Malaysia a successful market for China’s Belt and Road plan
Malaysia is seen as a successful market for China’s Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), HSBC’s James Cameron said today. It is an attractive destination for infrastructure investments due to its track record in regulatory consistency and institutional maturity. “A mature infrastructure procurement system will continue to strengthen the infrastructure investments in Malaysia,” he said. HSBC Global Head of Renminbi Business Development Candy Ho said the ringgit will remain relevant for the Malaysian’s BRI although the demand for Chinese renminbi is rising. (Malay Mail Online)

Seacera unit bags RM202.8mil housing contract in Terengganu
Seacera Group Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Seacera Builders Sdn Bhd has bagged a mixed development housing contract worth RM202.8 million from Fire Global Development Sdn Bhd. The contract is for the proposed design, construction, completion and commissioning of a mixed development housing on a 110.87 acres of government land in District of Setiu, Terengganu. The 60-month contract is planned for 989 units of landed houses with expected GDV of RM242 million, and is targeted for government staff. (The Sun Daily)

PRG Holdings enters healthcare biz with acquisition of medical centre
PRG Holdings has ventured into the healthcare business following the acquisition of several healthcare entities. The company, via its wholly-owned subsidiary, PRG Healthcare Sdn Bhd (PHSB), has acquired the entire stake in Roopi Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (RMC) and its properties for RM18.3 million. In addition to the acquisition of RMC, PRG has also signed a MoU with the vendors of Esther Postpartum Care, which shall further extend the business reach market presence. The acquisitions are in line with PRG’s initiatives to tap into the healthcare industry, which is currently seeing robust demand, underpinned by an ageing population, rising affluence, and increasing life expectancy. (NST Online)

London-based Atkins wins competition for Nusajaya TOD project
UEM Sunrise Bhd has awarded London-based project management consultant Atkins as the winner of the International Land Use Master Planning Competition for Gerbang Nusajaya’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) plot. Gerbang Nusajaya is the second phase development of Iskandar Puteri, which is one of seven stations in Malaysia for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project. The Gerbang Nusajaya TOD will be developed in parallel with the Iskandar Puteri HSR station. UEM Sunrise has committed to complete the TOD in time for the station to receive its first passengers once the KL-SG HSR becomes operational in 2026. (The Edge Markets)

Artist’s impression of the Gerbang Nusajaya TOD (Image by Nusajaya City)

‘Glut of high-end homes may lead to price cut’
The glut in high-end residential property market may lead to a downturn in price going into 2018, which could have a wide-ranging impact on the economy, according to Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd. The general weak outlook for the residential segment is likely to extend until at least the second half of this year. Developers and buyers “remain highly cautious” as the high-end home segment is seen as increasingly saturated amid a challenging marketing environment and a mismatch in price expectations. “The increase in home prices is likely to continue to moderate, if not weaken, as developers and property speculators unload unsold completed stock,” it added. (The Edge Markets)

GE14 outcome won’t derail HSR, says HSBC
Malaysia’s 14th general election’s (GE14) outcome is unlikely to affect the execution of rail projects such as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR), said HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Mukhtar Hussain. Such projects are unlikely to be disrupted by any political change as infrastructure is usually defined as a key economic driver. Although proposed projects under China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative (Obor) have been shelved in some Asian countries, investments in infrastructure in Malaysia will continue because of its mature infrastructure procurement system, and deep liquidity in local and international banks. The KL-SG HSR project is well designed and with transparent processes, and competition is likely to be tight due the bidders’ varying abilities to meet separate criteria. (The Edge Markets)

34 research papers on sustainable city development published in Malaysia
Thirty-four research papers on sustainable city development efforts in Malaysia have been published under Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) five-year programme, Malaysia Sustainable Cities Programme (MSCP). Among the research, themes include climate change, renewable energy, energy mix, low carbon development, ecosystem conservation, water supply, green building index, urban regeneration, traffic, flooding, tourism, cultural heritage, social entrepreneurship, migrant workers and socially responsible real estate development. (The Sun Daily)

Common Ground Damansara Heights

Malaysia’s Common Ground to enter PH co-working space
Common Ground, the largest co-working space operator in Malaysia, is debuting into the Philippine property market through a joint venture with private investment firm MVP Global Infrastructure Group (MVP Global) with a goal to build 15 communal and flexible office hubs in two to three years. The partnership will initially focus on Metro Manila, which accounts for over a third of the Philippines’ economic output. For 2018, two co-working sites would be launched under Common Ground branding, each with a footprint of about 1,500 square meters. One will be in Makati and another in BGC. (

Cryptocurrency a tax headache for regulators
As interest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and ripple continues to grow in Malaysia amid Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) stance not to enforce a blanket ban on these digital currencies, it is only a matter of time before the government considers taxing transactions and trading gains made on these assets. So far, countries like the US, Singapore and Australia have tax treatments in place for individuals and businesses that accept cryptocurrencies as payments for goods and services, as well as those that trade these digital assets. In Malaysia, cryptocurrency transactions are currently tax-free as digital currencies are yet to be recognised for tax purposes. However, before any tax treatment can be imposed, the government will first have to define “cryptocurrency” for tax purposes in the country. (The Edge Markets)