UEM, Eco World set for merger talks

UEM Sunrise Bhd and Eco World Development Group Bhd will be engaged in merger talks to create the largest property company in the country that will be controlled by Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The exercise, if it meets the approval of shareholders, will be conducted via a share swap which would see Khazanah Nasional control the enlarged group with a stake of 43%. The deal would allow UEM Sunrise, the largest landowner in Iskandar Malaysia, to partner with a company that in six years has grown its business in Iskandar Malaysia to hit RM6.8bil in sales via four townships and three business parks. Eco World International, which is engaged in developing properties in the UK and Australia, would not be part of the merger and will remain a 27% subsidiary of the enlarged group. The merger would allow both UEM Sunrise and Eco World Development to not only tap on the assets of both companies but also the financials of each company in an enlarged group. (The Star Online)

Sunsuria inks deals to develop properties worth RM3.53b GDV

Sunsuria Bhd has entered into two agreements to develop high-rise residential and commercial projects in Kuala Lumpur with a total estimated GDV of RM3.53 billion. The first is an agreement with Bangsar Hill Park Development Sdn Bhd (BHP Development), Suez Capital Sdn Bhd and Dasar Temasek Sdn Bhd, to acquire a 51% stake in property developer BHP Development for RM8.44 million. Sunsuria will develop a parcel of residential land measuring 9.82 acres along Lorong Maarof in Bangsar with an estimated GDV of RM3.01 billion. The entire development is estimated to be completed by 2028. Sunsuria also entered into another agreement to acquire investment holding company Bumilex Construction Sdn Bhd. Under the agreement, Sunsuria plans to develop two plots of land along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur into a high-rise mixed commercial project which measures 1.16 acres in total, with an estimated GDV of RM524.8 million. Construction for the commercial development is set to commence in the second half of 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. (NST Online)

Union urges loan moratorium extension for Malaysia’s bank employees, low-income earners

The National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) has strongly urged banks to reinstate the blanket moratorium on loan repayments for its members as well as low-wage earners until the end of 2020 at least. NUBE secretary-general J. Soloman said that the targeted approach adopted by the banks does not address the realities of the financial challenges facing its members and those in the B40 and M40 income groups. “Many of our members urgently need a further respite from loan repayments. However, they and many other bank customers do not qualify for the targeted moratorium adopted by banks on the misconception that they did not lose their jobs or suffered pay cuts, therefore, are unaffected by the economic downturn,” said Soloman. “There should not be any accrued or compound interest charged to borrowers benefiting from the extension of the repayment moratorium,” he said. The extension of the loan moratorium will not cost the banks much as they will eventually recoup the deferred payments eventually, he added. (Malay Mail)

No need for nationwide MCO, says Ismail Sabri

Malaysia will not reintroduce the movement control order (MCO) nationwide despite a surge in Covid-19 cases of late. The big number of infections lately was recorded in states such as Sabah, Kedah and Selangor and not the entire country, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He said the government would focus on red zones instead of a whole district or state. Asked whether a ban on interstate travel would be introduced, Ismail Sabri said: “There is no need to prevent interstate travel.” The public, he said, should continue to follow standard operating procedure (SOP), practise physical distancing and wear face masks. (The Star Online)

Iodine to salt deadline now on Dec 31

The deadline for iodine to be added to salt sold in Malaysia has been extended to Dec 31 following appeals from importers and repackers. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the original deadline of Sept 30 has been lengthened to allow more time for the existing stock of non-iodised salt to be cleared first, before iodised salt becomes mandatory. The regulation requires all table salt or salt weighing 20kg or below to be added with iodine before it can be sold here, while carrying the label “iodised table salt” or “iodised salt”. Malaysia does not produce salt, which is mainly imported from China and India. Iodine, although needed only in small amounts, is an important mineral to produce thyroid hormones that help regulate metabolism, growth, reproduction, heart rate and other vital functions. (The Star Online)