Kelana Jaya LRT extension to open June 30
The new LRT Kelana Jaya Line extension is almost completed and will begin operations as scheduled on June 30. According to Prasarana, the project is now at the final phase of construction works with emphasis on testing, touch-up and cleaning works. The extended line covers a distance of 17.4 km, starting from Kelana Jaya station and passing through twelve new stations, including Ara Damansara, Subang Jaya and USJ before ending at Putra Heights. The extended line is also connected to the KTM Komuter network at Subang Jaya station and the Bus Rapid Transit-Sunway Line at USJ 7 station to facilitate seamless travel. (Astro Awani)

Selangor eyes new rules for serviced apartment developers
The Housing and Property Board of Selangor (LPHS) said that developers of serviced apartments, SOHOs and SOVOs in the state may be required to set aside a certain portion of their units as affordable homes. The board has temporarily halted approvals of new serviced apartments since March this year as it is currently studying new guidelines for such properties. The move was not intended to restrain property projects in Selangor, but to review some regulations amidst the sluggish property market at present. In addition, the anticipated effect on the industry would be small as LPHS only received four applications for serviced apartments, SOHOs and SOVOs in the first quarter of 2016. The new rules are expected to be released by June. (Property Report)

Two deadly earthquakes hit Japan in 48 hours, at least 41 deaths
Kumamoto prefecture in Japan was hit by a a deadly 6.2-magnitude earthquake on Thursday, and a second quake, measuring 7.0-magnitude, hit southern Japan’s Kyushu Island early Saturday morning in almost the same location as the first. The disaster has resulted in at least 41 deaths, and 11 or more people remain missing on Sunday. Officials say that as many as 1,500 have been injured and 180,000 are without shelter. The famous site of Kumamoto Castle, built in the early 17th century, was badly damaged, and the historic Aso Shrine was also damaged during the second quake and a towering gate known as the “cherry blossom gate” collapsed. (CNN: The Weather Channel)

Destruction from two earthquakes within 48 hours in Japan's Kumamoto prefecture (Photo from The Weather Channel)

Destruction from two earthquakes within 48 hours in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture (Photo from The Weather Channel)

246 dead, over 2,500 injured in Ecuador earthquake
A magnitude-7.8 eathquake that struck coastal Ecuador on Saturday, April 16, has claimed the lives of 246 people, and at least 2,527 people are injured. Rescue crews are still searching through the rubble for survivors. The hardest-hit area was the coastal Manabi Province, where about 200 people died. The cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Pedernales, a tourist destination, saw the most devastation but damage was widespread throughout the country. Lack of water and communication remains a big problem, and many highways are in bad shape, especially in mountain areas due to rain from El Nino. (CNN)

People searching through the rubble for their belonging following the aftermath of the Ecuador earthquake

People searching through the rubble for their belonging following the aftermath of the Ecuador earthquake

Emas Kiara to buy property development firm for RM76mil
Emas Kiara Industries Bhd is planning to acquire property development company, Cocoa Valley Development Sdn Bhd (CV Development) for RM76 million. It has entered an agreement wit Kim Feng Capital Sdn Bhd (KF Capital) for the entire equity interest in CV Development. On March 25, CV Development had entered an agreement with Cocoa Valley Sdn Bhd for the development rights of two parcels of adjoining land in Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru, which has a market value of RM260 million. It is acquiring the development rights instead of the land itself, due to a Bumiputera ownership condition by the owner. Emas Kiara currently only has an on-going residential development project in Johor Bahru known as ‘Pinnacle Tower’ with an estimated gross development value of approximately RM265 million, which is expected to be completed in June 2017. (The Edge Markets)

11 abandoned housing projects in Perak revived since 2010
Out of 16 abandoned housing projects in Perak, 11 have been revived since 2010, said state Women Development, Family, Community Welfare, Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim. Two other project are in the process of being revived, while the remaining three are in the early stages of revival. Low- and medium-cost abandoned projects will be revived using allocations given by the federal government. As reported in June 2015, developers who abandon projects will be blacklisted by the ministry. (New Straits Times Online)

Eco World to bid for Syney White Bay Power Station
Following its successful London Battersea Power Station development, Malaysian property developer Eco World is taking its power station transformation expertise to another continent – Australia’s Sydney White Bay. Eco World will bid with 12 other parties for the NSW government’s 10-hectare project on the western side of The Bays Precinct in Sydney’s inner west. Shortlisted parties will not be released until mid-2016, according to UrbanGrowth NSW. (Australian Financial Review)

SP Setia buys fourth Melbourne land for RM30mil
Developer SP Setia Bhd has purchased its fourth piece of land in Melbourne, Australia for AU$10 million (RM29.89 million). The 850 sq m land located 4.5km southeast of the Melbourne CBD has an estimated GDV of AU$38 million (RM113.6 million). The land had a permit approved for an eight-storey building with 47 apartments, with office and retail outlets on the ground floor. The property is expected to be a popular high-end boutique project with a wide appeal to a broad range of purchasers. (The Star Online)