Malaysia right to scrap HSR: AmInvest
The government’s decision to scrap the High-Speed Rail (HSR) link project appears to be a wise move as the project cost is more likely to outweigh its economic benefits, AmInvest said. Chief economist Anthony Dass said the project can take longer than envisaged to break even given the stiff competition with other modes of connectivity such as road and air. “Although there will be some negative impact from the scrapping of this project in terms of spill-over effects, we believe the impact may not be significant,” he said. The government has decided to scrap the RM110bil HSR project with its 350km line. The cancellation may cost the government up to RM500mil in penalty. (NST Online)

HSR cancellation will impact property market, say Johor property players
The Government’s decision to cancel the High Speed Rail (HSR) will be hard on property developers who have invested in land near the proposed stations, says Johor Rehda branch chairman Datuk Steve Chong Yoon On. He said that the move to scrap the 350km HSR, estimated to cost RM110bil, was a definite “setback” for developers, but they are supportive of the initiative for the greater good of the country. “The project is now scrapped, but who knows – when our economy is much healthier in the future, the HSR project might be reconsidered,” he said. Chong added that interest in properties near the planned station sites might cool down, but he did not expect prices to drop drastically. (The Star Online)

Bank Negara said to have overpaid for MoF land
Bank Negara is believed to have overpaid for the land it had bought from the Finance Ministry (MoF) when it forked out RM2.066bil for the 67.41 acres, proceeds which subsequently went to service 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) debt obligations. Sources said although Bank Negara may have wanted that piece of land for its own training purposes due to its location next to the bank’s Sasana Kijang complex, there was “no need” to pay RM703.44 psf for it. According to DBKL’s zoning maps, the parcel is categorised as a public open space. It would be categorised as agriculture, building or residential, meaning Bank Negara must pay a sizeable amount for conversion fees. (The Star Online)

Kerjaya Prospek confident of achieving RM1bil orderbook for FY18
Construction outfit Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd, which recently secured a contract worth RM357.3 million, hopes to land more construction jobs to meet its internal replenishment orderbook target of RM1 billion for the current year ending Dec 31, 2018 (FY18). Its executive chairman Datuk Tee Eng Ho is confident the orderbook’s internal target of RM1 billion is achievable by securing bigger jobs in the second half of 2018 (2H18). Currently, Kerjaya Prospek’s construction division has 24 ongoing projects, with an outstanding orderbook of about RM3.05 billion. (The Edge Markets)

JTI sells Shah Alam plant
JT International Bhd (JTI Malaysia) has sold its manufacturing facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, making it the second tobacco company in Malaysia to do so after British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) in 2016. The five-acre (2.023ha) JTI Malaysia plant was sold to another Japanese company at a “more than expected” price. It is learnt that the deal was completed a couple of months ago. It was reported that JTI Malaysia had put the factory up for sale in November last year, following its decision to shut down its manufacturing facility by December 2017 amid a challenging operating environment. (The Edge Markets)