Malaysia consumer confidence remains stable
Malaysia’s consumer confidence remains stable in the first quarter of 2016, with 79 percentage points (pp), according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. The nation retained its ranking as 36th most confident country in 1Q of 2016. The average global consumer confidence is 98pp. The survey found that confidence levels in South-East Asia continue to remain resilient with four out of six countries in the region scoring above the 100 pp mark: Philippines (119 pp), Indonesia (117 pp), Vietnam (109) and Thailand (105). Malaysians’ confidence remains low and the trend is expected to continue until the pressure on the ringgit eases. According to Nielsen, the economy and job security remained the top concerns of Malaysian consumers, with increasing food prices, political stability and work/life balance being other key concerns. (The Star Online)

Southeast Asians among world’s top savers
Malaysian consumers’ saving intention, at 67%, is one of the highest globally, according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. Saving intentions among Malaysians and Southeast Asian consumers continued to be priority. The region’s consumers are the world’s most avid savers with all six countries securing the top 10 spots globally when it comes to saving. Vietnam (78%) maintains its first ranking followed by Indonesia (75%) and Philippines (69%) in second and third, respectively. Both Malaysia (67%) and Singapore (67%) are ranked fourth while Thailand (66%) takes the sixth spot. However, the survey found that Malaysian consumers are also ready to indulge on big ticket items such as holidays, new technology products, out-of-home entertainment, and home improvements or decorating. On average, only half of global consumers prioritise saving any spare cash (51 per cent). (The Malay Mail Online)

Stop work order for collapsed building in Petaling Jaya
MBPJ will be issuing a partial stop-work order for a building under construction which collapsed yesterday morning at Persiaran Barat in Petaling Jaya. The fourth floor of the building had collapsed early on Sunday morning, resulting in six foreign workers trapped under the rubble. The stop-work order is only for the collapsed portion, said Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain. “The management and a team of experts are currently investigating the cause of the accident, and will be reviewing all follow-up measures to prevent similar ones from recurring,” said a spokesperson for the developer. (The Star Online)

The fourth floor of the building in Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya which collapsed on Sunday morning. (Photo from The Star)

The fourth floor of the building in Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya which collapsed on Sunday morning. (Photo from The Star)

EWI secures nearly £850mil sales from London properties
Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has achieved close to £850 million (RM4.9 billion) in property sales from its three developments in London, and is set to launches new phases this year. EWI has a 75% stake in Eco World Ballymore, the developer of three large-scale residential projects in London – Embassy Gardens, London City Island Phase 2 and Wardian London – which have a combined GDV of £2.5 billion. EWI had acquired the 75% stake in January 2013 for £429 million. UK-based Ballymore Group owns the remaining 25% in the joint-venture company. (New Straits Times Online)

PM: Malaysia has cut carbon emissions by 35% in 2015
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia has achieved a reduction of 35% in its national carbon emissions as at end of 2015 from a target of 40% reduction by 2020. He said that sustainability not only makes environmental sense but also economic sense as it is a driver of new technology and innovation, and is a sector that is becoming increasingly important worldwide. The Green Technology Financing Scheme has successfully supported 188 projects, which not only have saved the equivalent of 2.31 million tonnes of carbon emissions but also helped in creating nearly 4,000 jobs. Tax incentives were introduced to encourage industries to adopt green technology, and targets have been set for an installed capacity of renewable energy to make green growth an integral part of the 11th Malaysia Plan. (The Malay Mail Online)

Guocoland in talks to buy 30% stake in EWI
GuocoLand is said to be in talks to acquire a 30% stake in Eco World International Bhd, the overseas real estate unit of Eco World Development Group Bhd, which is expected to go public later this year with a US$500 million initial public offering. GuocoLand is controlled by Malaysia’s third richest man, Quek Leng Chan. The investment from GuocoLand would improve the prospects of Eco World’s IPO, as it is one of Southeast Asia’s major property developers with a market capitalisation of more than US$1.5 billion. Eco World’s IPO is planned for early August and would be the largest fundraising in Malaysia in more than a year if successful. (The Edge Markets)

Singapore new private home sales fall 11.6% in April
Sales of new private homes in Singapore fell 11.6% in April on the back on fewer launches, according to data from its Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday. Developers sold a total of 745 new private homes in the month, compared with 843 in the previous month. However, the sales figure for April was still higher than the 300-500 unit range in other months with no new launches. Singapore property obversers say they expect moderate activity in the market to continue this month and the next. (The Straits Times)