The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 11th, 12th and 13th June 2016

Top Stories

Bonds pip equities in fundraising by firms as investors chase yield
Credit rating be damned – investors in Singapore are hungry for yield, and corporate issuers have of late seemed happy to sate those appetites. As the local stock market languishes, high-yield bonds and perpetual securities (perps) appear to have overtaken equity fundraising in terms of popularity, with the recent retail perp issuance by Hyflux raising more funds than the company’s entire market cap.

Investors reminded to do homework before buying high-yield bonds
The strong demand from Singapore retail investors for high-yield instruments has raised concerns about whether they should be rated and how risky those instruments actually are. Recent news of defaults in the Singapore bond market have not helped, some note. Others, however, stress that bonds are traditionally considered less risky than equities and that investors ought to do their homework before investing as they would with any other instrument.

Going, going, gone?
Mention auctions and it brings to mind frenetic bidding and the almost palpable tension in the room.  Or that is how auctions are depicted in the movies, with an added dose of drama. The reality is, property auctions here are much less exciting.  The Sunday Times went to four property auctions last month – all held at the Amara Hotel in Tanjong Pagar – to find out what goes on at these sessions.

Singapore Economy

S’pore’s yuan hub to gain as China sets US quota
Singapore’s offshore yuan hub status stands to get a boost from China’s latest moves to involve the United States in its push to liberalise its currency, say analysts.  China announced this week that it will grant American investors a quota of 250 billion yuan (S$51.6 billion) to buy Chinese stocks and bonds. It will also appoint a yuan clearing bank in the US.  The move makes the US the second-largest quota holder behind Hong Kong with 270 billion yuan.

Singapore tops financial literacy index in Asia-Pacific
Singapore has come out tops in the Asia-Pacific region in an annual index of financial literacy, led by a big jump in the grasp of investments.  This is the first time Singapore has ranked first in the Mastercard financial literacy index.  For the 2015 index, the Republic beat 16 other markets including Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan – and achieved a huge leap from its sixth-place ranking in 2014.  The index measures respondents’ knowledge of basic money management, financial planning and investment matters.

Singapore Real Estate

PropertyGuru unfazed by exit of strategic investor
IT is little-known, but investors can and do withdraw their support for startups, in what is usually a sign of lost faith. Rough as this sounds to companies just starting out, it may not be entirely ruinous – PropertyGuru is one example, said its co-founder and chief Steve Melhuish.  Despite the departure of a strategic investor just three years after it had put money in, the 10-year-old Singapore-based property-search startup has found new investors, and is now a leader in all four of its South-east Asian markets.

Newton hawkers fret over fewer customers
More than a month since Newton Food Centre reopened, many stall owners said the crowds have still not quite returned.  A few stalls which raised prices – in anticipation of a rental hike following the food centre’s three-month upgrading works – said they would not change their prices despite this.  However, the public agency involved has stated that hawker rents do not rise after maintenance works.  Newton Food Centre was shut between Feb 1 and April 24 this year, and minor renovations were carried out by its operator, the National Environment Agency (NEA).

URA ban on new eateries in Bedok and Upper Thomson: Food is a fantasy but parking is a nightmare
More than a decade ago, the area around Bedok Road was nowhere near as hip. It was home to a handful of hardware shops and a few eateries offering traditional Malay and Indian Muslim dishes, say residents and shopkeepers there.  Today, it has surged in popularity among young diners and families as it offers a much wider range of food, including fusion fare.  But fame has a price – traffic congestion becomes a nightmare during dining hours on weekends.

Industrial trust eyes $903m in largest IPO here since 2013
Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust has priced its initial public offer at the top end of the indicative range, given the strong interest from institutional investors.  The $903 million IPO, which is the largest here since 2013, was launched yesterday at 89 cents a unit.  This translates to a distribution yield of 6.8 per cent for the forecast period of four months to Sept 30, and 7.3 per cent for the full year to Sept 30, 2017.   The offering of up to 521.7 million units consists of an international placement tranche of 441.7 million units and a public tranche of 80 million units to the public.

UK’s Nassim GCB plots up for sale again
The British government is expected to relaunch two freehold Nassim Road Good Class Bungalow (GCB) plots carved out from part of the garden land at the British High Commissioner’s residence, Eden Hall. This comes after bids during the initial tender that closed in January – when sentiment slumped during the stock market rout – did not meet the guide price.

Orchard Road turns to WeChat to drive sales
A post on Chinese social media platform WeChat touts Orchard Road as a prime spot for a selfie, with its backdrop of high street brands and clean surroundings.  Another post raves about the value of the dishes at seafood restaurant chain Fish & Co, where appetisers cost between $3.90 and $11.90.  The Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) set up the WeChat account two months ago to promote the shopping street directly to consumers in China.  “In China, without a WeChat account, it’s impossible to communicate with the consumers,” said Mr Steven Goh, Orba’s executive director.

Companies’ Brief

Cityneon riding high on marvellous transformation
Exclusive deals with the popular Avengers and Transformers movie franchises have propelled Cityneon Holdings to become one of the best performing Singapore stocks this year, but keeping the party going with a third franchise will hinge on whether the company can expand its pool of creative talent, according to executive director Ron Tan.

Croesus Retail Trust looks to take manager in-house for S$50m
In what may be the first move of its kind here, a mainboard-listed business trust is looking to bring its trustee-manager into its fold.  Croesus Retail Trust (CRT) said on Sunday that the proposed sum for internalising its trustee-manager, Croesus Retail Asset Management, is 4.1 billion yen, or S$50 million.

Genting Singapore’s unlucky streak hits casino staff
GENTING Singapore’s share of VIP guest volume – which an analyst described as having swung from “supremacy to subordination” against rival Las Vegas Sands in Singapore’s duopoly casino business – has claimed its latest (and most vulnerable) casualties: the casino staff.

Tiong Seng wins S$98.3m water pipeline contract
Tiong Seng Contractors, the subsidiary of construction group and property developer Tiong Seng Holdings Ltd, has been awarded a S$98.3 million contract by Singapore’s national water agency, the Public Utilities Board, for the supply and installation of a water transmission steel pipeline, Tiong Seng Group said in a news release.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Residential property owner taps crowdfunding for solar installation
In what is believed to be a first in Asia, a residential property owner in Singapore has successfully used crowdfunding to finance the installation of solar cells on her rooftop.  The project, launched on May 25, met its target of S$22,500 within 11 days, and some prospective investors had to be turned away, said SolarPVExchange, which provides the crowdfunding platform.  The solar photovoltaic system will produce 4.725 kilowatts at peak capacity, and generate about 6,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy a year.

Balancing act with land sales
Analysts say the latest Government Land Sales (GLS) programme is a calibrated response to stronger demand from developers, but with a cautious eye on possible oversupply. The potential number of private homes from the GLS sites on offer for the second half of this year is slightly more than that for the first half, reversing a trend where supply had been steadily cut in recent times.

Reit scores with attractive attributes
The first pure-play Australian logistics and industrial real estate investment trust to list here has many of the virtues an investor would like in a Reit.  Going by the enthusiasm among institutional investors ahead of yesterday’s initial public offering launch – the placement tranche was more than six times subscribed – market sentiment for Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust (FLT) is strong.

Investors cry foul over builder’s crowdfunding
A construction firm that claimed it was launching a crowdfunding effort has apparently not paid some of the investors the promised returns.  At least three investors have reported putting in between $50,000 and $100,000 each in the investment scheme, purportedly to help Soilwood finance projects.  Soilwood had claimed that banks were offering insufficient credit.  The firm is not related to the listed firm Soilbuild Group.

Tough year for consumer firms in Singapore
The results season provided stark evidence that companies serving the consumer market have endured a bumpy year, as economic headwinds put pressure on local demand while cost issues persisted.  Experts warn that their business outlook will remain choppy over the coming 12 months, although firms with a strong presence in foreign growth markets could offset domestic constraints.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China now matching US-EU as driver of Asian export growth

China’s corporate debt build-up could trigger crisis: IMF official

Welcome to where negative rates are normal

EU leaders and bureaucrats under pressure to reform the union

Brexit referendum outcome too close to call

Activists pushing rent control proposals for Silicon Valley

Yangon building’s ‘rebirth’ points way for city’s crumbling heritage

UK house prices expected to fall if Britain leaves EU

Central bank warns of Toronto, Vancouver housing risks

Zero energy homes

Foreign buyers ‘pushing up rents of Penang heritage shophouses’

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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