Penang Sentral to open in December
Penang’s main transit-oriented development, Penang Sentral, is set to open in December this year, 11 years after the project was launched. The first phase of the seven-phased integrated development is a modern terminal facility for public and intercity buses. It is also connected to the Butterworth railway station and the Penang Ferry terminal. Catamaran services will also be introduced to supplement the ferry services and Penang Sentral has already allocated a site for that. Phases two, three and four are for the hotel, retail mall, and office tower. The GDV for the whole project is RM2.8 billion, with completion expected by 2030. (Malay Mail Online)

Family scammed out of over RM620,000 in affordable housing racket
A family of three were scammed out of more than RM620,000 by a syndicate claiming to be able to assist them in buying three semi-detached houses developed by Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS). One of the victims said she was approached by a real estate agent named Low Fook On through his wife Lim Lay Bee, who offered to sell them a semi-dee in Taman Selayang Mutiara priced at RM260,000 in 2015. After visiting the house, Oh decided to accept the offer. Her daughter and husband also accepted offers from Low to buy two units of single-storey semi-dees in the same location at RM69,000 each. The three victims then made several payments from 2015 to 2016 totalling more than RM620,000 through bank transfers and cash to Low, Lim and a Parimala Damarajahu who claimed to be one of the house owners. They realised it was a scam when they discovered that their names were not registered in the PKNS system as the home owners on May 2016. (The Edge Markets)

Maybank IB named Malaysia’s Best Investment Bank for fouth year
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB) has been named Malaysia’s best investment bank this year by Euromoney for the fourth consecutive year. Maybank IB said the award was given in recognition of the investment bank’s strong performance during the period under review. Euromoney noted Maybank IB’s notable merger and acquisition (M&A) deals including SP Setia Bhd’s acquisition of I&P Group Sdn Bhd, as well as Sime Darby Bhd’s restructuring exercise, which had successfully transformed the conglomerate into three pure-play companies. Other highlights include the IPOs of EcoWorld International Bhd in Malaysia, TPI Polene Power in Thailand and Sasseur REIT in Singapore. Maybank IB also topped the league tables in ringgit sukuk and conventional bonds. (The Edge Markets)

Johor MB: No more state property for political parties
The Johor government will no longer approve applications by any political parties to build, occupy or use government buildings or land, said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian today. The Johor state secretary’s office and the district land office have stressed that government premises must no longer be used for political purposes as previously practised. NGOs that use the premises for political purposes will also have their approvals withdrawn. He stressed that if the building is built on state land or reserve land without approval from the state authorities, it is considered trespass on government property under Section 425 of the National Land Code. On the use of government public buildings for political activities, Osman said these are open for use by all parties and includes MP’s and assemblymen. Interested parties can apply to the relevant local authorities to request to use the facility. (Malay Mail Online)

YTL acquires Japan ski resort for RM222.5mil
YTL Hospitality REIT (YTL REIT) has proposed to acquire a ski resort, The Green Leaf Niseko Village in Japan for 6.0 billion yen or RM222.5mil cash. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Starhill REIT Niseko G.K. (Starhill Niseko) had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Niseko Village K.K, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL Corp Bhd for the acquisition of the property in Hokkaido, Japan. the property comprises freehold lands measuring approximately 10,728 sq m, and hotel buildings known as The Green Leaf Niseko Village. The proposed acquisition was in line with the investment objective to continuously pursue the strategy to acquire and invest in high quality hospitality properties in Malaysia and internationally. (The Star Online)