Bank Negara buys RM2bil land for financial education hub
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has acquired a piece of land near the central bank in Kuala Lumpur from the government for its financial education hub. The 55.79 acres of land is located contiguous to its Sasana Kijang complex which is equipped with conference and state of the art training facilities. The land will be utilised for the relocation of the Global Islamic Finance University (INCEIF) and the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA). It will also be used for future development of education and training facilities that will focus on enhancing the technical capabilities of the talents in the financial industry. The entire combined area will be designated and integrated as a world-class education hub for financial services. (The Star Online)

Malaysia among top 5 best places to retire in the world
Malaysia has been named one of the world’s best five places to retire in, according to International Living. In its Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018, Malaysia sits in fifth place with a score of 87.7, less than four points behind first-placed Costa Rica. The index ranks the top 24 retirement havens worldwide, based on 12 criteria such as cost of living, healthcare, entertainment, climate and governance. Malaysia is the only Asian country to make the top 10. First placed Costa Rica drew praise for its low cost of living, natural beauty as well as affordable healthcare and real estate. Other Asian countries that made the list were Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. (Channel News Asia)

CIMB: Malaysia’s large IPOs expected to raise RM10bil in 1H2018
The large initial public offerings (IPOs) in Malaysia are expected to raise more than RM10 billion in the first half of this year, said CIMB. This is supported by some jumbo IPOs which are likely from infrastructure, consumer, and financial services sectors. In addition, the small and mid-cap companies would also continue to be quite robust. The bank is expected to do well this year despite it being an election year in Malaysia. (Malay Mail Online)

Country Garden tops Evergrande to take China’s 2017 real estate sales crown
Country Garden achieved contracted sales of RMB 580.8 billion ($89.3 billion) in 2017 to oust Evergrande Real Estate from its position as China’s biggest selling developer and seize the title as mainland sales king, figures from real estate website Guandian show. Although the same three developers dominated the top ranks of China’s homebuilders, Country Garden moved jumped from third to first in the 2017 rankings. It recorded a jump of 88% in sales value, while Evergrande saw a 36.7% increase. (MingTianDi)

Image from MingTianDi

EcoWorld embraces digital economy
EcoWorld is embracing digital economy with the establishment of EcoWorld X, which allows it to shift to the digital engagement mindset. EcoWorld X marks the developer’s first step towards digitalisation as it looks to build better customer relationships. The new project will be put to the test on Ardence Labs, a community builder inside the RM8.5 billion Eco Ardence. EcoWorld X would assist the company to understand their customers’ behaviours and then allow it to establish a multi-channel marketing strategy to effectively communicate with prospects or leads in the right channel, at the right moment, and with the right offer. (NST Online)

LBS Bina eyes RM1.8bil sales this year
LBS Bina Group Bhd is targeting RM1.8 billion sales this year, as it will launch eight projects with total GDV amounting to RM2.19 billion. Group managing director Tan Sri Lim Hock San said he was optimistic of achieving the target, despite reports of challenging property market as LBS Bina’s properties are strategically located and priced affordably. About 40% of the property launches will be landed properties. Last year, the group achieved property sales totaling RM1.43 billion, with total GDV of RM2.33 billion. (NST Online)

Vivocom bags RM143mil job for affordable homes
Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd has bagged an RM143 million contract from Almaventures Development Sdn Bhd to build a 44-storey block housing 902 units of affordable housing, with seven floors of car park, on Jalan Gombak, Setapak. The project will be completed within 36 months from the date of commencement. (The Edge Markets)

LBS Bina mulling IPO or JV for Zhuhai Circuit development project
LBS Bina is currently weighing options whether to take an initial public offering or a joint venture route for its Zhuhai Circuit Development Project. The company aims take a final decision on this project by the fourth quarter of this year, and has no plans to sell the Zhuhai Circuit asset. LBS also plans to launch eight new projects with combined GDV of RM2.19 billion. The company is targeting sales of RM1.8bil in 2018, compared to RM1.5bil a year ago. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Perennial, Shun Tak form US$1.2bil JV to invest in China healthcare developments
Singapore Exchange-listed real estate and healthcare company Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd has set up a joint venture (JV) with Shun Tak Holdings Ltd and five others, with a targeted capital commitment up to US$1.2 billion, that will invest in high speed railway (HSR)-linked healthcare integrated mixed-use developments in China. The JV vehicle will invest, acquire and develop large scale and predominantly healthcare integrated mixed-use developments which are connected to HSR stations in China. (The Edge Markets)

AmProp to invest more in Spain joint venture
Amcorp Properties Bhd (AmProp), which has partnered with Grosvenor Europe Investments Ltd (GEIL) and Grosvenor Fund Management Spain, SLU (manager) to invest in real estate in Spain, said the capital commitment from each joint venture party will be increased by an additional RM72.45 million (€15 million). Previously, it said the group will be committing up to €35 million (RM153.65 million) for a 50% stake in a JV company. AmProp said the manager had drawn a significant portion of the existing capital commitment of €70 million from the JV parties, supported by strong pipelines and resurgence in the economy and Madrid real estate market. (The Sun Daily)