The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 8th June 2016

Top Stories


Commodities making a comeback, but investors remain wary
After years of disappointing returns, commodities have now entered into a bull market and become the best-performing asset class this year. Prices are expected to stay high in the second half of the year with tightening physical and supply fundamentals across the complex, said analysts.  Yet, many investors remain wary of investing in the asset class and are still underweight on commodities, said a fund manager.  The strong performance of commodities, fuelled by higher crude oil and gold prices, has outpaced those of equities and bonds.


Singapore Economy

SGD surges, interest rates ease on weak US jobs data
The Singapore dollar continued to rally on Tuesday, rising 1.5 per cent from last Friday following the release of the latest US jobs data report which surprised by being lower than expected.  The SGD stood at S$1.3565 at 1.35 pm Tuesday, according to Bloomberg, and is now back to levels a month ago. Last Friday, it was quoted at S$1.3770.

Singapore increasingly a gateway to S-E Asia for China firms
Singapore is well positioned to help Chinese companies invest overseas and this can be seen by the increasing numbers of Chinese corporates and financial institutions based here.  China comes to Singapore not only to do business in Singapore, it also uses Singapore as a launch-pad to do business in South-east Asia, said Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.


Singapore Real Estate

Katong Shopping Centre may soon go on sale en bloc for $630m
The landmark Katong Shopping Centre could soon be making a third attempt at a collective sale, this time with an asking price of about $630 million. More than 80 per cent of the owners by share value and total area of the 425-unit mall agreed to the proposed sale.  City Developments (CDL) owns 60 units and 323 carpark spaces at the mall, which is one of the oldest in Singapore.

URA to developers: Don’t get carried away with incentives
Developers of uncompleted projects were reminded yesterday to comply with the rules when offering incentive schemes to buyers.  The notice from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) comes in the wake of the increasing use of ever more creative incentives by developers to move units.  And as if to underscore the reminder, the Controller of Housing has just disallowed a new scheme which would have let a potential buyer of a Lloyd Sixtyfive unit to effectively rent it for about two years before deciding whether or not to buy it.

Jurong Port is site of world’s largest port-based solar facility
Jurong Port has completed the S$30 million installation of solar panels on its warehouse rooftop, making it the largest port-based solar facility in the world.  The facility – also the largest single-site installation in Singapore – will generate 9.5 megawatts at peak capacity, enough for consumption by 2,500 four-room HDB flats each year.  It started full operations this week, Jurong Port said.


Companies’ Brief

Why has Sime Darby changed tack on E&O investment?
When Malaysian conglomerate giant Sime Darby Bhd picked up a 30 per cent stake in niche builder Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) five years ago at an eye-popping premium and dodged a general offer (GO), the world’s largest oil palm planter unwittingly set off a chain of events unheard of at the time in corporate Malaysia.

Advertisers can now reach VivoCity mall visitors through SPHMBO
SPHMBO, the out-of-home advertising arm of Singapore Press Holdings, has spread its advertising network to VivoCity, Singapore’s largest retail and lifestyle mall.  The collaboration between SPHMBO and VivoCity has made it possible, starting this month, for advertisers to reach the mall’s visitors through new digital advertising screens.


Views, Reviews & Forum 

Malls should spare a thought for consumers before deciding to upgrade
The letter “Constant mall renovations raise business costs, hurt S’poreans” (May 30) resonates with me. It is not uncommon for shopping centres here to undergo major addition and alteration works from time to time.  Similarly, renovations are often done in eateries such as air-conditioned food courts.  Prices invariably rise after the work is completed, and a decent meal with a beverage can now cost, on average, up to S$8. These food courts are managed by conglomerates or major players in the industry.

Service from the heart hits home for guests
Hotel and conference centre Changi Cove prides itself on its warm ‘family’ culture. In the third of a four-part series on service excellence, executive assistant manager Chew Tee Yen tells Sheryl Lee how Changi Cove helps its guests feel at home.

Q When was Changi Cove established and what differentiates it from other hotels?

A We started in November 2012 with 20 permanent staff, now we have 80. We are a hotel and conference centre in a less urban setting. Here, we have greenery everywhere, which makes for a more calming environment.

Low wages a factor in injuries, deaths at work
Manpower correspondent Toh Yong Chuan’s commentary (“When non-slip shoes may have prevented workers’ deaths”; last Thursday) was noteworthy for mentioning two factors in the deaths of workers on the job.  First, the deaths occurred disproportionately among (low-wage) foreign workers, and, second, a correlation exists between low wages and injury/death rates.  Mr Toh cited a view that employers may see low-wage employees as less valuable and easily replaceable, because of their low wages.

Shop till you drop or when you run out of cards
There are many ways to stimulate the economy by getting people to spend more. Some countries introduce tax benefit, others have price cut schemes.  The nationwide shopping promotion called the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), started in 1994 by the Singapore Tourism Board in alliance with the Singapore Retailers Association, is one such indirect government stimulus programme. Though the price cuts are not directly from the Government, it encourages retailers to participate in the GSS to stimulate consumption. Unlike other sales events which are independently initiated by retailers, the GSS is a concerted government effort to boost consumer spending with a nationwide push for retailers to cut prices en masse.

Internet advertising to be a key growth area in entertainment and media industry: PwC
Internet advertising will be a key area of growth as Singapore’s combined entertainment and media revenues rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5 per cent over the next five years, from US$5.15 billion in 2015 to US$6.58 billion in 2020, according to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2016-2020 report.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Global growth slowdown ‘worrying’: World Bank

Fed drops June rate hike after poor jobs report

Tax amnesty seen unlocking gains in Indonesian property stocks

Playboy Mansion to be sold to its neighbour for over US$100m

Bill Gates, Saudi prince said to be seeking sale of Four Seasons Toronto

UK house prices up higher than expected in May

Hotel industry likely to consolidate further: Blackstone

Tour a $40 Million Caribbean Beach House

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate 

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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