Chinese carmaker Geely to acquire Proton
Chinese automaker Geely is set to buy Malaysian car manufacturer Proton from DRB-Hicom, sources said, beating out rival bidder PSA Group. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which controls Hong Kong-based Geely Automobile and Sweden’s Volvo Car Group, will acquire 49% of Proton, which also controls British sports car maker Lotus. DRB-Hicom’s shares were suspended yesterday pending an announcement. Proton, founded in 1983 by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad, received RM1.5 billion in government aid last year on condition that it pursue a turnaround plan and seek a foreign partner. (Reuters)

Anzo partners MCCO for RM1.2bil Paragon@KL Northgate works
Anzo Holdings Bhd’s wholly-own unit Harvest Court Construction Sdn Bhd is partnering with MCC Overseas (M) Sdn Bhd (MCCO), a subsidiary of China Metallurgical Group Corp, for the construction of Paragon@KL Northgate, a mixed development project with GDV of RM3.6 billion. A consortium has been formed to undertake the construction works for the project, which would amount to RM1.21 billion. Located on an 18-acre landbank in Selayang, Selangor, Paragon @ KL Northgate is expected to commence construction at end-2017. It will comprise a six-storey shopping mall, a 31-storey apartment tower, a 37-storey serviced apartment block, and two hotels. An indoor water theme park will also be part of the plan. (The Edge Markets)

Artist’s impression of Paragon @ KL Northgate (Image from 万得财富网)

9,000 units of 1Malaysia People-Friendly Homes being built nationwide this year
Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) is in the process of building 9,000 units of 1Malaysia People’s Friendly Houses (RMR1M) nationwide this year. So far SPNB had constructed 40,000 units of RMR1M through government assistance in the form of subsidy amounting to RM20,000. Up to April 30 this year, 87,919 people have applied for RMR1M throughout the country. (Malay Mail Online)

Penang will scrap undersea tunnel project if third bridge approved
The Penang government will scrap the undersea tunnel project if the federal government grants approval for the third bridge in the state. The cancellation was based on cost justification of the bridge construction and maintenance which was way cheaper than the undersea tunnel. The undersea tunnel project (Third Link) connecting Gurney Drive and Bagan Ajam is still at the feasibility study stage, and is 87% complete. The construction of the undersea tunnel is part of the state government’s Transport Master Plan to solve traffic congestion on the island. (Malay Mail Online)

East Malaysia on MBWG’s radar
Property developer MB World Group Bhd (MBWG) is looking at potential joint venture projects in Sabah and Sarawak following successful launches at its Taman Sri Penawar township development in Johor. Executive director Ng Liang Khiang said to be a thriving developer, the company had to venture to other parts of the country. However, understanding the market trend and demand in Sabah and Sarawak was vital. The group is planning to launch medium low-cost shops, affordable single-storey terrace houses and double-storey terrace houses in the next two years at its Taman Sri Penawar township. (New Straits Times Online)

Feeder buses outside the Kota Damansara MRT station (Photo by Estate123)

MRT Corp mulls ‘mini’ buses for efficient connectivity
MRT Corp has urged the authorities to consider different approaches to improve passenger connectivity, and suggested the use of small buses for its feeder service to SPAD. A small or coaster bus can accommodate 20 people and would be able to enter residential areas easily. A smaller bus would mean shorter journey times for passengers, as it would be easier to navigate heavy traffic and maneuver around vehicles parked by the roadside. However, implementing the proposal could be a challenge due to the number of available drivers. (Malay Mail Online)

KLCC Property 1Q profit down 3.3% amid tenant transition
KLCC Property Holdings Bhd (KLCCP) reported a RM176.73mil net profit for 1QFY17, down 3.3% from the previous corresponding quarter. The slight decline was attributed to the lease transition in Menara ExxonMobil and ongoing tenant remixing in Suria KLCC and Menara 3 PETRONAS retail podium. Revenue rose a marginal 0.57% to RM336.66 million. Its hotel division saw 6.9% increase in revenue, as the growth from leisure and group segments offset the declining corporate oil and gas segments. (The Edge Markets)

IOI Properties 3Q net profit down 54.8% due to buyer’s stamp duty in Singapore
IOI Properties Group Bhd saw its net profit fall 54.8% to RM121.14 million for 3QFY17, mainly due to a one-off additional buyer stamp duty with interest of RM163.9 million incurred for the Trilinq project in Singapore. Excluding that and the fair value gain on investment properties of RM7.4 million, the group’s operating profit was RM125 million or 58% higher than the same quarter last year. Quarterly revenue grew 39.2% derived from its three main business segments of property development, property investment and leisure and hospitality. (The Edge Markets)

Sapangar Bay expansion to begin next year
The expansion programme at Sapangar Bay Container Port in Sabah, which is operated by Suria Capital Holdings Bhd (SCH), will commence next year and is expected to be completed by 2023. In the first phase, the berth length would be expanded from 500m to 850m, while the container stacking area would be expanded from 13ha to 34ha. The expansion plan was required to cater to bigger vessels and high volume of cargo handled at the port in the future. The federal government has approved RM1.1 billion through the Sabah Economic Development Investment Authority to transform the port into a transshipment hub, which will become a game changer to spur the economy. (New Straits Times Online)