Singapore’s financial services sector resilient amid new challenges
Renowned economist Song Seng Wun was not surprised at all to learn, in March last year, that he was among 15 employees being let go from CIMB Securities. After 25 years in Singapore’s financial services industry, Mr Song has endured enough business cycles to understand that job cuts come hard and fast in his field when business conditions sour.
January retail sales beat expectations with 7.5% rise
Boosted by car sales and pre-Chinese New Year shopping, Singapore’s retail sales climbed 7.5 per cent in January – streaking past expectations for a more moderate year-on-year increase of 3.1 per cent. Even if the surge in car sales were to be stripped out, retail sales would still have posted a rise of 1.4 per cent, said the Department of Statistics (DOS) on Tuesday.
Singapore Real Estate
Private home sales down 6.8% in February
Sales of private homes last month fell 6.8 per cent from the previous month despite more new launches during the Chinese New Year holiday period. Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 301 new units in February, down from the 323 units sold the previous month, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed on Tuesday (Mar 15). Including ECs, 430 new units were sold last month, down from 479 units the previous month.
New private home sales in Feb at 14-month low
The 301 private homes (excluding executive condominiums) that developers moved last month represented a 6.8 per cent fall month on month and a 22. 8 per cent fall year on year. It was also the lowest in the 14 months since the 230-unit figure in December 2014.
Keppel Data Centres and NSCC seek strategic collaboration
Keppel Data Centres Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC). Under the MOU, Keppel Data Centres and the NSCC intend to explore potential collaboration in areas of supercomputing and high-performance computing, InfiniBand connectivity, networking and scientific software applications, green technology for data centres and related areas.
AsiaMalls’ portfolio holding up in retail downturn
Despite battling headwinds in the retail sector, property management company AsiaMalls Management turned in a decent performance last year for the six shopping malls that it manages in Singapore, meeting the target of the fund holding these assets. Revenue for the malls, excluding two that were undergoing asset enhancements, grew 2.1 per cent in 2015 from a year ago. Net property income inched up 2.8 per cent from a year ago while a 5.6 per cent positive rental reversion was achieved. Tenant sales also improved by 1.3 per cent year on year despite a 2 per cent drop in shopper traffic or footfall.
Upper Aljunied Road to be realigned to free up more space in new Bidadari estate
Part of Upper Aljunied Road is being realigned to free up more space for a park and bus interchange in the new Bidadari housing estate. About half a kilometre of the current stretch that joins Upper Serangoon Road will be pedestrianised to blend into a network of cycling and walking paths around Bidadari Park and Alkaff Lake.
Fire breaks out at Tang Plaza; no one hurt
Property veteran to helm Redas as its new CEO
Property veteran Joseph Tan Tai Chiew will be the new chief executive of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas). Mr Tan, 58, is taking over from Mr Lee Suan Hiang, 66, who will retire on April 30. Mr Tan has been appointed CEO-designate from today and will become CEO from May 1.
Ascott Residence Trust
Ascott Residence Trust (ART) has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire a hotel known as Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel located in downtown Manhattan, US. The purchase consideration of US$158 million represents a 4.8 per cent discount to the independent valuation of US$166 million. Separately, ART also announced that it has launched a private placement to raise gross proceeds of about S$100 million.
Four more resign from Colliers office team
Three experienced brokers and one analyst from the office services team of Colliers International (Singapore) are leaving for rival firm Knight Frank, The Business Timesunderstands. They are associate director of office services Clifton Choo, senior manager Dylan Wong, manager Karen Tan and market analyst Tran Nguyet Minh.
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