The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News 24th, 25th and 26th November 2018

Singapore News

Financial system stable but global risks increasing: MAS
While Singapore’s financial stability remains sound – whether in terms of corporate debt, the overall banking system or household borrowing – risks to global financial stability have increased amid tighter financial conditions and trade tensions, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned in its annual Financial Stability Review on Friday. Rising interest rates and pressure on currencies could weaken the ability of sovereigns, corporates and households to service debt, particularly for those which have borrowed in foreign currencies, said the MAS.

Headline inflation flat at 0.7% in October
Headline inflation was unchanged last month from September as private road transport costs again declined, although pricier electricity and gas are still putting the squeeze on consumers. The consumer price index, which measures cost rises for all items, rose 0.7 per cent in October over the same month last year – the same pace of increase since August this year. This was a hair’s breadth beneath the 0.8 per cent forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. But core inflation, which strips out housing and private transport costs, rose marginally as the private watchers had predicted, from 1.8 per cent in September to 1.9 per cent last month, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday.

Heng Swee Keat picked as 4G leader, with Chan Chun Sing as deputy
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, 57, has been chosen to lead the fourth-generation (4G) team of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), paving the way for him to become Singapore’s next prime minister. Mr Heng is now the party’s first assistant secretary-general, with Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, 49, playing a key role as second assistant secretary-general and his deputy.

Heng on how he plans to lead
The newly confirmed leader of the ruling People’s Action Party’s fourth-generation team has said he will lead in an open and consultative manner. And when a decision needs to be made, he will move decisively, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, 57, said yesterday. Reporters had asked Mr Heng, frequently described as soft-spoken, about his leadership style.

How PAP’s 4G team chose their leader
For many months, the fourth-generation (4G) team in the People’s Action Party (PAP) deliberated over who they should pick to lead them. They eventually reached a consensus on Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, 57. He was informed of their decision one month ago, which he accepted. The process of how the PAP’s 4G team made their choice emerged yesterday at a press conference helmed by Mr Heng and his deputy, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, 49.

Heng a man of utmost integrity, says Shanmugam
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is a careful and deliberate leader who, in deciding on issues, wants to understand the deeper reasons behind why people have come to some views. Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam gave this description of Mr Heng’s leadership style yesterday, when asked for his comments on the ruling party’s new first assistant secretary-general.

PAP’s 4G team pledges to work with Singaporeans
Members of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation team yesterday emphasised the importance of the leadership transition announced on Friday and pledged to work with Singaporeans as the country enters a new phase. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was named the party’s first assistant secretary-general on Friday, making him the most likely candidate to be Singapore’s next prime minister.

Heng Swee Keat’s ability and experience a plus, say most polled
When a group of Singaporean pupils and teachers climbing Mount Kinabalu in June 2015 were killed in an earthquake, the leadership that then Education Minister Heng Swee Keat displayed in responding to the crisis left a deep impression on researcher Mohamed Salihin Subhan. Mr Heng was at the airport to comfort their parents, spoke personally to the students and teachers who survived the disaster, and went down and stayed in touch with their school to see how they were coping.


Singapore Real Estate

Newly-minted en bloc millionaires offer rich pickings for banks
Banks have been homing in on residents who have sold homes through an en bloc sale, a property transaction process which is throwing up a uniquely Singapore species of freshly minted millionaires who are collectively worth billions of dollars. Last Monday, 11 United Overseas Bank bankers descended on the residents of Dunearn Gardens as they got their cheques for the sale of the 114-unit freehold residential development located off Newton Road. The sale was made in April to a fully-owned unit of EL Development – the property arm of building firm Evan Lim Group – for S$468 million.

Shophouses see higher demand and price growth
Their rich architectural heritage and distinctive Art Deco facades with decorative motifs make prime conservation shophouses a sought-after asset for investors. While this type of property has been gaining favour with boutique real estate funds, family offices and high-net-worth people in recent years, shophouses on fully zoned commercial sites have seen higher transaction activity and price growth after the July 6 cooling measures. Total transaction values are projected to hit $1.4 billion this year, up from $1 billion last year and $709 million in 2016, analysts say.


Companies’ Brief

GuocoLand’s Beach Road integrated project adds to area’s revamp
GuocoLand announced on Sunday the groundbreaking of its integrated project on Beach Road – a project which, when completed in mid-2022, will add to the rejuvenation of the nearly two-kilometre stretch of road. Guoco Midtown will comprise 770,000 sq ft of premium Grade A office space designed for new economy companies; 30,000 sq ft of retail and entertainment to draw “novel concepts”; more than 200 residential units; and the former Beach Road Police Station, a conserved building.

Startups in JLL and Lendlease’s proptech accelerator in talks to put solutions to use
The regional proptech accelerator programme Propell Asia has come to a close, with its five participating startups now working with industry to implement their products and solutions, JLL and Lendlease announced in a joint statement on Friday. Two of the five – GorillaSpace (a marketplace for workspaces) and Talox (a cloud-based leasing and asset-management platform) – are in talks with Lendlease to incorporate their products into the property developer’s upcoming mixed-use development, Paya Lebar Quarter.

Keppel units to build, operate data centre in Johor
Two data centre units under the Keppel Corp umbrella have agreed to develop and operate a maiden project in Johor, Malaysia with a targeted 2020 completion date. The project will be undertaken by Keppel Data Centres Holding and Alpha DC Fund Pte Ltd. Keppel Data Centres is a joint venture between Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (T&T) and Keppel Land, both subsidiaries of Keppel Corp, with Keppel T&T holding a 70 per cent stake.

Company Briefs: Fragrance Group
Mainboard-listed real estate developer Fragrance Group’s net profit dived 47.5 per cent from $4.2 million to $2.2 million in the third quarter, as a result of a 20 per cent decline in its revenue and lower contributions from its joint venture. Fragrance reported $44.7 million in revenue in the three months ended September. Its revenue for the corresponding period in the preceding year was $55.9 million.

IFA finds S$1.30/share cash offer for Cityneon ‘fair and reasonable’
Independent financial adviser (IFA) Novus Corporate Finance has found the terms of the cash offer for existing shareholders of Cityneon Holdings at S$1.30 per share to be “fair and reasonable”, in a circular despatched to shareholders. The IFA advised independent directors to recommend that shareholders accept the offer, unless shareholders are able to obtain a price higher than the offer price on the open market.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Why Singapore’s office sector continues to draw investors
Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) Grade A office capital values have recovered by more than 20 per cent since bottoming in the first quarter of 2017. And yet, investors continue to pick them up at record pricings and compressed yields in 2018. For instance, in June and July this year, Twenty Anson was transacted at a net property yield of 2.7 per cent, while 55 Market Street and MYP Plaza are believed to have changed hands at sub-2 per cent yields.

Singapore malls take big gamble to outpace online shopping
Online shopping in Singapore is lacklustre even after Amazon Inc debuted its Prime service in mid-2017. The island’s malls are trying hard to keep it that way. With some of the nation’s biggest mall operators reporting falling rents and rising vacancies, landlords, just like those elsewhere in Asia and the US, are being forced to reposition. They’re making room for yoga studios, boxing gyms and climbing walls – plus expanding their food and beverage options – to make sure people come for the dining and fun, and hopefully, stay for some shopping.

Bringing home story of how climate change is playing out around us
These days, the world seems to be given to extremes. Populists and political hardliners are gaining ground in many countries; the exchanges between trade officials from China and the United States get ever more testy; and then, of course, there are the early-morning, exclamation-mark-laden tweets from the American President himself! All around us, droughts and floods are getting more severe, while hurricanes and heatwaves hit with greater intensity, wreaking more havoc.

Tackling climate change starts at home: Masagos
Extreme weather, crop losses, higher sea levels – the price of global warming and a 1.5 deg C temperature rise as early as 2030 is a frightening prospect. Tackling the problem, however, presents an opportunity that could transform the way Singaporeans live and how the economy functions for the better, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli. It will take not just effort from governments and industries, but also for people to change their habits at home, especially on recycling.

MAS urges caution on home loans as rates rise
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has urged prospective property buyers to exercise caution when considering taking up loans to fund purchases amid rising interest rates and upcoming supply. Household debt grew 3 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, mainly on the back of a 3.4 per cent increase in housing loans in the same period, MAS said in its annual Financial Stability Review released yesterday.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Ghost towns still haunt Spain a decade later

London home price cuts seep outwards as sellers get real amid Brexit worries

Act III for a Lower Manhattan landmark

Coastal developers are building to beat monster storms

New Zealand retail sales flat in Q3, sparking sell-off in the local currency

Climate change could shrink US economy by 10%, report warns


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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