Mr D.I.Y eyes RM1.5 billion IPO
Malaysia’s biggest home improvement retailer Mr D.I.Y. is exploring an initial public offering to raise around RM1.5 billion (US$362 million). Brahmal Vasudevan, chief executive of Mr D.I.Y.’s private equity backer Creador, confirmed plans for a potential IPO and said Malaysia and Hong Kong were being considered as locations for the listing. He did not comment on how much money could be raised. Bloomberg first reported on the IPO plans, citing sources familiar with the matter as saying a listing could happen later this year and valued the company at about RM10 billion. Mr D.I.Y. has around 400 stores in Malaysia, and outlets in Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. (Reuters)

MoF bagged RM780m as middleman in land sale to EPF
Another questionable land transaction conducted by the previous federal government was reported yesterday, one that allowed the finance ministry (MoF) to cash in at least RM780 million just by being a middleman. Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok revealed that Aset Tanah Nasional Bhd (ATNB), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of MoF, acquired a land from the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) in 2010 for RM1.5 billion – allegedly below market value – and sold it to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for RM2.28 billion the following year. The 2,800-acre land in question makes up a majority of the bigger 3,285-acre Lot 481, which is located between Kota Damansara and Sungai Buloh. It was meant for the development of a mega township known as Kwasa Damasara. (The Edge Markets)

Retail REITs with landmark assets to fare better in 2019
In light of oversupply fears, analysts believe Malaysian REITs with landmark assets will fare better than the market with above-average occupancy and positive reversions due to well managed assets. REITs such as Pavilion REIT, IGB REIT, KLCC Stapled Group and Sunway REIT that own landmark malls will continue to remain stable from higher footfall traffic. These assets are able to retain close to maximum occupancy of 95% to 100%, versus domestic retail occupancy of about 80% and command positive reversions, albeit at a slower growth rate. The outlook is similar for landmark office assets which fare better with close to full occupancy. (The Borneo Post)

Court awards housewife RM825,000 over fraudulent land deal
The High Court awarded RM825,000 to a housewife whose personal particulars and fake signatures were used in a fraudulent land deal. The court found seven defendants liable for negligence, the tort of conspiracy and malicious prosecution. Chow’s predicament began when her name and personal particulars were used to appoint her as a director of Rimau Indah, a property development company. Later, someone had apparently used her particulars in two sale and purchase agreements and trust deeds to enable the transfer of a land. In 2017, WT Development, a property development company with the same business address as Rimau Indah filed a lawsuit against Rimau Indah’s liquidators, Chow and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). Full details here. (Free Malaysia Today)

Penang to build RM40m eco-deck by the sea
The Penang state government is planning to expand its bicycle lane by building a RM40 million eco deck that extends over the beach along Tanjung Bungah. The 6-km eco-deck will connect the beach in front of Flamingo Hotel, Tanjung Bungah to the beach at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, Batu Ferringhi. The eco-deck is a bicycle lane and pedestrian walkway that is built on a platform along the beach. It will form part of the planned 200km of bicycle lanes all over the island under the Penang Bicycle Route Master Plan by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP). The Penang state government has spent a total RM34.8million to build 180km of bicycle lanes on the island. Under the Penang Bicycle Route Master Plan, the state hoped to build a total 200km of bicycle lanes on the island by 2020. (Malay Mail)