EcoWorld, EPF to jointly develop townships in Penang
Eco World Development Group Bhd has signed an agreement with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to jointly develop 152 hectares in Batu Kawan, Penang. The land would be developed by Eco Horizon Sdn Bhd into two complementary townships, known as Eco Horizon and Eco Sun, which would have a combined GDV of RM7.76 billion. This is EcoWorld and EPF’s third venture following two other projects in the Klang Valley. The 122ha Eco Horizon is situated just off the primary interchange linking the Second Penang Bridge to the North-South Highway. The 30ha Eco Sun is located along Cassia Town Highway close to the Penang State Stadium. (New Straits Times)

Kerjaya targets RM800mil job wins this year
Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd secured RM1.5 billion worth of jobs for FY16, and targets to achieve RM800 million worth of jobs in 2017, on the back of its tender book of RM1.5 billion. As of the nine months ended Sept 30 2016, Kerjaya’s outstanding order book stood at RM2.89 billion providing earnings visibility for the next three years. The group is also believed to be looking out for potential acquisitions of smaller private construction firms with specialised skill sets in piling and land reclamation in order to further expand its construction portfolio. (The Edge Markets)

Trade between China and Malaysia to hit US$100bil in 2017
Trade between China and Malaysia is expected to hit the US$100 billion mark again this year after it dipped to US$86.7 billion in 2016. The main reason for the drop in trade last year was the drop in ringgit, said Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan during the signing of the MoU between MATRADE and China Intercontinental Communication Co Ltd (CICC) yesterday. (New Straits Times)

Tasco buying Pulau Indah land, expands warehouse biz for RM143mil
Tasco Bhd is expanding its operations with the proposed purchase of land in Pulau Indah, Selangor and a stake in MILS Cold Chain Logistics Sdn Bhd (MCCL) for nearly RM143mil. Tasco said its existing facilities were near full capacity, and there was greater demand for warehouse space and transportation than it was able to fulfil. The proposed properties acquisition allows Tasco to gain a sizeable landbank with close proximity to Port Klang, the busiest container port in Malaysia. (The Star Online)

Guocoland earnings jump 46%
Guocoland reported earnings of $57.1 million for 2QFY17, a 46% improvement from the earnings of $39 million in 2QFY16. In the quarter to December, revenue fell 3% while gross profit fell 22% on the back of a change in sales mix. Share of profits from associates and joint ventures rose from $0.7 million to $44.8 million due to the higher earnings from an associate in Malaysia who completed the disposal of a land parcel in Selangor. Guocoland said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange that the challenging operating conditions in Malaysia are expected to continue, but added that it will continue to focus on sales and leasing of its current projects. (The Edge Markets)

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the TPP. (Photo from Stuff)

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the TPP. (Photo from Stuff)

Trump withdraws US from TPP trade agreement
US President Donald Trump on Monday moved to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, making good on a pledge to scrap a deal he denounced as a “job killer” and a “rape” of US interests. Starting his first week in office, the president began rolling out his policy agenda, the first being a memo on withdrawing from the vast TPP trade pact, which aimed to set trade rules for the 21st century and bind US allies against growing Chinese economic clout. Promoted by Washington in 2015, 12 countries signed the agreement, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Brunei. (New Straits Times)