Landscaping key to livability, but often neglected
Landscape plays an important role in enhancing people’s lives and wellbeing, but unfortunately it is also often neglected in real estate development, public space and urbanisation. To ensure that Malaysia becomes one of the most liveable nations in the world, society has to recognise that landscape is actually at the heart of the sustainability of our cities. “Landscape should be the base for wellbeing and inspire living through innovative technology and sustainable values,” said the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) president Osman Mohd Tahir. (The Edge)

Capital World aims to score with maiden project
Newcomer property developer Capital World must build out-of-the-box offerings to stand out among the big boys, said its executive director and chief executive Siow Chien Fu. That ambition is encapsulated in the Catalist-listed company’s maiden project, Capital City. The integrated development includes a 1.2 million sq ft complex housing MCM Studio, Malaysia’s biggest indoor theme park concept, and Capital 21 mall. The mall and theme park are set to open in August 2018, while the Hilton Garden Inn and hotel-style serviced suites will begin operations in 2019. Another 690 units of serviced apartments are expected to be completed by 2020. The Capital City project has a GDV of RM2.4 billion and is located in the heart of Johor Baru. (The Business Times)

Axis REIT buys industrial Shah Alam property for RM87mil
Axis REIT is adding a freehold industrial property in Shah Alam, Selangor, which it is acquiring for RM87 million, to its portfolio. This will raise its asset under management to RM2.64 billion. The asset comprises two adjoining parcels of land on which four warehouse blocks, a double-storey detached office building, a double-storey canteen building, and two guardhouses have been erected. It expects to complete the acquisition in the second half of this year. The property is located in the prime industrial hub of Section 28, Shah Alam where light terrace factories to heavy industry operators are situated. (The Edge)

KIP REIT looking to diversify into logistics assets
KIP REIT is looking to diversify upstream into logistics or warehouse assets. The REIT will be exploring options to increase its revenue stream from other sectors, as well as to diversify risks. Going forward, in a bid to boost its total assets under management (AUM) to RM2 billion, the REIT is planning to purchase an asset in Kota Warisan, Sepang. Additionally, KIP REIT which targets the mass market, is looking to acquire other assets in suburban areas to avoid competition in the city. (The Edge Markets)

IGB REIT records better rental income in 1Q
IGB REIT’s net property income (NPI) rose 6.7% to RM102.5 million in 1QFY18 due to higher rental income and lower operating expenses. The group’s revenue rose 2.3% year-on-year, as rental income grew 2.64%. Going forward, IGB REIT said notwithstanding the weakening purchasing power, it will continue to strengthen the REIT’s performance by improving customers’ and shoppers’ experience in both Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens Mall. (The Edge)

KWAP unit to serve as platform to invest in property development projects
The Retirement Fund Inc’s (KWAP) newly set-up property arm, KWEST Sdn Bhd, will serve as a prime platform for the fund to invest in property development projects locally. KWEST’s strategies and priorities were to execute growth through partnerships and selected projects that were aligned with the firm’s values. Under its alternative investment plan, KWAP allocated 10% of its investment for property segment. Its focus would remain on the local market as it offered better returns. KWAP’s real estate portfolios were mostly overseas – Australia, UK and Germany. In the Klang Valley, the company owned the Integra Tower and AIA Cap Square Tower. (The Edge)

Protasco projects at least 10% growth in FY18 profit
After two years of shrinking profits, Protasco Bhd is confident of achieving a positive growth in its bottom line in 2018, thanks to the government’s spending on infrastructure and affordable housing. For FY17, net profit fell 28.8% while revenue dropped 12.9%. The company projects a minimum of 10% growth in Protasco’s net profit for FY18, driven by higher government spending on infrastructure maintenance as well as affordable housing for civil servants under the Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1Malaysia (PPA1M) scheme. Its current order book stands at about RM1 billion, and is expecting to replenish its construction order book by a minimum of RM500mil in FY18. (The Edge)

Middle East, India among buyers snapping Forest City units
Buyers from Middle East, Indonesia, Singapore and India are snapping the properties in the controversial Forest City project, filling the void left by Chinese citizens who had dominated the multi-billion high-end property enclave. Prior to the capital control imposed by Beijing, buyers from China accounted for 80% of the purchases, while the balance of 20% came from other countries. There are still buyers from China for the Forest City units, but the percentage has dropped to about 55%. The balance 45% of the buyers comprise Singaporeans and Indonesians, account- ing for a total of 25%, followed by the Middle East, India and other Asean countries at 10%,” said a property consultant. Buyers from East Asian countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea account for about 5% of the sales, while the remaining 5% are from Europe. (The Malaysian Reserve)