Malaysia’s capital market grew 9% to RM3.1tril in 1H2017
Malaysia’s capital market increased 9% to RM3.1 trillion in the first six months of this year and is now ranked fifth in Asia, relative to its GDP. Malaysia is also home to the largest number of listed companies in ASEAN and at US$29 billion, Bursa Malaysia also recorded the highest in funds raised in the last five years among the 10-member regional bloc. Among the major investments pledged by foreign companies in Malaysia include China’s Huawei with RM2.2bil, Saudi Aramco with RM7bil, HSBC with its RM1bil regional headquarters in TRX, and Broadcom Ltd which is transferring its global distribution hub to Malaysia from Singapore. The nation is expected to record a rise of 4.9% in GDP, higher than the IMF’s earlier prediction of 4.3%. (The Star Online)

Government to set up single authority to regulate property sector
The government is looking into establishing a single authority to monitor Malaysia’s property market, amid issues of supply and demand mismatch within the affordable housing segment. The issue is that the definition of affordable housing differs significantly between private and public property developers. Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani pointed out that some of the affordable housing projects are developed in unsuitable areas, causing a mismatch between supply and demand. “The problem with our property market is that there’s no single authority to supervise it. This is something the government is looking into in the near future,” he said. (The Edge Markets)

Survey find Malaysia’s property sector stable in 1H2017
Confidence in the Malaysian property sector remained stable in the first half of 2017, with 36% of respondents expressing overall satisfaction with market conditions during the period, according to a survey by a Malaysian property website. 24% expressed neutral views, while negative views dropped to 39% from a high of 53% in 1Q2015. The key factor cited by consumers for overall satisfaction was the gradual but stable appreciation of property prices, particularly for landed residential properties in the key urban epicentres of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor. Houses are being bought further away from the city centre and this has emerged as a trend for 2016 and 2017. (Malay Mail Online)

Najib announces six incentives for Felda settlers
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced six incentives for the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers. These incentives are in the form of debt disposal, incentive payment, setting up of a special fund and grant as well as housing incentive, among others. A RM5,000 incentive was given to 94,956 fully eligible families of Felda settlers for their welfare, and part of their Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) equity loan would be disposed off. 1,626 settlers who had paid their loans, would receive a cash reward of RM1,820. (Malay Mail Online)

PRG to focus on property development, construction after HK listing
PRG Holdings Bhd expects the proposed listing of its manufacturing division on Hong Kong‘s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) to be completed in October. The listing signifies that the group is aiming for further growth in the manufacturing business while it is aggressively expanding its property development and construction divisions. With the listing, PRG can then focus its financial resources on the RM5 billion GDV affordable housing projects it plans to undertake with Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB). (The Edge Markets)

Sabah to raise fees at all parks next year to ease overcrowding
Sabah Parks will increase entrance fees for all parks beginning next year to address visitor overcrowding concerns. Fees for locals will be increased from RM3 to RM5, while foreigners will be charged RM20, which is double the current rate. Tourist arrivals at Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman’s marine parks, which are about a 15-minute boat ride from the city, were almost 450,000 last year alone. The marine park authorities are currently mulling methods of diverting visitors to other islands. Other challenges include collecting rubbish which drift to the islands, and to provide clean water supply. (NST Online)

Singapore’s Changi Airport to open Terminal 4, AirAsia to shift there
Singapore‘s Changi Airport is on track to open its new Terminal 4 (T4) later this year with nine airlines, including AirAsia Group, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines moving their operations there. T4 operations would begin when operational readiness trials – currently in the final stage – had been completed. T4 project, which was completed after three years of construction, has a total floor area of 225,000 sq metres, including the two-storey terminal, car parks and taxi deck. The new terminal will raise the total handling capacity of Changi Airport to 82 million passengers per annum. (The Star Online)

Changi Airport’s newly-built Terminal 4 in Singapore. – AFP pic