Malaysia 6th most preferred country for Chinese investors
Malaysia and Singapore were the sixth most preferred property investment countries for China investors in 2015, ahead of Japan (7th) and Hong Kong (8th), according to Australian investment portal Investorist. In its China 2016 International Property Outlook report, the portal’s activity showed that Chinese investors’ interests were directed at countries “exhibiting stable governments, robust economies, top-class educational institutions and favourable residency programmes”. About 60% of surveyed participants favoured Australia as their No 1 market, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. The devaluation of the yuan reduced buying power in the US and UK, while popularity of countries like Australia and New Zealand increased due to sharp fall in these local currencies. Following Sydney, New York and Vancouver as the most popular property investment destinations was Tokyp, driven by the yen’s decline to 22-year lows and anticipation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (The Edge Markets)

RM1bil properties to be injected into IdealUBB
Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd, the parent company of Ideal United Bintang Bhd (IdealUBB), is initiating a corporate exercise in 2H this year to inject RM1 billion worth of properties into IdealUBB. The properties are priced below RM600,000. The move is part of its on-going exercise over five years to turn IdealUBB into a property company. The company plans to take on RM2.723 billion worth of condominium projects on Penang island this year, starting with the launch of the RM378 million Summerskye Residences in Bayan Lepas in January this year. Other upcoming projects are Forest Ville with gross development value (GDV) of RM495mil this month, Bukit Ayun Development (RM1bil) in August, Queens Residences (RM550mil), and Amarene (RM300mil) in August. Some of these will be injected into IdealUBB this year. (The Star Online)

CIDB: Public projects over RM50mil to adopt MyCREST
The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) announced that the government will make it mandatory for all public projects worth RM50 million and above to adopt the Malaysian Carbon Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Tool (MyCREST), which is meant to reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry. It aims quantify and lower the carbon footprint of construction projects by guiding the design, construction and operation of buildings in a sustainable manner. This is in line with the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2020. The ministry had initially mandated the use of MyCREST for all public projects worth RM100 million and above, but has been revised to a lower limit of RM50 million. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia urges Indonesia to review open burning laws
Malaysia is urging Indonesia to re-evaluate laws allowing farmers to clear land by open burning. Currently, small holders of land less than two hectares are allowed to clear their land through open burning. Big plantations can be stopped by law enforcement, but the problem becomes severe when man small holders resort to open burning to clear their land. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the haze in June was not a certainty, and would reoccur only if there were bush fires, peat land fires, absence of rain and change in wind direction. (The Sun Daily)

Pasdec bags RM55.8mil MRT feeder bus depot job
Pasdec Holdings Bhd, which is 51.65% owned by the Pahang state government, has been awarded a RM55.8 million contract from MRT Corp to build a MRT feeder bus depot and related buildings and facilities for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line at Kawasan Perindustrian Desa Tun Razak. Pasdec’s wholly-owned subsidiary Pasdec Bina Sdn Bhd accepted the 12-month contract. The contract is expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings for the financial years during the contract period. (The Edge Markets)

Cars ‘swimming’ as flash floods strike KL after downpour
Heavy rain since 6pm yesterday led to massive flash floods in areas such as Bangsar, Jalan Semantan, and Jalan Pudu. The Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department started receiving reports of flash floods at 7.30pm. Photos circulated on social media shows cars submerged almost up to window level in some areas, and motorists had to abandon their vehicles to escape the flooding. The heavy rain affected key areas such as the city centre, Jalan Kinabalu, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar, Jalan Semantan, Brickfields, Bangsar, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Sentul, Jalan Tun Razak and other areas. However, no incidences such as fallen trees and branches were reported so far. (New Straits Times Online)

Stranded motorists exiting their cars to avoid getting trapped in the flood. More than 40 cars were trapped in flash floods on Jalan Semantan and at the entrance of Universiti Malaya. (Photo from Facebook)

Stranded motorists exiting their cars to avoid getting trapped in the flood. More than 40 cars were trapped in flash floods on Jalan Semantan and at the entrance of Universiti Malaya. (Photo from Facebook)

Manulife REIT set to raise US$470mil IPO in Singapore
Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s largest life insurer, is set to raise US$470 million in its second attempt at a Singapore initial public offering (IPO) of its US properties, sources said. Manulife US REIT plans to sell 566 million units at 83 cents each, the top end of a marketed range. The trust is backed by three office buildings in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Manulife US REIT’s cornerstone investors include private banking clients of Credit Suisse Group AG and DBS Group Holdings Ltd, the prospectus shows. DBS Bank Ltd, Malaysia’s Fortress Capital Asset Management, Oman Investment Fund and Lucille Holdings Pte are also cornerstone investors in the offering. (The Edge Markets)