Malaysian stocks may be buoyed by Budget 2018
Malaysia’s government spending could revive gains in the stock market that is South-east Asia’s worst performer despite receiving the most foreign investment in the region. The 2018 Budget to be released on Oct 27 is likely to include an increase in cash handouts and infrastructure spending that will filter through to consumption stocks, builders and construction material suppliers. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said the budget will address the cost of living for citizens and also housing issues. (Malay Mail Online)

Innovate to stay relevant in real estate industry
Embracing innovation is a crucial survival tip to staying relevant in the real estate industry, said the winners of the MIEA National Real Estate Awards (NREA) 2017. 25 awards were given out to real estate agents, negotiators and firms at the annual awards gala dinner. Online marketing is very important to real estate practitioners nowadays as it helps to expand their reach to as many potential clients as possible. Innovation should be in the forefront of the industry in terms of embracing technology and creative thought process to come up with unique and effective marketing strategies. (The Edge Markets)

Scientex expects growth from major investments
Scientex Bhd is cautiously optimistic about its prospects for the current financial year but still expects to see an improvement in both the bottom line and top line performances. The better revenue and profits would be driven by both the manufacturing and property businesses. For the previous year ended July 31, 2017 (FY17), Scientex reported a 6.23% rise in net profit, and revenue grew 9.19% to RM2.4 billion. For FY18, Scientex is targeting to launch about RM800 million worth of new developments, including three projects in Johor, Melaka and Ipoh, Perak. The group announced its maiden project in the Klang Valley in August, and its Rawang project will be launched in FY19. (The Edge Markets)

WCT to raise RM242mil for infrastructure, property projects
WCT Holdings Bhd plans to raise up to RM242 million via a private placement to fund infrastructure and property development projects, as well as to reduce debt. This is its second fundraising exercise this year, after raising about RM178mil earlier this year. RM140.2 million from the proceeds of the latest placement has been earmarked to fund government-led mega infrastructure projects and the group’s property development projects, which include The Lead Residence in Klang and the Waltz Residence in Kuala Lumpur. Infrastructure works include LRT3, MRT2, Pan Borneo Highway, and RAPID. Around 41% or RM100mil will be used to pare down its down its debt burden. (The Edge Markets)

(Photo from Business Insider)

Malaysia hopes Qatar revives plan for Harrods Hotel in KL
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) hopes the Qatari government will reconsider its plans to build the Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur after cancelling the project in 2015. The construction of the hotel would enhance the image of the country as a tourist destination for foreign tourists. The Harrods Hotel project, located between Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Conlay in downtown Kuala Lumpur, was announced in 2012 but cancelled in 2015. Besides Kuala Lumpur, other destinations that were proposed were Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu which were tourist destinations but still short of hotels. (The Star Online)

Property owners lack fire safety awareness
There are about 1.2 million strata property owners in Kuala Lumpur alone, but most of them lack fire safety awareness. When Henry Butcher Malaysia takes over properties from developers for property management, among the frequently asked questions from owners are about property defects, quality of appliances, the view from the balcony, but none of the questions and concerns are related to fire safety. In fact, some property owners even think of locking the fire safety access in their building, citing security reasons. Property managers and homeowners need to give greater priority to fire safety. (The Edge Markets)

China set to overtake Hong Kong as Thai developer’s top foreign market
Sansiri Pcl, one of Thailand’s largest property developers by sales, sees China becoming its biggest foreign revenue source as early as this year. The Bangkok-based developer has seen no cancellations from Chinese buyers since stricter rules were imposed to deter residents from buying overseas property. This means China is set to overtake Hong Kong as its top foreign market next year. Sansiri is “highly reliant” on foreign buyers and as much as 40% of the developer’s sales are from buyers in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. (The Edge Markets)