The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 6th March 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore Budget 2018: SMEs laud new scheme to put global skills in local hands
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have given the thumbs-up to the government’s funding support to speed up the transfer of global expertise to local workers, describing the vehicle for the support – the Capability Transfer Programme (CTP) – as “useful”.  Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme) said the co-funding support plan would be especially useful to small firms, which find cost a key obstacle in acquiring the much needed capability in transforming and growing their businesses.

Not much time left for firms’ digital transformation: Swee Keat
Singapore companies have only a narrow window of opportunity to ramp up their digital transformation efforts and raise productivity over the next few years, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has said.  This is because challenges surrounding the country’s ageing population and shrinking citizen labour force will become increasingly acute in the next five years, he said at a post-Budget forum organised by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.

Singapore Budget 2018: Employment Act to cover all workers by April 1, 2019
The government is moving to drop the salary cap in the Employment Act so that it covers all workers – including professionals, managers and executives.  The move will bring 430,000 more professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) under the Employment Act, which was first introduced in 1968 to standardise and regulate the terms and conditions of employment in Singapore.

Rules on employing foreigners to be tightened
Rules on the hiring of foreigners are being tightened, in a move to give Singaporeans a fair shot at more and better jobs.  More companies will have to give locals a chance to apply for higher-paying jobs by advertising them on the national Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before they can hire a foreigner for the role.  This rule will be extended from July 1 to cover firms with at least 10 workers and for jobs paying under $15,000 a month, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday. Currently, it applies only to firms with at least 26 workers and for jobs paying under $12,000 a month.

Singapore business confidence up for 2nd straight quarter
Local business confidence rose for a second consecutive quarter for the three months to June this year, according to a survey released by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) yesterday.  Its Business Optimism Index jumped from +4.29 percentage points for the first quarter of this year to +8.5 percentage points for the second quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the index was up from +2.66 percentage points for the second quarter of last year.

Singapore Real Estate

Nicon Gardens up for sale for at least S$110m
Nicon Gardens, a 99-year leasehold strata landed development located at Choa Chu Kang Road, will be launched for collective sale this Thursday, with owners expecting at least S$110 million.  Its appointed marketing agent ERA Realty said that the collective sales committee is expecting strong interest from developers as there have not been any government land sales for landed housing in Singapore over the past few years, especially in the vicinity.

Changes to parking provisions in private buildings proposed
Motorists of the future will have more reason to leave their cars at home, with a proposed change to parking provisions in private buildings that will also free up land for other uses.  If accepted, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be able to more finely calibrate the amount of parking provided through a cap, the authority said on Monday.

Companies’ Brief

Booking website RedDoorz launches its first fully leased and run hotel
A Singapore-based web platform that markets hospitality spaces is venturing into brick and mortar as part of efforts to transform the hospitality industry in South-east Asia.  RedDoorz, which runs a budget accomodation booking website, has expanded into directly leasing and operating hotels. It recently launched its first, fully-leased and -operated hotel property in Singapore as part of a long-term strategy to provide predictable, consistent customer experiences, as well as to “grow deeper in the hospitality value chain”.

Chip Eng Seng sees opportunity in education sector
Construction and property group Chip Eng Seng Corporation has proposed a diversification of its business by venturing into the education sector.  It said on Monday that it hoped to construct, own, and operate educational facilities and schools as well as manage their programmes.  For a start, it plans to focus on growing this proposed business in the Asia-Pacific region, but will consider expanding globally when the opportunity arises.

CWG moves closer to delisting; Sinway-led consortium’s holdings reach 96.91%
Real estate group CWG International is closer to a delisting.  Elidom Investment, a takeover vehicle jointly owned by Sinway Investment, H&H Wealth and Floriland Co, said late on Monday that it now controls some 641.6 million shares in CWG, or a 96.91 per cent stake.  Since the public float fell below 10 per cent on Feb 6, CWG is bound for a delisting.

KSH, Lian Beng and Heeton unveil plans for Geylang plot
Property companies KSH Holdings, Lian Beng and Heeton Holdings on Monday said that their joint venture has completed the acquisition of odd-number properties 31 to 51 along Lorong 24 Geylang for S$60 million.  KSH Holdings owns the lion share in the JV at 48 per cent, followed by Lian Beng (42 per cent) and Heeton Holdings (10 per cent).

Airbnb willing to make concessions in Singapore: Top exec
Home-booking company Airbnb is willing to make some concessions on short-term rentals in Singapore in an attempt to appease government concerns, a top executive said yesterday.  Strict rules in the city-state make it one of the toughest markets in which Airbnb operates. Two men were charged late last year over unauthorised short-term letting of apartments.  Mr Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s head of global policy, told Reuters that the company had managed to make great progress in other markets, such as China and Cuba.

Views, Reviews & Forum

That missing debate on Singapore’s foreign talent policy
Amid the furore over taxes in Budget 2018, the critical question of Singapore’s approach to foreign talent in the face of major manpower and demographic challenges went largely undebated.

Safeguarding post-Independence ‘Pearls’
When the collective sale of Pearl Bank Apartments went through last month for $728 million on its fourth attempt, those residents opposed to it were not the only ones experiencing anguish. Many heritage enthusiasts lamented the loss of this significant piece of modernist architecture.

Pearl Bank not worthy of conservation
I frequently support the conservation of our historic landmarks, but the 1970s Pearl Bank Apartments, recently slated for demolition, is not one of them (Pearl Bank architect leads call for iconic tower to stay; ST Online, Feb 13).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US-China ties: Key is aligning both’s interests

US tariffs: Global trade war the real worry for Singapore

May warns developers to build more homes

Call to build new homes faster in UK

China to keep property market stable in 2018; focus on affordable housing

China aims for stable growth as Xi consolidates power

China taking next bold step to improve its people’s lives

Malaysia’s exports surge 17.9% in January

That Zurich lakeside property may finally become more affordable

InterContinental Hotels close to luxury brand deal, says CEO

Egypt commits 1,000 sq km to Saudi mega-city

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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