Calm returns to markets after big Trump Dump, but uncertainty remains
It took just one day for markets to claw back losses from the previous day’s rout triggered by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. But analysts cautioned that the rebound from Wednesday’s kneejerk losses was not so much a sign of optimism as it was a cautious return to the status quo amid uncertainty about what the future holds. The Straits Times Index rose 1.58 per cent, or 44.21 points, to close at 2,834.09 on Thursday, which more than erased Wednesday’s 30.36-point decline.
MAS to review regulatory regime for VCs to anchor more such funds in Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore will ease its regulatory regime for venture capital (VC) managers to draw and anchor more of them in Singapore as part of the Republic’s innovation drive. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday that the MAS is working with the VC industry to grow the funding landscape for startups in Singapore and the region. VCs’ role in stimulating economic dynamism has been a recurring theme in discussions of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), said Mr Tharman, who is also MAS chairman.
S$970m invested in Singapore Savings Bonds to date: MAS
About 35,000 people have parked S$970 million in 14 savings bond issues under the Singapore Savings Bonds programme, it was announced in parliament on Thursday. Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, speaking on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said in reply to queries from the backbench that the central bank is “encouraged” by the take-up rate. However, Mr Ong, a member of the board at MAS, said in his update on the 14-month-old scheme that more can be done to raise public awareness and understanding of savings bonds in Singapore.
Quantitative hedge funds on the rise in Asia
More Asian hedge funds are starting computer-driven strategies, as investors disappointed by the poor performance of some traditional funds search for better returns. In Singapore, US$2 billion (S$2.81 billion) multi-family office Thirdrock Group has launched a quant fund, and Lucerne Investment Partners is considering starting one. Mr Charles Wang, a former portfolio manager at Bosera Asset Management, is about to launch a vehicle on OP Investment Management’s platform in Hong Kong, where Hantak Investment Advisors plans to next year open a version of the quantitative fund it runs out of Beijing.
Citi launches portal to test fintech solutions
Financial giant Citi has set up an open platform giving software developers and financial technology (fintech) firms a “sandbox” in which to test their solutions. The Global API Developer Portal was launched by Citi yesterday, as the global bank seeks greater efficiency in its collaboration with external innovators. API, or application programming interface, is a toolset that allows a user to test how a new solution or application works within a bigger system.
Singapore Real Estate
What next for Singapore’s private housing market?
We live in exceptional times where events often do not play out as expected, such as with Brexit and the United States presidential election. In the Singapore private residential property market, buyers have been snapping up new homes although economic growth has been slowing down with increasingly bleaker outlooks being forecast. Companies, from banks to oil and gas firms, have announced layoffs, while Singapore Press Holdings is slashing 10 per cent of its headcount over the next two years. The Government has warned that the pace of retrenchments may rise.
Pedestrian-friendly facilities for redesigned Bencoolen Street
Pedestrians and cyclists will have an easier time commuting along Bencoolen Street come the first quarter of next year, as the redesigned street will be opened with features such as wider footpaths and additional bike parking facilities. The street will be opened following the completion of Downtown Line 3 works for Bencoolen Station. There will be sheltered linkways from the new Bencoolen MRT station to nearby facilities and developments, such as Hotel Rendezvous and Manulife Centre, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Nov 10).
Google’s growing team gets a new home
Google yesterday officially opened the doors to its new office at Mapletree Business City II in Pasir Panjang, where it occupies two entire office blocks to house its “fast-growing” team of engineers. The tech giant hopes to attract more Singapore engineers working overseas, especially in Silicon Valley tech firms, to return home. It now has 1,000 employees, including an undisclosed number of engineers, in its new Singapore engineering hub. The expansion supports its goal of reaching the next billion Internet users. There were an estimated 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide as of last year.
Real estate, finance services lift Aspial’s Q3 profit
Mainboard-listed Aspial Corporation’s net profit for the third quarter surged to S$12.72 million from S$1.88 million a year ago on higher revenue contributions from its real estate and finance services businesses. Group revenue for the three months ended Sept 30 rose 27 per cent to S$170.92 million. Nine-month profit more than doubled to S$9.38 million from S$4.41 million on a 33 per cent increase in revenue to S$450.79 million.
CDL reviewing asset portfolio and business mode
Fresh from completing the group’s third profit participation securities exercise, City Developments Ltd’s executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng says the group is reviewing its asset portfolio and business model to boost shareholder returns. “We are accelerating our diversification initiatives and will continue to focus on improving the group’s performance wherever possible, across all segments – property development, hotel operations, investment properties and funds management,” he said after CDL released its third quarter report card.
Ascott to manage 8 new serviced residences in China
CapitaLand’s serviced residence arm The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has inked contracts to manage eight new serviced residences in China’s high growth cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Haikou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Xiamen through its Ascott, Citadines and Tujia Somerset brands. Of these properties, Tujia Somerset Palm Springs Chongqing is already operational and the other seven – Ascott Central Haikou, Citadines Taoyuanju Chongqing, Citadines Xixi Wetland Hangzhou and four more Tujia Somerset properties – are slated to open from next year to 2020.
Hotel Properties’ Q3 profit jumps 90%
Hotel Properties’ net profit for the third quarter rocketed 90 per cent to S$32.1 million from the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday. Revenue for the three months ended Sept 30, 2016, grew 5 per cent year on year to S$140 million. The increase was mainly due to the sale of completed condominium units at the Tomlinson Heights development, partially offset by weaker performance by the group’s resorts in the Maldives, it said.
Croesus Retail Trust Q1 DPU up 9.8%
Croesus Retail Trust posted an available distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.79 Singapore cents for the first quarter ended September 2016, up 9.8 per cent from 1.63 Singapore cents a year ago. CRT said the available DPU for the corresponding quarter of 2015 was restated to reflect the effect of 114 million units issued pursuant to the renounceable rights issue and preferential offering on Aug 25, 2016. Income available for distribution rose 25.4 per cent to 1.2 billion yen (S$15.8 million) from 919 million yen.
UOL Q3 earnings sink despite higher turnover
UOL Group’s net profit for the third quarter dropped 13.6 per cent to S$87.1 million from the previous year, the real estate company said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday. For the three months ended Sept 30, revenue increased 11.1 per cent to S$393.4 million from the year-ago period. Earnings per share shrank to 10.90 Singapore cents from 12.76 Singapore cents in the year-ago period. Net asset value per share edged up to S$9.94 as at Sept 30, from S$9.91 as at nine months ago.
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