IKEA to set up RM908mil ASEAN regional distribution centre in Malaysia
IKEA is set to establish a regional distribution and supply chain centre for Asean in Malaysia, with an investment of RM908 million. In adopting the structure and technology of Ikea’s biggest regional distribution centre in Germany, it would be among the top 10 largest regional distribution centres of the Ikea Group globally. The new 100,000 square metre specialised warehouse will utilise its integrated information and communications technology systems and automation to reduce labour dependency and increase efficiency and accuracy of inventory management. The centre would be serving 12 retail stores in Asean and increase to 20 by 2026. (Malay Mail Online)

Prudential relocated HQ to TRX
Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd will relocate its headquarters to a 27-storey building in the upcoming Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) by 2019. The building would gather all of Prudential’s life insurance and asset management businesses in Jalan Sultan Ismail and Bukit Bintang under one roof. The modern contemporary building incorporates the traditional Malaysian element of tengkolok di-Raja (a Malay royal headgear) and built to support the company’s current and future businesses. (The Star Online)

The future Prudential headquarters currently under construction at TRX. (Photo by TRX)

KL city office occupancy continues decline in 1H2017
Occupancy rates for purpose-built offices (PBOs) in Kuala Lumpur city continued its decline to record at 80.7% in 1H2017, compared with 82.8% in 2H2016, according to Knight Frank Malaysia. The high supply pipeline and weak demand from its traditional occupiers in the oil and gas (O&G) and banking sectors have continued to impact the office market in the city. Meanwhile, overall occupancy rates remained fairly stable for the decentralised office locations in KL fringe and Selangor, supported by improved connectivity of the LRT extension and MRT Line 1. Despite a slow office market performance, well-located Grade-A office space in KL continued to command higher asking gross rents ranging from RM7 psf to RM15 psf per month. (The Edge Markets)

PKNS ups affordable-home target by 42%
The Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) has set an ambitious new target of building and delivering 12,883 units of affordable homes in Selangor by 2020 – a 42% increase from the initial target set in March this year. “We are confident of achieving this target and I don’t think there will be delays. The state government has issued a directive to all the local authorities to prioritise the agenda of housing the rakyat,” said PKNS chief executive officer Noraida Mohd Yusof. This year, it is targeting to launch 1,157 affordable homes — together with some commercial units — via 12 projects, spread out in Kota Damansara, Rasa, Kota Puteri, Bernam Jaya, Antara Gapi, Selayang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor and Selangor Cyber Valley. (The Edge Markets)

Mega projects to lure Malaysians working in Singapore
The government hopes mega projects in the country will help lure some of the 300,000 Malaysians working in Singapore. Most of these workers are earning between RM3,000 (S$1,000) and RM6,000 (S$2,000) per month. Among the projects identified include the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor. Workers who wanted to earn more could opt for upskilling or reskilling programmes. The present unemployment rate in Malaysia is 3.4%, but the government hopes to reduce it to 3.2% by 2020. (The Star Online)

Lawmaker promises 12.8ha land for ‘Quran university’ in Baling
Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim has pledged to allocate 12.8 hectares of land for a so-called “Quran university” in his constituency. He said he would award the land to Permata Al-Quran, a national tahfiz school association, using his own personal capacity, with further help from Putrajaya when it comes to the infrastructure, reported Utusan Malaysia. The association has also reportedly requested for exclusive quota for 10 of its directors and best students to perform umrah, or minor pilgrimage to Mecca. (Malay Mail Online)

PPR residents not being evicted, says Selangor government
The People’s Housing Scheme (PPR) residents in Shah Alam are not being evicted by the state as claimed by some. Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Iskandar Samad criticised “false allegations” regarding the fate of the residents of the Kg Baru Hicom PPR in Shah Alam. Some of them were served notices to vacate their homes due to their refusal to make payments on overdue rent and also refusal to restructure the loan with Selangor Housing and Property Sdn Bhd (PHSSB), which manages the flats. “The notice to vacate was only given to the 86 tenants who are stubborn and have failed to go the management office, despite repeated reminders,” he said. (Malay Mail Online)