Singapore Real Estate

Redas SG50 exhibit at URA Centre

The Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) SG50 exhibition is ongoing at the URA Gallery Atrium at The URA Centre. The exhibition, launched by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday, showcases Singapore's built history, the evolution of building designs here, and the efforts taken by the public and private sectors over the years to improve the nation's living environment.

AccorHotels lands Raffles Hotel as part of maiden acquisitions in S'pore

The ownership of Raffles Hotel is changing hands once again, this time to AccorHotels, which is marking its maiden acquisitions in Singapore in a big way. The acquisition of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International Holdings means the French hospitality group is now the owner of the iconic Singapore hotel, as well as Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford next door.

Accor - Europe's largest hotel operator with presence in 92 countries

AccorHotels is Europe's largest hotel operator, with about 3,800 properties in 92 countries. The Paris-based company operates a wide range of brands, including the upscale Sofitel and Pullman, mid-tier Novotel and Mercure and the economy ibis chain. The acquisition of FRHI Holdings will add three million FRHI loyalty members to its more than 23 million global members of the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty programme. Over six million of its members are in the Asia-Pacific.

S'pore office rents seen easing until 2016 at least

A year ago, property consultants were predicting that Singapore office rentals would continue rising in 2015, albeit at a slower clip than last year. However soon after 2015 started, the mood dampened quickly on the back of weak demand - especially from financial institutions, the key constituent of CBD office demand - and ahead of a surge in office completions next year.

CMT to redevelop Funan DigitaLife Mall

Nearly five months after announcing that it was exploring options for Funan DigitaLife Mall, CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) said that it would redevelop the 30-year-old mall into an integrated development. The mall has utilised 3.861 of its allowable gross plot ratio of 7.0, leaving it an untapped gross floor area (GFA) of about 388,000 square feet.

Closure of Funan DigitaLife Mall a 'further setback for Singapore's tech haven image', say analysts

Consumers are lamenting the impending closure of computer and electronics mall Funan DigitaLife Mall, saying it is the only credible alternative to Sim Lim Square for tech purchases under one roof.

Challenger to close megastore at Funan DigitaLife Mall

IT and electronics retailer Challenger Technologies will close its 53,000 sqft flagship megastore at Funan DigitaLife Mall it said on Wednesday (Dec 10). This follows the announcement by CapitaLand Mall Trust Management (CMTL) that it will close the shopping centre for three years from the third quarter of 2016 for redevelopment. The SGX Mainboard-listed Challenger said it will rely on a greater push towards a digital retail ecosystem and advanced software development initiatives for continued growth.

Red House Project on track to reopen by 2nd quarter of next year

The iconic Red House in Katong, which once housed a famous bakery, is on track to reopen by the second quarter of next year as a residential and commercial development, along with five adjacent shophouses. The row of six conserved shophouses are being developed by Warees Investments, the real estate development arm of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).

Retail manpower study launched

SPRING Singapore will launch a study to help the retail sector become labour-lean and create higher value-added jobs under a manpower plan for the sector rolled out on Thursday at Clarke Quay Central. Announcing the "business model and job redesign" study, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said retail bosses can also use the study findings, which will identify skills and training needs for upcoming retail jobs, as a guide to "restructure and adapt" to the new retail landscape, one where e-commerce is changing the traditional retail trade and where business costs are rising and workers are scarce.

Harvey Norman opens new superstore at Millenia Walk

Australia-based electronics retail chain Harvey Norman officially opened its new superstore at Millenia Walk on Thursday evening. The three-storey, 100,000 sq ft flagship outlet, which occupies the space previously used by Japanese department store Parco, offers the largest range of electrical, IT, furniture and bedding products in the city area.

Tender for Singapore's largest solar panel installation awarded to Sunseap Leasing

The first tender coming out of Singapore's solar lead demand programme, SolarNova, has been awarded to Sunseap Leasing Pte Ltd. The tender, covering 76 megawatts-peak (MWp) of solar power, is the largest tender to date in Singapore's both public and private sectors, according to a joint release by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Economic Development Board.

Companies' Brief

CDL re-enters Australian residential sector with A$275m Brisbane project

City Developments Ltd (CDL) is re-entering the Australian residential sector with a A$275 million (S$282 million) project in Brisbane's South Bank precinct. The developer said in a Singapore Exchange filing before the market opened that on Thursday that it will partner Australian developers Abacus Property Group and KPG Capital in developing the residential land site.

TMC Education to sell Peninsula Plaza strata lots for S$1.21 million loss

Private education firm TMC Education has finally found a potential buyer for two strata-titled lots at Peninsula Plaza but will have to book a S$1.21 million loss on the sale, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday.

Goldman upgrades Singapore market, expects 7% return

A year after it downgraded the Singapore market to "underweight" due to concerns over the energy and property sectors in Singapore, investment bank Goldman Sachs has upgraded the market back to "market weight" with a 12-month Straits Times Index (STI) target of 3,100 points.

Corporate deal value reaches 4-year high

The value of deals in Singapore, such as mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings, almost doubled in the first 11 months of the year to a four-year high, new figures show. Low interest rates and fluctuating expectations of a rate hike, as well as limited organic growth opportunities owing to a slowing global economy, have seen deal activity and value jump significantly this year.

OUE Limited

An indirect associate of mainboard-listed property firm OUE Limited has raised its stake in Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Gemdale Properties and Investment (GPI), the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday, adding that this would boost its access to China's property market. OUE Lippo has agreed to buy 1.16 billion shares of GPI at HK$0.553 apiece, from three sellers. The total sum works out to about HK$641.53 million. Completing the purchase of these shares will raise OUE Lippo's stake in GPI from 19.15 per cent to 26.8 per cent, OUE Limited said. OUE Limited holds 50 per cent of OUE Lippo, via its wholly owned unit OUE Baytown.

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) has proposed an equity fund raising exercise (private placement and preferential offering) to raise gross proceeds of about S$408.3 million. It also proposed to acquire a business park named One@Changi City located at Changi Business Park.

Boosting liquidity: fundamental rethink needed

It would not be an exaggeration to describe conditions in the local stock market as extremely dire, possibly the worst they have been since the US sub-prime crash of 2008. The Straits Times Index is down 15 per cent for the year, which is bad enough, but perhaps more troubling is the steep drop in liquidity with daily averages now regularly below S$1 billion, the bulk of this being generated by trading in the 30 index components.

Market weighed down by bank stocks

The Straits Times Index (STI) on Thursday drifted to a 12.73-point loss at 2,848.46, amid low volume of 990.4 million units worth S$879 million. Of the dollar value, S$622 million or 71 per cent was done in the 30 STI components. Excluding warrants, there were 114 rises versus 262 falls. It was the index's third consecutive fall, bringing the three-day loss to about 52 points or 1.8 per cent.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Global economy caught in monetary easing trap

The US Federal Reserve contemplates an interest rate hike, bringing quantitative easing to an end. The European Central Bank has just confirmed that it continues to pump money into the economy aiming at further stimulating growth. Odds are high for China to move towards zero interest rates in the course of 2016. Japan's central bank has no room to manoeuvre, faced with an economy in technical recession.

Long road ahead to global recovery but main players are on right track

If market expectations are correct and the US Federal Reserve decides to raise interest rates on Dec 16, it will be the start of what could be a long road to normalisation - whatever that is. For the rest of the world, however, the shadow of recession is still present. When the Fed raises the federal funds target rate, it will be a signal that the US economy is displaying enough strength to begin weaning it off its monetary crutches.

Buy a second property without the worry

The Singaporean property market landscape has changed drastically since 2013, largely due to loan restrictions and property cooling measures introduced in a bid to curb speculation and allow prices, especially those of public housing, to stabilise. Many view property as being one of the more stable and worthwhile investments, but it is much harder these days for Singaporeans to buy a second property. Why were these measures introduced?

Singapore can afford to be more open in sharing data

Mars sounds like an exciting place. Scouring daily images from Nasa's Curiosity rover, some amateur astronomers are convinced that the Red Planet is home to mice, iguanas and humanlike gods. Regardless of whether these are valid claims or just cosmic pareidolia, it is noteworthy that Nasa publicly releases images. Although the information can harmlessly find its way to untrained observers, it is a potentially valuable tool for crowdsourcing low-level analysis, and has revived public interest in space exploration.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Choppier growth for Asia in 2016: Nomura

Abe buys support from Japanese business firms with early tax cut

Blackstone seeking to raise US$4b for real estate debt fund

Crisis still reverberating in Credit Suisse property bonds

China property firms' debt issuance jumps, more to come

New Zealand house prices ease in November: REINZ

Spanish Home Prices Rise Most Since 2007 as Recovery Takes Hold

Billionaire Westons Fund Said Among Bidders on Toronto LCBO Plot

Buffett's Stake in Seritage Spurs Landlord's Shares to Climb

Saudi Mall Builders Ignore Oil Rout as Shoppers Want More