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15 August 2013

Most over-stretched borrowers affluent, unlikely to default: MAS

Source: The Straits Times
By; Yasmine Yahya

Singaporean households are overall in good financial shape and even those who may have over-stretched themselves are unlikely to default on their loans even when interest rates rise.

Mr Lawrence Wong, a director on the board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, reiterated in Parliament on Monday that only 5 to 10 per cent of property loan borrowers here are servicing debts amounting to over 60 per cent of their monthly incomes.

Housing loans constitute the bulk of their debt, he said.

"But it doesn't mean they will automatically default on their loans. Most of these borrowers have above-average income levels. The majority took up private housing loans and are only servicing one housing loan, so they are likely to have a larger absolute buffer in income and assets."

Mr Wong was speaking on behalf of MAS chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in response to a question raised by Nominated MP Laurence Lien.

Mr Wong added that household balance sheets are on the whole in good shape, with the household debt to income ratio falling in the second half of the last decade.

The debt-to-income ratio of 2.1 times last year was still "significantly lower" than the 2.6 times seen in the middle of the last decade, he added, which means that Singaporean households "are not more leveraged than they have been in the last decade".

4 bids for Telok Ayer site; top bid at S$1,112 psf pprs

Source: Business Times
By: Kalpana Rashiwala

A 99-YEAR leasehold commercial site at Cecil Street/Telok Ayer Street has fetched four bids at a state tender that closed on Thursday. The top bid of S$923.952 million, which works out to S$1,112.44 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), was from Frasers Centrepoint's unit FC Commercial Trustee Pte Ltd. The second highest bid, from Euland Pte Ltd, was for around S$936 psf ppr.

Mapletree Trustee Pte Ltd bid S$901psf ppr while AT Capital Holdings offered S$851 psf ppr for the 99-year leasehold site.

At least 80 per cent, or 664,456 sq ft of the 830,564 sq ft maximum gross floor area for the project on the site must be set aside for office use. The balance can be for additional office use or for other commercial uses such as retail, and food and beverage uses. Urban Redevelopment Authority has stipulated that strata subdivision of the development will not be allowed.

Residential use on the site is also not permitted.