The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 12th May 2016

Top Stories

Singapore stocks slide back into the red
The Singapore stock market is again back in the red for the year after a grim couple of weeks.  Retail investors are now holding fire amid a lacklustre corporate earnings season and downbeat global growth forecasts, and institutional funds are selling out of their equity holdings in Singapore to raise cash to pay for redemptions.  The Straits Times Index (STI) closed 0.3 per cent or 8.28 points lower at 2,732.87 yesterday and is now down 5.2 per cent for the year, after plunging as much as 12.1 per cent in January. As recently as April 21, the STI was in the black, up 2.7 per cent, for the year.

Eu Yan Sang seeking alternative prescription with SGX exit?
The exodus of consumer stocks from the Singapore bourse looks set to continue.  Trading in the shares of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) retailer Eu Yan Sang International remained halted on Wednesday amid growing market talk that a move has been made to take it private after over a decade on the mainboard.  Though the company has yet to make any announcement, analysts told The Business Times on Wednesday that a delisting bid was a real possibility given recent challenging conditions in the retail industry and subdued trading liquidity, and such a move would give the company more flexibility in running its business.

Singapore Real Estate

Condo rents flat, rental volume slumps 10% in April: SRX
Rentals of private condominiums and apartments were flat in April, compared with March. But rental volume fell 10.3 per cent to about 3,953 units in April, compared with 4,405 units in March.  Data released by SRX Property on Wednesday showed that when broken down by sectors, rents in the city area remained the same; those in the city fringe rose 0.1 per cent, while those in the suburbs experienced a decrease of 0.1 per cent.  R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said: “Many corporates across industries are downsizing headcounts or letting go of professionals due to cautious economic times. It is also unlikely in mid-year or from April onwards that we will see a significant increase in expatriates seconded to Singapore, which would lend boost to fresh leases.”

HDB homes to feature in Singapore’s fifth Venice Biennale appearance
The homes of ordinary Singaporeans will feature in the Republic’s fifth appearance at the Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition, with images of HDB interiors illuminated in customised lanterns forming the centrepiece of the 240sqm Singapore Pavilion.  Organisers said on Wednesday (May 11) that the exhibition “Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone” goes behind Singapore’s carefully planned infrastructure and its modern cityscape to put the spotlight on its people. The exhibition also aims to show how Singaporeans living in public housing have imaginatively created spaces to call their own, and forged new identities and connections to places and social bonds.

Marriott in talks to manage Singapore’s South Beach hotel
The South Beach Consortium is in the process of appointing Marriott International to manage the hotel at South Beach, which will be rebranded as the JW Marriott Singapore if the deal goes through.   Hong Leong Group Head of Corporate Affairs Gerry de Silva confirmed this to Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday (May 11). This will be Singapore’s first JW Marriott hotel – the chain’s five-star offering – when talks are complete.
The international hotel group also runs the Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza on Orchard Road. JW Marriott and Marriott are separate brands under the Marriott group.

Companies’ Brief

CDL Q1 profit slips; group buys another UK property
CITY Developments Ltd (CDL), which posted declines in first-quarter net earnings and revenue, said on Wednesday that The South Beach hotel here will be rebranded as JW Marriott Singapore.  The 654-room hotel, which CDL owns through a joint venture with Malaysia’s IOI Group, began trading last September. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Marriott International Inc and completion of the appointment is expected shortly.

Cityneon places out 40m shares at S$0.55 each
Mainboard-listed Cityneon Holdings has placed out 40 million shares at S$0.55 per share to CMC Holdings and other institutional and financial investors as part of its efforts to institutionalise its investor base and boost liquidity.  Of the 40 million shares, 20 million are new shares and 20 million are vendor shares.

Haw Par Q1 profit rises 26.8% on broad improvement
Haw Par Corp’s first-quarter profit grew 26.8 per cent to S$17.1 million, or 7.8 Singapore cents per share, on the back of stronger healthcare sales and gains from the disposal of financial assets, the conglomerate announced on Wednesday after the market closed.  The maker of Tiger Balm ointments said revenue increased 14.9 per cent to S$52.3 million in the three months ended March 31 as healthcare sales rose 17.8 per cent to S$45.5 million amid better business in key markets.

Keppel, Mapletree not likely to sell swapped HarbourFront assets to their Reits for now
About five months after they completed a share swap involving their jointly owned office assets in the HarbourFront area – which resulted in Mapletree Investments gaining full control of HarbourFront Towers 1 and 2 and Keppel Group having full ownership of Keppel Bay Tower – one wonders whether the two groups would now go on to offer these assets to their respective Reits (real estate investment trusts).

UE Q1 net profit down 72% at S$6.9m
WEAK global demand for smartphones and lower sales recognised from a property project led to a plunge in earnings for property and tech conglomerate United Engineers (UE).  But it remained profitable due to income from rent, engineering projects, and lower staff and related costs.  The firm reported a net profit of S$6.9 million for its first quarter ended March 31, 2016, a 72 per cent drop from S$25 million a year ago. Revenue was down 35 per cent to S$333.6 million from S$515.3 million a year ago.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Asian economies sailing in rough waters
ASIAN economies are sailing in choppy waters, facing severe headwinds from an uncertain and challenging global environment. First, the global recovery has been uneven and weaker than expected. On top of that, global trade has been sluggish and financial conditions have been volatile.  The rise of China as a global economic superpower has also created challenges of its own, as China’s necessary rebalancing from manufacturing towards services and investment to a consumption-driven economy – critical for both China’s and global growth over the medium term – remains bumpy.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Slower growth in China ‘sign of maturing economy’

Genting HK orders 10 cruising vessels worth 3.5b euros

London office projects hit record as rents surge

NZ central bank assessing whether more housing market curbs needed

Raimon Land eyes Chiang Mai

Chinese firm Bluesky in C$2.1b deal to buy InnVest

Boost for Yanlord’s Q1 from China home-buyer demand

Probe finds James Monroe’s real home

Marriott’s bid for Starwood challenged by hotel owners

Competition will throw up best investors for Myanmar

Staples and Office Depot drop merger plan after court blocks it

China will meet economic growth goal this year: vice-premier Zhang

Thailand holds key rate, sees more risks to growth

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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