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 August 2017

Top Story

HDB puts up 5,291 BTO, re-offer flats for sale
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has put up 5,291 flats for sale under the August 2017 Build-To-Order (BTO) and its first Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise on Tuesday.  Under the BTO exercise, 3,897 flats spread across three projects in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok and Sengkang are put on the market. These range from two-room Flexi to five-room flats, HDB said in a press release.

Singapore Economy

Fintech sees fewer deals but more money in Q2
The value of fintech investment in Singapore increased significantly in the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the year-ago quarter, despite fewer deals being completed.  According to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report, released on Tuesday, Singapore witnessed four fintech deals worth US$61.53 million during the second quarter, compared to US$9.53 million chalked up over five deals in the year-ago quarter. In the sequential first quarter of 2017, seven deals were transacted for a total deal value of US$17.71 million.

Corporate governance reaches new high but better stakeholder engagement needed
Singapore companies have raised their corporate governance practices to a new level, going by the Singapore Corporate Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) released on Tuesday. Closer examination, however, reveals that more remains to be done in areas such as disclosures of stakeholder engagement.  Also of note on Tuesday was Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) chairman Tan Cheng Han’s remarks at the unveiling of the SGTI, which signalled yet again the possible end to quarterly reporting and the possible advent of dual-class shares here.

The bull market seen maintaining momentum
This biannual edition of The Business Times Investment Guide comes at a time when analysts do not foresee the current market bull run ending anytime this year.  The optimism is due to a combination of global growth staying steady, companies beating earnings expectations and muted interest rates resulting from a lack of inflation.  As Mark Schofield, managing director of Citi’s global strategy and macro group, said in a note last week: “The economy remains on track and we think downside risks have diminished.”

Singapore Real Estate

New appointments in senior leadership at EDB, JTC, URA
New appointments were made in the senior leadership team of several government bodies, in separate announcements made by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Tuesday.  The changes involved the JTC Corporation (JTC), the Economic Development Board (EDB), as well as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Limit proxy voting in strata law? Majority back proposed changes: BCA
Proposed changes to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) received majority support from respondents during the final public consultation, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).  Over 250 respondents gave their feedback on 33 proposed amendments during the public consultation that closed in February.

More ex-HUDC estates trying to sell en bloc
En bloc fever is getting even hotter with privatised HUDC estate Florence Regency in Hougang likely to be put up for collective sale soon.  The approval level from owners at the 336-unit project is over 75 per cent. The Straits Times understands three other former HUDC developments – Laguna Park, Pine Grove and Ivory Heights – have also started the collective sale process.  Six residential projects, including three privatised HUDC estates – Rio Casa, Eunosville and Serangoon Ville – have been sold en bloc since May in a resurgent market.

Chevron House up for sale for over S$700m
German open-ended real estate fund Deka Singapore wants to sell its Raffles Place office-cum-retail property Chevron House. It joins the ranks of office building owners which have in recent months put up their properties for sale in the revived office market.  Jeremy Lake, executive director of capital markets at CBRE, said: “Sentiment towards the office investment market has improved significantly in the last six to nine months and there are now more buyers than sellers. The fear around the office oversupply situation has evaporated and most investors are expecting rental growth to return in 2018 and beyond.”

Workplace safety laws under review
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has started a review of laws on workplace safety and aims to complete the exercise by the end of the year.  It is looking at enhancing deterrence against worksite accidents, improving the industry’s learning from such accidents through the release of accident reports, and raising the maximum penalties for offences that result in serious injuries or deaths.  Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan spoke about the review of the Workplace Safety and Health Act in Parliament yesterday, in response to a question from labour MP Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC).

Companies’ Brief

Hospitality, retail segments lift OUE H-Trust’s Q2 DPS
Bolstered by higher contributions from both its hospitality and retail segments, OUE Hospitality Trust’s (OUE H-Trust) distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the second quarter ended June 30 rose to 1.21 Singapore cents, up from 0.92 Singapore cent a year ago.  Gross revenue clocked a 16 per cent gain to hit S$31.16 million, while net property income (NPI) for the quarter under review increased 15 per cent to S$26.62 million on the back of higher gross revenue from both segments; this was partially offset by higher property expenses for Crowne Plaza Changi Airport (CPCA).

Koh Boon Hwee appointed to GIC’s board of directors
Sovereign wealth fund GIC has appointed corporate titan and technology investor Koh Boon Hwee to its board of directors.  The appointment, announced yesterday, takes effect from Aug 14.  Mr Koh has been a member of GIC’s investment board, which assists the directors in the oversight of the investment process and deliberation of significant deals, since January last year.

GYP dumps print directories for real estate
Global Yellow Pages Limited (GYP) is restructuring its business to focus on real estate as its core business and cease publication of print directories from 2018.  In a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday, it said that its Search business – comprising digital solutions and print directories – has been declining significantly year on year. As a result, the company has decided to cease the print directories from next year onwards as well as to restructure its digital business.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Condo unit owner fails in bid to end ‘noise’ from pool pumps
For over two years, a condo unit owner tried to get his estate’s management corporation (MC) to resolve the noise from a swimming pool pump system, which his occupier had found “unbearable”.  The unit is located below the rooftop pool at Luma, a 27-storey development in River Valley Grove.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

UK house prices up a second straight month

BNP Paribas to expand property business in UK

China’s investment in Malaysia may come with a long-term political cost s

IMF flags ‘chronic challenges’ to Japan’s financial system

In Canada, a nation of realtors braces for the end of the boom

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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