Drastic drop in Exchange 106 committed occupancy ‘worrying’
The committed occupancy of Exchange 106 Tower at TRX has fallen drastically to 10%, which is a concern amidst a subdued office market, said UOB Kay Hian. the Exchange 106 Tower is slated for completion by early 2019 and its first tenant will occupy the space in May 2019. However, analysts are concerned about its committed occupancy which had fallen drastically from 50% (pre-GE14) to 10% currently. With a persistently subdued office market, securing tenants will remain a key challenge for the TRX project which also faces competition from newer projects such as the PNB 118 and Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC). It noted that other ongoing office tower projects such as the Prudential HQ office is almost completed while two other office towers namely the HSBC Head Office and Affin Bank Head Office are under construction and both expected to be completed by end of 2020. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia up one spot to 25th in global competitiveness ranking
Malaysia rose one spot to the 25th place out of 140 countries with a score of 74.4 in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) insight report released last week. Additionally, the report said the country was one of three non-high-income economies feature in the top 40: Malaysia (25th), China (28th), and Thailand (38th). In terms of macro economic stability, Malaysia ranked first; 24th for institutions, 32nd each for infrastucture and ICT adoption, respectively; 15th for financial system and 19th for business dynamism. Meanwhile, Singapore ranked second (score of 83.5) on the overall rankings behind the United States, as a result of a very strong performance across the board. (The Edge)

LRT3 to proceed on new terms, RM16.6bil budget
The Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) project has received the Government’s greenlight to continue at a total project cost of RM16.6bil, according to separate filings by MRCB and George Kent (M) Bhd. Prasarana in a statement said that ‘the Government has agreed to continue with the project at a total cost of RM16.6bil, including land acquisition costs, interest during construction and other costs’. The companies said the implementation concept of the project will be remodelled from a project delivery partner (PDP) regime to a fixed price contract regime. (The Star Online)

UEM Sunrise to launch projects worth RM665mil
Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd plans to launch new projects worth a total of RM665 million in the next six months as it is bullish on the market. Its chief marketing officer Kenny Wong said the immediate project is Astrea Mont Kiara, with a GDV of RM323 million. It is a high-end residential development in the Mont Kiara enclave, comprising 240 units. According to Wong, almost 60 per cent of the units had been booked since the preview on October 6. Wong said the next launch by UEM Sunrise is Eugenia, a residential project in Serene Heights, Bangi featuring 84 units of terraced houses. The other launches will be in Gerbang Nusajaya, Johor. (NST Online)

AKPK: Only 55% of Malaysians pay their bills on time
Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) said today that only 55% of Malaysians pay their bills on time, which is 25% below world average. This was revealed in a 2016 finding by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Another survey by the Asian Institute of Finance reported that 70% of Gen Y who owned credit cards tended to pay the minimum monthly payment, while 45% of Gen Ys did not pay their debts on time at some point. “If this trend continues, we might be looking at a steady rise of indebtedness and bankruptcies involving Malaysian households,” said AKPK CEO Azaddin Ngah Tasir. AKPK found that many indebted individuals suffered financial troubles due to poor financial planning, credit card debt, and personal loans. (The Edge)