Singapore Economy

June CPI prompts confidence in MAS policy continuity but woes on Brexit impact

Economists see Singapore's central bank maintaining its monetary policy come October after the release of June's inflation data.  But confidence from the data was also accompanied by nagging concerns, as they and the central bank ponder over how the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union might affect price pressures here.

S'pore manufacturing gets boost from 3M's S$135m Tuas expansion

High value-added manufacturing will continue to be a beacon of Singapore's economy, as global science company 3M announced S$135 million expansion plans for its Tuas facility on Monday in line with its 50th anniversary celebrations.  The expanded Tuas plant, set to occupy 100,000 square metres, will be completed by the end of 2018.  3M's total investment in Singapore since its inception in 1966 is in excess of S$1 billion - spread across its facilities in Tuas, Woodlands and Yishun.

Indonesian tax amnesty could spark outflow from Singapore

Singapore’s wealth management industry is likely to suffer a bad dent as rich Indonesians move some money back home to take advantage of a tax amnesty, but the exodus of funds is not going to be as big as Jakarta is predicting.  Around US$200 billion of Indonesian money that may not have been declared to the tax authorities in Jakarta has been squirrelled away in Singapore, according to private banking sources. It is a huge portion of the approximately US$470 billion of assets under management by private banks in the financial hub.

Inflation making 'modest ascent' after bottoming out: MAS

Inflation has bottomed out and could make a gradual pick-up in the rest of the year following a long period of negative inflation, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).  Its managing director Ravi Menon told a briefing that he also expects no change in the country's policy stance on the Singapore dollar.

"Inflation, which has been low for long, is on a modest ascent. Core inflation bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2015 and picked up to 0.6 per cent in January to May 2016," Mr Menon said.

Sluggish growth amid Brexit; financial services gains to ease

Singapore’s economic growth remains sluggish following the Brexit vote and persistent weak US investments, and the gains from financial and other modern services - in recent years, a driver of the economy - are expected to ease this year, said the central bank on Monday.  Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said at a briefing that relief could come in part from the trade-related cluster, which is showing "tentative signs of stabilisation", as he noted the sequential growth in April and May from the electronics industry. He cited healthcare, education and public infrastructure construction as also being among the better-performing segments.

Singapore Real Estate

Property cooling measures to stay amid lower-for-longer rates

The property cooling measures will remain, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday, noting risks of a renewed surge in property prices in this lower-for-longer-rates environment that keeps investors on the hunt for yield.  At a press briefing, MAS managing director Ravi Menon said property prices have adjusted "only modestly" after a run-up that was stronger than that of income growth.

Asia Pacific's first-half hotel transaction volume rises 13.2%

ASIA Pacific hotel investment volumes in the first half of this year climbed 13.2 per cent to US$3.8 billion compared to the same period last year, according to a report by real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).  A total of about 14,000 keys were traded across the Asia Pacific region in the first half of the year. This amount is higher than the almost 11,000 keys achieved in the same time frame last year, according to JLL's Hotel Investment Highlights report.

Four sites on auction as firm winds up

Several uncompleted houses have come up for mortgagee sales in recent months from a boutique developer that was wound up last Friday.  The woes of C&C Development reflect the state of the property market.  The latest home partly built by C&C, a double-storey, semi-detached house with basement and attic in Kingswear Avenue, Serangoon Gardens, was put up for mortgagee sale by Colliers last Wednesday. There were no bids at the opening price of $2.8 million.

Companies' Brief

Mapletree Logistics' Q1 DPU stays at 1.85 cents

Mapletree Logistics Trust's (MLT) first-quarter total return attributable to unitholders dropped 57.9 per cent to S$21.5 million in its fiscal first quarter on a loss in the fair value of financial hedging instruments.  But the Asia-focused warehouse real estate investment trust (Reit) posted a 5.7 per cent increase in net property income, to S$75.2 million in the three months ended June 30, and maintained its distribution per unit (DPU) at 1.85 Singapore cents.  Mapletree Logistics' units closed at S$1.06 on Monday, up by 1.4 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents, before the results were announced.

Crowdo gets full securities crowdfunding licence

Homegrown startups are making a name for themselves. On Monday, crowdfunding platform Crowdo reported that it has received the coveted full licence to conduct securities crowdfunding here, while tech media platform e27 announced that it has raised S$3 million in Series A funding.  Crowdo said that it had on July 18 received the Capital Market Services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to facilitate two types of securities crowdfunding - peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and equity crowdfunding - in Singapore.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Making homes elderly-friendly

A Housing Board scheme which retrofits flats with elder-friendly features will be expanded to subsidise ramps of more than one step high, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Sunday.  This affects only a minority of households - multi-step entrances are found only in some flats built in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet, it is significant if it represents a sustained effort to better cater to the needs of the elderly - a drive that will grow more urgent with the number of seniors living alone estimated to reach 83,000 by 2030.

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