The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 2nd June 2016

Singapore Economy

Tap complementary aspects of fiscal and monetary policies: Ravi Menon
The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has urged policymakers and economists to “look beyond the noise” and towards the underlying trends in the economy.  Ravi Menon said: “We need to be able to discern from these changes what the underlying structural and cyclical trends are in order to design policies in response.”

Firms need to forge customised swords to tackle disruption
There is no one-size-fits-all, textbook strategy for Singapore companies in dealing with disruption, although fostering top management buy-in and building narratives and a culture to ignite entrepreneurial activity will go a long way.  This was a key finding from a thematic discussion held on Wednesday by the Group on Disruptive Technologies under the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).

Singapore Real Estate

Qatar sovereign wealth fund close to buying Asia Sq Tower 1
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is said to be on the brink of sealing a deal to buy Asia Square Tower 1 from BlackRock. The price is expected to be about S$2,700 per square foot of net lettable area (NLA) or S$3.5 billion.  The lump sum price will set a fresh record for an investment sale of a piece of Singapore real estate; it will also be the largest transaction in the Asia-Pacific of a single office asset in the past five years.  A deal on this Marina View property is expected by this weekend.

Developers’ offers catch officials’ attention
Developers have been getting creative with schemes to entice buyers back to a slow market but some of them are tripping up over the fine print of the regulations.  While they may appeal to cash-strapped buyers, some of the concepts at uncompleted projects are crossing the line, forcing the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to step in.  It has issued a warning letter to the developer of Gem Residences for two instances of non-compliance, a spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.  Under a “specimen cheque scheme”, the joint developers of the Toa Payoh project had offered potential buyers cheques of $7,500 or $10,000 to submit as expressions of interest. These amounts would be used to offset their booking fee.

Golden Glory plans Singapore IPO this year for Myanmar property push
Golden Glory Group Pte, a developer of Myanmar real estate, is planning an initial public offering in Singapore this year as the opening of the frontier market spurs property demand in South-east Asia’s fastest-growing economy.  The Singapore-based company is targeting an US$80 million-to- US$100 million initial share sale, raising capital to help fund land bank acquisitions in Myanmar, chief executive officer Christopher Wu said in an interview in Yangon.

Indonesian tycoon offers $560m for building in CBD
An Indonesian tycoon and philanthropist, Dr Tahir, has proposed buying the Straits Trading Building in Battery Road for $560 million – a sum that would set a new record for the per square foot price.  Singapore-listed investment holding firm MYP yesterday said that Dr Tahir had signed a letter of offer to acquire the 999-year leasehold Grade A office building in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) from Sun Venture Group.  Sun Venture Group would bank a sizeable gain, given that it bought the 28-storey block from the Straits Trading Company for $450 million, or about $2,800 psf, in September 2014.

GSS back with even bigger discounts
The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is back with a vengeance this year as retailers roll out drastic price cuts and unique promotions to entice shoppers to loosen purse strings even as the economic slowdown and tighter budgets dampen sentiment.  Some leading chains even started their promotion period early this year with product ranges lined up at discounts close to 70 per cent. The GSS — spread over 10 weeks — officially starts on June 3 and ends on Aug 14.

Companies’ Brief

Troubled flooring firm Jason Holdings posts S$13.8m loss for 2015
Troubled timber flooring specialist Jason Holdings, which is dealing with corporate governance and debt repayment issues, has released its unaudited full-year and adjusted half-year results for 2015. The firm registered a S$13.8 million net loss for the full year compared to a S$215,000 net profit in its restated 2014 results.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Major changes needed for shift from value-adding to value creation
The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) which was established late last year to chart new directions for the Singapore economy is, at least chronologically speaking, about halfway through its term; it is expected to present its recommendations by the end of the year. During this consultation phase, a number of ideas have surfaced, from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and expert observers. Hopefully, there will be many more.  It is widely recognised, including by the CFE, that the journey from being a “value-adding” economy to a “value-creating” one will require a multi-pronged effort.

Don’t get paralysed by downturns but focus on a sustainable business
Deflating commodity prices are rippling through the world and regional economies. The cycle of growth over the past decade, fuelled by the commodity consumption boom, has reversed. The economies of South-east Asian nations have been among the hardest hit, starting with natural resource extraction companies and rippling outwards to related suppliers and manufacturers and industrial transportation providers.  Yet as we monitor the impact on wider and wider circles of related industries, something interesting happens. The negative effects of low commodity prices begin to dissipate and eventually, turn positive.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Australian GDP growth shoots past expectations

PMI points to economy stabilising but no rebound in sight yet

Chinese central bank targets 53t yuan shadow loan market

China’s new home prices grow at fastest rate in two years

Global economy stuck in low growth trap, says OECD

Land ownership woes for China’s homeowners

Lower rates boost Sydney home values in May

Uncertainties about land leases throw China homeowners’ wealth in doubt

Rayong hotels hit by oil sector woes, economic slowdown

Property prices in NZ town surge on demand from China investors

First Hudson Yards tower opens in New York

Focus on housing for refugees at Biennale

UK mortgage lending slows to weakest pace since 2012 amid new tax

Macau’s May casino revenue falls more than analysts’ estimates

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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