Malaysia jumps to 15th place in World Bank 2019 Doing Business report
Malaysia advanced nine places to 15th spot among 190 economies worldwide in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 Report, which based its rankings on business regulations and ease of doing business. An acceleration in reforms had helped propel the country to be among the top 20 ranked economies globally. These reforms were in terms of starting a business, dealing with the construction permits, securing electricity, registering property, trading across borders and resolving insolvency. According to the report, the top five countries in ease of doing business are New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Malaysia is ranked second among ASEAN countries, behind Singapore but ahead of Thailand (27th), Brunei (55th), Vietnam (69th), Indonesia (73rd) and Myanmar (171th). The World Bank report said Malaysia was also among the world’s top five performers in several areas measured for doing business. (The Star Online)

BOVAEP expects 6,000 registered property managers by year-end
The Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), which is currently giving a one-year window period for any person with property management experience to be registered as a property manager, expects the number of registered property managers to increase from the current 3,000 to 6,000 by year-end. To date, there are about 3,000 registered property managers, but the number could double or more because more people will apply last minute, said BOVAEP board member Kamaruzaman Jamil. New registrants have a window period from January until December this year to register. After the window period, applicants must have a qualified degree and go through proper training to qualify as a registered property manager. With the amendment to the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981, property managers are now required to register themselves with BOVAEP. (The Edge Markets)

IOI Properties: Prices of our new projects will rise, not fall
IOI Properties Group Bhd, which is planning to launch projects worth GDV RM3 billion in FY19, is unlikely to cut prices in its upcoming local projects, according to CEO Lee Yeow Seng. Lee said a 10% cut in selling price is challenging, with labour and material costs on the rise. This was in response to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s call for property developers to lower housing prices by up to 10% locally, given the SST exemption on construction services and building material costs. “It is also not good for house buyers, especially those who committed earlier on [because] if prices fall, valuation of their properties will fall too. We think it’s healthier for our new launches to have a price increase, instead of a drop in selling price,” he said. (The Edge Markets)

Database to identify actual housing demand in the works
The government will set up a comprehensive database to identify the actual housing demand in areas as part of its efforts to tackle the problem of unsold houses. Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said the database can be utilised by any party, including state governments and private developers. The issue involves oversupply of houses that are unsold due to mismatch of supply and demand. The ministry is working with related agencies like the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), Bank Negara Malaysia, National Property Information Centre and Department of Statistics to tackle the problem. (NST Online)

China firm to build RM8bil resort on Kuraman island near Labuan
A Chinese investor is reportedly spending a whopping RM8 billion to develop an international island resort and marina destination on Kuraman Island. If everything is in place, construction of the mammoth 147-hectare multi-hotel, residential and commercial project is slated to begin early next year. The project would consist of 16 three- to six-star resort hotels, tourism town enclave, condominiums and apartments, international marinas, wellness centre, water world theme park and sea water lagoon and signature seafood restaurant. There will also be three more man-made islands build around the existing Kuraman Island, and will be fully completed in 2029. (The Edge Markets)

Pulau Kuraman (upper left) is located near to Labuan in East Malaysia. (Photo from