MAS proposes moves to support growth of robo advisory firms
Low-cost, efficient portfolios for retail investors willing to take the digital or robo advisory route could soon become more widespread. More than a handful of digital advisory firms have already obtained licences as financial advisers or fund managers. Based on initial indications, portfolio fees are a fraction of those charged by unit trusts and investment-linked insurance funds. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed to facilitate the offering of digital advisory services, while still adhering to the regulatory framework that governs financial advisors and fund managers.
Singapore falls 6 rungs in cost-of-living ranking
The cost of living for expatriates in Singapore is now lower compared to many of its Asian neighbours such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. According to the latest survey by ECA International, Singapore’s global ranking for the most expensive locations for expatriates has fallen from 18th in 2016 to 24th this year. While prices have gone up in local currency terms, the Singapore dollar has depreciated against many currencies over the course of last year, resulting in a relative lower cost of living for expatriates.
Singapore Real Estate
Singapore seeks pipeline of bankable projects in region
Under its drive to be an infrastructure hub for Asia, Singapore is looking to increase the number of “bankable” infrastructure projects in the region. The infrastructure needs of the region are huge, but there are not enough bankable projects to attract commercial financing, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Wednesday. “Our first priority must be to get more projects bankable. Once we do that, we have more bankable projects to attract sources of funding beyond just bank-based finance.
Gateway cities will continue to attract real estate investing
Gateway cities will likely still hold their unique proposition for real estate investing, even as rapid changes brought about by technology is increasingly shaping the way asset managers pick winning assets. GIC chief operating officer Goh Kok Huat said: “If you look at the evolution of technology companies and where younger folks like to go to work, they all gravitate back towards gateway cities because cities have the volumes to generate the kind of live-work-play environment that the younger generation want.”
Shophouse at 28 Ann Siang Road sold for S$52 million
Property investment firm 8M Real Estate is acquiring a shophouse at 28, Ann Siang Road for $52 million. The sale price works out to about $2166.7 per sq ft based on a total gross floor area of 24,000 sq ft, the firm told The Straits Times on Wednesday (June 7). Spanning over 7,000 sq ft, the 999-year leasehold site is occupied by 20-room The Club Hotel, which will continue to operate on the premises. The deal, which is expected to be completed in July, was broked by Isabel Redrup Agency.
Smart towns need common standards for data transfer: HDB CEO
As Singapore pushes ahead with its Smart Nation drive, standards and protocols for developing smart towns are being worked on, Housing and Development Board (HDB) chief Cheong Koon Hean said on Wednesday (June 7). Since collecting data to respond to citizens’ needs or to improve services will be a main objective of the Smart Nation drive, common protocols must be put in place to enable data from any number of smart systems to be sent to the command centre at the Government’s end. For instance, data could be sent to the relevant authorities from high-tech rubbish bins when they need to be emptied, analysts said.
UOL Group higher on analysts’ buy calls
UOL Group climbed as high as 2.6 per cent on Wednesday after several analysts issued a buy call on the property-related stock. After hitting S$7.45 a share, UOL was trading around S$7.44 a share, up 18 Singapore cents, or 2.45 per cent, at 1.17pm. The counter eventually closed at S$7.43 on a volume of more than 1.6 million shares. Credit Suisse Equity Research recently initiated coverage on UOL with an outperform call and a target price of S$9 a share.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Building future-ready infrastructure
The Economic Development Board’s (EDB) tie-up with the World Bank to upgrade talent in the infrastructure sector should both help the domestic economy and plug Singapore more firmly into the wider regional grid. Singapore will benefit from enhanced expertise in a crucial sector which employs an estimated 18,000 people and contributes $2.6 billion in value-add to the economy. The sector attracts investors, who have injected about $200 million over the past two years. According to the EDB, 20 of the top 25 global logistics players conduct operations here. Indeed, most of them have set up regional or global headquarter functions in Singapore. Thus, infrastructure provides a silver lining to uncertain times.
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