Good time to review S’pore’s Code of Corporate Governance: MAS
It may be timely to review the Code of Corporate Governance for listed companies in Singapore given that the last time this took place was in 2012. Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of financial supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made the point on Monday at the opening of the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) Corporate Governance Week, which is into its seventh year. “Any review will need to carefully weigh the differing perspectives of different stakeholders. What is needed is a balanced and progressive code that not only serves to enhance Singapore’s corporate governance standards, but is also pragmatic and workable in practice,” he said.
Aug factory output reverses to growth but still lags forecasts
By most accounts, Singapore’s factory output grew in August, leading some economists to suggest that macroeconomic conditions have stabilised. Factory output grew by 0.1 per cent year-on-year last month, up from July’s 3.5 per cent fall. If the output of the volatile biomedical sector is stripped out, overall growth was at a stronger 2.3 per cent. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output was unchanged in August from July, when it had fallen by a surprising 3.9 per cent. Again, if biomedical manufacturing is taken out of the equation, August’s month-on-month output grew 1.5 per cent.
Local shares dip on expected higher volatility
Singapore shares ended slightly lower, with traders anticipating higher volatility given a meeting of the world’s largest oil producers this week and a crucial United States presidential election debate. The Straits Times Index (STI) slid 0.25 per cent, or 7.01 points, to 2,849.94, weighed down by Singtel, which slipped 0.5 per cent, or two cents, to $3.96. ComfortDelGro dipped 1.8 per cent, or five cents, to $2.76; airport handling agent Sats fell 3.1 per cent, or 16 cents, to $4.93; United Overseas Bank dipped 0.4 per cent, or eight cents, to $18.77; and Keppel Corp was down nearly 1 per cent, or five cents, to $5.21.
MOF deputy secretary to be next LTA chief
A deputy secretary in the Ministry of Finance (MOF) will become the next chief executive of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) from Nov 12. Ngien Hoon Ping, 47, will succeed Chew Men Leong, who left the agency to join ST Marine. Mr Chew, 48, had been LTA chief executive since Oct 1, 2014. Mr Ngien will be appointed chief executive-designate from Oct 31 to Nov 11, while holding his current appointment as deputy secretary (performance) in the Ministry of Finance.
Singapore Real Estate
Singapore’s prime office rents to bottom in 2018: Knight Frank
A flight-to-quality among office occupiers is weighing down on rents and occupancies at older Grade A office buildings, where more space will be freed up as these tenants move into new prime offices. This is giving rise to a “two-tiered performance” in the prime office market, with Grade A offices seeing steeper declines in rents than the so-called “Grade A-plus” offices in the coming quarters. Average office rents will continue to fall before bottoming out in 2018, property consultancy Knight Frank projects. These Grade A-plus offices refer to newer buildings with better specifications in the prime office market.
HDB to find out if sunshade was installed properly
The housing authorities are looking at whether the reinforcement bars for a dislodged sunshade were put in place following an incident at Tampines. On Sunday, a 5m-long concrete sunshade outside a fourth-floor Housing Board flat at Block 201E, Tampines Street 23 dislodged partially and landed on the sunshade of the floor below. No one was hurt. Responding to queries, HDB said one of the areas of investigation includes whether the sunshade had been installed properly. Rebars are typically used to support a building’s structure.
Marriott to add 1,300 rooms in Singapore
Marriott International is bullish about its prospects in Singapore and plans to add more than 1,000 rooms to its local portfolio in the coming years. It said it could create as many as 2,000 jobs in the next three to five years to support the expansion. Marriott operates 11 hotels in Singapore, following the completion of its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide last Friday. It is upbeat about the local hotel industry’s outlook despite the large incoming supply of rooms in the market, executives said yesterday. With the addition of Starwood’s portfolio, Marriott now has 30 hotel brands globally under its umbrella, creating the world’s largest chain with more than 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in over 110 countries.
GLP in 66,000-sq-m lease deals with Fiat Chrysler, Daimler in Brazil and China
Singapore’s logistics facilities provider Global Logistic Properties (GLP) has signed new leases totalling 66,000 square metres with two giant carmakers in Brazil and China. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has leased 43,000 sq m in Sao Paulo and Daimler has leased 23,000 sq m in Greater Jinan, eastern China, GLP said in a filing to Singapore Exchange on Tuesday morning. Car-related leasing accounts for about 7 per cent of GLP’s total leased area globally, it said.
Soilbuild Construction clinches 2 contracts worth S$13m from related company
Soilbuild Construction Group announced on Monday that it has secured two contracts worth S$13 million from the entities of its parent company Soilbuild Group. These transactions constitute mandated interested person transactions. A contract worth S$7.65 million was awarded by SB (Westcove) Investment Pte Ltd to build three two-storey detached dwelling houses at 28 Wilkinson Road in Marine Parade.
Yanlord unit buys two Suzhou sites for 3.69b yuan
Property developer Yanlord Land Group said on Monday that it has bought two separate prime development sites in Suzhou city for 3.69 billion yuan (S$753 million) in two public land auctions. The sites, bought through a unit, have a total gross floor area of 106,232 sq m. Both sites are near plots of land on which property projects are to be built by Yanlord.
Cache Logistics Trust agrees to accepting Schenker’s rent under holding arrangement
Cache Logistics Trust on Monday said that German logistics firm Schenker has proposed, to which the trust has agreed, a holding arrangement for the industrial property at 51 Alps Avenue pending the resolution of the court proceedings initiated by Schenker. The holding arrangement involves Schenker paying Cache S$0.77 per square foot per month, which is also the rental rate pre-agreed between C&P and Schenker under their anchor lease agreement for the property.
Ley Choon selling unit in debt restructuring deal
Construction firm Ley Choon Group Holdings is selling its Ley Choon Development subsidiary to TEE Land for $11.5 million as part of a debt restructuring agreement with its lenders. The Ley Choon unit owns a 12,930 sq ft freehold site at 241 Pasir Panjang Road that it paid $13.23 million for in December 2012. The firm had intended to build a seven-unit cluster housing project, although none of the units had been sold. TEE Land said yesterday it will build a 24-unit, five-storey residential project on the site. The debt restructuring agreement, which Ley Choon announced yesterday morning, stipulates among other things that the group is to dispose of non-core assets and utilise the proceeds to repay the lenders.
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