Work on LRT3 to begin between March and May
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, which aims to hit RM1 billion in revenue this year, will begin work on the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) between March and May this year. Bidding is already in progress and tenders will be dished out in stages for the various work packages throughout this year and next year. Prasarana has committed to complete Phase 1 of the LRT3 project by August 2020, and the completion of the whole project within six to seven months thereafter. (The Sun Daily)

EPF to sell two London buildings
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is looking to sell some of its buildings in Britain, which could fetch about £100mil (RM550mil) in profit. The fund has put two office buildings, namely, St James Square, West End, SW1 and Tower Bridge House, E1 at St Katharine Docks, on the market, sources said. The two properties were put up for sale about two weeks ago. The EPF has been actively looking to monetise its other UK assets, having put up various other properties for sale in 2015 and 2016. (The Star Online)

IGB REIT 4Q property incoome up 13%
IGB REIT’s property income for 4QFY16 rose 13% to RM91.48 million from RM81.23 million a year ago, on higher rental income and lower utilities and property upgrade expenses. Net profit was up 32% to RM70.29 million from RM53.13 million previously, while revenue rose 3% to RM125.654 million from RM121.433. (The Edge Markets)

Hua Yang buys 10.8% stake in Magna Prima
Hua Yang Bhd has acquired a 10.84% stake in construction and property development firm Magna Prima Bhd for RM66.6 million. Hua Yang, a property developer based in Selangor, stated that the purchase was part of the group’s objective to invest in strategic landbank or companies which hold such landbank located in areas which were easily accessible and surrounded by ready amenities. Magna Prima’s landbanks are mainly located in the Klang Valley, and it is an opportunity to collaborate and strengthen its position and market presence in the Klang Valley. (The Star Online)

Asia Poly to diversify into property development
Asia Poly Holdings Bhd is planning to acquire the entire stake in High Reserve Land Sdn Bhd (HRLSB) and diversify its business to include property development. The cast acrylic products manufacturer proposed to acquire HRLSB for RM16 million, via RM8 million cash and 49.4 million new Asia Poly shares. HRLSB is involved in property development and is the registered owner of a parcel of commercial land measuring 1.9 acres with approved development order in Semenyih, Selangor. The proposed development for the land has a GDV of RM39.9 million, and Asia Poly expects to undertake the project in 4Q this year. (The Sun Daily)

An oil truck from Malaysia crosses the border into Thailand at Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla. (Photo by Wichayant Boonchote/Bangkok Post)

An oil truck from Malaysia crosses the border into Thailand at Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla. (Photo by Wichayant Boonchote/Bangkok Post)

Malaysia to charge entry fee for vehicles from Thailand
Malaysia will start collecting a fee of about 200 baht (about RM20) from cars, vans and buses entering Thailand from Thailand from the middle of this year, and Thailand will impose a similar charge early next year. According to Thailand transport deputy permanent secretary Somsak Hommuang, the collection of the toll will enable an accurate count of the number of foreign vehicles in the country, and whether they have overstayed. Thailand has considered collecting a reciprocal fee from vehicles entering Thailand from Malaysia. The collection of the toll on vehicles from Malaysia is expected to begin early next year. (Bangkok Post)

Singapore private home prices down 3.1% in 2016
Prices of private residential properties declined by 0.5% in fourth quarter of 2016, while prices fell 3.1% for the whole of 2016, less than the 3.7% decline in 2015. Analysts say the residential market is showing signs of stabilising even as private home prices slipped for the 13th consecutive quarter, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The slide in private property rents eased slightly, with rental rates dropping 4% in 2016 compared to 4.6% in 2015. (The Straits Times)