Uber sells Southeast Asian operations to rival Grab
Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, withdrawing from yet another fast-growing region to end a war of attrition with a fierce local rival. Under the agreement, Grab will acquire all of Uber’s operations in a region of 620 million people, including food delivery service UberEats. In return, Uber gets a 27.5% stake in a combined entity and its CEO will join the board Singapore-based Grab. Grab started out as a tax-hailing app in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, and was most recently valued at $6 billion. (Bloomberg)

TNB app allows users to monitor multiple electricity bills
Convenience and user-friendliness in paying bills are the major characteristics of Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (TNB) new smartphone application, myTNB, which will allow users to monitor multiple accounts. If you are a landlord, you can monitor the electricity bills of your tenants and check if they have made payments. With the app, users can get notifications that their bill is ready and if there are overdue payments, as well as pay their bills via credit card. (The Star Online)

Country Garden Malaysia hits 70% take-up rate for launches in 2017
Despite the challenging real estate market, Country Garden Malaysia has managed to achieve a decent take-up rate of more than 70% for its new property launches in Malaysia last year. This was attributed to the developer’s market-oriented strategy of launching new properties according to market demand, thus overcoming challenges such as oversupply of high-end non-landed residential properties in Johor, and China’s curbs on capital outflow. In 2017, Country Garden Malaysia had launched a total of 1,178 new properties in Country Garden Central Park and Country Garden Diamond City. (The Edge Markets)

Gamuda’s Q2 earnings rise 27% to RM211.3mil
Gamuda Bhd’s net profit grew 27.1% to RM211.3 million in 2Q2018 from RM166.3 million in the previous corresponding quarter. The increase in profit was mainly due to higher work progress from its various construction projects, coupled with stronger overseas property sales and new property projects in Malaysia. Revenue for the quarter increased 17.4% to RM1 billion from a year ago. Gamuda said it anticipates a better performance this year as MRT Line 2’s progress picks up pace, higher property sales driven by overseas projects especially Vietnam and the new townships in Malaysia. The group also expects steady earnings contribution from its expressway division. (The Sun Daily)

Over 600,000 PR1MA homes on offer at housing expo
Over 600,000 houses will be offered at the national-level housing exposition organised by PR1MA Corp Malaysia (PR1MA) until April 1, 2018. Its CEO, Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias, said the biggest housing expo would not only feature those located in the Klang Valley but throughout the country. PR1MA would offer 267,640 units and the rest would come from Ministry of Urban and Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government; Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd; Rumah Wilayah Persekutuan; and 1Malaysia Housing Projects for Civil Servants. 60% of the units offered at the expo were worth RM300,000 per unit and below while the remaining were worth up to RM400,000. (Malay Mail Online)

Sime Darby, Battersea launch new retail mall in London
Battersea Power Station Development Company has launched London’s newest retail and leisure destination — Battersea Power Station. It will be the third-largest retail destination in Central London upon completion, comparable in scope to Oxford Street. The two turbine halls will house brands from around the world in just over a hundred units. Battersea Power Station is owned by a consortium of Malaysian investors, comprising Sime Darby Property, S P Setia Bhd and the Employees’ Provident Fund. (The Edge Markets)

Artist impression of the shops in Turbine Hall B (Image from Londonist)

BN pledges to review housing development criteria in Selangor
Barisan Nasional (BN) will review “additional requirements” imposed on housing developers in Selangor if it wins the state in the upcoming polls, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Najib, who is also BN chairman, said Selangor was imposing too many additional conditions that increased costs for both developers and the buyers. Many developers, not only those affiliated with Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA), have voiced out their dissatisfaction against the conditions, he noted. The process of land status exchange and expensive land prices were cited as examples of policies that had hindered the federal government from providing affordable homes for the people. (Malay Mail Online)

Picnic protest held at Taman Rimba Kiara to stop construction works
Over 50 Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents held a picnic protest picnic on Saturday against development at Taman Rimba Kiara after construction works began. Preliminary construction works started at Taman Rimba Kiara on March 14, which saw dozens of trees uprooted to make way for an alternative route into the park as part of a proposed mixed development of high-end condominiums and affordable housing block. Last year, TTDI residents filed a judicial review to quash the conditional planning permission and development order granted by DBKL. (Malay Mail Online)