Value of construction jobs to reach RM150bil this year
The value of construction jobs given out in the country is expected to hit about RM150 billion this year, compared to RM124 billion in 2015, and a huge increase from the initial figures recorded early this year. Over 7,000 jobs could be created this year as a result, compared to 6,885 jobs last year. The projected increase in value and the number of jobs takes into consideration new mega infrastructure schemes like the light rail transit, mass rapid transit, West Coast Expressway, Central Spine Road, and Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah. For Penang, Penang Master Builders and Building Materials Dealers’ Association (PMBBMDA) past president Datuk Lim Kai Seng said the value of construction jobs to be given this year would be about RM6bil, compared with RM7.5bil in 2015. (The Star Online)

YTL seeking UK assets amid Brexit shock
YTL Corp Bhd, one of Malaysia’s biggest investment holding groups with utilities and property in Britian, is looking for bargains after the UK vote to leave the European Union sent assets plunging, reported Bloomberg. YTL managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said the company will look for infrastructure utility assets in the UK over the next two to three years. Since 2008, there has not been an opportunity for the company to scout for assets at attractive prices until now, as the pound went on a record plunge following Friday’s Brexit decision. The company has about RM13.5bil (US$3.3bil) in cash that could be used to fund expansion. While Brexit may prompt overseas companies to steer clear from the UK, Yeoh sees it as an unprecedented opportunity to snap up assets at cheaper prices. (The Star Online)

Tadmax sells affordable housing project for RM50mil
Tadmax Resources Bhd is disposing an affordable housing project, along with other common facilities, to Labuan Corporation (PL) for nearly RM49.999 million. The timber cum property developer said its unit, Ganggarak Development Sdn Bhd, entered a SPA with PL for the en bloc sale of Block C, Phase II housing development, dubbed Ganggarak Permai. The project consists of 260 units of affordable residential apartments, with common facilities. With the latest disposal, Tadmax said it has cumulatively sold 780 parcels of affordable residential apartments in Ganggarak Permai, since it was launched in April 2015. (The Edge Markets)

PM: Opening of LuLu Hypermarket sign of investor confidence
The opening of the first United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Lulu Hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur is a sign of continued investor confidence among international firms in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the opening ceremony on Saturday. He said Lulu Group’s investment in this country via the opening of Lulu Hypermarket here was a reflection of how foreign companies were confident in and comfortable with Malaysia’s attraction as an investment destination. The Lulu Hypermarket here is the first of 10 planned outlets in the country, with a total investment of RM1.3 billion. (The Malay Mail Online)

LuLu Hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur (Photo from Lulu Hypermarket - Malaysia Facebook page)

LuLu Hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur (Photo from Lulu Hypermarket – Malaysia Facebook page)

Fewer auctions despite softer property market
Despite the expectations of more houses or shoplots going under the hammer in the current challenging economic environment, there has been a decline in the number of properties being auctioned off. However, the drop in number of properties bring auctioned off is not a sign of recovery in the domestic property market. Most people assume the economy is doing bad when they see bank auction posters everywhere, when in reality the number of cases have been falling, said a licensed auctioneer. Auction cases have been lesser than before, with the average number of cases declining about 30% year-on-year. Demand for auctioned properties is still healthy, especially for landed and office units in good locations. The decline in number of auction cases can be attributed to greater lending leniency by banks, as well as debt counselling services by the government to reduce default rates. (The Edge Markets)

Nearly 500 TTDI residents showed up to protest the proposed development — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Nearly 500 TTDI residents showed up to protest the proposed development — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Hundreds of TTDI residents protest planned Bukit Kiara development
Nearly 500 Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents staged a protest at the Bukit Kiara Rimba Park on Sunday to object a new project that will cause over-development of the neighbourhood. Residents from the elderly to toddlers gathered from 11am and held signs that read “Save Taman Rimba Kiara. Say no to development” and “Hands Off Taman Rimba Kiara.” It was reported that some parts of the Bukit Kiara Rimba Park had been designated as the site of a proposed 29-storey high-rise building with 350 affordable units and an eight-block cluster with 1,766 serviced apartment units, some towering up to 54 storeys. Apart from damage to the park, which is a green lung for the area as well as a popular public park for recreation and events, residents are also concerned that the new project could see the neighbourhood’s per-acre density spike more than 13 times, from just 74 people per acre to possibly 979 people. Many who attended the protest also signed a petition to reject the development. (The Malay Mail Online)