No increase in cement price
Following a meeting with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, industry players have agreed to not increase cement prices. Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told reporters that the decision was reached following a meeting between the minister and key industry players on Tuesday. “They stated several grounds to justify an increase in the cement price due to costlier imported materials used in making the cement because of the weak ringgit,” he said. Industry players were also reminded to discuss with the ministry if they intended to increase the price of cement. This, he said, was because cement price is controlled by the government, and action can be taken against those found to increase prices without government approval, under the Control Of Supplies Act. (The Star Online)

Property owners rely on auctions instead of agents
Property owners are auctioning their real estate amid a weak secondary market instead of relying on agents, according to auction houses. The property market is divided into the primary market where people buy from developers, and the secondary or sub-sale market where they buy from owners via agents. Private auctions are being held to sell residential, commercial properties and land. Auction house Ng Chan Mau & Co Sdn Bhd business development manager Tom Low Chee Hian said private, or owner-appointed auctions, is an avenue that seemed to be growing. He said owners turned to private auctions because they were unable to sell their properties, sometimes for years, via a real estate agency. Unlike a bank-related auction resulting from a foreclosure, potential bidders can view the property before the private auction takes place. Vacant possession is from the owner, and not from the bank. (The Star Online)

PNSB Construction, MGB Bhd to develop 1,800 affordable homes in Selangor
PNSB Construction Sdn Bhd and MGB Bhd (PCSB-MGB) Consortium will develop up to 1,800 units of affordable housing through the Idaman Cahaya development project on a 6.69ha of land located at Encorp Cahaya Alam in Selangor. The project has an estimated GDV of RM450 million. The Idaman Cahaya project is the development of residential units comprising of a three bedrooms and two bathrooms apartment spanning 1,001 sq ft priced at RM250,000. Idaman Cahaya will also furnish the apartments for each units with television set, television and kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, air-conditioner, wardrobe and water heaters. The project is slated to benefit from the nearby urban areas at the Shah Alam development corridor centre and rapid neighbourhood growth. (NST Online)

Genting Malaysia chairman voluntarily takes 20% pay cut
Genting Malaysia Bhd chairman and chief executive, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, has reportedly announced he would take a 20% pay cut to offset the effect of heavy gaming taxes which have weighed on the group’s financial performance. Last year the group posted a weaker set of results that it attributed to higher gaming taxes and Lim’s intended pay cut is expected to help reduce costs. In the last Budget, Putrajaya raised casino duties to 35% from 25%, while increasing gross gaming income and gaming machine duties to 30% from 20%. Annual casino licence renewal fees were also bumped up by RM30 million to RM150 million. A reduction at either Genting or Genting Malaysia would still result in Lim being the top paid CEO amongst Bursa-listed companies. (The Edge)

The Apple store in New York’s Fifth Avenue (Photo from

Malaysia among countries eyed by Apple to move production capacity
Apple Inc has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15%-30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a restructuring of its supply chain, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report. Apple’s request was a result of the extended Sino-U.S. trade dispute, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to slap further $300 billion tariffs on Chinese goods, but a trade resolution will not lead to a change in the company’s decision. The iPhone maker has decided the risks of depending heavily on manufacturing in China are too great and even rising, it said. The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones. (The Star Online)