The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 3rd August 2018

Singapore Economy

Asean must stay the course on economic integration, innovation: PM Lee
As the rules-based multilateral trading system comes under pressure, Asean has to stay the course and press on with economic integration, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday.  “It is important that Asean continues to support the multilateral system and work with like-minded partners to deepen our web of cooperation,” he said in a speech to foreign ministers from all 10 Asean countries and diplomats at the opening ceremony of the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held at Singapore Expo.

Singapore manufacturing activity eases in July as trade tensions simmer
The pace of manufacturing activity continued to moderate for the fourth straight month in line with economists’ expectations of a slower second half of the year.  Manufacturers appeared less bullish about prospects in light of the added uncertainty from the United States-China trade spat, according to the latest Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

Singapore retailers share tales of digitisation battles on the ground
Self-checkout counters across 88 stores, a refreshed e-commerce platform, and an automated storage and retrieval system manned by robots.  Armed with a slew of digital initiatives, supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice is on a mission to “make data and technology key partners of the business”, said FairPrice’s managing director of digital and technology Johnny Wong.


Singapore Real Estate

HDB resale prices dip 0.3% in July, volume up 28%: SRX flash data
Resale prices of Housing Board (HDB) flats fell 0.3 per cent in July from the month before, according to flash data released by real estate portal SRX Property on Thursday morning.  The data also showed that prices decreased 1.6 per cent from the same month last year, and by 13.6 per cent since the peak in April 2013.

Four hotels may have infringed Competition Act
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has issued a Proposed Infringement Decision (PID) against the owners and operators of four hotels for exchanging commercially-sensitive information, giving them six weeks to make representations on the issue.

Businesses fret as Holland V carpark to close in Aug 13
Visitors to Holland Village will soon find parking spaces harder to come by, as its main carpark makes way for a mixed-use development that will take seven years to complete.  The open-air carpark serving the enclave, popular for its eateries and bars, will close for development on Aug 13, according to Housing Board notices handed out to motorists from Wednesday.


Companies’ Brief

A-HTrust’s 1Q DPS up 3.1%, lifted by divestment
Ascendas Hospitality Trust’s (A-HTRUST) distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the first quarter ended 30 June rose 3.1 per cent to 1.35 Singapore cents, thanks to the partial distribution of the proceeds from divesting two hotels in Beijing, and lower net finance costs.  However, gross revenue and net property income (NPI) both slid lower on the back of reduced contributions from its portfolio in Australia, foreign exchange translations and from the partial loss of income due to the divestment. In particular, the Australian dollar and the Japanese dollar both depreciated against the Singapore dollar.

Ascendas Reit buys Brisbane business park for A$33.5m
Ascendas Reit on Thursday announced the acquisition of a logistics property, Cargo Business Park, located at 56 Lavarack Avenue, in Brisbane, Australia, for A$33.5 million (S$33.9 million) from the vendor TS1 (Qld) Pty Ltd.  The building, located near the Brisbane Airport and CBD, caters to customers who require a combination of warehousing, showroom and office space within the same building.

Far East Orchard Q2 profit up 44%
Hospitality player Far East Orchard (FEO) has posted a 44 per cent increase in net profit to S$1.55 billion for the three months to June 30, on the back of higher earnings from its associated companies.  Earnings per share came in at 0.37 Singapore cent, up from 0.26 Singapore cent last year.

Keppel takes 50% stake in US senior housing firm
Keppel Corporation is going into the senior housing sector, with its subsidiary Keppel Capital Senior Living acquiring a 50 per cent stake in United States senior housing operator Watermark Retirement Communities.  Keppel Capital Senior Living entered into a conditional equity purchase agreement with Watermark on Thursday, Keppel announced after the market closed.

OUE Commercial Reit Q2 DPU falls 7.8% to 1.06 cents
Lower gross revenue and higher net finance costs from borrowing resulted in a 7.8 per cent fall in OUE Commercial Reit’s second-quarter distribution per unit to 1.06 Singapore cents.  This was on the back of a 7.5 per cent drop to S$16.5 million in income available for distribution.

New tax rules eat into Lippo Mall Trust DPU
Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) felt the bite from new Indonesian tax rules, as watchers predicted – and unit holders will feel the blow.  Distribution per unit (DPU) was cut to 0.59 Singapore cent for the three months to June 30, the manager said on Thursday – a drop of 34.4 per cent from second-quarter DPU last year.

Perennial Q2 profit halves to S$8.6m with Capitol fully consolidated
Perennial Real Estate Holdings’ second-quarter net profit halved to S$8.6 million from S$17.1 million a year ago as it fully consolidated debt and costs of Capitol Singapore and recognised lower fair value gains in China.  On a per-share basis, profit for the three months ended June 30 fell to 0.52 Singapore cent from 1.03 Singapore cents a year earlier, the property developer announced on Friday before the market opened. Perennial stock closed at 81 Singapore cents on Thursday. No dividends were declared.

Sembcorp Q2 profit up 46.8%
Sembcorp Industries on Friday posted a second-quarter net profit of S$81.9 million, up 46.8 per cent from S$55.8 million last year, thanks to higher contributions from its utilities and urban development segments.   Earnings per share stood at 3.94 Singapore cents, up from 2.57 Singapore cents last year.

KSH Holdings unit wins S$53.8 million construction contract
Construction and property company KSH Holdings has scooped up a new contract that will likely contribute to the bottom line for several years, the board of directors said on Thursday.  Wholly owned subsidiary Kim Seng Heng Engineering Construction has picked up a construction deal for S$53.8 million, which is expected to start in August 2018 and finish in 2020.

DBS trims property loans growth by S$1b; Q2 net up 18%
DBS Group Holdings, the nation’s largest mortgage provider, has dialled back its property loans growth forecast by S$1 billion, given that last month’s cooling measures are expected to hit sentiment.  At Thursday’s second-quarter earnings briefing, a sober chief executive Piyush Gupta said, as he trimmed the bank’s property loans growth forecast: “It was not the greatest quarter … and on balance, given everything, I’ll take it.”

RHT Health Trust DPU tumbles 18%
RHT Health Trust has reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1 Singapore cent for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, down 18 per cent from 1.22 Singapore cents in the year-ago period.  Revenue for the quarter fell 8.8 per cent to S$22 million, due mainly to the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the Singapore dollar. In Indian rupee terms, the fall in total revenue would have been 1.6 per cent instead.



Things still hunky-dory for co-working operators, but test will come during a business downturn
Last year, some watchers of the office-space market were predicting consolidation in the co-working space sector here.  Today, the mood is more buoyant and the possibilities for their expansion in Singapore seem boundless.

Venturing into strata office, retail properties? Beware the pitfalls
Some in the real estate circles reckon that the latest curbs on private residential property purchases will channel investors towards non-residential sectors such as office and retail properties.  But mom-and-pop investors thinking of going into strata retail and office properties like how they have bought apartments and condo units should bear in mind a few things.

Two-month drive to stir up interest in green buildings
The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) is offering a free trip for two to Melbourne on Singapore Airlines as part of its campaign to get the public interested in sustainable buildings.  Titled “Live.Work.Play.Green”, the two-month campaign, launched yesterday at the annual SGBC Leadership Conversations meeting, also dangles prizes such as a staycation at Marina Bay Sands or Resorts World Sentosa through an online quiz.

Freelance real estate agents get new healthcare benefits scheme
The Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) is rolling out a healthcare scheme today that can help members cut their medical bills, a move that follows similar initiatives by at least two real estate firms here.  The collaboration with SingCapital, a financial advisory firm, gives self-employed real estate agents corporate rates for healthcare services at general practitioner clinics (GPs), dentists and traditional Chinese medicine clinics.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Possible new US tariffs not ‘cataclysmic’, says Ross

US tariffs will hurt its own people, says Wang Yi

From Sydney to New York, cracks showing in property markets

Fed leaves key rate intact; says US economy rising at a ‘strong rate’

Factory orders rise for second straight month

U.S. Farmland Values Hit a Record Despite Trade Fears

Bank of England’s Carney warns of rates ending up higher depending on Brexit outcomes

UK construction expands at fastest rate in 14 months

China property investors spend less abroad

No fixed timeframe for keeping rates low, says BOJ

Vancouver Suffers Its Worst July for Home Sales Since 2000

Selling Millennials Home Insurance Is Lemonade’s Novel Pitch


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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