Zahid: Malaysia’s general election to be held after September
Malaysia’s 14th general election will be held after September, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Sunday. “(September) is too soon; it (the general elections) will be held beyond that,” he said during UMNO’s Hari Raya open house at PWTC. This comes after widespread speculation that Prime Minister Najib Razak will call for an election after the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held this August in Kuala Lumpur. (Channel NewsAsia)

Property mart still challenging
Share prices of most developers have increased this year, but analysts say the property market remains tough. This is due to weak sentiment, low affordability, stricter bank lending and rising supply. The sector is also faced with high property prices and household debt, as well as oversupply in certain segments, such as high-end condominiums. However, it is believed that prices will still hold up well, supported by ample liquidity, high input costs due to compliance and land costs, a low interest rate environment and strong secular positives — young demographics and improved connectivity resulted from spending on improved rail services. Affordable housing remains at the forefront of public discourse as demand continues to outstrip supply. (NST Online)

MRT Sungai Buloh station — NSTP/SADDAM YUSOFF

Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT will spur economic growth
The Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) MRT will boost economic activity along the 51km line, said Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Centre for Innovative Planning and Development (CIPD) director, Prof Dr Amran Hamzah. This was due to the current trends that demanded diversity of facilities in areas with efficient public transport. Good transport networks attract property players to develop various projects including shopping centres, housing and offices. The MRT route would also be able to attract larger markets, thereby boosting further economic activity and opening up more job opportunities. Areas that are expected to experience the most significant developments are Sungai Buloh, Cheras, Taman Mutiara, and Bandar Tun Hussein Onn which will be developed with new shopping malls, offices, and residential units, due to the population density factor and availability of spaces where development can be maximised. (The Sun Daily)

Homeowners and investors expect prices near MRT to soar
Property experts and homeowners are upbeat over the long-term impact of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line on existing and new developments. Many homeowners and investors are optimistic that their properties nearby MRT stations would increase in value. A property manager said property prices near the SBK line have the potential to increase by as much as 15% within the next nine months, while other property experts believe there will be long-term appreciation in prices of properties in the vicinity of MRT stations. (The Star Online)

PR1MA to build 17,000 homes in Sarawak
Some 17,000 PR1MA homes with a GDV of RM5.5 billion would be built in Sarawak. Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia said the affordable quality houses will be built via 15 projects planned at several locations around the state. Two of the projects in Bintawa and Matang are up for sale, while 900 units in Semenggoh will be open to potential home buyers beginning next month. A total of 166,972 registrants nationwide have applied for PR1MA housing units. (NST Online)

PRG partners China’s Greenland for construction jobs
PRG Holdings Bhd has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co Ltd (JPC) – a subsidiary of the Greenland Group – to jointly undertake infrastructure, property, and construction projects in Malaysia and internationally. PRG will source for infrastructure, construction, project financing, and property development projects, while JPC will invest, finance, and be responsible to perform, build, complete, and comply with the terms and conditions of projects/contract works procured by PRG. The agreement is in line with its business model to form joint ventures with strategic partners, as well as provide the opportunity to diversify the group’s revenue stream. (The Sun Daily)

The ferris wheel at night in i-City Shah Alam (Photo from KL Budget Tour)

I-Bhd Q2 earnings up 33.7% to RM19.6mil
I-Bhd’s net profit surged 33.7% to RM19.62mil for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with RM14.7mil a year ago, mainly due to its property development division. “The property development segment continues to be the main contributor to this steady performance, a result of construction progress and continuous sales from four projects, namely i-Suite, Liberty Tower, Parisien Tower and Hyde Tower in i-City,” i-Bhd said in a statement. The group continued to invest in i-City and reviews technology with its technology partner, Huawei for further enhancements to i-City. (The Star Online)

Sunway Group sets up RM10bil sukuk programme
Sunway Bhd’s sub-subsidiary Sunway Treasury Sukuk Sdn Bhd has launched a RM10bil Islamic medium term note (IMTN) programme. The programme will have a tenure of up to 100 years, which allows Sunway Treasury Sukuk to issue different tranches of IMTNs from time to time. Sunway said the proceeds from the sukuk programme would be used, among others, to finance the investment activities, working capital requirements and/or general corporate purposes of the issuer and/or Sunway and/or its subsidiaries. (The Star Online)