10 affordable rail-linked housing projects planned
The government has approved 10 affordable housing projects located along the LRT and KL monorail lines to be undertaken by Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia and Perumahan Penjawat Awan 1Malaysia (PPA1M). These are among the 19 that have been earmarked as transit-oriented developments (TOD). The other nine projects will be developed by state-owned Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s Prasarana Integrated Development Sdn Bhd (PRIDE) are not required to be priced affordably. PR1MA’s eight projects will see 4,216 affordable homes being built at an estimated cost of RM1.42 billion, located at Pandan Jaya, Pandan Indah, Cempaka, Kinrara, Bandar Puteri, Sentul and Jelatek LRT stations as well as the Titiwangsa monorail station. The cost of each unit works out to RM336,812 and will likely need a subsidy from the government as existing PR1MA houses are priced below RM300,000. (The Edge Markets)

UDA gets RM500mil Islamic loans for 8 projects
UDA Holdings Bhd has obtained financing agreements with financial institutions for a syndicated Islamic financing facility of up to RM500 million to fund its eight projects – comprising commercial and residential developments – with an estimated GDV of RM1.62 billion. The financiers include Affin Islamic Bank Bhd, AmBank Islamic Bhd, RHB Islamic Bank Bhd, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd and Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd. UDA managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar said the finance facility would be used to partly fund the construction of the projects nationwide and the rest would be funded by sales. (The Star Online)

Menara Shell to lift earnings for MQReit
MRCB-Quill Real Estate Investment Trust (MQReit) remains a “buy” although it had moved towards its target price. The injection of Menara Shell is a “valuation upside” as it could be a re-rating catalyst but the extent of its impact is still subject to the funding structure. Its net dividend yield of 6.1% is still attractive compared to the sector average of 5.2%, which also provides the upside potential to the Reit price. (The Star Online)

Sunway Property campaign not replacing banks
Sunway Bhd recently launched its unique home ownership campaign, but it is not trying to take over the role of a bank, said group managing director Sarena Cheah. Through the Sunway Property Certainty Campaign, buyers can get up to 88% financing, which is an alternative option if buyers can’t get loans. Under the scheme that runs until Sept 30 this year, buyers are given the option to apply for loans from commercial banks or from Sunway on a first-come first-served basis. (The Star Online)

Malaysia’s health tourism flourishing
The health tourism sector in Malaysia is continuing to grow, with 850,000 medical tourists arriving last year and generating over RM900 million in revenue. That amount was generated from hospitals alone, and does not include additional expenses by medical tourists, such as hotel and misc expenses. This year, the government is targetting a revenue of RM 1.3 billion in this sector. There have been an influx of patients from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Middle East and Africa which greatly contribute to the economy. (New Straits Times Online)

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