Urban farming to be introduced in PPR areas next year
Next year, urban farming will be introduced in People’s Housing Programme (PPR) areas to promote agricultural activities among residents, especially those living on strata properties, says Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar. Lembah Subang Satu PPR had been selected for the urban farming pilot project which was aimed at transforming the lives of PPR residents through residential farming. EzGrow technology allows germination and seedlings to grow in a cube without requiring any pot. (Malay Mail Online)

Related article: ‘HomeFarm’ retirement and vertical farm project in Cyberjaya

Sunway Iskandar building luxury pre-fabricated houses with Japanese concept
Sunway Bhd’s unit, Sunway Iskandar Sdn Bhd (SISB) will build luxury pre-fabricated houses based on the Japanese concept in the first quarter of 2017. Known as the Sakura Residence in Iskandar Malaysia, it is the country’s first luxurious pre-fabricated residential development, consisting of 90 semi-D houses and 10 bungalows with a GDV of RM230 million. SISB has partnered Japan’s pre-fabricated homebuilder Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd (DHICL) to develop the pre-fabricated landed homes. Property prices using pre-fabricated structures were often higher by 20 to 30 per cent compared with that of conventional method. Sakura Residence is a gated and guarded community with facilities such a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and a childcare centre. (Bernama)

Yong Tai: Impression Melaka can achieve tourist arrival target
Property developer Yong Tai Bhd is confident of achieving its target of drawing one million tourists annually to its Impression Melaka theatre. The theatre is part of its RM5.4 billion flagship mixed development project known as Impression City, which is being developed over an eight-year period on 117 acres of reclaimed land in Melaka. The 2,000-seater theatre will be facing the Strait of Malacca, featuring nature sceneries as its backdrop, a concept from the famous Impression Liu Sanjie night performance in Guilin, China. The group is targeting less than 10% of Melaka’s annual tourist arrivals of 15.7 million for the new theatre. Like the other nine Impression series theatres in China, Impression Melaka will be directed by famous film director Zhang Yimou, who also directed the 2008 Beijing Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies. (The Edge Markets)

Artist's impression of Impression City in Melaka (Image from Yong Tai website)

Artist’s impression of Impression City in Melaka (Image from Yong Tai website)

EcoFirst secures RM189.9mil financing for Ampang Ukay project
Ecofirst Consolidated Bhd’s unit has secured RM189.95mil financing from Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) which be used to purchase the land and build its RM5bil Ampang Ukay property project. its unit EcoFirst Hartz Sdn Bhd had secured the loan which comprises an Islamic term financing facility (TF-i) of RM101.5mil and an Islamic financing facility of RM88.45mil. The financing would enable it to undertake the Ampang Ukay project, or to be known as Kuala Lumpur’s Little Hong Kong, which would have retail amenities and amidst the greenery and multiple high-rise buildings. (The Star Online)

MBSB to focus on property financing
Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) will focus mainly on property financing in the corporate lending segment as it targets to boost its corporate lending portfolio to 30% (from current 20%) within one to two years. MBSB’s status as a non-financial institution limits its corporate lending abilities. Its property financing portfolio stands at RM7 billion currently. MBSB provides financing facilities to property developers in Johor, Perak, Pahang, Penang and Sabah, exceeding GDV of RM13.5 billion. These nationwide developments comprise residential properties, retail, commercial outlets and university campuses all over the country. MBSB has also financed five projects in three states with an estimated amount of RM480 million for 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme projects and five projects under 1Malaysia Housing Projects for Civil Servants for about RM726 million. (The Sun Daily)

Kelantan urged to limit agriculture licence to prevent major floods
The Kelantan state government has been urged to limit issuance of agriculture licences in Gua Musang to avoid another major flood from recurring. Indiscriminate felling of trees for agriculture could cause floods in low-lying areas such as Kuala Krai, Machang, Tanah Merah, Kota Baru and Gua Musang. “Logging causes hill areas to be barren and expedites rainwater to flow into rivers, including Sungai Kelantan, which could lead to floods,” said Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub. The state government can apply for allocations from the federal government if it was worried about losing state revenue from reduced agricultural activities. (The Sun Daily)

Spike in MGS yield negative to REITs
The spike in yields of the Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) was viewed as negative by analysts to real estate investment trusts (REITs), due to narrowing spread between dividend yield of REITs and MGS yield, which could affect REITs’ attractiveness. MGS yield spiked in November beyond the 4.45% mark following the outflow of foreign funds from emerging markets. On the outlook for retail sector in Malaysia, it is expected to show marginal improvement in 2017, as consumer sentiment should have bottomed out in 2015. A slightly better outlook for retail sales is expected, which should underpin rental reversion for retail segment to remain in positive territory. (The Borneo Post)