Slower recovery in 2H21 anticipated for property sector, says AmInvestment

A slower recovery in the second half of 2021 (2H21) is anticipated as tighter containment measures from June onwards have led to the closure of sales galleries and halted property construction activities. AmInvestment Bank research analyst Lee Ching Poh said banks remained cautious about residential property lending, which is reflected in the low approval rate of 36% compared to 51% to 53% during 2011–2014. “Persistently subdued consumer sentiments and employment prospects against a backdrop of the prolonged pandemic are restraining consumers from committing to the purchase of big-ticket items, particularly, a house,” she said. Of the six companies under the bank-backed research house’s coverage, IOI Properties Group Bhd exceeded expectations, while Sunway Group, S P Setia Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd came in within expectations as Mah Sing Group Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd fell short of its forecasts. Overall, sales momentum in the property sector was intact, Lee said, adding that the resumption of property construction activities will continue to be supported by the companies’ rising vaccination rates. (The Edge)

PEPS: Malaysia may lose RM3.7bil from stricter MM2H policies

The new proposed policies of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme will result in at least RM3.7 billion loss to Malaysia, said the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS). The association described the newly reviewed policies as “draconian policies” that appear to discourage this programme rather than provide added incentives. “This could result in at least RM3.7 billion loss to the country which includes fixed deposit, visa fees, hotel accommodation, medical insurance and checkups and that does not include the purchase of property, car, children education, F&B, retail purchases and consumer spending,” it said. PEPS added that Malaysia’s neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Singapore have seen the benefits in allowing foreigners to stay longer in their countries not only to promote their tourism but expenditure in the country and investments brought which give major impact in the economy of these countries. According to data from PEPS, there are 57,478 MM2H holders (since 2002) and they generated a direct service and consumer spending revenue of about RM4.4 billion in 2018. (The Edge)

MDEC: Major global tech firms say Malaysia remains an attractive digital investment hub

Global technology titans from the digital global business services (DGBS) industry, which participated in the Digital Investments Week of Malaysia Tech Month 2021 (MTM’21), have continued to express their confidence in Malaysia as an attractive investment hub. The DGBS industry is one of the key contributors to Malaysia’s digital economy, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in a statement. “While active GBS companies account for approximately 20% of total active MSC Malaysia companies, they are the largest contributor to the overall performance of MSC Malaysia, adding up to 50% of investments, 66% of exports, and 61% of jobs created,” it said. There are currently 579 GBS companies within MSC Malaysia, with 57% being foreign direct investments (FDIs). MDEC recently launched the ‘Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) Strategy’, a five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL). (Malay Mail)

RM2.56mil bus system for Iskandar Malaysia to start by end 2023

The RM2.56 billion Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Johor is expected to start its operations by the end of 2023. Johor state executive councillor in charge of works, transportation and infrastructure Mohd Solihan Badri said the Iskandar Malaysia BRT pilot test programme started on April 8 and is currently 21.57% completed. “The Iskandar Regional Development Authority has invested RM151 million to finalise the infrastructure engineering design, assessing the design of operational and financial requirements, investigation work and also land acquisition,” he said. More than 443 people took part in the Iskandar Malaysia BRT pilot test programme back in April and 97.9% expressed support for the service and the green technology used. The BRT system covers a total of 2,043km with three main lines, namely Iskandar Puteri, Skudai and Tebrau, with 44 direct routes and 55 feeder routes. “This project will be extended to the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System project, the airport in Senai, Larkin Sentral, Kempas Double Track as well as the International ferry terminals in Stulang Laut and Iskandar Puteri,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Covid-19 vaccination outreach programme to be reimplemented in KL, Putrajaya

The vaccination outreach programme will be implemented again for residents who have been left behind in getting their Covid-19 vaccine in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, said Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias. He said the focus would be on areas which have recorded over 500 positive cases in the last two weeks, especially at the People’s Housing Project (PPR) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)housing areas. Jalaluddin said although vaccination among the people in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya had exceeded 170% of the data obtained by the ministry, more detailed information were needed to facilitate the National Recovery Plan (PPN) transition phase. He said the matter was discussed in the recent Covid-19 Coordination and Management Committee post meeting to bring the two regions to move to PPN phase two soon. (Malay Mail)

Almost 70% of Malaysia’s adult population fully vaccinated

A total of 68.8 per cent of the adult population in the country, or 16,107,712 individuals, have completed their Covid-19 vaccination as of Monday (Sept 6), according to the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV). A total of 313,751 doses of the vaccines were dispensed under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Monday, with 132,640 doses to the first dose recipients and 181,111 doses as the second dose. This brings to a total of 20,677,827 individuals, or 88.3 per cent of the country’s adult population having received at least one dose of the vaccine until last Monday, it said. (The Star)