Singapore’s outlook this year still positive despite trade risks: MAS
Singapore’s economic outlook for the year remains positive despite global trade risks, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in the April edition of its half-yearly macroeconomic review on Friday. Economists said the review provides further support for the central bank’s decision earlier this month to tighten monetary policy for the first time in six years. But they added that the labour market bears watching, given the first quarter’s weak employment figures.
Outlook sunny for private residential market after Q1, but all eyes on big supply pipeline
Analysts continue to harbour bullish outlook on the private residential market, following a 3.9 per cent increase in prices in Q1, but are keeping an eye on the pace of launches that may come onstream, given the huge supply pipeline. They are, however, split on whether there is enough demand to soak up the impending supply boom.
Q1 retrenchments in Singapore lowest in nearly 7 years: MOM
The labour market in Singapore has continued to show slight improvements in the first quarter of 2018, with retrenchment numbers the lowest in nearly seven years and the unemployment rate of residents hitting a two-year low. In a report released by the Manpower Ministry on Friday, preliminary data showed that the number of retrenchments in the first quarter of this year was 2,100.
Singapore Real Estate
Private home rents on the mend, with some help from en bloc sellers
Private home rents are finally seeing green shoots and could continue to grow this year thanks to the collective sale frenzy. The rental index edged up 0.3 per cent in the first quarter after 17 quarters of contraction or zero growth, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s statistics released on Friday. Landed property rentals remained unchanged, compared to a 1.3 per cent decrease in the fourth quarter.
Number of HDB resale flats sold declines by 22.3%
Fewer Housing Board resale flats were sold in the first three months of this year compared with the previous quarter – a drop of 22.3 per cent. There were 4,458 resale transactions in the January-March quarter, down from 5,738 in the fourth quarter of last year, according to public housing data released by the HDB yesterday.
Local retail property market shows signs of emerging from a slump, but strong rebound not expected
Singapore’s retail property market could finally be emerging from the doldrums, following a three-year battle against disruption brought about by technology amid rising operational costs and weak consumer sentiment.
Singapore office market continues recovery in Q1: URA
Latest data from the government show that the recovery in the Singapore office market continued in the first quarter of this year. The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s rental index of office space in the Central Region rose 2.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year over Q4 2017.
Alpha fund, CDL tie-up put two office assets on the market
Aiming to cash in on the upturn in the Singapore office market, Alpha Investment Partners and City Developments Ltd (CDL) are understood to have put Manulife Centre in Bras Basah Road, and 7 & 9 Tampines Grande up for sale through separate expressions of interest exercises. The total price tag of the two assets exceeds S$1 billion, The Business Times understands.
CDLHT posts 7.4% rise in distribution per stapled security
CDL Hospitality Trust (CDLHT) reported a 7.4 per cent increase in distribution per stapled security (DPS) to 2.17 Singapore cents for the first quarter ended March 31. This came on the back of higher net property income (NPI), which grew 5.4 per cent to S$37.82 million. Gross revenue rose 11.6 per cent to S$51.8 million.
Koh Bros and HK group to redevelop 2 District 10 sites
Koh Brothers Group Limited has tied up with Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium to jointly acquire and redevelop two freehold sites in prime District 10 that were acquired en bloc. The Singapore-listed contractor-cum-developer group said in a regulatory filing on Saturday that its wholly owned unit Changi Properties Pte Ltd has entered into a 20-80 joint venture with FEC Properties, a wholly owned unit of Far East Consortium.
MYP unit to sell MYP Plaza at 135 Cecil Street for S$247m
Mainboard-listed MYP announced on Friday that it has, through wholly-owned subsidiary Affreton, agreed to sell freehold MYP Plaza at 135 Cecil Street for S$247 million. According to an exchange filing, the buyer is affiliated to Filipino billionaire Lucio Tan’s group of companies, a conglomerate based in the Philippines.
Mapletree partners major Chinese courier group SF Express
Mapletree Investments has entered into a cooperation pact with Chinese courier group SF Express to establish a long-term strategic partnership to collaborate in logistics networks. The official signing of a cooperation framework agreement between both parties took place last Tuesday. Mapletree’s logistics business has a global footprint in the key countries, including China, where it currently has logistics properties spread across more than 20 cities.
UIC Q1 net profit rises 1% to S$60.24m
United Industrial Corporation (UIC) reported a net profit of S$60.24 million for the first quarter ended March 31, which represented a 1 per cent improvement from a year ago. This was despite a 37 per cent drop in revenue to S$165.65 million due to lower sales recognition from trading properties. Mitigating the decline were a 43 per cent decline in selling and distribution costs to S$4.93 million, as well as an improvement in the group’s share of results of associated companies and joint ventures.
A-HTRUST enters South Korean market with hotel acquisition
In its maiden foray into Korea, Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTRUST) has, through Ascendas Hospitality Business Trust, entered into a sale and purchase agreement with KY-Development Co to acquire a majority stake in KY-Heritage Hotel Dongdaemun for 72.1 billion won (S$89.5 million). It will hold a 98.7 per cent stake in the 215-room hotel, while the remainder will be held by Ascendas (Korea), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ascendas Land International (ALI).
Manulife US Reit Q1 DPU flat at 1.51 US cents, net property income up 54%
Manulife US Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) on Monday reported a restated DPU (distribution per unit) of 1.51 US cents for its first quarter ended March 31, 2018, down 0.7 per cent from 1.65 US cents a year ago. Manulife US Reit said that the DPU has been restated to account for the rights issue, through which 299.3 million units were issued on Oct 25, 2017.
LHN acquires Cambodian condominium block for US$12.5m
LHN is acquiring 108 freehold apartment units in Cambodia for US$12.5 million, the property developer said on Thursday. The units comprise all the condominium units in Block 1A of Axis Residences (right), which is to be developed by the seller, Spring CJW Development. LHN intends to nominate its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, LHN Cambodia, to hold the target units.
Ying Li receives 1.62b yuan from divestment of stake in Chongqing commercial project
Property firm Ying Li International Real Estate on Monday said it has received 1.62 billion yuan (S$338.7 million) from purchaser Shengyu BVI on April 28, in relation to its divestment of interests in the Ying Li International Commercial Centre Project.
Keppel Corp inks MOU with Filipinos conglomerate to develop urban solutions
Keppel Corporation has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Filinvest Development Corporation (Filinvest), a conglomerate in the Philippines, to develop solutions for sustainable urbanisation in the country.
Oxley’s Q3 profit falls 33% but CEO bullish on project pipeline
Oxley Holdings’ net profit for the third quarter ended March 31 slid 33 per cent to S$30.56 million compared to the third quarter last year. Group revenue fell 38 per cent to S$238.84 million during the quarter from a year ago, as it did not have any major project completions similar to the Oxley Tower in the year ago period.
Making the best use of technology and size
Many forgetful drivers may well have wished for a GPS device when trawling Suntec City’s massive carpark for their vehicles. But Chan Kong Leong, the chief executive of ARA Trust Management (Suntec), believes Suntec’s size is also its biggest asset.
Views, Reviews, Forum & Others
Focus on earnings; SLB Development and Asia Healthcare Specialists debut
For the five sessions ended April 26, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.8 per cent, with the benchmarks of Japan, Hong Kong and Australia averaging a similar 0.6 per cent decline. The STI has continued to be the strongest of these benchmarks in the 2018 year through to April 26, with a 5.6 per cent total return, compared to the three benchmarks averaging a 1.4 per cent decline, while the Dow Jones has declined 1.7 per cent.
3 historic structures on Mount Sophia to undergo $6.3m restoration
It has been one of the country’s best kept secrets but that will change when a former chapel on Mount Sophia that boasts some striking architectural features throws open its doors to the public next year. This one-of-a-kind modernist tropical structure, which has been largely in private hands, is set to reopen as a restaurant, but will retain the sweeping roof beams forming the Chinese character “ren” (people) and a floating skylight.
From boring to booming
You know there’s money to be made from investing in data centres, when one of Singapore’s most astute investors and tycoon Oei Hong Leong is throwing his weight behind a US$5 billion fund aimed at developing an ecosystem of data centres. These staid buildings, housing vast banks of networked computer servers that power the global economy, are now looking attractive to a broad spectrum of investors.
HDB to fit ramps for flats with multi-step entrances
Seniors who are wheelchair users living in Housing Board flats with multi-step entrances can soon get ramps to make their homes more accessible. The costs of the ramps – which will be portable or customised fixed ones – are still being worked out, but the Government will foot up to 95 per cent of the bill.
Marsiling Park pulls in visitors after makeover
Woodlands Town Garden opened in 1983, and in its latter years developed a seedy reputation for drug and vice-related activities. After a 22-month makeover, it re-opened yesterday with a new name and facilities for residents to play, exercise and learn about nature.
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