The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News 17th, 18th and 19th November 2018

Top Story

Apec can set global direction on trade: PM Lee
With mounting pressures against multilateralism and free trade, leadership from the regional forum of Asia-Pacific economies is needed more than ever, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. “We can set the global direction and encourage others to follow our example of working together, rather than of going it alone,” he added.

An ocean of opportunity: PM Lee calls for digital collaboration in the Pacific
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has described the Pacific region as “an ocean of opportunity”, even as leaders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) nations meet under a cloud of trade uncertainty.


Singapore Economy

Productivity growth, industry indicators will show Future Economy Council’s progress: Heng
Productivity growth and a number of other industry indicators will help reflect how the Future Economy Council’s (FEC) progress measures up, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who also chairs the council. The FEC was established in 2017 to drive the growth and transformation of Singapore’s economy for the future. It also oversees the implementation of the recommendations put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy, such as the implementation of Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs). Members include representatives from the government, unions, trade associations and chambers, industry as well as educational and training institutions.

Singapore, US renew collaboration in infrastructure, cyber security
Singapore and the US strengthened their collaboration on infrastructure, the digital economy and cyber security this week, renewing the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and signing a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to collaborate on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for Asean member states.

13 new faces on the Future Economy Council
The committee that charts the direction of Singapore’s economy and seeks the transformation of major industries has added 13 new faces into its ranks. The additions, which include political office-holders and private industry experts, have expanded the Future Economy Council’s leadership team from 31 to 33, it was announced on Friday (Nov 16).


Singapore Real Estate

Darby Park Executive Suites sold for nearly S$93m
Bursa Malaysia-listed Sime Darby Property has sold its six-storey serviced residence property along Orange Grove Road, Darby Park Executive Suites, for S$92.71 million. The buyer is Royal Group, controlled by Asok Kumar Hiranandani and his son Bobby. They could not be reached for comment by press time on Friday.

Lease Buyback Scheme extension details ready in early-2019: Lawrence Wong
The details of the Lease Buyback Scheme’s (LBS) extension to all HDB flats should be ready by early-2019, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Friday. The announcement that the LBS would be extended to cover five-room and larger flats was made in August this year.

Two-bedroom units expected to remain popular among buyers
Owning a private home – the alluring Singaporean Dream for many locals. However, the dream appeared to be fading into the distance, when prices ascended at a rapid pace from 2008 to 2013. This, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) price index for private residential properties (including Executive Condominiums), which saw prices growing 21.5 per cent from Q2 2008 to Q2 2013 (Chart 1).


Repurposing Golden Mile for younger generation
A hotel or co-working space could be some of the possible new uses of Golden Mile Complex, which is being studied for conservation, even as it waits for a buyer. In an interview with The Straits Times, DP Architects director Chan Hui Min said the building could have multiple new uses. “The building itself has a lot of potential. For instance, it could be a dream co-working space and part of it could be a very successful hotel,” she said.

Some claim fingers burnt in Iskandar buy-and-leaseback scheme
A group of 116 people – mostly Singaporeans – who bought serviced apartments in a waterfront development at Johor’s Puteri Harbour are claiming that they have had their fingers burnt in a buy-and-leaseback scheme.

Singaporeans seek to get the best out of their JB homes
Like many Singaporeans who bought Malaysian property, Mr Colin Goh wanted to “seize the opportunity to invest in something affordable” and earn passive income through renting out the homes. But when he got the key to his two-bedroom condominium unit in Medini last year, he was shocked to learn of the “ridiculously low” market rent, he told The Sunday Times.


Companies’ Brief

CDL Hospitality Trusts acquires 95% stake in Italy hotel for 40.6m euros
CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) is acquiring a 95 per cent stake in Hotel Cerretani Florence, MGallery by Sofitel for 40.6 million euros (S$63.6 million), its managers announced on Friday. The purchase consideration works out to 33 million euros, after taking into account a 3.1 million euro payment for its interest in the estimated net working capital and cash of the consolidated FI Dutch HoldCo group, less 10.7 million euros for a bank loan redemption.

SGReit looking to leverage on Thomson Line
Weekend shoppers shuffling to and fro two Orchard Road mega malls – Ion Orchard (and its basement Orchard MRT) and Ngee Ann City – tend to pass through the basement of a smaller one, Wisma Atria. Starhill Global Reit (SGReit), the owner of 74.23 per cent of the share value of strata lots of Wisma Atria, has in the past leveraged on that location by placing unique offerings in the basement, like Ben’s Cookies, to entice the crowds.

Accounting giant EY acquires Adelphi Digital Consulting Group
Accounting firm EY has beefed up its digital solutions by acquiring Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, a digital consultancy with practices in Australia and Singapore, for an undisclosed sum. Adelphi Digital has 170 employees, and they will join EY in Australia and Singapore, with the business now branded as EY. It has worked with over 600 clients in business and government, including International Enterprise Singapore, SEA Games 2015 and Singapore Science Centre.

Keppel FELS scraps S$165m newbuild asset project
A Keppel Corp unit is walking away from a newbuild asset project with a settlement agreement in hand, the parent group has disclosed. The S$165 million deal – between Keppel FELS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, and an unnamed global oil and gas services firm – was scrapped on Friday.

China developer Country Garden planning US$1b convertible bond sale: sources
Country Garden Holdings Co, China’s biggest developer by sales, is planning to raise at least US$1 billion in a convertible bond sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Foshan-based company aims to sell the securities as soon as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Proceeds will be used to help refinance convertible notes that mature in January 2019, they added.

Pan-United Corp to use technology that produces greener, stronger concrete
Mainboard-listed concrete innovation company Pan-United Corporation will be harnessing a technology that uses carbon dioxide to produce greener and stronger concrete. This will allow the company to potentially reduce over 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year at each of its concrete plants.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

China, US need to accommodate each other to resolve spat
China and the United States have to realise they must accommodate each other for an ongoing trade war between both powers to be resolved, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. What happens next will depend on the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Nov 30 to Dec 1 and whether talks can be set on the right way, he noted.

EMs more open to new technology, innovations: Nielsen
While many may assume that advanced economies in the Asia-Pacific region would be more receptive towards new innovations and technologies, a study by market researcher Nielsen suggests that the opposite holds true.

Faster promotions and higher mid-career entry ranks for security industry
Security officers can expect faster promotions while mid-career entrants into the security industry can expect higher pay grades from next year following the government’s endorsement of recommendations from a tripartite workgroup.

‘Divers’ submitting low-ball bids and depressing cleaning workers’ wages to lose out in bidding war for contracts
They are known in the cleaning industry as “divers” for repeatedly putting in low-ball tender bids and depressing the wages of cleaning workers in a desperate attempt to secure contracts. The practice has been going on among some cleaning companies for years and remains commonplace in the cleaning industry, said Mr Simon Swee, managing director of local cleaning firm Sun City Maintenance.

Awards for Cham Tao Soon and Tan Gee Paw for their role in engineering profession
He helped set up the then University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering and went on to become the founding president of Nanyang Technological University, building up the institution over the next 22 years. Professor Cham Tao Soon, 79, later also became the founding chancellor of UniSIM, and played a key role in the formation of the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Ministers to make community visits to all constituencies by mid-2020: Ong Ye Kung
To better understand Singaporeans’ concerns, political office holders, including full ministers, aim to make community visits to all constituencies by mid-2020, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (Nov 18).

Chinese economy takes centrestage
As we stare down this path of global economic weakness potholed by trade wars and higher interest rates, the one notable stimulus to watch will be from China. As our chart suggests, over the past two decades, investments have been the major propellant of China’s GDP growth.

Commentary: China’s tax reforms and Xi Jinping’s fiscal Reaganomics
China’s income tax system is undergoing an administrative overhaul. In the ongoing opera of China’s reform, the leitmotif is again re-centralisation, the refrain is of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals driving Chinese productivity, and the bridge is meaningful fiscal administrative reform.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Malaysia Q3 GDP growth slips for 4th straight quarter to 4.4%

Japan’s exports rebound in October even as trade tensions rise

Europe is doing deals in Asia as Trump’s war on trade takes a toll

EU to tighten rules on foreign investment to fend off China

ECB policymakers try to keep a brave face

Draghi raises prospect of slower inflation pick-up amid “uncertainties”

US manufacturing output beats expectations in October

Fed acknowledges concerns but still sees US rate hikes

US seeks to counter China with Papua New Guinea power grid

Trump opens door to trade deal with China soon

Pence’s sharp China attacks fuel fears of new Cold War

Pence slams China’s ‘opaque’ chequebook diplomacy, trade practices

US-China rivalry to dominate Apec summit

Protectionism ‘doomed to failure’: China’s Xi–doomed-to-failure—china-s-xi-says-in-swipe-at-us-10940704

China defers Tonga’s loan payments as it signs up to BRI drive

China’s US Treasury holdings continue to fall

Apec fails to agree on joint statement

Kushner’s tenant woes flare up at Times Square

Lack of new homes may save UK market from Brexit-driven crash


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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