Iconic Kompleks Kraf building to make way for integrated project
Hedgeland Realty Sdn Bhd has submitted a proposal to DBKL to develop the prime 11.04-acre Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur site in Jalan Conlay into an integrated development comprising retail, office, hotel and serviced apartments. The iconic building, which is a one-stop craft centre and tourist destination, may be demolished to accommodate six towers that will house 500 hotel rooms and 2,240 serviced apartments, among others. The project is said to have an estimated GDV of RM6 billion. (The Edge Markets)

Economists foresee Bank Negara raising lending rates soon
Research houses expect Bank Negara Malaysia to hike the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) as early as January following the central bank’s signal in its monetary policy statement. The first monetary policy statement will be issued on January 19. While the inclusion of the forward guidance may suggest a policy move as early as January, much will also depend on the inflation readings in the coming two months. Economists support the view that BNM will likely increase its OPR by 25 to 50 basis points next year. (NST Online)

KTMB eyes developing commercial, retail properties worth RM6bil
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) is eyeing on embarking on its maiden property development project within the Klang Valley area, slated to be worth RM6 billion in the next two to three years, as part of its initiatives to ramp up income from its non-fare segment. KTMB’s foray into the property development, which will be on the concept of transit-oriented development (TOD) and partnering with strategic developers, is still pending approval and finalisation. However, it could kick off the property projects by as early as next year. (The Edge Markets)

DTFZ to ‘uberise’ trade for Malaysian SMEs
The Digital Free Trade Zone (DTFZ) will make it easier for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to export their goods to China first, then eventually, the rest of the world, according to Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood. Most Malaysian SMEs are content to remain local, perhaps because they find the export process too onerous. “The DFTZ is essentially the uberisation of trade facilitation,” she explains. The first component is the creation of a digital platform to facilitate trade, which is Alibaba.com. Once the transaction has been secured, sellers can go to the eServices platform (second component) which handles customs clearance, foreign exchange and more. Once all the details are keyed in, the services platform will take the product to the eFulfillment hub (KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park), which will export the product. (The Edge Markets)

Ampang Ukay (Image from EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd)

EcoFirst to accelerate RM5bil Ampang Ukay project
EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd aims to accelerate the development of its RM5 billion flagship Ampang Ukay property project, having completed the disposal of 1Segamat Mall and the purchase of the second parcel of Ampang Ukay land. It is now in the advanced planning stage for the second phase of Ampang Ukay, which will have a GDV of RM500mil. With a total GDV of over RM5 billion, Ampang Ukay comprises two adjoining pieces of land of 87 acres in total – one of the largest remaining parcels within seven minutes of the city centre. The second phase will consist of two blocks of condominiums and one block of apartments, all priced below RM500,000. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s govt debt 50.9% of GDP
Malaysia’s government debt, at RM680 billion, accounts for 50.9% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the government’s self-imposed 55% limit, said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. 97% is domestic debt, while overseas debt is about 3%. (Malay Mail Online)

Ikea and Paradigm Mall arrive in Johor Baru
The Johor Baru shopping scene is set to become more exciting with the opening of Ikea Tebrau and Paradigm Mall this month. Swedish furniture chain Ikea is slated to open its doors to the public on Nov 16. This would be its third store in Malaysia and the largest in South-East Asia at 46,731 sq m. Meanwhile in Skudai, Paradigm Mall Johor Baru will open its doors on Nov 28. The seven-storey mall will house over 500 retail shops operating on 1.3 million sq ft of retail space. (The Star Online)

IKEA Tebrau will open on Nov 16. (Photo from The Star)

E&O’s Q2 earnings surge on higher operating profit
Eastern & Oriental Bhd’s (E&O) net profit for the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 grew fivefold to RM19.68 million from RM3.83 million a year ago due to higher operating profit from the property segment on the back of higher revenue recognised. The higher operating profit was also due to steady progress in construction from ongoing projects. The group is at the planning and design stage for its project in Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur, targeted to launch by end of 2018, while reclamation works for its Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2A project is in progress. (The Sun Daily)

Month-long 2017 Negaraku exhibition begins today
The 2017 Negaraku Expo, which is the biggest infrastructure exhibition in the county, has opened its doors at Dataran Merdeka today. It will be held from Nov 15 to Dec 15, 2017. The exhibition will showcase the latest and upcoming infrastructure developments in the country, and aims to provide information to the public on development plans which will improve their standard of living. The event features five big scale domes namely – Dome 1: How Blessed We Are, Dome 2: Our Infrastructure, Dome 3: Lifestyle & Wellbeing, Dome 4: Living It and Dome 5: The Future of Us. Jalan Raja at Dataran Merdeka will also be closed for a month in conjunction with the Expo and to ensure safety and smooth flow of visitors to the 2017 Negaraku Expo. (The Sun Daily)

The 2017 Negaraku Expo will be held at Dataran Merdeka from Nov 16 to Dec 16, 2017. (Photo from NST)