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The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 7th September 2016

Singapore Economy

Singapore must position itself as an innovation-led economy: Iswaran
IT has never been easier for companies with innovative products, services, and business models to reach global markets – but a key question is how Singapore can position itself as an innovation-led economy, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Tuesday.  To that end, the government is embarking on industry transformation maps for more than 20 sectors, with productivity being an “important dimension” in each of these. After all, productivity will be “the key basis of growth” going forward, said Mr Iswaran.  He was speaking to university students at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Economic Dialogue 2016, which focused on ways Singapore can seize global opportunities in the future economy.

Watch out London, Singapore is next in line as best financial hub
Singapore is next in line if London loses its status as leading business hub in the world.  The Asian island nation ranks behind London as the best global city, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in a new study, based on social and economic data published before the UK voted to leave the European Union. The Cities of Opportunity Index places Singapore ahead of Paris and Amsterdam, two European cities that are seeking to attract foreign businesses if they decide to shift jobs out of London.  Superior technology, low taxes and efficient transport and infrastructure systems helped Singapore to overtake New York and move one notch higher in the rankings since the previous study in 2014, according to PwC.

Labour shortage may be biggest challenge for Singapore economy: MAS chief
Singapore’s labour shortage is probably the biggest challenge for growth, and the restructuring of the economy towards coping with such pressures will take a considerable amount of time, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) managing director said on Tuesday (Sept 6).  Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Association in Singapore, Mr Ravi Menon said the economic growth forecast of 1-2 per cent remained in place, having only recently been cut from 1-3 per cent on concerns over Brexit and weakening global demand.  But the trade-reliant economy faced domestic challenges as well, most importantly a labour shortage exacerbated by restrictions on foreign workers introduced in 2011 amid disquiet over immigration.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore Won’t Ease Real Estate Curbs ‘Anytime Soon,’ MAS Says
Singapore doesn’t intend to ease property curbs that have dragged home prices down by almost one-tenth anytime soon, the head of the central bank said.  The relaxing of mortgage refinancing rules announced last week by the Monetary Authority of Singapore are aimed at easing homeowners’ debt burdens rather than create demand for new housing loans, the central bank’s Managing Director Ravi Menon said Tuesday.

Largest freehold automobile mega hub in S’pore tops out
Boutique property developer BS Capital will on Wednesday top out Carros Centre, the largest freehold automobile mega hub in Singapore.  Scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2017, Carros Centre is an industrial integrated development located at 60 Jalan Lam Huat, within Sungei Kadut in the north region.

The freehold strata-titled industrial development has over 2.3 million square feet of built-up area, spanning eight floors, and comprises 383 strata units.

New Funan mall to feature retail innovation, new live-work-play paradigm
The new Funan mall, when ready in the fourth quarter of 2019, will be a platform that “inspires retail innovation” and offers a “new paradigm” for living, work and play, said CapitaLand Mall Trust.  The developer will unveil at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday that the new mall will simply be called “Funan” – it was originally Funan DigitaLife Mall – as a tribute to the site’s legacy and an acknowledgement of the public’s affection for the name.

Companies’ Brief

Sim Lian offer turns unconditional
The offer to take Sim Lian Group private has turned unconditional and trading of shares in the construction and property group is headed for suspension after the final closing date on Oct 10.  In a late night announcement on Monday, offeror Coronation 3G said that it had garnered a stake of 90.1 per cent in Sim Lian as at 5pm that day. Coronation 3G is the vehicle through which the Kuik family led by Sim Lian founder and executive chairman Kuik Ah Han has made the privatisation offer.

OUE Realty pares stake in OUEHT through married trade
The mystery behind the block trades done in OUE Hospitality Trust (OUEHT), driving up its trading volume last Friday, is only partially solved. OUE Realty, the holding company of the trust’s sponsor OUE Limited, disclosed on Tuesday evening that it had on Sept 2 disposed 64,752,176 stapled securities in the trust “through married trade to an independent third party”, paring its stake from 40.1 per cent to 36.48 per cent. But it is not known who the buyer is. As a result of the disposal, OUE Realty has a direct interest in 19 million units (1.06 per cent) and deemed interest of 633.2 million units (35.42 units). It was the direct stake that it pared. When contacted, both OUE and OUEHT said they were not aware who the buyer was, or what the rationale for the stake disposal was.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Auckland’s average house price surges over NZ$1m mark in August

China considering wide-ranging consumer tax overhaul: sources

Time to move into a central London rental

Hotels dangle freebies to encourage more direct bookings

Britain, not China, top foreign landowner in Australia

Berkeley says market has stabilised after Brexit blip

Construction worker shortage weighs on hot US housing market

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