Greater, freer trade key to region’s prosperity: PM Lee
The mood towards globalisation is shifting, and there are concerns about whether the current trade system is fair for all to benefit from as they ought to, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. But global trade has allowed many countries to prosper, he told fellow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders, saying he firmly believes “we should foster more and freer trade to continue to prosper”.
Singapore embraces fintech to stay ahead
Let it be known that Singapore knows how to get things done. In just about two years, the city-state has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in this fintech space. The country now boasts of about 400 fintechs, including unicorn firm TransferWise, and welcomed more than 20 global financial institutions setting up their innovation labs to test out new ideas. Singapore is also hosting the world’s largest fintech festival for the second time this week, building on the mindshare that the city-state has gained in recent times, said Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in an interview with The Business Times.
Debt collection is thriving – thanks to professionals
Debt collection in Singapore is thriving as a business – and it’s not just due to a lousy economy. Companies are increasingly outsourcing debt collection to professionals, who are more efficient at it. The amount of debt collected by credit and debt-collecting firm Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) hit a six-year high in 2016. Debt handled by Amsterdam-based Atradius Collections has been increasing steadily over the past few years – and its global marketing manager Douglas Voeten said it wasn’t all due to the market.
FDI income between US, S’pore down in 2016
Despite pumping more money into factories and offices, Singapore firms in the United States and US multinational corporations (MNCs) in Singapore saw their investment incomes fall in 2016. Investment yields of Singapore firms in the US totalled US$282 million in 2016, down sharply from US$866 million in 2015, even as their investments jumped from US$21.65 billion to US$23.93 billion, according to the latest data released by the US Department of Commerce.
Cars put the brakes on retail sales
Singapore retail sales fell for the first time in six months in September amid poor motor vehicle sales, a reversal from a strong showing in August. Retailers saw total takings decline by 0.5 per cent year-on-year, compared with August’s total sales growth of 3.7 per cent – its strongest growth rate since March 2016 and the sixth consecutive month of expansion – which was revised up from 3.5 per cent previously.
Singapore Real Estate
Some 230 units of Parc Botannia sold at launch
Singaporeans thronging the weekend launch of Parc Botannia snapped up some 230 units of the Sengkang 99-year leasehold condominium over the weekend. The average selling price was S$1,270 per square foot. Lee Sze Hao, chief executive officer of Sing Holdings, told The Business Times that the initial plan was to release 250 of the 735 units in the development for sale. But better-than-expected demand led to about 50 more units being released, he said. Buyers were mostly locals.
Three HDB resale flats breach $1 million mark
At least three Housing Board flats have broken the $1 million mark so far this year, hitting some of the highest prices on record even amid a resale market that has seen steadily declining prices. While certain classes of public housing – like executive apartments, those built under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and flats at the Pinnacle@Duxton – have regularly fetched high prices, none of the trio of million-dollar five-room flats fell into such categories.
En bloc, the unblockable frenzy: What’s behind the hype?
After a quiet decade, since May this year, 16 private residential estates have been put up for sale en bloc, with many others in the pipeline. In their wake are overnight millionaires, but also displaced communities arising from the changes. In particular, 2017 spells the end of the road for many Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) flats, which have contributed the lion’s share of the more than 2,700 private units sold this year.
Goodbye to Sers with love… and a little windfall
It has been nearly a decade since former Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 resident Victor Spencer received a letter from the Housing Board telling him that his home has been picked for the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers). He remembers the buzz among his neighbours – Sers meant a windfall for residents, so long as they vacated their homes and handed over the keys to the Government, which needed to redevelop the land.
Teambuild secures first-mover status in pre-fab building
Being a technology pioneer can come with an unexpected cost: Curious visitors. Teambuild Construction is one of the earliest adopters of prefabricated pre-finished volumetric construction (PPVC) technology in Singapore, a building method that involves making modules and completing finishes in factories before assembling them on-site.
Frasers Centrepoint Q4 profit up 12.1% at S$248m
Frasers Centrepoint has posted a 12.1 per cent increase in group net profit for the fourth quarter ended Sept 30 to S$248 million from S$221.3 million in the year-ago period. Revenue slipped 20 per cent to S$950.6 million. Earnings per share rose to 7.42 Singapore cents from 6.52 Singapore cents.
European portfolio, China funds to drive GLP’s growth
Global Logistic Properties’ (GLP) growth will come from its syndicate Europe portfolio, as well as potential new China acquisition and income funds and a further US$11 billion of uncalled capital, it said on Friday. GLP last month signed an agreement to buy Gazeley, a developer and operator of logistics facilities in Europe, for about 2.4 billion euros (S$3.8 billion).
CapitaLand opens its biggest-ever mall in Suzhou, over 3 times the size of ION Orchard
CapitaLand marked a record year of 1 million square metres of retail space offering with the opening of its largest mall yet in Suzhou, China. The Suzhou Center Mall is also the largest shopping centre in the Chinese city and more than three times the size of ION Orchard in Singapore – spanning close to 300,000 square metres (sq m) in gross floor area (GFA) excluding car park.
Weiye Q3 profit swings to 12.8m yuan loss on fall in revenue
Lower property development sales eroded third-quarter results for Weiye Holdings (Weiye) – which focuses on projects in Henan and Hainan, China. Weiye sank into the red, posting a net loss of 12.8 million yuan (S$2.6 million) from a net profit of 10.0 million yuan in the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Monday morning.
Views, Reviews & Forum
A developer’s tale of two cities
Dennis Chiu has been straddling Hong Kong and Singapore for almost three decades, both in his personal life and for his work. The 59-year-old executive director of Far East Consortium International (FEC) came to Singapore in 1988 to help his family’s real estate business diversify out of Hong Kong, and has since become a naturalised citizen.
Instant millionaire from collective sale, but money’s for new home and retirement
For pre-school principal Diana Chong, 50, the $1.7 million she got from the collective sale of Shunfu Ville is a godsend that helped provide financial security – especially after her husband’s retrenchment two years ago. It hasn’t been an easy road for her and many residents of the 358-unit privatised HUDC estate in Bishan, which finally got the green light from the Court of Appeal in May this year, four years after the collective sale committee was formed.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Asean signs free trade, investment pacts with HK
Two NY skyscraper projects run into US$76m union spat
Bull market likely to get back on track this week
Investment veterans launch real estate and hospitality buyout vehicle
UK house price growth peters out; London prices weakest since 2009
Paris fashion rental offers top labels for as little as 10 euros a day
Beijing to remove foreign ownership limits on banks
Alibaba Singles’ Day posts record 168b yuan in sales
Homebuilder D R Horton beats profit estimate, ups 2018 forecast
New kids on the block: tech giants turning Sydney’s CBD into ‘Silicon Place’
Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article