Cooling measures send chill through Malaysian property stocks

PHOTO: Cooling measures send chill through Malaysian property stocks

KUALA LUMPUR - Property counters on the Malaysian stock exchange fell on Monday following Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement of new measures to cool the sector's rapid surge.

Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd fell 2.07 per cent to a three-week low of 2.36 ringgit, while UEM Sunrise Bhd shed 1.15 per cent to 2.57 ringgit. Sunway Bhd was down 1.36 per cent to 2.91 ringgit and Tropicana Corporation Bhd was 2.03 per cent lower at 1.45 ringgit.

To cool property prices which have risen by about a third since 2010, Najib doubled capital gains tax to 30 per cent for real estate sold within three years. The minimum purchase price for foreign property buyers was doubled to 1 million ringgit ($339,000).

In addition, developers were prohibited from accepting small down payments prior to the completion of a project.

(Reporting by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Stephen Coates)