The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 15th, 16th and 17th July 2017

Top Story

Economy chugs at stable pace, on track for 2017 growth of 2-3%
Economists maintain their forecasts and see no impetus for changes to the existing neutral monetary policy stance adopted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), but are reticent about the latest figures.  The overall economy chugged along at a stable pace – at the same rate as in the previous quarter – growing at a slower than expected 2.5 per cent year-on-year in Q2 2017, MTI said on Friday.

Singapore Economy

PM Lee Hsien Loong underlines Singapore’s policy towards superpowers
Singapore is good friends with China and America, and this is the right position to take, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.  “Those in the foreign policy establishments will appreciate where we stand even though they may wish us to tilt towards one end or the other,” he told 700 business leaders, academics and policymakers last night.

Singapore’s June NODX up 8.2% from a year ago
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose by 8.2 per cent to S$14.7 billion compared to a year ago in June 2017.  On Monday, IE Singapore said that this followed the flat performance in the preceding two months and expansion in the first quarter of 2017 due to the increase in electronic and non-electronic NODX.

SOR-pegged loans taken off the market
The only bank that was offering home loans pegged to the swap offer rate has now axed the product for new customers.  ANZ stopped accepting new applications for its floating rate home loans pegged to the three-month swap offer rate in recent weeks.  The Australian bank was the last to hold out: DBS and OCBC ceased offering these mortgages to the mass market back in 2011, while UOB said it has been several years.

Retail veteran bent on creating top go-to brand
Offering every shopper the “ultimate experience” is the goal that keeps Harvey Norman Asia managing director Kenneth Aruldoss going, even after 30 years in sales.  “The consumers of today expect more, demand more, want more,” Mr Aruldoss, 57, told The Straits Times in an interview last week.

Singapore Real Estate

Kampung houses on Pulau Ubin to be restored
The National Parks Board (NParks) will get to work restoring kampung houses on Pulau Ubin to their former glory. NParks will work with community partners, including heritage experts and nature groups, for the project.  Among the houses that will be restored is a disused structure built in the 1930s. House 63C – a five-minute walk from the jetty – is now boarded up. It was the home of one Mr Tan Bak Tee and his family for 50 years before it was returned to the authorities in the early 2000s.

Companies’ Brief

GLP accepts S$3.38 per share offer from China consortium, valuing it at S$16b
After much anticipation, Global Logistic Properties (GLP) has accepted a Chinese consortium’s offer of S$3.38 per share in cash, valuing the company at about S$16 billion.  This comes after GLP and Nesta Investment Holdings, the offeror, made a joint statement on July 14, with Nesta intending to delist and privatise the company following the finalisation of the deal. If it goes through, the deal will be the largest private equity buyout of an Asian company by enterprise value, surpassing last year’s takeover of Chinese Internet security company Qihoo 360 Technology, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Independent financial adviser finds TEE CEO’s privatisation bid ‘fair and reasonable’
The financial adviser to independent directors of TEE International has found a privatisation bid by chief executive Phua Chian Kin to be “fair and reasonable”.  Provenance Capital further recommended that minority shareholders should choose to receive cash for their shares instead of equity in the newly privatised entity.  TEE International will conduct a scheme meeting on July 31 for shareholders to vote on the offer.

Impairments pare SPH Q3 profit by 45% to S$28.9m
A muted economic environment, disruption of the media industry and impairments drove lower the latest earnings of media and property group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).  On Friday, SPH reported a net profit of S$28.9 million for its third quarter ended May 31 2017, down 45 per cent from S$52.7 million a year ago.  Operating revenue was down 10.8 per cent to S$260 million.  This was due to a 15.7 per cent revenue decline in the media business to S$182.5 million from S$216.6 million a year ago. Advertisement and circulation revenue declined.

Analysts see short-term DPU pain for CCT unitholders post-disposals
ANALYSTS worry that there may be some short-term pain on CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s (CCT) distribution per unit (DPU) to unitholders in the wake of a series of property disposals, even as the long-term gain is clear.  The latest asset to be sold off is Golden Shoe Carpark, but CCT is selling it to a joint venture (JV) in which it has a 45 per cent stake. Its parent CapitaLand has another 45 per cent stake and Mitsubishi Estate holds the remainder. The trio have plans to turn it into a mixed-use project.

OKP calls for trading halt after worksite accident
Construction firm OKP Holdings called a trading halt on Friday morning after an accident at the worksite of its subsidiary Or Kim Peow Contractors which claimed the life of one worker and injured another 10.  The accident took place early Friday morning at about 3.30am near the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) exit to the Tampines Expressway when a viaduct under construction collapsed.

Suntec ecosystem has huge potential, says Reit manager
Urban spaces hold a particular fascination for real estate specialist Chan Kong Leong.  The chief executive of the manager of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) said: “I’m fundamentally a real estate guy – I’m always interested to see how the physical asset can be used to generate economic and social benefits, and how different communities develop around a space.  “You get a lot of ideas by looking at what others have done.”

Views, Reviews & Forum

UE offer: A dose of reality?
In what seems like a bad case of rumours eclipsing the real deal, a mandatory conditional offer for United Engineers (UE), the engineering, property and hospitality company, was finally triggered at $2.60 a share yesterday, far below the levels it has traded at this year.  As punters hoping for a quick gain faced up to reality, UE shares slipped four cents or 1.48 per cent.

Do your homework before you buy that first home
Buying your first flat can be an intimidating exercise but it is a road most Singaporeans take, whether they are going to be married or are singles looking for their own pad.  Here are some tips that may help reduce your stress on this journey.

Keep rising home prices in check with land tax
The letter “Solution to HK’s housing woes is wishful thinking” (July 13), in response to the report “No easy fixes in sight to Hong Kong’s housing woes” (July 10), stated that property prices have rocketed beyond reach for ordinary people.  When we talk of an increase in property prices, what is really meant is the price of land on which the houses are built. Rising land prices show up in the form of higher home prices.

Singapore must find substitute for sand
Indonesia and Malaysia have banned sand exports to Singapore. Now, Cambodia has followed suit (Cambodia bans sand exports to Singapore after pressure from environmental groups; July 13).  There is no guarantee that our other suppliers – such as China, Vietnam and Myanmar – will not do the same in future, citing environmental issues.  As sea levels rise and urban populations swell, sand can be considered a strategically important material.

Service sector key to a more decisive pickup
The manufacturing sector was the Singapore economy’s most valuable player in the first six months of the year, powering ahead on the back of a pickup in global demand for electronics. But the outlook for manufacturing in this half of the year is less certain – economists are now looking to the service sector to step up.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US inflation and consumer prices flat in June while retail sales sink

US 30-year mortgage rates hit 2-month high

Where indoors meets outdoors, and too much is not enough

NY office concessions increase, signalling market strength: analysts

Housing stocks may not be on terra firma

WeWork’s rival eyes expansion in NYC by year’s end

UK’s biggest builder Barratt lifts output by just 76 homes

China Q2 GDP growth likely to cool as Beijing targets property, debt risks

The Greater Bay Area: China’s gateway to the world

Genting steps up growth in the US with US$400m expansion at NY casino

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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