New airport tax by Jan 1, says transport minister
New passenger service charges (PSC), commonly known as airport tax, is set to be implemented by January 1 next year, and will see higher rates imposed on air travellers, according to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. However, he declined to elaborate on details of the new rates, saying it would be announced by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom). He also maintained that despite the upward revision, the new charges would still be considerably lower compared with those in many other countries. Local media reported that the revisions included charges of RM11 from RM9 for domestic flights, and RM73 for international flights – up from RM65 for flights from KLIA and RM32 from KLIA2 – as well as a new PSC category of RM35 for flights to Asean countries. (The Edge Markets)

ecoworld-property-launchEco World launches RM1bil properties under EcoWorld Firsts campaign
Eco World Development Group Bhd has launched four new projects estimated at RM1 billion across three section of the country. The EcoWorld’s Firsts campaign saw offerings of new properties, namely Eco Bloom in Penang, Eco Grandeur and Eco Ardence in the Klang Valley and Eco Business Park II in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor. The Eco Grandeur project in Ijok has received the biggest response from prospective buyers due to its sheer size and affordable prices. Eco Bloom, an integrated high-rise commercial and residential tower catered to first-timers, is part of the larger Eco Meadows in Penang. Eco Ardence in Shah Alam is targeted for the high-end market, while Iskandar Malaysia’s Eco Business Park II offers an array of industrial commercial products. (The Star Online)

Tropicana in talks with China firm for township development
Tropicana Corp Bhd is in preliminary talks with China Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) for a township development. MCC is Tropicana’s construction partner and main contractor for the W Kuala Lumpur Hotel and Tropicana Residences development. The W Kuala Lumpur project, which has a gross development value of RM1.1 billion, is the second collaboration between Tropicana and the China state-owned construction group. Their first project was Tropicana Avenue in 2015. The take-up rate for the Tropicana Residences serviced apartment stood at 55%, and the company is confident of selling the remaining units by 2017. The 55-storey tower, which consists of 150 hotel rooms and 353 serviced apartments, is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The group is on track to achieve its sales target of RM1.2 billion in financial year ending Dec 31, 2016 by changing its strategy by launching more landed properties. (The Edge Markets)

PTPTN borrowers now blacklisted
About 1.3 million PTPTN borrowers listed under the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) have a black mark on their credit rating because they failed to service their study loans. Once blacklisted in CCRIS, one’s credit rating could take a nosedive as one could be deemed a “bad paymaster”, which could lead to financial institutions denying the person loans or other credit facilities. Borrowers are supposed to start paying back their loans six months after graduation even if no notice was sent from PTPTN. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has instructed PTPTN not to take action against those who had started paying back or restructured their loans. He said the initial target of collecting RM2bil has been achieved and that PTPTN was now focusing on collecting RM3bil this year. Since PTPTN was set up in 1997, there are now 2.49 million borrowers. A total of RM56.4bil have been given out as loans while RM8bil have been retrieved. (The Star Online, The Star Online)

PTPTN by numbers (image from The Star)

PTPTN by numbers (image from The Star)

Related article: Don’t let PTPTN debt affect your chances of getting a housing loan!

Sub-sale market still strong, says Penang agent
The secondary property market in Penang and around the country remains strong despite an overall dip in property transactions, said a Penang estate agent. Overall residential property transactions in Penang had dropped by about 14 per cent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. Secondary market properties made up almost 84% of the total residential properties sold in Penang for the first half of 2016. Nationally, the secondary market is still thriving despite the overall outlook of a weakening property market and the number of transactions in the secondary market is almost five times that of the primary market. (Malay Mail Online)

FT Ministry planning free bus service for PPR children
The Federal Territories Ministry is in talks with bus firm Nadi to provide free school bus service for childen at People’s Housing Project (PPR) around Kuala Lumpur from next year, with the costs borne by the ministry. “If there’s an agreement, the free school buses will be coordinated with certain colours and themes for the exclusive use of children living in PPRs,” said minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. In addition to that, a free bus service to train stations for PPR residents would also be discussed. (Malay Mail Online)

BLand to acquire 871-acre Selangor land for RM155mil
Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is planning to acquire 871.01 acres in Ulu Selangor from BerjayaCity Sdn Bhd (BCity) for RM155 million cash in a related party transaction. The proposed purchse of the freehold land north of Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill, which currently comprises oil palm estates and vacant lands, provides an opportunity for the group to increase its land bank. (The Star Online)