Five Newsbytes to Start The Day – 14 May 2019

Tealive’s Loob hires advisers for IPO next year, eyes RM300m
Bubble tea maker Loob Holding Sdn Bhd is planning an initial public offering on the local bourse next year to raise as much as RM300 million. According to Bloomberg, the Tealive brand owner has hired advisers for the exercise and is aiming for a listing in the first half of next year. It was reported that the firm is considering seeking a valuation of as much as RM1 billion. Loob manages a diverse portfolio of food and beverage brands in Malaysia, including Tealive, Gindaco, Croissant Taiyaki, Define: food; and Define: burgers, Kokokai and Soda Xpress. Earlier this month, Loob divested its stake in llallao to focus on global expansion, particularly on its flagship brand Tealive. (The Sun Daily)

UOA REIT in acquisition mode
Almost a year after the RM120 million disposal of Wisma UOA Pantai, UOA REIT is on the lookout for fresh assets to add to its portfolio. “We are actively looking for new acquisitions. A location we are very keen to have a presence in would be Bangsar South,” said UOA Asset Management Sdn Bhd CEO Kong Sze Choon. The group, which currently manages commercial properties in Bangsar, Bukit Damansara and Kuala Lumpur City Centre, has yet to include its home base of commercial buildings in Bangsar South as part of its assets under management. While UOA REIT would give priority to commercial properties developed by its parent company UOA Development Bhd, it is also considering assets built by other developers. (The Edge)

Semantan Estates’ bid to compel govt to return Jalan Duta land
Semantan Estates (1952) Sdn Bhd has been granted leave by the High Court to initiate a hearing on the merits of its claims to retain beneficial interests and cause to transfer ownership in a 263.67-acre piece of land along the former Jalan Duta (now Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim) that currently houses a number of government complexes and facilities. This marks the beginning of another chapter in one of the longest-running legal sagas in the country, which began in 1960 when Semantan Estates disputed the RM1.3 million compensation it received from the government under the old Land Acquisition Enactment to build a diplomatic enclave, which never materialised. A property valuer said the RM500 psf price still stands today because of the sluggish property market, but stressed that the price tag reflects the gross selling price. The actual selling price would be closer to RM1,200 psf. (The Edge)

Housing Ministry drafting new policy to address housing projects
The Housing and Local Government Ministry is in the midst of drafting a new policy on abandoned housing projects to fine tune the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to address the long standing problem. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was because the existing SOPs on handling abandoned projects were ineffective as well as time consuming. Presently, there were 354 abandoned housing projects nationwide with Selangor topping the list. A majority of the projects were abandoned after the developers faced financial difficulties, she said. “In some situations, we try our best to save them by inviting and funding other developers to rescue these projects. And then there are cases where developers come forward themselves (to rescue) and to obtain loan for the projects,” she added. (Malay Mail)

Zuraida explains why no more affordable homes set aside for civil servants
Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has explained why civil servants will no longer have a special allocation of affordable homes built under government initiatives, but will have to apply for such housing just like the rest of the public. She said the new policy – which takes effect immediately – follows the combining of all separate agencies tasked with providing affordable homes into one single body. In explaining the new policy of not setting aside affordable housing for civil servants but to have a mix of residents from society, Zuraida reportedly said it was to encourage “social interaction” between civil servants and the public to share their views, experience and knowledge to enhance a sustainable community. (Malay Mail)

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