Malaysian firms to invest US$1.5bil via Belt & Road property forum
20 Malaysian companies are expected to invest at least US$1.5 billion (about RM6.35 billion) in China real estate via the ASEAN-China Economic and Trade Promotion Association’s (ACETP) first Belt & Road Property Development Forum in China. The forum, which will take place on Jan 13-14, 2018, aims to promote cooperation between ASEAN countries and China under the Belt and Road Initiative. Hosted by Chinese data company, Chengdu Realty Technology Corp Ltd, it was proposed that Malaysian investments in China can be streamlined and made simpler through the professional supply of comprehensive real estate data on policies, land bank, supply, transactions, product types, customer database. (The Edge Markets)

Cost of living a mjor concern among Malaysians
Cost of living has remained the chief cause of concern for the majority of Malaysians, and they anticipate the government to address this in the upcoming Budget 2018. Research house Ipsos Malaysia found that 55% of respondents wanted the government to reduce the cost of living, 42% wanted the government to provide affordable housing and 37% called for a tax rebate. Malaysia’s Department of Statistics showed that the consumer price index (CPI) rose to 4.3% last month from 3.7% the previous month. (NST Online)

Damansara Realty wants facilities management incentives for Budget 2018
Incentives for facilities management (FM) sector tops Damansara Realty Bhd’s wishlist in the 2018 Budget. Its CEO Brian Iskandar Zulkarim said the services sector will contribute 58% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2020, with integrated FM being an imperative feature in the sector. Incentives to raise awareness and encourage proper FM services arising from Malaysia’s rapid urbanisation is vital as there has been huge growth in Malaysia’s built environment, and these properties, whether residential, commercial or industrial, have long lifecycles, he added. (NST Online)

Bangunan Affin Bank (Photo by Wadie R./Foursquare)

Serba Dinamik to acquire Bangunan Affin Bank for RM43.5mil
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd is planning to acquire Bangunan Affin Bank, a 16-storey office building with a four-storey basement carpark in Shah Alam, from Affin Bank Bhd for RM43.5 million. Serba Dinamik intends to use the building to house its head office and operational staff within Selangor. It intends to relocate all of its existing employees from its existing head office in Shah Alam to the new corporate office. In addition, the potential rental income from the property will provide the group with an additional source of recurring income. (The Edge Markets)

Iskandar Puteri industrial park to create 20,000 jobs
UEM Sunrise Bhd expects Phase 3 of its Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters (SILC) industrial park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, to attract more high-value businesses in order to achieve its target of creating 20,000 jobs. The property developer inked a sales and purchase agreement with Luxx Newhouse Group for the sale of 100,000 sq ft of freehold land on the SILC Phase 3 site for RM13 million, with an option for another 100,000 sq ft. Phases 1 and 2 of the industrial park have already sold out, while it has sold RM50 million worth of GDV in Phase 3. (The Edge Markets)

Axis REIT 3Q NPI flat
Axis REIT announced a net property income (NPI) of RM35.92 million for 3QFY17, up a marginal 0.33% from a year ago due to rental proceeds from newly acquired Scomi Facility @ Rawang and Kerry Warehouse. The better earnings was also due to positive rental revision and the rental of 17.6 acres of land at Axis PDI Centre. These had offset the short-term rental loss from Delfi Warehouse and D21 Logistics Warehouse, as well as losses from Axis Eureka, which has been sold. The REIT declared a 2 sen distribution per unit (DPU) to unitholder for the quarter under review. (The Edge Markets)

Plans to build more link roads in KL
There are plans to improve road connectivity within Kuala Lumpur by having new roads to link several residential areas with major roads. Proper link roads would also help spur economic activities in the affected areas. ‘Missing links’ are mostly on the Selangor border such as Titiwangsa as well as the one between Kampung Pandan and Ampang. A new 700m road was recently launched connecting Taman Desa Petaling with Kampung Malaysia Tambahan. (The Star Online)

Malaysia ranks 53rd among most literate nations
Malaysia ranked 53rd in the list of the most World’s Most Literate Nations (WMLN). Based on a study conducted by the Central Connecticut State University, first on the list was Finland, followed by Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands. Thailand was ranked 59th and Indonesia 60th. (NST Online)

Final link of Duke 2 expressway toll-free until Nov 22
The final link of the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (Duke 2) will be toll-free until Nov 22. The Sri Damansara Link (SDL) connects to the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) at the Bandar Manjalara Interchange and the existing Duke in Jalan Segambut. It will provide an alternative route for those heading towards congested areas like the city centre, Sri Damansara, Rawang, Kepong and Sungai Buloh. SDL is the final phase of Duke 2 that included the Tun Razak Link opened on Sept 28. Toll charges after Nov 22 would be RM2.50. (The Star Online)

Toll charges on the Sri Damansara Link will be RM2.50 after Nov 22. (Photo from The Star)