Singapore Economy

2016 could be tricky year for Singapore economy: DBS CEO

2016 could be a tricky year for Singapore as it continues to restructure its economy amid weakness in major trading partners like China, said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta, who was speaking at the DBS' Private Banking Outlook for the first half of 2016 on Wednesday (Jan 6). He said: "Singapore, I think, will be particularly challenged because in addition to the overall macro global outlook, we’re trying to do two things.

SBF calls for bold and decisive steps to energise Singapore economy

Invest Singapore workers' pension funds in the stock market. Appoint a minister to oversee the government's efforts to develop local enterprises. Use more of the reserves to help suitable firms expand overseas. These were just some of the many wide-ranging proposals and recommendations in a new economic position paper released by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on Wednesday.

Singapore Real Estate

BCA to expand buildability appraisal framework later this year

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will expand the existing buildability appraisal framework to include tunnelling projects from the second half of this year, it said on Wednesday (Jan 6). This is to encourage designers and developers to consider labour saving designs for such projects. Some examples would be to incorporate a greater degree of mechanisation and prefabrication as well as reduce the amount of excavation and concreting on site, the agency 


Productivity guidelines for tunnel builders this year

Builders of tunnels may soon find themselves subject to the same building guidelines as property developers. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Wednesday said it will expand the existing "buildability appraisal framework" to include tunnelling projects; the guidelines are expected to be rolled out in the second half of the year.

Quieter, faster tunnel projects using labour-saving model

Tunnelling projects for MRT lines and expressways may be completed in a shorter time in future and be built more quietly, as their designers will soon be required to adopt a framework now used for buildings. Fittingly, this was announced yesterday by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) at the site of three new Nanyang Technological University (NTU) residential halls that are being built "Lego style" - with entire rooms built elsewhere and then stacked on top of one another at the site.

Home buyers go for price and location

Developers pondering what might lure buyers back to the market this year already seem to have the answer - reasonably priced homes in good locations. They only have to look at the turnout at the launches held last year. Three projects defied the cooling measures to perform exceptionally well at their launch, largely due to pricing and location.

Value of shophouse deals rises 8% in 2015

The value of shophouse transactions last year reached S$655.6 million, up 8 per cent from S$606.2 million in the previous year. However the number of transactions eased in 2015; a total of 103 caveats were lodged last year - down from 112 in 2014, suggesting bigger-ticket shophouses changed hands last year.

GuocoLand inks pact with AccorHotels to manage two hotels

Guocoland Limited has inked a pact with AccorHotels to manage the two new hotels in its mixed-use developments in Singapore and Malaysia. The 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre will be part of the group's upcoming Tanjong Pagar Centre while the 312-room Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara will be part of the group's Damansara City in Kuala Lumpur.

Desperate S'pore property agents plug income gap as Uber drivers

Companies' Brief

SPH Reit 

SPH Reit reported a steady set of Q1 FY2016 results which met our expectations. Gross revenue rose 2.9 per cent year on year to S$52.1 million, but distribution per unit was flat at 1.33 Singapore cents, as S$1.6 million of taxable income available for distribution was retained. We believe a portion of the income retained could be distributed to unitholders in subsequent quarters.

Mandarin Oriental International

Mandarin Oriental International will acquire the freehold interest in the property that houses the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, together with its hotel business, for US$140 million (S$200 million). Mainboard-listed Mandarin Oriental has managed the 148-room hotel under a management contract since its opening in 2008.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed declares end to debt crisis, world turns wary

The Fed's end-of-year decision to raise the interest rate was presented as the "normalisation" of monetary policy and the end of the era of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Ending seven years of loose monetary policy will not only shape US financial markets, but will have profound effects on economies and even politics across the world. Emerging markets, increasingly dependent on the flood of funds fleeing the US, will face challenges as the higher interest rates may make them less attractive for foreign investors.

Chengdu pushes to become China’s Silicon Valley

At first glance, the concrete skyscraper on the outskirts of Chengdu is just like the others in the city of 20 million in China’s western hinterland. But little details stand out. There is the artfully curated spray paint graffito, and an outdoor walkway adorned with posters of Albert Einstein, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Recent fall in RM could set tone for more weakness

Wanda to invest 15b yuan in hospitals

HK's huge property gains may reverse in 2016

Nordic property deals hit a record driven by overseas interest

U.S. Apartment Vacancies Climb as New Buildings Crowd the Market