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 September 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore firms sign deals with Sichuan firms for more access to western China
Singapore firms on Friday inked 22 deals with Sichuan companies for greater access to western China across sectors including technology and innovation, education, lifestyle, logistics and tourism. These were signed at the 19th Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC) meeting in Chengdu, the capital city of south-western Sichuan province.

Singapore must take a long-term perspective to survive in a changing world: Ong Ye Kung
A small state like Singapore has to take the long-term view when it comes to crafting its policies in order to survive, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday evening. This is despite a worldwide trend of politics and governance becoming more short-term and populist. Speaking at the opening of the Singapore Summit which is organised by non-profit organisation Temasek Foundation Connects, he outlined the government’s long-term strategies in four areas: infrastructure, the economy, an ageing population and education.

Singapore non-oil exports growth eases in August to 5%
Growth of non-oil domestic exports (NODX) eased in August, with a year-on-year rise of 5 per cent following July’s unexpectedly high 11 per cent expansion, according to Enterprise Singapore data released on Monday.

The airport of the future is here. And it doesn’t need humans 
Imagine landing at a major airport and the only human official you meet on your way through the terminal is a customs officer. Singapore’s Changi International Airport, voted the world’s best for the past six years by Skytrax, is pursuing that goal of extensive automation with such vigour that it built an entire terminal to help test the airport bots of the future.

S’pore to be worst hit by job displacement as tech disrupts region’s labour markets: Study
Workers in Singapore will be hit hard by technological disruptions with the Republic’s labour market set to face the largest degree of job displacement regionally in the next decade, based on a study on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on workers in six South-east Asian economies.


Singapore Real Estate

Far East seen as likely buyer of Le Meridien in Sentosa
Far East Organization, owned by the Ng family, is likely to buy the Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa. The Business Times understands that the property and hospitality giant is in advanced talks to buy the 191-room hotel, which stands on a site with 57 years left on its lease, for about S$163 million. The deal will be subject to approval by the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

Evia, Gamuda jointly make top bid for Anchorvale site by hair’s breadth
Evia Real Estate and Gamuda, working as a team, emerged the top bidder for the Anchorvale Crescent EC site – pipping the next highest bidder by a mere S$899. Their bid of S$318,888,899 just narrowly outpaced the one by Qingjian Realty’s CNQC Realty (Treasure) Investment by 0.0003 per cent – what some observers say is the narrowest margin for a Government Land Sales (GLS) site.

Putting Singapore on the data centre world stage
The hype around data centres (DCs) as a viable alternative asset class has come under focus in recent years. Exponential growth of data from the heavy use of technology has led to increased demand for land sites for data centres across Singapore. Investors are generally interested in two options: Brownfield sites and greenfield sites.

Finding the right temperature for Singapore’s private residential market
On July 5, 2018, the Singapore government increased additional buyer stamp duties (ABSD) and lowered loan-to-value (LTV) limits for residential properties, to temper home price growth. This is the first material policy move in over five years.


Retail logistics startup Blu World clinches tender for Tampines industrial site
JTC has awarded the tender for an industrial site at Tampines Industrial Drive (Plot 10) to retail logistics startup Blu World Pte Ltd, which operates under the brand-name blu. The tendered price of S$3.2 million was the higher of two bids submitted.

End-March opening likely for Changi’s Jewel
The much-anticipated Jewel Changi Airport is slated to open at the end of March next year. The Straits Times has found out that retailers moving into the new facility and other stakeholders have been told to be ready by then. Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel) – a joint venture between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and CapitaLand – declined to comment on an opening date but confirmed that about 90 per cent of the construction works have been completed.

More en bloc sites going unsold after cooling measures
Even as megasites Pandan Valley and Laguna Park bedazzled with their multi-billion dollar en bloc attempts this week, two other billion-dollar candidates, Horizon Towers and Faber Garden, closed their tenders without a buyer. Horizon Towers and Faber Garden are among 50 en bloc projects whose tenders closed without a sale this year up to Sept 12, according to Colliers International’s data.

EC site at Anchorvale Crescent gets 7 bids, with the highest at S$318.9 million
An executive condominium (EC) site along Anchorvale Crescent received seven bids at the close of the tender on Friday (Sep 14), with just S$899 separating the two highest offers. The top bid ofS$318,888,899 was submitted jointly byEvia Real Estate and Gamuda (Singapore), with the second highest offer of S$318,888,000 from CNQC Realty (Treasure) Investment.

Residents of leasehold properties sitting on freehold land face an extra poser in seeking collective sale
Many homeowners of the 325-unit Spring Grove condominium are keen to put the prime Grange Road property up for collective sale. Besides a looming deadline to gather the requisite agreement of 80 per cent of owners, their attempt to push for an en-bloc sale potentially faces another unusual hurdle. The District 10 plot sits on freehold land owned by the United States government but comes with a 99-year lease, and it is unclear how much any potential buyer will have to pay to top up the lease.

New tech for construction to go on display
Painters dangling precariously high above ground in gondolas while they slap a new coat on a skyscraper could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to robots. Robotic painting, as it’s called, is beginning to catch on, even for jobs that require complex patterns. One of the regional leaders in the field is Roboprint, a South Korean firm with a subsidiary in Singapore. The company, which is an exhibitor at next month’s BuildTech Asia trade exhibition here, specialises in fully automated robotic painting machines.


Companies’ Brief

Talk of a POSH-MEO merger as M&A activity picks up in OSV sector
Four years into a prolonged industry downturn, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity appears to be picking up in the offshore support vessel (OSV) market, lifting expectations that a sector-wide consolidation could gain momentum in the months to come.

The resilience of outlet malls in China
Online shopping may be changing the physical retail landscape and affecting traditional mall operators. But one segment of the industry seems to remain unfazed – outlet malls. In March this year, Sasseur real estate investment trust (Reit) made its debut on the Singapore bourse at 80.5 Singapore cents apiece, slightly above its offer price of 80 Singapore cents. As the first outlet mall Reit to be listed in Asia, Sasseur’s S$396 million initial public offering (IPO) has made it one of the highest IPO listings in recent times.

Centurion to buy 133-bed student housing asset in UK for £10.2m
Dormitory developer Centurion Corp has agreed to buy a 133-bed student housing asset in the British city of Nottingham for £10.2 million (S$18.25 million). The asset, dwell Castle Gate Haus, sits on the even-number lots of 32 to 44 Castle Gate near Nottingham Trent University and within driving distance of the University of Nottingham. The accommodation, which Centurion will manage under its dwell brand, comprises 69 studios and 64 en-suite rooms.

CDL acquires London commercial building for £183m
City Developments Limited (CDL) announced on Friday that it had acquired a prime freehold Grade A commercial building in London for £183 million (S$328 million). The acquisition of Aldgate House, beside Aldgate Underground Station, in the district of Aldgate is “part of its focus on expanding recurring income in global gateway cities”, CDL said.

Chip Eng Seng expands education business into China, invests 100m yuan in software firm
Construction and property group Chip Eng Seng is planning to expand its education business into China with an investment of up to 100 million yuan in Guangzhou Yuanda Information Development, an education software business. Guangzhou Yuanda’s current key offering is online education via mobile applications and websites, for the teaching of mathematics to primary school students.

DBS not joining ‘crazy rush’ to hire private bankers
DBS Group Holdings Ltd has poured cold water on the idea that private bankers can name their price when jumping ship in Asia’s booming wealth management business. “I don’t believe that every bank needs to join in this crazy rush for talent,” Tan Su Shan, head of consumer and wealth banking at South-east Asia’s largest lender, said on Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview. DBS is promoting people internally and hiring from other areas of the financial industry to boost its private banking operations, she said.

LTA completes 200km worth of sheltered walkways under S$300m initiative
When it poured, some Fajar Secondary School students were late for school while waiting out the rain at void decks or at bus stops. Others turned up at school soaking wet, having run the distance that’s not covered by sheltered walkways.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Celebrities bring star power to enterprise tech conferences
Enterprise tech conferences have evolved into extravaganzas. Once events for enterprise tech firms to showcase their products to clients, partners and the media, many of them now feature musicians, inspiring speakers, games and recreation events to create a spirited environment for attendees to learn and network. To observers, these have been costly but rewarding in helping companies “out-conference” one another.

A pitch for the past: how and why nostalgia marketing works
Six years ago, a Google startup launched a mobile game called Ingress. Leveraging on ground-breaking technology such as GPS location play and augmented reality, it enthralled users with an immersive gaming experience. By 2014, it peaked at 7 million users. While impressive, another game – based off Ingress and its underlying technologies – was soon to achieve numbers that eclipsed those.

Asian conglomerates being outrun by pure plays in their markets
Lagging Asian conglomerates must focus on renewal and growth in order to remain relevant and attractive, said analysts at consultancy Bain & Co, after their industry study released on Friday found that such companies recently underperformed pure plays in their markets.

Likelihood of US recession may see buying opportunity in tech
The likelihood of a recessionary environment in the US in the next 18 months is very high, according to Wellington Management partner and private equity lead portfolio manager Michael Carmen. Wellington Management is an independent investment management firm with over US$1 trillion in client assets under management.

Achieving the right balance for effective data governance
It wasn’t that long ago that “in 2004 … Facebook didn’t even exist, Twitter was still a sound, the cloud was still in the sky, 4G was a parking space, “applications” were what you sent to college, LinkedIn was barely known and most people thought it was a prison, Big Data was a good name for a rap star, and Skype, for most people, was a typographical error”, wrote Thomas Friedman in his best-seller book Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

Markets end tough week on a higher note
Trade tensions roiled global markets this week and drove Asian bourses into their longest sell-off in 16 years before news of more talks between the United States and China rallied shares on Thursday. Even Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closing near record highs after the news. But analysts reiterated calls yesterday for caution since no concrete steps have been taken to resolve the dispute.

Global markets ruled by uncertainty
In the trade spat between the United States and China, the only certainty seems to be uncertainty, given the conflicting messages from Washington about its plans to resolve the conflict. Global markets perked up towards the end of last week when news broke on Thursday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had extended an invitation to Chinese officials to restart trade talks.

Commentary: Helping developing countries achieve growth isn’t complicated. Just look at Singapore
Singapore’s journey from third world to first is a remarkable story of rapid development, and remains an inspiration for many nations around the world. While the outward signs of its success, whether glistening skyscrapers or booming shopping malls, are familiar, Singapore’s success was built on a far less visible foundation – effective public administration.

SPC bids record $92.7m for Bt Batok petrol station site
Fuel retailer Singapore Petroleum Co (SPC) has put in a bid of $92.7 million for a petrol station site – an all-time high – signalling the China-owned entity’s ambition to grow its presence here. SPC, which has just dropped its “leaping lion” logo for owner PetroChina’s flower emblem, beat the second-highest bidder – American oil giant Chevron – by 20 per cent with its offer for the 1,552 sq m plot. Chevron, which currently operates a Caltex station at the Bukit Batok site, bid $77.3 million.

Commentary: Dear public service, what do you mean by this jargon?
I am pretty sure jargon is everywhere. Public servants are not the only guilty ones. But let me share my experience within the Singapore public service, where I have worked all my life. The Complete Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers was published in 1957 at the request of the British government to improve writing within the British civil service. After half a century, it seems that nothing much has changed.

For some people, home is where the office lies
In Mr Lai Weichang’s Punggol flat, there is no sofa, no dining table, and no toys strewn across the living room, even though he has a two-year-old son. Instead, the sparsely furnished living room of the four-room flat has five “workstations”. Three surround a conference table and two more sit against a long wall.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China’s Aug retail sales, output steady but downward pressures persist

China investment growth falls to new record low in August; industrial output, retail sales up

China seen as firewall in emerging economies’ currency crisis

China’s Silicon Valley dream bumps against hard reality

UK consumers remain most upbeat since 2015: IHS Markit

“Illusion” to think states can completely prevent financial crises: Weidmann

Australia to start powerful public inquiry into aged-care sector

Australia’s new treasurer to get tough on financial regulator

Greece to ease capital controls ‘very soon’: finance minister

Fed faces ‘quite challenging’ period keeping recovery on track: Yellen

Thai government will try to lift 2018 GDP growth to 5%

UK Labour warns big banks must never again be masters of the economy

Survey shows fear of big job losses from automation in several countries

China Inc’s US$17b global asset selloff is far from done

Pause on Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link plan deflates local dreams

India to build 100 more airports over 15 years

Growth in Chinese home prices accelerates to two-year high

How China’s plan to develop rental housing backfired

China’s property investment, sales soften in August

China’s Weakest Housing Markets Flash Red in Cautionary Tale

UK house prices return to growth amid signs of London recovery

Manafort forfeits US$22m in New York real estate in plea deal

Malta edges Hong Kong for world’s top home-price gains

Millions of Americans still trapped in debt-logged homes ten years after crisis

Blackstone seeks US$18b for biggest real estate fund

Equity Residential Seeks Buyers for Two NYC Buildings


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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