The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 11th August 2017

Singapore Economy

Economists expect Q2 growth to be revised upwards
Economists expect a more modest second-half economic growth, so the latest government forecast of around 2.5 per cent growth for this year, announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day message, points to an upward revision to the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). 

Singapore economy grows faster than expected at 2.9% in Q2, GDP growth forecast for 2017 narrows to 2-3%
As anticipated by some economists, Singapore’s economy grew at a faster rate of 2.9 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2017, beating market consensus of 2.5 per cent. It is also a much quicker pace than the previous quarter’s 2.5 per cent growth.

Singapore’s services growth picks up pace; manufacturing still leads economic expansion in Q2
Singapore’s services sector showed signs of improvement in the second quarter, while manufacturing continues to be the star performer, although growth came at a slower pace, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Friday morning.

Singapore non-oil domestic exports growth slows sharply to 2.7% in Q2
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) continued to grow year on year in the second quarter but the pace slowed sharply from 15.3 per cent in the first quarter to 2.7 per cent. Total trade growth similarly eased from 16.4 per cent to 9.5 per cent according to the latest trade data released by trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore).

Singapore’s monetary policy stance remains appropriate after GDP revised higher: MAS
Singapore’s current monetary policy stance remains appropriate, a senior official for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Friday (Aug 11), after second-quarter economic growth was revised higher and exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Kendal Industrial Park total investment value reaches US$360m: DPM Teo
The Kendal Industrial Park’s total investment value has reached US$360 million so far, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Thursday (Aug 10). Speaking at a National Day reception in Jakarta, Mr Teo said that the industrial park – also known as Park by the Bay – has also provided employment for 4,000 Indonesians. It is a joint venture between Singapore’s Sembcorp Development and Indonesia’s industrial estate developer PT Jababeka.

Singapore Real Estate

Private condo rents in July up 0.2% as rental volume rises: SRX Property
Rents of private non-landed homes in Singapore climbed 0.2 per cent in July compared to June, while rental volume rose by 11.8 per cent from a month ago to 4,834 units, going by flash estimates from SRX Property. This was buoyed by the 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent uptick in the Core Central Region (CCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) respectively, while the Rest of Central Region (RCR) saw a 0.1 per cent dip.

MAS and CAD sound warning over digital tokens and related investment schemes
The authorities have warned the public about the risks tied to investment schemes involving digital tokens, even as the fast-growing industry attracts believers – and enlarges the pool of those who could end up losing their money.

Changi Airport turns to robots to keep T4 clean
As Changi Airport embraces automation to beat the labour crunch, it is also turning to robots to keep its latest addition – Terminal 4 – spanking clean. Changi Airport Group (CAG) has deployed four automated cleaning robots at the terminal after a search that took about three years. It plans to add six more in 2018.

Shoppers, tenants head elsewhere as Century Square mall renovation nears
Weeks before Century Square mall in Tampines shuts for a major renovation, the number of people going there has fallen by as much as half, with anchor tenants leaving and shoppers seeking other options at nearby malls.

All new homes to have smoke alarms from June
All newly built homes – Housing Board flats as well as private residences – will have to be installed with smoke detectors from next June, when an updated Fire Code is released, The Straits Times understands. Called a home smoke alarm, the device costs between $60 and $80 for a basic version. Installation could cost another $50 or so.

Some older buildings could need safety upgrades
The question of whether Singapore’s older buildings are safe from fires is under the spotlight, following a deadly tower block fire in west London in June. And the answer depends on who one asks. The managements of some buildings constructed prior to 1974 – exempting them from current fire safety rules – say they are safe as they have been renovated over time. These older properties need to get fire safety upgrades only if they have had major renovations. If not, they do not have to adhere to the Fire Code, created in 1974 after the Robinsons Department Store fire that year, which killed nine.

Devices limited in their effectiveness, say experts
While the installation of smoke alarms in homes will increase fire safety standards, they are limited in their effectiveness, said experts. This is especially as the ones proposed for newly built homes starting next June are independent devices that are typically not linked to a central system or to emergency services – which would be a lot more expensive, noted Mr Dan Chong, director of engineering solutions provider C2D Solutions.

Companies’ Brief

CityDev promotes Sherman Kwek to CEO-designate; Q2 net profit slips 17.9%
City Developments Ltd (CDL) said on Friday that it has promoted its deputy chief executive officer, Sherman Kwek, to be CEO-designate with immediate effect after CEO Grant Kelley tendered his resignation the day before. Mr Kelley’s last day will be December 31, 2017. Mr Sherman Kwek – son of CityDev’s executive chairman, Kwek Leng Beng, and nephew of non-executive director Kwek Leng Peck – will take over the full responsibilities on January 1, 2018.

Hiap Hoe back in the black with S$1.44m Q2 profit
Property group Hiap Hoe reported a net profit of S$1.44 million for the second quarter ended June 30, a reversal of a loss of S$3.1 million for the same period a year ago, due mostly to fair-value changes in financial instruments. Revenue went down 3.1 per cent to S$23.2 million, mainly as a result of a lower sale of its development properties compared to the same quarter last year.

Boustead Singapore’s Q1 profit falls 58% on FX loss, weak markets
Infrastructure engineering company Boustead Singapore’s net profit for its fiscal first quarter fell 58 per cent to S$2.9 million, or 0.6 Singapore cent per share, on currency effects, and weakness in the oil & gas and Singapore industrial real estate markets.

Centurion to buy another student housing asset in the US
Centurion Corporation announced on Thursday plans to acquire College & Crown, a 160-unit student accommodation asset with 204 beds near Yale University in the US, for US$70 million (S$95 million). This follows its maiden entry in the US last month with a proposed acquisition of a portfolio of 1,936 beds across five student accommodation assets for US$136 million.

Banyan Tree narrows Q2 loss to S$12.26m
Resort operator Banyan Tree’s loss for the second quarter narrowed to S$12.26 million from S$14.36 million a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended June 30 rose 6 per cent year on year to S$69.84 million on the back of higher contributions from its hotel investments segment and the fee-based segment.

IReit Global to pay out Q2 DPU of 1.45 Singapore cents
IREIT Global, a Europe-focused real estate investment trust, on Thursday announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.45 Singapore cents for the second quarter ended June 30, down from 1.6 Singapore cents previously.

Pan-United Corp Q2 net profit edges up
Concrete supplier Pan-United Corp reported a 2 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit to S$5.35 million for the second quarter ended June 30. When comparing profit from continuing operations (net of tax), net profit would have fallen 24 per cent. This is because the corresponding quarter a year ago included a loss from a business which has since been disposed.

UOB Kay Hian’s Q2 profit rises 3.2% to S$16.5m
Significantly higher trading volumes across regional markets where UOB Kay Hian operates boosted results for the group in its second quarter. Net profit for the three months ended June 30, 2017, rose 3.2 per cent to S$16.5 million compared to the same period last year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday evening.

Central Group surging ahead with expansion, e-commerce
Central Group, Thailand’s largest retailer, is in expansion mode in Asean and Europe. The retail and service conglomerate behind Central Embassy mall in Bangkok has been growing for the past few years, opening or acquiring operations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam in this region, and in Denmark and Italy in Europe.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Retailers on the rebound with the help of enhanced IT
The South-east Asian region is very much on the rise. In terms of economic growth, the 10 countries that make up the Asean trading bloc are equivalent to the world’s ninth largest economy. From 2010 through 2020, Asean GDP growth is projected to reach 5 per cent: Vietnam is set to grow by 6.8 per cent on average over the decade, with Indonesia clocking in at 5.5 per cent.

Short-term thinking a killer in the long run
Good news isn’t written overnight. Headlines by nature may be heralding and immediate, but the back-end story is one of strategy, sweat and concerted effort over time. So, when the World Wildlife Fund announced a rise in wild tiger populations last year – a notable feather in conservationists’ caps that disrupted the endangered species’ 100-year consecutive decline, you’ve got to know some serious teamwork must have pulled off a scale-tipping feat of such proportions. The population upsurge was not the result of one or two heavy lifters, but the by-product of many hands carrying the load together.

A Sino-Indian clash could end the Asian century
Writing in these columns exactly a year ago I drew attention to the deteriorating Sino-Indian relationship, my attention piqued by news that the Indian government had sanctioned for deployment along the China border a hundred pieces of the hypersonic cruise missile Brahmos.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Producer prices record biggest drop in 11 months

UK trade, manufacturing disappoint in second quarter

Japan PM should focus on regulatory reforms, say economists

Japan core machinery orders drop in June

Hong Kong walking tour aims to show gritty side of city

Malaysia June factory output up 4% y-o-y, above forecast

The nomads of summer in New York

At US$350m, Beverly Hillbillies mansion is priciest in the US

London property slump drags UK home-price growth to a standstill

Invitation Homes, Starwood Waypoint deal sends shares soaring

Canada June new home prices up less than expected as Toronto pauses

Derwent raises rents forecast as central London property proves resilient

Wanda Hotel shares soar on 7.05b yuan acquisition deal

US equities roiled by geopolitical uncertainties, but China is set to lead Asian equities

Nordstrom websites boost same-store sales, shares jump

Macy’s, Kohl’s sales declines raise turnaround concerns

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Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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