The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 28th February 2018

Top Story

EC supply crunch powers Punggol site to record price
The under-supply in the executive condominium (EC) market is so acute that all 17 bidders at a state tender for a site in Punggol have placed bids that are higher than the record for EC land set in July 2013, at the previous peak of the residential market.  The top bid for the Sumang Walk site at Tuesday’s tender closing, from a joint venture between wholly-owned subsidiaries of City Developments Ltd (CDL) and TID, was S$583 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Singapore Economy

SGX set to snag its first fintech listing through Ayondo’s IPO
After a failed reverse takeover last year, European social-trading broker Ayondo Ltd is poised to be the first fintech company to list on the Catalist platform on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).  The Business Times understands that Ayondo, whose largest shareholder since 2014 has been Singapore private equity investor Luminor Capital, is seeking an initial public offering (IPO), which values the loss-making company at close to S$140 million.

GST hike: MPs voice concerns, suggest alternatives
The future goods and services tax (GST) hike drew varied responses on the first day of the Budget debate, with some Members of Parliament proposing alternative revenue sources and the Workers’ Party saying it was “unable to support” the announcement at this point.  Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) cheered the adequate warning given for the hike in GST from 7 per cent to 9 per cent, set for sometime from 2021 to 2025.

GST hike aimed at helping Singapore remain competitive while staying inclusive: Tharman
The planned increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore is aimed at helping the country remain competitive, while ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.  “The Budget announcement of a future increase in GST from 7 to 9 per cent is a part of the balance that we are striking,” said Mr Tharman at a forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Service sector takings up 8.6% in Q4
The service sector ended last year on a strong note, with overall takings up 8.6 per cent in the fourth quarter over the same period in 2016.  All services industries performed better in the quarter, with the information and communications segment reporting the largest jump of 13.6 per cent, according to Singapore Statistics Department data released yesterday.

Leave no one behind as economy transforms, MPs urge government
More must be done to ensure that workers are not left behind as Singapore seeks to transform its economy, said Members of Parliament on the first day of the Budget 2018 debate.  Manpower issues dominated much of the air time during the six hours in Parliament.

GST hike, plight of elderly workers among issues as Budget debate kicks off
From the impending goods and services tax hike, to whether more of the reserves should be used to fund Singapore’s growing needs, Members of Parliament yesterday weighed in on this year’s Budget.  On the first day of the debate – which usually lasts two to three days – 28 MPs rose to speak.

Call for panel to help older Singaporeans work longer
NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How wants a review of the retirement age, which currently is 62. He also suggested that a tripartite committee be formed to look at how to help older people work longer.

Singapore Real Estate

Tulip Garden, Windy Heights join en bloc wagon
Developers can add another two more freehold plots to the long list of en bloc projects being pitched to them, with Tulip Garden in Farrer Road and Windy Heights in Eunos launching collective sale tenders.  With seemingly no let up in the number of estates hopping onto the collective sale bandwagon, analysts expect the success rate of such deals to slow with developers getting more choosy as their landbanks fill up.

Cuscaden Road site up for tender under govt land sales programme
A site within the prime Orchard Road district has been launched for sale by public tender on Tuesday under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA’s) Confirmed List of the first half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.  The 5,722.5 square metre 99-year leasehold site is zoned for residential use under URA’s 2014 Master Plan and has a gross floor area of 16,023 sq m with a maximum building height of 100 m.

Tuas South Link site up for tender under Industrial Government Land Sales programme
A Tuas South Link site has been launched for tender under the Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme, said JTC on Tuesday. This is the second of six confirmed list sites for the first half of 2018.

Sold in 12 minutes: House found with skeletal remains went for S$2.23m
The Sembawang Hills Estate terrace house where two sets of skeletal remains were found has a new owner.  It was sold on Tuesday for S$2.23 million to a local contractor in a frenzied auction that lasted just 12 minutes.

Airbnb hosts who made illegal home rentals earned at least $19,000 over 5 weeks
Two men who ran a business providing unauthorised short-term stays earned at least $19,000 over a period of five weeks, a district court heard on Tuesday (Feb 27).  Terence Tan En Wei, 35, and Yao Songliang, 34, pleaded guilty to four charges earlier this month and the prosecution is seeking a fine of $20,000 for each charge, or a total of $80,000 for each man.

Companies’ Brief

UIC helps UOL lift earnings 3 times to S$891m
UOL Group is still on the lookout for more residential sites with strong attributes in Singapore, despite having secured a few sites ahead of the run-up in land prices.  Deputy group CEO Liam Wee Sin, however, expressed concern over aggressive escalation of land prices in its full-year earnings briefing on Tuesday.

Banyan Tree profitable for first time since FY2015
Luxury resort developer Banyan Tree Holdings is back in the black for the first time since FY2015, when it sunk into its worst loss ever.  The company booked a S$12.93 million profit in 2017, compared to its S$16.2 million loss in 2016. Its earnings per share stood at 1.67 cents, up from a loss per share of 2.13 cents.

Fragrance posts 505% increase in full-year net profit
Full-year net profit for Fragrance Group rose 505.3 per cent to S$48.55 million on higher turnover, other operating income and share of results of a joint venture.  Earnings per share for the year ended Dec 31, 2017, was 0.72 Singapore cents, up from 0.11 Singapore cents for FY16.

CDL posts 23% drop in Q4 profit to S$186.7m
City Developments Limited (CDL) on Wednesday posted a 23 per cent fall in net profit to S$186.7 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, down from S$243.8 million a year ago.  Revenue rose by nearly 14 per cent to S$1.33 billion for the quarter, boosted primarily by contribution from The Brownstone EC which obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit in October 2017.

Centurion Q4 profit down 27% to S$9.3m
Centurion Corporation has posted a 27 per cent fall in net profit to S$9.3 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, down from S$12.8 million a year ago.  This was in line with a 4 per cent fall in revenue from S$35 million to S$33.6 million this year, due mainly to a reduced contribution from Westlite Tuas in Singapore, said Centurion.

ESR-Reit to issue 263m new units to raise S$142m
The manager of ESR-Reit on Tuesday announced details for its pro-rata and non-renounceable preferential offering of up to 262.8 million new units at S$0.54 each to raise gross proceeds of up to S$141.9 million.  This will be done on the basis of 199 new units for every 1,000 existing units in the trust held as at 5 pm on March 7, 2018.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Deal with ageing population well, or face a triple whammy
That Singapore has a rapidly ageing population is not news. We have been saying that for years, and have felt its impact in our families, our communities and our workplaces.  This ageing situation is caused by two factors. Firstly, our seniors are living longer and secondly, our fertility rate is low.

MPs want burden of GST hike to be eased for vulnerable groups
The 2 percentage point increase in the goods and services tax (GST) to 9 per cent is to take place at a point between 2021 and 2025, but some MPs are already asking the Government if more could be done to ease the burden on vulnerable groups.  Several also asked if the hike could be postponed, should the economy do better than expected.

MPs: More can be done to prepare economy for future
Singapore’s economy will take years to transform, even as the Government rolls out its $4.5 billion plan to help companies innovate and expand overseas.  But while the plan, which involves rolling out Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) across various sectors of the economy, is still being implemented, more can be done to prepare the Singapore economy and businesses for the future, MPs said in Parliament yesterday.

Putting price on carbon in timely way
Loss of economic competitiveness is the usual argument to counter a carbon tax. But in this year’s Budget, the Government showed its resolve to push ahead with such a tax, as it moves to keep its pledge to significantly cut Singapore’s carbon emissions per dollar of GDP by 2030.

Talent crunch will set back transformation
What’s the No. 1 item on the wish list of local small and medium-sized enterprises?  According to the United Overseas Bank Asean SME Transformation Study reported in The Sunday Times last week, it is “Subsidies to ease the burden of rising manpower costs”.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US core capital goods orders fall; goods trade deficit widens

Growth strong but countries must prepare for change: IMF chief

The China threat: Theory or reality?

Batam to upgrade airport, seaport to grab slice of e-commerce pie

Thailand’s Singha Estate buys hotels from Hawaiian firm for US$250m

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Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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