Iconic” skyscraper Merdeka PNB118 launched
The project for the construction of a 118-storey tower that will be the tallest building in Malaysia and the second tallest in Asia was launched yesterday by Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday. Named as Merdeka PNB118 (previously known as KL118 tower), the skyscraper is slated for completion by 2020 and will be second only to the Shanghai tower in terms of height. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it will be an “iconic” landmark that will define the capital city at the same time enhancing its attractiveness to tourists and investors. The prime minister assured that the megatower would not affect two historical stadiums in the same area, Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara, which are recognised as Unesco World Heritage sites. (The Malay Mail Online)

Top 10 Countries for US RetireesMalaysia among top 3 countries where expats feel at home
A recent survey by HSBC Group revealed that Malaysia ranks among the top three countries where expatriates can adjust quickly and feel at home. According to data from last year’s Expat Explorer survey, the countries where more expats felt at home in less than a year are Bahrain (66%), India (63%) and Malaysia (61%). The findings showed that for expats, making friends or developing their social life and starting to understand the local culture and etiquette have played the greatest part in making a strong connection with their host country. In Malaysia, 53% said making friends was an important milestone to feeling at home, while 43% said understanding the local culture helped them form a stronger connection to the country. (New Straits Times Online)

Related news: Malaysia one of top 5 most retiree-friendly countries for Americans; Penang voted 6th best place to retire by CNN Money


Salaries must rise to keep houses prices within reach
A well-thought-out strategic intervention policy is needed if the government is to control house prices by reviewing the National Housing Policy, said property consultancy firm Knight Frank Malaysia. The priority must be given first to improve people’s incomes; many don’t earn enough to even buy their first home and salaries do not increase in tandem with inflation. Managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said what is currently needed is to make developers contribute to a certain fund for affordable homes or have 30% allocation for affordable homes within a development project. (The Rakyat Post)

Mah Sing ready to buy more land with rebound in property market
Mah Sing Group is ready to buy more land after holding back in 2015, as it predicts a rebound in Malaysia’s property sales for the second half of the year. The nation’s third-largest property developer, which has a record RM1.4 billion cash pile for land acquisitions, says it is seeing signs of renewed confidence from consumers. Mah Sing is on track to reach its RM2.3 billion sales target in 2016 and anticipates selling more “medium range to high-end properties” next year with the greatest potential in Kuala Lumpur. It also aims to replenish its land bank after halting purchases last year for the first time since 2005. (The Business Times)

Property developer to launch more units between RM300k and RM500k in Sabah
Property developer Naim Holdings Bhd is planning to launch more medium-cost and affordable housing units priced within the RM300,000 to RM500,000 range. One such project is the four-storey apartments in its Desa Ilmu township in Samarahan which will be launched later this year. The township includes residential homes comprising terraced, semi-detached and detached houses along with three- and four-storey commercial shophouses. This year, Naim said it will step up marketing efforts to sell the remaining condominium units in its two flagship developments – Bintulu Paragon and Kuching Paragon – and in Permyjaya township in Miri. (The Star Online)

Malaysian consortium to build power plant in Bangladesh
A consortium of Malaysian power companies – Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Powertek Energy Bhd – has been given the green light to build and operate a 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-based power plant in Moheshkhali Island, Bangladesh estimated to cost RM8 billion. A mega housing project is also on the cards. The Malaysian consortium managed to win the bid over other countries including China. The power plant, which will be built in reclaimed land, will be the biggest power plant in the country. Malaysia is expected to provide 70 per cent of the project’s cost with funding shared by TNB and Powertek. (Bernama)

LBS Bina to take part in cultural festival in China
LBS Bina Group Bhd has announced that it will be participating in the launch of the Malacca Cultural and Trade Centre and Malacca Cultural Festival in Zhuhai, China between March 19 and 20, 2016. The property developer that focuses on building townships and medium-cost mass housing had established ties with China’s Zhuhai Jiuzhou Group Holdings Ltd via a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September, which details the upgrade and tranformation plan of multiple zones in Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) as well as the development of a cultural centre to showcase the bond between China and Malaysia. (The Star Online)