Singapore confirms first case of Wuhan virus

A China national has tested positive for the Wuhan virus in Singapore, with another likely to have the virus. The 66-year-old man, a Wuhan resident, arrived in Singapore with nine travelling companions on Monday (Jan 20), and stayed at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa resort, Singapore’s Ministry of Health said. A 53-year-old woman, also a China national but not travelling with the group, has come up positive in preliminary tests, which are awaiting confirmation. In addition, the man’s son, 37, is a suspected case and has also been warded, while the rest of the group are being quarantined and monitored for two weeks. However, there was no evidence that the virus had spread to anyone here, it added. The virus, now known as 2019-nCoV, can now be passed from person to person, has already killed 17 people and infected at least 540 throughout China, with cases also surfacing in Taiwan, Japan, Macau, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. (The Star Online)

Health Ministry says all four suspected coronavirus cases in Malaysia tested negative

All four suspected coronavirus cases in the country have tested negative, according to the Health Ministry. The ministry confirmed that tests conducted on a suspected coronavirus patient who is being treated at an isolation ward in a hospital in Sabah found the person to be negative for the virus. As such, he said, all four suspected cases reported so far, comprising two cases in Sabah and two cases in Selangor, were all negative for the virus. (Malay Mail)

UDA Holdings to roll out homes targeted at young homebuyers

UDA Holdings Bhd may launch at least five residential projects targeting young urban income earners this year. Company president and CEO Mohd Salem Kailany said UDA Holdings is planning around 1,000 residential units in Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. “The most exciting project will be the 38 Bangsar development which will be launched in the middle of this year,” he said, which is a leasehold serviced residence about 350m away from the Bangsar LRT station. However, the price and built-ups of the project’s units will only be unveiled closer to the launch. Aside from 38 Bangsar, the company will also introduce a RumahWip affordable housing scheme near Jalan Jubli priced below RM300,000, also targeting young working adults. UDA Holdings will also launch new landed homes in Kuantan, Pahang, Kuala Terengganu and Johor Bahru. (The Edge)

Pahang slashes quit rent for industrial category by 80%

Industrial landowners in Pahang can finally heave a sigh of relief as the state government has offered an 80% reduction in quit rent rate statewide. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said it was revised after industry players appealed for a review to the state government over the previous high rate. He said under the new rate, the industrial category in all the districts except in Gebeng and Genting Highlands, require to pay only 50 sen per sq metre compared to RM2.50 per sq metre for 2020. Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy said for agricultural land of more than 40ha in Pahang, the owners would now pay RM50 less – it is now RM250 per ha instead of RM300 per ha. The move was expected to benefit 8,288 industrial category landowners and 282,429 agriculture category landowners in Pahang. He said Pahang’s rates remained among the lowest in Malaysia, with the last review carried out in 2017. (NST Online)

Grab, Razer, AirAsia exploring bids for Malaysia digital bank licence

Ride-hailing group Grab, gaming firm Razer, AirAsia, telecoms firm Axiata and lender CIMB are among companies looking to apply for digital banking licences in Malaysia, sources told Reuters. Some of these companies have begun talking to consultancies as they explore a possible foray into digital banking, the people familiar with the matter said. Across Asia, regulators are opening up banking to new digital players, encouraged by a boom in mobile connectivity and the prospect of tech firms — not shackled to expensive physical branches — offering low-cost financial services. This month, Singapore said it received 21 applications for five digital bank licences. In December, Malaysia’s central bank announced plans to issue up to five licences to new online banks offering either conventional or Islamic banking under a proposed licensing framework set to be finalised by the end of June. (The Edge)