Malaysia, Singapore to ink HSR agreement next week
Malaysia and Singapore will sign the bilateral agreement for the High Speed Rail (HSR) project at the leaders’ retreat in Putrajaya on Dec 13. The signing was delayed by a week after Singapore requested time to brief the republic’s president. The bilateral agreement comes after the signing of the memorandum of understanding in Putrajaya on July 19, paving the way for more detailed planning and development of the ambitious rail link. The 350km HSR service is targeted to be up and running by 2026 and will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes. It will begin in Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and end at Jurong East in Singapore. (The Star Online)

Selangor launches blueprint for ‘smart state’ by 2025
Selangor is set to become a “smart state” by 2025, with the state government giving priority to developing effective technology infrastructure to improve the quality of life of Selangor residents. Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali said there must be infrastructure for Smart City security to monitor crime and provide emergency response. Greater attention must be paid towards leveraging on Selangor’s position as an innovation hub for smart city technologies given the fact that it has the highest number of educational institutions and colleges in the country. In the Selangor State Budget 2017, RM22mil has been allocated for the Smart Digital Ecosystem, with RM14mil set aside to develop Big Data and other smart apps. The remaining RM8mil will go towards an IoT (Internet of Things) centre as well as to strengthen WiFi Selangorku. (The Star Online)

screen-shot-12-09-16-at-11-13-amMah Sing launches “Lock and Roll” deferred financing plan
Property developer Mah Sing Group has introduced its latest deferred financing plan to ease the burden of home and business owners, as well as property investors. Named Lock and Roll, the scheme allows property buyers to lock down the completed unit they want, and slowly roll out the payment for the first 24 months. Buyers will only need to pay the interest portion for the first 24 months. The financing plan is available for 8 of Mah Sing’s projects, which are a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial. The Lock and Roll plan is ongoing until Dec 31. (The Star Online)

No oversupply of homes in Iskandar, says Johor Crown Prince
Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has refuted claims that there is an oversupply of homes in Iskandar Malaysia, amid concerns that rampant development by foreign investors has led to a decline in housing prices. With a population of 1.7 million that is expected to increase to three million in 2025, we need 666,000 houses, so it is not true that there is an oversupply, he said. Bloomberg reported last month that China’s developers are swamping the market in Johor, pushing prices lower with a glut of hundreds of thousands of new homes and hurting local developers. The influx has contributed to a drop of almost one-third in the value of residential sales in the state last year, with some developers offering discounts of 20% or more. (TodayOnline)

Eco World gross sales hit RM6bil
The Eco World brand registered total sales of RM6.07bil worth of properties in the financial year ended October 2016 (FY16) through its properties in both Malaysia and international markets. Of the amount, the effective sales share attributed to Eco World Development Group Bhd itself amounted to approximately RM4.01bil. Malaysia-listed Eco World registered sales of RM3.4 billion, while the remaining RM600mil was attributed to Eco World International Bhd (EWI). For 2017 and 2018 respectively, Eco World targets higher total gross sales of RM4bil in Malaysia. Two projects will be unveiled in mid-2017, namely Eco Horizon in Penang and Eco Forest in Semenyih. (The Star Online)

AKPK resolves 11,000 cases totalling RM477mil
The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) has successfully solved some 11,672 management and financial restructuring cases amounting to RM476.6 million through its Debt Management Programme (DMP) up to Oct 30, 2016. AKPK aims to help borrowers improve their financial standing by restructuring their loans such as housing, vehicles and personal loans including outstanding credit card balances. A total of 97,215 bankruptcy cases were recorded until September this year. The main reason for the bankruptcy was failure to repay loans for hire-purchase of vehicles (27.6%), personal loan defaulters (22.8%) and housing loan defaulters (19.4%). Lack of education and poor financial planning were cited as the main reasons for failure to control finances. (Daily Express)

SDB to buy National Aerated Water factory building, land in Singapore
Selangor Dredging Bhd’s (SDB) associate company Champsworth Development Pte Ltd is acquiring a 2,945.5 sqm freehold land with an existing two-storey industrial building in Singapore for S$47mil (RM146.5mil). The property at Serangoon Road is owned by National Aerated Water Co (Pte) Ltd. It is sited amid an exclusive residential cluster of landed, mid and high-rise condominium developments with panoramic view of the Kallang River and city skyline and 600 metres away from the Potong Pasir MRT on the North-East line. (The Star Online)

The National Aerated Water Co property located in Serangoon Road (Photo from Savills Singapore)

The National Aerated Water Co property located in Serangoon Road (Photo from Savills Singapore)