The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29th August 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore can be African firms’ launchpad to S-E Asia
As regional integration picks up in Africa and South-east Asia, there is room for closer collaboration, the Minister for Trade and Industry has said.  The two regions should continue to push for economic integration and co-operation, even while some developed economies are turning inwards, said Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday, in his keynote speech at the latest Africa Singapore Business Forum.

New fund, innovation centre to take Chongqing-Singapore cooperation to new levels
A new fund will be set up for collaborations in info communications and media (ICM) between companies in Singapore and Chongqing in China, under one of several Memoranda of Understanding signed on Tuesday under the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative (CCI).  The China-Singapore ICM Joint Innovation Development Fund, for projects jointly developed and implemented in either country, covers areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and blockchain.

Stubbornly strong Singapore dollar signals new inflation battle
[Singapore] Singapore’s dollar is approaching the upper boundary of its trading band as speculation mounts that the central bank will boost the exchange rate for a second time this year to combat inflation.  The currency last week reached a record high against a basket of major trading partners’ currencies, based on HSBC Holdings’ model of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s managed float system. The local dollar has continued to hover in the upper half of the band even after the central bank shifted to a strengthening bias in April.

Singapore Real Estate

Buyers taking HDB loan can keep up to S$20k in CPF Ordinary Account
Flat buyers now have more flexibility in using their Central Provident Fund (CPF) money, the Housing and Development Board said as it launched 5,101 flats for sale from Tuesday.  Buyers can now keep up to S$20,000 in their CPF Ordinary Accounts (OA) when they take a Housing Board loan. Previously, they had to use all the funds in their OA first.

Completed condo prices slip 0.5% in July
Prices of completed non-landed private homes in Singapore continued to lose momentum in July, declining 0.5 per cent month-on-month after a slower appreciation in June.  This is according to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) flash estimates for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released on Tuesday.

A property trust to beat ABSD? Beware the drawbacks
Faced with more prohibitive stamp duties on second and subsequent purchases of residential property, some Singaporeans are exploring a trust vehicle to circumvent the latest cooling measures.  While the potential savings may be a lure, lawyers say the restrictive characteristics of such trusts may prove a dampener.

Over 5,000 flats on offer
Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Yishun and a new waterfront district in Punggol are the highlights of the latest Housing Board sales exercise, in which more than 5,000 public flats are being offered.  These include 726 Re-offer of Balance Flats (ROF) units.

8 St Thomas Walk ‘well-received’ in private preview by Singapore, HK buyers
Singapore and Hong Kong buyers have scooped up more than 20 out of 250 units at “well over S$3,000 per square foot” at 8 St Thomas in a private preview over the weekend, developer Bukit Sembawang Estates said in a statement on Tuesday.  Eighty five per cent of sales were for one- and two-bedders, and 70 per cent of sales were from locals and 30 per cent from foreigners. Buyers were evenly split between purchasing for occupation and investment purposes.

Top Global purchasing property at Lorong Mambong for S$13m
Top Global’s wholly-owned subsidiary Holland V Investment Holdings has exercised an option with Bhajis Holdings and Lawson Investment Holdings to purchase a property in Singapore for S$13 million. The property, along Lorong Mambong, has a total area of about 2,860 square feet with a freehold tenure. A 5 per cent deposit of S$650,000 has been paid and the balance 95 per cent will be paid when the acquisition is complete.

HubSpot opens extra office at Mapletree Anson; to create more jobs by 2021
New York-listed HubSpot has opened an additional office at Mapletree Anson in the central business district, and plans to boost headcount as it expands in the Asia Pacific.  Having already set up its APAC headquarters here back in 2016, the software products developer now plans to create about 100 new jobs in Singapore to grow its employee base to 250 by 2021. The new roles will cover areas such as sales, marketing, services, and support.

Thai tycoon’s S$5.02b Bangkok development may lead to Reit
Parts of Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s 120 billion-baht (S$5.02 billion) downtown Bangkok real estate project could be sold into a real estate investment trust (Reit), the head of the development said.  While Mr Charoen’s TCC Group views the One Bangkok project as a long-term asset, a Reit is an option for efficient capital management, though nothing has been decided yet, the development’s chief executive officer Soon Su Lin said.

Companies’ Brief

Lee Chee Koon to be CapLand’s president, group CEO from Sept 15
Nine months after becoming group chief investment officer at CapitaLand, Lee Chee Koon is changing jobs – this time to helm the property giant from Sept 15.  He takes over from Lim Ming Yan, 55, who shocked the market in June when he announced his retirement as president and group chief executive.

Wing Tai Holdings posts S$129.8m earnings for Q4
Property and retail group Wing Tai Holdings has delivered a net profit of S$129.8 million for the fourth quarter ended Jun 30, 2018, up from S$9.5 million a year ago.  Results were driven by a 258 per cent gain in share of profits of associates and joint venture (JV) companies. Wing Tai also recorded a S$21.7 million in other gains, back from the red of S$5.6 million the previous year. The increase was mainly due to the fair value gains on investment properties and gain on disposal of subsidiary companies.

Hatten Land reports lower Q4 net profit
Hatten Land posted a near 96 per cent drop in net profit to RM2.6 million (S$862,342) for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2018 in line with lower revenue.  Revenue fell 61.5 per cent to RM50.08 million mainly attributed to lower revenue recognised for Hatten City Phase 2 project, lower sales from Vedro by the River and Hatten City Phase 1 projects in Q4 FY2018.

HPL associate acquires majority stake in Tangalla Bay Hotels
West Asia Investments (Private) Ltd, an associated company of Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), has acquired a 94.71 per cent stake in Tangalla Bay Hotels (TBH) for 385 million Sri Lankan rupees (S$3.25 million).  Following the acquisition, TBH will become an associated company of the HPL Group.

Civmec net profit up 773% to S$8.34 million in Q4
Civmec, the construction and engineering group which is dual-listed in Singapore and Australia, has posted a net profit of S$8.34 million in the fourth quarter, up 772.5 per cent from S$956,000 in the same period a year earlier.  Earnings were lifted by higher revenue contributions from existing contracts which came on line during the period, the group said.


Building a legacy of sustainable housing
Housing policy had its origins in the experiences of the late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. A student in Britain, he saw first-hand that when public housing was rented, tenants treated the property without the same level of care as owners would. Thus, early on in Singapore’s public housing journey, as soon as the economic conditions permitted it, the Housing Board moved decisively to promote widespread ownership of flats, funded largely by Central Provident Fund savings.

‘Housing pirates’ eye overseas conference loot
A company in Singapore has incurred the wrath of conference organisers overseas who accuse it of taking attendees away from official hotels, housing them instead in accommodation booked by such companies dubbed “housing pirates”.  Kore Conferences, located in Tanjong Pagar, is among a dozen foreign companies named in separate blacklists by the American Epilepsy Society (AES) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (Arvo).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

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Eurozone loan growth pauses in July: ECB

Malaysian committee to study Forest City project 

Stuck housing projects weighing down India realty

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Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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