Firms optimistic in Q4; outlook for next 6 months also brighter
Business conditions improved and firms turned optimistic at the end of last year, according to The Business Times-Singapore University of Social Sciences (BT-SUSS) Business Climate Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017. Sales and new orders improved to near-expansion levels, while profits contracted the least since Q1 2015.
S’poreans’ top concern: Planning for future
Singaporeans are most concerned about how the Government can support them in planning for the future, according to the results of a six-week pre-Budget feedback exercise. The results were published yesterday by government feedback arm Reach, a department under the Ministry of Communications and Information that aims to connect and engage citizens with the Government.
Singapore takes 9th spot with improved score in global IP index
Singapore has improved its score in the latest United States Chamber of Commerce intellectual property (IP) index, coming in ninth out of 50 economies. It ranked eighth in the previous year’s index before five more countries were added. Singapore’s score of 84 per cent (33.45 out of 40 indicators) put it ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. But it remains second in the Asia-Pacific region, just behind Japan.
S’pore market hit as sell-off continues
The Singapore market took a battering yesterday following a selldown on Wall Street overnight. Asian markets were not left unscathed, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 3.1 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite slumped 4.05 per cent. The Straits Times Index fell sharply at the start of trading yesterday, but pared its losses to end 38.66 points, or 1.13 per cent, down at 3,377.24. It closed the week 152.13 points, or 4.3 per cent, lower.
Keppel unit partners SmartOSC to promote end-to-end e-commerce services for retailers
A unit of Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) is teaming up with e-commerce agency SmartOSC to promote their end-to-end e-commerce services to retailers across South-east Asia. The subsidiary is UrbanFox, an omnichannel logistics and channel management solutions brand.
Singapore Real Estate
Good Class Bungalows to remain sought-after this year
Sales of Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) – the pinnacle of Singapore’s landed housing segment – rose to a five-year high last year. Based on caveat records from the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Real Estate Information System (URA REALIS), 41 GCBs with a cumulative worth of S$867 million changed hands in 2017, up from 37 GCB transactions worth S$789 million the year before.
Industrial building goes up for tender on Feb 26
The freehold Pei Fu Industrial Building in New Industrial Road is set to be launched for collective sale via tender later this month. The reserve price of S$75 million set by the owners translates to S$481 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) based on a proposed gross floor area (GFA) of 155,864 square feet (sq ft).
A cautious approach on land supply
Despite clear signs that there is strong demand for land, the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first half of this year remains largely similar to that for the second half of last year. There is no significant change either to the number of development sites or to the potential number of housing units that these sites could yield from the Confirmed and Reserve lists. In fact, the total number of residential units, including executive condominiums, in the first half of 2018 is slightly lower – about 2 per cent – than the 2,840 units in the second half of 2017.
11,000 households get $211m in proximity housing grants
About $211 million in government grants has been disbursed to help some 11,000 families buy resale flats in Housing Board estates so that they can live close to their parents or their married children. A further 1,000 families will get the grants after completing their resale flat deals, the Housing Board said yesterday. These 12,000 households who tapped the proximity housing grant represent about a quarter of the 50,000 HDB resale flat transactions registered between Aug 24, 2015, and Dec 31 last year.
Public park, new cycling paths in Raffles Place
A public park will be one of the features to be incorporated into the re-development of the former Golden Shoe Carpark in Market Street. As well as the 12,500 sq ft space, footpaths along Market, Malacca and Phillip streets will be widened with added greenery, and sheltered linkways will be established in Malacca Street between Raffles Place and other developments.
Tampines Court collective sale hit by technical hitches
Home owners at Tampines Court may have thought their collective sale was sewn up when a buyer was found, but the deal has become mired in technical hitches. The process is believed to have been delayed as developer Sim Lian Group awaits Planning Permission approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Market Street to get park, footpaths from Golden Shoe Car Park redevelopment: Lawrence Wong
The redevelopment of the former Golden Shoe Car Park will feature a 12,500 square foot public park, Minister for National Development and Second Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong said at its groundbreaking on Friday (Feb 9). Developers CapitaLand, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Mitsubishi Estate Co had previously announced plans to turn the site at 88 Market Street, which used to house a popular food centre and car park, into an S$1.82 billion integrated development.
New centre to be ‘the pulse of the Malay community’
In three months’ time, residents of Geylang Serai will have a one-stop community and civic centre offering facilities for the young and old, including arts and cultural spaces. The Straits Times was given a sneak preview of the five-storey, 6,700 sq m Wisma Geylang Serai yesterday.
Gardeners snap up all 220 plots on offer in 5 parks
Some 470 hobbyists woke up early yesterday to queue for gardening plots at five parks around Singapore. For 220 of them, their early start bore fruit. They each got their hands on a plot at Bedok Town Park, Choa Chu Kang Park, Pasir Ris Park, Sengkang Riverside Park or Yishun Park under a popular gardening programme.
Open up underused spaces for the elderly
Who says spaces for the elderly have to look like cookie-cutter void-deck daycare centres? An upcoming facility in Chong Boon, Ang Mo Kio, will offer elderly residents a place to exercise, have a health check or just hang out at a site that stretches the bounds of the usual senior centres.
Sasseur Reit plans IPO of up to S$600m in March
Sasseur Group, a Shanghai-based developer and operator of outlet malls, which last year pushed back plans for a Reit listing here, has begun gauging investor interest again with plans to list Sasseur Reit in March. The initial public offering (IPO) could raise between S$500 million and S$600 million, and Sasseur Reit would have a market cap of S$1 billion upon its debut, according to a term sheet seen by The Business Times.
Frasers Property, parent to acquire more shares in Ticon
A joint venture between Frasers Property and its parent TCC Group has agreed to acquire 26.1 per cent interest in Ticon Industrial Connection Public Company for 8.57 billion baht (S$359 million) or 17.90 Thai baht per share. Frasers Property has an existing 40.95 per cent stake in Ticon, which offers exposure to one of the largest industrial portfolios in Thailand.
Frasers Centrepoint Trust refutes article on Waterway Point stake acquisition
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) has not acquired sponsor Frasers Property’s one-third stake in suburban mall Waterway Point, said the real estate investment trust’s manager on Friday, refuting a headline posted on the Singapore Exchange’s StockFacts online information service.
EC World Reit adds new substantial unitholder in US$40m deal
The five trading sessions spanning Feb 2 to Feb 8 saw the Straits Times Index (STI) decline 3.7 per cent. This brought its 2018 total return through to Feb 8 to 0.5 per cent, compared to an average 1.0 per cent decline for the benchmarks of Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. There were two stocks that conducted share buybacks over the past five sessions, with a total consideration of S$36.0 million, up from S$26.7 million over the preceding five sessions.
Increased borrowings pull down RHT Health’s Q3 DPU by 8.4%
An increase in borrowings as well as interest expenses dented third-quarter results for Healthcare owner RHT Health Trust. Distribution per unit (DPU) declined 8.4 per cent to 1.09 Singapore cents from 1.19 Singapore cents in the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday morning.
Hatten Land’s Q2 profit down 49.4% on higher expenses
Malaysian property developer, Hatten Land Limited’s net profit fell 49.4 per cent to RM10.8 million (S$3.63 million) for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, on the back of higher selling and distribution expenses, as well as general and administrative expenses. This translated to an earnings per share of 0.79 sen for the quarter, down from 1.80 sens last year.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Gamechangers in fintech
For every 10 startups, just one survives. These are the odds that Singapore fintechs stare down, but for those who dare and make it in today’s winner-take-all market, the gamble offers rich rewards. But what makes a Singapore fintech that can beat the odds, and emerge from the hype?
HDB flats meant to be homes, not profit-making units
Even though renting out for Airbnb is very common and accepted in many countries, I urge the Government not to allow home sharing for Housing Board flats (Proposed home-sharing rules to be released for feedback by Q1; Feb 4).
Airbnb must show it can follow rules
Airbnb has been quoted as saying that it remains committed to working with the Government on short-term home sharing and rental (Proposed home-sharing rules to be released for feedback by Q1, and Airbnb listings up 11% since S’pore ban took effect last May; both published on Feb 4). It has also been reported that there is no grey area around the law at the moment.
Buying where there’s chance of a future boom
Business owner Jackson Heng graduated from the school of hard knocks. His parents divorced when he was eight. His mother, a hairstylist, remarried but was unable to keep her three children together as her second husband had difficulty holding down a stable job.
Get the sums right before ‘decoupling’ to buy property
When I moaned to a real estate agent friend that the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) was deterring me from buying another property, she suggested decoupling – and no, I’m not talking about breaking up my marriage. Decoupling involves one spouse legally giving up his or her co-owner status to become an authorised occupier.
Lunch With Sumiko: Political will needed to make Orchard Road great, says Orba chairman Mark Shaw
Mr Mark Shaw gets irritated when people diss Orchard Road. You know, when they talk about how the country’s premier shopping stretch has lost its soul and shine, and how suburban malls have become more exciting than their city cousins. “I don’t think it’s entirely fair,” says Mr Shaw, who chairs the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba). “When people just criticise, there aren’t really any constructive ideas. It’s easy to do.”
A correction, but well short of a bear market
Market sell-offs are dramatic, but can provide opportunities. A number of factors appear to have contributed to the selloff in equity markets that commenced last week and picked up steam in a volatility-driven decline on Feb 5. While the decline was eye-catching, Monday’s 4.1 per cent drop was only the 25th largest in the history of the S&P 500 Index.
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Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article