Singapore Real Estate
Condo resale volumes in Singapore hit 10-year high; prices up 0.1% in March: SRX
Monthly condo resale volumes hit a 10-year high, with 1,662 units resold in March. This is more than double the number in the same period last year, and is 75.3 per cent higher than the five-year average volumes for the month of March. The month also saw a 0.1 per cent increase in prices, extending the rise for the eighth month in a row. Year on year (yoy), overall resale prices advanced 4.2 per cent, flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property showed on Tuesday. (see amendment note)
High-end condo sales surge as March new home purchases double
New private home sales soared last month as buyers rushed in after taking a break for Chinese New Year in February. March sales doubled to hit 1,293 from February’s 645 with posh homes selling like hot cakes as luxury flats take centrestage according to URA Realis caveats on April 12. Official monthly data will be released on April 15. It would be the highest new private home sales tally for the month of March since 1,780 units were shifted in March 2017, said Ismail Gafoor, PropNex chief executive.
CDL, IOI’s South Beach complex snags S$1.22b green loan
A group of lenders – DBS, UOB, Maybank, SMBC and OCBC – has provided South Beach Consortium (SBC) with a five-year green loan totalling S$1.22 billion. Proceeds will be used to refinance SBC’s namesake integrated office, residential, hotel and retail development at Beach Road, known as South Beach. This marks one of Singapore’s largest green loans to date, said the consortium, which is a joint venture (JV) between City Developments Ltd (CDL) and Malaysia’s IOI Properties Group.
15-storey Maritime House to be demolished, redeveloped
The Maritime House building in Cantonment Road, known as a hotel exclusively for seafarers transiting through Singapore, will be torn down and redeveloped by late 2024, according to tender documents put up by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). A project brief in the tender, which closes on April 23, estimates $30 million in construction costs for the revamp. The redeveloped Maritime House will continue providing accommodation for seafarers as well as be a one-stop venue for international training, research and forums.
Singapore GDP grows 0.2% in Q1; first turnaround since Covid-19 pandemic started
Singapore’s economy in the first quarter made marginal gains for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began and easing from three straight contractions, according to advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.2 per cent year on year in Q1, reversing the 2.4 per cent contraction seen in Q4, according to the data. The pandemic hit in the middle of Q1 last year, and the economy stayed flat in that quarter.
MAS keeps monetary policy unchanged, raises headline inflation forecast to 0.5-1.5%
Singapore’s monetary policy settings were kept unchanged on Wednesday, a decision that came on the back of a soft core inflation outlook. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stood pat on the neutral slope, lower mid-point and policy band width of the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER), after last tweaking these parameters with a double-shot easing in March last year. “As core inflation is expected to stay low this year, MAS assesses that an accommodative policy stance remains appropriate,” the MAS said in its half-yearly monetary policy statement.
Malaysia’s Muhyiddin to visit Singapore in May for talks with PM Lee
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will visit Singapore on May 4 to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. They are expected to discuss the reopening of the border, among other things, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported. Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted by the paper as having said that even with the Johor government’s desire to reopen the border within the next two months, this still needs Singapore’s approval.
DBS Research notes ‘compelling case’ for privatisation of Frasers Hospitality Trust
The decision by Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) to redeem its S$100 million, 4.45 per cent perpetual securities may lead to an uptick in distributions if the managers repay the perps with debt, DBS Group Research said. This is assuming the stapled group is able to obtain new debt priced close to its average weighted cost of debt of 2.2 per cent, compared to the potential estimated reset coupon of 3 to 3.2 per cent. FHT currently trades at a “steep discount” to its net asset value (NAV), DBS said.
OUE: A case of adding value to an underappreciated asset
Singapore – As the Warren Buffetts of the world have shown us, value investing is about doing your research and crunching your numbers. If you get this right, you get a lot right. For the average retail investor, one of the most foolproof ways of investing in stocks is to closely watch what the owners or controlling shareholders of the company are doing. For a listed company, all such transactions and deals must be announced through the Singapore Exchange (SGX) portal.
Temasek and BlackRock form US$600m decarbonisation investment partnership
Temasek Holdings and BlackRock on Tuesday announced a new partnership to jointly commit a total of US$600 million to decarbonisation investments. Named Decarbonization Partners, the initiative will launch a series of late-stage venture capital (VC) and early-growth private equity (PE) investment funds that will focus on advancing decarbonisation solutions that will “accelerate global efforts to achieve a net zero economy by 2050”.
Views, Reviews, Forum & Others
The pandemic-driven rise of data centres
Many are now familiar with the massive acceleration of digitalisation that defined 2020. As Covid-19 spread across the globe, businesses had to quickly move their activities online while people sought new ways to work, learn and relax as countries moved into lockdown and governments implemented social-distancing measures. This shift to a digital-first behaviour resulted in the growth of applications and connectivity tools that enabled people to continue working, schooling, shopping and staying entertained from home.
How long will the great reflation trade last?
Analysts expect the global economy to expand by 6 per cent or more this year, the fastest pace in decades. The United States will lead the way, but growth in Europe should also bounce back as the year progresses. And, of course, the Chinese economy will record another solid performance. Along with these rising growth expectations have come concerns about inflation. As the global economy shakes off the constraints of the pandemic, demand seems poised to run ahead of supply, at least in some sectors.
Judging a company by its name
When S-chip Celestial Nutrifoods went into liquidation 10 years ago, it was far from heavenly for minority shareholders. Another S-chip, Midas, turned out to be less than golden. Homegrown Best World has not had the best of times. Meanwhile, a more modestly named Apple became the most valuable company in the world. Tencent in China turned out to be worth a lot more than its name. Does the name of a company matter? We were intrigued by the rather grandiose words frequently appearing in names of companies, often combined with other grandiose words.
Economic damage from vaccine nationalism
“Vaccine policy is economic policy,” said International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva during the IMF-World Bank spring meetings last week. And when it comes to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine policy is an even higher priority than the traditional tools of monetary and fiscal policy, she said. Economic research shows the cliche that “no one is safe until everyone is safe” applies not only to individuals but also to economies.
Size no deterrent to global contributions
It is noteworthy that Parliament has approved a contribution of US$20.57 million (S$27.6 million) to help low-income countries tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic. The money will go to three initiatives under the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of which involves a grant to support the IMF’s US$344 million financing package for Somalia’s debt relief. These statistics underline Singapore’s contribution to the economic well-being of other nations but do not reflect it completely. As for the financial contribution, Singapore’s approach is to provide funding commensurate with its size.
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
14 new coronavirus cases reported here, all imported
There were four student’s pass holders among the 14 new coronavirus cases reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday. All 14 were imported cases that had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said MOH. They took the Republic’s total tally to 60,692. The four student’s pass holders arrived from India. The other 10 imported cases comprised two permanent residents from India, two dependant’s pass holders from Nepal and Pakistan, one work pass holder from Indonesia, two work permit holders from India and Indonesia, and three short-term visit pass holders from India and Nigeria.
People can now choose which Covid-19 jab to take with listing of vaccination centres and vaccines in S’pore
Singapore – People who want to choose which Covid-19 vaccine to take can now refer to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH’s) website, where the full list of vaccination centres and vaccines has now been made available. The Moderna shot is being given at 11 out of the 38 centres, while the rest are using the Pfizer-BioNTech product. People are able to pick which vaccination centre or polyclinic they wish to go to, although a notice on the site adds that certain centres may have limited slots “due to the strong demand for Covid-19 vaccinations in Singapore and limited supplies”.
WHO chief says rise in cases avoidable, calls for tighter controls
Geneva • Confusion and complacency in addressing Covid-19 means the pandemic is a long way from over, but it can be brought under control in months with proven public health measures, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said. So far, about 780 million vaccines have been administered globally, but measures including wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing must be applied to reverse the trajectory of the pandemic, he told a news briefing on Monday.
Travel bubble plans: HK to require jabs for those visiting S’pore
Amid the resumption of talks with Singapore over a much-delayed travel bubble, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that Singapore will not impose a requirement on travellers from Hong Kong to be vaccinated before their trip. But Hong Kong will make it mandatory for people leaving the city for Singapore to be vaccinated, she added. Mrs Lam was echoing statements made by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau on March 29 when he announced that Hong Kong residents who take part in travel bubble arrangements would have to receive their two doses of the vaccine and wait at least 14 days after the second jab before they can go on such flights.
Over 18,200 visitors from low-risk places arrived here on air travel pass
More than 18,200 travellers have entered Singapore under the air travel pass (ATP) scheme since the Republic unilaterally opened its borders to places with low Covid-19 infection rates last September. Replying to queries, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said yesterday that as at April 8, the bulk of these short-term visitors, who can come to Singapore without restrictions on their itineraries or the need to serve stay-home notices, were from China.
Those who had Covid-19 may be at risk of getting blood clots: Study
People who have recovered from Covid-19, regardless of the severity of their disease, may be at risk of developing blood clots due to an overactive immune system, according to a study by local scientists. Blood clots, especially in arteries that are linked to vital organs, can increase a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke or organ failure. Blood samples from 30 patients who had recovered from mild, moderate and severe Covid-19 were collected a month after their discharge from hospital.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at www.moh.gov.sg and refer to go.gov.sg/mohupdates for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation
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