Fake estate agents raking in billions of ringgit
Illegal real estate agents made an estimated RM38 billion in property transactions in 2014, nearly 40% of earnings that could have otherwise gone to licensed real estate agents. Out of RM162 billion worth of transacted property in 2014, RM97 billion was transacted by registered real estate agents and illegal brokers. It is believed that for every registered agent, there are 20 illegal ones, especially in Sabah and Sarawak. Former president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), Soma Sundram, said clients of registered estate agents and negotiators were protected by the board and law. He also said the booming property market had attracted many young people to earn side income as real estate and property agents. (New Straits Times Online)

Mah Sing to launch 6 new projects worth RM2bil this year
Mah Sing Group Bhd is planning to launch six new property projects with a total GDV of RM2 billion this year. The group is confident of maintaining its sales target of RM2.3 billion for 2016, and currently has RM4.74bil in unbilled sales. It has 35 active projects in various stages of progress, to be built over the next 8 years. Of the RM2bil launches this year, 61% will be residential, 34% commercial and 5% industrial. Mah Sing’s six new projects are Cerrado serviced apartments in Southville City@KL South, Bangi; new township Laman Ayu in Rawang, new blocks in D’Sara Sentral and Lakeville Residence, Ferringhi Residence 2 in Penang and Meridin East township in Pasir Gudang, Johor. (The Star Online)

Hap Seng, Naza TTDI in RM3.8bil mixed development project
Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd and Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd will jointly develop a 8.95-acre mixed development project in Kuala Lumpur with a GDV of RM3.8 billion. The wholly owned subsidiaries of both companies had signed a shareholders’ agreement and development agreement on Friday, and will set up a joint-venture company, Golden Suncity Sdn Bhd, with Hap Seng and TTDI having 70% and 30% stake respectively to develop the leasehold land. The development is expected to draw considerable interest as it is one of the last prime lands in the Klang Valley, strategically located near to Mont Kiara, Publika, Damansara Heights and Bangsar, as well as being accessible via major roadways to KLCC and KL Sentral. (The Star Online)

Bina Darulaman plans RM435m worth of launches in 2016
Property developer Bina Darulaman Bhd has lined up RM435 million worth of new property launches this year, which will be within its existing townships of Bandar Darulaman in Jitra, Darulaman Perdana in Sungai Petani, and Darulaman Utama in Kuala Ketil, which are all located in Kedah. The planned launches consist of 1,350 residential units, mostly affordable homes, with 30% priced below RM300,000. Group managing director Datuk Izham Yusoff said the company was confident of selling its properties, as there was demand for affordable homes in Kedah, and the property market there is more stable as it is fuelled by owner occupiers. Last week, the group announced its intention to venture into the Perak property market, after proposing to purchase an 8.6-acre piece of land in Kuala Kangsar for a mixed development project. (The Edge Markets)

RM60bil in estate not claimed since Merdeka
Estates worth RM60 billion from deceased people have not been claimed by their heirs since Malaysia gained independence, said Natural Resources and Environment deputy minister Datuk Hamim Samuri, citing figures obtained from records of the Department of Director General of Lands and Mines (JKPTG) through the Estate Distribution Division (BPP). He said this was due to lack of awareness and apathy, and there were also beneficiaries who regarded the process slow, expensive and inconvenient. This caused the deceased’s estate to be frozen, leaving land idle and unmanaged. most importantly unofficial ownership status can result in unrightful claim of the property or wrongful claim of orphans property. (The Malay Mail Online)

Felda offered 15% discount on Eagle High
Plantation group Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is believed to have been offered up to 15% discount on its proposed acquisition of PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk, despite seeking a higher price reduction.The 15% discount would mean FGV would be paying around US$578mil (RM2.39bil), compared with the original price tag of US$680mil (RM2.8bil). In June 2015, FGV had proposed to purchase a 37% stake in Eagle High from Rajawali Group for US$631.5mil (RM2.37bil) cash and 95.44 million new FGV shares, but was not well-received by investors. A business weekly recently speculated that FGV was working to secure a 30% discount on the deal. (The Star Online)

1.1 million saplings to be planted along Sungai Kelantan
The Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department has allocated RM1.7 million to rehabilitate areas along Sungai Kelantan, which were destroyed by floods in 2014, by planting about 1.1 million saplings along the river by the middle of this year. “The Kelantan Forestry Department will identify the areas, encompassing affected land surface whether slopes or flat land, before deciding the type of trees to be planted there,” said the department’s director-general, Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim. The saplings will include that of the commercial timber species Meranti, among other trees. (The Malaysian Insider)