Growing gig economy cushions impact of weak job market
Singapore’s growing gig economy has probably offset the impact of a weak job market, according to a Maybank Kim Eng report. It noted that a growing proportion of the labour force, including young graduates or millennials, are part of the gig economy – those in part-time and freelance jobs. This comes amid slow growth weighing on hiring sentiment in many sectors. This report supersedes an earlier one, also by Maybank Kim Eng, that contained inaccurate statistics and conclusions on Singapore’s labour market.
Model Factory to help SMEs test production line solutions
A new model factory has been launched to help small and medium enterprise (SME) owners better understand how factory technologies can help improve their business margins in the long run. On Thursday, the 6,500 sq ft model factory at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (Model Factory@SIMTech) at Fusionopolis Two in the one-north area was unveiled. Visitors can experiment with SIMTech’s advanced manufacturing technologies, known as the Manufacturing Control Tower (MCT) technologies, which are demonstrated on a pilot production line.
OCBC joins fixed-rate home loan battle
Home buyers are getting more financing choices as OCBC Bank jumped into the fray last week with a new mortgage package. Singapore’s second largest bank OCBC last Friday launched a two-year fixed rate home loan based on a new benchmark, called the OCBC Home Rate (OHR). The OHR benchmark is the long-term average of the one-month and three-month Sibor or Singapore interbank offered rate. The two-year fixed rate is 1.65 per cent per annum and is made up of OHR – currently at one per cent plus 0.65 per cent.
Singapore, Thailand weigh e-payment link
Singapore and Thailand are in discussions about connecting their national digital payment systems to forge an unprecedented regional alliance, as officials step up efforts to curb the use of cash. The link would bring together South-east Asia’s first national digital-payment platforms, Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay, said Naphongthawat Phothikit, director of payment systems policy at the Bank of Thailand.
Basic digital skills for S’poreans in a variety of sectors for just S$50
With a fee of just S$50, all Singaporeans and permanent residents can now learn basic digital skills through a two-day training programme to better prepare them for the future economy. The initiative, known as the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, was launched on Thursday by Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, and aims to benefit 100,000 Singaporeans over the next three years.
Singapore Real Estate
Kingsford Huray bags Normanton Park for S$830.1m
Kingsford Huray Development, owned by Chinese-citizen-turned-Singaporean Cui Zhengfeng, has been awarded the Normanton Park collective sale site at S$830.1 million. This works out to S$969 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of two payments that Kingsford will have to make to the state – a lease upgrading premium and a differential premium.
S’pore’s hotel market draws investors
There seems to be more buzz in the Singapore hotel investment market lately, as potential buyers – mostly foreigners – scout for properties in a sector where assets are tightly held. No major hotel transactions have been sealed since 2015, but investment sentiment seems to be waking up with the anticipated rise in visitor arrivals and a tighter pipeline of properties from 2018, consultants say.
HDB resale price fall not seen derailing recovery
HDB resale prices slipped 0.3 per cent in September from a month ago, reversing from a 0.2 per cent uptick in August, SRX Property flash estimates show. Resale transaction volumes in September, estimated to be 1,683, also represented a 14 per cent drop from August, and almost unchanged from September last year.
Cairnhill Mansions to be launched for en bloc sale for S$362m
Cairnhill Mansions, a freehold development in prime district 9, will be launched for collective sale in the next few weeks with an asking price of S$362 million. More than 80 per cent of owners have signed the collective sale agreement, joining the hot spate of en bloc launches this year.
Second-liner property stocks now in play
Smaller property developers and even some construction players have been the biggest beneficiaries on the stock market following Monday’s official estimates suggesting that the property market is finally turning around after four years.
Several of them, such as Oxley Holdings, Tuan Sing, Chip Eng Seng and Wing Tai Holdings, have even hit multi-year highs this week. From last Friday, Oxley has gained 14.7 per cent, closing at S$0.625 on Thursday at a three-year high. Tuan Sing has risen 8 per cent to close at a two-year high of S$0.405.
Far East inks deal to buy S$22.5m property at Ubi Avenue 3
Far East Group has inked a deal to purchase a property along Ubi Avenue 3 for S$22.5 million, following a memorandum of understanding signed previously.
Far East Group will purchase 51 Ubi Avenue 3 from an independent third party, Moduslink, which is a subsidiary of supply chain and logistics services company, Moduslink Corporation.
Soilbuild gets S$50m contract for Kallang factory project
Property group Soilbuild Construction Group announced on Wednesday that it has been awarded a S$50 million contract by SB (Waterfront) Investment.
The contract is for a seven-storey general industrial factory development at No 171 Kallang Way.
Views, Reviews & Forum
East looks West in property buys as West looks East
In an uncertain macro environment, large Asian investors are putting their faith in offshore bricks and mortar in record amounts. CBRE’s Asia Outbound Investment H1 2017, published at the end of August 2017, showed a 98 per cent year-on-year increase in outbound property investment by Asian investors. Some US$45.2 billion was put into overseas property. Hong Kong investors have also been investing a great deal overseas, with a string of high-profile investments in landmark London office buildings including the Cheesegrater skyscraper in the City of London by Hong Kong’s C C Land Holdings Limited (which my own team was involved with) and more recently, the “Walkie Talkie” at 20 Fenchurch Street, which was acquired by Hong Kong’s Lee Kum Kee.
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