Singapore’s July exports down 10.6% year on year, far below forecasts
Singapore’s exports in July tumbled more than expected as sales to China and the United States fell, leaving the trade-reliant economy struggling to restore momentum and keeping pressure on the central bank to deliver further stimulus. Non-oil domestic exports slid 10.6 per cent last month from a year earlier, the trade agency International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) said in a statement on Wednesday. That was much worse than the median forecast of a 2.5 per cent slump in a Reuters poll.
British pound sinks to new low against Sing$
The British pound has fallen to a new historic low against the Singapore dollar as concerns mount over Britain’s economy in the wake of the Brexit vote. One pound is now buying about $1.737 on foreign exchange markets – the weakest the British currency has been since at least 1981. The latest exchange rate is down nearly 13 per cent from $1.992 on June 23 – the date Britain voted to leave the European Union – and $2.085 at the start of this year.
Singapore Real Estate
HDB launches over 4,800 units for sale under August BTO exercise
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Wednesday launched 4,841 flats for sale under the August 2016 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. The flats are spread across five projects – three in the non-mature towns of Hougang, Sembawang and Yishun, and two in the mature town of Tampines. It is the third BTO launch in 2016. So far, 12,781 BTO units have been offered this year. HDB has offered a total of 17,951 flats in 2016, including the 5,170 balance flats offered in May 2016.
AHTC lapses ‘on much bigger scale’ than that highlighted in AGO report
There is a “world of difference” between the lapses found in Government agencies, as highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) report, and those in the Workers’ Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), said Senior Minister of State (Finance and Law) Indranee Rajah on Tuesday (Aug 16). “They are different in scale, in nature, and in the way Government agencies and the town council have each responded to problems when they are found,” Ms Indranee told Parliament, in response to a question by Member of Parliament Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC), on the difference between the AGO report and the latest report issued by audit firm KPMG on the AHTC. Both reports were made public in July.
Keen bids expected for Fernvale site: consultants
Bidders for the residential site at Fernvale Road will most likely be looking to emulate the success of the nearby High Park Residences, a gigantic 1,390-unit project that is nearly fully sold. The site, launched for sale by public tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday under the confirmed list of the H2 2016 government land sales (GLS) programme, can yield about 605 units. The site area is about 17,196 square metres, with a maximum gross floor area of 51,590 sq m. The lease period is 99 years.
URA acts against 44 illegal short-term subletting cases
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) took enforcement action against 44 cases of unauthorised short-term subletting in private residential premises in the first six months of this year, even as its review on short-term stays in these premises is still ongoing. This was an increase from 36 cases in 2014 and 23 cases in 2015.
GIC, others take 71% stake in Yes Communities
Yes Communities, one of the largest owners and operators of manufactured home communities in the United States, said it has sold a 71 per cent equity interest in its combined businesses to two global institutional investors, including affiliates of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed but The Wall Street Journal in June reported that the deal to acquire Yes could value the company at more than US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion). Private-equity firm Stockbridge Capital Group’s existing investors, together with members of Yes’ management team, will continue to own about 29 per cent interest in the new, consolidated enterprise.
GLP J-Reit buying 4 Japan properties for 42.7b yen
Mainboard-listed Global Logistic Properties (GLP), a fund manager and global provider of modern logistics facilities, is selling four properties in Japan to GLP J-Reit for 42.7 billion yen (S$571 million) as part of its capital-recycling strategy. The sale price is 3 per cent higher than latest appraisal values and equates to a weighted average cap rate of 4.8 per cent, the company on Tuesday said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange (SGX). GLP J-Reit, a real estate investment trust listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 2012, is focused on operating logistics properties in Japan, while GLP is the property and asset manager of the J-Reit.
PwC appointed independent financial adviser to Sim Lian privatisation deal
Sim Lian Group (SLG) announced on Tuesday that PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance has been appointed as the independent financial adviser (IFA) to advise the company’s independent directors in connection with the voluntary conditional cash offer for the property and construction group announced on Aug 8. A consortium led by the founder of SLG is seeking to take the company private.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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East Hampton makes the good life a little better with US$23m bond sale
Japan ‘among hardest hit by China-induced global trade slowdown’
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