The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30th July 2016

Top Story

S’pore, Vietnam governments and business leaders open doors
There were plenty of overtures from government officials and businessmen aimed at deepening bilateral economic ties, on the first full day of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s state visit to Singapore.  From aviation to agriculture, manufacturing to finance, government and business representatives from both countries entertained opportunities to build on a key foundation of bilateral ties by strengthening business collaboration across several sectors. 

There’s more on Singapore investors’ minds than what the Fed does next about rates
Expectations of rising US interest rates could have a muted impact on Singapore markets, as domestic and regional issues play a larger role in guiding investment decisions, analysts said on Monday.  They gave a mostly-measured reception to Monday’s selldown, which they took to be an overdone, knee-jerk reaction.  The Straits Times Index (STI) shed one per cent, or 28.22 points, to close at 2,829.43. The Singapore dollar fell by 0.7 per cent to 1.3617 against the US dollar. The three-month Singapore Interbank Offer Rate (Sibor) stayed flat at 0.87 per cent; the three-month swap offer rate (SOR) fell to about 0.71 per cent.

55% jump in China visitors to Singapore in first half of 2016
Arrivals to Singapore expanded at a double-digit pace of 12.5 per cent year on year in the first half of 2016, although growth appeared to slow in June.  According to preliminary data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore saw around 8.17 million visitors over the six-month period, with the number of visitors from China leaping by some 55 per cent to 1.47 million.  China emerged as the top source market for travellers, a position traditionally held by Indonesia which accounted for 1.41 million visitors. This is due to the various partnership deals that the STB has hammered out with Chinese online travel services – such as Alitrip – to boost its presence in the Chinese market.

Singapore Economy

S$ falls 2% to S$1.36 from month high after Yellen’s speech, but rates still weak
The Singdollor (S$) fell to S$1.361 on Monday at 2.29 pm, almost 2 per cent lower from the month high of S$1.338 on Aug 16. The fall follows last Friday’s highly anticipated speech from US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen.  It wasn’t just the Singdollar which fell. As expected, most Asian currencies were lower after Ms Yellen raised expectations of an interest rate hike next month following months of improving US economic data.  “I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months,” Ms Yellen said last Friday.

Singapore stocks close lower after Yellen speech; STI drops 1%
Singapore shares fell on Monday as expectations of interest rate hikes rose following remarks by US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen.  The Straits Times Index dropped one per cent, or 28.22 points, to end the session at 2,829.43 amid light volume.  A total of 719.2 million shares worth S$733.8 million changed hands. Losers outnumbered gainers 248 to 141, or about seven down for every four up.  Almost all the key index stocks closed the day lower. Singapore Telecommunications fell 2.37 per cent, or 10 Singapore cents, to close at S$4.12. United Overseas Bank retreated by 0.28 per cent, or five Singapore cents, to finish at S$18.00, while DBS Group declined by 0.46 per cent, or seven Singapore cents, to close at S$15.03. OCBC Bank headed out at S$8.58, lower by 0.46 per cent, or four Singapore cents.

Invoicing and payments solution launched for SMEs
More options have emerged to make the transition from manual processes to digital ones easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  One solution rolled out in Singapore on Monday was ABSS Click to Pay, an e-invoicing and payments solution designed so that SMEs can manage their invoices and pay their bills more efficiently. The solution is a collaboration between business-software provider Asia Business Software Solutions (ABSS), Australian payments-processing technology provider Mint Payments and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS).  With ABSS Click to Pay, SMEs can click through directly from an e-invoice and submit their payments online. This supports the movement towards electronic payments, replacing the use of cash and cheques.

Singapore Real Estate

Lum Chang’s full-year earnings flat at S$29.52m
Construction cum development group Lum Chang Holdings reported a one per cent dip in net profit for the full year ended June 30 to S$29.52 million. This was despite a 36 per cent surge in revenue to S$426.1 million and a S$14.6 million share of profits of associated firms.  The flat results were due to fair value loss on investment properties and an absence of divestment gains.  Lum Chang racked up S$2.9 million in fair value losses on investment properties compared to a S$4 million gain a year ago; that period also saw a S$11.48 million gain on the disposal of a wholly owned unit that owned the freehold interest in a London mixed-use property.

Small completed condos worst price performer in July from year ago
Small completed private apartments and condos have been the worst performer year-on-year among the four Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) categories tracked by the National University of Singapore.  Based on flash estimates for July 2016 released on Monday, the SRPI for small units of up to 506 sq ft islandwide has contracted 4.4 per cent on a year-on-year basis.  Over the same period, the SRPI for Central Region (excluding small units) retreated 1.2 per cent while the sub-index for Non-Central Region (also excluding small units) fell 2.2 per cent. The decline in the Overall SRPI was 1.9 per cent.

Asian banks increasing real estate footprint
Asian banks have been leasing increasing amounts of office space in the region while Western lenders have been reducing their presence, according to real estate services firm CBRE.  Mr Moray Armstrong, CBRE’s managing director of advisory and transaction services, said in a report: “This trend is evident in Singapore where Asia-Pacific financial institutions have been active. In particular, Japanese banks have featured prominently in the leasing market in Singapore in recent months while a few Chinese entities are showing keenness to acquire ownership positions. There are a few potential transactions in the pipeline.”

HDB shops to get S$29m funding boost under enhanced revitalisation scheme
About S$29 million will be pumped into a scheme to help 1,335 Housing and Development Board (HDB) shops boost their business and increase their competitiveness, Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said on Monday (Aug 29).  Since it was launched in November 2007, the Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme has been rolled out to 4,684 shops across 54 HDB town and neighbourhood centres.

Companies’ Brief

GL Ltd’s full-year profit surges 41%
Property group GL Ltd’s full financial year results received a lift, thanks to lower administrative and income tax expenses, as well as reduced finance and net financing costs.  Net profit shot up 41 per cent to US$67.6 million from the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Monday evening.  But for the 12 months ended June 30, revenue fell 7 per cent to US$393.9 million from the year-ago period.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Yellen’s comments on next US rate hike weigh on Asia bourses

Consumer spending continues growth in July as incomes rise

China’s yuan hits weakest level versus US dollar in more than a month

Wanda Cinema First-Half Profit Misses Estimate as Costs Jump

Li Ka-shing set to win approval for 3 Italia’s buyout of a competitor

UK’s new social housing rule won’t meet aims: report

Deals freeze up in one of Asia’s most lucrative office markets

Australia’s richest woman considers bid for country’s largest ranch

South Korea home-building boom may lead to housing glut

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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