Archive | November 13, 2007

Merrill reveals $9b more in risky debts

NEW YORK – MERRILL Lynch said on Wednesday that its total exposure to risky collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and sub-prime mortgages is US$27.2 billion (S$39.3 billion) – about US$6.3 billion (S$9.1 billion) more than the sum disclosed late last month. The larger figure comes about mostly because of a deeper level of disclosure surrounding its […]

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Horizon Towers sale could be timed out by tribunal decision

STB says it is not bound to rule by sale completion date; lawsuit looms (SINGAPORE) The Strata Titles Board (STB) tribunal has delivered a startling decision that could spell the end of the en bloc sale of Horizon Towers. The ruling could in turn resurrect the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the buyers against the […]

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Katong Hostel wins master lease tender for Tiong Bahru flats

THE Housing & Development Board (HDB) yesterday awarded the tender for the master lease of 120 three- and four-room vacated flats in Tiong Bahru to Katong Hostel at a tender price of $230,280 per month. The company was the highest of 15 bidders at the tender which closed on Oct 9. Katong Hostel will be […]

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Climate Change plans ‘green buildings’ fund

It will start meeting investors in Q12008 to raise ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars (SINGAPORE) Climate Change Capital, a London-based fund manager and adviser on global warming, plans to start a fund to invest in properties that use energy more efficiently. Climate Change, which manages about US$1.6 billion, will start meeting investors in the first […]

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HSBC raises US$1.5b for fund, eyes Indian realty

(MUMBAI) Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC), which recently raised US$1.5 billion, aims to invest 40 per cent of that in Indian realty, the Business Standard reported yesterday. This is in addition to its growth fund investments of about US$600 million in India, it said. ‘At the Asia PE (private equity) fund level, we have […]

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Ciputra Property slumps on trading debut

(JAKARTA) Shares in Indonesian property firm PT Ciputra Property Tbk plunged nearly 13 per cent on their debut yesterday, wiping out early gains, as investors feared interest rates might have reached bottom, dampening demand for new homes. The stock hit an intraday low of 600 rupiah, compared to an initial public offering (IPO) price of […]

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VastNed rejects IEF Capital bid

(AMSTERDAM) Dutch property group VastNed Retail rejected a 70 euro per share, 1.15 billion euro (S$2.4 billion) intended bid from a group led by IEF Capital, saying that it was well below its real value. VastNed Retail said in a statement that it saw no reason for further talks with IEF Capital about its plans […]

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Value of Liberty’s malls slides in Q3

Higher borrowing costs and stricter credit controls hurt commercial property (LONDON) Liberty International plc, owner of MetroCentre and other UK malls, says the value of these properties fell in the third quarter as higher borrowing costs and stricter credit controls hurt the commercial property market. The London-based company’s 14 shopping centres were valued at £6.11 […]

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US$ slumps as China looks to park reserves elsewhere

Greenback is losing status as world currency, says China central bank official THE US dollar slumped to a record low against the euro after Chinese officials signalled plans to diversify the nation’s US$1.43 trillion of foreign exchange reserves in response to a falling US currency. ‘We will favour stronger currencies over weaker ones, and will […]

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Raffles Place retailers face space crunch, soaring rents

Rent may double for some, with near full occupancy and no fresh supply of space in the short term SOARING rents for retail office space at Raffles Place have stunned Ms Yeap Cheng Guat, the executive director of Cedele By Bakery Depot, which has two outlets in the major office hub. ‘Rents have gone up […]

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Tiong Bahru Sers flats to be rented for up to $4,500

Winning bidder in HDB pilot scheme aims to target foreign students, expatriates A COMPANY that has just won an HDB tender in a pilot scheme plans to rent out 120 flats at Tiong Bahru for up to $4,500 a month to foreign students and expatriates. It is the first step to boost the supply of […]

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Cost of building Sentosa IR may climb to $6b

Resorts World factors in rising construction costs, new attractions, improved designs (SINGAPORE) The cost of the integrated resort (IR) on Sentosa could climb to as much as $6 billion – from an original $5.2 billion – as building costs escalate and more attractions are added. Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) yesterday said that it has […]

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Grange Heights tender opens

THE tender for the collective sale of Grange Heights has been launched. And sources say the reserve price could be around $845 million, or $2,200 psf per plot ratio (ppr). No development charge is payable for the 136,678 sq ft freehold plot, according to marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle. Owners controlling more than 80 per […]

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Tampines office site attracts just one bid

Property consultants wonder if caution is creeping into this sector (SINGAPORE) In a possible reflection that caution among developers may be extending to the office sector, a tender for a transitional office site in Tampines yesterday drew just one bid – from City Developments Ltd’s (CDL) unit Glades Properties. And its bid of $10 million, […]

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HORIZON TOWERS HEARING – ‘I don’t believe anything in the papers’

Sales committee member grilled on why he didn’t take heed of rising prices (SINGAPORE) Suggestions that the Horizon Towers sales committee failed to act in owners’ best interests took centrestage when the Strata Titles Board (STB) hearing resumed yesterday. The serious mien of the session was, however, periodically broken by moments of frivolity – some […]

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Cost of building Sentosa IR may climb to $6b

Resorts World factors in rising construction costs, new attractions, improved designs (SINGAPORE) The cost of the integrated resort (IR) on Sentosa could climb to as much as $6 billion – from an original $5.2 billion – as building costs escalate and more attractions are added. Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) yesterday said that it has […]

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OCBC’s $221m writedown to cut CDO losses

Bank hopes aggressive move will lift shadow from future earnings as market for ABS CDOs dries up (SINGAPORE) The market for some debt instruments linked to US sub-prime mortgages that were popular with banks worldwide ‘has come to a virtual standstill’, said OCBC Bank yesterday. This led it to slash the value of its portfolio […]

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Soros warns of ‘serious’ US economic correction

He says things are worse than what Fed chief sees (NEW YORK) Billionaire investor George Soros has forecast that the US economy is ‘on the verge of a very serious economic correction’ after decades of overspending. ‘We have borrowed an awful lot of money and now the bill is coming to us,’ he said during […]

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US$ won’t fall further against euro: Greenspan

But greenback will weaken against Asian units over the long term, he says (TOKYO) Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said the US currency is unlikely to weaken further against the euro, though over the long term it will fall against Asian currencies. ‘The euro-US currency adjustment is already finished,’ Mr Greenspan said at a […]

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Jump in number of new PRs, citizens

Record number likely this year; upswing will help tackle population problem THE number of foreigners becoming either Singapore citizens or permanent residents will likely hit a new record this year. And the upswing will go some way in tackling Singapore’s population problem, a key long-term challenge. About 7,300 Singapore citizenships were granted in the first […]

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JOINT OFFICE-TOWER PROJECT – Lum Chang in venture to develop Anson site

A PROPERTY fund that won the tender for a leasehold office plot on Anson Road has roped in construction group Lum Chang Holdings to jointly develop the site. Lum Chang will take a 5 per cent stake in Firstoffice, a vehicle set up to develop the land. The remaining 95 per cent is held by […]

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Horizon Towers owners renew objections to sale at hearing

THE home owners opposed to the $500 million collective sale of Horizon Towers have renewed their complaints that the sale was not handled properly, resulting in a price that was too low given a fast-rising market. They were opening their case to stop the sale in front of the Strata Titles Board (STB) yesterday with […]

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Sentosa IR to cost $800m more, says Genting

Higher construction and labour costs and new attractions will bring the bill to $6b THE price tag for Genting’s Resorts World at Sentosa will be bigger than expected as a result of higher construction costs and additional attractions, such as a new roller coaster, being lined up. Genting International now expects to spend $6 billion […]

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Ex-F&N chief joins Ng Teng Fong’s property business

Han Cheng Fong to head Sino Group’s China division, Far East International JUST a month after his exit as chief executive officer (CEO) of Fraser & Neave (F&N) caused a swirl of controversy, Dr Han Cheng Fong has landed himself a new job. Dr Han, 65, has joined the operations of property tycoon Ng Teng […]

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Citi shares fall on mounting woes, downgrades

Bank fails to reassure investors; stocks down 5% on Monday at 4 1/2-year low NEW YORK – CITIGROUP’S problems deepened, as its nearly pristine credit ratings were downgraded and with the United States banking giant unable to assure investors that a potential US$11 billion (S$16 billion) writedown for US sub-prime mortgages will not grow. ‘There’s […]

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Citigroup’s losses are just the tip of the iceberg

Escalating fallout raises worries that investors do not have basic data to judge severity of crisis NEW YORK – CITIGROUP’S bombshell that it faces as much as US$11 billion (S$16 million) more in credit losses has made one thing clear. No one really knows what evil lurks in the sub-prime bond basement. JPMorgan thinks that […]

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US dollar’s fall expected to end next year

Investor appetite for greenback will return as growth outside the US slows: Lehman THE US dollar’s tumble to a record low against the euro and its weakest in 26 years against the British pound will end next year, said Lehman Brothers head of currency research Jim McCormick. Slowing economic growth will spread from the United […]

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COMMENTARY – Bank’s explanation for sub-prime losses defies belief

NEW YORK – CITIGROUP says it isn’t sure how much its United States sub-prime-related assets have fallen in value this quarter. Maybe it is US$8 billion (S$11.6 billion). Maybe it is US$11 billion. On one point, though, Citigroup is not budging: It says none of these declines began until after the last quarter ended. The […]

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Hugo Boss leads the way with IR boutique

It’s the first luxury brand to confirm a space at Marina Bay Sands IR LUXURY brand Hugo Boss will set up a 2,000 square feet boutique in the upcoming Marina Bay Sands integrated resort (IR) – the first luxury brand to confirm taking space there – as it seeks to grow its sales in Singapore […]

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Chinatown shophouse put up for auction at $3m

Price for the leasehold property works out to $4,274 psf (SINGAPORE) A restored three-storey shophouse at the corner of Trengganu and Temple streets, often featured as an icon of Singapore’s Chinatown area, has been put up for auction. The owner’s indicative price is $3 million for the property, which is on a site with a […]

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CDL-Wachovia JV buying two blocks at Cliveden at Grange

CDL hints it may retain units in some future residential developments A JOINT venture between City Developments Ltd (CDL) and US-based Wachovia Development Corporation is buying two blocks at CDL’s Cliveden at Grange condo for $432.4 million or an average price of about $3,750 per sq ft (psf). And according CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng […]

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Hoteliers targeting US$115b Asian market

Global operators on building spree to lure free-spending Asians abroad (HONG KONG/MUMBAI) Global hoteliers are riding a building boom in Asia, and using plush new hotels as giant advertisements to lure newly rich Chinese and Indians to their US and European properties. Operators such as InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Hotels Corp are growing fast […]

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Inflation risks remain high: Citigroup

CPI may not be capturing full extent of inflation pressures: report OVERHEATING and inflation risks in Singapore remain high and further monetary tightening may be on the cards, says Citigroup. While recent government remarks suggest that the economy is not overheating, the US bank – in a Singapore Market Weekly report published yesterday – is […]

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Sports Hub may cost $1b

(SINGAPORE) The Sports Hub could cost as much as $1 billion to build, some $200 million more than the higher end of the original estimates, it was suggested yesterday. The new costings emerged as the three bidders presented their proposals to build the nation’s mega-sports complex through a public-private partnership – said to be a […]

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Market hit by property, bank fears

ST Index suffers 1.2 per cent fall, due also to sharp plunge in Hang Seng Index SINGAPORE stocks started the week yesterday on a sour note due to renewed fears in the property and financial sectors, and a sharp plunge in Hong Kong’s main share index. The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 45.14 points or […]

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Gramercy stock sale raises US$100m

(EDINBURGH) Gramercy Capital Corp, a US investment trust that specialises in commercial loans, has raised US$100 million in a share sale to Morgan Stanley’s real estate unit. Gramercy sold 3.81 million shares at US$26.25 to an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Special Situations Fund III, New York-based Gramercy said in a statement yesterday. Gramercy […]

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SP Setia to go into commercial, luxury projects

Group to sell 15 high-end bungalows at RM30 million each next year (KUALA LUMPUR) Property developer SP Setia Bhd, which currently has 2,160 hectares of undeveloped landbank worth RM30 billion (S$13 billion) in gross development value (GDV), plans to focus on luxury and commercial development projects. Its group managing director and chief executive officer, Liew […]

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Average UK lease term getting shorter

(LONDON) Challenging UK retail trading conditions have forced commercial real estate landlords to slash lease lengths to attract and keep tenants in their properties, data showed yesterday. The 10th Annual Lease Review, published by the British Property Federation (BPF) and Investment Property Databank, showed that the average length of a lease fell from 6.2 years […]

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London luxury home prices lose momentum

Homes worth at least £2.5m pounds up just 0.3% in Oct, slowest pace since July ’05 (LONDON) Luxury-home prices in London rose last month at the slowest pace since July 2005 as the prospect of job cuts and smaller bonuses deterred investment bankers and other buyers, Knight Frank LLC said. The average price of houses […]

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Sub-prime woes may hit 10-year Treasuries next

(NEW YORK) The US housing slowdown that propelled 10-year Treasuries to their biggest gains since 2002 may soon make the same securities laggards in the government bond market. The notes returned 9.6 per cent since mid-June as investors sought a haven from credit market losses caused by sub-prime mortgages, Merrill Lynch index data shows. Sales […]

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Markets shudder as Citigroup’s profit engine stalls, writedowns rise

CEO steps down; bank’s sub-prime hit may reach US$11b (NEW YORK) Citigroup Inc, the profit engine built by Sanford ‘Sandy’ Weill, has seized up. The biggest US bank by assets said yesterday that sub-prime mortgages and related securities lost as much as US $11 billion of their value in the past month, a decline that […]

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