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, 23rd, and 24th April 2017

Top Story

Toa Payoh to get new flats, new parks in makeover
Singapore’s oldest HDB town, Toa Payoh, will undergo a facelift which will see the building of a few thousand new flats.  There will be two new public housing areas: a 10ha site next to the Caldecott MRT station on the Circle Line and the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line in Toa Payoh Rise, and a 4ha site in Toa Payoh East, next to the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery.  The exact number of new flats is yet to be finalised. But analysts say that the two plots could fit roughly 5,000 units, depending on the flat sizes. There are currently about 37,000 flats in Toa Payoh.


Singapore Economy 

IE Singapore building bigger talent pool to help firms go regional
International Enterprise Singapore unveiled two initiatives on Friday to build a bigger local talent pool to help Singapore firms expand in South-east Asia and India.  The trade promotion agency, which is also pushing homegrown enterprises to have a bigger presence abroad, launched the IE Singapore Go SEA Award and inked three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and three local universities at an Asean-India business forum hosted by IE Singapore.

Tharman to chair G-20 group to review global financial governance
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been appointed chairman of a newly convened international group of top economists and leaders, which has been tasked to review issues related to global financial governance.  At the Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Washington on Friday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann announced the formation of an Eminent Persons Group on global financial governance, to be chaired by Mr Tharman.

Citi gains from Asean’s rapid urbanisation as middle class grows
Citi’s Asean business continues to grow nicely as the bank plays well into the region’s rapid urbanisation propelled by an expanding middle class, according to Amol Gupte, Citi’s head of Asean.  “We are seeing great traction in the main businesses of wealth management, cards, flows in corporate and investment banking, and mergers and acquisition advisory,” he told The Business Times in his first press interview since moving to Singapore about a year ago. “Asean has standout results.”

BlackRock fund manager leans towards bonds
Even though economic fundamentals have improved in the past year, BlackRock multi-asset fund manager Justin Christofel remains cautious as some data such as US car sales growth has been losing steam while recently released inflation and retail sales data has also been slightly weak.  Meanwhile, many assets are fairly or even expensively priced, he said.

Private equity transactions in S-E Asia rebounded in 2016: report
Private equity (PE) activity in South-east Asia rebounded in 2016 to reach nearly US$7 billion in deal value – spurred by a recovery in Malaysia from “a record low” in 2015.  According to Bain & Company’s latest annual South-east Asia Private Equity Report, the US$7 billion is up from the US$4.8 billion recorded in 2015, and 14 per cent more than the 2011-2015 historical average.

Small retailers urged to embrace tech for growth
Self-checkout machines are no longer limited to supermarket chains and fast-food outlets.  Even micro-retailers such as minimarts are adopting them in Singapore’s push for retail productivity.  One of the early adopters is Food-Joy in South Buona Vista Road. In January last year, the company invested in its first self-checkout counter with the support of Spring Singapore’s Capability Development Grant, which covers up to 70 per cent of the cost. After a successful pilot, it decided to buy a second machine two months later.

Retail brands from China defying stereotype to set up shop in Singapore
When Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning set up shop in Singapore in 2009, it took one month to sell its first badminton racket.  Former world No.1 shuttler Lin Dan may have endorsed the brand, but in the eyes of Singaporeans, one detail stood out: that it is a brand from China.

Month-long Orchard fiesta to woo shoppers
Visitors to Orchard Road can get a street-side taste of Keng Eng Kee Seafood’s coffee ribs or salted egg chicken burger and tempura kimchi popiah from Good Chance Popiah this weekend as part of a month-long event which was launched yesterday.  Called Fiesta on a Great Street, it features pop-up events, shopping promotions and lucky draws.


Singapore Real Estate

Frasers sells almost 400 units of Seaside Residences
Keen buying demand was seen in the latest condominium launch, with Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) moving close to 400 units at the 843-unit Seaside Residences’ weekend launch, at an average price that BT understands to be S$1,700 per square foot (psf).  Frasers Centrepoint Singapore said that some 70 per cent of the 560 released units were sold.

He fancies shophouses in Singapore
Zain Fancy is passionate about shophouses.  “It is not just about the satisfaction of making a good investment. It is more about an obsession to create the highest quality spaces within our properties,” said the founder and managing director of property investment management firm Clifton Partners. “Constantly bursting the boundaries of renovation and quality can be quite satisfying.”

Full steam ahead for new Tuas mega port
Works are in full swing at the future Tuas port, with reclamation ongoing for two out of four phases of the development and more than 3km of caisson already installed to form the wharf.  The caisson, which sits on a foundation on the seabed, is a 28m-high concrete watertight structure – about the height of a 10-storey Housing Board block. Using caissons to build the wharf structure is faster than traditional methods like piling.


Companies’ Brief 

Frasers Commercial Trust’s Q2 DPU up 2.4%
Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) reported on Friday a 2.4 per cent increase in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.51 Singapore cents in the second quarter from 2.45 Singapore cents a year ago, with no management fees taken in units.  The mainboard-listed Reit, whose portfolio consists of three properties each in Singapore and Australia, said that 40 per cent of the manager’s management fees for Q2 2016 were taken in units.

IReit Global widens investment mandate to include retail and industrial sectors
The new manager of IReit Global has expanded the real estate investment trust’s (Reit) investment mandate beyond European office assets to include the retail and industrial sectors, in order to ensure further diversification and long-term income growth.

GL’s Q3 net profit 26% higher at US$4.4 million
Property group GL Limited, formerly known as GuocoLeisure, posted a net profit of US$4.4 million for its third quarter ended March 31, an increase of 26 per cent from a year before.  Revenue however slid 8 per cent to US$68.4 million. Earnings per share for the quarter is 0.3 US cent, up from 0.2 US cent previously.

No dividend was declared for the quarter.

Ascott Reit Q1 DPU down 0.24 cent to 1.51 cents
Acquisition of a New York hotel last year has helped lift Ascott Residence Trust’s (Ascott Reit) topline for the first three months of financial year 2017, but weighed on its distribution per unit (DPU) and gross profit.  The absence of a one-off gain that was present in the corresponding period last year also contributed to the fall in Q1 2017’s DPU, the Reit said in its earnings report released on Friday.

CRCT posts Q1 DPU of 2.74 S cents, up 1.1%; net property income rises 9.8%
CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) announced on Friday that its distribution per unit (DPU) for its first quarter ended March 31 was 2.74 Singapore cents, up 1.1 per cent from a year ago.  Net property income was up 9.8 per cent to S$40.3 million, while income available for distribution increased 5 per cent to S$24.4 million.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Sabana Reit EGM: Is dismissing the manager the panacea?
Singapore’s Reit sector is celebrated around the world for providing investors with stable returns and dividend income. In recent months, however, the sector has had to grapple with a challenging leasing environment and weak macroeconomic conditions. Sabana Reit, like all others, has been hit by these market factors.

askST: Resale or BTO flat for divorcee with kids?
Reader Jacqueline Goh wrote in to askST: “I am a divorcee and a housewife with two children aged 17 and 20. I have never owned an HDB home before, and the matrimonial home – a condominium unit – will be sold soon. For someone like me, who has no income, what options do I have? Should I get a Build-To-Order or resale flat?”

Going green: We can do a lot more
This week’s topic: What aspects of life and business in Singapore are least environmentally friendly? How might green technologies and/or jobs help?

Photographer spent 30 years capturing old HDB estates
Hobbyist photographer Koh Kim Chay feels deeply rooted in Singapore’s public housing estates.  For almost three decades, using an analogue film camera, he has documented thousands of homes before they were demolished.  The retired engineer, 60, grew up in Stirling Road, in two of Singapore’s oldest HDB blocks.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed moves key factor for Indonesian central bank

U.S. existing home sales surge 4.4 percent in March

Subprime mortgage giant Ocwen rocked by US suit claiming it hurt consumers

US mortgage rates fall to their lowest levels in five months

US private-sector growth eases as euro zone PMI strengthens

Malls turn to concerts, food trucks to compete with online stores

London house prices post biggest annual decline in eight years

Brexit makes campsites cool again as Britons tighten belts

Beijing cracking down on property financing via trusts

Shanghai property market cools, prices to be stable in 2017

China’s 6.5% GDP growth target is within reach, says PBOC governor

Alibaba’s Jack Ma sees decades of pain as Internet upends older economy

Choice of HK listing paying off for 2 Singapore startups

Tackling Toronto’s tearaway property prices through taxes

Officials move to slow soaring housing prices in Toronto area

Australia acts to bust ‘ghost houses’ problem

In crowded Sydney, even the dead jostle for space

Tensions arise amid Sydney’s apartment boom

Park sells Gangnam home for $8.2m

French presidential poll a bellwether for Europe

Foreign buyers in a bind over Ho Chi Minh City homes


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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