Farewell to PJ’s iconic A&W outlet
The fate of the iconic A&W restaurant along Lorong Sultan, Petaling Jaya has been decided, after years of flipping back and forth over its operations. A source from MBPJ said the 0.4ha land had been approved for development during the recent one-stop-centre (OSC) committee meeting. The demolition of the famous fast food site will take place anytime to make way for the upcoming development. The development will consist of a one-block, 20-storey office tower inclusive of a four-storey carpark. (The Star Online)

PPB Group to launch Megah Rise project in March
PPB Group Bhd will be launching a mixed development project dubbed Megah Rise at the former Ming Tien Food Court site at Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya in March. Coming up on the 3.66-acre freehold site, the RM300 million Megah Rise development consists of 228 condominium units atop a retail centre. Megah Rise is set to be unveiled in March after it has secured bookings for 40% to 50% of the condo units following a soft launch in November last year. It will be the only residential project for PPB Group this year. (The Edge Markets)

BSL cautious on Malaysia rate hike as it plans property venture
BSL Corp Bhd expects the Malaysian property sector’s volatility to continue after Bank Negara Malaysia increased the OPR by 25bp to 3.25%. BSL, a contract manufacturer of electronic products, is venturing into property development. “We are into niche scale and location because we believe that what we do now the big developers won’t be interested, so that gives us more room.” BSL plans to develop commercial properties with a GDV of RM10 million, after finalising a land acquisition in Ipoh. (The Edge Markets)

OPR hike could bump up banks’ earnings by 3% this year
Banks should expect some short-term boost to their margins following the hike in Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 3.25% last Thursday, potentially increasing the banking sector’s earnings by about 3% this year, said analysts. MIDF Research said it expects the benchmark rate increase could possibly slow down loan growth this year, either from lower demand for loans or higher loan rejection rate. However, it believes that the loan pipeline will continue to be robust in the first half of the year, driven by solid demand for borrowing and lending of mortgage loans despite the higher OPR and subsequent base rate hike. (The Sun Daily)

Gamuda Land to launch first non-landed residences by mid-2018
Gamuda Land is looking to officially launch the first non-landed homes, The Amber Residence, in its twentyfive.7 township in Kota Kemuning, Selangor by mid-2018. With a GDV of RM313 million, The Amber Residence is a mixed-development comprising two 30-storey serviced apartment blocks and 32 units of 2-storey retail shops. Situated on a 4.3-acre leasehold tract, The Amber Residence will offer 596 residential units with built-ups between 552 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft. It is targeted at young families and working professionals who prefer a compact home with minimal upkeep. The 257-acre twentyfive.7 is an integrated landed strata township launched in July 2017. (The Edge Markets)

Sime Darby Property to launch Rimbun Sanctuary
Sime Darby Property Bhd will launch its first boutique apartments and townhouses development in Bukit Jelutong, as the developer seeks to offer sustainable living in Shah Alam. Called “Rimbun Sanctuary”, the exclusive low-density development will be a key project for Sime Darby Property. The soft launch of Rimbun Sanctuary has been slated for Jan 28, while the official launch has been planned for early March. The development will comprise 68 units of apartments and 40 untis of townhouses on freehold land. It sits next to a forest reserve and is enhanced by three-tier security features. (The Malaysian Reserve)

HDC to evict errant PPR monthly rent defaulters
The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will evict tenants of the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) who default on their monthly rent. HDC only charges a rental of RM150 monthly, but some tenants had not paid their rent for four to five years. The PPR units are for locals, who do not own houses, and low-income families from the squatters. (The Borneo Post)

PRG eyes medical tourism market
Followings its foray into the healthcare business, PRG Holdings Bhd has set its sight on the lucrative medical tourism market amid a strong surge in Malaysia’s medical tourism spending. “We foresee this industry to have synergies with our property development division. As Malaysia is targeting RM1.5bil in medical tourism spending next year, cooperation from private service providers will be imperative,” said group managing director Datuk Lua Choon Hann. We will target the identified markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and recently India, as core markets for this industry, he added. (The Star Online)

Airbnb in talks with local authorities over rental rules
Short-term home rental platform Airbnb is in talks with Malaysian authorities to possibly devise regulatory framework for its services. Airbnb said it generated RM200.4mil for the Malaysian economy last year, based on 1.5 million guest arrivals. The move was in response to a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) order that owners or operators of residential properties that were using platforms like Airbnb would have to register or face penalties. The registration programme would place such property owners under DBKL supervision and allow the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to conduct studies on them. (The Star Online)