Ex-PM Najib’s SRC trial postponed
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd has been postponed. According to a report from Sin Chew Daily, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s application for a stay of his trial that was due to start today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The seven charges – three counts of money-laundering, three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of power abuse – relate to over RM42 million of funds belonging to SRC International, a unit of 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Bernama reported that the stay was allowed following  a unanimous decision by three judges to allow Najib’s application to temporarily postpone the trial pending the disposal of his appeal over the public prosecutor’s withdrawal of the certificate of transfer on his seven charges. (The Edge Markets)

Scientex plans for RM1 bil worth of affordable homes this year
Scientex Bhd is eyeing to launch RM1 billion worth of affordable properties during the current financial year (FY19), similar to last year’s target. Its unbilled sales currently stand at RM500 million as at 1QFY19. The packaging manufacturer and property developer said despite the soft market, its take up rate for its affordable home projects around the Peninsula has consistently been good and will continue to focus on this segment for its property arm. It currently has developments in Johor, Malacca, Perak, and Klang Valley. The group is looking to plan more projects around the Klang Valley, after launching its Rawang project. The group currently has a total landbank of 3,300 acres. (The Edge Markets)

Knight Frank advises against walled garden in National Housing Policy
Putrajaya should not require rent-to-own property from its National Housing Policy to only be resold to the government. Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam lauded the scheme as a good initiative to help low-income earners secure home via credit scores, but said the Local Government and Housing Ministry’s (KPKT) restriction could be excessive government intervention. “As far as speculation is concern, taxation mechanism such as the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) and stamp duty are good enough to prevent the situation,” he said. Knight Frank also expressed concern towards the proposal to provide micro-housing for low-income unmarried individuals, adding that proper market research was required. (Malay Mail)

Exsim issues landmark RM3.0 billion sukuk
Exsim Development Group (EDG) has successfully established its first landmark RM3.0 billion financial programme comprising RM2.0 billion Sukuk Musharakah IMTN Programme (IMTN Programme) and a RM1.0 billion Sukuk Murabahah ICP Programme (ICP Programme) through a special purpose financial vehicle, Exsim Capital Resources Bhd (ECRB). On January 30, EDG issued a real estate unbilled sales-backed Sukuk facility, which is the first structured transaction in Malaysia to monetise progress billings involving multiple development projects, allowing the company to more efficiently manage its project development cash flows. ECRB floated the first tranche of its RM2.0 billion 10-year IMTN Programme which will monetise unbilled sales for executed property transactions. Under this programme, EDG and its group of companies will sell their beneficial interest under the respective development projects. (NST Online)

(Photo from The Star)

Malaysia, Singapore tensions flare after ship collision
The collision of a Malaysian government vessel with a ship in waters disputed by Singapore and Malaysia on Sunday has sparked a fresh flare-up of maritime tensions between the neighbours. Malaysian authorities impounded the Greek-flagged bulk carrier, the Pireas, and detained its crew after the collision Saturday with the Malaysian boat Polaris. Maritime tensions began rising late last year when Singapore accused Malaysia of extending its claims in the strait that separates the neighbours into what had long been accepted as the city-state’s territorial waters. Both sides claimed that Saturday’s collision off Tuas, in western Singapore, had happened in their own waters. The accident did not cause any injuries or lead to an oil spill. (NST Online)