S’pore’s GDP growth may exceed 3% for 2017, productivity up: PM Lee
Singapore’s economy could expand by more than 3 per cent in 2017, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday as he sketched a bullish picture of the country’s full-year growth prospects. For now, the official growth forecast is 2-3 per cent with the gross domestic product expanding at the upper end of the range. But private-sector economists have already gone ahead to raise the figure. Last week, DBS Group Research economist Irvin Seah upped the bank’s growth forecast for the Singapore economy to 3.2 per cent, from 2.8 per cent previously.
Singapore’s fintech dive now delves for proof beyond concept
Fintech (financial technology) is starting to be plugged into Singapore for real economic value, as the city-state seizes technology such as blockchain and goes international with its fintech approach. While fintech spans many applications, it makes most sense when it crosses borders, and Singapore is taking bold steps to have this trend realised beyond the hype that has bubbled up in the last two years.
Exports trounce forecasts with 20.9% jump in October
The party continues for Singapore exporters as shipments rebounded last month after a disappointing showing in September. Exporters started the last quarter of the year on strong footing as non-oil domestic exports (NODX) surged 20.9 per cent in October over October last year, blowing past economists’ estimates of a 11.9 per cent rise. The figure is the latest in a string of robust numbers pointing to better days ahead for the Singapore economy, thanks largely to a stronger global outlook.
Big data: It’s how you use it that counts
For all the chatter about collecting and storing big data, the old adage seems to be true: Size does not matter as much as how you use it. The head honcho of a global analytics firm last month gave the example of how cities around the world are now billing themselves as “smart”. “If you have a sensor-based city, where you have sensors everywhere, then you have huge amounts of data that have to be analysed and put to use,” SAS co-founder and chief executive Jim Goodnight noted, in a briefing on the sidelines of his firm’s Analytics Experience conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Singapore Real Estate
Smaller supply of quality units slows shophouse market in H2
The shophouse market is poised for a slower second half after having hit high notes in the preceding two half-year periods. The drop in transaction values comes not from sagging demand, but rather a lack of quality supply being offered for sale, said Clemence Lee, associate director of capital markets at JLL. “Most of the demand for conservation shophouses would be in Districts 1 and 2, where a lot of the quality stock that had been put on the market was sold in the first two quarters of this year.
Mayfair Gardens sold en bloc for S$311 million
The en bloc train continues to chug along with Oxley Holdings’ subsidiary, Citrine Property, clinching Mayfair Gardens for S$311 million. The sale price, with an additional lease top-up premium estimated at S$52 million to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years, translates to a land price of approximately S$1,244 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said marketing agent Knight Frank in a press release.
Pair of Craig Road shophouses sold for S$18m
Recently transacted conservation shophouses for which caveats have been lodged include a pair of adjoining conservation shophouses at 38 and 39 Craig Road. With a courtyard in front, the pair of shophouses were bought for S$18 million by an entity affiliated with Clifton Partners, a property investment management firm. The price translates to S$1,834 per square foot on built-up area for the property; the site has a 99-year leasehold tenure that started in July 1989, so the lease still has 701/2 years left on it.
Erratic lift behaviour plagues new Boon Keng BTO blocks
Heavy landings on the ground floor, lifts stopping mid-journey and buttons turning off after being pressed. Such erratic lift behaviour and at least 20 breakdowns this year have plagued residents of the new Build-To-Order premium flats at McNair Towers in Boon Keng since the keys were handed over in August last year.
Retail sector buying into digital game-changers
As it tries to dig itself out of a rut, the sluggish retail sector could become the new frontier for digital game-changers like video analytics. But industry insiders cited mindset change as the main hurdle. Assistant Professor Ernst Osinga from the Singapore Management University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business told The Straits Times: “For online retailers, it is easier to collect and analyse consumer data.
S’pore-Andhra Pradesh city project going well
Singapore and Andhra Pradesh explored projects promoting economic development in the Indian state’s upcoming capital city of Amaravati during a two-day visit by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran. Amaravati, 10 times the size of Singapore, is coming up on large swatches of agricultural land in the Guntur-Vijayawada region.
Planting the Capella flag in Asia, one city at a time
These are exhilarating times for everyone who works at the Capella Hotel Group. Last month, it was reported that Singapore’s Kwee family had bought the ultra-luxe hospitality company from veteran hotelier and Ritz-Carlton founding president Horst Schulze. The deal – the terms of which were not publicly disclosed – also resulted in Capella relocating its global headquarters from Atlanta, Georgia (in the United States), to Singapore.
Gaw Capital fund to acquire PoMo for S$342m
A fund managed by Gaw Capital Partners has agreed to pay Enviro-Hub Holdings and BS Capital S$342 million for PoMo, a nine-storey office and retail development in Selegie Road. This confirms an earlier BT report that the Hong Kong-based private equity real estate group was undertaking due diligence.
GIC takes majority stake in new innovation precinct next to University of Melbourne
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC announced on Monday its participation as a majority investor in a new educational and commercial project in Melbourne, Australia. The other partners in the venture consist of the University of Melbourne, Lendlease and Urbanest, a developer of student accommodation. Developed by Lendlease, the “innovation precinct” will be majority pre-leased to the University of Melbourne for 42 years.
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