Singapore Economy

More banking reform work ahead, says MAS chief

More work remains on putting into practice current banking regulations globally, said managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ravi Menon this week. He also warned that further tightening of regulations in areas such as trade finance could constrain lending and derail economic growth. This comes as concerns over regulatory arbitrage remain, with the European Union (EU) found to be "materially non-compliant" in the implementation of Basel III capital standards, Mr Menon pointed out in his keynote address at the symposium on Asian banking and finance in San Francisco.

Singapore shares open 0.37% higher on Wednesday

Singapore shares opened higher on Wednesday (July 13), with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 2,912.57 in early trade, up 0.37 per cent, or 10.75 points.  Around 123.9 million shares exchanged hands.

Gainers beat losers 81 to 37.

Call for SMEs to evolve to thrive in future economy

Mee pok is hardly known outside Singapore. It is time it becomes as well known as ramen, an academic said yesterday, using the analogy to describe how small local businesses must evolve to help grow the economy.  Speaking at a conference on the future economy yesterday, Singapore Institute of Technology provost Loh Han Tong said: "For me, mee pok tastes as good as ramen. But the Japanese have been able to project their brand globally so that a bowl of ramen costs much more than a bowl of mee pok."

S’pore’s growth sluggish in Q2, keeps central bank pressured

The Republic’s economy is expected to have grown at a tepid pace in the second quarter, and the combination of a strong currency and falling consumer prices may pressure the central bank to ease monetary policy further.  Some analysts also warn of rising recession risks for the trade-reliant city state, especially after the shock of Britain voting to leave the European Union is expected to hurt global growth on top of stress in China’s economy.

Singapore Real Estate

Weak sentiment still weighing down Singapore property market, says Redas chief Augustine Tan

Weak market sentiment continues to weigh heavily on the real estate market in Singapore, Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) president Augustine Tan said on Tuesday (July 12).  Mr Tan said that since the successive introduction of property cooling measures from 2009, the demand for private residential property has fallen sharply on the back of a hefty supply.  Addressing the Redas Property Market Update Seminar 2016 in Singapore, Mr Tan said that as of May 2016, there is a supply in the pipeline of 57,597 new private residential units and 12,077 executive condominiums. While unsold units stand at around 15,000, the supply is still significant in view of the prevailing weak demand, said the Redas chief.

Property cooling measures to stay till at least 2017: analysts

The property cooling measures are unlikely to be unwound this year, with interest rates expected to stay low for a longer time amid greater uncertainties after the "Brexit" vote. It would seem then, that a relaxation of the policy could come only in 2017 at the earliest, said speakers at a property market seminar organised by the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) on Tuesday.

S'pore to build 5th desalination plant on Jurong Island

Singapore will build its fifth desalination plant on Jurong Island under the island's drive to reduce its dependence on the weather for its supply of water, even as climate change brings about changes in weather patterns. National water agency PUB recently awarded a consultancy-services tender to study the development of the plant, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli at the Singapore International Water Week on Tuesday; in April, he had announced in Parliament that the PUB was looking into the feasibility of such an idea.

Investors advised to seek Asian assets with stable income, rental upside

Given subdued global growth and a structural shift towards emerging markets and Asia, it does make sense to stay invested in this part of the world. Investors should be looking at assets that offer stable income and positive rental reversion, said Harry Tan, director and head of research for Asia-Pacific at global property investment management firm TH Real Estate. Speaking at the annual property market seminar organised by the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas), he said: "The current environment still supports cheap funding and capital flowing to markets in Asia."

Rents of Grade A CBD offices, prime retail spots facing pressure

Rents across both Grade A CBD office spaces and prime retail spots will likely continue to face pressure in the coming 12 months, says property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield in its Q2 Marketbeat reports. It forecasts declines across the board, except for prime suburban retail which has a stable 12-month outlook.

On the retail front, the consultancy noted that there are increased food and beverage (F&B) components in shopping malls and department stores to combat the surge of e-commerce. It also noted that the paradigm shift in shopping is becoming more evident, and that brick and mortar shops will be inadequate in today's context.

SRX non-landed private home price index rises four months in a row

Resale prices of non-landed private homes in Singapore rose 0.5 per cent in June 2016 over the previous month, based on SRX Property's flash estimates for last month released on Tuesday. This marks the fourth consecutive month-on-month price increase.  Last month's price rise applies across the board to all three geographical regions. The prices went up 0.9 per cent in Core Central Region (CCR), 0.3 per cent in the city-fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) and 0.5 per cent in the suburbs or Outside Central Region (OCR).

Making Jurong district a viable second CBD

Canary Wharf in London, Pudong in Shanghai, Parramatta in Sydney, Songdo in Incheon, South Korea - and now, Singapore's very own Jurong Lake District.  These are some of the places around the world considered the second Central Business District (CBD) of their respective cities.  As a global leader in master planning, Singapore is well-placed to pull off its vision of turning Jurong Lake District into an innovative and eco-friendly second CBD, analysts said.

Knowledge city in Guangzhou to get smart eco tech centre

A new feature has been added to the ground-breaking Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City - a smart eco technology centre to showcase the latest in sustainable development.  An agreement to jointly develop the project was signed yesterday between German engineering and technology firm Siemens China and Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co (GKC Co).  GKC - a 50:50 joint venture company between Ascendas-Singbridge and Guangzhou Development District Administrative Committee - is the master developer of Guangzhou Knowledge City, a 123 sq km green-field township.  The 7,000 sq m Smart Eco Technology Demonstration Centre is to be completed by 2020.

Companies' Brief

Don't let S-chip baggage cloud judgement of Chinese Reits

Singapore’s successful real estate investment trust market has caught the eye of asset-rich Chinese companies looking to spin off their assets into Reits. Among them is China's largest state-owned developer Greenland Group, which is said to be planning a Reit listing of six hotel assets worth S$1.5 billion.  If this materialises, Greenland's Reit listing will not only mark the start of its multi-billion dollar property fund platform, but also provide a textbook case for other Chinese developers with similar ambition.

CapitaLand unit buys Melbourne property through joint venture

CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, is acquiring its first serviced residence in Docklands, Melbourne, for A$71 million (S$71 million) through a 50:50 joint venture between Ascott and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).  The purchase of the 221-unit property is part of Ascott's A$500 million strategic partnership with Quest Apartment Hotels, one of the largest serviced apartment operators in Australia. In a filing to the bourse operator on Tuesday, CapitaLand said that Quest will lease the serviced residence, which will be named Quest NewQuay Docklands, and operate it under Quest's franchise when the property opens in 2019.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Brexit's fallout comes into focus, and uncertainty will prevail

Confidence and uncertainty are two variables that worry all economists when they reflect about the future. Since they are difficult to quantify, they don't make it into their equations and the models they work with. That notwithstanding, there is expert consensus that the Brexit vote will affect not only the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), but the entire world economy. The political dust raised by the referendum of June 23 will take time to settle down. Much has already happened. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, and after a brief tussle for the leadership, Home Secretary Theresa May has stepped up to the job.

Temasek shifts focus to tech amid global search for yield

Stock markets can be capricious, and even Temasek Holdings is at their mercy, as the company's latest results show.  Amid a volatile year on global bourses, the Singapore investment company suffered its first portfolio decline since the 2009 global financial crisis, pointing to more tough times ahead. The firm's net portfolio value fell to $242 billion for the financial year ended March 31, down from $266 billion a year ago.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Bond investors likely to drop longer dated Japan debt for shorter dated

Yen sheds post-Brexit gains after Japan election

Property firms expect Frankfurt to win big from Brexit

Asian markets within reach of 2016 peak as global stocks erase Brexit losses

$6.25 Million Gramercy Park Penthouse Needs a Buyer