Joint development partner contract awarded for KL-SG HSR project
MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) have appointed the consortium comprising WSP Engineering Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Mott MacDonald Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd to undertake the joint development partner (JDP) contract for the Kuala LumpurSingapore high-speed rail (HSR) project. The JDP will develop technical and safety standards for the project, apart from assisting the joint project team with the preparation of documents for the forthcoming project tenders. More appointments for the project will be made in due course.(The Star Online)

Malaysia’s economy records 4.5% growth in Q4 of 2016
Malaysia’s economy grew 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, exceeding economists’ survey of 4.4%, underpinned by the manufacturing and services sector, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said. Economic growth for Q4 2016 in terms of GDP was flat compared to a year ago, but for 2016, the GDP grew at a slower pace of 4.2% when compared with the 5% expansion in 2015. BNM said going forward, the global economy was expected to improve but remain on a moderate growth path. In 2017, downside risks to global growth continue to prevail, arising from the volatility in commodity prices, policy uncertainties and growth prospects of the major developed economies, heightened risk aversions in the global financial markets as well as geopolitical developments. (The Star Online)

Buyers to dictate Malaysian properties in 2017
The local property market, which saw a decrease in sales last year, will continue to be subdued this year, the research arm of property consulting firm Rahim & Co said. The firm added that it will be a buyers’ market as there will be a period of adjustment and price consolidation to close the gap between prices demanded by sellers and those looking to buy. Affordable housing will continue to be popular this year, but there are concerns about oversupply in the commercial sector, with retail space continue to grow in most states. (Malay Mail Online)

Sepangar and Klang tipped to become regional logistics hub
Both the Sepangar Bay Container Port in Sabah and Port Klang have been earmarked as the two harbours that will turn Malaysia into a logistics hub in Asean, with Sepangar port playing a role in the growth area of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Sabah is in an advantageous position as a staging hub for product distribution within Asean as sea routes from South America and Australia to China would favour the state due to its geo-strategic location. (The Star Online)

Sepangar Bay Container Port

I-Bhd records stronger FY16 earnings, unbilled sales of RM578mil
Property company I-Bhd recorded a stronger set of financial results for FY16, with earnings at RM66.63mil while unbilled sales totalled RM578mil for 2017. I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said the performance marks another important milestone in its move towards being a billion ringgit full-fledged property-based group in terms of equity capital, assets and turnover. The property development segment was the largest contributor to group revenue in 2016 at 87%, while the leisure segment made up 12% of revenue. I-City remained the main contributor to the group. (The Star Online)

Sunsuria banks on Sunsuria City, upcoming Forum Two in Setia Alam
Property developer Sunsuria Bhd is optimistic despite expecting some spillover challenges from last year. The company achieved RM457 million in total sales for 2016 through four key projects, namely The Forum@Seventh Avenue, Suria Residences in Bukit Jelutong; Bell Avenue, and Jasper Square in Sunsuria City. However, similar challenges from last year are expected, in terms of compliance and material costs, and market sentiment. One of its key strategies this year include creating unique and innovative product concepts, such as the South Korea-themed project in its Sunsuria City township. (New Straits Times Online)

Developers urged to comply with housing agreements
Developers are urged to provide quality housing as well as to be courteous at meeting their stated project delivery timeline, as stated in their sales and purchase agreement with the buyers. Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association’s (Sheda) president Joseph Wong pointed out that house buyers are now more observant about their purchases, and more aware of their rights. Meanwhile, on the current demand in housing properties, it was noted that Sarawak suffers from a combination of weak household incomes and house prices that are far higher than the average household income could afford. (The Borneo Post)

Amprop ventures into Spain property market
Amcorp Properties Bhd (AmProp) has acquired its first residential development site in Madrid, Spain, with joint venture partner Grosvenor Europe. The 820 sq metre site is located in Jorge Juan Street, Salamanca district, a sought-after residential and commercial area, with lots of retailers and food and beverage outlets. The JV is working with award winning Spanish architecture firm, Ortiz Leon to develop six exclusive apartments and a penthouse which overlooks the 350-acre Retiro Park, a famous green lung and one of the main tourist attractions of Madrid. (The Edge Markets)