Google to charge 6% digital tax in Malaysia starting Jan 1, 2020
Google Malaysia has announced that a 6% digital tax will take effect on its service starting next year. So far, Google has confirmed that the 6% will be applicable on G Suite services. The tax will be charged on user purchases and reflected under Billing & Payments. A Google spokesperson said to wait for further announcements for other services such as YouTube Premium, YouTube Music and online purchases for digital items such as e-books, mobile applications, movies on Google Play. The Malaysian government first announced that a 6% digital tax will be imposed on foreign service providers effective Jan 1, 2020 at last year’s Budget tabling. The tax is expected to affect streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, digital advertising services offered by corporations like Google, and also digital game distribution companies such as Steam. (The Star Online)

Knight Frank: KL office rental growth slowing further
Rental yields for office space here grew by just 2.1% in the third quarter of 2019, according to Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Prime Office Rental Index. The growth was 0.4% lower than in the previous quarter, amid what the global property consultant described as a “cooling” global economy. It credited the marginal increase to the opening of two new towers in the TRX financial district: The Exchange 106 and Menara Prudential. “However, with Kuala Lumpur city’s overall office market still under pressure and landlords continuing to offer attractive lease packages to retain or attract tenants. The sector is expected to remain challenged in the short to medium term,” the firm said. Rental for prime office locations in Hong Kong has plummeted 5.6%, while other locations that recorded quarter-on-quarter declines were Shanghai (-1.1%) and Beijing (-0.8%) in China, and Manila, the Philippines (-0.4%). (Malay Mail)

Maiden launch for STP2A set for end 2020
Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) says the maiden launch for Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2A (STP2A) a massive property development off Tanjung Tokong in Penang island, is scheduled for the end of 2020. Managing director Kok Tuck Cheong said reclamation of STP2A was completed last month, adding that E&O is currently finalising the masterplan design. Developed in 2 phases, Seri Tanjung Pinang is an exemplar masterplanned seafront development, the first of its kind in Penang’s history with its showcase of luxury residential enclaves and vibrant retail promenades. STP2A is expected to have a gross development value of over RM17 billion and will be developed over 15 years. (NST Online)

Ewein, Consortium Zenith Construction to jointly develop land in Penang
Ewein Bhd is partnering Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) to jointly develop land in Penang as a RM159.75 million development. Ewein said the proposed development is to develop a freehold land situated in Section 1, Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Daerah Timur Laut, Negeri Pulau Pinang measuring approximately 4.34 acres marked as Plot 1 in the JV agreement for RM159.75 million. Ewein said this proposed JV will be the second development project both Ewein and CZC will jointly develop. Currently, both parties are involved in the development of a luxury sea-front property development project, known as City of Dreams in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, which is in completion stage. The proposed JV is expected to be completed within 24 months from the date of agreement. (The Edge)

Projects completed but eight federal agencies still owe Finance Ministry RM83.67m
The 2018 Auditor-General’s Report today revealed that eight federal agencies have yet to return balance grants amounting to RM83.67 million to the Ministry of Finance. This is despite the fact that the 67 projects and programmes have been fully completed. The report stated that the balance grant was not returned as the grant distribution letter from the ministry did not specify the terms of use of the grant in detail. The eight agencies were Malaysian Highway Authorities (MHA), Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute and Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority. MHA tops the list with balance grant RM68.73 million is yet to be returned on 13 development projects which have been completed between 2013 to 2018. (Malay Mail)