Singapore Economy

Market experts expect a volatile 2016

If investors are hoping next year would be a smooth sailing one for the markets, they could be in for an unpleasant surprise. Some of the top minds in investment and finance here are predicting that 2016 could see further volatility, with equities and bonds potentially seeing sluggish returns.

Singapore Real Estate

Raffles City Singapore remains jointly owned by CCT, CMT

Capitaland has issued a clarification that the entire Raffles City Singapore - which includes a shopping mall, an office tower, two hotels and a convention centre - is jointly owned by CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) and CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) in the proportions of 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

Capsule hostels the inn-thing

A bed, reading light, power outlet, privacy, and some storage space - that is all some travellers need. To cater to this group, hostels with capsule-like spaces, similar to those in Japan, have emerged, and are gaining a foothold in Singapore.

Accor deal doesn't change ownership of Raffles Hotel

A multibillion-dollar deal by Paris-based AccorHotels to buy out FRHI Holdings (FRHI) will make the firm the largest hotel operator in Singapore with over 4,200 rooms. AccorHotels told The Straits Times yesterday that under the agreement, it has a "long-term management contract" for Raffles Hotel and "long-term leases" for the Fairmont and Swissotel brands here.

Jurong Country Club may appeal for higher compensation

Jurong Country Club (JCC) members are studying the compensation being awarded by the Government, which is acquiring the site, and are seeking advice on whether to appeal, The Straits Times has learnt. This comes on the back of news last week that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has awarded a compensation amount of $89.8 million for JCC's 67ha site.

Hilton Hotel driveway ceiling collapses: 4 hurt

Companies' Brief

Much value in hotel brands

News last week of AccorHotels' proposed acquisition of FRHI Holdings, which holds top-tier brands Raffles, Fairmont and Swissotel, created waves in the industry, coming soon after hotel giant Marriott International agreed to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Build on Raffles Hotel’s heritage, ‘so that people have reason to come’

In his first day as manager of Raffles Hotel in 1972, only 15 of its 127 rooms were occupied. The hotel was increasingly being seen as a colonial relic, and Mr Roberto Pregarz’s predecessor told him that it would close down in six months. But the Italian was undeterred, saying he would be honoured to be its manager, even for six months. Instead, he lasted 17 years, and managed to get the hotel gazetted as a national monument along the way.

Possibilities are limitless for head of CapitaLand

When Mr Lim Ming Yan was asked to head CapitaLand's business in China 15 years ago, some of his colleagues wondered if he had taken a misstep in his fledgling career. After all, China was a minefield for CapitaLand back in 2000.

Design of the Year award goes to 13 projects here

A bright yellow building is not something you would expect to see in the Sungei Kadut industrial area, which is why when the building was under construction, it drew many curious folk. Some wondered if a hotel was opening in the area, or perhaps a shopping mall, but no. The outstanding building, in all senses of the word, is the Sunray Woodcraft Construction Headquarters.

Stabilisation helps BHG Reit price on debut day

Stabilising action saved the day. Units of BHG Retail Reit traded in a narrow range of between S$0.80 and S$0.805 during its three-hour session on Friday, its first trading day, which started at 2pm. The Chinese mall owner eventually ended unchanged on Friday at its initial public offering (IPO) price of S$0.80. Some 23.8 million units changed hands, making it the fourth most active counter on the stock market.

City Developments

City Developments Limited (CDL) re-enters the Australia housing market, investing in a A$275 million (S$282 million) residential project in Brisbane with two local developers. The development will yield 472 units, sitting on a 29,000 square foot freehold site.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Is the Sports Hub pricing itself out of the game?

It was touted as the centrepiece of the $1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub, a domed architectural wonder that would put the island nation on the global sporting and entertainment map. But more than two years since opening its doors, the National Stadium is struggling to live up to the hype.

Let CPF monies, share of HDB flats be covered by a will

The Ministry of Law and Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board stated that the CPF Act does not recognise wills, and that the distribution of CPF monies must be by official nomination ("CPF monies not covered by a will"; Wednesday).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed looks certain to raise rates

Call it hike-o-phobia. The Federal Reserve has not raised rates in almost 10 years but looks almost certain to do so on Wednesday. The proximity of higher interest rates has sent commodities, currency and stock markets into a state of anaphylactic shock reminiscent of the financial crisis.

Check out properties in Cambodia and Vietnam

Mr Timo Schmidt, head of international sales and leasing at Savills Vietnam, notes that emerging markets "benefit from more attractive capital growth rates than developed ones while still offering increasingly safe investment environments". "Pricing is typically a fraction of the cost of comparable properties in first-home markets", yielding higher returns on investment as a result.

Canada tackles runaway home prices in Toronto, Vancouver

Hong Kong developers offering rebates, hidden discounts

US developer bets on strong rental demand

Notre Dame Endowment Gains 8.7% on Private Equity, Real Estate

GP Investments to Buy Up to 63% of BTG-Backed BR Properties

Blackstone Seeking to Raise $4 Billion for Real Estate Debt Fund

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

Billionaire Westons Fund Said Among Bidders on Toronto LCBO Plot