Non-landed resale prices inch up in August
Non-landed private residential resale prices inched up 0.7 per cent in August from July, led by the prime and suburban regions, and accompanied by a monthly increase of 19.2 per cent in transaction volumes. These figures are estimates of SRX Property released on Tuesday, signalling a general uptrend in SRX Property’s resale price index from October 2016 even as the government’s price index that tracks all non-landed transactions (including new sales, resales and subsales) as at Q2 2017 has remained on a general downtrend since Q4 2013.
Nets to roll out digital wallet app NetsPay
Nets will launch a digital wallet in the form of a mobile app called NetsPay next month, through which consumers can create and store digital versions of their ATM bank cards for cashless payments on one single mobile platform. They will be able to pay for purchases at participating merchants through the app’s direct-debit function linked to their bank accounts, instead of with their physical ATM cards.
Singapore to focus on e-commerce, digital economy when it takes over Asean chair
Singapore will focus on e-commerce and the digital economy as well as improve trade facilitation in the region when it takes over the Asean chairmanship in 2018. Among other things, the Republic is looking to achieve a single window for Customs clearance. Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang said this at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Singapore launch of 2018 Asean Business Outlook Survey on Tuesday.
Singapore July retail sales up 1.8% y-o-y
Retail sales in July showed modest signs of recovery as it notched gains year on year (y-o-y), a continuation of the upward trend seen in June. Total sales in July was up 1.8 per cent compared to a year ago, according to the latest data released by the Department of Statistics. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales was up 2.2 per cent. It was also 3 per cent higher compared to the previous month of June. Excluding car sales, the figure stood at 2.6 per cent.
SIAS, Rajah & Tann seek MAS action on insurance for Singapore bonds
Amid unprecedented local bond defaults as offshore and marine-services firms convulse, Singapore’s watchdog for minority shareholders and a leading law firm are proposing an insurance scheme to help bond investors. The Business Times understands that the Securities Investors’ Association of Singapore (SIAS) and Rajah & Tann Singapore have jointly submitted to the Monetary Authority of Singapore a two-pronged proposal which calls for bond issuers to take up an insurance policy at the time of issuance, so that aggrieved investors will be protected in the event of a default.
Singapore’s human capital most developed in Asia
Singapore has been ranked top in Asia for developing human capital in a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It ranks 11th out of 130 countries, having developed 73 per cent of its human capital as measured by WEF’s Human Capital Index. This makes Singapore the highest-placed Asian country.
Singapore Real Estate
Reits outperform STI components
Singapore’s 20 largest real estate investment trusts (Reits) and stapled trusts by market capitalisation averaged 20.4 per cent in total returns year-to-date – including share price appreciation and dividends distributed, assuming that these dividends were reinvested. This beat the 15.3 per cent in total returns that the Straits Times Index constituents yielded, but fell short of developers’ winning streak; the 16 largest developer counters by market cap yielded 25.4 per cent in total returns year-to-date, according to data from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) My Gateway, an investor education portal.
Green buildings are good for health too
Green buildings are not just a boon to the environment, they keep people healthier too. Those who work in such buildings are less likely to suffer from fatigue and skin irritation, or the other ills of “sick building syndrome”, according to a new Building and Construction Authority (BCA) study which shows that the benefits of such buildings stretch beyond energy-saving. Compared to regular buildings, green buildings are better equipped to filter out more pollutants as well as harmful bacteria and fungi. The result – workers are 60 per cent less likely to get headaches, for instance.
Tampines Court owners get more time to pay seller’s stamp duty
The taxman is said to be giving home owners at Tampines Court more time to pay hefty sums in seller’s stamp duty (SSD). The 560-unit property was sold last month for $970 million in the second-largest collective sale in dollar terms in a decade. Some sellers are struggling to come up with cash for the SSD – as much as $277,000 in some cases – and might need to wait until the developer pays them.
Alpha sells 22 units at Draycott Eight
In what is believed to be the first bulk transaction of residential units in a development following a tightening of stamp duty rules in March, American alternative investment manager Angelo Gordon has bought a stack of 22 units in the Draycott Eight condo for over S$100 million. The units were sold by a fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Capital, the asset management arm of listed Keppel Corporation.
CDL, UOB win inaugural sustainability reporting awards
The sustainability message is getting through to local companies, going by yesterday’s awards ceremony, but a lot more needs to be done. Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) chairman Willie Cheng noted ahead of the ceremony that in 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 sustainable development goals for 2030. “These goals are highly ambitious and far-reaching. The private sector has to play an active part for them to be achieved.”
Keppel DC Reit buys Dublin data centre for 66m euros
Data centre owner Keppel DC Reit said on Wednesday that it had bought a data centre in Dublin, Ireland, for 66 million euros (S$101.3 million). The centre, B10 Data Centre, has a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 11 years and is 87.3 per cent leased. Clients include a leading global Internet enterprise, as well as others in IT services and telecommunications. The facility is in Dublin’s Ballycoolin Business and Technology Park, 12km from the Dublin city centre,
UBS launches US$400m initiative to invest in Japanese hotel sector
UBS Asset Management’s Real Estate & Private Markets (REPM) business has launched a US$400 million initiative with Mitsubishi Corp to invest in the Japanese hotel sector, focusing on key metropolitan and regional areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Hokkaido.
The new strategy will target assets with potential for refurbishment, repositioning or conversion, as well as development projects where there is a third-party operator in place. Its primary focus will be on the limited service hotel sector.
Heeton-led consortium buys Manchester City icon to redevelop into hotel
Heeton Holdings, KSH Holdings and Ryobi Kiso Holdings on Tuesday jointly said their consortium is acquiring Dry Bar, an iconic entertainment venue in Manchester City, and converting it into a new hotel. The purchase price was undisclosed due to agreements made. The deal will be carried out through Treasure Choice Enterprises, a joint venture between Heeton, KSH and Mchester Development.
United Engineers names Yanlord chairman and Perennial CEO as new directors
United Engineers (UE) on Tuesday announced the appointment of new directors – chairman and CEO of Yanlord Land Group, Zhong Sheng Jian, as a non-independent and executive director as well as CEO of Perennial Real Estate Holdings and chief operating officer of Wilmar, Pua Seck Guan, as a non-independent and non-executive director.
Airbnb mixes business with leisure
Initially targeted at mainly tourists, the home-sharing platform Airbnb is now becoming increasingly popular among business travellers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC), according to David Holyoke, the company’s global head of business travel. Since 2015, when Airbnb rolled out a programme targeted specifically at business travellers called Airbnb for Work, more than 250,000 companies worldwide have enrolled in the programme with about 18,000 corporate accounts being added each month.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Call to boost Orchard Rd connectivity, pedestrian experience
An urban village which is home to the high-flying businessman by day, and the high-spending socialite by night. One which marries late-night shopping with dining, where mixed-use developments meet creative working and flexible-use spaces. All divided by just one lane of vehicular traffic. Want to make Orchard Road great again? These were among the suggestions to rejuvenate Singapore’s shopping belt by one of the brains behind projects such as Roppongi Hills in Tokyo and the upcoming Queen’s Wharf integrated development in Brisbane.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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