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 2017

Top Story

Green thumbs up for AVA’s release of new agriculture land
Farmers on Thursday welcomed news that new agriculture land for food farming in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah will be released for tender from August this year.  These will be the first tenders in about two decades, and come at a time when the leases of many existing farms are due in a few more years.  To urge farmers to raise their productivity, these tenders will adopt new land tender methods that emphasise more on productivity gains, rather than land price alone.

Singapore Economy

3-month SOR continues to fall on benign financial market conditions
Local interest rates continue to fall amid flush liquid market conditions.  The three-month swap offer rate (SOR) has been tumbling since late April, and at 0.7683 per cent on May 9 is back to early February levels. The three-month SOR is a benchmark used for corporate loans.  The three-month Sibor (Singapore interbank offered rate), a key rate to price home loans, has been relatively stable – it has been at 0.9985 per cent since May 5.

Singapore Real Estate

Condo and HDB rental volumes see double-digit falls in April: SRX
Rentals of condominiums and private apartments as well as Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats rose 0.1 per cent in April compared to March, albeit on much lower rental transaction volume.  This was according to flash estimates released by SRX Property on Thursday.  By region, private rents in the Core Central Region (city centre) increased by 2.3 per cent, while in the Rest of Central Region (city fringe) and Outside Central Region (suburbs), rents fell 0.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

Companies’ Brief

Systra, Meinhardt win design contracts for HSR
Global engineering firms Systra and Meinhardt on Thursday announced that they have been awarded two design-consultancy contracts for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project by MyHSR Corporation, the company responsible for the development and promotion of the project.  Systra and Meinhardt will provide the full range of multi-disciplinary services and expertise under these Reference Design Consultant (RDC) contracts.

CDL’s Kwek sanguine about residential market; group’s Q1 net down 19%
Property and hotels group City Developments Ltd (CDL) posted an 18.9 per cent drop in first quarter net earnings but its executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng is upbeat about the Singapore residential property market following the government’s tweaks to cooling measures in March.  The sector is starting to “show some signs of recovery”, he noted.

FCL Q2 profit slips 42.2% on lower recognition of development profits
Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) posted a 42.2 per cent decline in net profit to S$71.2 million for the fiscal second quarter ended March 31, amid lower contribution from development projects and an absence of a divestment gain compared to a year ago.  Its revenue came in 21.4 per cent lower than a year ago at S$705.8 million, mainly due to the timing of income recognition from residential projects in Singapore, China and the UK. In particular, the Twin Fountains executive condominium in Singapore was completed in the year-ago period.

A-HTrust’s DPS for Q4 up 5.4% to 1.37 cents
Strong portfolio performance in Australia, China and Japan, coupled with the appreciation of the Japanese yen and the Australian dollar, lifted fourth-quarter earnings for Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust).  Distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the three months ended March 31 rose 5.4 per cent to 1.37 Singapore cents.  Also, its full-year DPS of 5.68 Singapore cents in financial year 2016/17 was a record high,the trust said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday.

Far East H-Trust posts 13.9% drop in Q1 DPS on weak hospitality demand
Amid a softness in the hospitality sector, Far East Hospitality Trust’s (Far East H-Trust) distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 13.9 per cent to 0.93 Singapore cents.  Net property income slipped 10.4 per cent to S$22.12 million while gross revenue was down 9.5 per cent to S$24.78 million during the period.

Healthcare provider HMI posts RM1.57m Q3 loss due to acquisition costs
Health Management International (HMI) marked a net loss of RM1.57 million (S$508,730) for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, from a net profit of RM8.67 million a year ago, amid higher administrative costs relating to some acquisitions.  The private healthcare provider’s turnover for the three-month period increased by 7 per cent to RM107.7 million, with the turnover from healthcare business accounting for RM5.4 million of the increase mainly due to higher patient load and average bill sizes at its two hospitals, Mahkota Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (MCSB) and Regency Specialist Hospital Sdn Bhd (RSHSB).

Banyan Tree’s Q1 profit surges 124% to S$1.2m
Banyan Tree Holdings enjoyed a 124 per cent surge in net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 to S$1.2 million.  The hospitality player attributed this to “higher operating profit from fee-based segment as a result of higher revenue coupled with lower non-controlling interests’ share of profits”.

Fragrance Group’s revenue surges 92.2%; net profit up 1.8%
Fragrance Group’s revenue grew 92.2 per cent from S$22.7 million in Q1, 2016 to S$43.66 million for the quarter ending Mar 31, the property developer and hotel operator announced on Thursday.  The increase stemmed from substantial revenue in the property development segment, specifically from the City Gate project which commenced construction in Q2, 2016.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Can technology-enabled urban farms be a winner for S’pore?
Singapore needs to deepen its interests in food production, not just consumption, with strategic partners like Australia. One approach to this is redirecting some of its tech, digital strategies and sharing of IP to scaling up smart food zones based on technology-enabled farming (TEF).  Agricultural technology – or agtech – has become a billion-dollar industry. There has been a surge in the growth of plant factories in Japan from 39 in 2009 to 191 in 2015. It is not surprising then to find that 20 per cent of food production takes place in these urban farms. In 2016, even with some investment pullback, agtech startups globally drew more than US$3 billion in funding.

Belt and Road Initiative – a project worth more than the sum of its parts
Announced by President Xi Jinping in Davos in January, China’s inaugural Belt and Road Forum on May 14-15 comes at a historic inflection point in the course of economic evolution. China will showcase major infrastructure projects to advance this ambitious initiative, but the tone world leaders adopt in their dialogue on trade could prove just as significant.  The backdrop to the forum is one of uncertainty. The new US administration is reversing past policies that were designed to increase global economic integration. The UK is trying to negotiate a new relationship with its continental partners in the EU. Recent elections in several countries have marked a political shift from the old order of left versus right to a new order of nationalist versus internationalist.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US dollar weakens vs yen, but outlook stays positive on Fed hike view

Renting a no-doorman apartment in Manhattan has never cost more

Kushners abandon New Jersey property bid

China’s S$347b foreign acquisition spree crumbling as sellers baulk, capital controls tighten

Street Capital sees openings as Home Capital deposits fall

World’s tallest building delayed to 2019: Saudi prince

Berlin to close hostel owned by N. Korea in line with sanctions

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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