Build homes by going green, says PM
New schools and affordable housing projects should be built using greener and more efficient methods to save time and money, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the launch of Menara Kerja Raya, a new 37-storey building that would house the headquarters of the Public Works Department. The building was designed as an energy efficient green building built using eco-friendly materials. The RM309mil building situated at the Works Ministry complex was completed in April 2015 and has won numerous awards, including 10th best tower building in the world by Britain’s Business Insider magazine (October 2015), the first governmet building to get a Green Building Index Platinum Award, and first place in the Malaysia Property Awards 2016 in the public sector category. He said the country was committed to encouraging more new buildings to go green, adding that all new government buildings would need to incorporate eco-friendly designs and materials. (The Star Online)

Related article: What you need to know about Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI)

Bina Darulaman lines up RM900mil projects for 2017
Bina Darulaman Bhd (BDB) has lined up projects with GDV of RM900mil for 2017. The projects will include a water theme park in Bandar Darulaman township and residential development in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Kuala Kangsar will be BDB’s first venture outside of Kedah, and the project is estimated to have a GDV of RM30 million. BDB’s subsidiary, Kedah Holdings, will also undertake more “pocket development” projects which are smaller-sized developments compared to townships to meet housing demand. The company is also looking to increase its landbank and is looking at areas in northern Malaysia which are near railway stations. (The Star Online)

RM20mil allocation to revive abandoned private housing projects
The government has allocated RM20 million to revive abandoned private sector housing projects next year. The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry would work to resolve the issue of abandoned private sector projects. It was reported that 134 abandoned private sector housing projects were recorded in Peninsular Malaysia from 2013 to last month. The ministry will find white knights to revive the low to medium cost housing projects and will provide financial aid to complete these abandoned projects. Potential house buyers are urged to do thorough checks on upcoming projects before committing to a purchase. They can check the list of blacklisted developers and names of the company board members, which is available on the ministry’s website. (The Sun Daily)

Menara Shell (Photo from The Star)

Menara Shell (Photo from The Star)

MRCB-Quill REIT approved for Menara Shell acquisition
Unitholders of MRCB-Quill REIT have approved the proposed acquisition of Menara Shell for RM640 million. The approval was secured at an EGM on 7 Dec, to seek majority mandate for the proposed acquisition. Upon completion, the acquisition is expected to expand MRCB-Quill REIT’s asset portfolio size from RM1.63 billion to approximately RM2.27 billion. It will acquire the 33-storey office tower from MRCB. (REITSWEEK)

Malaysia still leading in global sukuk issuance
According to RAM Rating Services, global sukuk issuance as of end-November 2016 totalled US$72bil (RM319.9bil), surpassing its earlier projection of US$55bil to US$65bil (RM244.3bil to RM288.8bil) for the year. Malaysia retained its top spot with a 41.7% market share, followed by Indonesia (16.4%), the United Arab Emirates (11.0%), Turkey (7.1%) and Pakistan (6.7%). The top three issuers were originated from Malaysia, the UAE and Qatar, namely the Public Sector Home Financing Board (US$0.96bil), Emaar Sukuk Ltd (US$0.75bil) and the State of Qatar (US$0.72bil). large issuances from the financial and infrastructure sectors had been a boon to the sukuk market, and were likely to remain a key catalyst of future growth. Respectively. (The Star Online)

Sentoria’s Morib, Kuching projects contribute to record sales
Sentoria Group Bhd achieved record sales in FY16, with new property sales leaping 144% to RM228.5 million. Even though it was slightly below its sales target of RM250 million, it exceeded the projected RM190 million. The better-than-expected sales were underpinned by encouraging sales performance from its two new resort city developments, Borneo Samariang Resort City (BSRC) in Kuching and Sentoria Morib Resort City (SMRC) in Morib. In addition, its bread-and-butter townships in Kuantan, specifically Taman Bukit Rangin 3, also contributed steady sales in FY16. (The Edge Markets)

Rainbow Skywalk, highest in the country, set to open at Komtar
The Rainbow Skywalk at the top of Penang’s Komtar building is the highest skywalk in the country. Located 68 floors and at almost a quarter of a kilometre from the ground, the skywalk is a semi-circle glass path that juts several metres out of the building. The old roof used to be a helipad when the monolith was 65 floors. Only World Group (OWG) topped it up with three more floors, did away with the helipad and transformed the roof into an attraction. The official opening is on Dec 18, with many more delights being constructed on the roof. (The Star Online)

The Rainbow Skywalk at the top of Penang's Komtar building (Photo from The Star)

The Rainbow Skywalk at the top of Penang’s Komtar building (Photo from The Star)