Eight-member Chinese consortium to bid for Malaysia-Singapore HSR project
A consortium comprising eight of China’s biggest companies are expected to submit a proposal to build the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR). The consortium, led by China Railway Corp (CRC), will also include the likes of Import-Export Bank of China, China Communications Construction Co Ltd, and China Investment Corp. The CRC-led consortium will put together a proposal that would be submitted by June 2018 for the construction of the HSR, which is due to be completed by 2026. The HSR project is estimated to cost around RM60 billion to build. (Malay Mail Online)

ARA looks at RM1.85bil REIT listing in 2018
Singapore-based ARA Asset Management Ltd (ARA), which is in the midst of planning a listing of a REIT on Bursa Malaysia, may float the trust as early as the first quarter next year. Five Malaysian assets valued at RM1.85 billion are expected to be injected into the mall-based REIT, sources say. The planned listing will comprise Klang Parade and Citta Mall in Selangor, 1 Mont’ Kiara in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh Parade in Perak and AEON Bandaraya Melaka. According to a source, the total fund size is an estimated RM1.9 billion, of which RM1.85 billion are assets under management and the rest are listing-related expenses. ARA already manages AmFIRST REIT in Malaysia via its 30% stake in Am ARA REIT Managers Sdn Bhd. (The Edge Markets)

MRCB disposes of stake in 59INC to TH Properties
MRCB has disposed of its 200,000 ordinary shares in 59INC Sdn Bhd to TH Properties Sdn Bhd for RM100.138 million. The disposal represented MRCB’s 40% equity interest in 59INC. Following the completion of agreements, TH Properties will hold 70% equity interest in 59INC, while MRCB will hold in the remaining 30%. MRCB said proceeds from the disposal would be utilised for working capital purposes and property development activities within 12 months upon receiving the disposal consideration. (NST Online)

EIA on HSR project ready for viewing
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) is ready for public viewing from today until Jan 25. The report would be displayed at various locations, including the SPAD headquarters, Department of Environment (DOE) headquarters and DOE state offices as well as other local authorities’ offices along the KL-SG HSR alignment. The EIA study covers various assessments, including air quality, noise and vibration, waste, water quality, coastal hydraulic, terrestrial and marine ecology, hydrology, geology, traffic, risk hazard assessment, public health and safety, economic evaluation, and visual aspects. (NST Online)

Pensonic buys Klang land for RM20mil
Pensonic Holdings Bhd has entered into two sale and purchase agreements with Cekal Unggul Sdn Bhd to acquire two pieces of freehold land in Klang, Selangor for RM20.07mil. The land is situated within Taman Perindustrian Worldwide Kapas Bestari (phase two). Pensonic will use the land for construction of a new warehouse and office block. The acquisition is in line with Pensonic’s strategy to expand its warehousing and office operations to cater to business expansion in the south and central regions and export markets, save on warehouse rental cost and consolidate operations in one location. (The Star Online)

MARA finalises sale of property in Melbourne
MARA Inc has finalised the sale of its 333 Exhibition Street property in Melbourne, Australia, for A$37.5 million (approximately RM118 million). The property was purchased in 2013 for A$31 million (RM97 million). This is the second property sale by MARA Inc in Australia. MARA Inc finalised the sale in line with the government’s call for local companies to use their income generated from overseas investments to invest in domestic projects and indirectly contribute to the country’s economic growth. (Malay Mail Online)

Bangkok housing sector tipped for 7% growth
Bangkok’s residential property market will see growth of up to 7 per cent in 2018 from this year, thanks to the government’s proposed expansion of investment for infrastructure projects, said Thai property agencies. This corresponds with the views of major project developers who, on the whole, continue to view the market as one with growth opportunities. The development of residential projects next year will continue to focus on areas accessible by the train network, and will expand to the outskirts of Bangkok, with the trains making it convenient for people to travel in and out of the city. (The Nation)