Singapore Economy

Singapore business optimism index plunges

Business optimism in Singapore plunged to near contractionary levels this quarter, after two straight quarters of expansion previously. Research firm Dun & Bradstreet's latest Business Optimism Index (BOI), conducted every quarter, shows the percentage of companies expecting higher profits and sales volumes has fallen over the previous quarter.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/singapore-business-optimism-index-plunges


Singapore Real Estate

Developers' calls to extend project deadline meet with a "no"

The government has rebuffed calls by some developers to extend the five-year deadline for them to complete a residential project and sell all its units - part of a slew of property cooling measures introduced in recent years. Meeting the conditions gave developers an upfront remission of the 15 per cent additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) on the purchase price of the residential site, but many are struggling to do so because of the sluggish real estate market.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/developers-calls-to-extend-project-deadline-meet-with-a-no


Windsor Park GCB sold for $21.8m

In a sign of some renewed interest in Good Class Bungalows (GCBs), one in Windsor Park estate has been sold for $21.8 million, the first GCB transaction in the estate since early 2013. The freehold property at 122 Windsor Park Road, off Upper Thomson Road, has a land size of 20,383 sq ft, which works out to a price of about $1,070 per sq ft (psf).

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/windsor-park-gcb-sold-for-218m


Local industrial property firm opens first data centre

A homegrown industrial property developer is investing more than S$100 million into its new data centre venture, with the hope that it will ultimately account for more than half of the company's revenue.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/technology/local-industrial-property-firm-opens-first-data-centre


Freehold building at Eunos for sale, asking S$14m

A three-storey standalone freehold building at 8 Jalan Ismail, currently known as The Mattress Centre, has been put up for sale via an expression of interest exercise. The seller is looking at an indicative price of S$14 million. The property, five minutes from Eunos MRT station by foot, is currently zoned 'residential' with a plot ratio of 1.4 and sits on a land area of about 7,664 square feet (sq ft) with a gross floor area (GFA) of about 9,248 sq ft.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/freehold-building-at-eunos-for-sale-asking-s14m


Seven office projects for collective sale: Report

The outlook for the office investment market has turned less positive but even so, at least seven office developments were put up for sale on an en-bloc basis in the last quarter, a new report says. The latest offerings followed the sale of Thong Sia Building in Orchard Road in July, the report by Chestertons noted.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/seven-office-projects-for-collective-sale-report


Court rules on collective sales tainted by bad faith

The Court of Appeal has, for the first time, ruled that it cannot step in to change collective sale agreements and approve them if they are tainted by bad faith. This principle was contained in judgment grounds for a case involving Newton condo Gilstead Court released late last week.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/court-rules-on-collective-sales-tainted-by-bad-faith


Companies' Brief

A powerful tool for the sector

Four members of the international panel of experts on building information modelling share their views on this cutting-edge construction technology. John Keung: The construction process is tra-ditionally one that sees stakeholders operate in silos.  Poor coordination and abortive efforts are key factors contributing to redundancies and cost overruns in projects, reducing the productivity and profit margins of businesses.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/hub/construction-productivity/a-powerful-tool-for-the-sector


Retail most resilient among Reits in Q3: DBS

Retail real estate investment trusts (Reits) will probably perform best in the upcoming third-quarter results, amid an environment of slowing topline growth across the sub-sectors. DBS Group Research vice-president Derek Tan and his team said this in a report on Wednesday.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/retail-most-resilient-among-reits-in-q3-dbs

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/outlook-for-s-reits-still-positive-moodys


Ascendas Reit

Ascendas Reit secured S$300 million worth of subordinated perpetual securities that pay a distribution rate of 4.75 per cent. Despite being slightly high on its rates, we would like to reiterate that this initiative is still a cheaper alternative to raising more equity from unitholders. 

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/brokers-take-165


CDL's Kwek Leng Joo wins President's Award for the Environment

City Developments Ltd (CDL) deputy chairman Kwek Leng Joo is among four winners to be conferred the President's Award for the Environment (PAE) 2015, Singapore's highest environmental accolade. Organised by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), this annual award recognises individuals, educational institutions and organisations for their outstanding contributions towards environmental and water resource sustainability in Singapore.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/cdls-kwek-leng-joo-wins-presidents-award-for-the-environment


3M to spend $10m on 'smart lab' for urban solutions

Diversified technology company 3M will invest in a $10-million Smart Urban Solutions Lab to tackle three key urban challenges - namely energy, environment and water and information communications technologies integration.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/3m-to-spend-10m-on-smart-lab-for-urban-solutions


Views, Reviews & Forum

Foreign worker levies hurting productivity

I refer to the report "Ser Luck: Govt to look into foreign worker levy" (BT, Oct 6). Apart from the financial burden imposed by foreign worker levies on businesses, it is imperative that the government consider the negative impact of these levies on productivity.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/opinion/foreign-worker-levies-hurting-productivity


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

TPG raises over US$2b for its first multi- investor property fund 

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/tpg-raises-over-us2b-for-its-first-multi-investor-property-fund


First Skyscraper at Manhattan's Hudson Yards to Open in March

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-07/first-skyscraper-at-manhattan-s-hudson-yards-to-open-in-march


Britain's financial watchdog starts home loans competition review

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/britains-financial-watchdog-starts-home-loans-competition-review


IVG said to tap banks to sell its property business

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/ivg-said-to-tap-banks-to-sell-its-property-business


Marriott to triple Brazil hotels on hopes that recession would be brief

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/marriott-to-triple-brazil-hotels-on-hopes-that-recession-would-be-brief


Iran's biggest mall taking shape in Isfahan

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/irans-biggest-mall-taking-shape-in-isfahan


US commercial property investors now prefer inland cities: report

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/us-commercial-property-investors-now-prefer-inland-cities-report


Cameron vows to tackle housing woes

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/cameron-vows-to-tackle-housing-woes?login=true