Markets see clear skies ahead amid summer breeze
If 2017 heralded the onset of spring in the financial markets, 2018 is turning out to be full-blown summer. As stocks around the world begin the new year strongly and indices hit new highs, analysts and investors interviewed by The Business Times say there appears to be no end in sight for the business cycle. They struggle to name any risk they are particularly concerned about.
Upcoming Budget to continue efforts to help firms transform: Lawrence Wong
The upcoming Budget’s focus on helping firms innovate and transform was highlighted by Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong in a Facebook post on Thursday. He had visited local life-science manufacturer Esco Group at its Ayer Rajah Crescent premises the day before, and commended the company’s transformation over the years and its current push to do research and development.
Uptick in luxury watch sales in 2017
Exports of Switzerland’s luxury watches to Singapore, like its watch shipments to the rest of the world, are picking up after two years of decline. Shipments to Singapore jumped 8.5 per cent year on year to 1.1 billion Swiss francs (S$1.6 billion) in 2017 – despite a 12 per cent plunge in the final month of the year. Singapore was one of the four markets among the top 10 markets for Swiss timepieces where watch shipments fell in December. But its drop was bigger than in the other three markets: US (-9.5 per cent), UK (-3.9 per cent) and Germany (-10 per cent).
Singapore Real Estate
Maximum of 6 unrelated tenants in a flat: HDB
From May 1, owners of four-room or larger Housing Board (HDB) flats will be allowed to rent their property out to a maximum of six unrelated persons, down from the current cap of nine, said HDB on Thursday. The agency also reduced the number of occupants allowed in three-room living quarters of commercial properties from eight to six. HDB said the changes aim to minimise the problems caused by overcrowding, in addition to maintaining “a conducive living environment” in Singapore’s public housing estates.
Ascendas Hospitality Trust’s Q3 DPS down 14%
Dragged down by weakness in its Australia portfolio, Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTRUST) posted a 14 per cent drop in distribution per stapled security (DPS) to 1.41 Singapore cents for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2017. Net property income (NPI) slipped 4.7 per cent from a year ago to S$25.2 million amid weaker performance in the Australia portfolio and translation losses in foreign-currency earnings due to the stronger Singapore dollar.
OKH enters joint venture with Ping An unit
Property developer OKH Global is tying up with Ping An Industrial and Logistics to develop logistics and warehousing facilities in China, it said on Thursday. A memorandum of understanding has been inked, and more details will be released later. A joint venture company is expected to be set up by the second half of the year, OKH Global said. Ping An Industrial and Logistics is a subsidiary of the Ping An Group, one of China’s five largest insurers.
GuocoLand’s Q2 profit drops on absence of divestment gain from associate
GuocoLand Limited reported a 25 per cent drop in net profit to S$43 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 due to a divestment gain by an associate in the comparative period. Its revenue jumped 60 per cent to S$370.6 million, thanks mainly to stronger sales and higher progressive revenue recognition from its Singapore residential projects.
WeWork plans Japan expansion, eyes Osaka, Yokohama, Fukuoka
WeWork, a co-working space company backed by SoftBank Group, is planning to expand its Japan operations to include Osaka, Yokohama and Fukuoka. The New York-based startup may open a location in Osaka in the next 12 to 14 months, Chris Hill, WeWork’s chief executive officer for Japan, said in an interview on Thursday.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Batched tenders work, up to a point
This week’s simultaneous closing of state land tenders – or batched tender exercise – for three private housing sites has once again put the spotlight on whether they are effective in taming bids. After a three-year hiatus, the government reintroduced batched tenders last December amid escalating private residential land prices paid by land-starved developers at both state tenders as well as private sector-driven collective sales.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Global factories kick off 2018 on strong note, but inflation missing
Janet Yellen seals success as market’s therapist
Dollar weakens after Fed bounce short-lived
UK Jan house prices rise by annual 3.2%, up from 2.6% in Dec
Xi wants ‘new level’ of China-Britain trade ties
China’s manufacturing performs well in Jan
China tycoon in talks to buy MassMutual’s hotels
Yingluck’s 110m baht mansion seized
Portugal property investment hits new record
Tougher investment rules in Australia amid China fears
Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article