The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 25th May 2018

Singapore Economy

Q1 GDP growth at 4.4%; MTI revises full-year figure to 2.5-3.5%
Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.4 per cent in the first three months of 2018, with full-year growth expected to come in at “2.5 to 3.5 per cent” this year, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday.  This was a rare first-quarter revision to the full-year forecast.

Growth forecast moved up after strong first quarter
Singapore’s economy is tipped to grow at between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent this year, compared with an earlier estimate of 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, in what market observers said was a rare revision so early in the year.  MTI had said earlier that growth was set to be “slightly above the middle” of its previous forecast range of 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

Services expand at fastest pace in 3 years, but manufacturing still powers economy
All eyes are now on the services sector, which registered its fastest growth pace in three years, but manufacturing continued to be the key driver of Singapore’s economy in the first quarter.  With manufacturing likely to moderate for the rest of the year and the construction sector still in the doldrums, economists are divided on whether the momentum in the services sector is enough to propel Singapore’s growth in the coming quarters.

Full-year Nodx growth forecast untouched by low Q1 showing
Though non-oil domestic export growth was much lower in the first three months of 2018, government planners have stuck to their earlier full-year forecast for NODX.  Trade promotion and enterprise development agency Enterprise Singapore is still looking at year-on-year NODX growth of 1-3 per cent for 2018, the same projection it made in February.

Media sentiment can provide useful gauge of economy’s health: MTI
Measuring economic sentiment in local news articles can be a handy gauge of Singapore’s overall economic health, according to a study released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday.

Govt SME loan schemes have positive impact on firms’ topline: MTI study
Enterprise Singapore’s loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had a positive impact on their revenue, possibly by helping with their working capital needs to increase sales, according to a study from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday.  It was also found that the loans did not affect the natural functioning of the market by inhibiting the firms’ exit rate, said the MTI economists.


Singapore Real Estate

3 Liang Seah shophouses seeking S$30m; 6 Little India conservation units up for auction
Three adjoining shophouses at 33 Liang Seah Street have been launched for sale via private treaty at S$30 million, while six conservation shophouses at Desker Road are up for auction.  In a press statement on Thursday, marketer for the Liang Seah shophouses, Colliers International, said the three units, which are held under a single land title, sit on a 2,694 square foot (sq ft) site within the Beach Road Conservation Area.


Companies’ Brief

Frasers Property acquires owner of new logistics warehouse in Netherlands for 25m euros
Frasers Property Ltd on Friday said it has acquired a new freehold logistics warehouse in the Netherlands.  Its indirect subsidiary Frasers Property Investments (Europe) BV entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Acacia BV and LocMeppel BV to acquire all the issued and paid-up share capital of LocMeppel BV in the Netherlands.

MLT sells S$220m of units at S$1.197 apiece to cover rich end of price talk
Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) has priced an upsized S$220 million overnight placement of units at S$1.197 apiece to cover the rich end of initial indications.  Price talk was at a range of S$1.165 and S$1.197 per unit for the deal, which was launched on Thursday.

SIAS urges Hyflux to give equal treatment to holders of its perps
The Securities Investors Association (Singapore) on Thursday called on Hyflux to consider according equal treatment to perpetual securities investors.  “It must be recognised that these investors are not on the same footing as institutional investors. They have put their hard earned life savings into this company, trusting the owners and the management to deliver. They must find the way to preserve value for these investors, though it may take time.”

Boustead buys entire WhiteRock medical group for S$19m
Boustead Singapore announced on Thursday it has entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement with WhiteRock Medical Company (WhiteRock MedCo) to fully acquire WhiteRock Incorporation (WRI), a group of 16 healthcare corporations operating in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, for S$19.02 million.

Bukit Sembawang posts sharp increase in Q4 earnings
Property developer Bukit Sembawang Estates reported a substantial increase in quarterly net income on Thursday, as it recognised higher profits from its development projects.  Its net profit after tax increased to S$21.5 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018, from S$2.3 million the year before. Its revenue more than doubled to S$32.8 million in Q4 FY2018, from S$15.2 in Q4 FY2017. Its earnings per share were 8.3 cents, from 0.87 cents last year.

SingHaiyi’s Q4 profit slides 71% on increased cost of sales, absence of one-off gain
Higher cost of sales and the absence of a one-off gain in the previous period dented real estate company SingHaiyi Group’s fiscal fourth-quarter profit, which fell 70.7 per cent to S$6.5 million from S$22.2 million a year ago.  Earnings per share were down to 0.21 Singapore cent from 0.77 Singapore cent a year ago on a larger weighted average number of shares.

PropNex Realty, Diamond Electric team up to market electricity plans
Propnex Realty and Diamond Electric have entered a partnership to allow 7,000 of PropNex’s salespersons to help market the energy provider’s residential and business electricity plans.  PropNex salespersons and staff will also get discounts through a corporate plan.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Fortifying retail operations as cyberthreats intensify
Technology has changed the way retail businesses work from top to bottom. Mobile applications, social media platforms and online customer loyalty programmes have made it easier for retailers to reach customers and keep their brands at the top of consumers’ minds. The industry’s use of data analytics and cloud computing has also become more sophisticated, improving performance in operations as well as marketing. Behind the scenes, the Internet of Things, mobile networks, and big data have helped to revolutionise supply chains and logistics, helping small manufacturers reach new markets with greater reliability.

Singapore should strive to become regional AI centre
A recent report noted that, worldwide, there is no broad agreement as yet on the need to regulate or enforce codes of conduct or ethics for artificial intelligence (Age of AI: Why it’s urgent to regulate a revolution; May 23).  It also pointed out that the world has yet to develop wide-ranging countermeasures to cope with job losses caused by the use of AI, or to deal with the complex social and economic implications brought about by AI in the future.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US new home sales fall less than forecast in April

US home values are rising at their fastest pace in 12 years

A Third of New Yorkers Are Looking to Move Out of the City

U.S. Sales of Existing Homes Decline With Inventory Problems Continuing

Prologis earns tidy sum from sale of property to Facebook

Unsold London Homes Climb to High

Job Security, House-Price Fears Erode U.K. Consumers’ Confidence

Chinese buyers pump luxe property bubble in Phnom Penh

Vietnam’s downtown dwellers cling to tiny plots

French Q1 online retail sales up 13% to 22.3b euros


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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