The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 1st November 2018

Top Story

Outlook sours in key sectors; economists warn of 2019 slowdown
Firms here are gloomier about the business outlook for the six months to next March, according to official quarterly polls out on Wednesday. Sentiment has worsened in both the manufacturing and services sectors, and economy watchers said the trend could point to a slowdown next year. A net weighted balance of one per cent of manufacturers were bearish on business prospects in a fourth-quarter survey, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).


Singapore Economy

Singapore firms upbeat about trade despite US-China rift
Despite ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, four in five Singapore businesses have a positive outlook on the international trade environment, according to the latest HSBC Navigator report. This was just above the global average of 77 per cent, in the October edition of the twice-yearly report. 

Broad weakness seen in business loans in Sept as MAS data shows 0.2% dip
Lending to several business segments slipped, or remained, in negative territory in September from a month ago, contracting overall bank lending for the month. Preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Wednesday that business lending inched down 0.2 per cent to S$404 billion in September from August, swinging from a 0.6 per cent rise the previous month.


Singapore Real Estate

Analysts expect Marina View site to create buzz
Cooling measures or not, the Marina View white site made available for application under the Government Land Sales (GLS) reserve list will be keenly deliberated on by developers, thanks to its central location and its potential to yield several hundred hotel rooms amid the easing supply of future hotel rooms. The site could fetch top bids of between S$1,380 and S$1,650 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr); this translates to S$1.5 billion to S$1.8 billion if it were to go on the market now, consultants told The Business Times. 

Singapore ousts HK in luxury home-price gains
Singapore has nudged out Hong Kong to top a luxury real-estate ranking despite a slew of cooling measures to tame its property market. Luxury home prices in Singapore rose 13 per cent in the quarter ended Sept 30 from a year earlier, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index. Gains were driven in part by the limited availability of high-end properties. 

Govt Land Sales programme releases sites in Kampong Java and Tampines for sale
Two residential sites – one in Kampong Java and the other in Tampines – have been released for sale under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the second half of the year. Together with the Marina View “white site” released on Wednesday, the three sites make up the first GLS sites released since it was announced last month that from early 2019, the minimum average unit size will be raised, and the maximum number of units allowed in new private flat and condominium developments outside the central area would be lowered. 

Century Warehouse in Pasir Panjang up for collective sale at S$57m
Century Warehouse, a freehold industrial warehouse in Pasir Panjang Road, will be launched for a collective sale at S$57 million on Thursday. If it finds a buyer, it could net listed property developer Tuan Sing about S$50 million to S$51 million in proceeds, as it owns 31 out of a total of the 35 strata units in the building, and close to 90 per cent of the strata area, Patrick Tan, its head of asset and fund management, told The Business Times. 

International Plaza planning collective sale
International Plaza in Tanjong Pagar, one of Singapore’s biggest integrated developments built in the 1970s, is looking to launch a collective sale in excess of $2.6 billion – potentially the biggest in the country. The 50-storey leasehold commercial-cum-residential building, with a gross floor area of 1.44 million sq ft, has 51 years left on the lease, collective sales committee (CSC) chairman Kevin Liang told The Straits Times yesterday.

Co-working firm WeWork unveils 3 new offices at City House, Suntec City and 8 Cross St
Co-working giant WeWork has announced the official launch of three new offices in Suntec City Tower 5, City House and 8 Cross Street in Singapore, bringing its footprint here to over nine locations with 4,000 members. This confirms a previous story in The Business Times this year saying that WeWork was in advanced stages to sign up at the three locations, and comes amid the US company’s aggressive expansion in South-east Asia. 

JTC, SP to develop smart grid in Punggol
JTC and SP Group have teamed up to develop and operate the first smart grid for business parks in Singapore. The pair signed an agreement on Wednesday at the Asian Clean Energy Summit 2018, witnessed by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkilfi. The agreement called for a smart grid to be developed and implemented in Punggol Digital District. It is estimated this development can reduce carbon emissions of the district by 1,700 tonnes annually, equivalent to taking 270 cars off the road. 


Companies’ Brief

Will Keppel Reit sell Bugis Junction Towers?
Following the recent release of Keppel Reit’s third quarter earnings, DBS Equity Research raised an interesting piece of market speculation. It is about a potential sale of Bugis Junction Towers, which is fully owned by the trust.  “… management reiterated that it does not have any intention to sell the building, unless it receives a compelling offer,” DBS said.

KKR pumps S$200m into S-E Asia’s top property app
PropertyGuru Pte has pulled in S$200 million from KKR & Co, raising funds for the first time in three years as South-east Asia’s largest real estate portal prepares to delve into new business areas.  The series D financing will help the startup take full control of leading Vietnamese real estate site, after buying a minority stake in 2016, PropertyGuru chief executive officer Hari V Krishnan said.

Cromwell E-Reit to buy 23 properties in Europe for 384m euros
Cromwell European Reit (Cromwell E-Reit) is acquiring 23 properties across the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Italy and France for around 384.4 million euros (S$604.98 million), and will seek to raise 224.1 million euros through a rights issue to partially fund the acquisition.  The manager of the real estate investment trust (Reit) will seek unitholders’ approval for the 38-for-100 underwritten and renounceable rights issue, which translates to an issuance of about 600.83 million new units at 0.373 euro per unit.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust Q2 DPS up 2.8%
Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A H-Trust) on Wednesday posted a 2.8 per cent rise in second quarter distribution per stapled security (DPS) to 1.46 Singapore cents from 1.42 cents previously.  Income available for distribution, less the income retained for working capital, for the three months ended Sept 30 edged up 3 per cent to S$16.6 million. The increase came on the back of savings in net finance costs and partial distribution of the proceeds from the divestment of two hotels in Beijing.

CDLHT posts 4.8% fall in Q3 DPS to 2.18 cts
Mainboard-listed CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) posted a 4.8 per cent fall in its third quarter distribution per stapled security (DPS) to 2.18 Singapore cents, compared with 2.29 Singapore cents in the year-ago period.  Total distribution for the three months ended Sept 30, 2018 slid 3.9 per cent to S$26.33 million, while net property income (NPI) fell 10.2 per cent to S$36.23 million.

Roxy-Pacific’s Q3 net profit soars to S$4.4m
Roxy-Pacific Holdings saw its net profit soar to S$4.4 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, up from S$1.6 million a year ago, due to much lower cost of sales and expenses.  However, revenue fell 69 per cent to S$18.8 million, mainly due to lower contributions from the property development and property investment segments.

Sasseur Reit’s sponsor signs MOU to explore expansion in Korea
Sasseur Reit’s sponsor Sasseur Group has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Meritz Securities, a subsidiary of Meritz Financial Group, to explore potential strategic collaboration in Korea.  Tapping Meritz Financial Group’s network and expertise in Korea’s financial services industry, Sasseur Group said that it will favour Meritz Securities as the “first option for financial services or investment pertaining to future business developments in Korea”.

Soilbuild Construction awarded S$125m contract for building works in Yishun
Soilbuild Construction Group was awarded a S$125 million contract by Singapore’s Housing & Development Board for building works in Yishun.  The contract comprises the construction of seven blocks of residential buildings with multi-storey car park, commercial/community facilities, precinct pavilions and electrical substation. The construction period is approximately 31 months.

Parkson Retail Asia narrows loss in Q1
Department store operator Parkson Retail Asia posted a net loss of S$11.1 million for the first quarter ended Sept 30, narrowing slightly from a loss of S$12.9 million a year ago.  The group said that this reflected an improvement in operational results of its Malaysia and Indonesia operations, in addition to the effect of store closures as well as disposal of the group’s investment in a loss-making subsidiary in FY2018.

Chong Kee Hiong appointed new CEO of Suntec Reit’s manager
Suntec Reit’s manager ARA Trust Management (Suntec) announced on Wednesday that Chan Kong Leong has resigned as CEO and executive director of the manager, with his last day of service on Dec 31.  He will be replaced by former OUE Hospitality Reit Management CEO Chong Kee Hiong, appointed with effect from Jan 1.


Views, Reviews, Forum and Other

Skyscraper farms are about to go global
High-rise indoor farms for vegetables are spreading across the world.  In a suburb of Kyoto in Japan, surrounded by technology companies and startups, Spread Co is preparing to open the world’s largest automated leaf-vegetable factory. It’s the company’s second vertical farm and could mark a turning point for vertical farming – bringing the cost low enough to compete with traditional farms on a large scale.

The US economy is great, really – for now
Whatever one thinks of US President Donald Trump, it is hard to deny that much of America is feeling great again.  Surveys show that consumers have been this confident only twice before – at the height of the economic booms of the 1960s and 1990s – and their mood is bright across income groups, not just among the rich.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Can US get along with China? It just can’t decide

China factory growth weakest in over 2 years

HK home prices cool for 2nd straight month

Malaysian central bank’s land purchase from Najib govt under scrutiny


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article 

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