Malaysia remains among top 20 most competitive economies
Malaysia has maintained its top 20 position among 61 global economies in the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2016 published by the World Competitiveness Centre of the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, the country fell five spots to 19th from 14th last year, due to the fall in commodity prices, a strong dollar and the deterioration of balance sheet in both the private and public sectors, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. WCY listed Malaysia as first among 31 economies with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of less than US$20,000, retaining its number one position for three consecutive years.Among 28 countries with populations above 20 million we ranked seventh. In ASEAN, Malaysia remained in second position, and was ranked sixth among 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. (Bernama)

UEM-Telekom mixed development GDV estimated at RM1.1bil
Analysts have estimated the high-rise mixed development built under an agreement between UEM Sunrise Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) will have a GDV of about RM1.1 billion. The assumption was made based on a plot ratio of 10x, market value of RM2,500 psf and an efficiency ratio of 60%. The land value was tagged at between RM147mil to RM150mil as at Dec 31, 2014, based on two valuers. On May 27, the companies had announced the agreement to develop the property on two adjoining parcels of freehold land measuring a total of 1.69 acres belonging to TM. The parcels of land are located along the southern side of Jalan Raja Chulan, within walking distance of many notable landmark towers as well as public transport facilities. One of the pieces of land currently houses a 40-year-old 11-storey building used as TM office premises, while the other is a parking lot for employees. (The Star Online)

IJM launches “Beli Rumah, Jom Umrah” campaign for Bumiputra buyers
Property developer IJM Land and Andalusia Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, one of the top umrah travel agencies in Malaysia, have teamed up to give potential bumiputra buyers in IJM Land’s Seremban 2, Seremban 2 Heights or Seri Binjai @ Rahang projects the opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia for the umrah. The “Beli Rumah, Jom Umrah” campaign, which ends on July 31, aims to partially lift the financial burden off bumiputra house buyers by offering them an all-expenses-paid 12-day trip for two to perform the Muslim pilgrimage. In addition, IJM also offers ownership packages to aid buyers, as well as rebates on properties for loyal customers. (The Star Online)

IJM's "Beli Rumah, Jom Umrah" campaign aims to partially lift the burden of Bumiputra house buyers by offering a free umrah package for two. (Photo from The Star)

IJM’s “Beli Rumah, Jom Umrah” campaign aims to partially lift the burden of Bumiputra house buyers by offering a free umrah package for two. (Photo from The Star)

Bina Puri sees 34% drop in Q1 net profit
Bina Puri Holdings Bhd reported a 34% drop in net profit for the first quarter due to lower sales from construction and property divisions. Its revenue also fell 13% in the previous corresponding period. The group will continue to focus on and develop its major business segments, which are construction and property development. The current value of contract work in progress for the construction of several projects is RM1.5 billion, which is expected to provide steady revenue for over the next three years. For its property development business segment, the group would continue with other developments projects in Klang Valley, Johor Baru, Pahang and East Malaysia with an estimated projected gross development value of RM3 billion. (The Sun Daily)

Suria earmarks property to boost revenue
Suria Capital Holdings Bhd and its group of companies (Suria Group) have earmarked property development as one of its strategies going forward. The company is hoping to enhance its revenue from property management, consultancy and property management services. Suria Capital had signed a JV agreement with Gabungan AQRS Bhd in 2015 to develop One Jesselton Waterfront within the vicinity of Kota Kinabalu Port, which will include serviced suites and apartments, a condo residence as well as car park facilities and a ferry ticketing office and Suria Capital’s corporate headquarters office. The group is also planning for the proposed development of a dedicated international cruise terminal at the current Kota Kinabalu Port land. (Daily Express)

Singapore’s second largest developer sees cheaper deals
City Developments Ltd, Singapore’s second-largest developer, is looking to purchase offices this year as rising interest rates make such assets cheaper worldwide. Company CEO Grat Kelley said it was a ‘very good time for acquisitions’ as fixed income would become more attractive and liquidity will drain from real estate assets when interest rates go up. City Developments will focus on five markets as part of its diversification, including China, Australia, Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. And will meet its target of investing S$5 billion in overseas markets by 2018. Even though income-yielding assets such as offices grew expensive after being sought by sovereign wealth funds as bond yields tumbled, they are expected to become cheaper when rates rise and funds divert money back to government debt for better risk-free returns, he said. (Bloomberg)