Malaysia to impose cash transaction limit of RM25,000 next year
Malaysia is planning to impose a cash transaction limit (CTL) of RM25,000 starting next year to further strengthen the country’s financial integrity and curb illicit activities. The measures will apply to all transactions involving physical cash payments including payments of goods and services and donations and transfers between parties, which are applicable to individuals, businesses and other entities. Industries with large cash transactions that may be impacted by the CTL are high-value dealers, medical tourism, hotels, and wholesale. Two exemptions are cash transactions to or with financial institutions, and cash transactions under circumstances such as for humanitarian aid. In January, BNM lowered the daily cash threshold report (CTR) from RM50,000 to RM25,000. (The Star Online)

Number of transactions improved 6.9% in H1
According to data unveiled by National Property Information Centre (Napic) in September, there was some improvement in the local property market in the first half of this year (H1 2019). The total number of transactions nationwide rose 6.9% from H12018. Value-wise, there was a marginal 0.8% increase to RM68.3 billion in H12019. Landserve (Johor Baru) Sdn Bhd managing director Chen King Hoaw said the improvement in property transactions could have been due to the HOC. This was a good sign as the market had contracted 3.6% in H1 2015, 12.3% in H1 2016, 6.1% in H1 2017 and 2.5 per cent in H1 2018. Residential properties – landed and high-rise – were the biggest contributor to the overall property sector in H1 2019, with a 62.4% market share. All states, except for the Federal Territory and Perak, recorded better performance in the period under review. (NST Online)

Bright outlook for healthcare, industrial segments in Iskandar Malaysia
The healthcare and industrial sectors are glowing in Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia despite the challenging market environment, thanks mainly to strong interest from foreign investors. Knight Frank Johor brand head Debbie Choy said although certain sectors like the high-rise residential segment may be experiencing an oversupply, opportunities in healthcare and industrial sectors continue to draw investors. She said the macro statistics for Iskandar Malaysia remain strong and encourage positive sentiment in the market. Knight Frank Singapore consultancy head Tay Kah Poh said Singaporean investors are positive about the healthcare sector in Iskandar Malaysia due to its proximity to the island-state, a favourable exchange rate and quality healthcare services. (NST Online)

IOI Properties targets RM2b sales for FY2020
IOI Properties Group Bhd (IPG) is targeting to achieve RM2 billion in sales for new property launches in FY2020. “This year, we will continue to look into affordable houses because that is where the market is right now. The profit margin would be lower but we will try to launch more products as well,” said its CEO Lee Yeow Seng. Lee acknowledged that domestic property industry will remain challenging in the near term, but added that sales has been picking up since the company’s participation in the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). The group has also secured new sales by capitalising on its matured and established townships such as IOI Resort City, Bandar Puteri Puchong and developments in Johor. (NST Online)

Top public-listed companies transparent in corporate reporting are GLCs
Eight out of Malaysia’s top 10 public-listed companies scoring the highest in corporate reporting transparency are government-linked, a report showed. Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) topped the list, followed by KLCC Property and Real Estate Investment Trust, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd, MISC Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, and lastly Petronas units, namely Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd. The rankings were revealed in the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) 2019 report, which was designed to focus specifically on anti-corruption reporting among the top 100 largest Malaysian-listed companies’ by market capitalisation. (The Edge)