Singapore Economy

Digital age means companies can be born global players: Iswaran

Business and entrepreneurs now live in a highly digitised world that makes it possible for them to scale up quickly and succeed, and this is an advantage for smaller countries such as Singapore.  Industry Minister S Iswaran, making this point, said on Wednesday: "Traditionally, the thinking has been that if you have a small domestic market, you have limited capacity and you have to internationalise. This has always been seen as a constraint for us."  Speaking at the final session of the two-day Conference on the Future Economy, he added: "(But) we are now in an environment where because of all the digital connectivity, businesses can literally be born global."

Singapore economy grows 2.2% in Q2, in line with expectations

The Singapore economy grew 2.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter, marginally higher than the 2.1 per cent expansion in the previous quarter and in line with analysts’ expectations, according to advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday (Jul 14).  On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, the economy expanded 0.8 per cent, an improvement from the 0.2 per cent growth in the first quarter.  The figures were in line with analysts' forecasts, with economists in a Reuters poll predicting a 2.2 per cent year-on-year growth and a 0.9 per cent growth on a quarterly basis.

Singapore Real Estate

GIC invests in fund that bought Korean logistics centre for US$130m

Singapore sovereign investor GIC has pumped money into a real estate fund that has acquired the newly built Hyundai Logistics Distribution Centre for US$130 million from LogisKoel, developer of the asset.  The real estate fund is managed by ADF Asset Management Co Ltd, an asset management company specialising in South Korea's logistics sector.  Hyundai Logistics Distribution Centre, spanning 126,708 square metres, is a Grade A dry-storage logistics centre located in Icheon, South Korea. The city is a prime industrial and logistics hub with strong transport links to major cities nationwide.

Sim Lian prices Treasure Crest at an average S$742 psf

Mainboard listed Sim Lian Group Limited has priced its executive condominium (EC) project Treasure Crest at an average S$742 per square foot (psf), with prices starting from S$649,000 for a three-bedroom unit.  The 504-unit project is more than 2.1 times subscribed, having garnered 1,077 e-applications, after a 10-day e-application period that ended on July 10.  More than 4,000 people visited the sales gallery over the same period, Sim Lian said.

Private condo rents flat, HDB rents dip in June: SRX Property

Rents for private non-landed homes were likely flat in June compared to May, while those for Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats dipped 0.3 per cent from a month ago, going by flash estimates from SRX Property.  Non-landed private home rents in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region increased by 0.8 per cent in June. But rents in the Core Central Region and Outside Central Region slipped 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively in June, SRX Property said.  SRX estimates that rental volumes increased 2 per cent month on month to 4,256 non-landed units in June, representing a 7.9 per cent increase from June last year.

Smart tools to drive HDB town planning

From a location map that guides city planners on where best to locate eldercare centres, to a text mining tool that reflects the most pressing concerns of residents, the Housing Board (HDB) is making a new push towards incorporating technology in town planning efforts.  HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean outlined how the authority plans to create community-based and sustainable towns at the 2016 World Cities Summit Singapore (WCS) on Tuesday.

2 HDB projects get ABC Waters certification

Two of the Housing Board's (HDB) upcoming integrated developments will combine form with function in design features that will incorporate water with public spaces, and reduce its wastage.  Oasis Terraces, a neighbourhood centre in Punggol, and Kampung Admiralty, a senior-friendly complex that includes studio apartments and other amenities, will both feature rain gardens and vegetated swales that will help to clean rainwater run-off for use in irrigation, for example.  Yesterday, they were among 14 projects to receive national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters certification for extensively integrating design features.

Companies' Brief

Soilbuild sees challenge amid slowdown in manufacturing sector

Soilbuild Reit on Wednesday posted a 3.1 per cent fall in distribution per unit (DPU) for the second quarter from the same period a year ago, against a bigger unitholder base.  DPU for the three months ended June 30, 2016, stood at 1.565 Singapore cents, compared to 1.615 Singapore cents a year ago. This was based on 941 million units for the second quarter, compared to 930 million units a year ago.

Yanlord to develop site in Suzhou with China Ping An Insurance unit

In Its second joint venture with China Ping An Insurance Group, Yanlord Land Group is partnering a subsidiary of the financial services conglomerate to jointly develop a 295,000 square metre prime integrated development in Suzhou city's Gusu District.  The real estate developer's wholly owned subsidiary, Nanjing Renyuan Investment Co, has entered into a cooperative agreement with Shenzhen Lianxin Investment Management Co, Yanlord said in a release to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday.

Views, Reviews & Forum

3M lighting solutions on trial in HDB corridors, carparks

Call it 3M Singapore's eureka moments put on trial.  Three locally developed lighting projects from the company's eight-month-old Smart Urban Solutions Lab have begun local trials in HDB parking lots, HDB corridors and some private parks.  The most recent 3M Channel Lighting System, which made its debut this week at the World Cities Summit held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands, is a light management solution that allows a single LED light source to be evenly distributed across a 10m long aluminium duct.

Financing retirement needs by extracting housing equity

Longevity poses risks to cities. Panellists at a Wednesday discussion focused on life-cycle financing for ageing populations agreed that monetising housing may be the best way to finance retirement needs in Asia.  They also believe that governments should step in to take on the tail risks, such as when seniors outlive the leases of their homes.  At the discussion at the World Cities Summit, Man Cho, a professor at the Korea Development Institute and The KDI School, cited studies that show the vastly different composition of household wealth between South Koreans and Americans.

Why the ABSD and other property cooling measures should stay

I bought my first home in Singapore recently. To be honest, I was not exactly keen to buy at this point in the cycle, with prices still high in both absolute and relative terms, but my fiancee and I needed more space than the bedroom in my parents’ flat.  Besides, prices have eased since the 2013 peak. Private home prices, for example, have been falling for 11 consecutive quarters and the resale market for Housing and Development (HDB) flats has had a similarly weak period, even though the fall in prices is much less than the surge from 2009 to 2013.

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