Malaysia falls seven spots to 25th in WEF competitiveness report
Malaysia fell seven places to the #25 spot out 138 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) released today, due to uncontrollable external factors. The nation ranked #18 in 2015. International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said global economic uncertainty, a strong US dollar, a fall in commodity prices and the slowdown in China’s economy were beyond policymakers’ reach. However, the fact remains that Malaysia is politically stable and economic fundamentals remain strong. Switzerland took the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, ahead of Singapore and the US. (The Edge Markets)

Source: The Edge Markets

Source: The Edge

Sunway Construction bags RM52mil MRT contract
Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Sunway Construction Group, has won a RM52.51 million contract from MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP SSP) Sdn Bhd for works related to the MRT Line 2 project. The contract is for the advance works construction of viaduct guideway and other associated works, which is expected to be completed by September next year. The group has also reportedly received offers for projects in Medini Iskandar, Johor worth RM156.5 million. (Malay Mail Online)

Rehda expecting RM300mil sales from MAPEX in Oct
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) is optimistic of hitting RM300 million in sales at the Malaysia Property Exposition (MAPEX) 2016 next month, the final of a two-series expo which will be held at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre on Oct 21-23. Despite the current slow market, properties from over 50 developers will offer potential buyers more choices. The first edition of MAPEX in April this year recorded RM300 million in sales. Rehda would also be organising its first Bumi MAPEX at the Shah Alam Convention Centre on Oct 7-9. (Astro Awani)

A view of condominiums near Subang, near LDP. A condo costs RM500,000 on average in the Klang Valley. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng/Malay Mail

A view of condominiums near Subang, near LDP. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng/Malay Mail

Over half of high-rise residences have subpar management
A survey by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry found that more than half of condominiums and apartments nationwide ranked below par in an evaluation of property management standards. 69% of those surveyed only scored one or two stars in 2015, compared to 65% below par in 2014. Furthermore, only 1% (or 74) of high-rise residential properties in Peninsular Malaysia earned the top 5-star ranking. One of the major problems is residents refusing to pay maintenance fees, as well as building defects and matters involving enforcement. Almost 6 million out of 20 million city folk live in stratified buildings, with the number expected to rise in future. (Malay Mail Online)

Eco World 3Q net profit soars 375%
Eco World Development Group Bhd’s 3Q net profit soared 375% to RM44.58mil compared to the same quarter a year ago on contributions from ongoing projects. Revenue for the quarter under review jumped 60.10% to RM727.33mil. Ongoing projects contributing to the company’s earnings included Eco Majestic, Eco Sanctuary and Eco Sky in the Klang Valley; Eco Botanic, Eco Spring, Eco Summer and Eco Business Park 1, Eco Tropics and Eco Business Park III in Iskandar Malaysia; as well as Eco Meadows and Eco Terraces in Penang. Its unbilled progress billings stood in excess of RM4 billion, and as of Aug 31, the company had achieved sales of RM2.2 billion for FY16. (The Star Online)

UPM hopes developers will consider its house-building research
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) is hoping that more housing developers will look into its latest research that allows houses to be built without columns. 28 such units had been made available for the 2014 flood victims in Dabong, Kelantan. Each unit is 600ft² and comes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. UPM Housing Research Centre chief Prof Datuk Abang Abdullah Abang Ali said the structure uses concrete blocks similar to Lego blocks, weighing between 3kg and 14kg, which allows a house to be built in seven days depending on design. The main idea of ‘Putra Block’ is the elimination of the mortar layers, which allows for faster assembly and construction. A proposal to build about 500 single-storey houses using the blocks has been submitted to the Terengganu state government for review. (The Sun Daily)

Sino-Cambodian condominium project in Malaysia
Real estate firm Century 21 Cambodia has reached an agreement with China-based Country Group Development to build and sell condos and apartments to Cambodians who are keen to invest in Malaysia. The MoU will pave the way for Century 21 to start their work in Malaysia. There are Cambodians who are keen to invest in overseas properties, but do not want to be named, said the CEO of Century 21 Mekong, a sister company of Century 21 Cambodia. The joint Sino-Cambodian project will be located in the Forest City joint venture project in Johor. Country Garden is planning to create a duty-free island and establish duty-free malls, as well as bring in premium hospitals. The first-phase development includes the transportation hub and a wetland park. (Khmer Times)