The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 22nd February 2018

Top Story

Singapore Budget 2018: Singapore must continue to preserve wealth, says Indranee Rajah
Singapore’s reserves were built up because its pioneering leaders were financially prudent and the Government plans to continue in this vein, Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah said on Wednesday morning.  She was addressing questions raised after Monday’s Budget speech, in which Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat explained why Singapore will not spend more than 50 per cent of the expected returns from investing its reserves.

Singapore Budget 2018: Banks & developers eye imported services GST
Banks with operations here are likely to be watching their expenses on imported services a little closer than before, as a small portion of goods and services tax (GST) will be levied on them in two years’ time.  This will not just hit the three Singapore banks buying services from abroad, but will also affect Singapore subsidiaries of global banks that use offshore call centres, or incur shared expenses spent on group-wide costs such as IT systems, tax experts told The Business Times.


Singapore Economy

GST on imported services: Businesses assessing impact
The new goods and services tax (GST) to be imposed on imported services in 2020 will hit financial institutions and some developers in particular, but the extent of the impact is still unclear, say experts.  Local firms are increasingly purchasing services such as software applications from overseas, but they do not pay GST if the provider of the services does not have a presence here. Once the tax is imposed, services imported by businesses will be taxed by what is called a reverse charge mechanism.

GST walls for e-commerce without borders
Netflix has an office in Singapore, but it does not collect goods and services tax (GST) for its subscriptions now.  Ordinarily, a company that sets up shop in Singapore, and sells services to consumers here, would be charging GST on behalf of the government once they make S$1 million in sales. This consumption tax bill is usually passed on to customers.

More regular Medisave payments, injury insurance among moves for self-employed
Self-employed persons should make Medisave contributions as they earn, instead of annually. Corporate service-buyers and intermediaries that link the self-employed with clients – such as ride-hailing platform Grab – should also be required to help deduct and transmit these Medisave contributions.

Digital transformation to contribute US$10b to Singapore’s GDP by 2021: study
Digital transformation in the economy will add an estimated US$10 billion to Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) and increase GDP growth at an annual rate of 0.6 per cent by 2021.  These findings come from a study published by tech giant Microsoft and market researcher IDC Asia on Wednesday.

Singapore, Abu Dhabi join hands on smart utilities solutions
Nine Singapore organisations have signed agreements to undertake power and water projects in Abu Dhabi.  The Middle Eastern nation, the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been heavily dependent on oil and gas, but is now diversifying into building infrastructure and expanding its manufacturing and service sectors.


Singapore Real Estate

EL Development buys Singtel’s Hill Street property
Singtel is selling its Hill Street property – for which planning approval has been granted for redevelopment into a hotel – to homegrown-property group EL Development.  The price is between S$115 million and S$120 million, which works out to about S$1,830 per square foot per plot ratio, The Business Times understands.

Will Genting Singapore beat MBS in VIP growth?
About a month ago, Marina Bay Sands – the bigger of the two integrated resorts (IRs) in Singapore – disclosed it had rolled in some US$456 million (S$596 million) in fourth quarter 2017 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), a measure of operating profit.

9,999-year Guillemard site up for sale at indicative price of S$99m
A 9,999-year leasehold residential site in Guillemard Road/Jalan Molek has been put up for sale by a single, unnamed owner at an indicative price of S$99 million. The tender for the site, located at 1 to 21A Jalan Molek and 217 to 223A Guillemard Road will close on March 20 at 3pm.  The site comprises 15 two-storey terrace houses that are within walking distance from the Mountbatten, Dakota and Aljunied MRT stations, said Cushman & Wakefield, which has been appointed as the exclusive marketing agent for the sale.

Pomex Court up for sale for at least S$37m
Pomex Court in 50 Lorong 101 Changi Road is set to be put up for collective sale, with a minimum price of S$37 million, or S$998 per square foot per plot ratio.  The tender will be launched on Feb 22, said Century21, which is handling the en bloc sale. It will close on March 21 at 3pm.  Built more than three decades ago in 1986, Pomex Court is a freehold residential site in District 15 that sits on 26,471 sq ft of land. Its nearest MRT stations are Eunos and Paya Lebar.


Companies’ Brief

Frasers Commercial Trust prices its S$60m 3.2% 2023 notes
A unit of Frasers Commercial Trust’s (FCOT) trustee has priced the Reit’s S$60 million 3.185 per cent notes, which mature on Feb 28, 2023 under a US$1 billion guaranteed multi-currency medium-term note programme.  The notes are expected to be issued on Feb 28 and will be unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by FCOT trustee British and Malayan Trustees, the manager of FCOT said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday.

UOB raises S$1.6m for charities
More than 1,200 business owners from the region joined United Overseas Bank at its annual Group Commercial Banking Lunar New Year client dinner on Feb 21.  UOB deputy chairman and chief executive officer Wee Ee Cheong launched the night’s fundraising activities with a silent auction of Abundance, a specially-commissioned pottery piece from renowned potter and ceramacist Iskandar Jalil.

Trendlines Group swings to US$3.95m profit on fair value gains of portfolio
The Trendlines Group swung to a profit of US$3.95 million for the full year ended Dec 31, 2017, from a net loss of US$6.6 million in 2016, on the back of fair value gains to its investments in portfolio companies.  Earnings per share was 1 US cent, up from a 1 US cent-per-share loss a year ago, said Trendlines, an Israel-based company that invests in technology-based companies in the medical and agricultural fields. Net asset value per share stood at 15 US cents as at Dec 31, 2017, unchanged from a year earlier.


Views, Reviews & Forum

An economist’s viewpoint on the Budget
Presenting the Singapore budget on Monday, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that with the economy doing well and growing at a faster than expected pace, real wages and output have risen.  He also outlined key measures to keep Singapore on the growth trajectory with emphasis on technological growth, environment sustainability and fiscal responsibility.

Budget alone can’t meet ageing needs
One aspect of the rationale for the forward-looking Budget presented on Monday is the fiscal planning necessitated by the doubling of the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and over by 2030. The impact of this will be increasingly evident in many areas, and in the reversal of generational needs. A stark reminder: Healthcare expenditure is expected to overtake education spending within the next decade, as pointed out by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. With average health subsidies for the old currently being more than six times those given to the young, greater financial provisions must be made for seniors.

Why we shouldn’t ask for Budget hongbao
Over the Chinese New Year weekend, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat remarked that “everyone has been asking me if there will be a hongbao”, or red packet, in this year’s Budget. This wish was promptly answered.  The 2018 Singapore Budget announced on Monday includes a one-off cash payment to every adult Singaporean of $100 to $300, known as the SG Bonus. This will no doubt be popular with citizens and will be especially appreciated by lower-income households.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US Federal Reserve officials say tax cuts could boost economy more than expected

AccorHotels’ 2017 profits beat expectations

German data signal continuation of solid growth, finance ministry says

Final version of Trans-Pacific trade deal released

US existing home sales fall for second straight month

British Columbia takes aim at housing speculation

UK jobless rate rises unexpectedly, wage growth steady

Barangaroo: Sydney’s hot new district

BHP won’t move Singapore marketing hub even if Australia cuts tax: CEO


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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