The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 5th January 2018

Singapore Economy

S’pore needs to do more to remain as startups’ top gateway to SE Asia
Singapore in 2017 cemented its place as a key player on the global startup map, having emerged as the preferred gateway to South-east Asia, a base from which global startups and investors venture into the rest of the region’s burgeoning markets and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

China a good place for Singapore’s tech startups, says IE Singapore
China may lack the reputation of being a welcoming destination for global startups, but IE Singapore, the government agency that partners Singapore companies in going global, has suggested that it could be one for Singapore’s tech startups.

Expectations of strong earnings power STI past 3,500 points
Powered by expectations of higher corporate earnings, Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) has returned to rarefied levels of more than 3,500 points.  Thursday’s close of 3,501.16 points means the STI has added nearly 100 points in the first three days of the year.  The market traded above the 3,500-point mark only for a few days in April 2015, and before that, only for some months in 2007.

Call to stagger GST hike; or lower registration threshold for companies: Deloitte
If the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is raised, the increase should be phased in gradually to lessen the impact on households, two professional services firms said.  In separate reports outlining their recommendations for Budget 2018, Deloitte and EY both said any GST hike should be staggered.

2018 likely to be a good year for markets: OCBC
The threat of nuclear warfare notwithstanding, 2018 promises to be a fairly good year for financial markets, investment experts from OCBC Bank said on Thursday.  Speaking at the bank’s investment seminar at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre, the panel of four advisers said that while the stellar rally seen in equities and bonds in 2017 is unlikely to be repeated, investors would do well to stay engaged in the markets this year.

Global uncertainties dampen deal appetites in 2017
Global uncertainties put a dampener on investment appetites in 2017, with the year’s mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) activity falling just short of previous years’.  Still, bright spots are peeking through the clouds, with deal value picking up in the final month of last year, and technological advancement expected to drive the next wave of deal-making.

Singapore Real Estate

More property agents in 2017 due to positive market outlook
With the Singapore real estate market on the mend, more individuals have signed up as registered property agents.  According to The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), it issued 66 new property agency licences and 1,344 new property agent registrations in 2017.  These registrations bring the total number of agents to 28,571 as at Jan 1, 2018, a 0.6 per cent increase from 28,397 on Jan 1, 2017.

HDB resale prices up 0.1% in Dec: SRX
Resale prices of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats edged up 0.1 per cent last month, reversing the 0.1 per cent dip recorded in November, according to flash estimates from SRX Property on Thursday.  There was also a near 20 per cent drop in flats changing hands: 1,585 resale units were sold in December, 19.9 per cent fewer than in November.

Reserve list industrial site at Tuas Bay Close put up for sale
Industrial landlord JTC has accepted an application to put up an industrial site at Tuas Bay Close for sale by public tender.  The land parcel was put on the reserve list from July 1, 2017. Developers that are interested in a site on the reserve list must submit a minimum acceptable bid to trigger a public tender for the site.

Companies’ Brief

OCBC launches OneAdvisor Home, a one-stop portal for property purchases
OCBC Bank has launched a one-stop property portal designed to provide comprehensive advice for first-time homebuyers as well as seasoned investors.  Called the OCBC OneAdvisor Home portal, the service contains information such as property listings, policy details, rules and regulations, and comprehensive affordability advice to help residential property purchasers.

Sherman Kwek takes on CEO role at CDL
Sherman Kwek, the elder son of City Developments Ltd’s (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng, has assumed the mantle at the Singapore-listed property giant as the chief executive officer.  The younger Mr Kwek, who is 41 years old, took on his current role on Jan 1. He was earlier appointed as CEO-designate on Aug 11 last year, a day after previous CEO Grant Kelley tendered his resignation.

Ascott lands contract to manage nine more properties in China
The Ascott has sealed contracts to manage nine properties with over 2,000 units in China, putting the service residence business unit of CapitaLand on track to achieve its global target portfolio of 80,000 units in 2018, two years ahead of schedule.  With these new properties, Ascott said on Thursday that it has also made inroads into new cities including Harbin and Zhuhai, and widened its presence in Chongqing, Foshan, Shanghai and Wuxi.

CapitaLand to sell 20 malls in China for 8.37b yuan
CapitaLand is set to divest its share of interest in a group of companies that hold 20 retail malls in China for an agreed value of 8.37 billion yuan (about S$1.71 billion) to unrelated parties.  The real estate group said before trading opened on Friday that these malls are located across 19 cities, 14 of which are non-core cities. CapitaLand has one mall in each non-core city. Each of the 20 malls has an average gross floor area (GFA), excluding car park, of about 40,000 square metres (sq m).

Allianz plans to double Asian property investments over 3 years
Allianz SE’s property unit plans to double investments in Asia over three years as the German firm is drawing in more money from its insurance operations in the region.  Property investments may swell to 3.75 billion euros (S$6 billion) by the end of 2020 from about 1.8 billion euros, according to Rushabh Desai, Asia-Pacific chief executive officer of Allianz Real Estate.

Perennial prices S$120m fixed rate notes due 2021
Property developer Perennial Real Estate has launched and priced an issue of S$120 million in fixed rate notes due 2021, to be issued under its S$2 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme.  The notes, to be issued on Jan 12, 2018, will include a term of three years (maturing Jan 12, 2021) and bear 3.9 per cent per annum interest, payable semi-annually in arrears.

Straits Trading unit to invest in Japan real estate fund
The Straits Trading Company announced on Thursday that it will be investing in a Japanese real estate fund to be managed by Savills IM Japan Residential Fund GP Pte Ltd.  Straits Trading will participate in the fund, Savills IM Japan Residential Fund, via its indirect subsidiary, SRE Japan 11 Pte Ltd.

Yang Kee Logistics completes S$52.1m acquisition of New Zealand peer Fliway
Yang Kee Logistics on Thursday said it has completed the acquisition of New Zealand listed company, Fliway Group, for S$52.1 million – making it the first and largest Singaporean third-party logistics player to operate in New Zealand and the Oceania region.

Serge Pun goes where others fear to tread
Where others see operational and regulatory risks in setting up businesses in Myanmar, Burmese tycoon Serge Pun sees opportunities – openings that he says wouldn’t fall into his lap in highly regulated and mature markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Concerted push for work safety
After years of effort, the importance of workplace safety appears to have sunk in. In the past 12 months, the total number of workers who died on the job in accidents plunged to 41, a 13-year low.  It is an encouraging turnaround after the 66 deaths in 2015 as well as in 2016 – increases that forced companies, contractors and the authorities to sit up and take action.Their concerted effort helped bring about last year’s improvement.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US Fed members divided over rate hikes in 2018

Park or playground? New York development hinges on definition

Eurozone economy ends 2017 with best growth in seven years, PMIs suggest

UK house prices will barely rise in 2018, Nationwide forecasts

China economy may not slow as much as expected in 2018

Fitch downgrades Wanda Commercial Property to junk on offshore funding concerns

Online retailer JD follows Alibaba into the supermarket game

Hong Kong Home Prices Are Unsustainable, $2.6 Billion Fund Says

Toronto home sales fall 18.3% in 2017 from record level

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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