Ringgit slumps to seven-week low
The ringgit fell to a seven-week low yesterday as the US dollar strengthened and oil prices plunged ahead of a deadline for a bond interest payment by 1MDB. The ringgit dropped to 4.0553 against the US dollar, the weakest since March 22. The currency is leading losses in Asia this quarter after outperforming the region in the first three months. The ringgit also fell sharply against the Singapore dollar to close at 2.9599. (The Straits Times)

Iskandar Malaysia an investment haven in the making
Iskandar Malaysia in Johor is moving closer towards becoming a sustainable “international metropolis”, and spurring economic developments that actuate Malaysia’s global potential. Analysts and industry observers are confident that the business region is set to be a haven for investments, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions in the next 10 years. The economic region, which is three times bigger than Singapore, had accumulated a total of RM202.45 billion in investments from 2006 until March this year, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim. (New Straits Times Online)

Iskandar Waterfront to raise up to RM65.9mil through private placement
Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWC) is planning to raise as much as RM65.9 million for its property development and construction activities through a private placement exercise. The proposed issuance of up to 66.97 million shares, about 10% of its capital, would be placed to third-party investors at an issue price to be determined later. It said it would use the bulk of the funds raised – RM44.9mil or 68% of the illustrative gross proceeds – as payment to sub-contractors, suppliers and professionals for ongoing projects. For land-related expenses, IWC allocates funds amounting to RM15.2mil or 23% of the illustrative gross proceeds, while general working capital would make up about RM4.3mil or about 6.5%. (The Star Online)

Enra Group aborts deal, renegotiate stake sale in Landmark Zone
Enra Group Bhd [formerly Perdurenn (M) Bhd] had mutually agreed to terminate a share sale agreement (SSA) with Meridian Hectares Sdn Bhd to dispose of a 30% stake in property developer Ladmark Zone Sdn Bhd for RM13.9 million cash. The two companies are renegotiating the terms and conditions of the proposed disposal that will explore the possibility of disposing a higher equity interest in Landmark Zone to Meridian Hectares. Enra will refund the RM1.39 million cash (or 10%) of the deposit for the aborted deal. As at March 17, Enra has a 70% stake in Landmark Zone, while Meridian Hectares holds the remaining 30%. Landmark Zone is currently undertaking a joint venture with Koperasi Shamelin Bhd to develop a RM21.35 million mixed project called “Shamelin Star” in Taman Shamelin Perkasa, which features two blocks of 29-storey serviced apartments with 630 units of apartments, 32 units of retail lots, car park and a club house. It began development in July 2013 and is expected to be completed by December this year. (The Edge Markets)

Astral Asia to buy Sarawak oil palm land
Astral Asia Bhd (AAB) is planning to acquire 35,000 acres of oil palm estate in Sarawak, which would increase its plantation landbank by 357%. It yesterday signed a memorandum of agreement with Sima Properties Holdings Sdn Bhd to carry out further feasibility studies of this oil palm plantation for acquisition purposes. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed. Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, AAB’s total plantation landbank will increase by 3½ times from the existing 9,800 acres to 44,800 acres. AAB will have to set up a palm oil mill at a later stage for processing the fresh fruit, in view of the land size of the oil palm plantation. (The Star Online)

Sibu Volleyball Stadium ready for Sukma
After waiting for over a year, the Sibu Volleyball Association (SVA) has finally received the Occupation Permit (OP) for its Sibu Prudential Volleyball Association Stadium in Rejang Park. It is now a race against time to get the utility installations ready for the Sukma volleyball event which will be held from July 22 to 30. The RM10 million volleyball stadium was completed in 2014, and is the biggest of its kind in Malaysia with a seating capacity of 3,000 and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It comprises a four-storey administrative block, a gym, a canteen, two volleyball courts furnished with high-tech rubberised flooring materials imported from Germany and the SVA office. (The Borneo Post)

One of the two volleyball courts inside the stadium. (Photo from The Borneo Post)

One of the two volleyball courts inside the stadium. (Photo from The Borneo Post)