MIEA upbeat on local property market
MIEA is positive on the overall property market, particularly that of affordable residentials and landed housing. This is despite poor outlook for retail space, luxury service apartments and small office home office (SOHO) units. MIEA president Eric Lim highlighted the newly-launched Digital Free Trade Zone, coupled with increasing crude oil prices, low unemployment rate and young demographic are catalysts for economic growth, thus lifting the property market. “The property outlook is stable and moving at a moderate pace. It depends on the location, the type, supply and demand. It is not right to say the whole property market is coming down.” (NST Online)

Malaysia can expect more Chinese investments
Chinese investments will continue to stream into Malaysia, particularly in the real estate, manufacturing and logistics segments, said Knight Frank Malaysia. China has invested RM4.77 billion in 33 local manufacturing projects, while involved in 22 property development projects, with an accumulated gross development value of RM581.2 billion. The tie-up between both countries, especially for the KLIA Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) park and other projects in the e-commerce segment, could potentially spark more interest in the logistics segment. Despite China’s curbs on capital flight, as well as the property glut on the domestic front, Chinese interest in the country remains, with the focus on manufacturing, logistics, construction and real estate. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia, Singapore to set up stock market trading link
Malaysia and Singapore will set up a trading link between their stock exchanges by the end of the year. The announcement was made by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh on Feb 6, who said that the stock trading link will allow investors to trade and settle shares listed on Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Exchange in a “convenient and cost-efficient manner”. The SC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore will set up cross-border supervisory and enforcement arrangements, and work together with the stock exchanges to make the link operational. The Malaysian and Singapore stock markets have a combined market capitalisation of more than US$1.2 trillion, comprising 1,600 public-listed companies. (Asia Asset Management)

Malaysia’s 2017 exports up 18.9%, highest jump in 12 years
Malaysia’s total exports saw an increase of 18.9% to RM935.4 billion in 2017, the highest growth since 2005. Total imports rose 19.9% to RM838.1 billion, lifting the 2017 trade surplus 10.3% to RM97.25 billion, the highest surplus recorded since 2012. Total trade surpassed RM1.7 trillion in 2017. MIDF Research projects export growth to average 9.3% in 2018, underpinned by continuous buoyant momentum in global trade activities, further recovery in commodities prices and receding protectionism threat. (The Sun Daily)

Kerjaya Prospek still going strong
Construction company Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd is showing no signs of being affected by the slowdown in the property market, as it continues to surpass its internal targets. Despite the cautious mood in the local housing market, the group is unfazed as it prepares to grab a larger share of a declining market through quality workmanship and timely delivery. The group has set an internal order book replenishment target of RM1 billion for this year. Currently, the group’s tender book stands at RM1.3 billion, with an estimated success rate of 20%. (The Edge Markets)

Wah Seong to sell Perai asset, possibly others too
Wah Seong Corp Bhd has put up for sale an industrial asset in Seberang Perai, Penang, that is valued at close to RM90 million. And more assets may be identified for disposal over the next couple of years. The oil and gas and industrial services group is selling a 24-acre leasehold parcel that houses a factory in the Prai Industrial Estate. Last July, the group sold a piece of leasehold land and a portion of another leasehold parcel in Pahang to Axis REIT. (The Edge Markets)

Klang’s Lorong Perbandaran closed 3 months, traffic disruption expected
Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK) has started work to strengthen part of the slope along the narrow Lorong Perbandaran, going up the hillock from Jalan Raya Barat, with the dual-lane road closed for three months begining yesterday. Traffic disruption will inevitable, especially in the immediate future. To facilitate earth works, Lorong Perbandaran had to be closed to create a safer environment where heavy machinery had to be used. The lane will be closed from now until April 15. (The Star Online)

The road will be closed until April 15 (Photo from The Star)

UN offices relocate to Putrajaya
The United Nations (UN) offices in Malaysia have been relocated to the country’s administrative capital, Putrajaya. Previously located at Wisma UN in Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur since 1988, the new UN offices are currently located at Menara PJH, Precinct 2. The relocation would further contribute towards enhancing the circle of networking and strengthen cooperation between the UN personnel and various Malaysian government ministries and agencies. It was also timely as the UN had already established its UNDP Global Shared Services Centre in Cyberjaya and World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Services Centre that provides administrative services to all WHO offices worldwide. (The Malaysian Insight)

Country Garden gets approval to issue $1.6bil quasi-REITs for rental housing
Property developer Country Garden has obtained regulatory approval to launch 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) worth of quasi-Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), China’s largest so far, as the central government pushes for the growth of the rental housing market. The securitisation size is the largest so far in the rental housing industry and the quasi-REITs market. China announced plans in August to launch pilot programmes in 13 major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, to build rental housing projects in an effort to ease a housing shortage. (Reuters)

At least 7 killed, 67 missing after Taiwan quake
Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, in a search for 67 people missing after a strong earthquake which killed at least seven near Taiwan’s popular tourist city of Hualien. The magnitude 6.4 quake injured 260 people and caused four buildings to collapse. Many of the missing were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, some of which tilted precariously after the quake struck. (The Star Online)

(Photo from Taiwan News)