The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20th October 2017

Top Story

HDB’s new online resale portal heralds disruption
Real estate agencies and valuers see the start of digital disruption rocking the sector with the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) introduction of a new online resale portal that will substitute many of the current offline processes in a resale transaction.  The public housing agency on Thursday said this portal would help to cut down buyers’ and sellers’ appointments required with HDB officers from two to one, and possibly halve transaction time from 16 weeks to eight. The portal will be launched on Jan 1, 2018.

Singapore Economy

Ageing population triggers debate on GDP growth, interest rates
The unique challenges presented by the global ageing trend across several large countries have thrown up a debate over whether slower labour force gains would weigh on economic growth enough to lower interest rates, a fresh report from JPMorgan Asset Management showed.

Singapore Real Estate

URA opens tender for former Zouk site at Jiak Kim Street until noon of Dec 5
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched a public tender for the site formerly occupied by popular nightspot Zouk with a reserve price of S$689.35 million.  The tender for the 13,481.7 square metre (sq m) 99-year leasehold site will close at noon on Dec 5, and any tender below the reserve price will not be considered, the URA said.

SRX operator sues major consultancies over its valuation service
Various property consultancies JLL, Knight Frank, Edmund Tie & Company, CBRE and Teho Property Consultants have become embroiled in the outstanding lawsuit filed by StreetSine Singapore Pte Ltd against the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV).

Companies’ Brief

Keppel breaks two-and-half year spell with 30% Q3 profit jump
Keppel Corporation posted a 30 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit to S$291.83 million, bolstered by the group’s first-ever year-on-year quarterly revenue and operating profit increase in the last two-and-a-half years.  Earnings per share were 16 Singapore cents, up from 12.4 Singapore cents in the year-ago period.

New Keppel unit to build smart, sustainable precincts
Keppel Corporation is setting up a new business unit to develop high-tech and sustainable urban areas in the Asia-Pacific region.  The move comes as Keppel aims to capitalise on the mega trends of rapid urbanisation and the increasing global focus on sustainability, it said yesterday.  The new unit, Keppel Urban Solutions (KUS), will harness the group’s strong track record in large-scale urban developments as well as its strengths in energy, property, infrastructure and connectivity to “create efficient and vibrant smart precincts and cities of the future”, said Keppel chief executive Loh Chin Hua in a statement.

Ascott acquires its first Silicon Valley hotel
The Ascott Limited (Ascott) on Thursday said it would acquire and refurbish The Domain Hotel, a freehold hotel in Silicon Valley, California, for a sum of S$81.5 million.  The aim is to capture the fast-growing demand from global technology companies and multinational corporations. The 136-unit hotel will continue to operate as it undergoes refurbishment in phases before being rebranded to Citadines Cupertino Sunnyvale in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Sapphire gains on buy-in by HK-listed property group
Shares of Sapphire Corp rose on Thursday after it announced on Wednesday night that two of its largest shareholders are selling a 27.96 per cent stake in the company to Hong Kong-listed Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group (HKICIM) in a share swap that values the shares of the investment management firm at 51 Singapore cents apiece.  The stock closed at S$0.315, up one Singapore cent from the previous close.

Huge Q1 profit jump for GuocoLand
GuocoLand posted a higher first quarter net profit of S$165.55 million, up from S$25.64 million a year-ago.  Earnings per share were 14.92 Singapore cents compared to 2.31 Singapore cents.  Revenue for the first quarter ended Sep 30 jumped 79 per cent to S$361.98 million.  Gross profit surged 41 per cent to S$60.38 million mainly due to higher sales and progressive revenue recognition from its residential projects in Singapore.

2 fund management firms oppose CDL’s takeover bid for M&C
Two fund management firms have joined an investor revolt against the planned 1.8 billion pound (S$3.2 billion) takeover of Britain’s Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) by City Developments Limited (CDL), its majority shareholder.

Frasers Commercial Trust posts 1.6% dip in Q4 DPU at 2.41 S cents
A larger unit base, higher repair rates and lower occupancy rates for its properties resulted in Frasers Commercial Trust’s (FCOT) Q4 distribution per unit (DPU) slipping to 2.41 Singapore cents, down 1.6 per cent from a year ago.  FCOT also announced the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had given provisional permission for the trust to undertake a S$38 million renovation of the retail podium of China Square Central at 18 Cross Street.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s Q3 DPU up 2.6% at 2.36 S cents
CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s (CCT) net property income rose in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 compared to the same year-ago period, largely due to lower operating expenses, such as property tax, which saw its distribution per unit (DPU) rise 2.6 per cent to 2.36 Singapore cents.  Distributable income rose 7 per cent to S$73.11 million, from S$68.3 million the year before.

Soilbuild Business Space Reit gets S$200m credit facility, to refinance debts
The manager of Soilbuild Business Space REIT has entered into a S$200 million secured facility agreement with OCBC Bank and RHB.  The Singapore-listed Reit said after Thursday trading hours, the facility will be partially utilised to refinance an existing S$185 million secured loan in October 2017 with a balance of S$15 million available for drawdown over the next one year for general corporate funding purposes.

GL says Q1 net profit up 58% on higher hotel revenue
GL has posted a profit after tax for the first quarter ended 30 September 2017 of US$17.4 million, up 58 per cent from US$11 million in the previous corresponding period on higher hotel revenue offset by lower earnings from its gaming and oil and gas units.

FCT still in talks with Hewlett Packard Singapore on Alexandra Technopark leases, to revamp China Square Central retail podium
Frasers Commercial Trust (FCT) in its pre-market earnings statement on Friday (Oct 20) disclosed that it is still in discussion with tenant, Hewlett-Packard Singapore (HPS) on the latter’s plans for its leases at Alexandra Technopark.  HPS currently occupies about 304,920 square feet of space at the technopark under leases expiring on Nov 30, 2017, and which constitute approximately 11.1 per cent of FCT’s total gross rental income for the month ended Sept 30, 2017.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US housing starts hit 1-year low

China policy moves, rate fears maul HK stocks

China property slowing under pressure from cooling measures

China’s Q3 growth holds steady at 6.8%

China’s Sept property sales drop for first time in over 21/2 years

China economy shows solid momentum as party meets, but property curbs bite

China central bank chief warns of asset bubbles, debt risk

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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