The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 26th April 2017

Top Story

SPH buys nursing home provider Orange Valley for S$164m
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is buying nursing home provider Orange Valley Healthcare for S$164 million as the media and property group seeks to build a third business leg in healthcare.  SPH, which owns The Business Times, is acquiring all of the shares and intellectual property of Orange Valley from private equity firm KV Asia Capital in an all-cash deal that is free of debt. KV acquired the target in April 2014.  This is the largest non-property acquisition ever made by SPH, which framed the deal as the first of potentially more in the healthcare space.


Singapore Economy

NTUC to focus more on training and job placement: Chun Sing
The labour movement will focus more on training and job placement as well as expand into health and eldercare services to stay relevant and advance the interests of workers.  NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing told reporters at a pre-May Day media briefing on Tuesday that with more volatile business cycles and disruptive changes in the economy, workers increasingly are going through frequent transitions in their employment lifecycles.

Singapore tax regime ranks high in predictability, consistency: Deloitte
Singapore’s tax regime continues to rank well in terms of predictability and consistency, making it among the markets in the Asia-Pacific region with the highest scores, a survey on tax complexity found.  Deloitte’s Asia-Pacific Tax Complexity Survey released on Tuesday found that more than 87 per cent of respondents indicated that Singapore had “an intermediate” to “very high level” of predictability in its tax regime. This allows taxpayers to anticipate the direction and potential changes in tax laws.

Study: Firms not focused on raising productivity
Singapore companies do not pay enough attention to maximising productivity within their organisations, a failing that has led to stagnating output growth and a less competitive economy, according to a new report.  It noted that the pace of economic expansion has slowed while wage growth has outpaced labour productivity, resulting in rising staff costs and making Singapore less competitive internationally.


Singapore Real Estate

Singapore, Indonesia eye industrial parks, cruise tourism, energy sector
Singapore hopes to develop cruise tourism, industrial parks and energy cooperation with Indonesia as part of bilateral plans to enhance business connections between the countries, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said on Tuesday in Jakarta.  Those areas were picked as a follow-up to a November meeting between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, during which both sides agreed to set up a business council to boost bilateral cooperation and enhance networking among businesses.

Rental gap between prime and suburban office space shrinks
The gap between suburban and Grade A Central Business District office rentals has narrowed to 75 per cent as at the first quarter of 2017, the narrowest since Q4 2012, real estate agency Cushman & Wakefield reported on Tuesday.  Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, said that the narrowing rental gap would explain the reduced decentralisation activities in the market since 2015.

CDL trumps eight other bidders for Tampines residential site with S$370m bid
City Developments Ltd (CDL) has emerged the top bidder for the residential site at Tampines Avenue 10 at S$370.1 million.  This translates to S$565.4 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) based on the maximum gross floor area, marking a 5.7 per cent margin over the second-highest bid.  There was significant Chinese interest for the site, with five out of nine bidders being Chinese players.

JTC puts up Tuas South Link 3 site for sale
JTC has launched a site at Tuas South Link 3 (Plot 18) – the fourth out of six confirmed list sites for the first half of 2017 – under the industrial government land sales programme, it said in a press release issued on Tuesday.  The 0.43ha plot is zoned for Business-2 development, which is typically for heavy industrial use. It has a 20-year tenure with a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1.4. Tender closes at 11am on June 20, 2017.

MacPherson home owners served eviction notices
The owners of three freehold landed houses in MacPherson were served notices of eviction yesterday, and their properties taken over by the State, after running out of time.  The land had been acquired in 2010 to build high-rise homes around the Mattar MRT station, slated to open at the end of this year.  While 12 of 15 households have since moved out, three – at 27, 29 and 33 Merpati Road – have stayed on past several deadlines. And yesterday was the final one.

Stamford Arts Centre to be new centre for traditional arts
The Stamford Arts Centre will undergo a S$7 million refurbishment so it can take in new arts groups and retail tenants in 2018.  The centre in Waterloo Street will be kitted out with lifts and linkways between its three buildings to improve accessibility; it will also have, for example, a multi-purpose hall and living space for artists to promote collaboration.

Tycoon Koh Wee Meng fined for putting up wall at home
Real estate tycoon Koh Wee Meng was fined $12,000 yesterday after constructing a wall to fence off his Toh Crescent property without planning permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).  Koh, 53, who is the director of 31 companies, including the Fragrance Group, Parc Sovereign Hotel Management and JK Assets, pleaded guilty to carrying out the development between October 2009 and April 2010 at his home near Upper Changi Road North.

Property agent jailed for cheating 3 out of $350k
A property agent who said he is a descendant of Johor royalty, including a 19th-century Sultan of Singapore, cheated three people out of nearly $350,000.  He told them, through a friend, that he was potentially worth billions of dollars, but needed money to pay for estate duties before he could claim the inheritance from his mother’s estate.

Orchard Rd businesses aim for better delivery system to ease congestion
Businesses along Orchard Road were not keen on a car-free shopping belt but they acknowledged that traffic congestion could be a factor in the street’s declining popularity. And possible solutions being looked into include an urban logistics management system that could reduce heavy traffic caused by delivery trucks queueing outside the malls.


Companies’ Brief

Acquisitions boost Ascendas Reit’s Q4 DPU by 13%
Ascendas Reit on Tuesday posted a 13 per cent increase in distribution per unit (DPU) for its fourth quarter on higher gross revenue.  DPU for the three months ended March 31, 2017, stood at 3.852 Singapore cents, up from 3.41 Singapore cents a year ago.  Gross revenue increased by 2.4 per cent to S$208.9 million, attributed in part to the full-quarter contribution from ONE@Changi City, which was acquired in March 2016.

Ho Bee’s Q1 profit trebles on Shanghai project
Ho Bee Land posted a trebling in net earnings for the first quarter to S$56.32 million from S$18.46 million in the year-ago period – helped by a strong contribution from its joint-venture condo project in Shanghai.  The sale of Rose Court, a commercial property in London, in February this year also produced a S$7.4 million gain on disposal.

FCT’s Q2 DPU steady despite fall in portfolio occupancy
Despite a fall in portfolio occupancy, mainly due to the asset enhancement initiative (AEI) at Northpoint, Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) has maintained its second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU).  For the three months ended March 31, 2017, the mainboard-listed Reit announced on Tuesday that its DPU was 3.04 Singapore cents, against 3.039 Singapore cents for the previous corresponding quarter.

Revenue from VivoCity, business park boosts Mapletree Reit’s Q4
Contributions from Mapletree Business City I and the VivoCity shopping mall helped to lift results for retail and office space landlord Mapletree Commercial Trust in its fourth quarter.  Distribution per unit rose to 2.26 Singapore cents for Q4 from 2.02 Singapore cents in the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing Tuesday evening.

Divestment gain lifts Parkway Life Reit’s Q1 DPU by 9.6%
Distribution from a one-off divestment gain lifted the distribution per unit (DPU) of Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) to 3.28 Singapore cents in the first quarter of 2017, up 9.6 per cent from a year ago.  For the three months ended March 31, 2017, the DPU from its recurring operations grew 2.2 per cent to 3.06 Singapore cents, despite the divestment of four Japan nursing homes in December 2016.

Cambridge Industrial’s DPU slips 9.7% in Q1
Property conversions and divestments led to the decline in Cambridge Industrial Trust’s (CIT) distribution per unit (DPU) in the first quarter of 2017, which slipped 9.7 per cent to 1.004 Singapore cents.  For the three months ended March 31, 2017, gross revenue was S$27.7 million, a dip of 2.2 per cent from the year-ago period. Total distributable income was S$13.1 million, down 9.7 per cent year-on-year.

CapitaLand announces key exec appointments
CapitaLand on Tuesday announced several key executive appointments that it says will support the next phase of leadership and business excellence in the group. The new appointments will be effective from May 1, 2017.  Ronald Tay has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of CapitaLand Singapore and a key management personnel of CapitaLand Group.

CapitaLand Q1 profit surges 77.2% to S$386.8m
Improved operating performance, including the sale of 45 units of The Nassim, and higher portfolio gains gave a lift to CapitaLand Limited’s results in its first quarter.  Net profit rocketed 77.2 per cent to S$386.8 million from the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday morning.

CDLHT reports 9% rise in Q1 distribution per stapled security
CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) reported on Wednesday that its distribution per stapled security for the first quarter of 2017 was 2.42 Singapore cents, up 9 per cent from a year ago.  Total distribution to stapled security holders after retention for working capital rose 10 per cent year-on-year to S$24.1 million.

Suntec Reit’s Q1 DPU climbs 2.3%
Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust recorded a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.425 Singapore cents in its first quarter, up 2.3 per cent from a year ago, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday morning.  For the three months ended March 31, its gross revenue climbed 12.9 per cent to S$88.4 million from the preceding year, mainly due to the rental contribution of its Sydney asset, 177 Pacific Highway.

Lian Beng unit sells Melbourne property for A$35m
A wholly owned subsidiary of Lian Beng Group is selling a property with 1,915.5 square metres of net lettable area in Melbourne, Australia for a consideration of A$35 million (S$36.7 million).  The construction group said that the subsidiary, Lian Beng Ventures (Melbourne), had entered into a contract of sale with OIM (AUST) Pty Ltd to dispose of a freehold property on the southern side of Collins Street, between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets of Melbourne. It comprises units B101, 101, 201, 301, 401, 501 at 247 and 249 Collins Street.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Property prices inflecting, on track to double by 2030
Property market trends matter for the economy and stock market in Singapore. Given the high home ownership rate in Singapore, housing is the most important asset class for most people, with residential property comprising 45 per cent of gross household assets in 2016. With the economy and property market inextricably linked, cyclical macro momentum will influence the trajectory of property prices, which in turn has knock-on implications for stock-market performance, household balance sheets and sentiment.

Orchard renewal: Look beyond road
The road is a big part of Orchard’s appeal, given its prime location. Not surprisingly, much attention has been given to street improvements, the latest being a proposal to fully pedestrianise the shopping belt. That idea has several selling points. It allows people to reclaim physical and emotional space and to savour the ambience, without fearing the insistent rush of cars, motorcycles and buses.

Set aside HDB blocks for home offices
The Housing Board should designate a few blocks of three-room or bigger flats in each estate as Small Office, Home Office (Soho) blocks.  These blocks will operate like any private residences cum commercial offices, with similar rules.  Such a scheme will overcome the problems of the Home Office Scheme, which has many restrictions, including on noise, walk-in customers and number of employees.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US consumer confidence slips

US new home sales see fastest pace in 8 months

Hotel industry using tech tools to draw guests

Consumer confidence falls; new home sales up

US retailers going bankrupt at record pace

New tech for more seamless high-end shopping

Will new economic zone in Hebei be the next Shenzhen?

Building up Batam as a work-and-play digital hub

Malaysian developer Yong Tai aims to impress Chinese in Melaka

Lodha Group to resume selling apartments in Trump Tower Mumbai


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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