Nestlé to build world’s largest Milo plant in Malaysia
Nestlé (Malaysia) Bhd will invest over RM100 million to expand its Milo factory in Chembong, Negeri Sembilan, subsequently establishing the factory as the world’s largest Milo manufacturing centre of excellence. To facilitate this, it would be moving all existing Milo manufacturing operations from its Petaling Jaya factory to consolidate and expand Milo production at the Chembong factory, which supplies Milo domestically and contributes exports to over 20 countries. Subsequently, Lactalis, a global leader in the dairy business with a presence in over 100 countries, would acquire and take over operations of the PJ factory as well as Nestlé’s market-leading Chilled Dairy business for RM155.3 million. (Malay Mail Online)

Maximum loan tenure could be extended up to 40 years for affordable home buyers
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is proposing a more flexible loan package with flexible interest rates and an extended maximum loan tenure for affordable home buyers, said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. One of the terms is the extension of maximum loan tenure from the current 35 years to up to 40 years. Currently, the maximum loan tenure is 35 years or or until the borrower turns 70 years old, whichever is earlier. There are also flexi loans, flexi interest rates and a step-up scheme, which allows the amount of repayment to commensurate with the growth of the borrower’s income over the time, she added. (The Edge Markets)

Developers of affordable housing may enjoy lower compliance costs by 2019
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin wants utility companies to construct their own utility base in the housing areas and other agencies their own amenities so that it reduces the cost for developers. Her ministry has proposed that prices of affordable houses be capped at RM500,000, depending on the location and the median income of the people in the area, but noted that the units should be over 850 sq ft with facilities. Currently, developers bear the cost of constructing the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) substation in a particular housing area. Land and compliance cost make up about 25% of the overall cost of the house price. (The Sun Daily)

JPPH proposes new committee to oversee development of properties
The Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) has proposed to the Finance Ministry to set up a new committee on housing price monitoring, which aims to oversee the development of properties undertaken by the developers. JPPH Deputy Director (Property Inventory Division) Khalid Abdul Mutalib said the committee should include JPPH and other relevant authorities to ensure information provided by the developers about their projects were accurate. “We can go to the ground and inspect the overall development of a project… it could help buyers as it would mean that developers cannot simply sell their products if they do not meet the requirements that have been set or fixed,” he said. JPPH is also planning to collaborate with the National Housing Department (JPN) to collect data on development projects from developers through a one time form submission. (The Edge Markets)

Govt seeking alternatives to toll abolition
The Government is looking at alternatives to abolishing highway toll collection, but a decision has now been postponed until the country is in better financial health, said Works Minister Baru Bian. “There is no abolishment for now… We have been talking to concessionaires and there are suggestions like rebates, fixing the toll price at the current rates for a few years or even reducing the rates,” he said. Economists have warned the Government against rushing to abolish highway tolls, saying it would need a huge sum to buy out all the assets if the tolls were to be abolished. (The Edge Markets)