The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 14th February 2018

Top Story

Singapore economy expanded 3.6% in 2017; slower growth expected this year
Singapore’s economy expanded 3.6 per cent last year – faster than initial estimates – thanks largely to strong growth in the manufacturing sector.  Growth this year is expected to moderate but remain firm, the The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) said on Wednesday.  The Singapore economy, which grew 2.4 per cent in 2016, picked up pace in 2017 on the back of surging global demand for electronic gadgets.


Singapore Economy

Singapore non-oil exports up 8.8% in 2017, forecast for 2018 revised upwards
Singapore’s trade staged a turnaround in 2017 as growth rates reached a seven-year high, with the government also upgrading its forecast for 2018.  Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew 8.8 per cent in 2017, after a 2.8 per cent decline in 2016.

Singapore manufacturing continues to outshine services in Q4, but shows clear signs of slowing down
Manufacturing continued to power Singapore’s economic growth in the final quarter of 2017, even as the services sector picked up momentum.  Manufacturing, which makes up a fifth of the economy, grew 4.8 per cent year on year in Q4, revised down from earlier advance estimates of 6.2 per cent year on year.

MAS sets out e-payment guidelines for banks, consumers
Major retail banks offering mobile payments options here will effectively have about six months to ensure proper notification of e-payment transactions by their customers, as the regulator moves to set standards for consumer rights in this space.

Singapore notches record US$229m fintech funding in ’17: KPMG
Buoyed by US$122.75 million of funding in the fourth quarter, Singapore achieved a record high of US$229.1 million of fintech funding in 2017, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report.  The record was attained despite a dip in the number of deals done throughout the year – from 37 in 2016 to 29 in 2017.

Property earnings and oil prices stir trade
Singapore stocks gained more ground on their second day in positive territory, helped by investor interest in the three local banks.  The Straits Times Index (STI) added 30.09 points, or 0.89 per cent, to finish at 3,415.07 on Tuesday.

With more floods, call for better business continuity umbrellas
As climate change causes more flash floods in Singapore, companies need to come up with better business continuity plans so they can, among other things, continue operating offsite and protect their assets.  In addition, experts say businesses should also look into measures to prevent floods.


Singapore Real Estate

Condo resale prices up 1% in Jan: SRX
Resale prices of condominiums and private apartments continued to appreciate month-on-month and at a faster pace, according to the latest flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property on Tuesday.  The values of non-landed private homes rose 1 per cent in January 2018 from December 2017. This compares to the 0.3 per cent rise in December, revised down from SRX’s initial estimate of a 0.4 per cent increase.

Bigger portion of conserved Ellison Building to be kept
A larger portion of the conserved Ellison Building in Selegie, which was slated to be partially demolished to make way for an expressway, will be kept than was previously planned.  Following a public outcry and more than a year of deliberation, just one section of the curved corner fronting Bukit Timah Road will be affected by the construction of the upcoming North-South Corridor. The original plan involved three sections.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand acquires historic Pearl Bank in S$728m collective sale
CapitaLand has snagged the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments in a collective sale for SS$728 million, and plans to redevelop the site into an 800-unit condominium project.  The latest news breaks a hiatus of more than four years during which CapitaLand did not manage to secure a site here as keen bidding by developers for limited land, particularly since last year, jacked up land prices.

CapitaLand eyes AUM of S$100b by 2020 and S$3b in capital recycling each year
CapitaLand is aiming to grow its total assets under management (AUM) from S$88.8 billion as of end-2017 to S$100 billion by 2020, even as it announced a 20 per cent increase in core dividends for fiscal 2017 to 12 Singapore cents a share.

Roxy-Pacific’s Q4 net profit falls 39%
Lower revenue from some developments eroded Q4 results for Roxy-Pacific Holdings, as net profit fell 38.9 per cent to S$7.3 million from the previous year.  Earnings per share for the property and hospitality group slid to 0.61 Singapore cent from 1 Singapore cent in the previous year.

RHT reaches agreement to sell portfolio to Fortis
Talks on the sale of RHT Health Trust’s assets to its controlling unitholder Fortis Healthcare have progressed further, with both sides on Feb 12 signing a master purchase agreement for Fortis to pay 46.5 billion Indian rupees (S$950 million) for the trust’s entire portfolio of healthcare assets.

Chip Eng Seng Q4 net profit down 2.4% on higher administrative costs, lower income
Higher administrative expenses and lower income from other sources dampened results for construction and property group Chip Eng Seng in its fourth quarter.  Net profit fell 2.4 per cent to S$14.5 million from the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday evening.

Infinio plans to acquire Kim Chuan Terrace property
Mineral oil and gas firm Infinio Group is intending to purchase a Kim Chuan Terrace property for $10.8 million.  Yesterday, Infinio said it had been granted an option to purchase the property, and the purchase consideration will be satisfied fully in cash, through the net proceeds from a share placement that was completed and announced on Feb 1, and a combination of future equity fund raising and bank borrowings.

UE’s offer for WBL: Raw deal for minorities?
On the surface, the opportunity for United Engineers (UE) to pay S$174 million for a 29.9 per cent stake in WBL Corp presently held by OCBC, its founding Lee family and the Yanlord Perennial Investment (YPI) consortium looks like a bargain.  But for UE’s minority shareholders who baulked last year when OCBC sold its UE stake to YPI at a fat discount to the market price, this second-act reveal could make them feel like they’ve been dragged along for a trip that they didn’t ask for.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Singapore must think like a platform to thrive as a digital hub
Singapore’s strategic location has helped the island nation become a hub for global trade. But with digital technologies changing the nature of trade, Singapore’s locational and infrastructural advantages may no longer be as strong a control point as they were in the past.

Making most of transformation maps
Economic restructuring being a bottom-up process, there was concern among some about insufficient awareness of industry-specific transformation maps. Under the $4.5 billion transformation programme, nearly all the road maps have been developed for 23 industries, covering 80 per cent of the economy.

Striking a share swap ratio can be a delicate balancing act
It is tricky for an acquirer to come up with the “right” swap ratio for a merger with a target firm that would appease shareholders on both sides.  More so in a volatile market.  Viva Industrial Trust (VIT), being a target for merger with the Warburg Pincus-backed ESR-Reit, has seen its unit price fall 9 per cent from the start of February to S$0.86 on Tuesday, pummelled in part by the correction on Wall Street.

Why the development in Chinatown is significant
Pearl Bank Apartments is a 99-year leasehold development built on an 82,376 sq ft triangular site atop Pearl’s Hill, near the Central Business District. Located at 1, Pearl Bank, this was the Government’s first land sales site launched exclusively for residential development in 1969.

Building’s architect, experts hope unique structure can be retained
Although the iconic horseshoe-shaped Pearl Bank Apartments in Outram has been sold, the building’s architect and other experts in the field are holding on to the slim chance that the striking structure will be retained by developer CapitaLand.

Don’t acquire land, then leave it idle
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) acquired Jurong Country Club at the end of 2016 and, as far as I can see, has left this vast piece of land idle since then.  In doing so, golfers have been deprived of the enjoyment of playing.  The club could have been employing people to run it.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Home prices in two-thirds of US cities have hit record highs

Blackstone gets a shot at buying back assets it sold to Anbang

China’s HNA sells Hong Kong land for US$2b as it races to beat cash crunch

New loans by Chinese banks surge to record 2.9t yuan in Jan

MGM opens for Macau holiday players as China challenge looms

Paris Grand Palais to get facelift


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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