The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 31st March 2017

Top Story

Woodlands Checkpoint to get makeover amid rising traffic needs
Woodlands Checkpoint (WCP), currently among the world’s busiest land crossings, will be extended into the nearby Old Woodlands Town Centre as part of efforts to accommodate growing traffic needs and ensure secure immigration clearance.  Two lots of private land – one housing Woodlands Point and another a disused cinema – were acquired by the State yesterday for the extension, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).  The acquisitions will enable upgrading works to be progressively carried out at the WCP without compromising checkpoint operations, said the SLA and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

Singapore Economy

Tie-ups, strategic investments more likely than merger for SGX, observers say
Market observers played down speculation on Thursday about the Singapore Exchange (SGX) exploring strategic deals, saying that commercial tie-ups or narrowly targeted acquisitions are much more likely than a merger of market operators.  SGX shares closed at S$7.76 on Thursday, lower by 0.1 per cent or a penny, after Bloomberg cited “people familiar with the matter” saying that the market operator had discussed potential collaborations, a stake sale and even a full merger with parties including Nasdaq and CME Group.

Singapore SMEs slightly more optimistic: index
The sentiment of Singapore small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) has improved slightly despite the continuing dour outlook for sales and profits.  The SBF-DP SME Index on Thursday showed a rise by 0.6 point to 50.4, which suggests they are expecting some growth in the next six months.  The improvement in sentiment follows last quarter’s score of 49.8, which was the first time the index had ever fallen below 50. A score below 50 indicates a state of pessimism.

Growth opportunities for SMEs still exist despite challenges, say firms
Market conditions may be challenging, but there are still growth opportunities out there for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), said firms at a panel discussion on Thursday at the launch of the Enterprise 50 Awards 2017.  The panel consisted of Mark Lee, chief executive officer of Sing Lun Holdings, and Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love Bonito. The discussion was moderated by Melvin Yong, country head of Singapore, CPA Australia.  For Mr Lee, many of the opportunities he sees come from abroad. Their main markets are not in Singapore, but in the United States, Europe and China.

Tax amnesty: Indonesians repatriate $8.8b from Singapore
Funds from Singapore repatriated by Indonesians accounted for more than half of the total amount sent back under the country’s landmark tax amnesty scheme, which ends today.  More than 57 per cent, or 84.52 trillion rupiah (S$8.85 billion), was sent from Singapore as of yesterday, Antara state news agency quoted Mr Suryo Utomo, the Finance Ministry’s tax compliance expert, as saying.

Singapore Real Estate

880,000 HDB households to benefit from S&CC rebates
Around 880,000 HDB households will receive $120 million worth of rebates for service and conservancy charges (S&CC) in financial year 2017.  The rebate, aimed at providing additional support to households, was announced during the Budget speech last month.  Each eligible household will receive a rebate of 11/2 to 31/2 months, depending on the flat type. Those eligible will receive more details in a letter from today.

New Majestic Hotel to shut on June 1 for new developments
One of Singapore’s pioneer boutique hotels – the New Majestic Hotel – will bring down the shutters on June 1 after 11 years in the business.  Housed in a traditional conservation shop house at Bukit Pasoh Road in Chinatown, the hotel will make way for new developments.  Unlisted Collection, which owns New Majestic Hotel, gave no details about what the new developments might involve.

Companies’ Brief

Centurion to build student housing in Australia
Centurion Corporation on Thursday said it plans to acquire a site in Adelaide, Australia, for A$3.5 million (S$3.75 million) and develop it into a new 280-bed student accommodation. The total cost, including the cost of land, to develop the site is expected to be about A$45.5 million.  The freehold development site is located off Rundle Street on the eastern side of Adelaide City Centre, within walking distance to University of Adelaide and University of South Australia and in close proximity to the main Rundle Mall shopping strip.

CWG to build Suzhou integrated development
Property developer CWG International is planning to build an integrated development next to the iconic Suzhou Ferris Wheel Theme Park in China.  On Thursday, the Mainboard-listed company, formerly known as Chiwayland International, said it has acquired 60 per cent of the equity interest in Suzhou Xinglun Tourism (previously called Suzhou Industrial Park Business Travel Tourism Industry) for 197.18 million yuan (S$40 million).

Keppel Land’s new Myanmar office tower ready for tenants
New office space, partly owned by Singapore’s Keppel Land, is ready for tenants in Yangon, Myanmar.  The 23-storey Junction City Tower, developed by the Keppel Corp property unit and Myanmar conglomerate Shwe Taung Group, officially opens its doors today.  Its Grade A office space in the heart of Yangon’s central business district has a net leasable area of about 33,400 sq m, ready for firms to move into.

Keppel CEO takes 10% base pay cut; total remuneration falls 11.6%
Keppel Corporation’s chief executive Loh Chin Hua took a pay cut last October in a financial year when the group was hit by the proverbial perfect storm.  Mr Loh voluntarily reduced his monthly base salary by 10 per cent with effect from Oct 1, 2016, Keppel’s FY2016 annual report said.  His base or fixed salary was S$1.16 million for 2016. And his total remuneration for the year, which included the base pay, was S$5.95 million, a fall of 11.6 per cent.

Frasers Hospitality to open eight new properties in Mid-East and Africa
Frasers Hospitality Group said on Thursday it is expanding its global presence with eight new properties in the Middle East and Africa. The new properties will increase the group’s footprint to more than 1,500 units in the two regions.  The first of these eight properties to open soon is the 396-unit Fraser Suites West Bay Doha. This will be the group’s second operating property in Qatar and its fifth in the Middle East.  The hospitality division of Frasers Centrepoint also revealed it will enter the Saudi Arabian market for the first time, with properties slated to open in Jeddah, Khobar and Riyadh.

AA Reit makes board changes
The managers of AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Reit (AA Reit) on Friday said Tan Kai Seng will step down and relinquish his position as non-executive lead independent director effective from today.  Mr Tan has served on the board for more than nine years.  Norman Ip Ka Cheung, who is currently a non-executive independent director, will succeed Mr Tan and be redesignated as the non-executive lead independent director and chairman of the audit, risk and compliance committee.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Q4 GDP revised higher, boosted by consumer spending

Manhattan developer to build more condos despite slowdown

Trump Hotels on the hunt for 2nd Washington DC hotel site: sources

Homebuyers shrug off Brexit as UK market remains buoyant

Chinese developers still going flat out with Johor’s Forest City

Two fintech firms slated to launch major IPOs in HK

JB’s biggest mall to be built by company to be listed in S’pore

Australians sitting on mountains of cash as wealth outpaces debt

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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