Knight Frank: Weaker KL prime office market ahead
The prime office market in Kuala Lumpur is forecast to be weaker for the next 12 months, according to Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Prime Office Rental Index 3Q17. Kuala Lumpur city centre’s prime office rents have decreased 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in 3Q17. “As a growing number of new office space comes into completion amidst the weaker occupier demand, overall rents and occupancy levels continued to be under pressure. In this tenant-led market, landlords continue to be flexible as they strive to maintain and improve the occupancies of their buildings,” said Knight Frank head of research for Asia Pacific Nicholas Holt. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia may become second fastest growing economy in Asean next year
Malaysia may become the second fastest growing economy in the region, behind only the Philippines, next year with a projected growth rate of 5.2%, Public Investment Bank said. As the global economic upswing that started in 2017 is expected to continue into 2018, Bursa Malaysia stands to benefit with earnings growth expected to accelerate from 3.6% this year to 6.3% next year. Malaysia’s economic conditions will continue to remain healthy with GDP growth to remain above 5%, and with crude oil prices remaining strongly above USD50/barrel a boon to national coffers and investor sentiment. The run-up to the forthcoming General Elections could also provide a near-term trading-oriented lift. (NST Online)

Adapt Accelerator provides revolutionary platform for property market
Asia Development and Property Technology (Adapt) Ventures Sdn Bhd launched its property technology (PropTech) programme, Adapt Accelerator to enhance the real estate technology investment in the Asia region. The programme is aimed to aid the development of Asia’s property and create disruptive impact in the real estate sector. The programme was developed from a joint-venture companies between real estate investment and advisory firm, IQI Global and technology accelerator, WatchTower and Friends (WTF) together with Adapt Ventures. Adapt Accelerator engages knowledgeable players in the PropTech industry to share their experiences, discuss new technologies and act as mentors to their fellow real estate entrepreneurs, which would push business towards modernisation. (NST Online)

Le Meridien owner buys Hilton KL for RM497mil
Japanese billionaire Katsumi Tada has sold his prized premium-class Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel (Hilton KL) in Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL Sentral) here for ¥13.7 billion (RM497 million), to the owner of the hotel right next to it — the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Le Meridien is owned by Daito Trust Construction Co Ltd. The price tag means Daito is paying RM988,000 per room for the 503-room hotel — which is far below market expectations. Industry experts were expecting the hotel sale to set a new all-time high record for a non-resort hotel in the country on a price per room basis. (The Edge Markets)

Bina Puri secures first power project in Malaysia
Following the successful listing of its power subsidiary in Indonesia, Bina Puri Holdings Bhd’s local wholly-owned power subsidiary, BP Energy Sdn Bhd has accepted a Letter of Acceptance to undertake a development of 5.00 MWa.c. Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant in Kunak, Sabah from Suruhanjaya Tenaga (ST). The project is on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis, is located at Kampung Dasar, in Kunak and all documentation is expected to be finalised by March 2018. (NST Online)

Police probing for lawyer involved in RM25mil loans scam
Police are probing a lawyer for alleged criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving loans for properties worth more than RM25mil. The lawyer, whose firm was previously on the panel of a commercial bank, allegedly prepared fake documents when declaring the purchase amounts to the bank. The lawyer is also believed to have manipulated the price stated in the sale and purchase agreements before submitting them to the bank for loan approvals. Once approved, he pocketed the money and told them their applications had been rejected. The transactions involved several companies, which had made purchases ranging from RM1mil to RM9mil. The deals included both land and commercial property purchases. (The Star Online)

MACC probe on alleged land deals welcomed
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe into allegations of land sales without tender in Kuala Lumpur will help clear the government’s name, said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan, as it will ensure that the government’s reputation is not tarnished. He added that there were also groups being formed on purpose to protest several new developments in the city and he urged developers to also lodge a MACC report against it. Several groups of residents from Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Taman Desa have been protesting against several government mooted projects as they have been encroaching into lands like public parks and overdevelopment. (Malay Mail Online)

Keppel Land to acquire, develop residential sites in Ho Chi Minh for $407mil
Keppel Land, the property arm of Keppel Corporation, is acquiring 100% interest in two prime residential sites in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The total consideration for developing the two sites amount to US$297 million (S$407 million). The first site, measuring 13ha and located in Saigon South, is planned for 220 landed homes and a 1,029-unit high-rise condominium. The second site is located in District 9, and the group plans to develop another 300 landed homes on the 6ha site. The two projects will add to Keppel Land’s pipeline of more than 20,000 homes in Vietnam. (The Edge Singapore)