Economists cut Q3, Q4 forecasts, but keep 1.8% growth for year
Private-sector economists have trimmed their forecasts for the Singapore economy for the third and fourth quarters of this year, although their projections for gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the year remain intact at 1.8 per cent. They have also pared back their growth forecast for next year from 2.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent, said the latest quarterly survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Saying ‘buy-buy’ to millennials in Asia
Retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies must improve their understanding of millennials in Asia or risk missing out on an e-commerce market that is set to skyrocket over the next four years, consultancy Accenture said. It said in a report yesterday that e-commerce sales in the Asia-Pacific are expected to surge 300 per cent to US$2.6 trillion (S$3.5 trillion) by 2020. Millennials in Asia will have more spending power than any previous generation, with an estimated US$6 trillion in disposable income by that year, the firm said.
Singapore Real Estate
Smaller developers may face liquidity squeeze: S&P
With Singapore’s real estate sector forming the lion’s share of outstanding domestic bond issuance, scrutiny of the sector is intensifying following the fallout of marine engineering company Swiber Holdings. In a report published on Wednesday, S&P Global Ratings said that the overall real estate sector remains resilient but some small developers may face liquidity squeeze, making them more vulnerable to repayment risks on bonds outstanding. The larger developers are the largest issuers of bonds maturing in the sector in the next 24 months, so repayment risks may not be as high, while Reits, with their stable and recurring cash flows, lower leverage, and large proportion of unencumbered assets, have more financial flexibility than developers.
More Reits likely to tap equities as unit prices go up
More equity fund-raisings could be in the offing for real estate investment trusts (Reits), given their 9 per cent unit price run-up from late June till now. Already, since July, three Reits have raised equity, with Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) pulling off the largest equity issuance year-to-date of over S$1 billion – making up two-thirds of the approximately S$1.5 billion Reits have raised so far this year.
New Funan to come with a magic touch
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 its owner CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT). CMT unveiled at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday that the new property 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. “From online to on-the-go – Funan inspires real estate innovation to offer a new live-work-play paradigm in Singapore,” said the real estate investment trust.
Trust mulls sale of three prime-area apartment blocks
A bundle of three smallish freehold apartment developments in prime districts 9 and 10 may be put on the market soon, The Business Times understands. Estimated to be worth “a couple of hundred million Singapore dollars”, the portfolio comprises 120 Grange Road, Cuscaden Mansions at 3 Cuscaden Walk, and 8 Hullet Road. The developments house 47 units in total. The owner is said to be a trust operated out of the United Kingdom, and the assets are being managed by a London-based wealth-management company that makes investments for rich individuals, families and charitable endowments.
More can be done to reduce building emissions: minister
Singapore has made “good progress” with its green building efforts, but there is still “much more” that can be done, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday. This is especially pertinent given Singapore’s commitment to meet its targets under the historic Paris Agreement on climate change in April, Mr Wong said, as the Republic gears up to reduce its emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise emissions with the goal of peaking around 2030.
New green standard in store for residential buildings
In the future, smart technologies will be among the criteria needed for developers of residential buildings here to get their buildings Green Mark-certified. Announcing this at the opening of the Singapore Green Building Week yesterday, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong said that the updated Green Mark Scheme will take into account the use of technologies, such as sensors, to track real-time energy usage. The scheme will also look at other features such as responsive wall facades that reduce heat gain in a building. The scheme’s current criteria do not require the use of such technologies.
Keppel Land in JV to develop offices, residences in Yangon
Keppel Land on Wednesday said that it has signed a conditional joint venture agreement with Burmese conglomerate Shwe Taung Group to develop premium serviced residences and offices in the next phase of Junction City. This is a mixed-use development in Yangon’s central business district. Keppel Land’s investment in this next phase will be about US$48.6 million. The collaboration follows Keppel Land and Shwe Taung’s first joint venture to develop Junction City Tower, a 23-storey Grade A office building in the first phase of the project. This was topped off in May 2016. When completed early next year, the office building Junction City Tower will offer a net leasable area of about 33,400 sq m of prime office space.
TEE awarded S$95m in new contracts
TEE International, together with its subsidiaries and associated companies, was awarded new engineering contracts worth about S$95 million from August to September 2016, bringing the group’s total outstanding order book to about S$324 million. TEE’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PBT Engineering Pte Ltd, was appointed the main contractor to provide addition and alteration (A&A) and extension works to AXA Tower, a 52-storey landmark Grade ‘A’ office development along Shenton Way. The scope of work includes architectural, structural, landscape and mechanical & electrical services (M&E), which will be completed in phases over thirty-three months from the commencement date.
Rowsley to buy hotel manager Ariva for up to S$10.6m amid Asia-Pacific expansion
Real estate company Rowsley on Wednesday said that it is looking to expand its hospitality business in the Asia-Pacific region with its planned acquisition of hotel management and consultancy firm Ariva. Rowsley signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with vendors to buy Ariva for up to S$10.6 million. As part of the deal, founders Cameron Ong and Jean-Claude Erne will continue to lead and grow Ariva as executive chairman and executive director respectively, post-acquisition. Both men were from The Ascott previously.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Paperless deeds a step forward
The vision for completely paperless property transactions may seem abstract, but home owners can already benefit from changes made in this area. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) launched a new online service – MyProperty – last week that allows home owners to view their own property title information for free. Previously, owners had to pay for this information via the SLA’s website or over the counter.
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Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
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