New MREIT rules to provide more growth
The Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) new guidelines on listed Malaysian Real Estate Investment Trusts (MREITs) are expected to be mildly positive by providing more growth opportunities. The new amendments state that listed REITs are now able to undertake greenfield development and private lease arrangements where REITs may obtain real estate. The main purpose of these new guidelines was to help facilitate growth of listed REITS by providing them with more avenues for earnings growth at cheaper entry levels. The SC also introduced additional steps in their new guidelines to help minimise listed MREITs exposure to construction risk arising from development cost overruns and impact to earnings. (The Borneo Post)

MRCB sells prime land three years after purchase
Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is disposing of a piece of freehold land in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) three years after purchasing it. The 1.87-acre land in Jalan Kia Peng, which previously served as the site for the official residence of the German ambassador to Malaysia, will be sold to Socso for RM323 million. Its unit had acquired the land for RM259.16mil in April 2015. MRCB said the disposal allows it to focus on its bigger property development projects such as Bukit Jalil, Cyberjaya, PJ Sentral and Kwasa Sentral. MRCB previously had plans for a mixed development project with a GDV exceeding RM1 billion on the embassy land. (The Edge Markets)

Najib approves RM2.3bil for Bagan Datuk development
Bagan Datuk in Perak is set for transformation with a sizeable development allocation of RM2.3 billion. The funds would be channelled through various ministries and agencies for spiritual and physical development under the 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK-10) and 11th Malaysia Plan (RMK-11). 500 residential units are being built and scheduled for completion in January 2021 under the People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Bagan Datuk. Bagan Datuk, long considered a ‘cowboy town’, would experience a facelift through various socio-economic developments that emphasised on education. In addition, a 1.5km-long bridge that was being built and scheduled to be completed in March 2020, would shorten travel time between Bagan Datuk and nearby areas such as Manjung, Sitiawan and Pasir Salak. (Malay Mail Online)

New terminal for KL airport
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is looking to develop a new terminal within the next five years as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 are running at maximum capacity. The airport operator would improve baggage handling and other systems to cater to an additional three to five million passengers at the two airports. The new terminal will be called KLIA3 and built at the borders of runway three and four. It is expected to be completed within the next five years. It was reported that the passenger traffic had exceeded the KLIA’s designed capacity by more than 2% while other airports, such as the Subang Airport, were grappling with over 200% utlisation. (The Star Online)

Billionaire Quek’s venture buys Singapore site for S$980mil
Billionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan’s GuocoLand Ltd and its joint venture partners are buying Pacific Mansion near Singapore’s business district for S$980 million (RM2.9 billion), the biggest purchase of a residential site for redevelopment in more than a decade. The price is also the highest in the current so-called en-bloc cycle, and only surpassed by the S$1.3 billion sale of Farrer Court. The transaction signals demand from developers for older residential sites for redevelopment even as Singapore increased the buyer’s tax on homes exceeding S$1 million last month. (Malay Mail Online)

Luster Industries to diversify into property, construction
Luster Industries Bhd has proposed to undertake the diversification of its business to include property development and construction. The proposed diversification is consistent with the group’s plan to reduce its dependence on its core existing business in plastic manufacturing, precision engineering works and manufacturing of die-casting components. The diversification is also a result of an awarded project and a JV project it had clinched last year. The projects are in Seberang Perai Utara, Penang and Hulu Langat, Selangor respectively. (The Edge Markets)

A visitor looking at Rumawip apartment projects. – The Star Online

Poly Ritz sold 90% of RUMAWIP housing units
Poly Ritz Group of Companies has succeeded in selling 90% of its 1,120-unit Federal Territories Affordable Housing (RUMAWIP) project since late last year. The take-up rate of the project – named Ritz Communities – was due to its competitive pricing of RM300,000 and strategic location in Salak South near to a future MRT station. The 49-storey, 2-block Ritz Communities apartment sits on a 3.23 acre (1.3ha) land in Salak South, which is 10-minutes away from the Mid Valley and 20 minutes from the city centre. Each unit measures 800 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. (NST Online)

EcoWorld International raises UK projects’ value to £2.11b
Property developer EcoWorld International Berhad’s joint venture with Be Living Holdings Ltd has added six new sites to its existing three projects in London. The property developer said the GDV of the new sites is £1.1 billion (RM6 billion) and this will bring its total GDV of the projects in the UK to £2.11 billion. Besides supplying homes at mid-mainstream market prices, the collaboration would also enable the company immediate entry to the build-to-rent subsector which has seen rapid growth there due to the substantial increase in the rise of the private rental sector. (Malay Mail Online)