Singapore Economy

A Cabinet for today and tomorrow

It is one of Singapore's unique features that in institutionalising the careful selection, grooming and mentoring of political leaders, its founding fathers sought to safeguard the nation from disruptive change at the top. Yet that process cannot be taken for granted as it is dependent on the available pool of the right people for the job, their ability to connect with people, and changing demands of the policy environment.

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/st-editorial/a-cabinet-for-today-and-tomorrow

http://www.straitstimes.com/politics/cabinet-with-4th-generation-leaders-to-be-sworn-in-today


Mr Fix-It knuckles down to his task

The man on whom Singapore has pinned its hopes to fix its transport system has sunk his teeth into the task. His first move was to get to know the people who will help him - the maintenance staff.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/mr-fix-it-knuckles-down-to-his-task


Non-resident population growth continues to ease in 2015

The growth of Singapore's non-resident population continues to slow, easing from 2.9 per cent in 2014 to 2.1 per cent this year, on the back of tighter restrictions on foreign labour inflows. While the annual population report from the National Population and Talent Division pointed to concrete steps taken by the government to slow the growth of the nation's foreign workforce, some private sector economists suggested that market conditions could have also had some impact on labour demand.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/non-resident-population-growth-continues-to-ease-in-2015

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-population-crosses-55-million

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-population-hits/2160262.html

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spores-population-growth-slowest-decade


Singapore Real Estate

$16.3m house sold, price is highest at auction this year

A house in Tanjong Katong was sold at auction yesterday for $16.3 million - the highest price fetched at auction this year. It was an estate sale. The single-storey bungalow at 25 Branksome Road went to a Singaporean buyer.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/163m-house-sold-price-is-highest-at-auction-this-year


Oxley duo buying into Int'l Healthway Corp

Two men behind boutique developer Oxley Holdings are buying into International Healthway Corporation (IHC), prompting some market observers to wonder whether the duo are eyeing the property assets of the

Catalist-listed medical property developer. A Sept 29 disclosure showed Ching Chiat Kwong, executive chairman and CEO of Oxley, now has a substantial stake of 12.1 per cent.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/oxley-duo-buying-into-intl-healthway-corp


Prime retail rents dip to lowest since '06

Average prime first-storey retail rents fell islandwide by 3.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 4.5 per cent year-on-year to about S$30.90 per square foot in the third quarter of this year, DTZ South-east Asia said on Wednesday. The average monthly rent recorded in the July-September quarter is the lowest since the first quarter of 2006, said the real estate services firm.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/prime-retail-rents-dip-to-lowest-since-06

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/prime-first-storey-shop-rents-drop-to-9-year-low


Keen competition seen for sites near Redhill MRT, Sembawang Park

The launch of a 99-year leasehold site next to Redhill MRT Station on Wednesday is expected to draw strong interest, given the pullback in the Government Land Sales Programme and developers' desire to replenish their land bank. The site is designated for private housing development with commercial use on the first storey. The Urban Redevelopment Authority said that the 0.84-hectare site can generate about 400 private homes. The tender for the site will close on Nov 12.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/keen-competition-seen-for-sites-near-redhill-mrt-sembawang-park

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/two-condo-sites-likely-to-draw-keen-interest

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/two-land-parcels-for/2161402.html


Gym operator Virgin Active to be anchor retail tenant at Guoco Tower

Property developer GuocoLand has found an anchor tenant for the retail component of its Guoco Tower office building in Tanjong Pagar, it said in a press release on Wednesday. It has signed a multi-year contract with gym operator Virgin Active for a 31,000 sq ft fitness facility on the building's sixth floor, it said, adding that the gym would be open by mid-2016. That is roughly when GuocoLand expects to complete its Tanjong Pagar Centre mixed-use project atop Tanjong Pagar MRT.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/gym-operator-virgin-active-to-be-anchor-retail-tenant-at-guoco-tower


Companies' Brief

Roxy-Pacific

Property group Roxy-Pacific announced yesterday that it has acquired a freehold residential site at No. 26, Sea Avenue, in Joo Chiat for $21.5 million. The site has a total land area of 19,474 sq ft and an existing plot ratio of 1.4 under the 2014 master plan for residential apartment development.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/company-briefs-roxy-pacific


GuocoLand

Property firm GuocoLand signed a multi-year contract with fitness club Virgin Active for a 31,000 sq ft space at Tanjong Pagar Centre. The mixed-use project consists of Guoco Tower, a 38-storey office block, with six levels of retail and food and beverage space, as well as a luxury business hotel.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/company-briefs-roxy-pacific


IndoSpace 'considers Reit listing in Singapore'

Indospace, an Indian industrial property developer backed by Everstone Group and Realterm Global, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of a real estate investment trust in Singapore, people with knowledge of the matter said. The developer is in discussion with investment banks, the people said. The IPO could take place as early as next year, they said. IndoSpace, with tenants including Nissan Motor Co and Procter & Gamble Co, raised US$330 million last January when it closed its second fund.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/indospace-considers-reit-listing-in-singapore

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/indian-property-firm-looking-to-list-reit-in-singapore


JTC Corp's FY2014 surplus up 16% at S$1.19b

JTC Corporation reported a net surplus of S$1.19 billion for financial year 2014, a 16 per cent jump from S$1.03 billion in financial year 2013. This was supported by an 8 per cent rise in operating revenue, from S$1.57 billion to S$1.69 billion, for the financial year ended March 2015. In FY2014, 98 per cent of the corpo-ration's operating revenue came from land and building rental income while the remaining 2 per cent constituted other operating revenue. The ratio in FY2013 was 97 per cent land and building rental income and 3 per cent other operating revenue.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/jtc-corps-fy2014-surplus-up-16-at-s119b


Bobby Chin appointed HDB deputy chairman

The Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on Wednesday board changes at the Housing and Development Board (HDB), which will see former managing partner of KPMG Singapore, Bobby Chin, as HDB's new deputy chairman.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/bobby-chin-appointed-hdb-deputy-chairman

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/deputy-chairman-four-new/2160694.html


CPF interest rates to be extended

The 4 per cent minimum interest rate on Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings in the Special, Medisave and Retirement accounts (SMRA) will be extended to Dec 31 next year. The CPF Board said in a statement yesterday that the 4 per cent rate was supposed to end this year.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cpf-interest-rates-to-be-extended


Views, Reviews & Forum

Preserving the good name of Meinhardt group

I write in reference to the article on Aug 3 ("He sold all his assets to buy firm he works in"). The article details an interview with Dr Shahzad Nasim, the current chairman of the Meinhardt global engineering group of companies. I am the daughter of Bill Meinhardt, who founded Meinhardt. There are a number of assertions contained within the article that I wish to clarify.

http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/preserving-the-good-name-of-meinhardt-group


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Canadian funds make big buys in Manhattan

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/canadian-funds-make-big-buys-in-manhattan


Tight regulations making it costly for landlords to build homes

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/tight-regulations-making-it-costly-for-landlords-to-build-homes


Hoteliers seeing unexpected boost from migrant influx

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hoteliers-seeing-unexpected-boost-from-migrant-influx


Skanska may expand US office property business

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/skanska-may-expand-us-office-property-business


Zurich luxury-home rental feels heat from immigration curbs

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/zurich-luxury-home-rental-feels-heat-from-immigration-curbs


US hotel chains race for Cuban deals

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/us-hotel-chains-race-for-cuban-deals


China eases rule to spur housing sales

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/china-eases-rule-to-spur-housing-sales


Meet the Hipster Real Estate Developers Building for Millennials

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/meet-the-hipster-real-estate-developers-building-for-millennials