Residential property value to drop this year, says property expert
CH Williams Talhar & Wong’s (WTW) managing director Foo Gee Jen said he expected to see a drop in residential property value and transaction volume this year, compared to 2015. The residential property sub-sector is likely to be flattish, as buyer sentiment continues to be subdued, home buyers would remain cautious, and uncertainty in the job market a deterrent to spending. Foo, however, added demand for residential property in established areas will continue to remain healthy, with secondary property market being more robust than the primary market. Regarding high-rise residentials, Foo said there was a mismatch of supply in demand – especially in the Klang Valley – with high supply of shoebox units (units under 500 sq ft) that would take a long time to fill. Impact on the office sector would be minimal, while the industrial sub-sector is expected to register positive growth. (The Star Online)

Pahang bauxite may run out in 4-5 years
Latest figures from the Minerals and Geoscience Department of Pahang estimate that the state has the country’s biggest estimated reserves of bauxite totalling 80.2 million tonnes. However, it was reported that up to 20 million tonnes may have been mined in 2015, which means that the bauxite reserves would be depleted within four to five years if the excessive mining continues. Department data shows that Malaysia has a bauxite reserve of about 109 million tonnes, with the bulk of it (80.2 million tonnes) in Pahang, followed by Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak and Johor. (The Star Online)

1MDB: RM2.4bil sukuk utilised according to agreement
1MDB has stated that it had utilised the RM2.4 billion sukuk issued in 2014 through Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd according to its agreement. The sukuk had been used to partly finance the cost of relocating the Sungai Besi air base, pre-fund the sukuk programme’s fees and expenses, and fund the working capital of 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (now known as TRX City Sdn Bhd). (The Malaysian Insider)

Image from Free Malaysia Today

Image from Free Malaysia Today

Owners given one month to evict non-eligible tenants from low-cost units
The Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government has given the owners of low-cost Project Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) units one month notice to evict their foreigner and non-eligible citizen tenants. Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the PPRs were meant for low-income earners who were Malaysians, and that subletting the units to foreigners was illegal. Those caught flaunting the rules would be asked to vacate their rented units. He also urged local councils to take action against Malaysians who misused their PPR units. (Free Malaysia Today)

Tropicana sells Bukit Bintang hotel for RM55mil
Tropicana Corp Bhd is disposing its Sky Express Hotel on Jalan Bukit Bintang for RM55 million. The RM24.4 million net proceeds from the sale will go towards paying its bank borrowings and working capital. Tropicana’s wholly-owned subsidiary Advent Nexus Sdn Bhd had signed the SPA with Pinnacle Supreme Sdn Bhd to sell the 1,106 sqm land along with the 10-storey hotel built on it. (The Malaysian Insider)

Seacera eyes RM75mil profit by FY19
Tiles manufacturing, property and construction company Seacera Group Bhd is eyeing a profit of about RM75 million by 2019 from the production of dialysis filters once its manufacturing plant in Melaka begins production in 2017. The plant will be the first polysulphone dialyser plant in Malaysia, which it partnered with Proligen Sdn Bhd to set up as part of its diversification into the healthcare business segment. About 80% of the plant’s expected production will be for overseas market, while the remaining 20% will be supplied to Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MoH). (The Edge Markets)

Local travellers urged to “Go Domestic”
The Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (Mita), along with the Tourism Malaysia, has launched a “Go Domestic” campaign aimed at encouraging Malaysians to travel to local tourism destinations this year, as the government looks to local tourism as a way to boost the country’s economy. The first ever Tourism Fair, which will be held from Jan 29 to Jan 31 at KL Convention Centre, is expected to receive good response from industry players and visitors, in light of the weak ringgit which does not favour overseas travel, said Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab. He said revenue from domestic tourism is expected to increase to RM45.7 billion this year from RM43.5 billion last year. (Malay Mail Online)

(From left) Lee, Mirza, Uzaidi and Iskandar at the launch of the "Go Domestic" campaign (Photo from Malay Mail Online)

(From left) Lee, Mirza, Uzaidi and Iskandar at the launch of the “Go Domestic” campaign (Photo from Malay Mail Online)