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, 4th and 5th November 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore assessing 2019 forecasts as trade war risks loom
Singapore may need to review its economic growth projections for next year as a trade spat between the world’s two biggest economies increases uncertainty and crimps business investment, its finance minister said.

Upgrade to China-Singapore free-trade deal likely to be inked this month: Chan Chun Sing
The upgrade of the free-trade agreement (FTA) between Singapore and China, three years in the making, will likely be signed by both sides this month in Singapore, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing. “We should be hearing the good news when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Singapore,” he said, referring to the China leader’s visit to the Republic for the 33rd Asean Summit in mid-November.

Chongqing-Singapore financial links get boost with over 10 MOUs inked
Interest is picking up on opportunities for collaboration between South-east Asia and western China as more than 500 business leaders and government officials descended on Chongqing for the inaugural China (Chongqing)-Singapore Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit on Friday.

Singapore’s PMI down in October (Infographics)
Singapore’s manufacturing growth slowed for the second straight month in October, with electronics activity reaching a two-year low. The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a leading indicator of economic activity, was down 0.5 point to 51.9 – the lowest level since August 2017 and below economists’ expectations of 52.2. Still, the sector was in expansion for the 26th consecutive month, as indicated by a reading of 50 or more on the survey-based index.

Singapore still second easiest place to do business: World Bank
Singapore has retained its No 2 spot on the latest World Bank rankings for ease of doing business, coming after New Zealand for the third straight year. In the ranking of 190 economies, Singapore was one of three Asian economies in the top 10, with Hong Kong in fourth place and South Korea in fifth. Denmark ranked third, with Georgia, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom and Macedonia rounding out the top 10.


Singapore Real Estate

Demand for small flats edging up: OrangeTee study
Homebuyers’ affinity for shoebox units and slightly larger offerings below 800 sq ft has been creeping up, according to an OrangeTee & Tie study on new sales and resales of small apartments between 2008 and 2018.

Positive start for sales of three private residences
Buyers snapped up a good number of the units released for three private residential developments – Arena Residences, Belgravia Green and Whistler Grand – over the weekend. City Developments Limited (CDL) yesterday sold about 160 units out of 240 units released for the Whistler Grand condominium as at 5pm.


Rethinking the future of retail spaces: Beyond collection of shops, malls need to tailor customer experience
Malls in the near future may need standout features such as a floor-to-ceiling waterfall or a rock-climbing wall, if they want to pull in the crowds. They can also complement e-commerce by offering shoppers a place to pick up an item they had purchased online, or a place to buy the actual item they saw on a website.

Office sector continues to shine
A surge in demand for office space in the Downtown Core saw the office rental index registering its fifth consecutive quarterly rental increase with a rise of 2.5 per cent for the three months ended Sept 30, compared with the preceding quarter.

Bear or bull, there is opportunity in the property market
Capital gain was the “be all and end all” for property industry executive Darren Teo when he first ventured into the real estate game. Mr Teo, the senior group division director at ERA Realty Network Singapore, would sell any property he owned once it reached a “good price” and bank his gains.


Companies’ Brief

IPO activity disappoints in 2018 as big plans get iced
Singapore is headed for its worst year of IPO activity since 2015, with 13 companies raising just S$715 million in gross proceeds from initial public offerings here so far this year. IPO bankers The Business Times spoke to are not hopeful of getting more deals out the door till next year, so the final tally for 2018 is looking pretty dismal after a blockbuster 2017. Last year, 20 new flotations raised S$4.7 billion in proceeds, including seven mainboard listings.

Full occupancy for Mapletree Logistics Trust’s redevelopment project in China
Mapletree Logistics Trust has achieved full occupancy for the first phase of its redevelopment project in China. Phase one of the Mapletree Ouluo Logistics Park (MOLP) secured strong pre-commitment from both existing and new tenants, including leading third-party logistics providers, the manager of the trust said. MOLP, which is situated 10 kilometres away from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, is being developed in two phases. Phase 2 is slated for completion in March 2020. The event on Sunday was graced by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing.

UIC posts 36% drop in Q3 earnings to S$59.3m
Property group United Industrial Corp (UIC) has posted a net profit of S$59.3 million in the third quarter, a fall of 36 per cent from the same period a year earlier, owing to lower sales recognition from trading properties.

DBS Q3 profit up 76% on higher loan income, lower allowances
DBS Group Holdings on Monday reported that third-quarter net profit rose 76 per cent to S$1.41 billion, compared to S$802 million for the same period a year ago, when accelerated allowances had been taken for weak oil and gas support service exposures.

Manulife US Reit DPU up 33.6% to 1.51 US cents for Q3
Manulife US Reit (real estate investment trust) reported on Monday morning that its distribution per unit (DPU) for its fiscal third quarter expanded 33.6 per cent to 1.51 US cents from 1.13 US cents in the preceding year.

Sembcorp inks deal for two new rooftop solar sites
Sembcorp Industries has inked a 25-year deal to install, own and operate two new rooftop solar sites, including one in Tuas that will be the largest solar installation on a single rooftop in Singapore so far. The Tuas site will boast more than 12,700 solar panels amounting to over 4.7MW peak.

Sembcorp’s Q3 profit dips 12%; firm secures 25-year solar deal
Losses in the marine business owing to weak volumes and loss from a semi-submersible sale drove down Sembcorp Industries’ third-quarter net profit by nearly 12 per cent to S$82.3 million from a restated S$93.1 million a year ago.

Hiap Hoe buys Aloft Perth hotel and office building for A$100m
Hiap Hoe has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire the 224-room Aloft Perth hotel and an office building for A$100 million (S$99.2 million) from BAAC Pty Ltd, an affiliate of Australian manufacturing, building and construction company BGC (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Keppel Corporation
Keppel Land’s indirect subsidiary Ibeworth has converted 49 per cent of its 500 billion Vietnamese dong (S$29.5 million) convertible bonds issued by housing developer Nam Long Investment Corporation (NLG) into shares of NLG, at a price of 18,142 dong per share. Following this, Keppel Corp now owns, through Ibeworth, some 10 per cent of the total enlarged number of issued shares excluding treasury shares of NLG, up from about 5 per cent of the total number of pre-conversion issued shares.

Millennium & Copthorne
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels posted a profit before tax of £34 million (S$60.7 million) for the third quarter ended Sept 30, down 35.8 per cent from a year ago in constant currency terms. Hotel revenue dipped 2.2 per cent to £223 million, while total revenue declined 2.3 per cent to £253 million.

Why Temasek bond got strong retail response
Temasek’s inaugural public retail bond offer last month was met with hot demand, adding some excitement to the local investment scene. Many investors will now be hoping the robust response could prompt more issuers to explore bonds of a similar nature and quality.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Govt looking at long-term proposals to prepare for and protect against rising sea levels: PM Lee
The threat of climate change to Singapore and the world has become increasingly serious and Singapore must take steps to shore up its defences. This means having more than just clean waters and lush greenery, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Nov 3).

New multi-agency task force to look at promoting healthier lifestyles
A multi-agency task force has been set up to promote healthy lifestyles among Singaporeans, in a move that builds on the nation’s ongoing war on diabetes. The new task force, chaired by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin, will conduct public consultation sessions from January to May next year to seek ideas on how to encourage Singaporeans to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Unpiloted drones could be used for maintenance checks on Southern Islands
The Singapore Land Authority is looking to use drones to perform scheduled inspections on offshore islands under its care – remotely and without a pilot. In March, SLA conducted trials on Pulau Seringat and Kusu Island – an area of some 42 hectares among the Southern Islands region – to explore the possible uses of drones for operational purposes.

Exclusive rights or multiple property agents: Which is better?
You can engage as many real estate agents you want, and that is just what some people do when trying to sell or rent out their properties. It is like having a football team with 20 players instead of 11: The more people, the more chances to score right?

Commentary: The Lease Buyback scheme can give singles more housing options
Two trends are reshaping Singapore’s housing landscape. Today, almost 1 in 6 Singapore resident is 65 or older. That’s 548,000 senior citizens. By 2030, every 1 in 4 residents will be 65 and above – residents who might want to unlock the value of their homes for retirement income or downgrade to a smaller house after their children have moved out. Rising singlehood is the second trend.

Commentary: The rebirth of the ASEAN miracle growth model
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has come a long way since it was conceptualised in 2003. A market of 542 million people, ASEAN was then growing at a rate of 5.5 per cent vis-a-vis the global growth of 4.2 per cent.

Changi General Hospital’s medical centre opens with new model of patient care
Changi General Hospital’s (CGH) new medical centre was officially opened on Friday (Nov 2), with a new model of care that will allow patients with multiple conditions to make just one stop for treatment. The nine-storey centre located next to the hospital’s main building houses 14 specialist outpatient clinics and centres that treat a host of conditions, from eye to renal problems. It also has its own pharmacy, offices and staff training facilities.

Boom town Berlin
For a long time, Berlin was known as one of the most affordable cities in Europe. Food and other consumer goods were and still are rather inexpensive and, most of all, the cost of housing has remained low, unparalleled by European standards. This is largely due to historical reasons. For decades, the Western part of the city was walled in by the socialist German Democratic Republic of the East and, therefore, largely detached from developments in the other parts of West Germany.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Malaysia targets biggest budget deficit since 2013

US trade gap hits 7-month high amid expanding tariff war

US payrolls rise more than forecast as wage gains hit 3.1%

Trump and Xi upbeat on trade after phone call

Owning your own home doesn’t make you rich. Owning somebody else’s does

Developers tee off amid mass closure of US golf courses

US home prices cool as sales slump in pricey western cities

China’s developers bracing for major shakeout

Chinese stocks sending scary signal about the economy

China Everbright bags jobs worth 1.05b yuan from Shandong govt

Default Risks Rise in $355 Billion China Builder Bond Market

Beirut’s Ghost Apartments Are Haunting the Economy

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day


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