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 November 2017

Singapore Economy

Singapore interest rates spike on liquidity crunch, likely to go higher
Singapore’s short-term key interest rates spiked on Wednesday due to a liquidity crunch on seasonal factors and ahead of an expected hike in US interest rates next month.  Interest rate strategists also say the normally sticky short-term rates, the one-month and three-month Sibor, are playing catch up.

More satisfied customers in tourism and F&B sectors in Q3
Customer satisfaction rose for the tourism and food-and-beverage (F&B) sectors in the third quarter, compared to a year ago, a study by the Singapore Management University (SMU) has found.  The tourism sector’s score improvement came mainly from the hotels sub-sector, which gained 1.88 points to hit 74.4 points; this was driven mainly by higher perceived service and product quality.

S’pore lags behind regional peers in Industry 4.0
It is too early to say what Industry 4.0 will eventually look like for factories, the chairman of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) smart automation industry group has said.  But the issue of being a big fish in a small pond may be the biggest obstacle for manufacturers here.  Mr Brandon Lee, who is also country manager for information technology firm ATS Applied Tech Systems, noted that the Industry 4.0 vision being pushed here “is not a big programme with different stages”, but instead involves “multiple cycles of improvements”.

Salaries in Singapore seen to rise 3.9% next year: Study
Many employees can look forward to modest pay increases of around 3.9 per cent next year – but that is before inflation takes its cut – according to a new study yesterday.  It noted that most industries will get the increases, except the life insurance, Internet, real estate, banking and logistics sectors.  Staff in legal, finance, and research and development roles in Singapore will see the biggest pay rises, according to the study by human resources firm Mercer, which looked at salaries across the region.

Singapore Real Estate

HDB to transfer industrial properties, land to JTC Corp on Jan 1
The transfer of the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) industrial properties and land to JTC Corporation will take effect on Jan 1, 2018.  The government had first announced the transfer in October 2016; the Jurong Town Corporation (Amendment) Act 2017 was passed in Parliament in September this year.

Tempers fray over bid to sell Pine Grove en bloc
An ongoing attempt to sell Pine Grove condominium en bloc has turned ugly with residents reporting heated meetings, residents forming factions and a lawsuit pitting the chairman of the management committee against the chairman of the committee set up to manage the sale.  The Straits Times understands that Ms Singaram Kogilambal, the chairman of the collective sale committee (CSC), was recently served a writ of summons by Ms Cheryn Chan, 59, the management committee chairman, for alleged defamation.

How Sun Park sold en bloc for $81.09m on third try
It is a case of third time lucky for owners at How Sun Park after they finally sold their estate en-bloc – reaping a knockout price in the process.  A unit of the SingHaiyi Group is paying $81.09 million for the freehold estate comprising a three-storey development of 20 townhouses. Owners will get about $4.05 million per unit – slightly more than twice what they would have received had their units been sold individually.

Petition to review housing for single parents rejected
A parliamentary petition calling for a reform of the public housing policy for single parents has been turned down.  Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng, who presented the petition on behalf of seven single parents, wants the authorities to recognise unmarried parents and their children as a family nucleus, so that they can be eligible for public housing schemes.  The petition, submitted to Parliament in September, was referred to the Public Petitions Committee, which asked the Ministry of National Development (MND) for a response.

Companies’ Brief

Surbana Jurong lifts engineering expertise with Aussie buy
Surbana Jurong has signed a deal to acquire Australian engineering firm Robert Bird Group (RBG) – its fifth major acquisition since 2015 as it sets its sights on becoming an end-to-end engineering consultancy by adding expertise it still lacks.  In an interview with The Business Times, group CEO Wong Heang Fine declines to reveal the price it paid for the privately-owned consulting engineering firm, which also has offices in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Southeast Asia.

A-HTrust to lease entire hotel in Ariake, Tokyo to Sotetsu Hotel Management Co
Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust) has, through Ascendas Ariake Godo Kaisha, entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to lease a hotel property to conglomerate Sotetsu Hotel Management Co from April 1 next year.  The property is a dual-brand accommodation comprising 790-room Hotel Sunroute Ariake and Oakwood Apartments Ariake Tokyo, which offers 122 serviced apartments.

Soilbuild custom builds project for RF360
Homegrown property group Soilbuild is constructing a building at Kallang Way to house a Qualcomm-TDK joint venture company, a project in which both parties are investing more than S$600 million.  The building is to accommodate the expansion of RF360, the joint venture company of the US semiconductor giant and the Japanese electronic parts maker.

Cromwell European Reit’s public offer 3.1 times subscribed
Cromwell European Reit’s public offer was about 3.1 times subscribed, its manager said.  In an exchange filing on Wednesday evening, Cromwell Ereit Management Pte Ltd announced that it had received 4,448 valid applications for 111.23 million units. The Reit had 36.36 million units available for the public offer, which closed at 12 noon on Tuesday.

Chip Eng Seng acquires Adelaide hotel for A$43m
Construction and property group Chip Eng Seng is acquiring a hotel in the Australian state of Adelaide for A$43 million (S$43.8 million).  The Mercure & Ibis Styles Grosvenor Hotel, managed by AccorHotels, is centrally located in the central business district of Adelaide.

UOL acquires more UIC shares through off-market purchases
UOL Group has acquired more shares in United Industrial Corporation (UIC) through off-market purchases, boosting its stake in UIC to 49.84 per cent.  The group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary UOL Equity Investments Pte Ltd, bought 27,181 UIC shares on Nov 28-29 at an average price of S$3.3072 per share.

M Social Singapore bags awards with help from robot
Room service robot Aura has helped hotel M Social Singapore land two awards from International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia Pacific.  M Social Singapore is part of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) group.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Necessary measures to keep developers on the straight and narrow
Developers’ profit margins may be squeezed with rising land prices – and the government appears to worry they may compromise on two fronts, going by its recent moves and hints of upcoming measures.  Rising land prices is not the developers’ only headache. They also have to sell their projects fast – within five years of the land purchase, or incur additional buyer’s stamp duty on land cost.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed says price pressures rising with economic growth steady

Q3 economic growth fastest in 3 years

US pending home sales jump 3.5 per cent in October

The end of the US housing shortage is in sight, realtors say

Lisbon’s hot real estate market leaves buyers struggling for a home

China developer Kaisa makes US$332m investment in biopharma firm

IMF says Hong Kong property to slow if Fed delivers rate hikes

New World’s Kowloon tower sees 70% take-up for office section

Gaw Consortium to buy HK malls for HK$23b

NZ central bank to undertake ‘modest easing’ of home loan restrictions

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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