Greatest threat for Malaysian banks – property loans
The latest report by Moody’s Investors Service has set off alarm bells over the direction of Malaysia’s financial system, after the ratings agency called property loans the greatest threat for Malaysian banks. The remark came after Bank Negara’s constant assurance that the domestic property loans are sound, with the industry’s gross impaired loans kept under control. Across the region, Moody’s said property-related loans form a large part of banks’ credit portfolios. In the case of Malaysia, loans for the residential segment account for over 30% of the domestic banking industry’s gross loans. Australia, New Zealand and South Korea were also top countries in the Asia-Pacific region where property loans pose the greatest threat for domestic banks. (The Star Online)

GuocoLand set to launch TOD project
GuocoLand Malaysia Bhd, the property arm of Hong Leong Group, is planning to launch Emerald 9, a TOD project at Cheras 9th Mile. Emerald 9 will have residences, a 200-room business hotel, four-storey offices and five-storey shop lots. It will have an estimated GDV of RM1.5 billion. The 4.76ha project is located 400 metres from the Taman Suntex mass rapid transit (MRT) station. It will have a direct link to the MRT station via a covered link bridge. TODs seek to maximise access to mass transit and non-motorised transportation with centrally-located rail or bus stations surrounded by relatively high-density commercial and residential developments. The aim is to increase public transport ridership by reducing the use of private cars and promoting sustainable urban growth. (NST Online)

MK Land eyes stronger property rental income
MK Land Holdings Bhd will focus on raising income from its property and land lease rental as part of the group’s master plan that started last year until 2019. Based on the masterplan, besides maintaining its core business in property development, MK Land also wanted to increase its income in the hospitality and education sectors. The group has 1,942 hectares of landbank with a GDV of RM16 billion. “We are focusing on three things: whether to develop new real estate, to establish strategic partnerships with other developers for joint development or rental, or to sell some of the land we hold,” said Group Excecutive Officer K Mohanachandran. MK Land was also looking at working with the state governments of Melaka and Johor to develop affordable properties in several potential areas. (NST Online)

PRG Holdings signs deal for stake in Capital World for RM28.2m
Property and construction group PRG Holdings Bhd has agreed to take up a 16.7% interest in the enlarged share capital of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd Catalist-listed Capital World Ltd, for RM28.2 million. Capital World, which is engaged in property development activities in Malaysia, has its flagship project “Capital City” in Johor Baru, an integrated development comprising of a shopping mall, hotel, serviced suites and serviced apartments. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia’s established malls record 92% occupancy rate
Malaysia’s established mall operators recorded an average occupancy rate of 92% in 2018, according to a survey conducted by the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK). Malaysia’ shopping mall industry offers more than 166.6 million square feet of nett lettable area with an estimated real estate value of RM130 billion. The central region of Peninsular Malaysia accounted for 39.1% of the total malls, followed by the northern region with 21% of malls. In terms of net lettable area, however, the central region contained 46.3% of the country’s total net lettable area. (The Edge Markets)