UMLand signs deal with Chong Wei Binajaya to build sports city
UMLand, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd has signed an MoU with Chong Wei Binajaya Sdn Bhd to develop part of the proposed Lee Chong Wei International Sports City. Seri Alam Properties will contribute a parcel of 16.38 acres of converted commercial land to Chong Wei Binajaya, which will develop the commercal portion to form part of the sports city. Lee Chong Wei International Sports City will be located in Bandar Seri Alam, Johor Bahru, and is the brainchild of the Malaysian badminton star. The integrated sports city will host world-class badminton tournaments, provide wellness therapy, advanced and fitness training — all in a purpose-built complex — along with accommodation, leisure, entertainment, recreation, retail shops and offices. Bandar Seri Alam is recognised as a City of Knowledge with the establishment of many educational institutions. (The Edge Markets)

Cost of living, house ownership Putrajaya’s main agenda
Cost of living and house ownership are the main agenda to be immediately addressed by the government, said Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, following the call to attention by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The two aspects have become the government’s main focus in solving the people’s problems. The government is planning to build 10,000 affordable houses for young people in the M40 group this year, 5,000 of which would be built on government-owned land in KL. The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry would also expedite the construction of 5,000 houses under the first phase of the Youth Transit Housing project in Batu, Kuala Lumpur, this year. (Malay Mail Online)

IWH to merge with IWC, say sources
Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, the property tycoon who bought into 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s Bandar Malaysia project, is said to have shelved plans to list his flagship Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH). Instead, sources say he is expected to merge the assets held by IWH with his listed vehicle — Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWC). IWC’s share price has almost doubled since the beginning of the year. The merger will form a much bigger property entity that includes an effective 36% stake in the Bandar Malaysia project, at the same time streamline the multilayer shareholding structure. (The Edge Markets)

Hunza to launch first affordable housing project
Penang-based developer Hunza Properties Bhd is launching its first affordable housing project this year targeting new home buyers, as investors are holding back purchases of higher-end units in an uncertain market. A significant number of Hunza’s clients are overseas buyers. While the group’s products were mainly marketed to local buyers, Hunza’s properties also attracted foreign purchasers who were looking to reside, retire or own a holiday home in Penang. Hunza is actively promoting its branding and projects in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Indonesia. However, the group has no near-term plans to develop projects outside Malaysia. (The Star Online)

MRCBRenewed interest in MRCB
Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), developer of KL Sentral, saw its share price rising following strong buying interest in the company. MRCB’s share price has been flirting above the RM1.50 level since February, a level that was last seen in October 2014. Dealers said that the fresh outlook on MRCB was driven by the company reducing its gearing level, which was cut to almost half in 2016, as well as maintaining its dividend payout. MRCB’s Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) highway disposal and new construction projects would provide further catalysts for the stock, including the redevelopment of KL Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), residential project Sentral Suites, and LRT3. (The Star Online)

Mah Sing raising RM1 billion via bond issue
Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd is raising RM1 billion through bond issuance for landbanking and working capital amid the slowing property industry. The first issuance amounting to RM650 million in nominal value is expected by the end of this month. Proceeds from the fund raising exercise will be primarily earmarked for landbanking and working capital, as well as accelerating construction for projects with good take-up. This will speed up collection from final stage billings on delivery of vacant possession in 2017. (The Sun Daily)

Shipwreck dive sites in Labuan (Image from Yantie Ahmad Blog)

Shipwreck dive sites in Labuan (Image from Yantie Ahmad Blog)

Diving a top draw for Malaysia tourism
Diving is a top draw in attracting tourists to Malaysia as the country offers over 40 diving destinations and marine parks. These dive sites did not only serve as ecotourism wonders but also as a source of knowledge for future generations. Tourism Malaysia (TM) Deputy Director-General (Tourism) Datuk Seri Abdul Khani Daud said that these attractions must not be viewed simply in financial terms but also in conserving the environment and maintaining the biodiversity of these ecosystems. Labuan dive sites and well-known destinations for wreck diving are currently being promoted for tourism. (The Sun Daily)