Dr Mahathir revives Singapore water dispute
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has revived the muscular foreign policy that characterised his first stint in power, seeking to renegotiate a longstanding water supply agreement with Singapore and taking shots at both the US and China. In an interview with Bloomberg, he criticised a 1962 water supply deal with Singapore as “too costly,” adding to tensions after he announced plans to cancel the multibillion-dollar KL-Singapore high speed rail (HSR). He also said he’s reviewing Chinese investments and called US President Donald Trump “mercurial”, and that either country should vie to become the region’s leading superpower. Since taking power, Dr Mahathir has raised questions about the US$34bil worth of government-backed projects, including a gas pipeline and East Coast Rail Link estimated to cost RM55bil. (The Star Online)

MIEA: Market confidence positive but lacking catalyst for property market
The change in government may have boosted confidence in the market, but real estate agents and negotiators have yet to experience any significant impact as there are still many uncertainties ahead, said the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president-elect Lim Boon Ping. While the general market sentiment is positive, it does not translate into better sales performance as the market is still anticipating a change of housing policies which will have a direct impact on supply and demand as well as pricing. He lauded Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s move to synchronise all affordable housing schemes under one program as this will help to simplify the application process and encourage homeownership effectively. However, he opined that there is a need for the ministry to look into the overall housing supply and demand mismatch problem due to poor planning. (The Edge Markets)

KTMB shelves property development projects to year-end
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) property development projects might be pushed towards end of the year or early next year. KTMB executive officer Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin said the property development project is managed under Railway Assets Corp and they are working together with the Transport Ministry on this. It was reported ealier that KTMB is eyeing on embarking on its maiden property development project within the Klang Valley area, slated to be worth RM6 billion in the next two to three years, as part of its initiatives to ramp up income from its non-fare segment. “Our landbanks could generate projects worth RM6 billion. We are looking at various pockets of opportunities for the lands neighbouring our stations, to unlock this value and subsequently improve contribution to our revenue from the non-fare segments,” Rani said. (NST Online)

Lendlease committed to TRX Lifestyle Quarter
Lendlease says it remains fully committed to transforming the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) Lifestyle Quarter into one of its largest urban regeneration developments globally. The Australian developer and infrastructure firm partnered with TRX City Sdn Bhd to develop the TRX Lifestyle Quarter. The 6.88ha Lifestyle Quarter is a central part of the overall TRX new financial district masterplan and includes a lifestyle retail mall, restaurants, hospitality and leisure offerings, residential condominiums and a new city park. Last week, it was announced that the government would inject an additional funding of RM2.8 billion to proceed with the TRX project. TRX City had sold parcels of land to local and foreign investors such as Mulia Property Development, HSBC, Affin Bank, Lembaga Tabung Haji, WCT, Lendlease and IJM. (The Sun Daily)

EcoWorld London set to develop 12 sites
The London property market has been challenging in the past few years, but is making a slow and steady recovery, with buying and selling of properties increasing in the first quarter. Malaysian listed property developer Eco World International Bhd (EWI) and Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd, UK’s 42nd largest private company aim to deliver more than 10,000 new houses across London and the southeast of the UK. They recently launched EcoWorld London, which will develop 12 sites in Greater London and the South East, with an estimated GDV of over £2.6 billion (RM13.9 billion). Through EcoWorld London, EWI would expand from its high-end projects with the Ballymore Group into the mid-market, with houses for open market sale as well as build to rent. EWI currently has 4 ongoing projects in the UK, and two in Australia, with a total GDV of RM16 billion. (NST Online)