Malaysia’s GDP value at RM1.353 trillion in 2017
Malaysia’s economy augmented further in 2017 with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) value at current prices reaching RM1.353 trillion, up 9.9% from the RM1.231 trillion registered in 2016. The expansion in GDP was spearheaded by the Gross Operating Surplus (GOS) which recorded RM813.0 billion, while Compensation of Employees (CE) amounted to RM475.7 billion, up 9.6% from 2016. Taxes less subsidies on production and imports stood at RM64.7 billion. GOS, which increased by 11% from 2016, remained the largest share in income components at 60%, while that of CE, which expanded 9.6%, contributed 35.2% to the Malaysian economy, largely driven by the services and manufacturing sector. Construction contributed 10.1% while agriculture and mining  and  quarrying accounted for 4.9% and 1.8% respectively. (The Star Online)

Local property market to pick up, says Knight Frank
The property market saw a “gentle” recovery in the first half of 2018 and is expected to pick up with more enquiries and investment activities in the second half of 2018 and 2019, said Knight Frank Malaysia. Foreign investors are expected to return in the first quarter of 2019 on the back of more transparent policies with the new government. Rents of high-end condominiums will stabilise and prices will hold. As for the office market, rents will remain competitive due to oversupply in certain locations. The industrial and logistics sector is primed for growth into 2019 as Malaysia continues to draw healthy levels of investment in the manufacturing and services sectors. Residential market sentiments improved in 1H2018 while buyers and investors are genuinely seeking good bargains now. Meanwhile the retail market, which was subdued in 1H2018, is expected to show clear signs of recovery in 2019 if the economy performs well in 2H2018. (The Sun Daily)

Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings (SPLASH) (Image from The Sun Daily)

Putrajaya to pay RM1.9bil to buy over Splash
The federal government is set to pay RM1.9 billion for the takeover of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings (Splash), finally opening the path to resolve the supply of tap water in Selangor the past 10 years. The Straits Times reported that a deal was struck last week to acquire Splash – controlled by infrastructure giant Gamuda Berhad – the last of Selangor’s four private water companies. The total buyout is set at between RM2.5 billion and RM2.7 billion, and the Selangor government is expected to fork out between RM600 million and RM800 million. The Selangor government through Air Selangor had paid RM1.68 billion to successfully buy over the equities of three other water companies Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium ABASS, and Syabas. (Malay Mail Online)

KL city centre’s tight leasing market pushing owners to short-term rentals
As residential property leasing market becomes challenging in the Kuala Lumpur city centre due to oversupply, Knight Frank Malaysia observed more owners turning to short-term leasing for higher yield in 1H18. Rentals of most high-end condominium or serviced apartment projects continue to hold steady, but asking rental growth in Bangsar has slowed down. Owners with weaker holding power are turning to online marketplace and hospitality service operator such as Airbnb, to offer their accommodation for short term stay. More projects are scheduled for completion by second half of the year and collectively they are expected to contribute some 2,084 units to existing supply. Meanwhile, market mismatch in supply and demand continues. (The Edge Markets)

Perak MAPEX set to feature RM4bil worth of properties
Potential homebuyers can expect to save up to between 5% and 10% during the 2018 Perak Malaysia Property Exhibition (Mapex). Perak Rehda chairmain Tony Khoo said attractive discounts will be offered during the three-day exhibition, to be held at the Ipoh Parade shopping mall from Aug 3 to 5. “Some developers are offering discounts due to the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST). Legal fees will also dropped by 6%,” he said. “First-time buyers will also receive a duty waiver for properties below RM500,000,” he said, adding that RM4bil worth of projects will be showcased during the exhibition. The event will feature talks from industry experts, performances, and a lucky draw. (The Star Online)