EPF members can apply to withdraw RM500 monthly

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members can apply for the RM500 monthly withdrawal to boost private consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic through the i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme beginning April 1. EPF chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said the decision to allow withdrawals from the retirement fund was considered carefully after weighing the well-being of its millions of members and safeguarding their savings. EPF members may apply for the i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme beginning April 1, 2020. They can expect their savings to be deposited into their bank accounts from May 1, 2020. Muhyiddin had stated that the withdrawal scheme during the economy downturn of the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to benefit more than 12 million EPF members, with a total withdrawal potential of about RM40bil. (The Star Online)

Malaysia’s richest tycoons lose RM31b in rout

Malaysia’s richest tycoons have lost an estimated RM30.93 billion since the start of this year, based on their known shareholdings in Bursa Malaysia-listed firms, as pandemic-driven panic selling across global markets sparked an equity rout that has yet to see an end. Of the 10 richest men in Malaysia, Hong Leong Group’s Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan — who stands at No 2 on the latest 2020 Forbes Malaysia Richest List — lost the most in the past 12 weeks. After Quek was gaming tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, who saw his wealth shrink by almost RM8 billion, as the three Genting Group stocks on Bursa have been battered. The tycoon who saw the third biggest loss YTD was Public Bank Bhd founder Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, with some RM4.5 billion loss in investment value. The only winner from Malaysia’s 10 richest list in the past 12 weeks is Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s founder and executive chairman Kuan Kam Hon, who earned RM1.94 billion on paper as the world’s largest nitrile glovemaker’s shares surged thanks to higher demand for rubber gloves amid the spread of the pandemic. (The Edge)

IOI Properties may launch Xiamen project in May

IOI Properties Group Bhd (IOIPG) plans to launch its Xiang An project in Xiamen, China progressively starting May this year should the condition continues to improve. According to AmInvestment Bank, IOIPG’s operations in China is heading back to normal. It noted that as of mid-March, economic activities in China have resumed, picking up their capacity. Xiang An or Xiamen 3 is IOIPG’s third project in Xiamen, and the launch GDV is around one billion yuan. IOIPG had been sourcing for land banks in China with development potential following the completion of the group’s maiden property project, the IOI Park Bay in Jimei and the launch of IOI Palm City. IOI Palm City is the first mega scale urban mixed-use development project invested by IOIPG in China and the second for the property group in the People’s Republic. (NST Online)

Include property management as essential service, pleads property managers

Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) currently taking place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus outbreak in the country must include property management in its list of essential services. “This is a major issue. Property management is not considered an essential service although it ensures all services such as cleaning, security, lift maintenance and utilities supply are not interrupted in buildings. This is especially so in multi-storey residential buildings,” said Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) president Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin. Property managers are not given the authority to carry out their duties during the MCO period. “Therefore, we urge the government to quickly add property management services in the list of essential services so that property managers can carry out their duties diligently and without any disruption. At present, property managers risk exposure to COVID-19 as well as being arrested by the authorities in carrying out their duty,” he pointed out. (The Edge)

Sunway Malls grants RM20m rent-free to non-essential trade retailers

Sunway Malls are granting RM20 million rent-free to its non-essential trade retailers for the 14-days period of the movement control order (MCO). Sunway Malls and Theme Park chief executive officer HC Chan said that the mall group will also undertake steps to ease credit control for retailers during this difficult period. Chan said that non-essential trade, which is mandated to cease trading during the ban covers fashion, home furnishing, entertainment, leisure outlets and so on. Retailers who stand to benefit from the rent-free scheme include tenants at Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Velocity, Sunway Carnival, Sunway Putra, Sunway Big Box Retail Park, Sunway Giza, and Sunway Citrine. “The mall group believes that the long-term sustainability of our business partners is also an important facet,” said Chan. (Malay Mail)