All HDB industrial space to be under JTC by Q1 2018
State industrial landlord JTC is bringing back all the government’s industrial land and properties under its fold. By the first quarter of 2018, all 10,700 industrial units and 540 land leases under the Housing & Development Board (HDB) will be consolidated under JTC, a single agency offering one-stop access to a full range of Singapore’s public-sector industrial facilities. The properties will be transferred from HDB’s portfolio to JTC’s at net book value. Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, who announced this on Wednesday at the soon-to-be-ready JTC Space @ Tampines North, said this will better support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their business growth. He said: “JTC will also be able to better match companies’ space needs across the different stages of their growth with a larger supply of industrial land and space, including its innovative facilities.”
Singapore top destination for expanding Asian businesses
Singapore has emerged as the top destination for Asian businesses expanding abroad, according to a UOB survey out yesterday. The country’s stable political and social climate is a strong draw in these challenging times as overseas expansion becomes more urgent amid slowing sales in domestic markets, the poll showed. The bank’s Asian Enterprise Survey was first conducted in 2014 and is now in its second edition. The latest survey polled 2,500 companies in six markets – mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Major move to support SME growth
About 10,700 industrial units and 540 industrial land leases will be consolidated under JTC Corporation in the first quarter of 2018, to better support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These include industrial land and properties currently held under the Housing Board. HDB’s industrial estates are found in the central, east and north-east regions, while JTC’s industrial estates are largely in the west.
Singapore Real Estate
S’pore could draw Chinese infrastructure deals
Singapore could become an attractive base for Chinese companies looking to invest in large infrastructure projects in Asean, with Singapore’s environment offering stability for operations at a time of business uncertainty, said a top UOB banker. This comes as a UOB survey released on Wednesday showed Singapore remains the top expansion destination for Chinese businesses and other Asian firms. As Asean requires more infrastructure investments, deep-pocketed China can step in to take on big contracts, and take on more “government risk” related to such projects compared to Western firms, said Frederick Chin, head of group wholesale banking at UOB, at a briefing.
Singapore Reits are best performers this year due to attractive yields
Singapore real estate investment trusts have gone from last year’s biggest losers to this year’s best performers as their world-beating yields attract investors including BNP Paribas Investment Partners and Samsung Asset Management. Singapore Reits, which mostly invest in malls, offices and industrial buildings, offer the highest dividend yields among developed markets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s propelled an 8.9 per cent increase in the FTSE Straits Times Real Estate Investment Trust index this year as yield-hungry investors flock to the offerings amid record-low interest rates. “We’re overweight on Singapore Reits,” said Jan Willem Vis, Amsterdam-based senior portfolio manager at BNP Paribas. “They’re attractively valued compared to other markets. Reits are a very good alternative to bonds and they pay sustainable dividends.”
LTA, URA to work with heritage groups to protect historic Ellison Building
The authorities will be seeking the advice of a conservation specialist and the views of heritage groups on how best to protect the historic Ellison Building, parts of which will be making way for the construction of the North-South Corridor (NSC). Media reports had earlier quoted several groups, such as the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) Singapore and the Singapore Heritage Society, as expressing concerns over the fate of the 1924 building, at the corner of Selegie Road and Bukit Timah Road.
CCT to redevelop Golden Shoe Car Park
Capitaland Commercial Trust (CCT) has submitted plans to redevelop Golden Shoe Car Park (GSCP) into a commercial development that will include an office tower and a new government-owned food centre. CCT said on Wednesday that GSCP, a 10-storey building located at Raffles Place and at the heart of the Central Business District (CBD), could potentially be redeveloped to create commercial gross floor area of about one million square feet.
Frasers Commercial Trust Q4 DPU down 2.8 per cent
Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) on Thursday posted a 2.8 per cent fall in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.45 Singapore cents for the fourth quarter ended Sept 30 (Q4 2016), down from 2.52 cents last year. Distribution income grew 4 per cent year-on-year from S$18.82 million to S$19.49 million. Net property income for Q4 2016 was S$29.3 million, 7 per cent higher than that of Q4 2015, due mainly to the completion of the acquisition of 357 Collins Street in August 2015, and higher income contribution from Alexandra Technopark as a result of higher rental rates and lower utilities expenses.
First Reit’s Q3 DPU up on contribution from Kupang Property
Contribution from the Kupang Property comprising Siloam Hospitals Kupang and Lippo Plaza Kupang acquired in December 2015 helped lift healthcare real estate investment trust First Reit’s third quarter earnings. The Reit, which owns 17 properties in Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea, on Wednesday posted distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.12 Singapore cents for the three months ended September 2016. This is 1.9 per cent higher than for the same period a year ago, its manager Bowsprit Capital Corporation Limited said.
Charles Chan appointed as Ascendas-Singbridge China CEO
Ascendas-Singbridge Group on Wednesday announced that Charles Chan has been appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of Ascendas-Singbridge China, with effect from Oct 10. The group said that in his new role, Mr Chan will be responsible for developing and managing Ascendas’ property portfolio in China, and formulating its overall China strategy. This includes developing new products and opening new markets in cities across China.
Prudential eyeing move to Marina One
New office projects continue to fuel leasing activity. Word in the market is that British life insurer Prudential is in advanced stages of negotiations for a lease in the low zone of Marina One’s East Tower. The exact space may not be finalised yet but could extend up to 90,000 square feet, including a presence at ground level for a customer service centre. Prudential currently occupies 70,000 sq ft at Prudential Tower, where its lease is said to expire in early 2018. Prudential declined to comment when contacted by The Business Times.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Conflicting signals spark property debate
How strong is demand in the Singapore residential property market? The picture is different depending on what one looks at. And this has not just sparked a debate in property circles but could pose a dilemma in future government land sales. If one goes by buying demand – as reflected by the encouraging residential sales this year – the market is vibrant. But the actual housing demand – which refers to the demand for owner-occupied and rental housing – sends a different signal if one looks at vacancy rates.
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