At least 7 dead in Jakarta attacks
Five attackers and two civilians were killed as the Indonesia capital of Jakarta was rocked by explosions and gunfire yesterday. Of the two civilians, one was a Canadian citizen, the other a Indonesian civilian. It was reported that there was a gunfight and six bombs were detonated. Police said they suspected a suicide bomber was responsible for at least one of the blasts and up to 14 militant gunmen were involved in the attack. A police spokesperson said that they had previously received a threat from ISIS that Indonesia would be targeted. (The Malaysian Insider)

Revised Budget 2016 may see cuts for Housing Ministry
The Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government is expecting allocation cuts in the revised Budget 2016, which is expected to be announced on Jan 28. The government said last week that the budget would have to be recalibrated to reflect current global economic developments and lower oil prices. The revised budget is expected to be based on the assumption that crude oil averages US$30 per barrel. Housing minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said he believed some programmes in the housing budget might be consolidated or delayed, depending on the ministry’s budget allocation, but hoped there would not be any serious cuts as housing was a catalyst to the economy. Under the Budget 2016 announced last year, the ministry’s allocated sum included RM863mil for the People’s Housing Programme, RM200mil for the First House Deposit Financing Scheme, RM40mil for revival of abandoned housing, and RM155mil for maintenance. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia at highest alert level following Jakarta attacks
The Malaysian police have raised the alert level in the country to the highest degree following yesterday’s attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia and heightened security measures at several key locations. IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the move was to pre-empt similar incidences from happening in the country. Increased security measures are being taken in public areas such as shopping malls and tourist destinations, as well as extra precautionary actions in border areas to prevent infiltration by terrorist elements. (New Straits Times Online)

Pavilion REIT property income for FY15 rises 3.11%
Pavilion Real Estate Investment Trust (Pavilion REIT) saw its net property income for FY15 rise 3.11%, and revenue inched up 2.94% to RM413.93mil from a year earlier. It also reported a 4.93% increase in its net property income for the fourth quarter (4QFY15) , while its revenue for 2.67% from the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, its net profit for 4QFY15 came in 69.55% lower than the same period a year ago, dropping from RM335.18mil to RM102.08mil. Its distribution per unit (DPU) came to 4.14 sen for the quarter, bringing its full-year DPU to 8.23 sen, up 3.39% from last year’s 7.96 sen. (The Edge Markets)

Johor urged to speed up construction of affordable homes
The Johor government has been urged by residents and lawmakers to speed up the construction of affordable homes in the state, especially around town areas. A local assemblyman pointed out that a housing project in Taman Megah Ria in Pasir Gudang has been left idle since 2014. Residents hoped the project would be revived as the price of properties in the area was too high, and for the local council to clear the area of rubbish and trees which was becoming a site for drug addicts. (The Star Online)

SapKen wins RM503m worth of jobs in Malaysia and abroad
SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd (SapKen) has bagged three contracts worth a total US$117mil (RM503mil) from clients in Malaysia and West Africa. The contracts, spanning eight to 18 months, were expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings. The contracts include the provision of hook-up and commissioning works for KNPG-B Phase II, Kinabalu Non-Associated Gas development project; engineering, procurement and construction of subsea isolation valve systems at Block PM302, North Malay Basin; and a drilling contract from Sarawak Shell Berhad/Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd in offshore Cote d’Ivoire. (The Star Online)

EPF to focus investments in Malaysia
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will continue to focus its investments within Malaysia to support the country’s economy. The fund is constantly investing and looking at the right assets to invest in, said its CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan. Same strategies would be implemented by bringing in foreign investors as part of its role to bring in global partners. Its recent ventures are in a logistics hub with Australia’s Goodman Group, and separately with several other global pension funds. In September last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had called on government-linked companies and investment companies to repatriate their profits locally to spur the domestic economy. (The Rakyat Post)

paradiso nuova mediniMalaysian condo sales launched in Myanmar
Malaysian luxury condominiums have been launched for sale in Yangon, Myanmar for the first time, as international developers test the country’s demand for overseas property. Singaporean, Chinese, Thai and US properties have been marketed in Myanmar, and Malaysia is the latest in a line of foreign developers to market their housing projects in Yangon. Zhuoyan-Iskandar, a Chinese-Malaysian joint venture, is selling units in its flagship Paradiso Nuova Condominium project located in Iskandar Malaysia. The luxury condominium is due to be completed end of this year, and is the first time a Malaysian condominium has been on sale in Myanmar. The launch price of RM850 per sq ft is lower than the average price for a luxury condominium in Yangon.More than 80pc of units had been sold before the project went on sale to Myanmar. (Myanmar Times)