Cooling measures send chill through Malaysian property stocks

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - 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 percent to a three-week low of RM2.36, while UEM Sunrise Bhd shed 1.15 percent to RM2.57. Sunway Bhd was down 1.36 percent to RM2.91 and Tropicana Corporation Bhd was 2.03 percent lower at RM1.45.

To cool property prices which have risen by about a third since 2010, Najib doubled capital gains tax to 30 percent for real estate sold within three years. The minimum purchase price for foreign property buyers was doubled to RM1 million (S$393,000).

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