AKPK helps 14,688 individuals settle debts totalling RM593mil
The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) has helped 14,688 individuals fully settle their debts totalling RM593mil via its debt management programme (DMP) as at Sept 30. AKPK set up DMP to help borrowers improve their financial standing by restructuring their housing, vehicles and personal loans, including outstanding credit card balances. The majority, or 68.7%, of those who had enrolled in the DMP were in the 30-50 years age bracket who were unable to pay their credit card debts. Factors leading to debt included poor financial planning, high cost of living, business failure or slowdown, and high medical expenses, among others. (The Star Online)

BNM: Here’s why Malaysians can’t afford a house
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has a response to those saying it needs to do more to spur home loans: houses simply aren’t affordable. The central bank has created a website packed with data aimed at debunking the “myth” that access to financing was deterring home ownership, and has resisted calls to loosen mortgage lending, instead saying the property industry should boost efforts to cut costs and accelerate supply. The median house price in Malaysia was 4.4 times the median annual household income in latest available data, making the housing market “seriously unaffordable” compared to global standards. An affordable market is one with a median multiple of 3 times. (NST Online)

Phase 2 of Razak City Residences to be launched by year end
Property developer Impianika Development Sdn Bhd is targeting to launch the second phase of its Razak City Residence by the end of the year. Located opposite Bandar Malaysia, the second phase comprises two blocks offering a total of 1,080 units, and is targeted at first-time homebuyers, small families and professionals. Impianika is planning to unveil phase three, which comes in two blocks, in the middle of next year. The Razak City Residences development has a GDV of RM3.5bil, comprising 12 blocks, and is expected to be completed by April 2022. (The Star Online)

Scale model of the Razak City Residences development (Photo from Lowyat Forum)

Scale model of the Razak City Residences development (Photo from Lowyat Forum)

Yong Tai opens PJ sales gallery for The Dawn project
Tourism and cultural property developer Yong Tai Bhd has opened its sales gallery in Oasis Damansara, Petaling Jaya for The Dawn property project, which be constructed within its multi-billion ringgit development in Malacca. The Dawn@ Impression City, to be built on a five-acre site, will comprise of one 28-storey block and another 29-storey block. The attraction would be the condominium-cum-hotel (condotel) facilities. It will have a GDV of RM343mil and integreated into the 138-acre Impression City, a mega cultural performance and landmark project. (The Star Online)

George Kent bids for HSR projects
George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd has made a bid for a slice of the lucrative, multi-billion ringgit Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. It is the first group to bid for the rail project. It announced that it had entered into a pre-consortium agreement with Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Germany and Siemens Pte Ltd, Singapore. They will bid for the development, financing, construction, technical operations and maintenance of the HSR. George Ken, together with MRCB, are the project delivery partners (PDP) for the LRT3. It is also a contractor for the MRT project. (The Star Online)

Lee Rubber puts another asset up for sale
Singapore-based Lee Rubber Co (Pte) Ltd, which has in the past five years sold assets in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor, is seeking to dispose of its freehold land in Rawang, Selangor, for as much as RM40 million. The land – four contiguous lots measuring 30.8 acres – is located off Jalan Rawang and is a short walk from Tesco Rawang. The parcel is categorised as agricultural but is zoned for residential. According to sources, the vacant land measuring 1.34 million sq ft, could fetch RM33.5 million to RM40 million. (The Edge Markets)

US$20bil Kedah oil complex project in limbo
The plan to build a US$20 billion (RM84.4 billion) oil refinery complex in Yan, Kedah may have come to an end, as the sole investment licence granted to Merapoh Resources Sdn Bhd to implement the project has expired, and subsequently withdrawn by the authorities, said sources. The withdrawal of the licence by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) was said to be after “so many extensions”. It was revoked when Merapoh Resources was wound up by the High Court on April 25, 2016, and liquidated by the insolvency department on grounds of bankruptcy. The project was proposed to include a multi-crude oil complex and 370km oil pipeline, as well as residential properties, marine facilities, a heavy industrial area, and high-speed rail logistic network for cargo. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia to issue more green sukuk for infrastructure projects
Malaysia will issue more green sukuk to finance environmental-friendly infrastructure projects, and subsequently bolster its position as the key driver in the green Islamic financial market. With a conducive funding ecosystem, the government is confident it can achieve its renewable energy generation target of 7,200 megawatts (MW) by 2020. The solar energy will contribute 2,080MW to it. Green sukuk are Shariah-compliant investments in renewable energy and other environmental assets. The proceeds are used to finance construction, refinance construction debt, or finance the payment of a government-granted green subsidy. (NST Online)