TRX takes shape amid 1MDB controversy
Malaysia’s newest financial district is taking shape and drawing investment after – and amid – the state investment fund (1MDB) controversy. The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) has gained momentum for its initial phase after HSBC announced it would invest $250mil to build its local headquarters in TRX. Another international financial institution has signed a long-term lease for an office block, although no details were given. Construction at the Tun Razak Exchange is proceeding 22 hours a day and the first office building in the development is set to open by the end of 2018. Indonesia’s Mulia Group is developing a 106-story Signature Tower, which will be taller than the nearby Petronas Twin Towers when ready by mid-2019. A retail mall with a rooftop park the size of up to seven soccer fields is also being developed with Australia’s Lendlease Group. (Bloomberg)

The Signature Tower at the Tun Razak Exchange development. ―Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg

The Signature Tower at the Tun Razak Exchange development. ―Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg

Global house prices sees highest growth in 3 years
Average house prices rose by 6.5% across 55 countries tracked by global real estate firm Knight Frank in its global house price index (HPI) for the first quarter of this year (1Q2017), the highest annual recorded since 1Q2014. Iceland tops the rankings for the second consecutive quarter with 17.8% growth due to lack of supply, followed by Hong Kong and New Zealand, while price growth in China (10th) dropped marginally to 10.3%. Growth continues to moderate with the Malaysian HPI increasing by “only 5.5%” in 4Q2016 compared to the previous year. The slowdown in the property market may be bottoming out as sentiment improves, supported by the recent rebound in the country’s economic growth. (The Edge Markets)

PM: Malaysia-Japan bilateral relations offer huge potential
The strengthening of bilateral economic relations between Malaysia and Japan offers huge potential for both countries, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) yesterday. “Malaysia, with its diversified, robust and open economy is the perfect gateway to Asean for Japanese firms,” he said. For example, the BBCC project has managed to attract the leading real estate group in the land of the rising sun, Mitsui Fudisan Co Ltd, to invest in what will be the mega project’s RM1.6 billion retail mall. He also pointed out that the Japanese were already among the top foreign buyers for the residential units in the BBCC project. (Malay Mail Online)

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (second left) at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2017. ― Bernama pic

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (second left) at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2017. ― Bernama pic

PPA1M housing units doubled to 200,000
The government has decided to build 200,000 units of houses under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M), double the number originally targeted. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that the government wanted to ensure the well-being and comfort of all civil servants. On April 23, the government had announced it would build 100,000 units of houses throughout the country under PPA1M. The prices of these houses were lower than the market prices of between RM200,000 and RM300,000 depending on the size. (The Sun Daily)

Sunsuria on track to achieve RM900mil sales target
Property developer Sunsuria Bhd is on track to achieve its sales target of RM900mil in its current financial year ending September, based on the group’s sales performance so far. The company’s sales target for this year is between RM800mil and RM900mil, and is on track to meet the target, with launches slated for the next few months. It has seen “a return in buying interest” this year, with more people buying properties below RM500,000. (The Star Online)

Wisma Selangor Dredging

Wisma Selangor Dredging (Photo from Flexioffices)

Wisma Selangor Dredging sold for RM480mil
Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) is selling its headquarters Wisma Selangor Dredging, located in the city centre, for RM480mil in cash. The property developer expects to make a gain of RM146.8mil from the proposed sale. It has entered a conditional agreement to sell the piece of freehold land on Jalan Ampang, along with the four blocks of commercial building on it, to Golden Eagle Realty Sdn Bhd. The proceeds from the disposal will be used to settle debts, for working capital and distributed to shareholders via a special cash dividend. (The Star Online)

Upcoming KL-S’pore HSR project briefing attracts good response
MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd’s and Land Transport Authority (LTA) have received positive responses from regional and global companies in the high-speed rail (HSR) industry to participate in the briefing, which is scheduled to take place on July 5 in Singapore. the companies were expected to form a consortium among them to bid for AssetsCo tenders of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR). Consortiums from China, Japan, South Korea and Europe are expected to attend the briefing. MyHSR and LTA are expected to call the AssestCo tender in the fourth quarter of this year. (The Star Online)

AirAsia is world’s best low-cost airline for 9th consecutive time
AirAsia has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the ninth time in a row at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards. The airline was also named Asia’s Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia. The awards, known as the “Oscars of the aviation industry”, was held at Le Bourget Airport in Paris. AirAsia X, AirAsia’s long-haul sister airline, also bagged two other awards. AirAsia and AirAsia X have won a combined 25 Skytrax World Airline Awards since the awards were introduced in 2001. (The Star Online)