Singapore Economy

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's first Budget likely to help SMEs weather the slowdown

Newly minted Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver his first Budget today in Parliament at 3.30pm. His speech is widely expected to focus on the economy given the ongoing slowdown, and likely to contain short-term measures to help firms. However, few are anticipating generous cash handouts or a blockbuster package for the business community.  Mr Heng himself has indicated that this will be a relatively prudent Budget: "Because it's the first term of the new Government, it means that we have to be particularly prudent so that we have resources when we need to act later."

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/finance-minister-heng-swee-keats-first-budget-likely-to-help-smes-weather-the

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/todays-brief-thursday-march-24


SIAS expanding purview to alternative investments

THE Securities Investors' Association (Singapore), known mainly as a lobby group for investors in listed securities, is expanding its purview to cover alternative investments. It also wants to raise S$5 million over five years, partly to fund initiatives in this area, SIAS president and chief executive David Gerald said at a press conference on Wednesday.  Noting that SIAS has been approached by at least 360 people who pumped money into investment schemes that now appear to have been scams, he said it would also lobby regulators here to allow class action suits in Singapore.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/sias-expanding-purview-to-alternative-investments


Singapore Real Estate

Koh Brothers eyes more hotel assets and M&A targets

DEFYING market headwinds, Koh Brothers Group is gunning for more hotel assets in Singapore and the UK as well as merger and acquisition (M&A) targets to beef up its construction business.  Managing director and group CEO Francis Koh reckoned that it is time to snap up some hotel assets here in tandem with the increase in Singapore's airport capacity in anticipation of more tourist arrivals.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/koh-brothers-eyes-more-hotel-assets-and-ma-targets


CapitaLand latest to enter co-working space arena

THE concept of co-working space is gaining traction with office landlords here, with CapitaLand being the latest to introduce this in its headquarters building.  CapitaLand is partnering co-working space operator Collective Works under a 50-50 joint venture to turn the entire 12th floor at Capital Tower into co-working space. Spanning some 22,000 square feet, this can potentially house up to 250 companies.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/capitaland-latest-to-enter-co-working-space-arena


NEA hands out S$1.3m in quieter building grants

SINGAPORE's National Environment Agency (NEA) has committed S$1.3 million to 41 projects that have applied for its Quieter Construction Fund (QCF) since it was introduced in April 2014.  The QCF, which reimburses companies for up to 50 per cent of the cost of using supported quieter construction equipment and techniques, aims to incentivise companies to adopt quieter construction solutions that are not readily adopted by the industry due to the higher costs involved, said NEA in a statement.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/nea-hands-out-s13m-in-quieter-building-grants


Companies' Brief

S-Reits set for wave of consolidation: CIT chief

SINGAPORE'S real estate investment trust (Reit) market is set to consolidate as smaller vehicles merge to cope with rising regulatory costs, according to Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT).  "The wave of consolidation for Singapore Reits is about to begin," Philip Levinson, chief executive officer at Singapore-listed CIT, said. The trust has a market capitalisation of S$730.5 million and focuses on industrial real estate assets.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/s-reits-set-for-wave-of-consolidation-cit-chief

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/consolidation-of-singapore-reits-the-only-way-to-cope-with-costs-analysts

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/bigger-is-better-for-singapore-reits-facing-consolidation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Japan's commercial land prices post first rise in 8 years

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/japans-commercial-land-prices-post-first-rise-in-8-years


Developers raise Thai mall investment to 54b baht

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/developers-raise-thai-mall-investment-to-54b-baht


Overseas remittances fuelling boom in Vietnamese property market

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/overseas-remittances-fuelling-boom-in-vietnamese-property-market


Steps to cool Australian property investment lending 'positive if modest': RBA

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/steps-to-cool-australian-property-investment-lending-positive-if-modest-rba


JB can be Malaysia's second-biggest city: Johor Sultan

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/jb-can-be-malaysias-second-biggest-city-johor-sultan


Deal of the Week: Chinese Firms Turn `Homewreckers' in U.S. M&A

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/deal-of-the-week-chinese-firms-turn-homewreckers-in-u-s-m-a


Leon Charney, New York City Real-Estate Owner, Dies at 77

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/leon-charney-billionaire-new-york-real-estate-owner-dies-at-77


China's Urban Consumers More Optimistic Even Amid Slowing Growth

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/china-s-urban-consumers-more-optimistic-even-amid-slowing-growth


China Zhongwang Bids to Improve Valuation With Shanghai Listing

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/zhongwang-seeks-shanghai-listing-via-asset-swap-with-realtor


Trudeau Wades Into Foreign Homebuyer Debate With Funding

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/trudeau-wades-into-foreign-homebuyer-debate-with-funding


Sell Real Estate to Fund Tunnel, Port Authority Head Degnan Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/sell-real-estate-to-fund-tunnel-port-authority-head-degnan-says


Bordeaux Winemakers Are Snapping Up Napa Estates

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/bordeaux-winemakers-are-snapping-up-napa-estates


Business sentiment in Asia perks up: Survey

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/business-sentiment-in-asia-perks-up-survey