Another challenging year for property sector
Maybank IB Research reports that it expects overall property sales to stay weak due to slow economic momentum, strict bank lending, and incoming supply of new properties. Subsequently, property development margins are likely to stay subdued, as developers offer more discounts/rebates/incentives to attract buyers. Increasing competition will also limit developers’ pricing power. Bankers and industry players said that there has been an increase in the number of properties put up for auction, while banks had reported of several isolated cases of small, unlisted property developers defaulting over the past year. Supply will outstrip demand in the near term when units – especially high rise – launched in 2012-2013 come onto the market. (The Star Online)

UEM-Medini JV to begin township management services in Iskandar this year
A new joint venture entity between UEM Sunrise Edgenta TMS Sdn Bhd (UEMSET) and Township Management Services Sdn Bhd – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd – will begin its township management services this year, specifically for owners and residents of Medini and Iskandar Puteri (formerly Nusajaya) townships in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor Bahru. The JV will see UEMSET holding a 70% stake and TMS the remaining 30%. It will offer integrated facilities management, estate management and security management services for both the southern region townships. (The Edge Markets)

The Haven refutes claims of high property prices
The Haven Luxury Resort in Ipoh has refuted allegations that their property prices are high in the market. Its CEO said that many had been misled and misinformed about its prices from people who gave ‘unsubstantiated opinion of the prices’. The Haven’s land values are about the same as Kuala Lumpur or Penang, but yet it is being marketed at substantially lower prices than the two places due to market perception. The development has won 34 awards in several categories, had articles written about the resort in publications, and judged as “the best value condo development in the world”. (The Sun Daily)

Bina Puri to bid for projects worth RM3.4bil in 2016
Bina Puri Holdings Bhd has tendered for major construction projects worth about RM3.4 billion in total this year, including works for the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid), Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (Dash) and Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) projects. It has also tendered for the Pan-Borneo Highway project with a joint venture partner, as well as MRT, LRT and BRT projects. The company could secure up to RM1 billion worth of construction projects this year from domestic and overseas property markets. It is also planning to list its utilities business on the Indonesia Stock Exchange by June 30. (The Star Online)

Scanwolf expects RM99.6mil profit from Perak property project
Scanwolf Corp Bhd is planning to launch a mixed development project in Kampar, Perak with a GDV of RM317 million and estimated profit of RM99.6 million. The 12.22-acre development comprising commercial suites, townhouses, two apartment blocks, and a hotel would be undertaken by its indirect unit, Scanwolf Development Sdn Bhd. The company yesterday sold 3.72 acres of land to public transport provider TCBS to build and operate a proposed integrated bus terminal complex (IBTC), which will be surrounded by the mixed project. The IBTC would provide an integrated public transport system, i.e. local bus services, express bus, taxi, and shuttle bus along with a waiting area with a shopping complex, fitness centre, banquet hall, cineplex, café, restaurants and other common facilities. (The Star Online)

Two officers charged for accepting bribes from bauxite miner
Two officers from the Pahang Land and Mines Department (PTG) have been charged with accepting RM3,000 in bribes from an unlicensed bauxite miner. Assistant Land Officer Fadly Ab Malek, 35, and Administrative and Diplomatic Officer (PTD) Syed Umar Khalil Syed Khalid, 34, pled not guilty in the Kuantan Sessions Court. The bribe was given to the officers to provide protection to the miner for allegedly conducting illegal bauxite mining, with an additional RM35,000 to one of the officers for providing protection for transfer of the mineral. (The Malaysian Insider)