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, 6th and 7th August 2017


Singapore Economy

Singapore-China relationship in ‘good working order’: Vivian Balakrishnan
The Singapore-China relationship is in “good working order”, said Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan on Sunday (Aug 6). Speaking to Singapore media after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, which took place on the sidelines of ASEAN meetings in Manila, Dr Balakrishnan said that while there may be differences, both countries have not allowed this to affect the “overall tone of the relationship”.

Businesses still optimistic, but profits a concern for large, foreign firms
Business conditions in Singapore continued to improve in the second quarter of 2017, but the improvements were not as good as the previous quarter. Even though sales were marginally better, profits have weakened among large and foreign firms, while orders or new business remained largely unchanged.

Fifty years on, South-east Asia emerges as global growth leader
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has much to crow about as it marks its 50th anniversary: economic and social progress, a manufacturing powerhouse and relative political stability. The 10 Asean members boast of some of the world’s fastest expanding economies like the Philippines and Vietnam, with growth rates of more than 6 per cent. With a combined population of over 620 million and an economy of US$2.6 trillion, the investment potential is huge and by 2020, the region will have the world’s fifth largest economy, the World Economic Forum predicts.

MHA revokes LKY School professor’s PR, bans him from S’pore
A prominent academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) had his permanent residency cancelled on Friday, for working with a foreign government to influence Singapore’s foreign policy and public opinion here.

Singapore Real Estate

Le Quest sells all units launched on first day
Le Quest, a Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group mixed development project in Bukit Batok, sold 280 units on its first day of sales on Saturday. The take-up was an oversubscription as only 200 were initially released for sale. The developers said studio to three-bedroom units were the more popular units.

‘World’s largest’ construction factory opens at Forest City
Country Garden Pacificview, the master developer of Forest City and a joint venture between China’s Country Garden and Malaysia’s Esplanade Danga, on Friday opened what it said was the world’s largest Industrialised Building System (IBS) factory at Forest City in the Iskandar Region.

Ascott fund investing S$170.3m in Funan project’s serviced residence
The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, is investing S$170.3 million in the serviced residence component of the Funan integrated development. This will be done through its serviced residence global fund with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

WeWork to pump US$500m into South-east Asia, South Korea
WeWork Cos, the world’s largest provider of shared work spaces, will invest US$500 million in South-east Asia and South Korea, as the New York-based company steps up its expansion in global markets. As part of the effort, WeWork will acquire Spacemob, a Singapore-based co-working startup founded in early 2016 by entrepreneur Turochas “T” Fuad and backed by Vertex Ventures and Alpha JWC Ventures. WeWork declined to disclose the value of the deal.

Mega Tampines complex set to draw over 2 million visitors a month beyond 2020
With most of its facilities now up and running, monthly footfall at Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle complex is expected to double to 1.5 million. On Sunday (Aug 6), Our Tampines Hub marked its official opening, with all its amenities available to the public save for an arena that will be opened next month or in October.

One last look at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel before it closes
Throughout his 45-year tenure at the Raffles hotel, Leslie Danker has met, among many others, the legendary Hollywood actor John Wayne, been introduced to Queen Elizabeth II and taken a photo with pop star Michael Jackson. But Mr Danker’s face lights up the most when talking about the history of the iconic hotel.

Oil & gas sector still stinging Singapore banks
DBS Bank closed off the second-quarter results session for Singapore banks with a more muted assessment of its oil and gas (O&G) portfolio, joining its peer OCBC Bank in signalling that the sector is still stinging from low oil prices.

Companies’ Brief

Huang Jing resigns as independent director of Keppel Land
Prominent academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Huang Jing, has resigned as an independent director of Keppel Land, a subsidiary of Keppel Corp. Announcing this on the Singapore Exchange on Sunday morning, Keppel Corp said his leaving was with immediate effect.

Millennium & Copthorne Q2 pretax profit up
London-Listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) posted a profit before tax of £50 million (S$89.2 million) for the second quarter ended June 30, up 22 per cent year on year in constant currency terms. The revenue of the hotel arm of Singapore’s City Developments Ltd went up by 6.1 per cent to £262 million from a year ago, with increased contributions from hotel trading and property, offset by reduced revenue from CDL Hospitality Trusts.

UOL posts 59% jump in Q2 profit
UOL Group put up a sterling report card on Friday for the second-quarter ended June 30, with net profit jumping 59 per cent to S$109.4 million, mainly due to higher revenue recognition from Singapore condominium project Principal Garden, higher share of profit from associated companies and fair value gains on investment properties.

Warburg Pincus-backed ESR in talks to buy Singapore’s Sabana Reit: sources
Warburg Pincus-backed e-Shang Redwood (ESR) is in advanced talks to buy struggling Sabana Shariah Compliant Industrial Reit, sources familiar with the process said, in a likely first consolidation step in Singapore’s US$3.5 billion mid-cap industrial trusts sector.

GSH Corp in the black with Q2 profit of S$71.7m, helped by disposal gain
Mainboard-listed GSH Corporation saw its net profit soar to S$71.7 million in the second quarter – a reversal from a net loss of S$3.2 million in the previous year. This was largely due to a disposal gain of S$74.9 million from the sale of the entire investment in Plaza Ventures, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday evening.

Temasek takes a bite at Impossible Foods
Temasek Holdings has led a US$75 million (S$103 million) investment round in Impossible Foods, a California-based company that found a way to make plant-based burger patties that reportedly sizzle, bleed and taste like beef. Impossible Foods’ latest funding round, which closed on July 31, was also backed by earlier-round investors, including Mr Bill Gates, and Mr Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures.

Temasek looking at German acquisitions
Singapore state investor Temasek, one of the world’s biggest investors, wants to make acquisitions in Germany, a top executive of the group told a German weekly newspaper. The sovereign wealth fund is being advised by Mr Michael Diekmann, former CEO of insurer Allianz, and Mr Franz Fehrenbach, supervisory board chairman at Bosch.

World Class Global H1 bottomline still mired in red ink with S$2.9m loss
Net loss for property developer World Class Global (WCG) narrowed to S$2.9 million in its first half, from a net loss of S$4.7 million in the previous year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Sunday morning.

Far East Hospitality Trust
Far East Hospitality Trust’s (Far East H-Trust) distribution per stapled security fell 4 per cent to 0.97 Singapore cent for the second quarter. Net property income was down 1.4 per cent to S$23.15 million, while gross revenue slipped one per cent to S$25.88 million year on year.

Oxley Holdings
Oxley Holdings has bought 45.3 million shares, or a 7.11 per cent stake, in United Engineers Ltd (UEL) for about S$120.3 million in the open market. Oxley said on Friday the acquisition was undertaken as part of its investments in income-generating assets. Yanlord Land and Perennial Real Estate are leading a group to acquire UEL and a stake in its holding company WBL Corp for S$1.8 billion.

Singapore Press Holdings
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is joining hands with Han Language Centre’s founder and principal Ann Jong Juan in a joint venture that will enable SPH’s Chinese Media Group to co-develop Chinese-language educational programmes and events for students and adults with the language centre. The transaction will see SPH holding a 75 per cent stake in the business for S$8.5 million and Mr Ann holding the remaining stake.

BHG Retail Reit banks on growth of Chinese economy
Ms Chan Iz-Lynn, chief executive officer of the manager of SGX-listed BHG Retail Reit, firmly believes in pursuing her dreams. Johor-born Ms Chan left home at the age of eight, crossing the Malaysia-Singapore border to live with different families, all because she yearned to attend a school in “Lee Kuan Yew’s country”.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Is Singapore a small country?
As Singapore’s 52nd national day draws near, my thoughts have turned increasingly towards our beloved country, Singapore. I have also been reflecting on the recent debate between two good friends, Kishore Mahbubani and Bilahari Kausikan, on the diplomacy of small states. The question which I would like to answer in this essay is whether Singapore is a small country. The answer may seem obvious but it is not. It depends on the yardstick we use to measure Singapore’s size. If we use the yardstick of size of territory or the size of population, then Singapore is certainly a small country.

Imagining a sustainable Singapore for the future
As Singapore enters midlife, it needs to begin to consider its urban future. After half a century of successful urban planning, what will define the new planning parameters, architecture and development over the next one or two decades? Or even the next 50 years? The development challenge it faces today is to meet the demands of a growing and increasingly urbanised population, while developing resiliency and sustainability, and reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

Commentary: Hong Kong, a cautionary tale for Singapore, a lesson for the future
“In my generation, things were simpler … if you worked hard enough, you gained admission to university, more or less you’d be able to find a good job with a good salary, and then a career path in front of you.” These words could easily pass off as those of an older Singaporean reminiscing about the past and lamenting the stiff competition that young Singaporeans entering the workforce today face.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

As global liquidity tide recedes, hazards in financial system are laid bare: IMF

London home rents fall again after almost decade of growth halts

Billionaire fuels revival in weary Wisconsin town

Toronto landlords swipe right as rents near hipster Brooklyn’s

Australia’s moves to cool property prices start to bite

Uneasy welcome as ultra-Orthodox Jews extend beyond New York

Wyndham spins-off hotel unit, seeks deals for European brands

Blaze rips through Dubai skyscraper The Torch

In the long run, we won’t all be dead: Motley Fool

Strong jobs data set to spur Fed to trim bond portfolio

China’s bank regulator lets crackdown deadline slip over stability worries: sources

UK consumer spending sees longest decline since 2013: Visa

Disgruntled 70-ringgit-a-day earners may seal Najib’s fate in Malaysia

Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ plans hit Philippine peso

UK fights rearguard action on EU financial laws

UK ready to pay up to 40b euros to leave EU

US sees strong job creation in July as unemployment falls

Quieter week ahead as investors pull back

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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