The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 19th, 20th and 21st May 2018

Singapore Economy

US, China ease tensions by putting trade war on hold
he world’s two largest economies appear to have averted a potentially damaging trade war with a consensus to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit with China that has been hailed as a win-win by Chinese media, but viewed with scepticism in the US.  Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, who led his team in the trade talks in Washington with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his team, told the media on Saturday that the two sides had agreed not to launch a trade war.

Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade grows 6.6% in Q1
Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade expanded by 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same period last year, largely due to sales of petroleum and petroleum products.  Quarter on quarter and seasonally adjusted, domestic wholesale trade grew by 5.7 per cent, according to Department of Statistics data released on Friday.

Lighthouse Canton and Validus launch $20m SME financing fund
Validus Capital and Lighthouse Canton Group launched a $20 million fund to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) yesterdayan with hopes to grow the entity to $200 million in the next three years.  The LCV Trade Finance Fund will invest in loans that originate from Validus’ peer-to-peer lending platform. Validus, a portfolio company of Temasek Holdings’ Vertex Ventures, has made disbursements of more than $85 million over the past 24 months.

Terms of KL-Singapore HSR agreement may have to be renegotiated: Azmin Ali
Putrajaya: Malaysia’s newly appointed Economic Affairs Minister, Azmin Ali, said on Saturday (May 19) he has been tasked to review mega projects the previous government embarked on, including the High Speed Rail (HSR) project linking up Kuala Lumpur to neighbouring Singapore.

‘Limited’ impact from US-China tariffs on Singapore economy, says Chan Chun Sing
Singapore: The tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and China have had “limited” negative impact on Singapore’s economy as they affect only a “modest share” of the country’s exports, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Friday (May 18).  An analysis by his ministry estimated that about 0.09 per cent of Singapore’s domestic exports could be directly affected by the trade tariffs, Mr Chan said.


Singapore Real Estate

Managers of Reits with overseas assets address investors’ concerns at symposium
While real estate investment trusts (Reits) with overseas assets present additional risks, they also provide higher growth opportunities, and managements take several measures to allay investors’ concerns, said experts at a panel discussion at the Reits Symposium 2018.

Buyers snap up 80 units at Le Quest Phase Two sales
Le quest, a Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group mixed development project in Bukit Batok, sold about 80 units during the first weekend of its Phase Two sales.  Qingjian Realty has offered 115 units for sale, just a week after it opened up the development for Phase Two preview.

Chinatown Plaza owners to get S$260m in collective sale
Chinatown Plaza has been sold for S$260 million to a property unit affiliated to Singapore-based RGE (Royal Golden Eagle), the pulp and paper to palm oil giant founded by Sukanto Tanoto.  The price translates to a land rate of S$1,915 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co) on Friday, which handled the collective sale.

Sell for redevelopment? No way
Mrs Tan Mei Yeng, 86, used to live in a well-lit terraced house in a quiet street just minutes away from Orchard Road.  Though she has neither moved nor renovated her dwelling in Lengkok Angsa, off Paterson Road, she now lives in a semi-detached house, nestling in the shade of towering condominium blocks.

Asia-Pac wins for Grand Copthorne Waterfront
A bold move to invest in a $17 million makeover at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has paid off with wins at the recent Asia Pacific Hotel Awards held in Bangkok. Grand Copthorne Waterfront was named “Best Convention Hotel, Singapore” and “Best Luxury Hotel, Singapore”, and also earned the International Five-Star Hotel title.

Smaller grocery chains find ways to stay in the game
A small supermarket chain saw the potential of catering to residents in their neighbourhoods and rode the heartland wave to expand to eight outlets in the 2000s.  By the 2010s, competition between major supermarket players had intensified in a business worth billions of dollars a year.

ESR-Reit, Viva Industrial Trust to merge; VIT stapled securityholders to receive S$0.96 per unit
Managers of ESR-Reit and Viva Industrial Trust (VIT) on Friday announced a proposed merger to create Singapore’s fourth largest industrial Reit with a combined S$3 billion in assets.  The deal, which will be the first in the history of Singapore Reits if successful, will be completed by way of a trust scheme of arrangement.

Businesses at Big Box face low traffic, uncertain future
With Big Box now put up for sale, those working at the eight-storey building in Jurong East Regional Centre are unsure of their future.  They are worried whether they will be allowed to continue operating after the sale closes on June 14 and what it will mean for the warehouse retail scheme under which they operate.


Companies’ Brief

Perennial appoints Europe’s luxury hotel group Kempinski to operate Capitol Singapore hotel
Perennial Real Estate Holdings has appointed Europe’s luxury hotel group, Kempinski Hotels SA, to operate The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore at Capitol Singapore – a heritage lifestyle integrated development in Singapore’s downtown Civic District.

Ascendas India Trust to buy 7 more Hyderabad office buildings, including 2 for S$270m
The manager of Ascendas India Trust has entered into a forward purchase agreement to acquire two buildings, aVance 5 and 6 from Phoenix Infocity, the master developer of the aVance Business Hub in Hyderabad.  a-iTrust has also entered into a separate agreement with Phoenix to acquire five future buildings in aVance Business Hub 2, which is adjacent to aVance Business Hub.

Aspen Group seeking to raise US$11m for investments, projects
Malaysia-based property group Aspen (Group) Holdings is seeking to raise US$11 million from a convertible loan for its investments in two associate companies and other development projects.  Aspen said on Sunday that it has entered into an agreement with Haitong International Financial Products (S) to raise US$11 million via a convertible loan agreement.

Boustead Projects’ Q4 profit falls 59% on absence of one-off gain
Mainboard-listed Boustead Projects booked a 59 per cent slide in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit to S$5.81 million on the absence of a one-off gain a year earlier.  The one-off gains in Q4 2017 stemmed from compensation for AusGroup’s early lease termination at its 36 Tuas Road property and the sale of Boustead Project’s interest in TripleOne Somerset.

HK property developer Hsin Chong set to default on US$ bonds
Hsin Chong Group Holdings Ltd is set to become the second Asian company to default on its US dollar bonds this year, the latest sign of rising borrowing costs impacting weaker firms’ ability to repay debt.

Oxley sells 80% stake in subsidiary to Catalist-listed Rich Capital Holdings
Mainboard-listed Oxley Holdings has sold an 80 per cent stake in its subsidiary, Oxley Batam, to Catalist-listed real estate company Rich Capital Holdings in a deal worth S$10.39 million.  Oxley continues to hold the remaining 20 per cent in Oxley Batam, which has ceased to be an Oxley subsidiary.

Frasers Hospitality grows brand in smaller China cities
Singapore hotel and serviced-apartment chain Frasers Hospitality is expanding its footprint in smaller cities in China, driven by the presence of more international companies as well as growing demand from domestic travellers.

Yanlord acquires 51% stake in prime residential site in Nantong
Yanlord land Group Limited has acquired 51 per cent stake in a company holding development rights to a prime residential development site in Central Innovation District of Nantong city in Jiangsu PrRovince, through an injection of about 21 million yuan (S$4.4 million).


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Opportunities and challenges for Asean amid growth
Singapore is right in the middle of an up-and-coming neighbourhood that is fast becoming a global economic powerhouse.  The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) – Singapore is one of its 10 members – is well and truly in the fast lane now.

Hard for minorities to win in LTC delisting
A bid by the controlling Cheng family to delist steel trading and property group LTC Corp is close to crossing the finish line. If the offeror can persuade the last remaining minority shareholders to step out of their way, that is.  Large shareholders who want to play the delisting game are finding it increasingly harder to swipe an easy victory.

Property development – lumps, bumps and slumps
In a complex and fast-moving financial world, it’s comforting to know that some sectors remain relatively easy to understand. A case in point is property development. The property developer acquires land, an architect then designs the building and obtains planning approval before passing the baton to the construction team.

Observers welcome Govt’s concern over ageing HDB leases
Remarks from National Development Minister Lawrence Wong that the Government is looking into the ageing Housing Board lease issue were mostly welcomed by observers yesterday, even as concerns remained over the fate of older flats.

Fair for Govt to let HDB lease expire
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that there would be serious implications if the lease of HDB flats were extended (Lease extension a complex issue, says Lawrence Wong; May 18).  I would like to add that it is only right for the Government to let the lease expire after 99 years.

HDB should quell misguided sentiments on leases
The focus of the Housing Board should be on providing affordable homes.  Singaporeans ought to understand that HDB flats are cheaper because the 99-year lease term allows the Government to redevelop and sell new public housing, possibly at subsidised rates, to the next generation.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed minutes, geopolitics to lead markets this week

Indebted Kushner Tower gets a Qatar-linked lifeline

UK households turn cheerier about their finances in May: IHS Markit

Prime central London home prices likely to rise 15% over 5 years

China’s Q2 GDP growth seen easing to around 6.7%: official think tank

Tianjin Eco-City marks 10th year with festivities

Boom in HK’s self-storage services as homes shrink

New Zealand Q1 retail sales grow at slowest pace in 5 years, flagging economic headwinds

Japan investors’ shift a red flag for global markets?

Indonesian rate hike may slow, not stop, outflow of foreign funds

Monaco’s ambitious US$2.4b construction plan to stay relevant


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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