BOVAEA: Rise in number of fake real estate agents worrying
A man who was recently jailed for cheating 30 people is not a registered real estate agent (REA) or certified real estate negotiator (REN), says the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (Bovaea). Board president Datuk Faizan Abdul Rahman said the increasing number of illegal agents was worrying. Official complaints are also on the rise, and Bovaea has been keeping tabs on the situation and educating the public on such illegal brokers, he said. There were a large number of cheating cases which went unreported as they involved less amounts of money. (The Sun Daily)

IJM to start second phase of Waterfront project
IJM Land Bhd is beginning construction of the second phase of The Light Waterfront development in Penang by year-end. It is a RM3 billion joint-venture project located along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. The second phase comprises a retail mall with 1.6 million sq ft of gross floor area, an office tower block, a convention hall and function rooms, two residential towers, and two hotels. Of the RM3bil development cost, RM678mil will be for the residential component, RM270mil for the office tower, RM580mil for the hotels, RM330mil for the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, and RM1.18bil for the mall and retail outlets. IJM plans to attract multinational companies to lease the office, due to its proximity to the nearby free industrial zone. (The Star Online)

BAT factoryBAT sells PJ factory to LGB Properties for RM218mil
British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) is selling its landmark cigarette factory in Petaling Jaya for RM218 million to LGB Properties (M) Sdn Bhd as the group winds down its manufacturing business in the country. In Marrch, it had announced the wrapping up of its manufacturing business in stages, beginning with the shutdown of its PJ facility. The market value of the land is RM216.8mil and buildings RM45.7mil. BAT has yet to decide what to do with the proceeds from the disposal, but may use it as dividends to shareholders, undertake capital reduction of BAT Malaysia and/or repay current revolving credit facilities. (The Star Online)

Retail sales in Malaysia fall 4.4% in Q1
The Malaysian retail industry recorded a 4.4% drop in sales for the first quarter of 2016, compared to a 4.6% growth a year ago, according to Retail Group Malaysia. The decrease was attributed to higher pre-GST sales, as well as weak Chinese New Year sales in February 2016. Consumer spending rose sharply during the last few weeks before implementation of GST in April 2016, and prices of retail goods and services have been gradually increasing since early this year, partly due to the weak ringgit, further curbing spending. Retailers relied on heavy discounts to attract consumers, thus eroding profits. Nevertheless, members of the retailers’ association expect their businesses to return to black during the second quarter of 2016 with an average growth rate of 9.9%. (The Star Online)

Penang plans RM15mil expansion for Islamic school
The Penang government and Ideal Property Group are collaborating to provide a RM15 million expansion to an Islamic school in Teluk Kumbar. The Al-Itqan Education Centre, which includes primary and secondary schools, will be expanded with the construction of four new blocks on 2.98 acres of land. The four-storey buildings will house 20 classrooms, a surau, computer room, multi-purpose hall and other facilities. The new blocks will allow the school to take in 1,000 students, and is expected to complete in 2018. The Al-Itqan Education Centre started operations in 1998 and its operations expenses are dependent on school fees and contributions from the public. (The Malay Mail Online)

Global Oriental unit to buy RM170mil Pahang land
Global Oriental Bhd’s 51%-owned unit Sering Manis Sdn Bhd is planning to acquire 113.26ha of freehold land in Mukim Bentong, Pahang for Rm170.67 million to expand its property development segment. Sering Manis had entered an agreement with property investor Panji Selera Sdn Bhd for the land, which is surrounded by lush greenery and close to Genting Highlands, which could potentially be developed into a resort-like residential and commercial development. The proposed acquisition is expected to be completed by early November this year. (The Edge Markets)

Steady outlook for construction sector
Research house KAF-Seagroatt & Campbell Securities (KAFSC) is expecting a steady outlook for the local construction sector, driven by more domestic infrastructure projects. It reported the total value of contracts awarded last month jumped significantly to RM5.6bil from RM906mil in April, due to the sizeable contract awards for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Line 2. The total value of contracts awarded for the first five months was RM37.1bil, 451% higher than RM6.7bil for the same period last year. However, steel and cement production levels were still subdued, with material prices dropping. (The Star Online)