Greenback surge pares most of Sing dollar’s 2018 gains
The surging greenback – bolstered by multi-front improvements in the US economy – is chipping away the Singapore dollar’s gains made so far this year. A stronger-than-expected surge by the US dollar on Tuesday and Wednesday prompted DBS Bank FX strategist Philip Wee to note that the Singapore unit is now within striking distance of giving up all its gains this year against the US dollar.
S’pore manufacturing posts 20th straight month of growth
The manufacturing sector recorded its 20th straight month of expansion last month, although the pace of growth has steadied over the past six months, according to figures out yesterday. Last month’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 52.9, marginally down from 53.0 in March. A reading of 50 and above indicates expansion.
Singapore has Asia’s highest proportion of adults in full-time work
Singapore has emerged top in Asia in terms of proportion of its adults in full-time employment (excluding those who are self-employed), with 48 per cent of adults in this type of work. Among Asian economies, Hong Kong was second at 43 per cent and Taiwan, third with 42 per cent.
Singtel, Razer aim to create mega e-payment network
Telco Singtel and gaming product firm Razer are coming together in an e-payment tie-up that aims to connect as many 50 million users – which could make it the largest in South-east Asia. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday to link their respective e-payment systems to create an interoperable network that will allow credits from one system to be accepted in another – potentially letting users pay with any supported e-wallet at more than one million retail payment points in the region.
Singapore Real Estate
Margate Point, Holland Tower put up for en bloc sale
Margate Point, a 15-unit apartment development at Margate Road, has been put up for sale by tender in its maiden en bloc attempt at a minimum expected price of S$38 million. To date, owners representing 14 out of the 15 apartments have already inked their consent to the collective sale.
OUE H-Trust Q1 DPS dips to 1.26 cents
OUE Hospitality Trust’s distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the first quarter slipped to 1.26 Singapore cents, from 1.30 Singapore cents in the previous year. That came as income available for distribution in the quarter slid 2.3 per cent from the previous year to S$22.9 million.
Pacific Star Devt partners holiday home blockchain startup
A wholly-owned unit of Catalist-listed developer Pacific Star Development (PSD) has become the exclusive asset manager for Crowdvilla, a startup expecting to raise up to US$50 million in a digital token sale to build a portfolio of shared holiday homes.
SPH’s Orange Valley partners StarHub, ST Engineering for smart nursing home
Orange Valley Nursing Homes, a subsidiary of Invest Healthcare, has partnered companies such as StarHub and ST Engineering to test aged-care technologies for its new smart nursing home in Balestier. This was announced at the official opening of the 4,700 sq m, five-storey building on Wednesday.
Overseas data centre strategy to keep MIT humming
Analysts have long attributed the trading premium enjoyed by Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) to its pure-play Singapore status since its listing in 2010. But going by the surge in its unit price since it broadened its investment mandate and added US data centres to its portfolio, it may suggest that investors have come around to the reality that there is only so much the Reit can grow within the city-state that continues to keep a watchful eye over industrial rents.
Parkson Retail Asia narrows loss in Q3 amid weak retail climate
The headwinds buffeting mall operators across the world continued to take their toll on Parkson Retail Asia in the third quarter, although the department store operator did record better numbers. Its net loss of $7.8 million was 14 per cent better than the $9.1 million of red ink it racked up a year earlier.
China Great Land’s CEO and independent director resign
The chief executive and an independent director for construction service provider China Great Land Holdings Ltd have resigned. Chief executive Ong Peng Kwang Jemme, 57, is stepping down with effect from May 2 to pursue other personal interests, the firm said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. Mr Ong, who was appointed to the position in January last year, was also the group’s deputy executive chairman and executive director.
Oxley to hold 10% of Malaysian property group Aspen through placement exercise
Mainboard-listed Oxley Holdings has entered into a placement agreement with Aspen (Group) Holdings that will see Oxley hold about 10 per cent of the enlarged share base of the Malaysian-based property group. In a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday evening, Oxley said that it will subscribe to an aggregate of 97 million new ordinary shares at an issue price of S$0.24 per share.
Singapore co-working pioneer Impact Hub rebrands as Found., to open 3rd space on Amoy Street
Co-working space operator Impact Hub Singapore – said to be a pioneer in the business here – has rebranded as ‘Found.’. Found. said on Wednesday that the rebrand concludes the company’s tenure with the global Impact Hub network, and marks its next steps in establishing itself as an independent, homegrown and South-east Asian brand.
VIEWS, REVIEWS, FORUM & Others
Reading into home price data
There is good news and bad news in the range of recent data that points to steadily rising prices in the private home sector. Those price rises will cheer owners who have had a lean few years of stagnating values, but they also raise some less-welcome prospects. One is that more people will be priced out of the condo market, while surging prices could prompt more cooling measures.
Why we need a self-defending smart city
Humans have been living in cities for thousands of years. Yet, while medieval city walls might have fallen, to be replaced by roads and bridges connecting our modern metropolises, the essence of the city has remained unchanged. As technology has progressed, we have refined and built up these cities somewhat, but what’s the next step?
Developers encouraged to vary sizes of housing units in new projects
We refer to the recent letters expressing concern over more small apartment units (commonly known as shoebox units) in new developments (Stop trend of building shoebox units, by Mr Koh Ban Aik, April 15; Apartments must not be smaller than 70 sq m, by Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi, April 25).
Urgent action needed to counter shrinking apartment sizes
Property developers have been bidding sky-high prices for land, especially with the recent collective sale frenzy, and I fully concur with the view of Madam Kwok So Ha (Singapore must not give in to profit-driven developers; April 28). In order to make good profits while keeping overall apartment prices affordable, sizes of flats have suffered, shrinking drastically from just 10 years ago.
Location no longer key to corporate banking success: Study
Success in corporate banking was pretty much assured a decade ago as long as operations were in the right market, which included emerging Asia. But a new report shows that performance is diverging widely within each region, suggesting that nimbleness in cross-selling and loan pricing is worth much more than planting flags on the map.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Freddie Mac sees strong growth in Q1 net income
US dollar consolidates gains after hitting 3½-mth high
Fed leaves interest rates unchanged, says inflation near target
US Reits outperform the broader market in rising rate environment
Marriott Vacations Worldwide to buy ILG for US$4.7b
UK baby boomers facing housing crisis: survey
China manufacturing sector stable in April but exports slow
China’s HNA sells property developer unit in US$456m deal
Building boom lifts Lisbon allure and property prices
Asia-Pac GDP could add US$387b by 2021 if manufacturing transforms digitally: study
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