Estate agents want incentives to boost property market
The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) Johor branch is hoping incentives will be introduced to deal with the flat property market in Johor. The issue is that investors have the means to purchase property but are wary of taking the risk during the unstable economic situation. Several incentive schemes were proposed to developers to attract homebuyers, for example providing freebies such as kitchen cabinets, sofas and dining tables, as well as reduction in incidental costs including for SPAs and loan documents. (The Star Online)

Bleak outlook for Malaysia property in first half
The outlook for Malaysian property is expected to remain bleak in the first half of the year, weighed down by low affordability and strict bank lending. UOBKayHian Research reported that demand continued to be sluggish due to GST, despite property prices in key areas – Penang, Johor and the Klang Valley – remaining relatively stable with house-price indices holding up. Property developers have been noted to downsize their launches and sales targets in 2015, with many focusing on the affordable housing market which is very much in demand. Property stocks were trading below their long-term mean valuations in light of the slowdown in the sector. (The Star Online)

Mah Sing to buy back bonds for RM337mil
Mah Sing Group Bhd is repurchasing RM315 million of its redeemable convertible secured bonds at a purchase consideration of RM337.1 million. The buyback will allow the company to avoid the issuance of approximately 276.3 million Mah Sing shares representing approximately 11.5% of the existing issued and paid-up share capital of Mah Sing. In June 2011, the property developer had issued RM325 million nomimal value of bonds, then later announced the conversion of RM10 million to 8.77 million 50sen shares at RM1.14 conversion price. (The Sun Daily)

RM5.82mil allocated for veterans housing
The 1Malaysia Veterans House Repair Programme (1MVHRP) has been allocated RM5.82 million for the improvement of welfare aspects of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel and veterans. The MAF will build 100 new houses and repair another 100 for veterans throughout the country starting today. The 1MVHRP programme is aimed at helping MAF veterans with small incomes to stay in more conducive and comfortable houses. (The Malaysian Insider)

TSR Capital lands RM240mil Putrajaya housing job
TSR Capital Bhd’s unit, TSR Bina Sdn Bhd, has been awarded a RM240 million contract to build condominiums and car parks in Putrajaya from Putrajaya Homes Sdn Bhd. The job includes two blocks of 19-storey and 18-storey condominiums and two blocks of multi-level parking as well as facilities, drainage and retention pond, piling works, associated infrastructure and landscape works. The project is expected to be completed by February 2019. (The Star Online)

Prasarana more concerned about weak ringgit than worker levy
LRT operator Prasarana Malaysia Bhd is more concerned about the impact of the weak ringgit on the cost of the upcoming RM9 billion LRT3 project, than the recently increased foreign worker levy. Itts president and CEO Datuk Azmi Abdul Aziz brought up the issue as the LRT3’s costing was done in 2013 when the local currency was stronger. The currency will affect about 30% of the total cost in the form of imported “software” that involves system works and signalling systems, which is part of the new line, but the rest of the project will be unaffected. “Hopefully, the ringgit will have strengthened by the time the software is procured,” he said. (The Star Online)