Singapore beats HK in liveability ranking
Singapore has come out ahead of Hong Kong in a ranking of the world’s most liveable cities, due mainly to education improvements. The country rose 11 spots to 35th, while Hong Kong fell two places to 45th in the annual league table compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Melbourne was named the world’s most liveable city for the seventh straight year, while Damascus in Syria came in last on the list of 140 cities surveyed. The EIU ranks cities by assigning each a rating for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The ratings are then compiled and weighted to give a score out of 100.
Singapore non-oil exports grow slightly slower 8.5% in July, expanding for third straight month
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in July rose 8.5 per cent from a year earlier, slower than a revised 8.8 per cent growth in June, and driven by continuing strength in electronics. July’s NODX growth came in below a median forecast of 9.1 per cent made by analysts polled by Bloomberg. NODX rose by a 8.8 per cent in June, revised up from an earlier estimate of 8.2 per cent, and 0.4 per cent in May.
Singapore SME business sentiment on the rise: survey
Business sentiment among Singapore SMEs (small and medium enterprises) has risen, at least according to this year’s Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SCCCI) annual business survey. This finding comes in spite of tough conditions for SMEs here such as global political risks, higher business costs and a tighter labour market. At the SCCCI’s annual SME conference and infocomm commerce conference on Wednesday, SCCCI president Roland Ng San Tiong said there has been an upturn for SME business sentiment in Singapore, and that the findings of the SCCCI’s annual business survey were highly encouraging.
Heng urges companies to give innovation a boost
Singapore companies are now spending more on research and development (R&D), but there is still more room to improve the innovation ecosystem within which they operate, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Wednesday. For them to innovate rapidly and keep Singapore relevant and competitive, these companies will need to forge partnerships and strengthen that innovation eco-system, he said. Speaking at the Leaders in Science Forum, he noted that on average, business expenditure on research and development grew 8 per cent year on year between 2010 and 2015 to more than S$5 billion annually.
Singapore Real Estate
New tenants to fill half of Century Sq after mall’s revamp
AsiaMalls Management Pte Ltd, the property manager of Century Square, is investing S$60 million to refurbish the decades-old mall. When the mall reopens in the second half of next year, about half of its tenants will be new. The food and beverage portion will also rise from the current 20 per cent to 30 per cent of net lettable space. Its new tenants will include cinema operator Filmgarde, lifestyle grocer Mahota Market, popular hotpot concept Hai Di Lao and casual dining eatery Eighteen Chefs, a 24-hour gym as well as incubator space for local designers to showcase their products.
Katong property up for sale, expects offers of S$57-61m
The vendors of a freehold site located along Amber Road have put it up for sale by expressions of interest, and expect offers of between S$56.6 million and S$61 million. This divestment exercise comes shortly following the recent sale of the nearby The Albracca, a 10-storey residential development along Meyer Road by collective sale to Sustained Land for S$69.119 million in July.
Condo residents fume over ‘ban’ on smoking on their balconies
A dispute is brewing at a condominium in Upper Thomson Road over whether or not residents can smoke on their own balconies. The management agent of Meadows@Peirce recently sent out a circular telling residents they should not smoke on their balconies and in window areas, in addition to common areas where smoking is already prohibited by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Keppel Land China divests Nantong residential project for 1.43b yuan
Keppel Land China’s wholly owned subsidiary Merryfield Investment has entered into an agreement to divest its 100 per cent stake in Keppel Lakefront (Nantong) Property Development Co (KLNPD) to Nantong Wanjun Commercial Information Consultancy Co for 1.43 billion yuan (S$292 million). Keppel Land China will reap a net gain – inclusive of exchange rate gain – of around 368.5 million yuan from the divestment, which is expected to be completed by the end of September this year.
Oxley Holdings boosts stake in United Engineers to 10.43%
Oxley Holdings on Thursday disclosed that the company had on Wednesday acquired, through open-market purchases, shares of United Engineers (UE), resulting in Oxley holding 10.43 per cent of the total number of issued shares, excluding treasury shares and subsidiary holdings of UE. UE is in the middle of a takeover bid by a consortium led by Perennial Real Estate Holdings and Yanlord Land Group.
Hatten Land’s Q4 net profit up almost 200%
Catalist-listed Hatten Land’s net profit jumped almost 200 per cent to RM59.7 million (S$19 million) for its fourth quarter ended June 30, up from RM19.9 million a year ago, on the back of the local government’s assistance scheme for the development costs incurred for Hatten City Phase 1. Its revenue went up 24 per cent to RM130 million, mainly due to higher progressive sales recognised from the Hatten City Phase 2 and Harbour City projects, in accordance with the percentage of completion method.
Wing Tai Properties’ perpetual bonds more than four times subscribed
Property company Wing Tai Properties is looking to raise S$160 million through an issuance of senior guaranteed perpetual capital notes, priced at a coupon of 4.35 per cent. It received an order book of over S$750 million from over 55 accounts – 70 per cent from private banks and the rest from funds, insurance and banks.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Chinatown Food Street shophouses a death trap
Half of Smith Street in Chinatown has been converted into the Chinatown Food Street, a very popular place for dining alfresco. The food street is flanked by two rows of shophouses that are two- or three-storeys high. The upper levels are accessed by a side wooden staircase, and are rented to associations that hold regular activities like talent shows and karaoke.
F&B stores should be more experiential
Ten years ago, if you felt like having fried chicken, the only choices were KFC and Arnold’s. Today you can choose from 20 brands with over 200 outlets! While this explosion of choice has been great for the customer, it has led to steadily declining business for F&B operators.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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US new home construction slows in July
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Home Depot increases FY profit forecasts
Tenants sue Kushner companies claiming rent rule violations
The little Tennessee golf course that could
McDonald’s China counts on property-developer deals to catch KFC
Toronto leads Canada’s biggest home price fall since 2008 recession
Cranes towering over Madrid show Spanish construction recovery
Higher costs, project delays dent Fletcher Building’s annual profits
Cranes towering over Madrid show Spanish construction recovery
Indonesia’s economy to grow by 5.4%
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