KL ranked 10th among world’s most visited cities
Kuala Lumpur is ranked 10th among the world’s most visited cities, according to Euromonitor International in its Top 100 City Destinations ranking 2017. “As a popular shopping destination which offers affordable shopping places, customer-friendly infrastructure and an efficient public transport system, Kuala Lumpur has become the focus of international tourists,” said the Tourism and Culture Ministry. It attributed the success to the Government’s continuous efforts in promoting Malaysia and its capital as the world’s top tourist destinations, on par with other famous cities like London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. (The Star Online)

Government forms special committee for MyDeposit
The government has formed a special committee to ensure that applications for the First House Deposit Financing Scheme, or MyDeposit, are carried out transparently and only qualified applicants enjoy the incentive. The committee would carry out a detailed check on applicants’ qualification for the scheme, with neither room for favouritism nor political affiliation. The MyDeposit scheme is aimed at helping the middle-income group to buy their first home through private housing projects which are not subsidised. The scheme is open to all Malaysians from the age of 21 and above. Priority was given to married couples who had yet to own their first homes and incentives would be paid directly to the housing developer involved. (Malay Mail Online)

Moderate uptick in industrial property
Despite the prevailing economic uncertainties, industrial property sales in Malaysia are expected to increase at a moderate pace next year, while the increase in value of transactions is projected to stay at a low single-digit percentage. The transaction of industrial units in the country increased by about 33% in 3Q this year compared to 2Q. This shows that there is still investment coming in for industrial properties. The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) project announced in the first quarter would further boost the interest in industrial properties. Since the second half, the market has seen a lot of investments in industrial properties for logistics and e-commerce activities. (The Star Online)

EWI finalises deal to buy 70% stake in London property firm
Property developer Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has finalised the terms of agreement with Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd’s development arm, Be Living Holdings Ltd, to acquire a 70% stake in the latter with plans to jointly develop 12 property development sites. The acquisition, which will be done in two stages, will see EWI paying nearly £64.9mil (RM356mil) for the six sites under the first stage. This is targeted to be completed by first quarter of 2018. Negotiations for the remaining six sites are expected to conclude after the completion of the first stage’s acquisition. Overall, the estimated total GDV of the 12 sites will worth at least £2.6bil (RM14bil). (The Star Online)

Government will not rescue troubled developers, says minister
The government will not bail out property developers, particularly those building high-end projects, who failed to sell their units and faced financial difficulties, said said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. Johari said problems would arise when developers failed to sell the high-end properties, priced between RM2 million and RM3 million. The concern is at the fringes of the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang. The authorities did not have any issue with luxury developments in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Bukit Bintang as there were strong demand from buyers, as well as investors. (Malay Mail Online)

Glomac to launch freehold project Plaza @ Kelana Jaya in March
Kelana Jaya will have a new freehold development next year at the former Kelana Jaya Seafood Centre, some 10 years after it closed down. Property developer and project owner Glomac Bhd is planning to develop Plaza @ Kelana Jaya on the 1.30ha site. It has an estimated GDV of the project is RM122 million, and will be a mixture of serviced apartments and SOHO with 696 units. The three-phase project will also have 16 units of three- and five-storey shop-offices. It is planned for launch in March next year, and targeted to the younger generation aged between 28 and 40, small families and first-time home buyers. (NST Online)

Scientex buying Johor land for RM284mil
Scientex Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Amber Land Bhd, is acquiring a 335.57 acre land in Johor Bahru from DKTMG Land Sdn Bhd for RM284.19 million. The acquisition will enable Scientex to boost and expand on its existing landbank in Johor as it continues to seek out attractively priced yet strategically located landbank within the Iskandar Malaysia region. It intends to develop the land into a mixed property development. (NST Online)

Bertam buys Sabah land, plans RM155mil residential project
Bertam Alliance Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Wow Land Sdn Bhd, is acquiring a 1.71 ha land in Penampang, Sabah, known as Lot G, from Jumat Laiyo for RM16.3 million cash. The company intends to develop the vacant land into a residential development of 228 condominium units with a total built-up area of about 280,048 sq ft. the development is expected to span over a period of three years with an estimated GDV of RM155 million and an estimated gross development cost of approximately RM130 million. The project, to be known as Idaman Residence, will result in a projected gross profit of approximately RM25 million to Bertam Group over the next three years. It is targeted to commence in March 2018 and is to be completed in January 2021. (NST Online)

Gamuda registers RM203mil Q1 net profit
Gamuda Bhd’s net profit increased 25.2% in Q1 ended Oct 31, 2017 to RM203.02mil, and revenue in the same quarter increased 52.9% to RM771.82mil. The company said the positive revenue and net profit were mainly due to higher work progress from the Group’s various construction projects coupled with stronger overseas property sales and several new property projects in Malaysia. Its construction division’s revenue grew 49% in Q1 to RM1.03 billion. The property division sold RM903 million worth of properties, more than double the RM430 million sold in last year’s corresponding quarter. (NST Online)

TH Prop plans Phase 3 of Aussie project
TH Properties Sdn Bhd, the property development arm of Tabung Haji, is planning the third phase of One The Waterfront in Australia. One The Waterfront at Wentworth Point, about 13km from the Sydney CBD, has a GDV of A$500 million (RM1.5 billion). It is one of the three residential projects with a total GDV of RM3.5 billion carried out by Piety THP Developments Pty Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between TH Properties and Piety Group. 89% of Phase 1 has been sold, and targeted for completion in May next year. Phase 2 will begin construction in March 2018, while Phase 3 could be launched next year. (NST Online)

Artist’s impression of One The Waterfront (Image from NST)