No increase in stamp duty for properties above RM1 million next year
The government will not proceed with the proposal to increase the stamp duty rate from 3% to 4% on transfer instruments (Form 14A) for properties worth more than RM1 million starting Jan 1, 2018. The Ministry of Finance said accordingly, the stamp duty for the first RM100,000 of the property value stays at 1%. The next RM100,001 to RM500,000 remains at 2%, while the final RM500,001 and above, the stamp duty is kept at 3%. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia up three spots on global house price index
Malaysia rose to 25th in Knight-Frank’s Global House Price Index for the third quarter of 2017, up from 28th in the previous quarter on the back of climbing property prices. Malaysia registered a 5.1% increase in home prices from the previous 12 months. However, Malaysia’s residential sector remained on a downward trajectory, according to the property firm. The best performing markets in this quarter were Iceland (20.4%) and Hong Kong (17.5%). Singapore was 52nd place in the index, with home prices contracting by 0.3% over the last 12 months. (Malay Mail Online)

Malaysia’s IPOs to hit US$2.74bil in 2019
Malaysia’s deal making cycle is set to peak at US$2.79 billion in 2019, with the value of both merger and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offering (IPO) in Malaysia forecast to climb over the next two years, before easing back in 2020, according to the Global Transactions Forecast. Globally, the easing of key economic and political risks and the emergence of positive macroeconomic deal drivers will accelerate global deal activity in 2018. “We see an uplift in both M&A and IPO activity as dealmakers and investors gain greater confidence in the business prospects of acquisition targets and newly-listed businesses.” (NST Online)

CIMB: Bank Negara may raise OPR by 25 basis points in 1Q18
CIMB IB Research expects Malaysia’s headline inflation to moderate in 2018 (2.9% versus 3.8% in 2017), as retail fuel prices should remain broadly stable in the year ahead compared with a 22.8% jump in 11M17. It said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is poised to raise the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points (bp) in 1Q18, potentially as early as in its 24-25 Jan meeting, in response to the strong expansion in Malaysia’s economy and to head off risks of demand-driven price pressures. (The Edge Markets)

GBH to buy factories and land for RM143mil
Ceramic products company Goh Ban Huat Bhd (GBH) has proposed to acquire 29 units of semi-detached factory, 15 parcels of vacant industrial land, a parcel of vacant commercial land and vacant hostel land in Pontian, Johor for RM143mil cash. The proposed acquisitions was in line with the company’s proposed plans to diversify into the construction and property development business. On the proposed diversification, GBH explained that the group was presently involved in the rental of properties, investment holding and trading of ceramic ware and tableware. (The Star Online)

AmanahRaya REIT to dispose of four assets next year
AmanahRaya REIT is planning to sell four of the 16 assets in its portfolio as part of its strategy to focus on high-yielding quality assets. The assets – a hotel, office buildings and factories valued at a total of RM173.9 million – were acquired a decade ago and are considered to have little growth potential. While the trust is looking at selling some of its aged assets, it is also in talks to add new assets to its portfolio. (The Edge Markets)

UEM Sunrise disposes land for RM82mil
UEM Sunrise Bhd, under its unit Nusajaya Greens Sdn Bhd has disposed its land to KII Morris Sdn Bhd for a purchase consideration of RM82 million. The land is freehold and current land use is agriculture. (NST Online)

Mah Sing to increase Klang Valley landbank in 2018
Mah Sing Group Bhd is targeting to increase its landbank in Klang Valley to 75% of its total landbank, from the current level of 66%. To date in 2017, the property developer has acquired two parcels of land in Klang Valley and a piece of land in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. It currently has remaining landbank of 2,131 acres with remaining GDV and unbilled sales of RM28.3 billion. The group will continue to reinvent affordability by developing quality homes in strategic locations with prices that the rakyat can afford, in line with the market’s demand and the government’s broad objective to enable everyone to own a home. (The Edge Markets)

Berjaya Land posts RM99.9mil loss in Q3
Berjaya Land Bhd reported a loss of RM99.9mil in the 3Q107, owing to a huge impairment charge in the third quarter because of a dispute over the balance of sales proceeds the company was supposed to receive from the disposal of a mall in China two years ago, of which it owns 51%. Two years ago, GMOC had entered into an agreement to dispose Berjaya (China) Great Mall Recreation Centre project to Beijing SkyOcean International Holdings Ltd for about RM1.39bil. The first installment was paid in December last year, but the company had on Dec 8 announced that Beijing SkyOcean had not remitted the final installment to GMOC. (The Star Online)

Tender called for KL-SG HSR assets company
Malaysia and Singapore have called for a joint tender for an assets company (AssetsCo) for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. Bidders will have until June 29, 2018 to submit their proposals. All tender submissions will be evaluated for their technical solution, commercial robustness, financial sustainability and price. The AssetsCo will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets (e.g. trackwork, power, signalling and telecommunications). The AssetsCo will also coordinate the system’s network capacity for operations and maintenance needs. (The Star Online)