The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20th, 21st and 22nd August 2016

Top Story

Disruption is ‘defining challenge’ to economy, says PM Lee
Among all the economic issues that Singapore has to deal with, the “defining challenge” facing the economy in this era is how to deal with disruption, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.  He made the point at the National Day Rally, which was suspended midway when Mr Lee felt ill and had to be ushered backstage to receive medical attention. He returned about 80 minutes later to complete the rest of his speech after doctors assessed that he was fine.  Mr Lee said that Singapore is already dealing with all kinds of economic issues, among them slower growth, helping people to upgrade their skills, and strengthening social safety nets.

Far East Organization on a quest for customer satisfaction
One of Singapore’s oldest and largest property groups, Far East Organization (FEO), is on a quest for customer satisfaction. It has even minted an index to measure the level of customer satisfaction and pegged annual staff bonus payouts to achieving index targets set for each business unit.  The customer engagement index (CEI) assessment for each business unit is based on quantitative customer surveys as well as qualitative focus group discussions at various touch-points from the beginning to end of the customer experience journey.

Singapore Economy

Singapore’s Q2 domestic wholesale trade drops 20.5%
Lower prices of petroleum and chemical products dragged Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade down in the second quarter of 2016, said the Department of Statistics on Friday.  Domestic wholesale trade contracted 20.5 per cent year on year in Q2; excluding petroleum, however, the drop was less severe with a 15.5 per cent decline.  But if price changes are taken into account, domestic wholesale trade was actually flat – with a year-on-year decrease of just 0.1 per cent.

Singapore Real Estate

Jump in recurring revenue cushions drop in property sales
Like other property groups here, Far East Organization (FEO) has seen its property sales in Singapore ease significantly in the past few years due to the property cooling measures.  The group’s annual recurring revenue, however, has risen to S$772 million in 2015 – about 3.7 times the S$207 million in 2005.  This near quadrupling of recurring revenue has provided some cushion against the ups and downs of property cycles.

S’pore, M’sia to issue joint tender for HSR project on Monday
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Malaysia’s MyHSR Corporation (MyHSR) will be calling for a tender on Monday (Aug 22) to appoint a Joint Development Partner (JDP) in the development of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project.  The JDP is expected to provide project management support, technical advice and procurement advice relating to the high-speed railway systems and operations, said the two agencies on Friday.

Buying interest steady for Good Class Bungalows
The number of sales of Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) remains below the level they were at before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio was imposed in mid-2013, but there remains buying interest for this rare type of property.  Developer OUE said on Thursday that it is buying two GCB plots in Nassim Road for $56.58 million.  The price of about $1,652 per sq ft (psf) across both plots was deemed attractive, given the last GCB sale in Nassim Road was for about $2,000 psf in February 2012.

Companies’ Brief

First Sponsor sells 70% stake in Dongguan project to China Vanke, Regent Land
First Sponsor Group has tied up with China Vanke and Regent Land Investment Holdings in developing the group’s mixed-use project in Dongguan in Guangdong province.  The group said on Monday it had on Aug 19 entered into a share subscription agreement and assignment agreement with subsidiaries of China Vanke and Regent Land for the collaboration.  First Sponsor will retain a significant 30 per cent stake in the project, while Vanke and Regent Land will end up with 55 per cent and 15 per cent interests respectively.

Soilbuild Reit to raise up to S$59.4m via preferential offering for property acquisition
Soilbuild Business Space Reit is raising up to S$59.4 million via a preferential offering to partly fund the acquisition of Bukit Batok Connection.  The acquisition of the industrial property was previously announced in June.  The Reit is issuing up to 94.35 million new units at S$0.63 per unit through a pro-rata non-renounceable preferential offering to its existing unitholders. At S$0.63, this is at a discount of 8.2 per cent to the volume-weighted average price of S$0.6865 per unit for trades done on Aug 18. The preferential offering is made on the basis of one new unit for every 10 existing units held by Soilbuild’s entitled unitholders.

CRCT to buy mall in Chengdu shopping belt for 1.53b yuan
CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) is acquiring a shopping mall in Chengdu for some 1.53 billion yuan (S$310.4 million), which will take the number of malls in its portfolio to 11.  Galleria mall is located in the Xinnan Tiandi retail precinct of Gaoxin District in south Chengdu, which is a major shopping belt.  HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore), in its capacity as trustee of CRCT, has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with BR Spicy to acquire 318 ordinary shares, which form the entire capital in BR Spicy (HK). The latter, via a wholly-owned subsidiary, holds Galleria.

Chiwayland bullish on prospects in China, Australia and US
Chiwayland International is maintaining full confidence in China’s property market, despite talk of a possible property bubble.  The mainboard-listed developer plans to continue ramping up its pipeline of projects in its home market in the mainland.  It also has bold plans for the Australian and the United States markets, which will underpin its strategy to make non-Chinese revenue half of the group’s total in five years.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Good deal hunting: The search for genuine property bargains
We can all fondly recall that one euphoric moment when we discovered a great bargain and took advantage of it, whether it was for a 50-inch TV at a promo price of S$399 or that pair of sneakers you always wanted at half the original amount.  But when it comes to buying properties, how easy is it to assess what is a good bargain? Recently, CapitaLand rolled out a stay-then-pay scheme coupled with a 15 per cent discount for two of its projects, d’Leedon and The Interlace. Not to be left out, Bukit Sembawang offered a 10 per cent to 13 per cent discount for its Skyline Residences development. Earlier this year, Wheelock Properties introduced an ABSD Assistance Package, which provided buyers a 15 per cent discount and a 15 per cent ABSD rebate for selected units at Ardmore Three. OUE Twin Peaks is probably the most notable project, being the first developer to have brought back the deferred payment scheme.  The scheme has been a huge success as 116 units have been sold since.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

PM Lee, Jokowi to be at launch of industrial park in Java

Slowing China home price rises could dent growth

China should beware of traps amid structural transformation

UK landlords scope out office bargains as Brexit vote bites

A storied Chicago hotel with a modern spirit of play

Myanmar cuts skyscrapers down to size as economic doubts mount

New NYC rental apartment block on sale as buyers swarm

Concrete beach attracts Chinese to world’s largest building

Resilient domestic demand boosts growth in most Asian economies

Asian shares slip, US dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets

London Housing Boom to End in 2017 as Brexit Bites, Broker Says

London’s Canary Wharf banks on new rail line to prevent exodus of lenders

Vanke Profit Gains on Strong Sales Amid Ownership Fight

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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