Malaysian economy to grow at 4% in 2017
The Malaysian economy is forecast to grow at a pace of 4% in 2017, and strengthening to 4.4% in 2018. Improving global growth and the competitive ringgit should provide some support for Malaysia’s export-driven economy, with petroleum products benefitting from higher average world oil prices. The Asean region is expected to benefit from a moderate improvement in global gross domestic product (GDP) growth, as the US remains a key export market for many Asian nations, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. ASEAN’s tourism sector will also continue to benefit from Chinese tourists, with Malaysia benefitting from the e-visa scheme as well as increase in direct flights between Malaysia and China. (The Star Online)

Sunway REIT acquires industrial property for RM91.5mil
Sunway REIT is acquiring an industrial asset in Shah Alam, Selangor, for RM91.5 million cash. The purchase will see SunREIT’s portfolio increase from RM6.43 billion to RM6.52 billion with a total of 15 assets, strengthening the REIT’s current position as one of the largest REITs in Malaysia by asset value. The leasehold industrial land measures 62,587.34 square metres with three low-rise office buildings that have factories and warehouses attached. The property is sold together with an existing lease, which has a remaining duration of about 18 years, with rental subject to review every 3 years. (The Sun Daily)

Versatile Creative to explore feasibility for RM110mil project in Johor
Versatile Creative Bhd’s sub-subsidiary Versatile Smart Properties Sdn Bhd has entered a MoU with Double Action Ventures Sdn Bhd to jointly explore the feasibility of developing medium-cost apartments in Johor Bahru with an estimated GDV of RM110 million. DAVSB intends to develop medium-cost apartments on a piece of alienated land in Johor Baru measuring 3.183ha. It plans to work together with VSPSB, whose core business activity is in property development and building construction, and the ability to procure the necessary expertise and resources. (The Sun Daily)

Gadang to develop RM160mil townhouse project in Puchong
Gadang Holdings Bhd has entered into a deal to develop a townhouse project with a gross development value of RM160 million in Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong. Its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Tema Warisan Sdn Bhd inked a JV agreement with Perikatan Progresif Sdn Bhd for the proposed development on a 17.5-acre piece of leasehold land. The JV is expected to be completed within 42 months from the date the building plans approval is obtained. (The Edge Markets)

MRT hits million-rider mark during trial period
The Klang Valley MRT Phase 1 surpassed the million-passenger mark yesterday, less than a month after it was launched in December last year. According to operators Rapid Rail, student Ng Zhi We became the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line’s millionth rider when she boarded at the Sungai Buloh MRT station this morning. She received an iPad, a limited edition Touch N Go card, and other tokens from Rapid Rail. the SBK line currently has an average ridership of 40,000 per day, based on the time it took to reach the million rider mark. MRT Corp said the second phase was 95% complete and on track to open in July. (Malay Mail Online)

Serangoon Plaza, Singapore (Wikiemedia photo)

Serangoon Plaza, Singapore (Wikiemedia photo)

Serangoon Plaza to be demolished to make way for 19-storey commercial complex
Singapore’s property group Tong Eng said Serangoon Plaza will soon be demolished to make way for a new 19-storey commercial complex. The demolition and construction are expected to start in February and it will be completed in the third quarter of 2019. Serangoon Plaza, which was built in the 1960s, has a branch of Mustafa, Singapore’s biggest 24-hour mall and it is the largest tenant there. All tenants have been asked to move out by end of the month. The land will be redeveloped into a 19-storey commercial development called Centrium Square. The new project will have retail space on the first and second storeys and a 14-storey tower with medical suites and offices. (International Business Times)

Foreign investment in Aussie commercial property still strong
Despite stricter regulations and increased tax, foreign investment in Australian commercial property remains strong, hitting a record $10 billion last year. An analysis of 2016 transactions carried out by JLL shows that Singaporean buyers were particularly active last year, leading two of the top three most valuable deals. It is estimated that foreign companies were involved in 40% of total transactions in 2016. Overseas interest in Australian property is expected to remain strong in 2017, despite growing valuations. (Your Investment Property)