The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 10th January 2017

Singapore Economy

Re-employment age to rise by 2 years to 67 on July 1
The statistics are telling. Nearly one out of every eight residents in Singapore’s labour force – about 12 per cent – was 60 or older in 2015, more than double the 5.5 per cent in 2006.  Amid a sluggish job market and the challenges of an increasingly ageing workforce, lawmakers here voted in favour of a set of amendments to the existing legislation to help more elderly workers stay in a job.  There are three key changes to the Retirement and Re-Employment Act that will take effect on July 1 this year. They are:

  • raising Singapore’s re-employment age by two years to 67;
  • allowing workers to be re-employed by another company; and
  • doing away with the option for employers to cut their workers’ salaries when they turn 60.

The current laws state that the minimum retirement age is 62 years, and employers are not allowed to dismiss anyone younger than this due to the person’s age.

Singapore Real Estate

13 units in Gemini@Sims industrial project up for en bloc sale
The developer of Gemini@Sims, a freehold industrial project in Kallang, is looking to sell the entire ground floor of 13 strata units via an expression of interest.  JLL, the appointed marketing agent, said Wenul Assets (Industrial) Pte Ltd is expecting offers above S$900 per square foot (psf) over the strata floor area.  “The vendors are open to selling all the units to a single buyer or to multiple buyers. Opportunities to acquire an entire level of first floor industrial units are few and far between,” said JLL national director Yong Choon Fah.

Co-working space launches $1m seed fund
The Impact Hub Singapore – a pioneer in the co-working industry here – has started a fund with an initial value of $1 million to invest in early-stage start-ups.  The community and co-working space, more popularly known as The Hub, is the first co-working space here to launch such a fund.  Initial investors in the Hub Ventures Fund include family offices, high-net-worth individuals, as well as members of The Hub’s community. The fund also counts a number of prominent venture capitalists among its advisers, including Monk’s Hill Ventures managing director Ong Peng Tsin, Cocoon Capital managing partner Michael Blakey, NSI Ventures founding partner Hian Goh and KK Fund general partner Kuan Hsu.

‘Green shoots’ of recovery in luxury homes and offices?
The property market will continue to face challenges this year but there are “green shoots” in the luxury residential and office sectors, said DBS Group Research.  It estimates that luxury home prices will bottom out over the next 12 months as transaction volumes and foreign interest in properties in the core central region pick up.  Overall, private home prices have fallen by about 11 per cent since the third quarter of 2013 as a raft of cooling measures weighed on demand.

Land under West Coast Viaduct open for short-term lease
The land under the West Coast Viaduct is now available for short-term lease, announced the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) on Monday (Jan 9).  “We are constantly looking into ways to creatively adapt state land and properties for interim use,” said SLA’s chief executive, Tan Boon Khai, adding that the space has been fitted with “electricity as well as modular structures to facilitate the piloting of new concepts by social groups and entrepreneurs”.

Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand signs mall management contract in Xi’an, China
CapitaLand Mall Asia said on Tuesday that it has inked a shopping mall management contract in Xi’an, its second in western China within a span of five months.  CapitaLand will manage the shopping mall in La Botanica – a township located in Xi’an’s Chan-Ba Ecological District – that is being developed by CapitaLand-Henderson (Xi’an) Property Development, a joint venture between CapitaLand and Hong Kong-based Henderson Land.

The Ascott positions itself for growth and tie-ups with global firms
Serviced-residence operator The Ascott is banking on innovation, partnerships and new capabilities as it positions itself for the future in a dynamic operating environment.  This includes tie-ups with online vacation rental business Tujia and Ali Baba-backed Alitrip, as well as talking to international start-ups to explore potential disruptors and emerging business models.  Lee Chee Koon, chief executive officer of The Ascott, told The Business Times in an interview: “As a company, we always have to continuously look at different ways to drive revenue, find new sources of business (and) make sure we maintain profitability.

Banyan Tree’s first Cuban resort to open for booking from Jan 15
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts on Monday announced that Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria, its first lifestyle resort in Cuba, will open for booking from Jan 15.  According to the resort operator, Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria will be the first and only all-inclusive lifestyle resort with a private beach in the area of Cayo Santa Maria, a province of Villa Clara.  It has 516 rooms, five restaurants and four bars, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, Kids Club and a 545-seat theatre with complimentary daily live entertainment. It is also a 90-minute drive from Santa Clara International Airport.

Keppel Reit Management appoints Jesline Goh as CEO
Ng Hsueh Ling will step down as chief executive officer and executive director of Keppel Reit Management – manager of Keppel Reit – effective Feb 1.  She will be succeeded by Jesline Goh, 43, as CEO subject to regulatory approval. Ms Goh has been appointed CEO-designate of the manager with effect from Tuesday.  Ms Ng will assume a new role as director of new business at Keppel Corp effective the same date as part of the group’s “regular rotation and succession planning for key executives”, said Keppel Reit in a statement.

Michael Ng moves to Chip Eng Seng from UIC
Property industry veteran Michael Ng Seng Tat, who quit United Industrial Corporation (UIC) recently, has joined Chip Eng Seng Corporation.  Mr Ng, 53, is executive director of the group’s fully owned subsidiary CEL Development, overseeing its regional businesses.  CEL Development is the property investment, property development and hospitality business of mainboard listed Chip Eng Seng Corporation.  CB Chng remains executive director of CEL Development, focusing on its Singapore operations.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Real estate risks a concern, says Fed’s Powell

US housing regulator accuses BOA of discriminatory lending

FHA to cut fees, lowering rates for first-time home buyers

UK house price growth picks up speed again: Halifax

U.S. inflation expectations rise in December: NY Fed survey

China likely to allow companies to issue shares in Frankfurt this year: bourse

Hong Kong seaside mansion bought for estimated HK$670m

Malaysia plans mega port project off Port Klang

Dubai’s Damac expects to maintain 25% dividend despite falling profits

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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