Hong Kong’s NewOcean to build RM5.1bil oil refinery in Malaysia
Hong Kong’s NewOcean Energy Holdings Limited said on Monday it planned to build a RM5.1 billion petroleum refinery complex on Malaysia’s east coast along with two partners: Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC). The refinery will further strengthen the throughputs that will go through Kuantan Port, which has easy access to China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Asean. Details about the size and capacity of the complex will be finalised later. (Reuters)

IPIC grants 1MDB new deadline
The International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) has given 1MDB another extension until the end of August to make its debt repayment of US$628.75 million (RM2.69 billion) – including principal and interest of US$26.025 million – provided it makes a partial payment by Saturday. Bernama reported Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan as saying that the delay in payment was due to the time taken by 1MDB to sell its assets and to comply with some regulatory requirements, which took longer than expected. (The Edge Markets)

Location blamed for unsold low-cost homes
Industry players say the perceived slow demand in low-cost housing units is mainly due to difficulty in securing financing, unsuitable location of projects as well as a shift in demand towards better quality projects. According to Rehda, there were more than 100,000 unsold low-cost units in Selangor as of July this year. Mah Sing Group CEO Datuk Ho Hon Sang said the lack of demand for low- cost units could be due to a mismatch in location and type of product, adding that the government should review its requirements for low-cost houses. The government had previously required that low-cost units make up at least 30% of development projects, but this has since been adjusted to include both low-cost and affordable ranges of homes to suit public demand. (The Edge Markets)

EPF has no plans yet to invest in Bandar Malaysia project
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has yet to decide whether to invest in the Bandar Malaysia project, said CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan. “No one has approached us yet, and we have not seen any plans for the development thus far,” he said asked whether the retirement fund was open for any joint-venture partnership on the project. The retirement fund is the single largest lender for infrastructure projects such as power plants, highways and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). (Malay Mail Online)

Construction industry on track to achieve 50% IBS adoption by 2018
The Malaysian construction industry is on track to achieve the target of 50% Industrialised Building System (IBS) adoption in projects by 2018, said IJM Corp. By 2018, all development orders (DO) from Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley must have an IBS score of 50 for projects that are more than 50,000 sqm. Other states are by 2020. IBS adoption is already at 35% now and the 50% can easily be achieved by next year. However, the adoption must be done gradually and some persuasive compulsion is needed to get rid of cheap labour and waste, and to have cleaner roads and sites. Issues related to IBS adoption include high cost of machinery, negative perception of quality, and educating workers. (The Sun Daily)

Hektar REIT Q2 earnings flat at RM10.5mil
Hektar REIT has registered a net profit of RM10.5mil in the second quarter ended June 2017, up marginally from RM10.4mil in the same period a year ago. Its CEO Datuk Hisham Othman said the market condition has become more challenging following weak economic sentiment and recent oversupply of shopping malls in Klang Valley. Net property income has decreased despite being supported by a steady occupancy rate, while performance is affected by higher operating expenses and slower growth in the retail industry which is causing reversions to remain flat, he said. (NST Online)

Spring Gallery buys developer to venture into PPA1M project
Spring Gallery Bhd is planning to acquire developer Klasik Ikhtiar Sdn Bhd for RM3.5 million cash to tap into a RM144.5 million GDV Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1 Malaysia (PPA1M) project in Sentul. The loss-making developer was awarded the contract for the PPA1M project from the Government on Feb 8 this year, which has a total GDV of RM144.8mil, on the back of gross development cost of RM126.88mil. The acquisition would provide another stream of revenue to complement Spring Gallery’s existing construction business. (The Edge Markets)

More RM150,000 homes to be built in Penang
More lower-priced affordable homes await first-time buyers on Penang Island as more developers are willing to build RM150,000 apartments on the island, ever since the state government lowered maximum prices last year. The state government has so far approved three projects in the RM150,000 category for 750 sq ft (minus finishing) homes. They were previously priced at RM200,000. Currently, affordable homes on the island are capped based on size: RM150,000 (750 sq ft), RM 250,000 (800 sq ft), and RM300,000 (900 sq ft). On mainland Seberang Perai, the prices are capped at RM150,000 (750 sq ft), RM 200,000 (800 sq ft) and RM250,000 (900 sq ft). Those interested in purchasing homes can visit the “Mission Home-Possible” affordable homes fair at the Queensbay Mall from Aug 10 to 13. (Free Malaysia Today)

Photo from 7-Eleven Malaysia

Johor Sultan becomes 7-Eleven Malaysia’s second largest individual shareholder
Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim has emerged as a substantial shareholder in 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd. He now owns a direct stake of 8.438% in the operator of the country’s largest convenience store chain. In a press statement, 7-Eleven Malaysia said Sultan Ibrahim had become its second largest individual shareholder. Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the largest shareholder, was quoted as saying: “I am very pleased that Sultan Ibrahim has increased his stake in 7-Eleven Malaysia. (The Star Online)

Developer builds new house for orang asli family in Gopeng
An orang asli family in Gopeng, Perak, received a new home funded by OSK Foundation in collaboration with Epic Homes, a social organisation that focuses on the welfare of Malaysia’s indigenous people. The home for Bah Mat and his family of seven, with better living conditions, was built in three days. The six-module home includes a living room, foyer, kitchen, ceiling storage and three bedrooms. According to the Orang Asli Development Strategic Plan 2011, 82% of the total population of 180,000 orang asli communities in peninsular Malaysia are in need of proper housing and about 12,000 families current living in shoddy conditions. (The Star Online)

OSK staff with Bah Mat and family in front of their new home (Photo from The Star)