Easing pessimism raises hope for better days ahead
Despite all the doom and gloom, the Singapore economy is projected to expand at a faster pace this year, with a pick-up in business activity anticipated in the quarters ahead. Full-year growth is likely to hit 2.2 per cent – above 2015’s 2 per cent, and within the upper half of the official forecast of 1-3 per cent, according to the latest Business Times-UniSIM Business Climate Survey.
Economists see lower Temasek, GIC returns denting govt coffers
The current brittle investment climate has weighed on Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and state investor Temasek Holdings. This will in turn affect the government’s coffers, observers told The Business Times. They add that with both entities expecting the situation to drag on for years, there is a pressing need to review the role these contributions play in the fiscal budget.
Search for higher yield leads to infrastructure
Infrastructure is seeing solid interest from investors. Not only does it offer relatively attractive yields and return potential, it’s also a good diversifier. With ultra-low bond yields and equities limited by constrained growth prospects, infrastructure can provide a source of relatively stable returns underpinned by reasonable yields and inflation-linked revenues. This note reviews the key characteristics of infrastructure and its role in a diversified investment portfolio.
Crowdfunding firm First Asia Alliance fails to make payments
A number of schemes marketed by little-known crowdfunding company First Asia Alliance for four firms have failed to deliver on payouts promised to investors. At least eight investors have put in some $665,000 into the four investee firms since May 2013, according to police reports and documents seen by the Straits Times.
Singapore Real Estate
One-stop terminal to handle containers, general cargo unveiled at Jurong Port
The loading and unloading of goods for multi-purpose vessels carrying a combination of containers and general cargo will now be quicker and more efficient. This is due to a new one-stop terminal – dubbed the Combi Terminal – at Jurong Port which was unveiled on Friday.
S’pore’s first vending machine cafe goes on trial in Sengkang
Singapore’s first food vending machine cafe serving a variety of food and beverages (think piping hot seafood hor fun or curry rice or chicken carbonara) round the clock was launched at Block 320C Anchorvale Drive on Sunday. The “VendCafe”, comprising six vending machines and stand-up dining tables, allows residents to enjoy a no-fuss, tasty (and healthy) hot meal in less than three minutes at any time of the day, according to a joint statement by Spring Singapore and the Housing & Development Board (HDB).
CDL, SEAS tie up to promote sustainability
As part of Singapore’s efforts to address climate change, a new training academy focus on promoting sustainability was launched on Friday. The Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA) will focus on areas such as advocacy, education and training, information and resource as well as user engagement. It aims to promote a low-carbon economy, resource efficiency, and sustainable practices among businesses, the community, and in particular, youths.
Private homes puzzle: Why aren’t prices falling proportionately?
The growing vacancy rate in the private housing market is something property developers have been harping on for the past couple of years. At 8.9 per cent, official data shows the vacancy rate for private residential units at a 16-year-high, nearing levels seen in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Based on a March report by property firm Colliers, the number of mortagee sales – at 70 in the first quarter of this year – have reached levels registered during the 2008 global financial crisis.
Hotel room supply outpaces surge in tourists to Singapore
Despite the surge in tourist arrivals in the first half of this year, hotel room rates in the Republic remain under pressure as the industry braces itself for the largest supply influx of new rooms since the completion of the two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in 2010 and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in 2011. Industry-wide, the average daily room rate (ADR) contracted 2.3 per cent year-on-year to S$237.38 during the January-to-May period this year, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell 0.7 per cent to S$200.37, the latest available data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showed.
Frasers Centrepoint’s Q3 earnings fall on lower development profits
Frasers Centrepoint (FCL) on Friday posted a 62.4 per cent drop in its attributable profit to S$68.2 million for its third quarter ended June 30, 2016. After fair value change and exceptional items, net profit still fell – but by a milder 15.1 per cent to S$154 million. Revenue fell 32.5 per cent to S$682.1 million. The real estate developer said its performance was mainly due to lower profits from the group’s development portfolio in Singapore, Australia and China.
Suntec Reit buys into Melbourne building
Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in Southgate Complex in Melbourne for A$289 million (S$296 million). The Reit has also entered into separate put and call option agreements to acquire the other half of the stake for the same amount. Southgate Complex is a freehold waterfront integrated development on the south bank of Melbourne’s Yarra River, comprising two A-Grade office towers, a three-storey retail podium and a carpark with 1,026 spaces.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Rise in Employment Pass qualifying pay can have adverse effects
The move to increase the qualifying monthly salary for Employment Pass (EP) holders is aimed at lowering the number of foreign workers here, so that jobs are created for local workers (“Rise in EP qualifying pay could affect bottom lines, say observers“; last Monday). However, some companies require workers with special skill sets, and there is a limited supply of such workers in Singapore. Therefore, these companies will still hire foreign workers despite the increase in qualifying wage.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
BOJ in ‘hidden’ rescue of banks overextended in foreign markets
Dollar rebounds after robust US jobs report
San Francisco tech surge pushing up labour costs in high-end building boom
KG Global bets on Jakarta’s luxury apartment demand
Evergrande eyes 4.68% stake in China Vanke
Vancouver agents say home sales tumble in wake of foreign buyer tax
Jakarta’s new airport terminal set to take off
Indonesia’s GDP rises 5.18% in Q2
China’s July forex reserves fall to $3.20 trillion
Fiscal measures coming up in the UK
China’s regions show big economic divergence
Eye on corporate results, China data this week
Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article