MRCB: Revised 2016 Budget benefits housing sector
Property developer and construction firm Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) said the provisions for affordable homes in the revised 2016 Budget will help boost the housing sector. MRCB managing director Tan Sri Mohamad Salim noted that the revised budget addressed the needs of businesses, employees and the public through various incentives, such as the RM2,000 tax relief for those earning below RM8,000 a month, as this would increase private consumption and stimulate property investment. Besides that, the continued support for LRT and MRT projects would further enhance public mobility and ease traffic congestion. (The Malay Mail Online)

Rehda calls for looser lending requirements
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) is calling for more flexibility in affordable home loan applications, as loan rejection for the category is on the rise. Rehda president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar said that the current financing package for Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) buyers was good news in view of the current situation where housing loan financing has become a major problem. However, the association hopes that the government would consider expanding the incentive to cover the affordable housing category so that more buyers would benefit, as home ownership continues to be a main priority among the low-income and first time buyers group. (The Edge Markets)

Dijaya Plaza @ Jalan Tun Razak (Photo from Setiakon Builders)

Dijaya Plaza @ Jalan Tun Razak (Photo from Setiakon Builders)

Tropicana cautious over soft property market this year
Tropicana Corp Bhd is taking a cautious approach this year, given the soft property market, said group CEO Datuk Yau Kok Seng. The company will be selective in launching new properties in 2016, despite its 2015 sales target exceeding that of 2014. Although Tropicana has yet to set a sales target for 2016, it is likely to be in the region of RM1.2 billion at least, judging from last year’s satisfactory results. At this point, it has unbilled sales of at least RM3.4 billion, which is expected to tide it over the next two to three years, said Yau. (The Star Online)

Tropicana sells Dijaya Plaza for RM140mil
Tropicana Corp Bhd’s wholly-owned unit, Tropicana Plaza Sdn Bhd, is selling its Dijaya Plaza tower in Jalan Tun Razak to Kenanga Investment Bhd for RM140 million. The property comprises a piece of 3,674 sqm freehold land with an en bloc 19-storey office tower with two levels of basement car park. Tropicana said the disposal was expected to improve the group’s financial position by freeing net proceeds of about RM51.6 million. (The Star Online)

Pintaras Jaya bags RM67.6m i-City project
Pintara Jaya Bhd’s unit Pintaras Geotechnics Sdn Bhd has received a RM67.6 million contract from I-Bhd to provide earthworks, piling and sub-structure works for the Central Tower Project in i-City, Shah Alam. The Central Tower Project includes a hotel, residential service suites and offices; together with Central Plaza Mall, which is a JV between I-Bhd and Central Group of Thailand. (The Edge Markets)

60 families get keys to PPR homes
60 Indian families living in Kampung Hassan near Uluu Bernam, Selangor have finally received the keys to their new houses under the Pusat Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) scheme. The Taman Danau PPR housing was built directly opposite Kampung Hassan, and half of the 300 units were allocated for residents there. Residents in the area had suffered frequent flooding and problems due to old and poor infrastructure. (The Star Online)

Malaysia targets 8 million Chinese tourists in 5 years
Malaysia is targeting to draw over 8 million tourists from China within the next 5 years, which could amount to RM22.1 billion in spending power, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said the 8 million figure would seem huge compared to the annual 1.3 million Chinese tourists now, but it was not impossible to achieve the target with proper planning and effective promotion. He estimated that each Chinese tourist spends on average RM3,345 on food, lodging and shopping. Drastic measure must be taken to draw tourists to Malaysia because it would have a positive impact on the country’s economy. (My Sin Chew)