BNM: Beware of illegal money lenders
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has cautioned the public over the recent modus operandi by persons or companies conducting illegal money lending activities using fake money lending licences purportedly issued by the Bank. These fraudsters aim to deceive the public to believe that they are licensed money lenders and to lure the public to make initial payments for various purposes related to the loan such as administrative expenses, stamp duty and legal fees. Bank Negara Malaysia does not issue money lending licences. Money lending business is governed under the Moneylenders Act 1951 and administered by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government. (NST Online)

MIPEAC: Property market to stabilise and improve in 2018
The Malaysian property market is expected to stabilise and improve next year on the back of an uptick in transaction volume, said the Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents and Consultants (MIPEAC). The institute is rebuking recent claims that the property market was headed for a crash in 2018 as consumers could not afford to own homes by then. Recent figures by the National Property Information Centre (Napic) which show an increase in transaction volume – to 77,582 transactions in 2Q17 from 76,147 transactions in 1Q17. (The Edge Markets)

Klang Valley retail occupancy rate at 5-year low
The average occupancy rate of retail space in the Klang Valley, which has been falling marginally over the last six years, is now hovering at a five-year low of 86%. However, the new supply of retail properties continues to be strong and is expected to remain so over the next three years “with no loss of enthusiasm commercially by developers to build more”, said real estate services firm Nawawi Tie Leung Sdn Bhd (NTL). Competitive demand from real estate investors has continued to drive yield downwards to a current state whereby yield for prime retail and commercial assets are at par. (The Edge Markets)

Sakura Residence first local landed prefab project
Prefabricated development is a growing concept in Malaysia, in which building structures manufactured offsite and transported to the location for on-site assembly. The first landed prefabricated development in Malaysia is Sakura Residence, developed by Daiwa Sunway Development Sdn Bhd — a joint venture between master community developer, Sunway Property and Daiwa House Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The GDV RM230 project will be developed in a 13-acre private gated community in Sunway Iskandar, Johor. Located at the development’s Parkview precinct, Sakura Residence will have 100 pre-fabricated double-storey bungalows and semi-detached units. The unique aspects of pre-fabricated houses include high precision structure, shorter delivery timeframe, well-ventilated design, energy-saving and clean living environment. (NST Online)

Sakura Residence in Sunway Iskandar, Johor

IJM secures Prudential as anchor tenant for TRX building
IJM Corp Bhd has secured Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd as the anchor tenant of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) building, which saw its concrete completion today and is slated to be handed over in the first quarter of 2019. The RM500 million tower, which has so far secured tenants for 84% of its lettable 560,000 square feet, is one of IJM’s three projects in TRX. Its second is a contract to design and build HSBC Malaysia’s new headquarters, while it secured an RM30 million contract last week to construct the foundation and substructure of Affin Bank’s office tower. Year-to-date IJM has secured an order book of RM2.9 billion. (The Edge Markets)

Acoustech to develop shop offices worth RM71.4mil in Johor
Acoustech Bhd is planning to jointly develop shop offices worth an estimated RM71.4 million GDV with Yayasan Pelajaran Johor’s (YPJ) unit. YPJ is a statutory body established under the Johore Education Foundation Enactment 1982. The proposed development is for 84 units of two and three-storey shop offices on two plots of leasehold land measuring 19.328 acres in Kota Tinggi, Johor. The project is anticipated to be completed within three years, with an estimated gross development cost of RM50.2 million. (The Edge Markets)

Nexgram, Seychelles firm abort Angkasa project in Cyberjaya
Nexgram Holdings Bhd has aborted its plan to jointly develop the Angkasa Icon City mixed commercial project in Cyberjaya, Selangor with Seychelles company China Asian Capital Holding Ltd (CACH). Nexgram’s wholly-owned subsidiary Nexgram Land Sdn Bhd and CACH had agreed to discontinue the joint development agreement (JDA) after a few subsequent discussion. The proposed project was to comprise a hotel, a block of small office/virtual office and a block of service suite apartments. (The Edge Markets)

Johor Sultan increases stake in 7-Eleven
Sultan Ibrahim of Johor has raised his stake in 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, acquiring an additional 63.08 million shares in the convenience store operator. The shares, valued at almost RM100mil, raises his stake in the company to 15.5%. He is the second largest shareholder in the convenience store operator, after tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan who has about 42% equity interest. (The Star Online)

Borneo orangutan (Photo from WWF)

64% protected forest available for natural forest management
Half of Yayasan Sabah Concession Area is now protected forest, which also amounts to 64% of the areas available for natural forest management. This was attributed to the implementation of Imbak Canyon Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023, which included the conversion of Class II (Commercial) Forests to Class I (Protection) Forest. The forest reclassification proposal had provided a connection beyond the conservation areas to the coastal forests in the east, which saw further reduction in the concession area available for natural forest management and the generation of forest revenue. The management plan also emphasised the need to integrate existing plans and policies that were relevant to the geographic area and land use zone. (NST Online)