WCT to build two elevated MRT stations for RM199.5mil
WCT Holdings Bhd has been awarded a RM199.5 million contract to build two elevated stations under the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya MRT2 project. The contract to build the Kuchai Lama and Taman Naga Emas stations was awarded by Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd. The MRT2 line is expected to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2022. It consists of 37 stations, of which 11 are underground. (The Edge Markets)

RM1bil Ascott Star KLCC launched
Property developer, Alpine Return Sdn Bhd, and Singapore-based serviced residence operator, The Ascott Ltd, have jointly launched the 58-storey Ascott Star KLCC, which has a GDV of RM1 billion. Ascott Star KLCC, formerly known as Star Residences Tower Three, was part of the company’s start development project, comprising mixed residential and retail units. The Ascott has been appointed to manage 353 units of the project for 10 years. It is expected to be completed and begin operations by mid-2021. (NST Online)

Change in new REIT tax may push more IPO interests
The revision in the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia’s (IRB) Taxation of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) may lift initial public offering (IPO) interests for unlisted REITs in Malaysia. The new ruling states that REITs which are not listed on Bursa Malaysia would no longer enjoy any tax exemption even if the funds distribute 90% or more of their total income to unitholders. The previous ruling allowed tax exemptions for listed and unlisted REITs. (NST Online)

MNI’s assets likely to be put up for sale next month
Liquidators of Malaysian Newsprint Industries Sdn Bhd (MNI), the country’s sole newsprint manufacturer which is winding up, are expected to put its assets up for sale by tender next month. The proceeds from the sale will be used to fulfil MNI’s debt obligations, which amounted to some RM200 million as at July 31. The open tender will likely involve the sale of MNI’s prized assets such as the 60ha freehold land in Mentakab (Pahang), the building and machinery. (The Edge Markets)

E&O to sell RM600mil non-core assets
Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) is in talks with potential buyers to sell off up to seven non-core assets amounting to RM600 million. The lifestyle property developer intends to sell a shopping mall and several plots of vacant land in Penang and Klang Valley and has received offers above the book value for the assets. E&O has already sold off two assets in Penang and Kuala Lumpur in the last few months. E&O intends to focus on finishing the land reclamation in Penang for the Phase 2A of the Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP2A) development project by end-2018, and is targeting to launch the project in 2019. (NST Online)

Great Eastern may sell Malaysian operations for close to US$1bil
Singapore’s Great Eastern Holdings is said to have engaged at least one Malaysian bank to explore selling its stake in its Malaysian operations for as much as US$1 billion. The 87%-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank is among a number of insurers which are in talks to sell close to a third of their stakes in their respective Malaysian subsidiaries – with options including strategic stake sales, or initial public offerings (IPO). (The Edge Markets)

Broadcom sets up Malaysia warehouse, plans RM4.1bil investment
American semiconductor player Broadcom Ltd, which has set up its global distribution warehouse in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang, plans to spend RM4.1 billion over the next 10 years to expand its business in Malaysia. The new facility in Batu Kawan will be used as Broadcom’s global inventory for products before being distributed worldwide. (The Edge Markets)

2017 GST collections could exceed RM42bil target
The collection of goods and services tax (GST) could exceed the RM42 billion target set for this year, said the Royal Malaysian Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy. He said the amount of GST collected year to date has already surpassed the sum collected in the same period last year. At present, there are 453,000 companies that have registered for GST. (The Edge Markets)

BNM to provide cryptocurrency guidelines by year end
Bank Negara Malaysia will issue the necessary guidelines on cryptocurrencies by year end, said governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim. Some central banks, such as in Russia and China, have been sceptical towards cryptocurrencies amid a boom of different forms of the digital currency in recent times, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. On Sept 4, China banned initial coin offerings (ICO), a cryptocurrency-based investment scheme similar to IPOs. (The Edge Markets)