The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 13th February 2018

Top Story

URA trying to harmonise rules for property developers: analysts
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is seeking public feedback on the changes it proposes to make to the rules for non-residential developers, so as to better protect the interests of those who buy uncompleted commercial and industrial properties.  “These changes will enhance transparency and raise industry standards, to help buyers make informed decisions,” the URA said on Monday.


Singapore Economy

Heng to deliver Budget speech on Feb 19
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver Singapore’s Budget statement for this year on Feb 19 at 3.30pm in Parliament.  The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and government feedback unit Reach said in a statement yesterday that a live webcast of the Budget speech will be available on the Singapore Budget website.

More growth expected in tourism this year after a bumper 2017
After yet another milestone year in 2017, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is betting on further growth, its optimism underpinned by an improving global economy and rising travel demand in the Asia-Pacific.  Tourism receipts are slated to grow by between 1 and 3 per cent to hit S$27.1 billion to S$27.6 billion this year.

This Chinese New Year, delivery startups keep tradition alive
Retail sales excluding motor vehicles inched up just 0.6 per cent in December, but consumers aren’t necessarily holding back for the Chinese New Year (CNY).  Office drones are packing their bags for long trips and the F&B sector may be going “Huat!” as revellers flock to reunion dinners and feasts – some in the comfort of their homes.

Cost, shortage of tech talent forcing Singapore firms to outsource abroad
Homegrown e-marketplace service provider Shopmatic ran into a major hurdle in the early days of its regional expansion efforts.  Like many fast-growing tech firms, the start-up struggled to hire a sufficiently large team of programmers and developers to support its growth.

S$25m LTA fund to boost mobility-linked research and trials
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will set aside S$25 million over five years to kick-start mobility-related research and trials for the land transport industry – a sector which will create 8,000 new jobs by 2030.  Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Monday the Land Transport Innovation Fund will include collaborative projects between the LTA and local industry partners such as ST Kinetics.

Bosses upbeat about next six months: Survey
Optimism made a welcome return to the business community late last year on the back of better conditions, according to a new survey.  It found that sales and new orders improved markedly while profits contracted the least since the first quarter of 2015.  Bosses were optimistic about the next six months – the first time this has been recorded since the second quarter of 2014.


Singapore Real Estate

Choa Chu Kang flats in demand at BTO launch
A build-to-order (BTO) project in non-mature estate Choa Chu Kang (CCK) has proven to be the most attractive in the latest sale of new homes by the Housing Board, defying expectations that home buyers usually prefer mature estates.  For three-room and four-room flats, Teck Whye View saw a rate of more than seven applicants vying for a unit as at 5pm yesterday, with more than 2,400 applicants for 322 units. This exceeded the subscription rate of about two applicants per flat for Ubi Grove in mature estate Geylang, another project that was predicted to be a hit. Applications closed at midnight yesterday.

SMU to offer undergrads campus living experience
City accommodation in the Singapore Management University (SMU) will soon go beyond just providing students with a place to stay. Spaces for them to learn will be offered too.  From August, undergraduates can stay at the Prinsep Street Residences, which will be the university’s test bed for a new residential learning and living concept.  The three blocks of four-storey apartments in Prinsep Street – former Singapore Improvement Trust buildings – used to house about 260 SMU students, 90 per cent of whom were foreigners.


Companies’ Brief

GSH buying 50% stake in prime Jalan Petaling plot
Property developer GSH Corporation is investing RM164.5 million (S$55.2 million) to acquire a 50 per cent stake in a prime 1.4-hectare plot in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown precinct of Jalan Petaling.  The property developer said on Monday that it has signed a conditional subscription and shareholders agreement with Malaysian conglomerate Tradewinds Corporation for the stake in Aspirasi Kukuh, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tradewinds which owns the plot, and which will also undertake its development.

Surbana Jurong inks deal to develop New Clark City
Surbana Jurong has inked a memorandum of cooperation with Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to develop New Clark City in the Philippines.  New Clark City has been touted as the first “smart, green, disaster-resilient city”, and is among the biggest projects in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ambitious eight trillion peso (S$204.8 billion) “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure programme.

CapitaLand buys Pearl Bank Apartments for S$728m; Q4 profit falls 38%
Developer CapitaLand said on Tuesday (Feb 13) it has acquired the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments in Chinatown for S$728 million.  CapitaLand said that the acquisition – which matched the owners’ reserve price – was through a private treaty collective sale. With an additional lease top-up premium estimated at S$201.4 million, the sale price translates to a land price of about S$1,515 per square foot per gross floor area.

OUE Lippo Healthcare still in the red for Q4 and fiscal 2017
OUE Lippo Healthcare Limited (OUELH) remained in the red for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 and the full year, as it continued to incur other operating losses.  The group reported a net loss of S$55.2 million in the three months ended Dec 31, 2017, after inking a net loss of S$86.2 million a year ago.  This came as it incurred other operating losses of S$44.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared to S$76.1 million in the year-ago period, amid an absence of a one-off net gain on deconsolidating of subsidiaries, provisions for legal and related expenses and higher impairment losses on trade and other receivables.

Expenses weigh on Hatten Land’s Q2 gains
The net profit of Malaysian property developer Hatten Land fell 49.4 per cent to RM10.8 million (S$3.6 million) for the second quarter ended Dec 31 last year, 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 1.8 sen last year.

Pacific Star Development’s Q4 net profit up 28%
Pacific Star Development’s net profit rose 28.6 per cent to S$3.88 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017.  Revenue surged 78.3 per cent from a year ago to S$30.73 million during the period, on the back of sales from the property division’s Puteri Cove Residences & Quayside project in Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia.  For the full year, growth in net profit was a more moderate 4.1 per cent to S$7.84 million as higher expenses and net loss from discontinued operations dampened a 42 per cent surge in revenue to S$83.9 million.

Q3 earnings double to S$10.7m for Bukit Sembawang Estates on higher sales, profit recognition
Higher sales and higher profit recognition on projects helped to push up third-quarter earnings at Bukit Sembawang Estates, the property developer said on Monday.  Net profit for the three months to Dec 31, 2017, stood at S$10.7 million – double the S$5.35 million in the same period the year before.  Turnover rose by 69 per cent year-on-year to S$17.53 million.

Metro’s Q3 profit soars to S$146.6m
Metro Holdings reported on Monday a steep increase in net profit for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, to S$146.61 million from S$20.49 million a year ago.  Associate Top Spring International Holdings Limited’s very substantial disposal of eight property projects and Metro’s recent sale of its 30 per cent interest in Nanchang Fashion Mark contributed to the bottom line.


Views, Reviews & Forum

A boost for the property sector
For many Singaporeans, a home will be one of the most expensive things they will ever buy.  With such high stakes involved, it is good that the Government is taking steps to make the process quicker and more transparent.  To transform the property transactions sector, the authorities said last Thursday that they are looking to develop standardised, digital contracts – such as for sales or resale transactions – by the early 2020s.

Brick-and-mortar firms need to up their game in digital space
In today’s digital age, most people are comfortable transacting with businesses online. This ranges from ordering products from sites such as Amazon to booking a table at your favourite restaurant via a mobile app or “chatting” to an AI robot when you need help.

How to succeed as a global innovation hub
Top economies around the world are affirming innovation as key to unlocking economic growth and more economies have developed capacity for innovation as highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.  Global spending on R&D reached a record high of almost US$ 1.7 trillion (S$2.25 trillion) in 2016.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

IMF chief brushes off market swings, says reforms needed

US infrastructure set for major upgrading

China property outbound investment expected to drop by up to 40%

China Jan new loans surge to record 2.9 trillion yuan, blow past forecasts

China’s Fosun set to takeover struggling fashion house Lanvin: sources

Mumbai’s hope lies in docklands’ inclusive revival

World’s tallest hotel opens in Dubai


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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