The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 21st December 2017

Singapore Economy

Outlook brightens
The Grinch will not be stealing Christmas this year, not with the local economy displaying some unexpected strength as the year ends.  The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) recently upgraded this year’s growth forecast to 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent, up from an earlier estimate of 2 per cent to 3 per cent.  The buoyant numbers come despite rumblings of “volatile and uneven” growth earlier this year in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s shock win in November last year, fears over trade tensions between the United States and China, and protectionist rhetoric.

SCCCI seeks more help for firms in 2018 Budget
Despite improving business sentiment, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) is calling for more support in the upcoming Budget to help companies keep up the momentum they have built in their innovation and productivity journey.

US tax cuts fail to spur S’pore market
Not even the United States tax cuts coming into law could ignite investor interest yesterday, in what has been a downbeat week.  The Straits Times Index (STI) sagged yet again, slipping 9.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 3,394.87.  Unsurprisingly, turnover was lacklustre with 1.43 billion shares worth $1.04 billion traded while losers outnumbered gainers 237 to 161.

Tender opens for firm to design, build and run High Speed Rail assets
The tender for a company that will help develop key parts of the high-speed rail linking Singapore and Malaysia has been launched, with the winning bid to be chosen by the end of 2018.  This company, called the assets company (AssetsCo), will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock, as well as designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets such as trackwork, power, signalling and telecommunications for the high-speed rail network.

Singapore Real Estate

HDB officer fined S$2,000 for breaching OSA
Civil servant Ng Han Yuan was fined S$2,000 on Wednesday for breaching the Official Secrets Act by giving confidential information to a Straits Times journalist.  Ng, 25, a Housing Board officer who works as an estate manager in the resale operations section, gave information to journalist Janice Tai Jia Ling between May 31 and July 16 this year, the court heard.

Sellers sprint for pot of gold in double-quick time
Even the most optimistic property market observer would not have anticipated the collective sale frenzy that shook up the sector this year.  Home owners in many estates were gripped by FOMO – fear of missing out, to those unfamiliar with social media-speak.  The record-setting sums being paid by land-hungry developers at state tenders and collective sales have galvanised owners across the island keen to hit the jackpot.

Companies’ Brief

Mapletree Industrial Trust completes US$753.8m joint acquisition of 14 data centres in US
Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) has completed its US$753.8 million joint acquisition of 14 data centres in the US, the real estate investment trust (Reit) said on Thursday. The acquisition, with MIT’s sponsor – privately held Mapletree Investments, was done through an unlisted single purpose trust, Mapletree Redwood Data Centre Trust.  The total investment comprises of a purchase consideration of US$750 million, as well as estimated stamp duty and other expenses of about US$3.8 million.

Hotel Properties Limited to acquire additional shares in subsidiary and associated company
Hotel Properties Limited (HPL)’s wholly-owned subsidiary HPL Properties (SEA) has entered into a share purchase agreement with ISY Holdings to acquire 11.25 million shares, representing 50 per cent interest in the capital of Palmco Hotels, and 100,000 shares, representing 10 per cent interest, in the capital of HRH Merchandise, for a total consideration of 105 million ringgit (S$34.7 million).

Ho Bee Land’s subsidiary enters into JV for residential land development in Australia
Ho Bee Land’s (HBL) wholly-owned subsidiary, HB Oracle has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with Villa World Wollert for a residential land subdivision development in Wollert, Melbourne, with a joint property acquisition sum of A$30 million (S$31 million).  Wollert JV has been established as a special purpose company to undertake the project, with 51 per cent of shares held by Villa World and 49 per cent of shares held by HB Oracle.

Fortune Reit sells HK mall for HK$2b to repay loan
Fortune Reit on Tuesday evening said it has signed an agreement with an unnamed buyer to dispose of Provident Square in Hong Kong.  The real estate investment trust manager plans to use the net proceeds from the sale for general corporate purpose and working capital, including repayment of an existing bank loan amounting to HK$1.1 billion.

Keppel unit bags deal for HK’s first integrated waste management facility
Keppel Infrastructure Holdings’ wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Seghers Hong Kong, together with Zhen Hua Engineering Co, have signed a HK$31 billion (S$5 billion) contract with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to design, build and operate Hong Kong’s first Integrated Waste Management Facility.

Views, Reviews & Forum

S-Reits could carry out more equity financing in 2018
Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) are likely to do more equity fund-raising exercises in 2018 to fund part of their acquisitions, given the profound run-up in their unit prices this year, which has consequently lowered the cost of capital.  The FTSE ST Reit Index has gone only one way – up – this year, rising about 20 per cent year-to-date on the back of stronger macro-economic conditions and better fundamentals in sub-sectors such as the office and hospitality markets.

Invisible clock starts ticking after an en bloc deal is agreed upon
All eyes are on the en bloc frenzy that is brewing within Singapore’s property industry. Already, the number of collective sales of around 20 projects year-to-date has surpassed the seven deals recorded in 2015 and 2016 in total.  Along with this comes the fear of soaring private home prices, as buyers fear that developers who put in high bids would push up their eventual selling prices.

Provide good service to disrupt digital retail landscape
Orchard Road needs to stay relevant, given that cities in Malaysia offer the same retail environment but with a lower price tag (Orchard Road set to be transformed; Dec 15).  Online shopping has overtaken the current retail climate.  It allows more people to save time as they no longer need to patronise physical stores and appears more attractive due to the many discounts and freebies offered.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Asian business sentiment rises to 7-year high: Survey

US Senate and House pass most sweeping Republican tax reform bill since 1986

Existing home sales jump to 11-year high in November

The latest in apartment technology: fridge cams and robotic valets

Gigantic mall in US looks for ways to survive retail blues

China to deepen reform, keep growth steady in 2018

China to focus on high-quality growth

Wanda plans large-scale capital ties with retail giant Suning

HK’s underused military land a potential goldmine – but a minefield for government

The biggest housing bubble of them all might be Norwegian

Non-residents focus on new condos in Vancouver, Toronto

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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