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Iris to jointly develop township in Papua New Guinea

Extract from The Star (12/9/2014)

PETALING JAYA: Iris Corp Bhd has entered into a joint venture (JV) to develop a township in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the local government.

The company said in a stock exchange filing that its property development subsidiary, IRIS Land (PNG) Ltd, had signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on Sept 10 with Central Provincial Government Of Free Mail Bag, Konedobu NCD, PNG, and Jayacorp Holdings Ltd, its local partner.

The three parties are to form a JV and build a satellite township on some 303.76ha of land in Granville Province.

The JV will be majority-controlled by IRIS Land with a 51% stake, the government with 23% and Jayacorp, 26%.

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Malaysia's property sector cooling off

Extract from The Star (12/9/2014)

PETALING JAYA: Property developers have come out with some hard facts that suggest that the sector is cooling off.

According to the first half 2014 Property Industry Survey by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda), properties in the affordable housing price range below RM1mil have been facing a tough sell largely because of homebuyers’ difficulty in getting financing and a glut of unreleased bumiputra lots.

Also, some 31% of properties in the RM500,001 to RM1mil range were still left unsold after completion in the past three years. These were largely in hot property markets like Selangor and Johor.

Properties in the price range of RM250,000 to RM500,000 also faced the same dilemma, with 34% of the completed units unsold. These were located mainly in Perak and Pahang.

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Housing sales dragged down by cooling measures

Extract from Business Times (11/9/2014)

PETALING JAYA: Sales of housing projects launched in the first half of this year have dropped below the 50 per cent mark, according to the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda)’s industry survey.

Based on a sample size of Rehda’s 1,200 members in Peninsular Malaysia, the findings revealed that the launches of landed residential units were mainly in Selangor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.

Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar Mansor said the real estate sector is facing difficult times mainly because of the cooling measures in the property sector.

The unsold units are attributed to unreleased Bumiputera lots and low demand or interest in a particular location, as well as the odd-corner and special lots.

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PR1MA set to boost Kedah’s real estate sector

Extract from Business Times (12/9/2014)

The 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project (PR1MA) development can serve as a catalyst to stimulate the growth of the real estate industry in Kedah, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said.

Mukhriz, who describes PR1MA schemes as “friendly real estate”, said the Taman Insaniah affordable housing development in Bandar Kuala Ketil shows that the state government is on the right track in addressing housing shortage for the low-income group.

He said the state government is confident of completing 40,000 units of low-cost and affordable housing targeted for 2018 earlier than expected.

Mukhriz said a low-cost unit in Kedah is priced at below RM160,000 while an affordable housing unit is priced between RM200,000 and RM240,000.

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HLIB: LBS Bina on solid footing

Extract from Business Times (11/9/2014)

HONG Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research sees LBS Bina Group Bhd on a solid footing domestically as the property developer sits on an undeveloped landbank of some 728.4ha that could yield RM18.2 billion in future gross domestic value.

The research firm said LBS Bina is likely to monetise its Chinese assets worth RM970 million at the market value to acquire more land in Malaysia. The company wants to beef up its landbank reserves that are currently sufficient to last another 10 years.

“After many years of delay, LBS Bina successfully struck a deal to monetise its 60 per cent stake in two plots of land in Zhuhai, China. This is a landmark moment in the group’s history as it allowed LBS Bina to finally monetise its valuable landbank in China, which we expect to fund its footprint in Malaysia,” HLIB Research said in a report yesterday.

The two plots of land in Zhuhai include the 79.7ha of development land and the 136.7ha of Lakewood Golf Club. The lands are worth HK$1.65 billion (RM681.81 million).

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Finance Ministry denies housing loan division will be abolished

Extract from Bernama (11/9/2014)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Finance today denied allegations that its Housing Loan Division (BPP) will be abolished, as had been reported in the media recently.

Treasury Secretary-General, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah in a statement tonight said instead the government intends to make the BPP a statutory body, thereby maintaining existing benefits enjoyed by civil servants.

"At present, BPP and the consultants appointed for the incorporation are preparing a Bill to set up the statutory body and a new retirement scheme for civil servants," he said.

"Civil servants who opt to join the scheme, to be implemented soon, will enjoy some of the benefits enjoyed by other agencies that have been incorporated," he said.

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Cooling measures slowed down property sales in 1H 2014: REHDA

Extract from Bernama (11/9/2014)

KUALA LUMPUR: Sales of properties in Malaysia slightly declined in the first half of 2014 despite the high demand due to the cooling measures announced by the government in Budget 2014, says the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (REHDA).

Its President Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said among the key measures affecting the sales were the 70 per cent loan-to-value ratio, the impending implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the higher real property gains tax as well as responsible lending guidelines introduced by Bank Negara.

Speaking at a media briefing on the findings of the REHDA Property Industry Survey 1H2014 today, he said close to 90 per cent of respondents experienced a slowdown, although the numbers of unsold units were manageable.

He said although the Malaysian economy is growing, the property sector is facing difficulty now, with unreleased Bumiputera lots cited as the major problem besides low demand or interest in certain areas and odd corner or special lots.

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‘Squatters to be rehoused first’

Extract from New Straits Times (11/9/2014)

GEORGE TOWN: The developer of a proposed mixed-development project in Batu Ferringhi here yesterday said its top priority, once all the necessary approvals have been obtained, is to build low medium-cost homes for squatters first before it proceeds with the rest of the project.

Orientside Development Sdn Bhd director Datuk P. Hari Menon said the company would surrender the necessary land as required from all landowners to the state, which was meant for upgrading the Batu Ferringhi main road.

“Within the proposed site, we will construct a road measuring 36.5m in width, and this road is will be part of the state’s proposed North Coastal Road in the area. We plan to upgrade Jalan Sungai Emas to benefit the surrounding existing and upcoming property developments in the area.”

On Friday, the New Straits Times reported that the proposed project would cover more than 13.3ha of land and would include affordable and high-end dwellings, a hotel and a shopping mall.

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MRCB's Platinum Sentral now RM10m cheaper

Extract from The Sun Daily (10/9/2014)

PETALING JAYA: The disposal price of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd's (MRCB) Platinum Sentral has been revised downwards by RM10 million to RM740 million, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

In April this year, MRCB inked a deal with Quill Capita Trust to sell the property for RM750 million.

In MRCB's announcement yesterday, the group said the independent property valuer had via its letter dated Sep 9, 2014 informed it that the market value of Platinum Sentral will be revised from RM750 million to RM740 million. No reason was given for the revision.

The downward adjustment of the market value represents 1.33% of the initial market value. The difference of RM10 million will be adjusted from the cash portion of the disposal amount.

Battersea looks to finalise 1.35b pounds financing

Extract from Business Times (10/9/2014)

KUALA LUMPUR: Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd is working towards finalising 1.35 billion pounds (1 pound = RM5.15) in financing by end-October to fund phases two and three of the Battersea Power Station residential project in London.

"We are finalising the documents with several banks. We will sign the deal by the end of next month in London," its chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said when updating reporters here today on the Battersea Power Station project.

In November 2013, the company, a special purpose vehicle formed to acquire the 39-acre power station site with S P Setia and Sime Darby holding a 40 per cent stake each and the Employees Provident Fund the remaining 20 per cent, secured 790.2 million pounds for the development and land refinancing loan for the project.

Meanwhile, he said the company is gearing up for its first global simultaneous launch next month of phase three and will be visiting 13 cities in 11 countries to attract global brands, businesses and restaurants.

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