S’pore Budget 2017: NTUC wants greater support for workers
Singapore’s labour movement wants greater support to help workers move seamlessly into the new economy. Given the current economic state, brought about by rapid technology disruption, new requirements for skills, changing employment structures, and an ageing and shrinking workforce, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is particularly concerned about workers’ ability to maintain their competitiveness.
Surprise jump in exports in December
Exporters ended 2016 on a surprisingly upbeat note as shipments from Singapore registered another month of robust growth, surprising economists who had expected a more modest uptick. December’s unexpectedly strong non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) figures may be a sign that the region is finally recovering from its long trade slump. But economists cautioned against popping the champagne too early, especially in view of possible risks from United States President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-trade stance.
Dec NODX up a surprise 9.4%, but full-year estimate remains in the red
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) continued to surprise with a 9.4 per cent year-on-year jump in December 2016, but it was insufficient to haul full-year growth into positive territory. The latest trade data by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore showed December’s NODX growth beat market consensus of 5.8 per cent, with both electronics and non-electronics exports expanding. But despite a strong showing of 11.5 per cent year-on-year growth in November, private sector economists estimate that full-year NODX growth to be negative, ranging from -2.4 per cent to -3.2 per cent year on year, marking the fourth full-year decline.
Asia-based executives most optimistic about Asean for revenue growth
Forget China and India; South-east Asia is emerging as the Asian region where corporates can expect the most revenue growth this year, a survey has found. However, the survey also found that Singapore was a country in which corporates were most ambivalent about where they should be investing. Eight in 10, or 80.2 per cent, Asia-based executives have said that they see South-east Asia headed for higher sales for their companies in 2017, according to results of the latest Asia Business Outlook Survey by the Economist Corporate Network (ECN).
Singapore Real Estate
Freehold residential site near Orchard Rd for sale
A blue-chip freehold residential site near Orchard Road that can be used for landed homes has been put on the market with a price of at least $72.8 million. One Tree Hill Gardens comprises six maisonettes and seven apartments in a three-storey block on a site spanning 3,629.1 sq m or 39,063 sq ft. Marketing agent Knight Frank said the asking price works out to a land cost of $1,864 per sq ft.
Office rents tipped to recover in 2018
After a tough patch, prime office rents could find respite in 2018, likely boosted by tighter supply of new buildings and still-healthy leasing demand, said consultancy Cushman & Wakefield yesterday. It is forecasting a 3 per cent overall rental growth for Grade A office space in the Central Business District by the end of next year. Rents of such office space has declined by about 20 per cent since a peak in the first quarter of 2015.
CapitaLand buys prime commercial site in Ho Chi Minh’s CBD
CapitaLand Limited has made its first foray into Vietnam’s commercial property market by acquiring a site in the Central Business District (CBD) of Ho Chi Minh City to build a Grade-A office tower. Through its wholly owned subsidiary CapitaLand (Vietnam) Holdings, it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire a 0.6-hectare prime commercial site spanning a gross floor area of 106,000 square metres (sq m).
Mapletree perps up sharply in price from debut last Thursday
The price of Mapletree Investments perpetual bonds has shot up to 101.069 since its sale last Thursday as bond prices continue to rally. The Markit iBoxx Singapore corporates return index on Monday hit 118.1742, and has risen every day since Jan 1. Mapletree Investments’ S$625 million 4.5 per cent perpetual bonds, sold at 100 par, is the only Singapore dollar (SGD) deal so far in 2017 and bankers say the strong price rise is due to pent-up demand for safe credits.
First Reit Q4 DPU lifted by Kupang Property
Contribution from the Kupang Property, which consists of Siloam Hospitals Kupang and Lippo Plaza Kupang acquired in December 2015, lifted First Reit’s fourth quarter distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.13 Singapore cents, up from 2.09 cents a year ago. For the three months ended Dec 31, 2016, the Singapore-listed healthcare real estate investment trust’s (Reit’s) distributable income grew 5.1 per cent year-on-year to S$16.5 million. This was despite a net fair value loss of S$8.9 million on investment properties, which was more than offset by a S$15.4 million revaluation gain on interest rate swap contracts.
CDL, StarHub, Singtel among world’s 100 most sustainable companies
Three Singapore companies have been ranked among the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations this year, with real estate company City Developments Ltd (CDL) emerging as the top local company. Their rankings on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World in 2017, however, are a poorer showing by Singaporean companies when compared to the past three years’ ranking. Results of the 2017 list were announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
Luxasia signs joint venture with Spain- based Puig
Local beauty products distribution company Luxasia has inked a joint venture agreement with fashion and fragrances firm Puig that will cover certain South-east Asian markets, including Singapore and Malaysia. The venture, which is set to start from Feb 1, will include countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Luxasia presently carries distribution rights to over 120 international fragrance, cosmetics, skincare and professional salon brands including Burberry, Ferragamo, Hermès, Issey Miyake, Montblanc and Prada.
Uphold history of heritage shophouses
Our conservation of shophouses in the various parts of Singapore has formed a cityscape of old world charm that we can all be proud of. A few of these shophouses have been deemed national heritage sites, in recognition of their special history. Beyond restoring the facades, we must ensure that the activities carried out at these heritage shophouses do not diminish their historical provenance and social value, but rather, enhance it.
PUB to take action against contractor for unauthorised drainage works
National water agency PUB will be taking action against construction firm Sato Kogyo after it was discovered that the firm had carried out unauthorised works that affected the public drainage system in Upper Thomson Road. PUB had conducted investigations into the drainage system following a flash flood in the area on Christmas Eve last year. The flood affected at least eight businesses in the Upper Thomson area, one of which suffered an estimated $30,000 in losses.
AXS launches service for condo residents to pay management fees
Starting this month, condominium residents will be able to pay their management fees through AXS in a new service launched by the payment provider. Called AXS Pay, it will benefit more than 30,000 residents of more than 100 properties initially. The service is jointly developed with DBS to support small and medium enterprises in making their electronic payments over three AXS channels — online, via its mobile app or at the AXS stations.
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