Wanda keen to invest in Bandar Malaysia
Wanda Group of China will become the new investor for Bandar Malaysia with over US$10 billion (RM44 billion) worth of investment. Dalian Wanda Group, owned by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, has expressed “desire” to participate in the Bandar Malaysia development. “Wanda has confidence in the investment environment of Malaysia and its future prospects, and we are willing to share our experiences with Malaysia to build a one-of-its-kind mega integrated cultural and tourism project,” said Wang after a meeting with Najib. Going global is an important agenda for Wanda, as revenue from its overseas investments made up over 20% of the group’s profits last year. Najib said the Malaysian Government envisioned Bandar Malaysia to be an iconic development instead of a run-of-the-mill property development. (My Sinchew; The Star Online)

China to add RM300bil more to Belt and Road initiative
China has outlined an ambitious plan for the future that will span three continents and pump more than 480 billion yuan (RM302bil) in new funds under its Belt and Road initiative. President Xi Jinping announced that China would allocate an additional 100 billion yuan (RM63bil) for the Silk Road Fund, while its state-owned China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China would set up special lending schemes worth 380 billion yuan (RM239bil) in total to support Belt and Road cooperation. In addition to many other smaller funds for special projects, China would also contribute 60 billion yuan (RM37.7bil) in financial assistance to developing countries and international organisations along the Belt and Road routes. The Belt and Road initiative, comprising a land-based belt road and a marine route across 64 countries, aims to spur economic connectivity, development and trade in recipient nations. (The Star Online)

Image from The Star

Digital Free Trade Zone to begin operations in October
The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) will start operations in early October, six months after the launch the Alibaba iCloud e-commerce platform. 1,500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with suitable products, will be chosen by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to participate in an online cross-border trade. DFTZ will be first digital free zone of its kind outside China that is set to boost the growth of cross-border e-commerce. (Malay Mail Online)

JCorp brings RM15bil robotics city investment to Johor
Johor Corporation (JCorp) has signed an greement with Siasun Robot Investment Co. Ltd to develop 404 hectares of land for the Robotic Future City in Johor worth RM15 billion. Siasun is the largest organisation for robotics development in China and the third largest in the world. The agreement is an extension to the MoU between JCorp, MIDA and Beijing Huize Boyuan Robot Investment Co. Ltd on April 14, 2017 in China. The Robotic Future City project was envisioned to produce and attract high-skilled talents in fulfilling the government’s aspiration to create high-income employment opportunities and accelerate the region’s economic growth. (Malaysian Digest)

Demand-driven recovery for property sector
Property sales are poised to grow in 2017 after three consecutive months of year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in approved loans. According to Bank Negara, approved loans for the purchase of property (ALPP) has increased 3% y-o-y to RM11.43 billion, driven by 20% increase in loan applications indicating improved demand. The higher approved loans disbursed into the market is a good leading indicator that the value of property transactions has increased, hence property sales should naturally improve. (The Edge Markets)

Opportunities in UK for Malaysian developers, construction players
Despite the gloomy forecasts following the Brexit vote, opportunities are abound for Malaysian companies to invest in the country, especially in the property and construction industry. There was £14 billion invested in real estate in 2016, which was almost the same as previous years, and there are lots of opportunities to invest in the UK, said Battersea Power Station Development Co chief executive Robert Tincknell. One of the major opportunities in the UK would be for supply of materials for the Battersea Power Station. There are also plenty of old projects and developments that require redevelopment, as well as infrastructure upgrades across the UK. (The Edge Markets)

No plans to raise assessment rate in Seremban
There are no plans to raise the assessment rate for Seremban residents, said MPS president Datuk Abd Halim Abd Latif. The assessment would only be increased if a house was modified to an extent its built-up area was extended, and any increment in the rate first needed approval from the state government. “This is not an issue of raising the assessment rate, but the assessment of a property would increase when it is modified to become larger,” he said. (Malay Mail Online)

Malindo to be renamed Batik Air
Low-cost budget airline Malindo Air will be renamed Batik Air from the second half of this year, but everything else will remain the same. The rationale behind the branding change is to better align the offerings within Indonesia’s Lion Air Group stable of airlines to ensure there is seamless full service travel domestically and internationally. Malindo Air (Batik Air Malaysia) will be the international link within the Lion Air group while the existing Batik Air Indonesia will continue to serve the Indonesian market as a full service carrier. (The Star Online)