Singapore Economy

Unemployment in S'pore creeps up to 2.1% in June: MOM

The unemployment rate and the number of redundancies in Singapore increased from March to June this year, according to the Manpower Ministry's (MOM) preliminary labour market data for the second quarter of 2016.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.1 per cent in June, up from 1.9 per cent in March, and this latest figure is the highest since March 2014.

Bike-sharing pilot could be expanded to Marina Bay/city centre, Tampines and Pasir Ris towns

The operator bidding to run a proposed bicycle-sharing pilot in the Jurong Lake District will also submit proposals to expand the services to Marina Bay/city centre, as well as Tampines and Pasir Ris.  If so, the island's first large-scale bicycle-sharing programme will potentially comprise 2,300 bicycles and 230 docking stations spread over three locations.  This will be more than double the 1,000 bicycles and 100 docking stations planned, if the scheme was implemented only in the Jurong Lake District.

Singapore Real Estate

Industrial property prices could fall further: analysts

Industial rents and prices have fallen for the fifth straight quarter as headwinds on the manufacturing and economic fronts, coupled with uncertainty in the market and supply outstripping demand, took its toll on industrial property in Singapore.  The all-industrial rental index registered a 6.1 per cent year-on-year dip and fell 1.7 per cent on a quarterly basis, the latest statistics from JTC Corporation for the second quarter show.

Prices of completed private apartments, condos up 0.6% in June: NUS index

Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums in Singapore appreciated in June 2016 over the preceding month - contrasting with the month-on-month decline posted in May this year.  National University of Singapore's (NUS) June flash estimate for its Overall Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released on Thursday reflects a 0.6 per cent month-on-month (m-o-m) increase - contrasting with a 0.9 per cent m-o-m drop in May, based on the revised index value for that month.

Compass One to reopen in September with larger library, new playground

The Compass One mall in Sengkang will reopen in September after being closed for nearly a year for renovation works, owner M&G Real Estate said in a press release on Thursday (Jul 28).  The revamped mall will have a larger library spanning two floors, more educational facilities, larger common areas, and improved amenities including a children’s wet and dry playground.

Woodlands envisioned as Singapore’s Northern Gateway

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) earlier this month unveiled more plans for the Jurong Lake District, including a third precinct, Lakeside Gateway, where the terminus of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail will be located. Together with the announcement of the Jurong Innovation District in Budget 2016, it seems that Jurong is at the forefront of the Government’s development plans. With all the hype over Jurong, it is easy to overlook other growth areas.  Concurrent with the development of Jurong Lake District, several other parts of Singapore have also been earmarked for further development. One of them is the Woodlands Regional Centre. Woodlands New Town was identified as a regional centre when the idea of decentralisation was first mooted as early as 1991. Slated to be developed over the next 10 to 15 years, Woodlands is envisioned to fulfil its potential as “Singapore’s Northern Gateway”.

New BCA rules for building owners to improve accessibility for less mobile persons

Owners of existing commercial and institutional buildings must include “barrier-free” accessibility upgrades when they undergo additions and alterations works, under new rules by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) that will kick in next year.  These are for buildings visited frequently by the public, and are meant to accommodate wheelchair users and others with disabilities.  Buildings such as schools, offices, shopping centres, markets and food centres will have to make the entrance barrier-free, by having a ramp and providing at least one accessible toilet, for example.

Companies' Brief

CDL working on PPS for Nouvel 18: sources

Faced with a looming November deadline to finish selling all its units in the completed Nouvel 18 condo project in a plush District 10 locale, City Developments Ltd (CDL) is racing to stitch together a profit participation securities (PPS) scheme for the project, BT understands.  The deal, if it materialises, will see CDL's role in Summervale Properties, the company that developed the 156-unit freehold condo, change from that of equity owner to bond holder with a share of the potential upside; however, CDL will also bear the biggest risk among four groups of participants in the proposed structure.

Far East Hospitality Trust's Q2 DPS falls 12.9% on lower NPI

Far East Hospitality Trust on Friday posted a 12.9 per cent fall in distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the second quarter on lower net property income (NPI).  DPS for the three months ended June 30, 2016, stood at 1.01 Singapore cents, compared to 1.16 Singapore cents a year ago.

GSH expands into Chinese real estate

Regional property developer GSH Corporation Limited has invested 200 million yuan (S$40.6 million) for a 30 per cent stake in Henan Zhongyuan Group, which owns a food logistics and warehousing hub in Zhengzhou, China.  The net tangible assets value of Henan Zhongyuan as at June 30, 2016 is 515 million yuan. This investment from GSH would transform Henan Zhongyuan into a Sino-foreign joint venture company.

CDL H-Trust's Q2 DPS falls 0.9% on weaker net property income

CDL Hospitality Trusts on Friday reported a 0.9 per cent fall in distribution per stapled security (DPS), reflecting lower net property income.  DPS for the three months ended June 30, 2016, stood at 2.23 Singapore cents, compared to 2.25 Singapore cents a year ago.

SC Global introduces enhanced purchase plan for Hilltops units

SC Global Developments Pte Ltd, a developer of upmarket residences, on Thursday unveiled an Enhanced Purchase Plan that allows prospective buyers of its Hilltops condominium to earn a 10 per cent return per annum on a 20 per cent downpayment - in what is believed to be the first such financing scheme in the market.  Prospective buyers will be given a two-year option to purchase the units at a price that is fixed today, said SC Global. It added that the units for sale are among the 30 owned by SC Global and leased out to tenants, from which the 10 per cent yield will be secured.

Chiwayland enters JV to develop residential project in Wuhan

Singapore Exchange mainboard-listed Chiwayland International, together with its subsidiaries, announced on Thursday that it has entered into a 49:51 joint venture (JV) agreement with real estate developer, Modern Green Development Co Ltd, to develop a residential project on a 13,270 square metre land parcel in Jianghan, one of the urban core districts of Wuhan.  Under the JV, Chiwayland and Modern Green will contribute in full its share of the registered capital at 4.9 million yuan and 5.1 million yuan respectively. The development is expected to comprise high end residential apartments with a plot ratio of 3.0.

Ascendas India Trust invests in Hyderabad IT building

Ascendas Property Fund Trustee Pte Ltd has acquired an information technology building in Hyderabad, India, for a consideration valued currently at about 1.8 billion rupees (S$36.4 million).  In a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Thursday, it said that, in its capacity as trustee-manager for Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust), it has invested in the IT building with a total floor area of 390,000 square feet.

Singapore's first Apple Store looks set for November opening

Ongoing construction works at Knightsbridge mall on Orchard Road appear to indicate that Apple fans can look forward to a November opening for the first Apple Store here.  Among the photos published on dedicated Apple news site 9to5Mac on Wednesday (July 27) was one of an information board at the site, which listed the expected date of completion to be Oct 31.

Temasek takes stake in Italian fashion company

Temasek said yesterday it has invested in Italian luxury company Moncler, the high-end outerwear and apparel maker famous for its expensive padded jackets.  "We are pleased to gain exposure to Moncler, a company with a longstanding legacy and whose products are regarded for their quality and innovation," said Temasek's senior managing director for Europe Luigi Feola.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed says risks have diminished as it leaves rates unchanged

China set to welcome first SDR bonds since 1980s

Asia's worst property market now on the mend

US jobless claims rise; labour market still strong

Housing boom spurs Canada lumber surge as US mulls import duty

Brexit to weaken UK housing in near-term, Nationwide says

Airbnb rentals planned by Japan real estate firm on tourist boom