Ipoh is Malaysia’s cleanest city
Perak’s capital has been declared the cleanest city in Malaysia for 2016, said Tan Sri Noh Omar. The Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister said that Ipoh scored 97.45 in the local government authorities’ rating system and also retained its five-star ranking. In 2008, Ipoh only got three stars, but has since improved their points every year. In 2015, Johor Baru was ranked first but finished third in 2016 behind Ipoh and Penang. (The Star Online)

Urbanites rate city-living as ‘tolerable’, survey finds
According to the Lafarge Happiness in the City Index 2017, most urban dwellers rate living in the city as ‘merely tolerable’. Responses gathered online by 1,796 residents in the fastest growing urban areas in Malaysia – Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru – revealed that 43% rated urban living as merely tolerable, while 30% said they were happy living in the city and 18% said they were very happy. Klang Valley residents appreciated the leisure activities, accessibility and job opportunities in the city, while Penang folks liked leisure activities and the state’s historical significance, and Johor liked the city’s family friendliness and accessibility. Among the top priorities for urbanites were quality of life, safety and air pollution. (The Sun Daily)

(Image from The Edge)

Eco World Development issues RM250mil bonds
Eco World Development Group Bhd’s (EW Bhd) unit Eco World Capital Assets Bhd has issued unrated medium-term notes (MTNs) with a nominal value of RM250mil. The bonds with a five-year tenure were issued yesterday, and the proceeds raised would be used for its general corporate purposes, refinancing, and/or joint ventures for Eco World. (The Star Online)

Works Ministry: Pan Borneo Highway construction going smoothly
The Works Ministry is closely monitoring the progress of the multi-billion ringgit Pan Borneo Highway’s construction to ensure that it is completed on time and on budget. Its Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that the 12 packages (of phase one) in Sarawak are being carried out smoothly, with most projects ahead of schedule. Everything in on track except for two packages, which are slightly delayed by about 1% due to some minor land issues, he added. The Land and Survey Department has been instructed to resolve the issues immediately. (NST Online)

Hap Seng to dispose of Tawau land for RM175mil
Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd is disposing of 10.06 acres of leasehold land in Tawau, Sabah for RM175.28 million to a related party, Hong Kong-based Lei Shing Hong Ltd (LSH). The proposed disposal will enable the company to realise an attractive gain and the proceeds will be used to reduce bank borrowings and/or contribute to its working capital. (The Edge Markets)

1Segamat mall (Photo from EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd)

1Segamat mall to drive Hektar REIT earnings
Hektar REIT’s acquisition of the 1Segamat Shopping Centre in Johor is expected to help drive the company’s future earnings amid the challenging retail outlook. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and as such, the mall may only start contributing from 2018 onwards. It is expectedd to help mitigate the downside in earnings for other retail assets in the REIT‘s portfolio, as it is the only shopping mall in Segamat, Johor. (The Star Online)

Bina Puri awarded RM35mil Thailand construction project
Bina Puri Holdings Bhd’s joint venture firm has been appointed as the contractor for a property project “Im Fine Condominium” in Bangna, Thailand with a contract value of THB250.6 million (RM35.03 million). The construction works, which will be carried out with WNC Construction Co Ltd, are to be completed in 12 months. With this latest award, the group’s unbuilt book order stands at RM1.5 billion. (The Sun Daily)

UEM Edgenta to sell stake in NZ unit for RM504mil
UEM Edgenta is planning to dispose of its 61.2% equity stake in its New Zealand Stock Exchange listed subsidiary Opus International Consultants Limited (OIC) to WSP Global Inc, for NZ$161.1 million (RM504.2 million) cash to help pare down debts. WSP is a Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The disposal will provide UEM Edgenta with the financial resources and enable management to focus on supporting the organic growth and operational excellence initiatives in its core sectors spanning healthcare, infrastructure and real estate in key markets, said UEM Edgenta managing director and CEO Datuk Azmir Merican. (The Sun Daily)

Photo from Business Insider/AFP

Chinese buyers starting to disappear from Australia’s property market
Chinese property buyers are turning away from Australian housing as efforts by regulators in both countries to slow investment begin to bite. Chinese buyers, who make up about 80% of all foreign property purchases in Australia, have grown wary after being hit by Beijing’s tightened capital controls, local banks restricting lending and growing fears of an over-supply in the capital city apartment market. The drop-off in Chinese demand for Australian property marks a noticeable shift from just a year ago when buyers from the mainland were seen to be dominating apartment purchases in many inner city suburbs. (Business Insider Australia)