SMEs feeling bite of trade battles but retail and F&B buck trend
Singapore SMEs will look to expand in 2019, but show greater caution than six months ago as trade tensions continue to simmer, the latest SBF-DP SME Index showed on Monday. A joint initiative of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and DP Information Group (DP Info), the index measures the business sentiment of over 3,600 SMEs for the next six months.
Singapore ranks among bottom 10 globally on tackling inequality: Oxfam
Singapore is ranked among the bottom 10 countries globally on tackling inequality, an Oxfam International study has shown on Tuesday, as the organisation called on policymakers here to strengthen labour rights, enact anti-discrimination laws, and increase social spending.
Singapore gives bondholders new way to chase default losses
Singapore is giving liquidators of insolvent companies a new tool to retrieve funds for bondholders and other creditors. Court-appointed managers will now be able to seek funding from investors unrelated to the case to pay the cost of pursuing claims, in exchange for part of the proceeds. That change came under the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act, which was passed by lawmakers on Oct 1.
Singapore Real Estate
59 shop units at Ming Arcade up for sale with S$51m guide price
Fifty-nine freehold shop units of Ming Arcade have been made available for sale through an expression of interest (EOI) exercise with a guide price of S$51 million, or about S$4,470 per square foot, marketing agent CBRE said on Monday.
Chip Eng Seng shares tumble 10% with no mandatory offer in sight
Chip Eng Seng shares crashed 10 per cent on Monday as punters wagering on a takeover offer were wrong-footed, when the buyer of the controlling Lim family’s 29.73 per cent stake avoided the 30-per cent threshold that would have triggered a mandatory takeover offer.
MAS tweaks rules for ‘robo-advisers’
So-called “robo-advisers” may be exempted from some statutory rules if they have other safeguards in place, under a new framework from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The MAS unveiled the guidelines on Monday, in a move that it said would fine-tune the requirements and improve clarity for digital services that automate investment advice with little to no human interaction.
Asia markets retreat, led by China losses
Markets across Asia ended markedly lower on Monday, as the US dollar gained on strong economic data and Chinese markets plunged despite central bank efforts to shore up an economy dragged down by the ongoing trade war.
Appetite for M&As wanes: Survey
A record wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) could slow sharply as dealmakers get spooked by rising geopolitical concerns, according to a survey by Ernst & Young (EY). Corporate takeover appetite is at a four-year low, with only 46 per cent of executives planning to make purchases in the next 12 months, according to a survey of more than 2,600 dealmakers across 45 countries by the New York-based consultancy. That has reduced from 56 per cent of executives polled last year.
Electronics retailer Newstead Technologies in liquidation
Home-grown electronics retailer Newstead Technologies, which owns brands such as Apple reseller Nubox, is currently in liquidation. Last night, a Newstead Technologies listing on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (Acra) business filing portal indicated that the company’s status was “in liquidation – creditors’ voluntary winding up”.
VIEWS, REVIEWS, FORUM & Others
Big impact on Singapore with extra 0.5 deg C rise
It may not make a difference to many when the thermostat at home is turned up by 0.5 deg C, but this increase would have a significant impact on the climate for a country like Singapore. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in Incheon, South Korea, yesterday showed that warming of 2 deg C instead of 1.5 deg C could see sea levels rise by some 10cm more. Singapore’s Second National Climate Change Study had projected mean sea level in the Republic could rise by as much as 1m by 2100.
Julius Baer primes for second M&A wave in private banking
Julius Baer, ranked the fifth-largest private bank in Asia, expects consolidation in the private-banking market in the next three years, as competing players buckle under the strain of costs and call it quits, said its top executive.
VC, PE investments in S-E Asia trailing 2017’s high base: SVCA
Some US$5.8 billion in investments were made in South-east Asia by venture capital, private equity and corporate venture funds in the first eight months of this year, going by data released by the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) on Monday.
Singapore banks need to warm up to renewal energy financing
The launch in South Korea on Monday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on avoiding runaway global warming hammered home some stark realities about the need to rapidly address climate change.
Keeping AGMs robust yet cordial in a disclosure-based regime
Most of the focus on the recent changes to the Singapore Code of Corporate Governance has been on the key areas of director independence and diversity. These are undoubtedly important; but another area which the Code emphasises also merits mention – shareholder engagement, in particular during annual general meetings.
SGX makes good disclosures, but needs more transparency on share plans
On Sept 20, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) held its annual general meeting (AGM), which, according to news reports, was dominated by questions about listed companies suing their own shareholders for defamation. What appears to have escaped attention is that at the AGM, 42.76 per cent of the shares that voted rejected the proposed restricted share plan (RSP). This is a very high percentage of shares voting against any resolution.
US$60b challenge to China’s ‘debt diplomacy’
US President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a landmark bill which will create a US$60 billion new agency aimed at strategic investment in developing countries. The proposed International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) is the latest step in Washington’s response to China’s growing influence and marks a return to US aid policy with commercial diplomacy and geopolitics centrestage.
Lost trade among South Asian nations
Regional trade among the South Asian countries could be worth US$67 billion annually rather than the actual amount of just US$23 billion, according to an influential new study that reveals that their trade is held hostage by four “critical barriers to effective integration”.
Shares of Malaysia contractors slide as Mahathir deepens spending cuts
Malaysian contractors are plunging as the government intensified its efforts to rein in spending by reducing the cost of an almost US$14 billion mass rapid transit project.
Mixing rental and purchased flats: Some see mingling as means of bridging social divide, others oppose integration
When she had to move from a condominium unit to a two-room rental flat after a divorce three years ago, Ms Sophia Hassan, 36, (not her real name) was apprehensive. She worried about feeling isolated and segregated from the community and feared that the environment would not be good for her children due to negative influences like drugs or crime. But after moving into Block 299B in Tampines Street 22, Ms Hassan – who works as an employment officer in a charity – realised her fears were unfounded.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Further rate hikes should not be taken as a given: Fed’s Bullard
IMF cuts forecast for global growth as trade war, emerging market stresses bite
Saudi crown prince: Jobs, investment on track in overhaul of economy
Indonesia to press for policy coordination at IMF-World Bank talks
China to raise export tax rebates amid trade war
China cuts banks’ reserve requirement level
Angry mobs show all is not well in China’s property market
Sydney, Melbourne to be off limits for new migrants looking to settle in Australia
Australian Unity Office gets sweetened offer
Philippine resort city chooses low-carbon path
US$90,000 for ocean view property in crisis-hit Nicaragua
Hyatt to buy lifestyle-hotel firm Two Roads for US$480m
Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi airport sees US$4.3 billion expansion as arrivals rise
Local fishermens’ livelihoods threatened as developments like Forest City ‘shrink’ the sea
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