The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 4th, 5th and 6th August 2018

Singapore Economy

Asean agrees to step up efforts on world’s largest free-trade pact
Amid anxiety over a trade war, Asean nations and their key partners have agreed to redouble efforts to conclude a region-wide trade pact by the end of the year.  The 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would, if concluded, be the world’s largest free trade deal.

Singapore firms urged to see innovation, going global as a single process
Just as two government agencies merged to form Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in April, local firms should think of innovation and internationalisation as “a single conversation” instead of two separate journeys, said ESG chairman Peter Ong.  “Innovation and internationalisation are mutually reinforcing pillars,” he told The Business Times.

Singapore lifts halt on Smart Nation projects; 11 critical sectors told to cut off Internet access
The Government has lifted the pause on new Smart Nation projects which had been imposed after the SingHealth cyber attack and has instructed all 11 critical services sectors here to take additional steps to raise the level of security.  In a joint statement on Friday, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group said it has completed its review of the public sector’s cyber-security policies and will implement additional protection measures for critical government systems “to strengthen the ability to detect and respond quickly to cyber-security threats”.


Singapore Real Estate

Keppel must uphold standards even in tough conditions: PM
Keppel Corporation is a sterling example of a successful government-linked company that is run completely on a commercial basis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.  He pointed out that while Keppel is a publicly listed company with Temasek as its largest shareholder, its operations and investments are not directed by the government or Temasek, nor does either party have a board seat.

The Tre Ver sells over 140 of 200 units in first 3 hours of launch
More than 140 units of The Tre Ver, a new 99-year leasehold condominium in Potong Pasir, were sold within the first three hours of its launch on Saturday.  The sales represent over 70 per cent of the 200 units released in Phase 1.

Shophouses come under the spotlight again
The recent property cooling measures have once again diverted the spotlight from the private residential market to the shophouse market.  Shophouse clusters can be classified into two main submarkets. Those in the central business district (CBD) are in areas such as Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar, Upper Circular Road and Boat Quay, while the rest are farther out in places like Kampong Glam, Little India, Balestier, Geylang, Joo Chiat and Tiong Bahru.

Robert Kuok’s daughter buying bungalow in Belmont Park GCB Area
Kuok Hui Kwong, chairman of Shangri-La Asia and daughter of Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok, is buying a bungalow in Belmont Road for S$43.5 million.  This works out to S$1,430 per square foot, based on the freehold land area of 30,420 sq ft in the Belmont Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel to acquire 3.35 ha Chengdu plot for 373m yuan
Keppel Corporation,  through Keppel Land China Limited, has entered into an agreement with vendor Sichuan Shengdai Food Co to acquire the latter’s stake in a 3.35 hectare (ha) plot of land in Chengdu, China for 373 million yuan (S$74.56 million).  Sichuan Shengdai will form an incorporated company – called NewCo – in which Keppel will hold a 100 per cent equity interest in, effectively becoming an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel’s.

Keppel unit to set up A$1b wholesale Australian property fund with Vicinity
Keppel Corporation, through its asset management arm Keppel Capital Holdings, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Australian-listed retail property group Vicinity Centres to establish a new private fund which will invest an initial A$1 billion (S$1.01 billion) into property currently owned by Vicinity.  Vicinity will initially inject some A$1 billion of retail assets located across five Australian states into the proposed fund, and continue to provide property and development services for these assets, according to Keppel’s media statement.

OUE Limited Q2 profit down 24.6% to S$5.3m
Integrated property developer OUE Limited saw net profit fall 24.6 per cent to S$5.3 million for the second quarter ended June 30, from S$7.1 million in the year-ago period, it announced on Friday night.  Revenue was down 19.6 per cent to S$150.7 million from S$187.3 million, due mainly to an absence of contribution from its development property division as there was no completion of sale of units. Excluding the development property division, revenue would have risen by S$18.5 million or 14 per cent year-on-year as contribution improved across most business divisions, such as investment properties and hospitality.

Higher development, investment income boost UOL’s Q2
Higher profit from property development and property investment, as well as higher dividend income received and recognition of higher fair value gains on investment properties, gave a fillip to results for UOL in its second quarter.  Net profit rose 21 per cent to S$132.7 million from the previous year. For the three months ended June 30, revenue surged 59 per cent to S$635.4 million from the preceding year.

BBR Q2 net loss widens to S$3.5m
Construction firm BBR Holdings’ net loss widened to S$3.5 million for the second quarter ended June 30, from S$2.2 million in the year-ago period, it reported on Friday after the market closed.  Revenue was down 39.6 per cent to S$29.6 million from S$49 million, due to lower construction activities in both the general construction and specialised engineering segments. BBR’s property development segment also saw no sales in the quarter as all development units were sold.

Genting Singapore Q2 profit climbs 24%, helped by other operating income
Gaming stalwart Genting Singapore reported a 24 per cent rise year-on-year in net profit to S$177.62 million for the second quarter ended June 30, lifted partly by other operating income and savings from having redeemed its S$2.3 billion 5.125 per cent perpetual subordinated capital securities.  Revenue slid 6 per cent to S$560.3 million while earnings per share clocked 1.47 Singapore cents, up from 1.19 cents a year ago.

Hatten Land to acquire Seremban developer
Catalist-listed Hatten Land is going beyond Melaka for the first time, with its proposed acquisition of Velvet Valley, the property developer announced on Friday after the market closed.  Through subsidiary Sky Win Management Consultancy, Hatten Land has entered into an agreement to acquire Velvet Valley at a consideration of RM43 million (S$14.4 million), to be funded by the company’s internal resources and/or bank borrowings.

Sembcorp Industries Q2 profit bolstered by utilities earnings
Sembcorp Industries saw its net profit for the quarter to June 30 surge 46.8 per cent to S$81.92 million on a doubling of earnings for its utilities division the first months after embarking on a new growth strategy.  Second-quarter earnings per share for the group that is also in marine and urban development businesses was 3.94 Singapore cents, up from 2.57 Singapore cents for the same period in FY17.

Sasseur Reit records DPU of 1.587 S cents in maiden earnings
Sasseur Reit (real estate investment trust) announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.587 Singapore cents in its first financial results after its mainboard listing on March 28 this year.  The Reit’s DPU – recorded from March 28 to June 30 – was 4.6 per cent higher than what was forecast in its prospectus, as was its distributable income to unitholders, which at S$18.74 million was higher than the S$17.91 million forecast.

Manulife US Reit posts 9.7% drop in Q2 DPU on enlarged unit base
Manulife US Reit (real estate investment trust) reported on Monday that its distribution per unit (DPU) for its fiscal second quarter declined 9.7 per cent to 1.30 US cents from 1.44 US cents for the year-ago quarter, largely due to the drag from the enlarged unit base from a preferential offering and only nine days of income contribution from its acquisitions of Penn and Phipps.

UOB posts sparkling Q2 earnings, but CEO expects home loans and home prices to slide
Good news was announced at UOB’s Q2 earnings briefing on Friday, despite its chief executive Wee Ee Cheong projecting a drop in home loans and the prospect of housing prices falling over time as last month’s property measures hit home.  The bank posted record Q2 earnings. Net profit jumped to S$1.08 billion, 28 per cent higher than a year ago and 10 per cent up from the previous quarter, due to overall strong operating income. This beat estimates provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence of S$967 million.

Hyflux expecting net cash outflows; Sembcorp, Keppel, YTL said to eye Tuaspring
Sembcorp Industries, Keppel Corp and Malaysian generator YTL Power International are reportedly among 22 potential white knights interested in Hyflux’s Tuaspring desalination plant, which had a book value of S$1.47 billion as at the end of March (see amendment note).  Hyflux on Friday also said that it is expecting a net cash outflow in the short to medium term, and that the 22 potential rescue financiers had until Friday, Aug 3, to submit expressions of interest (EOI). 

SingPost Q1 profit falls 40.4% on exceptional S$6m loss, higher tax
Singapore Post’s (SingPost) first-quarter net profit fell 40.4 per cent to S$18.7 million, dragged down by an exceptional S$6 million loss and higher tax.  The dent in earnings was mainly due to exceptional fair value losses from warrants in an associated firm, which reflected changes in the market value of the financial instrument, SingPost said.

Challenger Q2 net profit up 3% to S$4m
Challenger Technologies’ net profit edged up 3 per cent to S$4 million for the second quarter ended June 30, up from S$3.9 million in the year-ago period, it reported on Friday after the market closed.  Revenue for the quarter was down a marginal 3 per cent year-on-year to S$76.2 million from S$78.8 million, due mainly to lower online sales, offset by stronger growth in retail, trade show and corporate sales.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

PODCAST: Why It Matters – How is Singapore’s property market after recent cooling measures?
Synopsis: In July, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that the latest cooling measures for the Singapore property market – in the form of higher Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty or ABSD rates and tighter loan limits – were introduced because of concerns that the sharp recovery in private home prices “is running ahead of economic fundamentals”.

Allow Airbnb stays in new developments only
If short-term stays are allowed, owner-occupiers are the ones who will be short-changed.  They did not imagine that different groups of foreign visitors would be moving in and out of their condominiums so frequentlyand making use of the facilities when they signed on the dotted line years ago.

More rigorous process to gauge views on short-term stays
We refer to the recent editorial and letters questioning the need for a survey on the proposed regulatory framework for short-term accommodation (Needless delay to short-term stay ruling, July 28; Rules on short-term stays must protect home owners, by Mr Herve Michel, July 30; Authorities dragging their feet on short-term rental issue, by Mr Toh Cheng Seong, July 26; and Time for S’pore to embrace Airbnb-style stays, by Mr Denis Edward, July 26).

Changi’s Terminal 4 declared officially open
Forward planning and building ahead of demand is important to ensure that Changi Airport keeps ahead of its rivals, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan said on Friday, at the official opening of the airport’s Terminal 4 (T4).  “But building ahead of demand requires sound judgement. It is not simply ‘If you build it, they will come’. The aviation industry is unpredictable, subject to many disruptions, including oil prices and at times, unhelpful governmental interventions,” he said.

Restaurant and bar going to court in bid to stay at Fullerton
A restaurant, which offers a choice view of the National Day fireworks, may no longer get to host patrons as the landlord has declined to extend its lease beyond the expiry date yesterday.  But food and beverage company Galeno, which runs the 1919 Waterboat House as well as The Rooftop Bar at Fullerton Waterboat House, is seeking a High Court order to compel the landlord to extend the restaurant’s lease and the bar’s licence for two more years, based on option to renew clauses.

Worker dies in construction site accident, another hurt
One construction worker died while another was injured in an accident at a construction site in Kim Chuan Road (Defu South) on Friday afternoon.  The project, named Defu Industrial City, is a high-rise multi-user industrial complex developed by JTC Corporation.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China plans tariffs on US$60b of US goods in latest trade salvo

India to impose tariffs on some US goods in September

Tariffs working in trade war with China, says Trump

US committed to Asean centrality; looks to broaden partnership

US job growth slows unexpectedly in July

Kushners give up control of Manhattan tower to save themselves

M&C reviews earnings profile to develop strategic plan as room revenue drops

Hilton’s new luxury brand Is a ghost of Blackstone’s past

A MoMA Curator’s Art-Filled Mansion Is On Sale for $6.5 million

Fixed-rate mortgages cushion BOE interest-rate hike

London Mansion Values Start to Climb on More Realistic Prices

China to focus more on transmission of monetary policy amid rising external uncertainty

Europe feels squeeze from Trump’s trade actions

Malaysia’s June export growth at 7.6% y-o-y, below forecast

Sydney’s Housing Slide Is One More Reason for Rates to Stay on Hold

Vancouver suffers worst July for home sales since 2000

Banks cashing in on Lisbon’s property boom


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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