The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 1st and 2nd May 2018

Top Story

Growth of over 2.5% expected despite global risks: PM Lee
Notwithstanding global risks stemming from trade tensions, Singapore is likely to have “another good year” ahead, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.  Economic growth this year is expected to be 1.5 to 3.5 per cent “and if all goes well, we should do better than 2.5 per cent,” he said at the labour movement’s May Day Rally.

Extension charges on unsold homes no longer an issue
Developers are paying “almost nothing” in extension charges this year, said Sim S Lim, Singapore Land Authority chairman on Monday.  It’s an indication of the hot property market which includes purchases of replacement homes from en bloc sellers, said Mr Lim who was speaking to The Business Times on the sidelines of DBS Group Holdings’ Q1 2018 results briefing. Mr Lim is also DBS Bank Singapore country manager.


Singapore Economy

Mood upbeat in services, manufacturing sectors
More firms in the services and manufacturing sectors are upbeat about business prospects for the next six months, with sentiment for both industries improving from the previous quarter, two surveys show.  The surveys on firms’ business expectations for April to September 2018 were released separately on Monday. The Economic Development Board (EDB) shared its findings on the manufacturing sector, while the Department of Statistics (DOS) reported on services.

Singapore bank lending quickens in March, growing 5.4% y-o-y
Bank lending in Singapore expanded by 5.4 per cent in March from a year ago, faster than the 3.7 per cent pace of growth in February, as loans to financial institutions and home buyers grew strongly.  Loans through the domestic banking unit – which tracks lending in all currencies, but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending – stood at S$661.60 billion in March 2018 compared to S$627.95 billion in March 2017, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore released on Monday.


Singapore Real Estate

Prices of completed condo, private flats 1% higher in March: NUS index
The prices of completed private apartments and condominiums in Singapore rose one per cent in March, compared with the previous month.  This is according to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) latest flash estimates for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released on Monday.  The price increase rose from the 0.5 per cent rise seen in February, based on the revised index value for that month.

Singapore still needs more hotel rooms; occupancy likely to stay above 84%: Colliers
Singapore still needs a “significant” number of hotel rooms to keep pace with rising tourist numbers in the future despite substantial growth in room supply over the last three years, according to real estate agency Colliers International.  Room supply increased by over 5,500 in 2015, with another 2,567 rooms added in 2016 and about 3,400 new rooms last year. Colliers noted that hotel room supply will slow to 628 rooms in 2018, and to 1,300 rooms in 2019.


Companies’ Brief

CDL reports big progress in sustainability targets
City Developments Ltd’s (CDL) latest integrated sustainability report shows it has hit many targets in 2018.  Among the most prominent hits, according to the report released on Monday, is a 32.8 per cent reduction in carbon emissions intensity from 2007 levels. This positions the group on track to meet the 38 per cent target set for 2030.  CDL also achieved a 27.3 per cent reduction in energy use intensity from 2007 levels, exceeding its 25 per cent target for 2030.

SPH Reit to acquire Rail Mall for S$63.24m
SPH Reit has agreed to acquire The Rail Mall for S$63.24 million, in a transaction expected to be funded by a combination of debt and internal resources.  This comes three months after The Business Times reported that the Rail Mall had been put on the market.  The mall, located along Upper Bukit Timah Road, comprises 43 single-storey shop units and 95 private carpark lots. It has total net lettable area of about 50,000 square feet, and a 99-year lease which will expire in 2046.

Oxley takes 10% stake in Malaysia’s Aspen for S$23.3m
Property developer Oxley Holdings is taking a 10.07 per cent stake in Aspen Group for S$23.28 million, or 24 Singapore cents per Aspen share.  The per-share price for the 97 million Aspen shares represents a 14.72 per cent premium over the volume weighted average price of 20.92 Singapore cents for Aspen’s stock on April 27, the last full market day prior to both parties signing the agreement on April 30.

CapitaLand Q1 profit down 19% on absence of one-time gain
Earnings for CapitaLand, one of the largest real estate companies in Asia, fell in the first quarter despite a rise in revenue, due to the absence of a one-time gain.  Net profit for the three months ended March 31 fell 18.8 per cent to S$319.09 million.  Excluding the gain from the sale of The Nassim in the first quarter of last year, operating net profit would have increased by 25 per cent to S$228.7 million on the back of higher development profits in Singapore and higher rental income from malls and offices in China and Japan, said CapitaLand.

Parkson Retail Asia posts Q3 loss of S$7.8m
Department store operator Parkson Retail Asia posted a third-quarter net loss of S$7.8 million, narrowing its net loss by 14 per cent from S$9.1 million a year ago.  This translated to a loss per share of 1.16 Singapore cents, versus a loss of 1.35 Singapore cents last year.   No dividend was declared for the current financial period, unchanged from the preceding year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Knock on wood for success
When Jason Chang started his venture into the wood business, all he had was a table and a typewriter – and “no money”.  Life was tough back in 1988 when he started Pacific Forest Products, a small and medium enterprise engaged mainly in the trading of timber. Mr Chang remembers having to go around begging for a S$30,000 loan for his very first order which he eventually secured.

Revolutionising the energy management market
Your smart electricity meter is probably dumb, going by the standards of Alex Lau, the 45-year-old CEO of Anacle Systems.  “The technology needed for a smart meter to send its readings back to itself was already available 30, 40 years ago,” he says. “Why is the meter reader still coming to your house every two months to read them?”

Keeping the family business together
Asia has seen its fair share of family feuds. We witnessed sibling rivalry in the Samsung dispute when the founding patriarch passed on. In India, the Ambani brothers publicly clashed after the demise of their father, the founder of Reliance Industries group.

Less noise, even with windows wide open
Noise from busy roads, MRT tracks or construction activity may be less of a nuisance one day even when windows are wide open.  A device is being developed by researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) that can cut down noise by up to 50 per cent.

PUB eyeing two more reservoirs to harness solar power
With little space to accommodate sprawling solar fields, Singapore is looking into installing solar panels on its water spaces.  Engineering studies for solar systems are being carried out at Tengeh and Upper Peirce reservoirs, and now national water agency PUB is looking at adding them to two more reservoirs here to power its energy-intensive water treatment processes in a greener way.

Decoding blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is widely regarded to be the driver of the fourth industrial revolution. A digital, decentralised ledger of economic transactions recorded as “blocks”, blockchain is a public ledger used to store content and record transactions and other valuable information. This distributed ledger is hosted on millions of computers simultaneously and accessible to the whole community.
The Business Times | Wednesday, May, 2018  (Page 5)


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Era of low inflation, interest rates may be near an end

Annual inflation measures jump, as expected

US dollar jumps before Fed rate statement, turns positive for 2018

US construction spending tumbles on weak home building

Why it has become so easy to hide in the US housing market

All for one and one for all in Washington DC area’s quest for HQ2

Prologis to acquire DCT Industrial Trust for US$8.4b

Soaring govt, private debt raises red flag for financial authorities

China manufacturing activity slows in April

China encourages big cities to build more shopping centres

AccorHotels agrees to buy Movenpick Hotels for 560m francs

Australia home prices fall for seventh month, led by big cities

Australia’s four major banks at risk if house prices slump: Fitch

Japan Inc in new wave of global deal-making


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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