a net profit of RM85.35 million in the third quarter (3QFY2015) due to improvements in its property development segment. This was attributed to the completion and sale of six blocks of shop office at Jalan Kuching Commercial Centre and The Istana project in Melbourne, Australia. The company slipped into the red in 3QFy14, but got back into the black in 4QFY14 and posted consecutive earnings since. (The Edge Markets)