NAPIC: Staying ahead of the retail curve
The retail supply in the country especially in the Klang Valley has continued to expand rapidly despite the growing challenges in the industry such as market dilution and the expanding e-commerce trend. However, up till June 2017, the retail mall market has remained stable in terms of occupancy based on data collated by the National Property Information Centre (Napic). Its Property Market Brief for 1H17 noted that the retail sub-sector’s occupancy performance was at 81.5% amounting to about 3.4 million sq ft. Overall, retail occupancy rates remained “encouraging” with 10 states securing about 80% occupancy. Selangor has the highest amount of existing retail space whilst Johor dominated the incoming supply and KL the planned supply. (The Edge Markets)

IMF gives thumbs-up for Malaysia
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave the thumbs-up to Malaysia for its resilient economy in recent years as well as its financial system. Real GDP growth has surprised on the upside, growing at 5.9 per cent year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2017. According to preliminary findings, mission leader Nada Choueiri said: “Risks to the near–term outlook are balanced. Strong global demand for electronics, which has benefitted Malaysia’s exports, could last longer than anticipated, while downside risks include policy uncertainty in advanced economies and tighter global financial conditions.” While housing price growth has moderated, pockets of risks exist in exposures to household mortgages and the property development sector. (NST Online)

UEM Sunrise: Demand for high-end properties still strong
Demand for high-end properties is still strong, particularly in the Klang Valley, said UEM Sunrise Bhd Development Chief Operating Officer, Roslan Ibrahim. He said this was based on the 80% take-up rate of its latest residential project, Residensi Solaris Parq in Dutamas as at end-November 2017. The project, slated for completion in 2022, is part of UEM Sunrise’s mixed development project and has a GDV of RM755 million. He added that the oversupply of high-end residential units was not an issue despite the slow property market condition in the country. (Daily Express)

Artist’s impression of Solaris Parq Dutamas

WCT shaes rise on new highway project
WCT Holdings Bhd’s share price continued to rise by 1.99% this morning, after its unit WCT Bhd bagged a RM211.52 million contract from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to undertake an elevated highway project. The project will run from the interchange of Sprint Highway/Jalan Maarof to Sprint Highway/Jalan Semantan. WCT said the scope of works include site clearance and demolition works, earthworks, drainage, pavement works, road furniture and miscellaneous, as well as elevated highway construction. (The Sun Daily)

Fiamma forms JV to develop semi-detached houses in Batu Pahat
Fiamma Holdings Bhd has teamed up with four landowners to develop residential properties in Batu Pahat, Johor that have a potential GDV of RM26 million. Its 60%-owned unit Pinang Sutera Sdn Bhd (PSSB) has entered into a JV agreement to develop the 1.67ha plot of land. 30 units of double-storey semi-detached houses are planned to be built with an estimated development cost of RM18 million. The proposed joint development is expected to be completed within the next five years. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia’s KPJ Healthcare to sell carpark block to Al-Aqar Healthcare REIT
KPJ Healthcare’s 60%-owned unit Selangor Specialist Hospital plans to sell a four-storey carpark block to Al-Aqar Healthcare REIT for RM13 million. The property covers 286 car park bays and 83 motorcycle bays with a gross floor area of 9,956 square metres. The new consultant block is proposed to be injected into REIT at a later date. Al-Aqar Healthcare REIT said the proposed acquisition is in line with its investment objective which is to invest in properties that provides stable and regular distribution of income. It targets to complete the deal by year end. (Asia Nikkei Review)

MCT divests One City-linked unit for RM7.5mil
MCT Bhd is disposing of its wholly-owned unit which owns properties in the One City development in Subang Jaya, for RM7.5 million. One City Development Sdn Bhd (OCD) is selling its 100% equity interest in One City Properties Sdn Bhd to Bras Ventures Bhd. The disposal is in line with its strategy to unlock value through monetisation and opportunistic divestments, while increasing the group’s working capital for on-going property development projects. One City Properties is involved in property development, investment and management. Its investment properties include Sky Park @ One City, The Place @ One City, The Square @ One City and Taman Bandar Awam @ One City. (The Edge Markets)

SkyPark ground floor view

SkyWorld raises RM50mil from first landmark sukuk transaction
City developer SkyWorld Development Group successfully raised RM50 million through Tranche 1 of its Sukuk Musharakah IMTN Programme on December 8. The company said it has established its first landmark RM1 billion financial programme comprising RM600 million Sukuk Musharakah IMTN Programme and a RM400 million Sukuk Murabahah ICP Programme through a special-purpose financial vehicle, SkyWorld Capital Bhd. Under the programme, SkyWorld and its group of companies will sell their beneficial interest under the respective development projects. (NST Online)

Gets Global buys 79% stake in public transport service provider
Gets Global Bhd is acquiring a 79.99% stake in Pengangkutan Awam Putrajaya Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd (PAPTT) for RM1. PAPTT is a public transport service provider in Putrajaya and is supported by over 170 buses. Its services include Putrajaya city bus services for internal and external routes, bus rental and bus leasing. PAPTT also manages the Putrajaya Sentral Terminal, Putrajaya Park & Ride and car parks in various locations in Putrajaya. PAPTT is jointly-owned by Perbadanan Putrajaya and Pulse group. (The Sun Daily)

OldTown White Coffee (Photo from Max Pixel)

Dutch company launches takeover of OldTown for RM1.47bil
Dutch company Jacobs Douwe Egberts Holdings Asia NL B.V. has launched a takeover of OldTown Bhd for RM1.47 billion, or RM3.18 a share. The offeror (JED) intends to make the offer with a view to delisting and privatising OldTown. JDE is a privately owned company incorporated in the Netherlands, which has a global coffee and tea business. In a separate statement, Oldtown said the major shareholders owning 51.4% of the shares have given their undertaking to accept the offer. (The Star Online)