Archive | November, 2007

Featured Properties – Just Updated!!!

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More supply but HDB prices will go up: Mah

Board may offer another 6,000 units through build to order scheme (SINGAPORE) The Housing and Development Board will continue to monitor demand and could offer another 6,000 units through its build-to-order (BTO) system. However, prices are also likely to go up. Saying that he did not want to ‘fudge the issue’, National Development Minister Mah […]

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Where high finance meets high living

The new downtown will boast a casino, a financial hub, condos and retail areas TIRED of Orchard Road? Jaded by Clarke Quay? Finding Robertson Walk just a trifle same-old, same-old? For the Singapore consumer – probably among the most avid in the world – Marina Bay may be the next big thing. The new downtown […]

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Stamford Land in A$220m Sydney project

Site in The Rocks will have apartment tower, terrace homes, retail units SINGAPORE-LISTED Stamford Land, the hotel and property arm of shipping tycoon Ow Chio Kiat, is planning to build some of Australia’s most expensive homes on the site of two old demolished warehouses and a heritage building. Mr Ow bought the 99-year leasehold site […]

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ING Real Estate plans second China fund

It is also looking to buy and privatise battered Reits in mature markets (HONG KONG) The world’s biggest property fund manager ING Real Estate plans a second China fund next year, worth about US$700 million, in response to growing enthusiasm for Asian property at a time when Western markets are suffering. With a global credit […]

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Cheung Kong wins HK$7b MTR property project

(HONG KONG) Cheung Kong (Holdings), the property flagship of tycoon Li Ka-shing, has won a tender from Hong Kong subway operator MTR Corp Ltd to develop a residential project with an investment cost of HK$7 billion (S$1.29 billion). MTR said in a statement that it would sign a formal agreement with Cheung Kong for the […]

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Wharf posts HK$3.12b Q3 profit

Earnings more than double on higher rental income from office and retail properties (HONG KONG) Wharf Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong landlord and port operator that owns a pay-television company, more than doubled its third-quarter profit as rental income from office and retail properties rose. Net income for the three months ended Sept 30 rose to […]

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Keppel Land to build 140 Viet waterfront villas

It forms 60-40 joint venture; project’s investment capital seen at US$55.2m KEPPEL Land will build 140 waterfront villa homes in Ho Chi Minh City, its eighth residential development in Vietnam this year. In a statement yesterday, Keppel Land said that it had formed a joint venture, through wholly owned subsidiary VN Investment Pte Ltd, with […]

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Trouble looms for a third of UK mortgages

Self-employed and those who move house frequently open to risk (LONDON) Up to one in three or 5.5 million mortgage holders in Britain could face serious financial difficulties as a result of the US sub-prime crisis and the tougher lending climate it has created, a study showed. According to a report published by consumer research […]

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Segro buys property worth £400m in H2

(LONDON) British property firm Segro plc cautioned about continued weakness in Britain’s property markets, but it bought £400 million (S$1.19 billion) of property in its second half as it took advantage of good buying opportunities. In a trading update yesterday, the firm said financial market turmoil was taking a toll on the UK property market, […]

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Grim US housing outlook in 2008

(CHICAGO) US homebuilders said the housing market probably will weaken in 2008 as foreclosures rise and banks tighten lending standards. Demand has deteriorated in many markets, limiting the prospect of a rebound in new home sales, chief executive officers for D R Horton Inc and Beazer Homes USA Inc. said on Tuesday at a JPMorgan […]

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US commercial real estate set to take a hit

Traders see bond defaults rising to the highest level since Great Depression (LONDON) In the bond market, commercial property investors are about as creditworthy as US homeowners with sub-prime mortgages. ‘Commercial real estate is a full-blown bubble that feels very much at a bursting point,’ said Christian Stracke, an analyst in London at CreditSights Inc, […]

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COMMENTARY – Life can go on, with or without a home of your own

MARKETING manager Eva Chia accepted her boyfriend’s proposal in the middle of this year, but their joy was short- lived when the hunt for a marital home turned up nothing for months on end. Their combined income busted the ceiling for subsidised housing but they baulked at the prices of resale Housing Board (HDB) flats […]

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More than 7,000 new flats expected over next 7 months

Over 1,000 flats in 2 projects launched yesterday; 6,000 more to come by next June NEWLY-WEDS need not worry about not having a new HDB roof over their heads. More than 7,000 new Housing Board flats will be offered for sale over the next seven months, as well as seven plots of land which could […]

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US existing home sales fall to 8-year low

WASHINGTON – SALES of previously owned United States homes fell last month to the lowest level in at least eight years as loan restrictions and the prospect of further price declines deterred buyers. Purchases dropped 1.2 per cent, more than forecast, to an annual rate of 4.97 million, the lowest since record keeping began in […]

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Westwood Apartments sold for $2,525 psf ppr

WESTWOOD Apartments at Orchard Boulevard has been sold for $435 million or a unit price of $2,525 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), making it the most expensive site to be sold by collective sale to date. In June, The Ardmore was sold for $262 million or $2,337 psf ppr. The price achieved […]

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United Engineers makes top bid for AMK DBSS site

UNITED Engineers (UE) has emerged as the top bidder for HDB’s latest Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) site in Ang Mo Kio, the government agency said yesterday. UE’s bid – which was the highest of five – came in at $134.2 million, or some $212 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). The […]

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EL Devt to build 200-unit condo in Woodlands

EL Development plans to build a 200-unit mass market condominium on the Woodlands site it won in a government tender, the company’s managing director Lim Yew Soon told BT yesterday. The project, which will be launched in the third quarter of 2008, is expected to sell for about $600-$650 per square foot (psf), Mr Lim […]

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Oversupply looms in S’pore office sector: Citigroup

It downgrades two stocks with key exposure to sector – KepLand, CityDev SINGAPORE is in danger of seeing an oversupply of office space from 2010 onwards, Citigroup is warning. The bank’s research unit has also downgraded two Singapore stocks with significant exposure to the office market here – Keppel Land and City Developments. ‘The market […]

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Yishun industrial site up for sale

A SITE at Yishun Avenue 6 has been put up for sale for industrial development. The land parcel is one of the four new industrial sites that were scheduled for release on the reserve list under the Government Industrial Land Sale Programme for the second half of 2007. The 1.43-hectare site has a plot ratio […]

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Funds tailor products for the nest egg

(NEW YORK) Wall Street has repeatedly sounded alarms to spur working Americans to save more for retirement, but it has been less interested in helping convert nest eggs to spendable, post-paycheque income. Of course, mutual funds emphasising dividends have long been available, along with plans for withdrawing principal. More recently, the industry has offered life-cycle […]

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Emerging markets losing lustre

Pictet Asset Management now banking on green investments A PIONEER in emerging market investments and environmental funds is sounding caution on emerging markets, even as he hails the green theme as the wave of the future. Renaud de Planta, chief executive of Pictet Asset Management, says emerging markets could underperform mature markets in the near […]

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China, India seen driving Asia’s wealth market

SG PRIVATE Bank is looking to China and India to drive Asia’s wealth markets, and the sub-prime crisis is a short-term hiccup, says chief executive Pierre Baer. The firm advises on some US$20 billion in Asian clients’ assets, posting an annual growth of about 30 per cent. It set up its Singapore office in 1998. […]

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Bull market in Asia in mature stage

Value investing advisable THE bull market in Asia ex-Japan equities is in the mature stage, says Markus Rosgen of Citi Investment Research, and he advises investors to switch from momentum investing towards value. In the value space, Mr Rosgen, Citi’s chief Asian strategist, favours large cap stocks which he says have only just begun to […]

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Bond insurers affected by credit crunch

(NEW YORK) INVESTORS already burned by turmoil from the credit crunch are now worried about unwanted surprises in the industry that insures bonds. In the face of mounting losses in US mortgages, rating agencies are reviewing eight leading bond insurers, which could lead to downgrades. Such a move could ripple across the financial sector, because […]

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Citi sees likely office space glut by 2010

Other analysts argue that pent-up demand will soak up excess supply OFFICE space may be in severe short supply now, but Citigroup predicts the tables will be turned by 2010 with even a glut possible. ‘The market is underestimating the potential supply of new office space in 2010 and beyond, in our view,’ said the […]

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Condo-like housing plot nets $134m bid

A THIRD site earmarked for public housing to be designed, built and sold by private developers has attracted a top bid of $134.2 million. Greatearth Development placed the bid, which was 13 per cent higher than the one submitted by its closest rival, AMK Development, and well ahead of those of the other three contenders. […]

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RECORD PROPERTY DEAL NO. 1: Paying a premium for ocean views

But analysts say price tag is not typical of HDB market, which is more moderate IN AGEING five-room HDB flat in Marine Parade has been snapped up for a record price of $750,888 – and all because of its sweeping ocean views. The buyers, who paid cash, bought the 32-year-old Marine Terrace flat as their […]

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Record property deals: $750,888 for 5-rm Marine Parade flat

IN FRESH signs the property market is still pretty hot, an HDB flat has sold for a record $750,888 – and a developer has paid a record price for a collective sale site. A retired couple yesterday bought the 32-year-old recently renovated flat in Marine Parade. The couple, who declined to be named, have lots […]

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RECORD PROPERTY DEAL NO. 2: High collective sale price catches analysts off guard

THE record collective sale price achieved by Westwood Apartments yesterday has put to rest industry concerns that the red-hot property market has cooled off. Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corporation paid $435 million for the 30-year-old condominium in Orchard Boulevard, with an additional $4.6 million development charge. This prices it at a startling $2,525 per sq ft […]

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IPO lifts Indian property baron’s fortune by $6.3b

Shares of Mundra Port & SEZ more than double on debut on back of infrastructure boom MUMBAI – INDIAN property magnate Gautam Adani has just added US$4.4 billion (S$6.34 billion) to his personal fortune. His company, Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone (SEZ), more than doubled on its first trading day in Mumbai, boosting the […]

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US home prices plunge by record 4.5%

WASHINGTON – HOME prices in the United States fell in the third quarter by the most in at least two decades, as the sub-prime lending crisis caused sales to slump. Home values retreated 4.5 per cent in the three months ended Sept 30 from the same period last year, the most since records began in […]

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Expat cost of living in S’pore gaining on HK’s

S’pore and Chinese cities move up the ranks due to strong currencies, inflation (SINGAPORE) The Republic is catching up with Asia’s leading cities in one area it probably does not wish to make strides in – expatriate cost of living. While some of the region’s most pricey cities became relatively less expensive in the past […]

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Riverwalk, Cairnhill Mansion and site next door up for sale

(SINGAPORE) Three prime sites – one zoned for commercial use and two for residential use – went on the market yesterday. The Riverwalk near Clarke Quay is offered through a collective sale, said property firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) which is marketing the project. Market watchers reckon that the project could fetch about $700 million […]

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S’pore launches pushed back as developers gauge sentiment

Some projects being launched overseas first, others struggle to finish showflats (SINGAPORE) Developers here are holding back residential launches due to poor market sentiment – and in some cases are choosing to launch their projects overseas first as they wait for market sentiment here to recover. Launches are also being held back as showflats are […]

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Two more transitional sites up for tender

Mountbatten and Aljunied sites follow those at Scotts Rd and Tampines (SINGAPORE) The Urban Redevelopment Authority has launched two transitional office sites at Mountbatten Road and Aljunied Road/Geylang East Avenue 1 for sale by tender. This follows the recent sale of two transitional office sites at Scotts Road and Tampines for $219 per square foot […]

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Lippo sees top Jakarta property value triple by 2014

Group plans to invest up to US$10b in domestic real estate projects by that time (JAKARTA) Indonesia’s Lippo Group, which runs hospitals and property firms, said it would spend up to US$10 billion on domestic real estate projects by 2014, and expects prime Jakarta property to double or triple in value by then. The group, which […]

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Nakheel to buy UK property, set up Reit

Developer sees value in assets, may sell shares in US$700m trust in S’pore in ’08 (DUBAI) Nakheel PJSC, the Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based developer of the world’s biggest manmade islands, will buy UK real estate investment funds and start a real estate investment trust, or Reit, as it expands into property asset management. ‘UK Reits […]

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Istithmar to transfer properties to Nakheel

Dubai’s move will create global real estate group with US$52b of projects (DUBAI) Istithmar PJSC, a Dubai government-owned private equity investor managing US$10 billion, will merge its real estate investments with Nakheel PJSC, another property company owned by its parent. ‘The nature of the real estate assets that we have will be well served by […]

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China developer acquiring Spirit World

GUANGZHOU property developer China Yuanbang Property Holdings is acquiring Spirit World Holdings, one of the joint venture partners of its Aqua Lake Grand City project in Nanchang City, Hongjiaozhou for 200 million yuan (S$39 million). On completion of the proposed acquisition, Spirit World will become an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the group, which will […]

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UK house prices fall in Nov for second month running

Values down 0.2% from October but housing shortage seen limiting declines (LONDON) UK house prices fell for a second month in November as a jump in credit costs sapped confidence among buyers and sellers, a survey by Hometrack Ltd showed. The average cost of a home in England and Wales fell 0.2 per cent from […]

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Sub-prime crisis takes its toll on European markets

But stability can be expected if the US avoids recession: DTZ (SINGAPORE) Shockwaves from the US sub-prime mortgage crisis a few months ago are reverberating through the real estate markets of the UK and Europe, with deals shelved or abandoned. In its European Quarterly 2007 report, DTZ says the volume of transactions could fall at […]

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Cairnhill Mansion up for collective sale

THE Cairnhill Mansion apartment block near the Goodwood Park Hotel, plus an adjoining site, have been put up for collective sale – a transaction that could total nearly $600 million. The owners of Cairnhill Mansion, which is about 40 years old, want at least $443.6 million for their estate, comprising 60 apartments of 2,024 sq […]

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Short-term office sites put up for sale to ease crunch

Plots in Aljunied and Mountbatten roads come with 15-year leases GOOD news for office tenants struggling to find affordable office space in the Central Business District (CBD). The Government yesterday launched for sale two short-term office sites along Aljunied and Mountbatten roads to ease the office space crunch. Both plots come with 15-year leases and […]

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S’pore ranked 9th most costly Asian city for expatriates

SINGAPORE has risen 10 places in a new global survey of the most expensive places for expatriates to live. The Republic is closing the gap on higher-priced Hong Kong, which stayed at No. 79 in the survey, conducted by human resources firm ECA International. Despite the jump, Singapore, at No. 122, is still significantly cheaper […]

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It wasn’t me, Greenspan says of housing mess

Sales and price slump not a reflection of Fed policies when he headed central bank LONDON – FORMER Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said he has ‘no particular regrets’, and that the deepening slump in the United States housing market is not a result of his policies. ‘Markets are becoming aware of the fact that […]

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Property may be big gainer as real interest rates plunge

Mounting inflation makes it tempting to borrow, but things may change in the long run (SINGAPORE) Rising inflation may be starting to worry policymakers and the man on the street, but it has had an interesting side effect. It has pushed down the real interest rate dramatically and is expected to drive the property market […]

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Firm to sell Malacca Centre retail space

A RETAIL podium at Malacca Centre in Raffles Place has been put up for sale. The 999-year leasehold property comprises of ground and basement floors and has direct frontages to the main road. The sellers are an investment holding company, said property firm Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the property. The property has a […]

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Asia should be on inflation alert: JPMorgan

Countries that let currency strengthen will be better off (SINGAPORE) Inflation poses a bigger and more immediate threat to countries in Asia than a US economic recession, said a senior equity strategist. Emerging-market countries that allow their currencies to strengthen in the next 12 months are more likely to see sustained economic growth and escape […]

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Malaysian tycoon enters S’pore luxury homes market

YTL Group plans to build top-end marina, residential projects in region MALAYSIAN tycoon Francis Yeoh, who helms YTL Group, one of Malaysia’s largest listed companies, is intent on an aggressive expansion in Asia – starting in Singapore. The Republic is the target of the first part of his grand plan to build a series of […]

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ME & MY MONEY – Rentals will pay for his retirement

Swiss-born entrepreneur has six properties that can provide 70% of his income after he retires MR ROBERT Gremli, 63, who hails from Switzerland, will never forget his first impression of Singapore. ‘It was incredibly hot, as if someone had thrown a hot blanket over me in a steam room,” he said. He wondered at the […]

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How much should you invest in a stock?

By TEH HOOI LING SENIOR CORRESPONDENT THE science of numbers has developed quite a bit since June 1955, when a new quiz show called The $64,000 Question made its debut on American television. The show was a hit. It captured as much as 85 per cent of the viewing audience and spawned dozens of copycat […]

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Inflation rises with policy posers in tow

Analysts expect swift counter-measures as monthly numbers climb to a 16-year high (SINGAPORE) The need for further policy action to stem price pressures – sooner rather than later – has grown with an unexpected surge in October’s inflation rate to 3.6 per cent, economists say. The market consensus estimate was 2.8 per cent. ‘We thought […]

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Top Stories for Front Page – Market sticks to singing the US sub-prime blues

STI loses 115 points for the week reinforced by rising oil price and weak US$ LOCAL stock market investors must by now have grown tired of hearing about the US sub-prime mortgage market, collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and what the US Federal Reserve might or might not do on interest rates. Unfortunately, like it or […]

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HK billionaire on the hunt for bargains

Now is the time to get back into stocks: Lee Shau Kee (HONG KONG) Billionaire investor Lee Shau Kee, sometimes nicknamed Hong Kong’s Warren Buffett, said that he spent more than HK$1 billion (S$185 million) in the stock market on Thursday as the first salvo in a HK$10 billion bargain hunt. ‘Now is the right […]

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CLOSING MARKET REPORT – Wall St lifted higher by retailers, banks

NEW YORK – US stocks rebounded on Friday in an abbreviated session as the start of holiday shopping lifted retail stocks, while progress in a plan to relieve the credit market’s strain aided bank shares. Shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup all rose more than 2 per cent. The three banks, spearheading […]

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October inflation hits 16-year high of 3.6%

Figure surprises economists, who say Govt may do more to cool economy CONSUMER prices rose at their fastest pace in 16 years last month as food, housing and transport costs all accelerated their rate of increase. Inflation hit 3.6 per cent, resuming an upward trend after September’s 2.7 per cent breather. Yesterday’s figure caught out […]

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4 office floors at The Arcade put up for sale

ALMOST 18 per cent of The Arcade at Raffles Place comprising four floors have been put up for sale through an expression of interest exercise, and the indicative price range is between $80 million and $90 million. Based on the indicative price, the unit price for the 32,120 sq ft of space is between $2,500-$2,800 […]

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Koh Brothers buys 2 Shell kiosks for $19.6m

It aims to use one site for condo, other for hotel project KOH Brothers has bought two petrol kiosks from Shell – one in Bukit Timah and the other in Changi – for close to $19.6 million. The first site, at 383 Bukit Timah Road, is next to Koh Brothers’ freehold serviced apartment complex, Alocassia […]

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Topshop to open China store next year

(SHANGHAI) British fashion retailer Topshop plans to open its first China store early next year, following rivals such as Inditex’s Zara and Hennes & Mauritz AB in setting up shop in the world’s fastest growing major economy, sources familiar with the situation said yesterday. Topshop had signed a deal to rent space in the Shanghai […]

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Shimao to shun debt markets for up to a year

(HONG KONG) Shimao Property Holdings Ltd, a developer owned by Chinese billionaire Hui Wing Mau, said it will shun debt markets for up to a year as yields on its dollar bonds rose to a record. The Hong Kong-listed company doesn’t plan to sell foreign- currency bonds or convertible debt in the next six to […]

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Japanese Reits likely to be takeover targets

Those trading at less than their net asset value are likely to be bought out (TOKYO) Japanese real estate trusts and asset managers may be ripe for takeovers after share prices plunged and stricter compliance guidelines raised costs, said property managers including a local real estate executive at Morgan Stanley. Regulations to boost investor protection […]

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India’s retail rents rank 16th most expensive

Khan Market in New Delhi the most costly at 950 rupees psf a month IN NEW DELHI INDIA has been ranked the 16th most expensive global retail ‘high street destination’ by a prominent real estate consultant. According to the report Main Streets Across the World 2007 by Cushman & Wakefield, Khan Market, located near the […]

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CapitaLand sets up $880m India property fund

CAPITALAND, South-east Asia’s biggest developer, yesterday said that it has successfully established its first India private property fund with a fund size of $880 million. The company first announced the fund – CapitaRetail India Development Fund – in July. The closed-end private fund has the mandate to invest in retail mall developments in India. CapitaLand […]

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Australian poll largesse risks high rates, inflation

(SYDNEY) Generous promises from Australia’s two main political parties ahead of tomorrow’s general election have stoked fears that interest rates, already at the highest in a decade, may go up even further than the market anticipates. Financial markets are pricing in a rate rise early next year, but analysts say investors might have to factor […]

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ADB warns sub-prime fallout could get worse

Financial volatility, repricing of credit risk may lead to capital flight: report IN TOKYO FALLOUT in Asia from the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, through financial and other channels, may prove heavier than expected, the Asian Development Bank warned in a report published yesterday. This came as a Bank of Japan Policy Board member cautioned that […]

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Reception for IPOs cooling as market sentiment dives

Poor debuts by recent listings fail to dampen plans by at least five firms to go public soon THE investing public’s appetite for new listings has turned sour amid the current stock-market turmoil. But the recent rocky reception for several initial public offerings (IPOs) has not deterred several more firms from making plans to list […]

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CapitaLand opens business school as CEO launches book

PROPERTY giant CapitaLand has opened its own business school at a heritage building in Sentosa. Yesterday, chief executive Liew Mun Leong also used the venue to launch a book that is a compilation of nine years of e-mail messages to his staff, written mostly on Sundays. The developer spent $10 million to renovate the building, […]

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US sub-prime losses may reach $434b, says OECD

Organisation says worst is not over and credit turmoil could wreak more havoc on markets LONDON – OVERALL losses caused by the United States mortgage market crisis could feasibly hit US$300 billion (S$434 billion), and the broader credit crunch could yet inflict greater damage on equity markets, the OECD said. ‘Thus far, equity investors seem […]

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US sub-prime woes ‘should not deter Asian bond growth’

ASIAN bond markets must continue to grow and develop, even though it was their relative lack of sophistication that spared them from the worst of the United States sub-prime crisis. A conference on regional bonds in Singapore yesterday heard that the highly complex financial products used by American and European banks are still not that […]

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Jack Investment raises Iluma project cost

Entertainment, retail mall bill to soar to $160m from $100m JACK Investment, which won the tender to build a retail and entertainment mall on a site opposite Bugis Junction in 2005, has revised its projected total investment cost from $100 million to $160 million. Project director Lim Swee Teck said that Jack Investment intends to […]

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Hot market smokes out solo land sites

19 single-owner plots worth $1.05b sold this year (SINGAPORE) With the property market running hot, it is not just collective sales that have ballooned. Over the past two years, more residential land sites owned by single owners were sold as well. So far this year, 19 residential sites owned by single owners and worth some […]

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Credo Real Estate sells 5 adjacent developments in en bloc package

Five developments with total site area of 74,355 sq ft sold to KSH for $120m FIVE in one fell swoop – taking collective sales to the next level is Credo Real Estate, which has just managed to sell a package of five neighbouring residential developments to a single developer for $120 million. The five developments, […]

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SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL – Big market in projects from int’l agencies

S’pore firms can grow their overseas businesses and leverage on the IOs’ facilities Many Singapore companies do not realise how big the market is for projects awarded by international organisations (IOs) like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank. The World Bank and ADB jointly award about US$31 billion of business projects annually through […]

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Average Grade A office rents here on par with HK

But top rents in HK are 1.8 times higher than in comparable buildings here AVERAGE island-wide Grade A rents are currently just a shade under those of Hong Kong, but the highest rents achieved by Hong Kong Grade ‘AAA’ office buildings are still about 1.8 times higher than the top rents achieved in comparable buildings […]

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Viet firm to raise funds for 11 projects

(HANOI) Saigon Thuong Tin Real Estate Joint-Stock Co, part of the same group as the only bank listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, will sell bonds and shares this year to raise capital for investments. The Ho Chi Minh City-based property developer aims to raise funds for 11 property projects, Dang Hong […]

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World’s most expensive office rentals in London, Mumbai

Singapore rents grew the fastest at 83%, says survey by CB Richard Ellis (SEATTLE) London and Mumbai tenants paid the most for high-quality offices this year, while Singapore rents grew the fastest as economic growth lured international banks to Asia, said CB Richard Ellis Group Inc, the world’s largest commercial real estate broker. London’s West […]

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Lone Star to sell Japanese hotel operator Solare

(TOKYO) Lone Star has hung a for sale sign over its Japanese hotel operator Solare Hotels and Resorts Co Ltd, sources familiar with the matter said, in a deal which could raise 150 to 200 billion yen (S$2.6 billion). The US investment fund has engaged real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle to handle the […]

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Dubai developer Damac to invest US$5b in India

It will build houses, offices, shops in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore (MUMBAI) Damac Properties, a closely held developer based in Dubai, plans to invest as much as US$5 billion in India over the next three years as a booming economy spurs demand for real estate. The developer will construct houses, offices and shops in […]

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China needs to levy property tax: official

(BEIJING) China should levy a general property tax to discourage speculation and rein in runaway real estate prices, according to a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee. Fan Gang’s comments in the latest issue of a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences magazine echo concerns voiced this week by Premier Wen Jiabao that China’s […]

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Bankers bought fewer luxury London homes in past 4 mths

(LONDON) Bankers and money managers purchased fewer luxury homes in central London in the past four months as turmoil in the credit markets escalated, real estate broker Savills plc said. Purchases of homes costing £2 million (S$6 million) to £4 million by financial services employees declined almost 26 per cent between August and last week, […]

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Ascott buys another KL serviced residence

THE Ascott Group is adding another serviced residence in Kuala Lumpur – its sixth property in Malaysia. The group said yesterday it has signed a conditional agreement to buy a 208-unit serviced residence from HSC Properties (HSCP) for RM112.5 million (S$48.3 million). The property will be named Somerset Ampang when it opens in the first […]

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US commercial property sales down 70% in Oct

But report says the five-year bull run may not be over (NEW YORK) US office building sales fell 70 per cent in October from a year earlier, yet another sign the credit crunch that began in the US housing market has spread to the commercial real estate market, Real Capital Analytics said on Tuesday. But […]

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US credit crunch – will history repeat itself?

IT was about two months ago on Sept 18 that the US Federal Reserve cut its short-term lending rate by 50 basis points to 4.75 per cent, sparking a worldwide rally in relieved stock markets. After a rise that lasted about two weeks, however, the rally then stalled. This was followed by a 25 basis […]

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No deep recession in the US, going by consensus forecasts

WHEN the respected Business Times of Singapore takes a stick to the World Bank’s humble East Asia and Pacific Update (‘World Bank’s analysis wide of the mark’, BT, Nov 20) , I sit up and take notice. What a pity, then, that your editorial, while high on sound and fury, adds little worth to either […]

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Lower US forecast again prompts flight to safety

FRIGHT turned to flight once again in financial markets yesterday, when overnight news of a lowered Fed US growth forecast for 2008 spawned yet more painful losses for Asian equities, punished favourite high-yield carry trades, but lifted the euro and Swiss franc to record highs again. Overnight, it was revealed that the US central bank’s […]

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Asia must act quickly on monetary cooperation

TOKYO CORRESPONDENT THE US dollar is on the skids and it is time for Asia to put on its skates with regard to regional monetary cooperation. The connection between the two things should be obvious, although many Asian policymakers (including those in Japan who see themselves as leaders of the pack) continue to utter facile […]

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ECs gain appeal as HDB, private home price gap widens

Easing of rules expected to increase demand for exec condos THE rising property market has brought executive condominiums (ECs) back from the brink of extinction. These homes – which are halfway between public housing and private condominiums – suddenly looked much more appealing after rules for buyers were relaxed on Tuesday. Property consultants now expect […]

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S’pore has fastest-growing prime office rents in the world: Report

It outpaces Mumbai as rents, occupancy costs rise 83% to $12.60 psf a month PRIME office rents have grown faster in Singapore than anywhere else in the world over the past year, a new report has found. The rate of increase beat even that in Mumbai, now the world’s second most expensive office market, after […]

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Five estates sold to one buyer in collective deal

FIVE small adjoining freehold apartment blocks near Thomson Road have been sold en bloc to Kim Seng Heng Realty, a subsidiary of listed KSH Holdings, for $120 million. The construction and property development group said yesterday that the combined site could be redeveloped into a high-rise residential block with about 142 luxury apartments of 1,250 […]

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TAKING STOCK – Bourses buckle across Asia on US, oil worries

ST Index falls 91 points, marking its fourth slump in five sessions REGIONAL bourses including Singapore suffered a rout yesterday in the face of fresh worries about a slowdown in the United States and record crude oil prices. The Straits Times Index (STI) plunged 91.07 points, or 2.65 per cent, to end at 3,347.20 – […]

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Dow down 163 points

UNITED States stocks plunged in early trading on fears that the fallout from credit losses and mortgage defaults will hurt economic growth. After two hours of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 163.14 points or 1.2 per cent at 12,847. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 20.3 points, or 1.4 per […]

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No resale levy for second-timers buying ECs

NEW executive condominiums (ECs) will be even more attractive now that the resale levy is no longer payable. The Housing and Development Board imposes the levy on those who sell their first flat to buy another from the board. It is a fixed sum that ranges from $15,000 to $50,000 according to flat type, and […]

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Woodlands residential site surprises with 8 bids

Evan Lim’s top bid of $56m marginally higher than Frasers Centrepoint’s A 99-year leasehold residential site in Woodlands was found to have drawn a surprising eight bidders when the government tender closed yesterday, with the top bid coming to some $56 million – or $232 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Recent government […]

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En bloc millionaires to drive market

If just two-thirds buy homes, they may spend $6b: Savills (SINGAPORE) Around 5,700 homes were sold through collective sales in the first half of this year and the home owners who will have to look for replacement homes are expected to drive the property market. A report by Savills Singapore estimates that if just two-thirds […]

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LATEST US DATA – Housing starts up 3% in Oct, permits down 6.6%

Building permits fall to 1.178m unit pace, the lowest level in 14 years (WASHINGTON) US home construction starts were up 3 per cent in October, the biggest monthly gain in eight months but building permits were down 6.6 per cent to a level not seen in 14 years, a government report yesterday showed. The Commerce […]

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GuocoLand to develop 1st project in Vietnam

The 17.5 ha integrated development will cost US$58 million GUOCOLAND yesterday broke ground on a US$58 million development in Vietnam – its first project in the country. The 17.5 ha site will be home to The Canary – an integrated development which will house some 1,200 residential apartments, a hotel, a trendy retail mall and […]

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Nina’s estate set to go to administrators

Feng shui expert files application to preserve assets of HK$100b estate IN HONG KONG THE stage is set in Hong Kong for a feisty probate battle over the fortune of Nina Wang Kum Yu-sum, once Asia’s richest woman, and control of the sprawling Chinachem property empire. The estate of Ms Wang, who died in April […]

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DIFC eyes US property, telecom, energy assets

Investments could come after dust settles on mortgage crisis: governor (DUBAI) The Dubai government agency that bought into Deutsche Bank this year said it could invest in US banks, property and other sectors after the dust settles on a mortgage crisis that has cut asset prices. Banks that have reported losses from defaults on sub-prime, […]

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Sweet collective-sale deal for 15 houses in Balestier

Each owner gets $4m – 2 to 3 times what they would have made if they sold separately IT TOOK 18 months but the owners of 15 terrace houses in Balestier have pulled off a sweet deal to match some of the collective sales that have been making headlines all year. They have banded together […]

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