Deadline to legalise renovations extended again
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has extended its deadline to approve illegal renovations of terrace houses until Aug 31 next year. This is the second extension to the deadline by the council. It was initially supposed to end in February this year but later extended to Aug 31 this year. Owners who submit their renovation plans to the council by the new deadline will be exempted from paying a penalty, which is 10 times the processing fee. However, property owners will have to pay the processing fee for a new plan, ranging between RM100 and RM1,000, depending on the extension and compound arrears. Legalising the extensions was vital for property owners to enable them to sell their houses at the current market rate. (The Star Online)

No tourism tax for Malaysians
Malaysians will be exempted from paying the new tourism tax, while foreign tourists will be charged a flat rate of RM10 per room per night. Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said that the tax, which is expected to take effect from Aug 1, would apply to all hotel categories, except for premises with five rooms or less, homestays and village stays. The decision to exempt locals, said industry players, would benefit and enhance domestic tourism. The impact on foreign tourists would be minimal, and the extra funds collected would be spent on tourism infrastructure development. (The Star Online)

Image from The Star Online

Sunsuria, Genlin to jointly develop KL site
Sunsuria Bhd and Genlin Development Sdn Bhd are jointly acquiring and developing two pieces of freehold land measuring 2.23 acres in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, for a mixed project comprising serviced apartments and retail units. The proposed land acquisition will allow Sunsuria to strengthen its existing property development activities, which are mainly located in Salak Tinggi, Shah Alam and Bukit Jelutong. Under a shareholders’ agreement (SHA), both Sunsuria Gateway and Genlin will respectively hold 70% and 30% shareholding equity in the JV company, Goodwill Signature. (The Sun Daily)

Sime Darby unit inks MoU for halal port, industrial park
Sime Darby Bhd’s 99%-owned subsidiary Weifang Sime Darby Port Co Ltd (WSD) has signed a MoU with Halal Industry Development Corp (HDC) to develop halal-compliant infrastructure at Weifang Sime Darby Port and an industrial park in accordance with Malaysia’s halal standards. HDC will be working with both WSD in China and Sime Darby in Malaysia to further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership in the halal industry, particularly in halal logistics services. The collaboration will facilitate the penetration of Malaysian halal products into the One Belt One Road (Obor) network in China. (The Edge Markets)

Artist’s impression of One Bukit Senyum

One Bukit Senyum granted node status by MoF, IRDA
Johor’s upcoming administrative and commercial hub, One Bukit Senyum by Astaka Holdings Ltd, has been granted node status by the Ministry of Finance and the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA). Under the node status, phase 2 of One Bukit Senyum is accorded full income-tax exemption on proceeds from the sale and income derived from the leasing of all non-residential buildings. The RM5.4 billion One Bukit Senyum will house the new headquarters of the Johor Bahru City Council, a 5-star hotel, serviced apartments and a premium shopping mall. It will also comprise branded residences and serviced residences. (The Edge Markets)

LBS Bina to acquire Sri Kembangan land for RM600mil project
LBS Bina Group Bhd is acquiring 7.98 acres of vacant leasehold land in Seri Kembangan from Stratmont Development Sdn Bhd for RM63 million, with plans to develop a RM600 million mixed project. Based on preliminary plans, the mixed development will comprise four towers of service apartments offering 1,323 units with an estimated GDV of RM600 million. The residential units would be priced within the “affordable” range to cater to first time home buyers, working professionals and young families. The proposed development is expected to commence next year. (The Sun Daily)

Islamic banks pledge continued financing for affordable housing
The Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) has reaffirmed that Islamic banking institutions will continue to provide home financing facilities to eligible customers through various financing schemes offered by its members. Islamic banking institutions have been providing financing to ensure customers have continuous access to home financing. As at May 2017, a total of RM14.25 billion has been approved by the Islamic banks for the purchase of residential properties. This represented 37.3% of the total Islamic financing amounted to RM38.2 billion. (The Sun Daily)

IMF to launch new form of aid – with no money
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced it will launch a new tool to support governments in financial trouble: one that involves no money. The new non-financing Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI), unlike traditional fund programmes, will not have any eligibility criteria, as long as the country is not delinquent in payments to the IMF. Instead of providing cheap loans to countries, the new IMF tool will serve as a good housekeeping seal of approval for a government’s reform programme. With that approval, governments would be more likely to be able to access other forms of financing from banks and bond markets. (The Star Online)