More investments headed for Penang
United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB) is expecting a 30% increase in the number of its overseas clients investing in Penang over the next 12 months, especially in the electronics and semiconductor industries. Corporations from China, Taiwan and Singapore are said to be attracted to Penang’s conducive business environment and well-established status as a global manufacturing and services hub, which offers cost-effective manufacturing and electronics infrastructure. According to UOB, Penang is one of Malaysia’s most successful investment hubs and attracts significant foreign investment given its strong business ecosystem including a highly-skilled labour force, stringent intellectual property protection laws and a robust manufacturing supply chain supported by more than 300 multinational corporates. Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) data shows that the state contributed nearly 20% to the country’s overall foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2015, which is the highest among all Malaysian states and is a 7% increase from last year. (The Sun Daily)

UEM, MMC top contenders for Pan Borneo highway
Following The Edge Weekly‘s report that UEM Grup Bhd, MMC Corp Bhd and Warisan Tarang Construction Sdn Bhd are teaming up for the Sabah portion of the Pan Borneo Highway, AmInvestment Bank said it does not discount the possibility of Peninsular-based contractors setting up JVs to bid for jobs, given the lack of Sabah-based contractors. Apart from Suria Capital Holdings Bhd, which is mainly involved in port operations and property development, there appears to be no other listed Sabah-based contractors. Potential Peninsular-based firms active in Sabah are WCT Holdings Bhd and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd. (The Edge Markets)

LBS Bina Group optimistic about sales in 2016
LBS Bina Group Bhd has achieved about RM1.03 billion worth of property sales in 2015, and remains optimistic about securing decent sales in 2016 with a sales target of RM1.2 billion. Its focus this year will still be on affordable propertes, with 6% of it launches priced below RM500,000 per unit. Besides its property development business, LBS also owns 60% of the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) in China. LBS is seeking approvals to transform the land to include businesses in tourism, commercial and hospitality, while maintaining the racing circuit. Should it succeed, LBS would either develop the parcels together with a local partner or undertake an outright sale of the land. (The Edge Markets)

More good news for ringgit vs US dollar
The ringgit is likely to continue strengthening against the US dollar this month, despite the two-day correction since Monday. Valuation wise, the ringgit has a leeway to strengthen, and based on historical data, has a good chance to continue strengthening this month, as April usually has the highest predictable change compared to other months. The ringgit would likely continue improving into the first half of the year, due to Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s dividend repatriation, overseas asset sales of government-linked companies, foreign inflows and a stable yuan exchange rate. (The Star Online)

i-City lauded by govt for drawing tourists through innovative products
The government has praised I-Berhad for coming up with new attractions to woo tourists in its iconic i-City development in Shah Alam. Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the company had succeeded in turning a piece of former plantation land into a place beyond people’s imagination and expectation. “Today, i-City is one of the 10 iconic products in Selangor and is family-friendly with many products such as the City of Digital Lights, wax museum, water theme park and snow walk, among others,” said Nazri. He also said that the number of Chinese tourists coming into Malaysia has increased despite the MH370 tragedy, and it was because many Malaysians spoke Mandarin and the dialects. Many Chinese tourists don’t speak English so they found it convenient to visit Malaysia. China is now one of the main sources countries for tourism, and the ministry expecs a spike in Chinese arrivals in 2016. (The Star Online)

Legoland Malaysia to celebrate Star Wars Day with largest Legi Millennium Falcon
Star Wars Day (May 4) will be a big deal this year at Legoland Malaysia Resort. The theme park will be celebrating May 4 (which sounds like “May the Force”) by inviting Daniel and Christopher Steininger to build the largest Lego version of Han Solo’s beloved spaceship. From April 30 to May 2, the father-son Lego master builder team will be busy creating the Millennium Falcon using over 200,000 Lego bricks. It will be displayed at the park until the end of May and during this time, visitors will receive their own mini Lego version of the Millennium Falcon. (The Malay Mail Online)

The Millennium Falcon that will be built by the Steiningers in Legoland Malaysia next month will be bigger than this version they had built in Melbourne, Australia, last year. — Handout via TODAY

The Millennium Falcon that will be built by the Steiningers in Legoland Malaysia next month will be bigger than this version they had built in Melbourne, Australia, last year. — Handout via TODAY