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The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 26th August 2016

Top Stories

MAS prosecutes its first ‘front-running’ case for alleged insider trading
In the first “front running” case being prosecuted for insider trading here, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) slapped more than 300 charges on two dealers from First State Investments Singapore (FSI) and a remisier with UOB Kay Hian for alleged offences involving counters listed in Singapore and abroad.  The charges mark the second MAS-led criminal prosecution since the joint-investigation regime by the regulator and the Commercial Affairs Department was launched in March last year to strengthen enforcement against market misconduct.

JTC makes early-buyback offer for Jurong Country Club notes
JTC Corporation has agreed to buy back some S$23.5 million worth of debentures from noteholders, who are also Jurong Country Club (JCC) members, 17 years ahead of the maturity date – but at a discount.  In an offer letter seen by The Business Times, which was sent out to all 196 JCC debenture holders, JTC said it is offering each person S$84,200.  The notes – which are due in September 2033 – were issued at the par value of S$120,000 in 1993, when the club was raising funds to refurbish its facilities.

Afro Asia Building owner said to be partnering Shimizu for redevelopment
Afro Asia Building – one of the oldest office blocks along Robinson Road – may finally be redeveloped.  The seven-storey building, said to have been completed in the 1960s and which now houses MPH Bookstores and Uncle Sam’s Claypots among its ground-floor tenants, is owned by Afro-Asia Shipping Company (AAS).  Following the resolution of a dispute last year within the Tan family that owns AAS, the company recently roped in Shimizu Corporation as a joint-venture partner for the development, The Business Times understands. Word on the street is that the two parties have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU); but even as they finalise the terms of the proposed joint venture, they are losing no time in re-starting redevelopment plans for the building – plans which had been stalled for several years because of the family feud.

Singapore Economy

IE Singapore’s new Kenya office to broaden Africa reach
After establishing its footprint in the southern and western parts of Africa, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is spreading its wings to the eastern side of the continent with the setting up of a new office in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.  This latest facility, which will open in 2017, will be the national trade development agency’s third overseas office in Africa – it has one in Johannesburg (South Africa) and another in Accra (Ghana) – and serve as a regional base to help Singapore businesses venture into East Africa.

Singapore Real Estate

Half of released office units at Woods Square sold
Riding on a government-led initiative to transform Woodlands into a commercial hub, Far East Organization has sold half of the released 124 strata office units in Woods Square, an integrated development it is jointly developing with Sekisui House and Far East Orchard. Prices ranged from S$1,700 to S$2,230 per square foot (psf).  For the first time, it will also be consolidating its satellite operations under one roof, taking up some 70,000 sq ft or three-and-a-half floors in the office tower that it is retaining for lease.

Companies’ Brief

Far East Organization betting on Woodlands
Jurong is being touted as Singapore’s second central business district, given the number of projects announced there, but Far East Organization (FEO) is also putting its money on Woodlands.  The firm bought the first predominantly office site in Woodlands Regional Centre in 2014 and yesterday began selling units at the project, Woods Square.  The development, by FEO and joint venture partners Sekisui House and Far East Orchard, has sold about 50 per cent of 124 office units released since a preview at the end of last month.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Tampines, the forgotten regional centre? Not for long
As early as 1991, the idea was mooted to decentralise economic activity away from the Central Business District (CBD) to other parts of the island. Thus, the regional centres were born, with Tampines being the first to be built in 1992. More than 20 years later, Tampines is now the most established of all the regional centres.  Following Tampines’ success, the Government followed up with plans to transform Jurong and Woodlands in 2008 and 2014, respectively. In Budget 2016, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the building of the Jurong Innovation District, the “industrial park of the future”. These comprehensive plans have led to home values spiking in the West and North.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Shale land grab tops mergers as buyers await better oil outlook

Nearly 2m US homes could be flooded by 2100

U.S. agency rolls out refinance program for homeowners

Obama designates vast stretch of Maine woods as federal parkland

Shanghai said to plan more curbs to cool home, land prices

China’s yuan firms vs dollar, focus on Yellen’s Jackson Hole speech

China central bank urges lenders to spread out loan tenors

US dollar wavers, poised for weekly gains ahead of Yellen speech

Euro rises as markets tread water before Yellen’s speech

Australia, NZ dollars up slightly ahead of Yellen’s take on Fed outlook

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels CEO Lee to resign

Wells Fargo to pay homeowners $3.45 million over mailing error

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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