Guocoland to take substanstial stake in EWI’s IPO
Eco World International Bhd (EWI), which is preparing for a listing by March 2017, announced that Singapore-listed Guocoland Limited will be a strategic investors in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) together with Eco World Development Group Bhd. EWI will be issuing up to 2.15 billion new shares (or 89.7% stake) in its IPO, with Guocoland and Eco World subscribing for a 27% stake each. The proposed listing and IPO is targeting to raise over RM2 billion to fund the development of four projects in London and Sydney. Through this investment, EWI can tap into Guocoland’s financial strength, potential landbank opportunities and access the customer base of GuocoLand in Singapore and China. EWI will continue to focus on property development outside Malaysia while Eco World will concentrate on growing its development business within Malaysia. (The Sun Daily)

Noh Omar: House prices determined by state government
Any decision to raise house prices falls under the scope of state governments, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar. Location, premium charges and costs determined by local authorities were among factors which contributed to higher house prices. This includes development and compliance charges as well as the affordable housing provision quota set out by state governments to developers. Noh added that the government is ready to reopen the First Home Financing Scheme or MyDeposit to allow for more people to access the facility, which was implemented to help the M40 income group. (Astro Awani)

EcoFirst focusing on RM5bil Ampang Ukay mixed project
EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd will be kept busy with its Ampang Ukay project which has a GDV of over RM5 billion, to be realised over the next 12 years. The mixed development sits on an 87-acre plot located about 10km from KLCC. The group had recently organised a soft launch for Phase 1 of the project, which comprises SoHo and retail units, and plans to complete it within 40 months. Phase 2 is expected to begin next year, which will also be a commercial and residential development. At an EGM earlier, the group obtained its shareholders’ approval for the disposal of its 1Segamat Mall to Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust for RM104 million. (The Edge Markets)

Artist's impression of Liberty Arc @ Ampang Ukay (Image from EcoFirst)

Artist’s impression of Liberty Arc @ Ampang Ukay (Image from EcoFirst)

IGB REIT 3Q net property income up 4.9%
IGB REIT’s net property income rose 4.9% in 3QFY16 compared to a year ago, mainly attributed to higher rental income. Its net profit increased 5.6% to RM68.77 million, while revenue grew 4.1% to RM125.88 million from RM120.96 million during the same period under review. IGB REIT said it would continue to strengthen its performance by exploring asset management initiatives at both Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens Mall to maintain a stable flow of distributable income and create long-term value for its unitholders. (The Edge Markets)

MRCB-Quill REIT sees marginal growth in net 3Q net property income
MRCB-Quill REIT reported a marginal 0.2% growth in net property income in 3QFY16, dragged down by higher property operating expenses due to higher repair and maintenance costs. Net income fell 3.2% to RM15.23 million compared to a year ago, mainly due to higher manager’s fee, trustee’s fee, valuation fee and administrative expenses. Its revenue, however, rose 2.2% thanks to additional contributions from Platinum Sentral. Currently, MQREIT owns 10 buildings comprising five in Cyberjaya, three in Kuala Lumpur, one each in Shah Alam and Penang, valued at RM1.57 billion as at Dec 31, 2015. (The Edge Markets)

Property to account for 20-30% of Vizione’s revenue
Vizione Holdings Bhd, which is diversifying its businesses to include property development as part of its turnaround plan, expects the new business to account for 20% to 30% of the group’s revenue. Its chairman Datuk Dr Raman Ismail said that Vizione would remain a construction-based company, with property being a second income stream. The group is currently pursuing five People’s Housing Programme (PPR) projects, two in Sabah and the other three in Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan respectively. It is also looking into joint ventures with landowners, beginning with a 28-storey apartment project in Seri Kembangan worth RM152.22 million with Paragon Residencia Sdn Bhd. (The Edge Markets)

construction craneMalaysia’s construction sector to gain most from Budget 2017
Malaysian construction companies stand to gain the most after the government announced plans to push ahead with projects ranging from rail to bridges worth nearly $15 billion to develop infrastructure and spur economic growth through the next year. In the 2017 Budget announced last Friday, the government announced laying a 600-km rail network, dubbed East Coast Rail Line that will cost an estimated RM55 billion. It also plans to spend RM1.2 billion to build and upgrade some 616 kilometers of roads and bridges in the country. The increase in development expenditure and infrastructure spending will ensure a healthy pipeline for construction companies to grow their order books, said an analyst. Construction remains the fastest-growing activity, although the sector accounts for less than 5% of GDP, and is expected to grow 8.3% in 2017. (Nikkei Asian Review)