Tourism tax to be implemented on Aug 1
The implementation of the Tourism Tax (TTx) will begin on August 1 this year, according to the Customs Department. Prior to the enforcement date, operators of accommodation premises are required to register their businesses starting July 1. The tax is charged at a specific rate on tourists staying at hostels, hotels, inns, boarding-houses, rest houses and lodging houses. Tax returns will be used to develop the tourism industry, namely the enhancement of tourism infrastructure and facilities, tourism promotional activities and campaigns, as well as preserve Mother Nature, culture and heritage. The tax rate is fixed at RM20 per room per night (five-star), RM10 (four-star), RM5 (one-, two- and three-star), RM2.50 (one, two and three Orchid) and RM2.50 (non-rated accommodation premises). Only ‘homestay’, ‘kampung stay’, religious accommodation and those with less than 10 rooms are exempted from the tourism tax. (NST Online)

More MNCs moving to Malaysia from Singapore
More multinational corporations (MNCs), particularly in the oil and gas (O&G) sector, are moving their operations to Malaysia from Singapore because of lower costs due to the depreciation of the ringgit. Over the the past two to three years, between 10 to 20 multinationals in the O&G sector moved significant numbers of expatriate staff from Singapore to Malaysia because benefits such as housing are much cheaper, said ECA International Regional Director- Asia, Lee Quane. The latest ECA Cost of Living survey found Singapore to be the 24th most expensive location in the world for expatriates, while Kuala Lumpur was ranked 212th. (The Sun Daily)

Artist’s impression of Nexgram’s Angkasa Icon City (AIC)

Nexgram teams up with ChinaAsian to develop Angkasa Icon City
Nexgram Holdings Bhd will be jointly developing Angkasa Icon City in Sepang, Selangor, with ChinaAsian Capital Holding Ltd, a company incorporated in the Seychelles. However, the agreement does not involve the incorporation of a JV company. The mixed commercial development has an estimated GDV of RM1.15bil and estimated gross development cost of between RM600mil and RM650mil. It will consist of one block of hotel, one block of serviced office virtual office or SOVO and a block of serviced suite apartments. The proposed completion date is 5 years from the date of the approved development order and building plans. (The Star Online)

DFTZ’s KL Internet City could be Rev Asia’s new core business
Rev Asia Bhd could become a property player after it divests its core advertising and social media assets to Media Prima Bhd, which would leave it without a core business. According to Catcha Group Pte Ltd, the group is in talks with Rev Asia to collaborate on the Kuala Lumpur Internet City (KLIC) project, which would help maintain its listing status on Bursa Malaysia. Exact details have yet to be confirmed, but Rev Asia could formally take on the role of master developer of the proposed internet city. The KLIC project is part of the recently unveiled Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative. (The Edge Markets)

Vivocom temporarily halts work on Gateway Klang
Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd has temporarily halted work on the Gateway Klang project to facilitate ongoing discussions between the project owner and China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC). This is in response to a recent news report which said that Vivocom’s sub-contract for Gateway Klang (formerly known as One Gateway Klang), has hit a snag due to delay in payments by the project’s developer, Lagenda Erajuta Sdn Bhd, to the main contractor CRCC Malaysia Bhd. The group has temporarily halted work on the contract site while awaiting further instruction from CRCC. (The Star Online)

Selangor Dredging buys Singapore property for RM223mil
Selangor Dredging Bhd’s (SDB) 50%-owned associated company Champsworth Development Pte Ltd has bought a parcel of land with an existing seven-storey apartment building in Draycott Park, Singapore, for S$72mil (RM223.20mil). The property developer plans to develop exclusive mid-rise apartments on the 17,442 sq ft land. It is located in District 10, a well-established residential location near private institutes, shopping and dining amenities. The acquisition marks the seventh property SDB had purchased in Singapore. (The Star Online)

Trive Property to raise RM60.5mil for Terengganu housing project
Trive Property Group Bhd has proposed an issuance of up to 500 million new shares to Australian bank Macquarie Bank Ltd to raise up to RM60.5 million to fund a residential development project in Kertih, Terengganu. Trive Property will use RM60 million of the proceeds to fund the remaining works for Phase 1 of the Kertih project, which has a GDV of RM123 million. Phase 1 will comprise 211 units of double-storey terrace house and 68 units of single-storey semi-detached house. (The Edge Markets)

One Bukit Senyum enters second phase amid slow market
The One Bukit Senyum mixed development project in Johor Bahru is set to enter its second phase soon, amid slower real estate and property development market. The second phase will comprise a 15-storey Johor Bahru City Council new headquarters, a 450-room five-star hotel, 1,012 residences, 254-keyed serviced apartments, a 1.5 milllion sq ft shopping mall and Grade-A offices. The Astaka, with a GDV of over RM1.4 billion and stands at about 915 feet, is part of the first phase of the One Bukit Senyum project and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year. (Bernama)

Scale model of the One Bukit Senyum development by Astaka Holdings (Photo from The Iskandarian Online)

Construction of Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway ahead of schedule
The RM3.74 billion Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway (SPE) is 13% complete and 3% ahead of schedule, said Ekovest Bhd managing director Datuk Seri Lim Keng Cheng. The 29.8km SPE, previously known as the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE) Phase-3, is on track to be completed by the first quarter of 2020. The alignment of the SPE, which will traverse north to south of Kuala Lumpur, will serve areas such as University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Ampang, the Tun Razak Exchage and Bandar Malaysia development corridor, and Kerinchi. (The Edge Markets)