MAS to boost financing options for Asia’s growth companies
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will roll out a host of initiatives over the next few days to help beef up financing channels for growth companies in Asia. And to support innovation, MAS will develop better technology infrastructure to sharpen Singapore’s competitive edge in areas such as foreign exchange (FX) and trade; it will also set up a dedicated group to boost capabilities in data analytics. Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, said in a statement on Monday: “The underlying thrust of MAS’ various initiatives is to provide a conducive environment for innovation, which is critical for the future of financial services.
Singapore remains a top FDI destination globally
The Economic Development Board reported just over a week ago that foreign investment commitments in Singapore slipped in 2016 to their lowest level in recent years. Estimates on global direct investments released over the weekend by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) show that it wasn’t all that bad for Singapore. While FDI inflow in Singapore tumbled from US$65 billion in 2015 to US$50 billion last year, according to UNCTAD’s latest quarterly Global Investment Trends Monitor report, the drop was part of a global decline.
Singapore Real Estate
The Prospex back on the market, with lower price tag
The Prospex, a nine-storey retail and office building next to Bugis+, is back on the market, this time with an indicative guide price “in excess of S$70 million”. This appears to be lower than the S$80 million asking price when the building was previously put up for sale on an en bloc basis through an expression of interest (EOI) exercise that closed in October 2015.
Committee to review wages, training in lift industry
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Monday announced that a new committee will develop a training framework and review wages to attract locals to the lift and escalator industry. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between 14 parties from the government, trade unions and private sector was also signed on Monday, reaffirming the parties’ commitment to attract and retain locals in the sector through supporting scholarship programmes and offering employment and structured development to diploma and ITE graduates.
Manulife US Reit’s Q4 DPU 3.6% above forecast
Mainboard-listed Manulife US Reit will distribute 1.54 US cents per unit for the fourth quarter, and expects its portfolio to benefit from US President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies. The distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.54 US cents was 3.6 per cent above its own forecast of 1.49 US cents, the Reit announced on Monday. Net property income for the three months ended Dec 31, 2016 was US$12.4 million, above the US$12.3 million forecast by 0.2 per cent due to higher rental and other income, and lower property expense, partially offset by lower recovery revenues.
PCRD up 15% on news of associate’s stake sale
Pacific Century Regional Developments (PCRD) shares went up 14.7 per cent, or five cents, to close at 39 Singapore cents on Monday, after its Hong Kong-listed associate PCCW said that it would sell its stake worth HK$8.53 billion (S$1.8 billion) in HKT Trust & HKT Ltd (HKT), Hong Kong’s largest telecoms company. In a strategic shift towards core media and solutions businesses, billionaire Richard Li’s PCCW will sell 840.7 million shares of HKT for HK$10.15 apiece, 8.4 per cent lower than the last closing price. Mr Li is also chairman of Singapore-listed PCRD. Last year, telecom services accounted for approximately 82 per cent of PCCW’s revenue.
AusGroup inks A$1.1m profit for Q2, sees return to profitability continuing
AusGroup swung into a net profit of A$1.09 million (S$1.8 million) for the fiscal second quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, from a net loss of A$69.77 million in the year-ago period. The 13.5 per cent year-on-year decline in revenue to A$106.3 million, mainly due to the completion of a key contract in the maintenance business in the quarter ended March 2016, was offset by lower costs and an absence of impairment on receivables. But that was not enough to keep it in the black for the first-half period, though the net loss narrowed to A$1.07 million from A$69.29 million.
CapitaLand buys additional 20% stake in CTD
CapitaLand Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary, CLV Investment 5 Limited, has acquired an additional 20 per cent stake on Monday in CapitaLand-Thien Duc Company Limited (CTD) for US$17.9 million. CTD is a company incorporated in Vietnam from a party unrelated to CapitaLand. It is now a 50 per cent owned associated company of CapitaLand. Prior to the acquisition, CapitaLand held a 30 per cent stake in CTD. CTD holds a mixed use development in Ho Chi Minh City known as Vista Verde which comprises 1,152 residential units.
LHN Group reports increase in Q1 profit
Catalist-listed LHN Group announced on Monday after trading hours that its net profit for Q1 ended Dec 31, 2016 was S$4.9 million, up from S$1.5 million a year ago. Revenue went up 1.9 per cent to S$26.4 million year-on-year, mainly due to the increase in revenue from the facilities management business and logistics services business, partially offset by the decrease in revenue from the space optimisation business.
CRT’s Q2 DPU up 5.2% from year-ago restated DPU thanks to acquisitions
Croesus Retail Trust (CRT) enjoyed a 5.2 per cent rise in distribution per unit (DPU) for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, to 1.81 Singapore cents, from a restated DPU of 1.72 cents in the year-ago period that reflects an enlarged unit base arising from a preferential offering in August. This came on the back of an enlarged portfolio due to acquisitions.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Focus on Yellen while reflation trade hinges on CPI report
US dollar hits 2-week high vs yen on US-Japan summit relief
UK house prices hit record as shortage worsens
China’s developers to invest more in land this year
Chinese association bans some types of property investment in 16 cities
Investors shrug off mortgage rivalry in Hong Kong
Lam says affordable housing a top priority
Japan GDP stays on growth path in Q4
Asia’s potential trade hot spots escaping Trump’s glare for now
Australia dollar struggles near 3-month high, NZ dollar pauses
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