China Construction Bank opens first branch in Malaysia
China state-owned China Construction Bank (CCB) has opened its first branch in Malaysia. It is the third Chinese bank after Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to have banking operations in the country. Its chairman Wang Hongzhang said the group sees Malaysia as an important hub to expand its business in its international markets, and will leverage its financial strengths in infrastructure construction, engineering cost consultation, housing mortgage as well as renminbi business. CCB’s strong funding position and expertise in financial services, e-commerce and fintech will play an important role in Malaysia’s development, said Prime Minister Najib Razak during the launching ceremony. (Xinhuanet)

Ultimatum given to contractors who fail to complete public housing in Pulau Redang
Contractors who were tasked with building affordable housing for residents in Pulau Redang were issued a warning to complete their projects on time or face the projects being handed over to others. Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif said the ultimatum was given following a contractor’s failure to complete houses during the time frame promised and for delaying up to two years. The affordable housing project was expected to be fully completed by July 31, 2017. (Malay Mail Online)

Titijaya Land to leverage on CREC’s strength
Titijaya Land Bhd plans to leverage on the strength of its partner China Railway Engineering Group Ltd (CREC), one of the world’s largest construction companies, to pursue large scale, capital-intensive construction projects such as reclaimation works. Titijaya is partnering CREC to jointly develop The Shore in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and 3rdNvenue in Jalan Ampang, which have a combined GDV of RM2.57 billion. It is launching five projects in 2H17, which are expected to complete in six to seven years. (The Edge Markets)

PNB drawn to Lotte’s RM5.9bil Malaysian IPO
According to sources, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd has attracted cornerstone investors including state-owned asset manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) to its Malaysian initial public offering (IPO), which could raise as much as RM5.9 billion. Great Eastern Holdings Ltd and Malayan Banking Bhd’s asset management arm also are believed to buy stock in the offering. A RM5.9bil deal would be the biggest initial public offering in the country since Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s October 2012 share sale, according to Bloomberg. (The Star Online)

RM37mil KKIP deal to create jobs, benefit housing
Three companies – K.K.I.P. Sdn Bhd (KKIPSB), Stone EPC (Sabah) Sdn Bhd (SEPC) and Gaya Belian Sdn Bhd (GBSB) – have signed a JV agreement to develop an integrated building materials production facility on a 15-acre site at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). With an initial investment value of RM37 million, the two separate plants will produce Interlocking Compressed Clay Blocks (CB) and a Precast Concrete Panels Industrialised Building System (IBS), and will directly generate over 300 full time local jobs. (Daily Express)

Minister: Kelantan will cooperate in ECRL land acquisition
The Kelantan state government will fully cooperate with Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd in land acquisition for the construction of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL). Kelantan Federal Action Council (MTPNK) chairman, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said there were a few things still pending between the developer and state government at the moment but would soon be resolved. The land acquisition process is projected to start in July and take 12 months to complete. It would involve issuing a notification letter to property owners who have been identified before discussions could be held. (Malay Mail Online)

Borneo orangutan (Photo from WWF)

75% of Borneo forests gone by 2020
Borneo is in danger of losing its major ecosystems and the valuable eco-services they provide which are critical to the long-term survival of local communities and the economies. According to report by WWF, the danger is faced at both national and regional levels of Brunei Darussalam, the Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan and the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. The original 74 million ha of overall forest cover had declined to 55% in 2015 due to deforestation, and by 2020, Borneo could lose 75% of its forest. (Daily Express)