Singapore to KL in 90 minutes: High-speed rail targets 2026 start date
The first trains for the planned high-speed rail (HSR) linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are expected to be up and running by around 2026, with travellers able to make the 350km journey in just 90 minutes. This was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak in Putrajaya on Tuesday, shortly after they witnessed the signing of a memorandum to underscore their countries’ commitment to this mega-project at the highest levels. The document, which paves the way for detailed negotiations and a call for international tenders, was inked by Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Tharman optimistic about future of Chinese economy
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam describes himself as a “realistic optimist” where China’s economic future is concerned, in that he believes its economy will not crash – although it is not going to grow like it has done in the past. Speaking at the FutureChina Global Forum 2016 at the Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday, he said: “Everyone will do better if China successfully transits towards a more fully market-based economy, an innovative one, and an inclusive society. And everyone will lose something if China faiils to do so.
Singapore Real Estate
Keppel and CapitaLand groups sweep corporate governance ‘Oscars’
The leading lights of the local business scene clinched top honours on Tuesday evening at the prestigious 11th Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA), which honours Singapore-listed companies for excellence in corporate governance. Also known as the “Oscars” for Singapore-listed companies, the glitzy ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa saw a total of 32 companies and six individuals taking home prizes, with the list of winners this year led by the Keppel group, which swept five awards and the CapitaLand group, which secured three.
Setting FCL on a long-term growth path (Singapore Corporate Awards 2016)
Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) chief executive Lim Ee Seng was handed a tall order to double the group’s net profit within seven years when he joined as group CEO in 2004. The market was in the doldrums, with FCL facing a pile of unsold residential stock that was long completed. But within a span of five years, Mr Lim managed to double the net profit of FCL, then the property arm of conglomerate Fraser and Neave (F&N), from S$170 million to S$340 million. The unsold inventory of over 1,300 residential units were also sold within two years after the group offered moderate price discounts, coupled with interior design, deferred payment scheme and minor adjustments of layout.
Sports and business are largely intertwined (Singapore Corporate Awards 2016)
Projecting a shy and down to earth demeanour while seated across the table at the showroom of one of his luxury residential developments, William Liem, chief executive officer of Tuan Sing Holdings, does not hesitate to display his passion for his work and life. His success, including sweeping the Best CEO award at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2016 in the mid-cap category, might have stemmed from his younger days as an avid and versatile sportsman. Mr Liem, who has helmed projects in Singapore and overseas, said sports was closely intertwined with business. “If you want to get involved in business, playing sports is actually very relevant. If you are running a football club the rules are similar. You pick a team. You ensure that the team is passionate and dedicated and you prepare yourself for competition,” he said. “Just like in business, we prepare ourselves for downturns and opportunities in the market. There are plenty of opportunities and when they come and you’re prepared, you will outcompete your competitors.”
A strong business case for sustainability (Singapore Corporate Awards 2016)
The question should not be how much City Developments (CDL) has invested in its corporate stewardship and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives, CEO Grant Kelley emphasised to The Business Times in an interview. “But rather, it is whether we can afford not to address ESG issues,” he said. Sustainability issues have risen to the fore following the COP 21 Paris agreement and launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and their impact on businesses will only increase going forward.
Communication and transparency are vital (Singapore Corporate Awards 2016)
Investors in Singapore are getting more vocal and real estate investment trusts (Reits) are adjusting their communication strategies to meet the demands of this new breed of investors, the head honchos of two Singapore-listed Reits said. CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) chief executive officer Tony Tan said investors are becoming more sophisticated and express greater interest in the company’s strategies, development initiatives and investment outlook. “Many are also well informed on macro economic developments and are vocal in providing feedback on the management’s strategies.”
Surbana Jurong to set up Sri Lanka consultancy
Surbana Jurong has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency to set up a technical consultancy services company. The consultancy will provide professional services, such as feasibility studies, project management, and project implementation for urbanisation and infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka and overseas. It is expected to accelerate the project identification, planning and implementation process for urbanisation and infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.
Sale of Sydney office building hits Keppel Reit in Q2
The sale of a Sydney commercial building, 77 King Street, in the first quarter affected Keppel Reit’s second-quarter results. The Reit had announced the A$160 million (S$158 million) sale to a unit of Invesco Asia Core Fund in January this year. The absence of income contribution led the Reit to post a drop in its distribution per unit to 1.61 Singapore cents for the period ended June 30, 2016. In the corresponding quarter a year ago, it had paid out 1.72 Singapore cents.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Second CBD must be viably different
The call for masterplan proposals, to turn Jurong Lake District into a second central business district, offers scope to create something viably different from the island’s southern urban core. It is an ambitious step that needs to be thought through to avoid needless shuttling between two centres that are hardly cheek by jowl. Singapore can draw lessons from the experience of pairs like Canary Wharf-London, Pudong-Shanghai, Parramatta-Sydney and Putrajaya-Kuala Lumpur. The objective must be clear: for example, offering lower-cost business space, easing congestion in the city, or developing an area that stands to benefit from high-speed rail connections.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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