Knight Frank: Malaysia’s property market to remain weak
The Malaysian property market is expected to remain weak in the first half of this year amid flagging demand ahead of the upcoming general election. Knight Frank Malaysia said the property market is expected to continue its lacklustre momentum from the second half of last year which as the performance was derailed by oversupplied position in the main sub-sectors such as high-end residential, office and retail. There is mounting pressures on occupancy and rental levels for tenant-favoured office market as the increasing high supply pipeline continued to overshadow low absorption. The recent property freeze might provide a breather to the oversupplied markets but was not expected to correct the oversupply situation in the short to medium term. (The Sun Daily)

Sime Darby to dispose Kedah, Sabah land, focus on Klang Valley
Sime Darby Property Bhd is planning to dispose of its land bank parcels in Kedah and Sabah this year with an estimate size of 1,900 acres, and will focus instead on Klang Valley projects. The group will focus on launches in City of Elmina, Bandar Bukit Raja and Serenia City in Selangor, and the Bandar Universiti Pagoh township in Johor this year. For highrise projects, the focus will be in Subang Jaya and KL East. It expects to welcome new international partners which will be working to develop Sime Darby Property’s industrial products in Bandar Bukit Raja, Serenia City and Bandar Universiti Pagoh. (Malay Mail Online)

Commercial project on TTDI kindergarten land has initial DBKL approval
A proposed commercial development in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) has received clearance from a DBKL committee. The approval of two blocks of seven-storey commercial offices by the one stop centre committee (JKPS), which falls under DBKL’s city planning department and oversees development proposals, was for the use of “commerce for a kindergarten building”. Currently, the Diyana Kindergarten is operating on the lot in question. The proposed development is being objected to by the TTDI resident association, which questioned land meant for residential and public institution purpose could be converted for commercial use. (Malay Mail Online)

MB World earnings almost double in FY17
MB World Group Bhd has recorded a 92.3% increase in net profit to RM30.61 million for FY17, as a result of a more robust contribution from the property development sector. MB World also recorded an increase of 89% in revenue to RM233 million compared to FY16. The group’s revenue for the quarter stood at RM105.04 million, mainly contributed by the success of Pinnacle Tower, a 38-storey service apartment project within the Johor Baru city centre. MB World’s subsidiary, Cocoa Valley Development Sdn Bhd, is currently undertaking the flagship development of a new integrated township called Taman Sri Penawar in Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi, Johor. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Ekovest’s 2Q net profit jumps 34% on property development
Ekovest Bhd’s net profit jumped 33.86% year-on-year to RM54.93 million in 2QFY18 on the back of better contribution from its property development segment. Its construction sector achieved lower revenue and profit before interest and tax in 2QFY18, mainly due to the completion of phase two of the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway, resulting in lower progress construction workdone. The company expects the ongoing construction of the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway, River of Life and related projects, the opening of the DUKE Phase-2’s toll revenue and the recognition of unbilled sales from property development activities to contribute positively to its turnover and profitability in FY18. (The Edge Markets)

MRCB revenue risess to RM2.82bil
Malaysia’s largest transit-oriented developer, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), registered a net profit of RM181.80 million for FY17, from the RM319.09 million posted a year before. Revenue rose to RM2.82 billion from RM2.408 billion previously, mainly derived from the engineering and construction divisions. Despite a challenging property market in 2017, the division exceeded its sales target of RM1.2 billion and recorded sales of RM1.4 billion, largely contributed by the Sentral Suites development in KL Sentral and 1060 Carnegie development in Melbourne. (Malay Mail Online)

Public futsal courts to replace abandoned stables
Futsal enthusiasts in Klang are in for a treat as the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has begun working on converting the abandoned equine facilities in Taman Sri Andalas into futsal courts. This move comes at a time when football fever is expected to reach feverish pitch with the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup set to kick off in June. The existing sand paddock area will be renovated for the two futsal courts, while the office building will be turned into quarters for the council staff. The elevated land on the other side of the futsal court could be turned into a football pitch. The total cost for these refurbishments was estimated to be RM340,000. (The Star Online)

The stables on a hillock at the abandoned equine facility (Photo from The Star)