Top Stories

Singdollar likely to lag behind in region: Analysts

The Singapore dollar is expected to weaken against key regional currencies like the ringgit this year as economic growth here slows.  Analysts say the recent move by the central bank to stop the Singdollar from rising further against a basket of currencies will also weigh on its performance in the coming months.  The Singdollar has been the third-best-performing regional currency against the greenback so far this year but it is unlikely to maintain its position, said Mr Sim Moh Siong, a senior currency strategist at the Bank of Singapore.

Singapore dollar shakes off last week's losses against the greenback

The Singapore dollar has already erased its losses from last week's surprise easing even as central banks worldwide face the limits of monetary policy in weakening a currency.  The Singapore dollar strengthened 1.5 per cent over the past three trading days, after dropping 0.9 per cent against the greenback on April 14, when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) shifted to a neutral stance.

Singapore Real Estate

Punggol’s new mall opens, but old woes remain

In a fast-growing town still starved of infrastructure and amenities, the opening of Waterway Point in Punggol is an oasis of shops, dining outlets and services for residents, many of whom have moved into the area in recent months.  The downside to its popularity? Massive crowds and the long wait for car park lots, which are making some residents avoid the mall during weekends.  On weekends, finding a parking space at the newly opened Waterway Point can prove to be so much of a “killer” for Punggol resident Hanna Aris, 32, that she prefers to park at nearby residential areas and walk there, or limit her visits to weekdays.

Companies' Brief

Keppel shares up; analysts warn of long drought

Shares of Keppel Corporation rose on Tuesday, despite the company reporting a slump in first-quarter earnings at the start of the week, even as some analysts warn of a long drought ahead for the oil and gas giant, and are watching the group's gearing level closely.  The stock closed at S$6.07 at the end of trading, up seven cents or 1.17 per cent. Some seven million shares changed hands.

CapitaLand Q1 net profit up 35.4% to S$218m

CapitaLand, South-east Asia's largest property developer, said on Wednesday (Apr 20) its net profit rose 35.4 per cent from a year ago in the first quarter, due to fair value gains from the divestment of a property in China.  Its group profit after tax and minority interest (PATMI) for the quarter was S$218.3 million, compared to the S$161.3 million in the first quarter of 2015.  Operating PATMI fell 1.6 per cent to S$152.8 million. Excluding the change in use of properties in both the first quarter of this year and last year, operating PATMI grew 10.6 per cent due to higher contributions from development projects in China, new contribution from CapitaGreen, and better operating performance for the shopping mall and serviced residence businesses.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Widening gap between home prices

The landscape of Singapore's property market is changing, with price cuts at new suburban projects, while new sale prices for more central homes have been more stable.  This has led to a growing price gap between downtown projects and those in other parts of Singapore.  The price gap narrowed most in 2013, when the private home market peaked, before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) came in, a Knight Frank study found. But with TDSR putting pressure on buyers - especially those of less central projects - the gap may grow even wider.

Singapore property may be heading for long-term drop in value

A series of cooling measures progressively introduced in the last six years has led to a patchwork quilt covering the property market that is now uncomfortably scratchy and somewhat suffocating. Calls to relax the cooling measures began to ring out two years ago. In recent months, developers, property agents and industry associations have repeated their calls, with some predicting that measures may be lifted or amended by the end of 2016.  With recent Government Land Sales still seeing strong responses at eight to 10 bids per land tender, and with developers and property agents recording commendable profits for 2015, I do not think that cooling measures will be relaxed until such profits turn negative.

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