Singapore Economy

MAS to slow appreciation of Singapore dollar

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Wednesday (Oct 14) it will ease its monetary policy for the second time this year by slowing the pace of the Singapore dollar’s appreciation, in an effort to revive economic growth. The MAS eased policy at an unscheduled meeting in January, saying it would seek to slow the pace of the local dollar’s gains versus its trading partners.

Singapore’s economy grew 1.4% in third quarter of 2015

The Republic’s economy expanded by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year from a year ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday (Oct 14), based on advance estimates. This was down from the 2 per cent growth, year-on-year, seen in the previous quarter.

Singapore Real Estate

Productivity to count for more in tenders for govt projects from 2016

Quek See Tiat, chairman of the Building & Construction Authority (BCA), announced these changes at the opening of BuildTech Asia and Singapore Construction Productivity Week on Tuesday. Chief among the initiatives is a change in the way tenders are evaluated for government construction projects; greater weight will be put on productivity - up from between 3 and 6 per cent to 10 per cent of the overall score for each bid.

Technology adoption still slow among smaller builders

Site surveillance using drones, and 3D visualisation and modelling of buildings before the start of construction are among several breakthrough technologies that the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) is pushing for the built environment sector to adopt. But while bigger companies, especially multinational corporations, have been quicker to embrace them, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain rather apprehensive, service providers say. Still, they expect SMEs to join the bandwagon when the technologies become more ubiquitous.

Company’s drone venture may help building industry

Imagine flying drones over construction sites and using the recorded aerial footage to produce 3D maps for reference, reducing days of ground-based site surveys to mere hours. This could be the new future for the construction industry, if the founder of home-grown company Avetics Global, Mr Zhang Wei Liang, had his way.

Portal to match foreign workers with urgent jobs

Construction bosses will get easier access to a pool of trained foreign workers with a new online directory that matches their requirements with work permit holders reaching the end of their contracts in Singapore. Contractors in urgent need of experienced workers can find matches through the portal, where foreign workers whose permits are about to expire can register, indicating their skill sets and experience.

New committee to oversee innovation in hotel sector

Some of the top hands in the hotel industry will get together to see how they can introduce new technology and ideas to raise productivity. These innovations could include robots which deliver luggage and facial recognition systems to speed up check-ins.

Raised EC income ceiling hits private resale market

The number of non-landed private homes resold last month fell 4.7 per cent from September a year earlier, breaking a 10-month streak of year-on-year increases, hurt by rising competition from executive condominiums (ECs) following the revision in the income ceiling for the hybrid housing type. A total of 446 non-landed private homes were resold last month, SRX Property estimated in its monthly flash report released today (Oct 13).

Prime-area private condos see resale prices rise 2.8% in September

Resale prices of non-landed private homes in Singapore's Core Central Region (CCR) rose 2.8 per cent in September over August, based on the flash estimate from SRX Property on Tuesday. This contrasts with a 0.9 per cent month-on-month drop in August, based on the revised index values for that month.

0.1% dip in private apartment resale prices last month

Resale prices of private apartments here inched down 0.1 per cent last month from August, according to SRX Property's flash estimates released yesterday. The fall came on the back of a revised 0.1 per cent increase in August, half the estimated 0.2 per cent rise flagged earlier.

Norway fund, CapitaLand team said to be preferred bidder for Asia Square Tower 1

A consortium of Norway's sovereign wealth fund and Singapore developer CapitaLand Ltd has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a Singapore office tower being sold by BlackRock Inc, people with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. The bidding group will start exclusive talks with BlackRock on a purchase of Asia Square Tower 1 and could reach an agreement in the next month, according to the people.

Airbnb in talks with URA for clearer rules on short-term leasing

Airbnb is in talks with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to establish clearer guidelines on short-term leasing, as the home-sharing site seeks to help homeowners monetise their properties. The guidelines could include allowing homeowners to lease only their primary homes or limiting the number of days for short-term rentals, as practised in countries such as France and the Netherlands, Mr Chai Jia Jih, Airbnb’s managing director for South-east Asia and India, told TODAY in an interview.

Companies' Brief

SPH FY15 profit falls 2

SPH's property business was the company's key growth driver. The segment, which comprises SPH's stake in SPH Reit and The Seletar Mall, saw operating revenue increase 12.6 per cent to S$230.8 million during the year, leading to a pre-tax operating profit increase of 14.9 per cent to S$149.7 million. The growth received a boost from The Seletar Mall, which opened in November 2014.The group is looking to grow its property portfolio.

SPH Reit

SPH Reit's Q4 2015 results came in within our expectations, with the revenue and dividend per unit constituting 99.6 per cent and 101.6 per cent of our full-year projections respectively.

Lian Beng Q1 rides on devt business

Construction firm Lian Beng Group's efforts to diversify into the development business amid a shrinking construction order book have paid off. Thanks to the recognition of its share of profits from development projects, Lian Beng posted a first-quarter net profit of S$32.3 million, up 169.5 per cent from S$11.97 million a year ago.

Colliers appoints new MD for its Singapore business

Colliers International said on Tuesday it has appointed Tang Wei Leng managing director of the company's Singapore business. Ms Tang joins Colliers following one year with JLL as regional director of investments. She previously headed the Investment Services Division of Colliers International Singapore from 2010 to 2014 and has also held senior executive positions in Wachovia Bank and another global real estate agency prior to 2010.

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