Archive | 2007

Private home sales inch up; prices remain firm

URA data shows 4,000 units in 70 developments with pre-requisites for sale as at end-Nov (SINGAPORE) The number of private homes sold by developers inched up 4.7 per cent to 593 units in November, up from 566 units in October. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also revealed monthly property market data of transacted benchmark prices […]

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URA awards Boon Lay site to Frasers Centrepoint

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday awarded a residential site at Boon Lay to Frasers Centrepoint, which put in the higher bid of $205.6 million – or $248 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) – after the tender closed last week with just two bids. The weak response to the 99-year leasehold site […]

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Rising population adds to climate woes

Socio-economic factors play big part in global warming THREE-QUARTERS of the problems associated with global warming have to do with socio-economic factors like rising population, and only a quarter has to do with the climate itself, according to Andrew Watkinson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK. ‘The population debate […]

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NY hotel boom to ease room shortage

But mid-market room rates of US$200-300 still too high for some (NEW YORK) While planning her vacation to New York, Lisa Werness was so horrified by the prices in Manhattan that she chose cheaper lodging in Brooklyn – where she got a room rate of just US$400 a night. ‘Don’t remind me. I’m trying to […]

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Wheat price surges above US$10 for first time

(NEW YORK) Wheat rose above US$10 a bushel for the first time, leading other grains and oilseeds higher in a food price spiral that threatens to derail global economic growth. Chicago wheat futures jumped as much as 30 cents, or 3.1 per cent, to US$10.095 a bushel as dry weather threatened crops in Argentina, renewing […]

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Minister sees Japan’s economy continuing recovery next year

IN JAPAN JAPAN’S economy is likely to continue growing next year, Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Hiroko Ota suggested yesterday, dismissing growing fears that it could plunge into recession as a result of an expected global slowdown in 2008. But she acknowledged a number of longer-term challenges to the continued growth of the economy. […]

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Asia’s growth may slow in ’08

Emerging problems in major economies cloud outlook (SHANGHAI, China) Asia’s dynamic economic growth is expected to slow modestly next year as its biggest economies grapple with emerging problems, from inflation in China to appreciating currencies in India and Japan. The expected slowdown in the US economy – a vital export market – and higher oil […]

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World economy smaller than previously estimated

New measure puts GDP in perspective, but world order remains similar (SINGAPORE) The size of the world economy is apparently smaller than previously thought, according to new estimates of GDP from the world’s biggest statistical initiative. But the global economic pecking order remains more or less the same, with the five biggest economies – the […]

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US faces risk of slipping into stagflation

Global growth this quarter and next may be slowest in four years: analysts (WASHINGTON) The world economy is facing the risk of both recession and faster inflation. Global growth this quarter and next may be the slowest in four years, while inflation might be the fastest in a decade, say economists at JPMorgan Chase & […]

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No takers for many collective sale sites as market cools

Quiet end to record year where $12.5b worth of estates were sold en bloc MOST collective sale sites put up for tender in recent weeks have closed without any bids. About 40 estates have been launched for sale since October, but just eight deals were sealed between October and last month, said property firm CB […]

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Inflation fears drag global stock markets down

LONDON – ASIAN and European stocks tumbled yesterday as last week’s strong United States inflation data reduced expectations that the US Federal Reserve would deliver further interest rate cuts soon. Also, in a sign that rising food and agricultural prices may push inflation up globally, US wheat futures surged more than 3 per cent and […]

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Global economy facing threat of stagflation

Growth may slow to 4-year low and inflation could hit 10-year high WASHINGTON – THE world economy is facing the risk of stagflation – the double whammy of suffering both recession and faster inflation. Global growth this quarter and next may be the slowest in four years, while inflation might be the fastest in a […]

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Greenspan favours govt bailout for home owners

ATLANTA – FORMER United States Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan says he favours using US government money to bail out mortgage borrowers who risk losing their homes because they cannot make payments. Mr Greenspan, speaking on ABC’s This Week programme aired last Sunday, said cash bailouts, while creating a larger budget deficit, had the advantage […]

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WALL STREET INSIGHT: Fear of prolonged credit crunch hangs over market

Investors expect to get glimpse of 2008 outlook from earnings reports of 3 major broking houses   BY many measures, the global credit crisis is back to its worst levels since August. The prospects for a prolonged credit crunch that limits lending to businesses will be hanging like a black cloud over Wall Street this […]

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IMF expects to lower global growth outlook

(ZURICH) The International Monetary Fund will lower its growth outlook as the continued credit crisis hurts the US and European economies, while global imbalances also weigh on growth, its top economist was quoted as saying. ‘Given this background, the numbers will indeed be weaker than in our latest World Economic Outlook,’ IMF chief economist Simon […]

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US on recession course: Morgan

(SYDNEY) The US is heading for a recession and the rest of the world would be ‘dead wrong’ to think this will not impact growing Asian economies, Morgan Stanley senior executive Stephen Roach said yesterday. In an interview with Sky News in Australia, Mr Roach said that the US Federal Reserve Bank would ‘most assuredly’ […]

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POPULAR DESPITE RENTAL HIKES: Queensway still best place for sports retailers

QUEENSWAY Shopping Centre is rundown and fairly inaccessible, it has none of the frills its rivals have, such as a cinema, and rents have been rising. However, tenants at the well-known sporting goods haunt appear willing to stick with it. Queensway, said Jeans Arcade proprietor Mohamed Yahya, who was echoing what five other retailers in […]

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Asking rents at specialist malls rise by up to 30%

Some retailers pay willingly for locale’s reputation, others prefer mix of shops   RETAILERS in specialist malls such as Sim Lim Square, Queensway Shopping Centre and United Square have not escaped the tide of rising rentals seen at other malls here. Some tenants have reported demands for rent hikes of up to 30 per cent […]

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Ascendas in $144m Viet industrial park deal

DEVELOPER of industrial and business parks Ascendas has teamed up with Vietnam’s state- owned Protrade to jointly develop a US$100 million (S$144 million) industrial park. It will mark Ascendas’ first major development project in Vietnam. The ambitious project involves developing a 500ha industrial park in Binh Duong province which will cater to light and clean […]

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New launches to slow till next year

With a still uncertain market, quiet times in property sector may continue till after Chinese New Year THE frantic property market is taking a breather, as buyers adopt a wait-and-see approach. Property launches have been scarce in the past month, and that will continue now that the holiday season is here. If you are one […]

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Job market outlook brightens for professionals

THE job market outlook remains bright, particularly for white collar employees, but may be stabilising. Some 35,500 jobs were unfilled in September, or a vacancy rate of 2.4 per cent, according to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This third-quarter scenario was ‘better’ than a year earlier when 29,900 jobs went begging […]

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Factory, property spending growth slows on loan curbs

Industrial output in Nov grows slowest, while loans rose the least in 8 months (BEIJING) China’s factory and property spending growth has slowed – another sign that government lending curbs may be starting to cool the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Fixed-asset investment in urban areas rose 26.8 per cent in the first 11 months from […]

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Potential and problems in Ho Chi Minh City

IN HO CHI MINH CITY BUSINESSMEN, some of them Singaporean, shared their optimism about Vietnam’s economy with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong over lunch yesterday when he arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on the final leg of his week-long visit to the country. But the businessmen, among them executives from Singapore’s Keppel Land and […]

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Odds of US recession clearly rising: Greenspan

This is due to slowing rate of economic growth, says ex-Fed chief (NEW YORK) The odds of a recession in the United States are ‘clearly rising’ due to the slowing rate of economic growth, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said. ‘We are getting close to stall speed … and we are far more vulnerable […]

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Office sector to finish 2007 as property’s star performer

Prime office rents grew 92% this year; premium office rents have done even better – up 96% RESIDENTIAL property may have been red hot, but office rents – with their phenomenal growth amid a severe supply crunch – will finish up as the year’s star performer. Latest figures from property consultancy CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) […]

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Japanese business sentiment drops to 2-year low

Tankan survey results boost expectations that rate hike will be delayed to second half TOKYO – BIG Japanese manufacturers’ business sentiment has slipped to a two-year low, a Bank of Japan (BOJ) survey showed yesterday, reinforcing expectations that a rise in interest rates will be delayed to the second half of next year. Rising raw […]

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Biggest rise in US consumer inflation in 2 years

WASHINGTON – UNITED States consumer prices rose the most in more than two years last month on record energy costs, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s concern that inflation remains a risk to the economy. The consumer price index increased 0.8 per cent after a 0.3 per cent gain in October, the Labour Department said yesterday. Prices […]

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High-end home launches to take a breather

The frenzy of 2007 is expected to give way to a more sedate pace, slower price rises (SINGAPORE) Launches of high-end homes are set to shrink in the coming year – even though developers will push more units across Singapore. The Core Central Region (CCR) – which comprises prime districts 9, 10 and 11, Sentosa […]

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Consumers are more upbeat about outlook: survey

But sentiments over stock market, quality of life, regular income slide SINGAPORE consumers are now more bullish about their prospects in the next six months than a year ago, despite the recent spike in market volatility and US sub-prime troubles, according to a MasterCard Survey of consumer confidence in the Asia-Pacific. The twice-yearly study said […]

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Banyan Tree to manage resorts in Omani IR devt

BANYAN Tree has signed a management contract with Jabal Resorts LLC for the development of two resorts within one of the largest integrated resort (IR) developments in Sifah, Oman. The Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts are positioned as the anchor properties in the 650 hectare property which will include over five hotels, more than 450 […]

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PECC sees slower Asia-Pacific growth in 2008

Think-tank forecasts 4.9% GDP growth this year and next (SINGAPORE) Asia-Pacific’s economic outlook is now more uncertain than any time since the 1997 Asian crisis, and the region is expected to post slower economic growth in 2008, according to one think-tank. In its latest State of the Region report, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) […]

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Asia at risk if US growth slows: ADB

Region still depends on outside markets despite growing intra-Asian trade IN TOKYO ASIA’S emerging economies are likely to be hit hard by any serious slowdown in the wake of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, the Asian Development Bank warns in a report published yesterday. Asia still depends heavily on the US and other outside markets […]

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Central bankers’ liquidity plan fails to impress Asian investors

China and HK biggest losers in Asia; STI down 2% (SINGAPORE) Investors in Asian stock markets, clearly sceptical that a plan by central banks to inject liquidity into the system to ease sub-prime pressure would work, yesterday braced themselves for an expected Wall Street sell-off by first dumping stocks throughout the region. The losses were […]

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Shop rents rising faster in city fringe, suburbs than in Orchard

Landlords enjoy good takings as demand spills over from prime belt ORCHARD Road may be the epicentre of shopping buzz, but malls in quieter areas are coming into their own. Rents of shops on the city fringe and in suburban areas rose faster than those in the prime shopping belt in the October to December […]

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Ten Mile Junction site up for sale

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday launched for sale by tender a site with a twist at Choa Chu Kang. The URA is selling a 1.56ha site with a three-storey commercial development – the existing Ten Mile Junction Mall. The sale excludes the third-storey Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station, now in operation. This is the […]

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Consumers in HK, S’pore ‘less upbeat over stock markets’

They are more bullish over jobs and the overall economy: MasterCard survey A NEW survey has found that Singapore consumers are highly optimistic about the economy but slightly less upbeat about the stock market. Their counterparts in Hong Kong are also bullish about the economy, but confidence in the stock market has fallen even more […]

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Sentosa Cove condo plot draws 3 bids

Tender for Boon Lay condo site attracts just 2 bids that are below expectations A TENDER for the last condo plot at Sentosa Cove – named The Pinnacle Collection – is said to have attracted three bids when it closed yesterday, including a joint bid by Ho Bee Investment and Malaysia’s IOI Group. The other […]

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SLA rents out 3 properties for office use, offers 2 more

Successful bid for former police HQ in Pearl’s Hill Terrace is 40% above guide THE Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has awarded three state-owned properties for rental through a public tender. And the successful bids were 17-40 per cent above the guide rents it had set. The former Police Headquarters at 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace, the […]

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Sabah’s @ease boutique hotel expects 60% occupancy

It’s part of RM450m Sandakan Harbour Sq integrated project (KUALA LUMPUR) @ease boutique hotel, a hotel in Sandakan, Sabah, and owned by Sara-Timur Properties Sdn Bhd, expects to draw an occupancy rate of up to 60 per cent in line with the industry’s average rate. The hotel, built at a cost of more than RM40 […]

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Corporate abodes with style

Big names in professional services believe an address in the Marina Bay area will boost accessibility and branding It’s not only banks that want to be located in a financial centre. The big professional services – law, auditing, management consultancy – are all hustling to Marina Bay, the new downtown. The suits hobnobbing there will […]

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Apollo Centre sold for $205m

Buyer AEW intending to refurbish it US PROPERTY fund manager AEW Capital Management has bought Apollo Centre for $205 million, or $1,378 per sq ft (psf) of lettable floor area, the property firm that brokered the deal said yesterday. Apollo Centre, in Havelock Road, is a seven-storey commercial building with shops on the basement, first […]

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Slumping Spanish market may reverberate through Europe

Banks in Spain are aggressively curbing loans in fallout from US sub-prime woes (MADRID) Julia Gavin sold more than a house a week as the Spanish real-estate boom peaked last year. Now that business is drying up, she’s sharing leads with competitors, reckoning a partial commission is better than none at all. ‘We’re up to […]

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Indochina Land eyes US$1b for 2 new Vietnam funds

(LONDON) The property arm of Vietnamese financial services firm Indochina Capital said yesterday that it wanted to raise a minimum of US$1 billion for two new investment funds. In a statement, Indochina Land said it planned to soon launch its third real estate fund, Indochina Land Holdings 3, as well as Indochina Infrastructure Holdings, which […]

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Property devt in UK hits a low

(LONDON) Property development activity in the UK fell for the first time in four-and-a-half years in November as worries about a weakening property market outlook spread to the commercial building trade, data showed yesterday. In a monthly survey of industry professionals, property services firm Savills said around 22 per cent reported a drop in activity […]

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US recession fears overblown: IMF

But official says US growth outlook has become subject to greater risks (WASHINGTON) World economic growth may be hobbled by financial market turmoil and the risks to the United States have mounted, said IMF first deputy managing director John Lipsky, but fears of a recession still look overdone. ‘Never say never, but the latest indicators […]

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RESIDENTIAL PLOT: Boon Lay site draws lukewarm response

A WEAK response to a residential site tender at Lakeside has caught the industry by surprise – given that suburban centres have been touted as the next property hot zones. The 99-year leasehold site bounded by Boon Lay Way and Lakeside Drive had attracted only two bids by the time of the tender’s close yesterday, […]

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US real estate fund pays $205m for Apollo Centre

Deal reaffirms confidence in Singapore’s office market APOLLO Centre on Havelock Road has been sold to a United States fund manager for $205 million. This higher-than-expected price comes as a relief to property watchers, who say it is a strong sign that foreign investors remain confident in the Singapore office market despite the US sub-prime […]

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DBS Bank to move headquarters to Marina Bay Financial Centre

AFTER months of speculation, DBS Bank has finally announced that it will move its headquarters from Shenton Way to Singapore’s next financial hot spot – the Marina Bay Financial Centre. DBS will take 700,000 sq ft of office space spread across 22 storeys, the largest lease deal ever in the Republic after the 508,298 sq […]

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TAKING STOCK: Regional markets make hasty retreat as Fed cut disappoints

REGIONAL investors were as disappointed yesterday as their United States counterparts over the size of the latest US interest rate cut. Bourses in Asia fell across the board following an overnight tumble on Wall Street, where key benchmarks fell over 2 per cent. Investors were unhappy that the Federal Reserve trimmed interest rates only by […]

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Wall St upset with Fed’s quarter-point cut

Move in line with forecasts; some observers had hoped for more WASHINGTON – THE United States Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a modest quarter-percentage point on Tuesday. The move disappointed Wall Street’s hopes for bolder action but offered some help to an economy facing credit strains and a deep housing slump. The central bank’s […]

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New HDB flat prices based on market prices of resale flats

I REFER to the letter, ‘Since when did resale prices decide cost of HDB flat?’ (BT, Nov 30) by Lu Keehong. The prices of new HDB flats are based on the market prices of resale HDB flats, and not their costs of construction. In order to provide affordable housing to Singaporean families, new HDB flats […]

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Property firm UOA seeks secondary listing on SGX

IPO proceeds of $19.1m to be used for Asian expansion MALAYSIAN-based, Australian-listed property company United Overseas Australia (UOA) is seeking a secondary listing in Singapore to help it grow in the region. UOA now focuses on mid to high-end residential and commercial projects in Kuala Lumpur. ‘But we are looking to go into other countries […]

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Banyan Tree’s Vietnam project grows in size

Bigger-scale resort project estimated to cost less than US$900m BANYAN Tree’s plans in Vietnam just got bigger, with the company confirming reports yesterday that investments at its massive resort project in central Thua Thien-Hue province will increase from an earlier reported US$270 million to just under US$900 million. The first phase of construction for what […]

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Celebrity plans to open piano bar, reflexology business, offices

Jackie Chan pays $11m for Jinriksha Station at 1 Neil Road HONG KONG movie superstar Jackie Chan’s love affair with Singapore property continues with his latest purchase – the former Jinriksha Station at 1 Neil Road. He fell in love with the historic building – once the central depot for rickshaw drivers in Singapore – […]

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Inflation in S’pore to taper off as growth slows: economist

He blames energy prices for recent surge in inflation (SINGAPORE) The recent surge in the pace of inflation here is mostly due to a sharp increase in energy prices and is unlikely to last as economic growth slows next year, a senior economist maintained yesterday. Meanwhile, Asian economies still have a lot of tools at […]

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Dubai World’s Limitless sets up office here

S’pore base will look for investments in the region DUBAI World’s real estate arm, Limitless LLC, officially started operations at it new regional office here at UOB Plaza yesterday. It will use Singapore as a base to look for new investment opportunities here and in the region. On route to Hanoi for the ground-breaking ceremony […]

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Ascott signs India serviced residence JV

(SINGAPORE) The Ascott Group said yesterday that it has signed a joint venture agreement with the Rattha Group to acquire its fifth serviced residence in India. The 218-unit property, to be named Citadines Hyderabad Hitec City, is Ascott’s first serviced residence in Hyderabad. the group will pay about S$15 million for a 49 per cent […]

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78 Shenton Way sold for $650m to German group

$1,857 psf deal shows foreign players still prize S’pore office market FOREIGN institutional investors continue to be drawn to the Singapore office market. The latest investor to come in is Germany’s Commerz Grundbesitz Investmentgesellschaft (CGI) group, which has bought 78 Shenton Way for $650 million, BT understands. The price works out to $1,857 per square […]

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Russia developer posts US$78m loss in 9 months

(MOSCOW) Russian property developer Sistema-Hals yesterday reported a net loss of US$77.6 million for the first nine months of 2007 compared with a net profit of US$34.3 million in the same period last year. The company, part of diversified holding company Sistema, said operating expenses rose by 165 per cent to US$279.3 million mainly due […]

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NZ home price rise slowest in 6 months

Prices up 11.4% in Nov as higher rates curb demand (WELLINGTON) New Zealand’s house prices rose at the slowest pace in six months in November, adding to signs that higher borrowing costs are curbing domestic demand. House prices gained 11.4 per cent from a year earlier, according to a report released yesterday by Quotable Value […]

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Surprise 0.7% fall in Aussie home loans

11-year-high interest rates hit borrowing for second straight month in Oct (SYDNEY) Australia’s home loan approvals unexpectedly fell for a second month in October as interest rates at an 11-year high discouraged borrowing. The number of loans granted to build or buy houses and apartments fell 0.7 per cent to 62,509 from September, when they […]

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China’s ’07 inflation may exceed 4.4%

Nov consumer prices likely at 6.5%, the highest in a decade (BEIJING) China’s 2007 inflation may exceed 4.4 per cent, driven mainly by rising food prices, China’s banking regulator said. ‘We will focus on preventing the structural rise in prices from transforming into overall inflation,’ Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said […]

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Traders consider Fed rate cut a certainty

Renewed turbulence in markets puts pressure on Fed to pump up economy (WASHINGTON) Federal Reserve chairman Ben S Bernanke may have to risk becoming the proverbial ‘fool in the shower’ to keep the US economy out of recession. Renewed turbulence in financial markets puts Mr Bernanke, 53, under pressure to open the monetary spigots wider […]

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Buyers snap up new flats from HDB

HDB’S LATEST LAUNCH IN NORTH-EAST NO. OF FLATS: 316 APPLICANTS: 1,700 DEMAND for Housing Board flats has hit an all-time high. More than 1,700 applications were made for 316 new flats in the north-east zone released yesterday – just hours after the homes went on sale. In terms of sales, almost every unit of the […]

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UBS shocks with $14b in sub-prime write-downs

ZURICH – SWISS bank UBS, Europe’s largest lender by assets, unveiled US$10 billion (S$14.4 billion) in astounding sub-prime write-downs yesterday. The bank’s losses has already cost the jobs of chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Wuffli, his finance chief Clive Standish, investment-banking head Huw Jenkins and 1,500 people at the securities unit. The US$10 billion charge […]

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STB approves sale of Farrer Court

(SINGAPORE) The Strata Titles Board (STB) has given the go-ahead for the sale of Farrer Court to a CapitaLand-led consortium. At a price tag of $1.34 billion, it is the largest amount ever fetched for a collective sale. The approval was granted last Saturday. The consortium – comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and US-based Wachovia Development […]

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Rents for state-owned homes rise

(SINGAPORE) Now, you too can live like the colonial sahibs of old, as long as you are prepared to make the highest offer for monthly rental in an open bid. But be warned, rents of homes under the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) first bidding exercise held recently, increased by between 40 to 230 per cent […]

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Ion Orchard plans to kick off ad campaign in Q108

(SINGAPORE) Ion Orchard intends to launch an advertising campaign to promote the mall in the first quarter of next year – almost a whole year before the Orchard Road mall opens its doors to shoppers in end-2008. For starters, the mall will run a print ad campaign in selected international publications such as the Wall […]

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En bloc deals top $13b but pace is slowing

Sales in H2 account for only $2.8b as price gap between owners, developers surfaces (SINGAPORE) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. With 82 en bloc deals worth $10.49 billion transacted in the first-half, and just 27 sites worth $2.81 billion transacted in the second-half so far, ‘2007 has been […]

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Fight inflation with CPF, GST: economists

Cool labour demand by raising employer contribution, roll back July GST hike (SINGAPORE) The government should restore some of the CPF employer contribution cuts as a way to cool labour demand, which in turn will moderate growth. That should help ease inflation and help people cope with runaway prices that are biting into the lives […]

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INSIDE MARKETS: Sharp rise in sales, buy figures take a plunge

BUYING activity fell while sales by directors and substantial shareholders rose last week based on filings on the Singapore Exchange in the first week of December. A total of 50 firms recorded 143 purchases versus 18 companies with 56 disposals. The buy figures were down from the previous week’s 61 firms and 180 acquisitions while […]

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WALL STREET INSIGHT – Mixed signals point to uncertainty

Investors focus on Tuesday’s Fed meeting: will it be 25 or 50 pt cut? A RECESSION or simply a period of slow economic growth in which the economy glides gently to a soft landing before lifting off again? A modest 25 basis point cut in short-term interest rates, or a hefty 50 basis point reduction? […]

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Beach Road could be next prime hot spot

Set for a snazzy makeover, boasts a good mix of shophouses and strata-titled commercial and residential units on the market for the average investor FORGET the Central Business District. Property investors priced out of prime zones but still hunting for a good buy should look to downtown’s upcoming hot spot – the Beach Road, Ophir-Rochor […]

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Want to rent this? Make a bid for it

New allocation system for select state-owned homes expected to cut long waiting lists RENTERS who have long hankered after that state-owned black-and-white colonial bungalow but are put off by the long waiting list can now bid for their dream home. State landlord Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said it is opening up its properties for bidding […]

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How S’pore stays at the top of the game

With its 7.9 per cent growth last year, it has been called a developed country growing at developing-nation rates. Bryan Lee explains this anomaly. IT IS almost a given that in the global rankings for economic growth, poor countries typically fill the top spots while rich nations bring up the rear. Last year’s top three […]

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Wondering about Wall Street’s mood? Look up

Research shows that the stock market goes up on sunny days and dips on gloomy ones. FORGET about buying low and selling high. If you are worried about the recent volatility in the stock market, perhaps you should let the weather be your guide. Buy cloudy. Sell sunny. If you consistently bought stocks when the […]

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wallstreet – US stocks flat as oil prices drop and job data show resilience

NEW YORK – US STOCKS ended little changed on Friday as a sharp drop in oil prices and signs of resiliency in the job market offset worries that tighter credit is hurting consumer spending. A drop of more than 2 per cent in oil prices buoyed shares of big manufacturers like Boeing Co and 3M […]

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Lippo’s Sentosa condo at about $2,750-2,900 psf

LIPPO Group is said to have priced its Marina Collection condo, a 99-year leasehold project on Sentosa Cove, at about $2,750-2,900 psf on average. Over the past few days, the group, controlled by Indonesia’s Riady family, is said to have sold about half of the 60 or so units it has released so far in […]

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STB approves en bloc sale of Horizon Towers

But it may not spell end of saga as minority owners who oppose sale may still appeal (SINGAPORE) Almost a year of wrangling and millions of dollars in legal fees later, the controversial en bloc sale of Horizon Towers was eventually approved yesterday by the Strata Titles Board (STB). Still, the board’s verdict by no […]

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Pawn one property to buy another

(BEIJING) As bank loans for property dwindle, an increasing number of prospective buyers are turning to pawnshops to finance their plans. Wang, a 40-year-old Beijinger, owns an apartment worth about 700,000 yuan (S$136,000) in the capital. His desire to move to a larger second-hand apartment worth about one million yuan hit a snag when the […]

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Beijing to probe steep housing prices

Teams will be sent to check if policies to calm market are being enforced (BEIJING) China’s cabinet will send teams to major cities next week to investigate whether policies to cool the sizzling property market are being enforced properly, sources said. Beijing has introduced a series of policies over the last few years to curb […]

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US sub-prime bailouts help stocks but STI runs into headwinds

IT HAS been bailout week as far as stock markets were concerned but judging by the performance of the past two days, scepticism abounds. First, it was Fed officials dropping blatant hints about cutting interest rates at their Dec 11 meeting, then came the Bush administration’s mortgage-freeze offer to ease the sub-prime pressure. It looks […]

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Bush’s mortgage plan draws mixed reactions

No relief for those who can’t keep up teaser rate payments (WASHINGTON) President Bush’s plan to slow the mortgage meltdown could help hundreds of thousands of people from losing their homes, but many others would get no relief – and the plan’s effect on the broader economy remains a topic of sharp debate. Under the […]

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Finally, Horizon Towers en bloc sale gets go-ahead

Strata Titles Board rejects objections from minority owners, who have a month to appeal AFTER months of sometimes bitter wrangling, the collective sale of Horizon Towers looks set to go ahead. The latest chapter of the saga drew to a close yesterday when the Strata Titles Board (STB) granted an order for the $500 million […]

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S’pore economy tipped to grow more than 6% next year

Experts revise forecasts down slightly but say construction and property will sizzle DESPITE a cloud of gloom over the United States, private economists here expect Singapore’s economy to grow at a still-respectable rate of more than 6 per cent next year. The upbeat finding came in a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) quarterly survey of […]

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Japan lowers third-quarter GDP forecast

Central bank will have no chance to hike rates until late next year, analysts predict TOKYO – JAPAN revised down yesterday third-quarter growth, surprising markets that had expected an upward revision and prompting many to predict the Bank of Japan (BOJ) would have no chance to raise rates until late next year. Soft capital spending […]

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China’s policy shift signals concerns about inflation

BEIJING – CHINA’S announcement that it will move to a tight monetary policy from what it called the prudent stance of the past decade may not mark a radical new departure. But the change in rhetoric suggests the Chinese leadership wants to signal concern about living standards as people fret about inflation. Analysts say the […]

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Land sales programme for 1H08 draws good reviews

Large supply of mass market homes but govt holds back on office sites THE government will release a batch of suburban residential land parcels in the first half of next year but property analysts are divided as to whether there will be enough takers for the homes coming up on the sites. And on the […]

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Govt’s slate of land sales seen as prudent

List for H1 next year is roughly similar in scale to that for H2 this year (SINGAPORE) The Ministry of National Development is adopting a measured strategy in its Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, offering up a slate for the first-half of next year that’s roughly similar in scale to the offerings for H2 2007. […]

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Catching Formula One race in high style

Grandstands will also be set up in the S’pore Flyer Garden FORMULA One (F1) fans hoping for a bird’s eye view of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix can opt to watch it from the 165-metre tall Singapore Flyer. Singapore GP has forged a land-use and ticketing partnership with the Flyer under which Singapore GP will […]

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Award of casino bid not known yet: Lian Beng

SINGAPORE construction firm Lian Beng Group, whose share price rose 8 per cent yesterday on speculation that it has won a $500 million casino project, said it has not been told of the outcome of its bid. ‘Lian Beng has submitted a tender but has not been informed of the outcome yet,’ said a company […]

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Allgreen takes on 7 China developments

It will work with Kerry Holdings, Kerry Properties on the commercial, residential projects ALLGREEN Properties of Singapore is set to move into China in a big way with seven commercial and residential developments together with Hong Kong publicly listed companies Kerry Holdings and Kerry Properties. All the companies are controlled by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok. […]

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Investing to beat inflation

INVESTING with a view to beating inflation sounds like an almost common sense objective, but it is by no means simple. In the last decade or so, it had seemed as if inflation had been tamed; indeed, disinflation was the order of the day. Now with rising oil, food, resource and asset prices, concern over […]

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Bank of England cuts interest rates to 5.5%

ECB keeps rates unchanged, lowers next year’s forecast from 2.3% to 2% (LONDON) The Bank of England cut interest rates yesterday as a global credit crunch threatened wider economic damage. But the European Central Bank (ECB) left interest rates unchanged. While it has raised its eurozone growth forecast for 2007 to 2.6 per cent from […]

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US house prices to slide 30% before crisis is over: Moody’s

(NEW YORK) Housing markets from Punta Gorda, Florida, to Stockton, California, will crash and suffer price drops of more than 30 per cent before the housing crisis is over, a report from Moody’s Economy.com said yesterday. On a national level, the housing market recession will continue through early 2009, said the report, coauthored by Mark […]

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US investment banks fall to analysts’ knife

Cuts made to profit, share price forecasts in the face of continued credit market turmoil (LONDON/NEW YORK) Citigroup, the biggest US bank, and Goldman Sachs, the largest securities firm, had their earnings estimates cut by analysts who say credit-market ‘turmoil’ would generate losses into next year. The collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market has […]

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US mortgage relief package could avert 1m foreclosures

(WASHINGTON) A mortgage relief package hammered out by the US administration and major lenders could help more than one million homeowners avert foreclosure in the next two years, a White House official said yesterday. The official said the plan, to be formally announced later in the day, would involve refinancings or freezing of interest rates […]

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Property players likely to zoom in on central locations

Topping the list is multi-use ‘white site’ not far from Bugis MRT DEVELOPERS, and eventually homebuyers, can take their pick from 21 plots that the Government will release for private housing between now and June. Property players, however, are likely to zoom straight in on the handful of land parcels that are more centrally located, […]

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More land for mass market private homes released

The 21 residential sites will help meet demand and avert sharp price increases PRIVATE home buyers look set to be spoilt for choice after the Government unveiled an expansive programme of land sales for the first half of next year. The big winners will be mass market buyers, who include home buyers upgrading from HDB […]

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RESPONSE TO TOURIST BOOM: More hotel plots up for sale next year

TEN hotel sites will be made available next year to meet demand from the fast-growing tourism sector. Three are new sites in the Government’s land sales programme for next year, while the others are carried over from last year’s programme, said the Ministry of National Development yesterday. One of the new sites is between Balestier […]

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