Singapore Economy

Economists trim outlook for 2015 and 2016: MAS quarterly poll

Forecasters have cut their expectations for economic growth in Singapore in 2015 and 2016, amid ongoing manufacturing weakness and a regional slowdown. In a quarterly poll of professional forecasters done by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) two weeks ago, 28 economists and analysts tempered their outlook for this year's growth in gross domestic product (GDP) from the 2.2 per cent forecast given in the third quarter to 1.9 per cent.

Singapore Economy

Prices of private homes likely to stay depressed

There will not be a major correction next year but factors from oversupply to lending curbs will keep prices of private homes and executive condominiums (EC) depressed, say analysts. They also warn that any let up on cooling measures seems unlikely in the near term as the price falls have not affected most owners.

Rents for private, HDB flats ease further in November

Weakness prevailed in the residential leasing market in November, going by an estimated 1.1 per cent month-on-month drop in private non-landed home rents and a 0.5 per cent decline in HDB rents. Compared to a year ago, rents have fallen 5.6 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively for private non-landed homes and HDB flats in November, flash estimates from SRX Property shows.

SingLand-UOL venture is top bidder for Clementi housing site

A 99-YEAR leasehold private housing site along Clementi Avenue 1 has fetched six bids at a state tender that closed on Dec 9. The highest bid was from a joint venture between Singapore Land unit Singland Homes and UOL Venture Investments; its bid of S$302.1 million works out to S$615.04 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Ascendas Reit acquiring One@Changi City for S$420m

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) is acquiring One@Changi City, a property at Changi Business Park, for S$420 million. The vendor is Ascendas Frasers Pte Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Frasers Centrepoint Ltd and A-Reit's controlling unitholder Ascendas Pte Ltd (APL). APL is also the controlling shareholder of Ascendas Funds Management (S) Limited, the manager of A-Reit.

Guidelines on energy-saving retrofit works coming soon

To help owners overcome the initial financial barriers in retrofitting their buildings with energy-efficient features, the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will develop a set of contractual guidelines for these projects. This standard energy performance contract (EPC) template will help accelerate the retrofitting process by spelling out the key conditions of contract for both the building owner and the contractor carrying out the retrofitting works.

Funan DigitaLife Mall to be closed 3 years for redevelopment

Funan DigitaLife Mall on North Bridge Road - a shopping centre primarily known for shops selling computers and other electronic gadgets - will be closed from the third quarter of 2016, to be redeveloped into a "creative hub". The mall will be closed for about three years, said CapitaLand Mall Trust Management in a press release on Thursday (Dec 10).

Hotel in Katong lifts artist's work without his permission

Companies' Brief

BHG Retail Reit IPO to go ahead despite bland demand

The Singapore Exchange's first mainboard listing this year might be off to a seemingly shaky start, given allocation figures released late on Wednesday night that signalled relatively soft demand for the float. But the initial public offering (IPO) of Chinese mall owner BHG Retail Reit will still go ahead at S$0.80 per unit, the trust manager said in a Singapore Exchange filing. It has raised S$120.94 million from the IPO, plus another S$273.24 million from extra units subscribed to by the Reit sponsor Beijing Hualian Department Store Co, some cornerstone investors and a unit of Beijing Hualian Group.


GL Limited (formerly known as GuocoLeisure), has recently put up its west London hotel, Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel, for sale and has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle to assist in the process. The 175-room hotel was highlighted as one of the two hotels within GL's portfolio that has redevelopment potential in an independent valuation report by Christie + Co two years ago, and valued at £42 million (S$89 million) on its current use basis.

Frasers Hospitality acquires four boutique hotels in the UK

Barely six months since its acquisition of a hotel chain in the UK, Frasers Hospitality is extending its footprint in the country by snapping up another portfolio of four boutique hotels. The hospitality arm of Singapore-listed Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) said on Wednesday that it has acquired the four hotels through its newly formed subsidiary, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin Property Holdings Limited, from Swire Properties Hotels Holdings for £36.1 million (S$76.3 million).

Key Sibor rate jumps ahead of Fed meeting

The 3-month Sibor or Singapore interbank offered rate jumped to 1.12028 per cent on Wednesday from 1.07832 per cent on Tuesday as financial markets anticipate the first US rate hike in over nine years to land next week. At 1.12028 per cent, the key benchmark rate (which is used to price home loans) is now more than 2.5 times higher than the 0.44437 per cent level a year ago.

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