Malaysian billionaire Ananda sells German resort for RM1bil
Tycoon T Ananda Krishnan has sold Tropical Islands Resort in Krausnick, Germany, for €226mil (RM1.07bil). Spain’s Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales SA is the buyer of the tropical-themed holiday resort and the deal is likely be completed by February. Tropical Islands Resort is located 60km south of Berlin and was built in a former airship hangar. The 100,000 sq m Tropical Islands Resort boasts the world’s largest indoor rainforest, palm tree-lined artificial beaches, Germany’s highest water slide tower and an enormous tropical sauna and spa complex. It has an annual visitor count of 1.3 million, generating an estimated revenue and earnings before interest and taxes of €71mil (RM336.82mil) and €20mil (RM94.88mil) respectively. (The Star Online)

World Bank: Malaysia on track to becoming high-income nation
Malaysia is well on its way to cross the threshold into high-income and developed country status in the coming years, said the World Bank. Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa said Malaysia’s economy was well-diversified and stood on solid foundations, which are primed to take the country to the next level. “We welcome the government’s efforts, as part of this process, to strengthen institutions, develop human capital and protect the vulnerable in the society,” she said. Kwakwa had concluded an official four-day visit to Malaysia, where ideas about development trends in Malaysia and the wider region were exchanged. These trends include the rising significance of the digital economy and skills development for future competitiveness in all countries in the region. (NST Online)

Vortex acquires delayed mixed development project in Kajang
Vortex Consolidated Bhd – formerly known as SKH Consortium Bhd – is taking over a mixed development project in Kajang with a GDV of more than RM340 million, in line with its business diversification into the property sector. It is doing this by acquiring an 85% stake in a loss-making private property firm, Paris Dynasty Land Sdn Bhd, for a nominal cash consideration of RM100. Paris Dynasty owns a 2.8-acre piece of freehold land and the existing property development project, The Louvre, on the land. The Louvre comprises 30 units of lifestyle retail shoplots and a block of 34-storey serviced apartment housing. Construction work commenced in March 2015 and is currently 20.2% completed. (The Edge Markets)

Public library opens at Jaya One mall
With malls being a preferred destination for families, the Selangor Public Library Corporation (PPAS) has opened its first outlet at Jaya One, Petaling Jaya. The 5,000sq ft facility was opened by Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran who also sits on PPAS board of directors. Rajiv said there should be more public libraries in shopping malls as well as MRT stations to make them easily accessible. It would be cheaper too as the government would not have to buy land to construct a purpose-built building. He also encouraged the public to donate reading materials to PPAS. Among the facilities offered are free WiFi, seminar and reading areas, computers as well as printing service. More than 5,000 books can be borrowed by registered members. Registration to become a member is free. (The Star Online)

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Najib, Arul Kanda claim trial to 1MDB audit tampering
Both former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the former chief of 1MDB Arul Kanda Kandasamy claimed trial to tampering with the audit report on 1MDB, where billions of ringgit had allegedly been siphoned off before the report was finalised and submitted to the Public Accounts Committee. Both were granted bail of RM500,000 with one surety. The mentions of both cases were set for Jan 4 next year. This is the first time Arul Kanda has been charged in relation to 1MDB, while Najib faces a total of 39 charges including money laundering, abuse of power, and criminal breach of trust. The alleged tampering with the final audit report on 1MDB included two key amendments, which were the removal of a paragraph or paragraphs stating that businessman Jho Low had attended a meeting of 1MDB’s board of directors, as well as the removal of a paragraph or paragraphs stating that there were two versions of 1MDB financial statements for the year ending 2014. (The Edge Markets)