Court orders halt on Ampang Park Mall demolition
The court has ordered a temporary stop on the demolition of the Ampang Park Mall, which was to make way for an underground walkway connecting the new MRT station and Ampang Park LRT station. Judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah gave the order to temporarily stop proceedings related to the acquisition of Ampang Park pending disposal of the judicial review, and also gave leave for the traders to proceed with the judicial review against government’s approval for the demolition. The applicants seek a court order to stop all land acquisition proceedings linked to Ampang Park Negotiations between the mall traders and MRT Corp to settle the issue out-of-court will still continue. (New Straits Times Online)

Malaysia inflation up 2.7% in December
The Statistics Department stated that the consumer price index (CPI) was up 2.7% in December 2015 to 114.8 compared to 111.8 a year ago. The inflation rate increase is in line with economists’ expectations, due to higher prices for alcoholic beverages, food and health. The five main groups of goods and services that contributed to the increase are alcoholic beverages & tobacco group by 22.8%; restaurants & hotels (+4.7%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (+4.6%); health (+4.6%) and furnishing, household equipment & routine household maintenance (+4.2%). (The Star Online)

Government urged to work with developers to promote affordable homes
Property experts are urging the government to collaborate with developers to offer more affordable housing in light of the demand for such properties. The Association of valuers, property managers, estate agents and property consultants in the private sector, Malaysia (PEPS) pointed out that the affordable housing sub sector had been ‘neglected’ for many years, hence a huge gap in terms of supply and demand. It was not conducive for developers to purchase expensive tracts of land just for affordable housing schemes; instead the government should release surplus land and engage in joint ventures with developers to build affordable houses. (The Star Online)

Home prices to dip due to lower demand, supply ‘overhang’
Industry experts expect property prices to experience a “moderate drop” this year as demand slows and auctions of foreclosed properties are added to the existing oversupply. At the 9th Malaysian Property Summit, organising chairperson James Wong said that 2016 will be “challenging” as many will be affected by the economic slowdown and higher cost of living, which has already resulted in decline of purchases and reduction of new property launches. Wong said that there would be less launches this year and take up rate will be lower; the oversupply, or “overhang”, in the property market will build up. However, he also said that they did not expect a recession or a property bubble, merely a moderate decline and decrease in property prices. (The Malay Mail Online)

Penang to build spiral ramp for bicycles
A spiral ramp for bicycles, the first in Malaysia, will be built connecting the flyover across the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and the bridge crossing Sungai Nibong Kecil and Sungai Ara. At 270m, it is part of a special bicycle lane from Queensbay Mall to the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas. The unique spiral design was necessary as the location had limited space for a normal ramp. the project involves several developers that funded the project as part of their corporate social responsibility. (The Malay Mail Online)

Berjaya awarded 18-year Vietnam lottery contract
Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) has bagged a deal to operate Vietnam’s nationwide computerised lottery for 18 years, at a cost of about US$210.58 million (RM925 million). BCorp won the bid to run the lottery in May 2014, and received the investment registration certificate from the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment yesterday to start the project. BCorp and Vietnam Computerised Lottery One Member LLC (Vietlott) had entered a business cooperation contract (BCC) following the win. As the project delivery partner, Berjaya Group will will provide state-of-the art and enhanced secure gaming technology, performance-driven services, and an integrated business environment under the BCC. (The Sun Daily)

Guocoland slips into red for 2Q but 1H profits double
Guocoland (M) Bhd has slipped into the red for its second quarter ended Dec 31, 2015 (2QFY16), recording a net loss of RM7.48 million. Its revenue dropped almost 35% to RM36mil in the latest quarter, compared to RM55.3mil in the corresponding period a year ago. The revenue slump was mainly due to lower contributions from its projects in PJ City, Commerce One, Old Klang Road and Amandarii Kajang, but mitigated by an increase in the Damansara City residential project. Nevertheless, Guocoland saw its first half (1HFY16) net profit double to RM13.85mil from RM5.8mil, and revenue came in 27.5% higher. (The Malaysian Insider)

Bintai Kinden unit wins RM120mil student campus project
Bintai Kinden’s wholly owned subsidiary, Bintai Integrated Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd, has won a contract worth RM120mil for a student campus development in Malacca. The company was appointed as the turnkey contractor for the Kolej Teknologi Islam Melaka Bhd’s (KTIM) student campus for a concession period of 25 years for 7,002 students. The project comprises 9 blocks of four-storey hostel buildings, a student center block, a block of fellows’ house along with infrastructure and facilities on a land measuring 15.58 acres. (The Star Online)