Archive | November 17, 2007

Building boom set to extend past 2010 as Govt delays projects

Industry welcomes move that will ease strain on resources such as manpower SINGAPORE’S construction boom now looks assured to keep rolling until 2010 and beyond, major industry players said yesterday. They were welcoming a government move to postpone some public sector building projects in order to ease the squeeze on resources such as labour and […]

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$6m boost for HDB shops to draw crowds

About 1,500 retailers at 14 suburban centres will get help to upgrade common areas and hold promotional events SUBURBAN shoppers may soon get to relax in a trendy beer garden in Tampines or watch bird-singing competitions in Serangoon North. These new attractions are not bound for spiffy heartland malls, but humbler HDB estates, where retailers […]

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CDL’s profit up 32%, aided by sales of luxury homes

CITY Developments (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng believes that Singapore’s property market is likely to remain healthy and that there is still room for sustained growth. ‘Continued capital appreciation over the next few years is likely, and the prospects for the property sector continue to be good,’ said Mr Kwek yesterday. Shareholders would have […]

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SC Global Q3 net up more than 4-fold at $4.3m

PRIME residential developer SC Global Developments’ net profit more than quadrupled to $4.3 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, from $931,000 for the previous corresponding period. Revenue rose 4 per cent to $30 million. The group said that Q3 revenue comprised mainly the recognition of sales of the remaining units at The Tomlinson […]

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Property boom expected to continue

Robust economy, jobs growth, strong housing demand and en bloc sales proceeds are key drivers THE bullish sentiment in Singapore’s residential market continued into 2007 from where it left off in 2006. In the first nine months of this year, the market recorded a total of 29,331 sales transactions worth some $52 billion. This represents […]

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Overstretched S’pore pushes back projects worth $2b

Move to ease pressure on construction resources (SINGAPORE) The government said yesterday that it would postpone several public projects – at a time when the building boom is stretching Singapore’s construction resources to the limit. The government’s cut-back could reduce the demand for additional construction manpower in the next two years by 20-40 per cent. […]

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Modest bidding for CBD office site as caution sinks in

Top offer of $779.42 psf ppr half of next- door site’s recent bid (SINGAPORE) The new-found caution surrounding the Singapore office market is now spilling over to the Central Business District. Reflecting this, a site at Marina View diagonally behind One Shenton yesterday attracted a top bid from Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) of $779.42 […]

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Interest-only loans: the pros and cons

They make sense to short-term investors and individuals who are high income earners and in high tax brackets, says BEN FOK  CONSUMERS are constantly bombarded with offers of loans, overdrafts, credit cards and instalment plans that promise instant gratification. We cannot avoid debt entirely, especially when it comes to acquiring the big ticket items, and […]

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Ho Bee posts 297% jump in Q3 earnings

Revenue up 137.9% due mainly to a 149% rise in development properties’ sale HO Bee Investment, the dominant residential developer at Sentosa Cove, yesterday posted net earnings of $39.27 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, up 297 per cent from $9.89 million a year earlier. The jump was on a 137.9 per cent […]

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Separate deals, but court rules it’s en bloc deal

UOL unit says 53 separate contracts signed; at stake is $286,200 in stamp duty (SINGAPORE) En bloc sale or 53 separate contracts entered into by individual owners of the apartments to sell? That was the $286,000 question that emerged in the High Court in what can be described as a test case for property developers […]

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Essential homework before taking loan

KEVIN LAM discusses five key areas that your home loan banker would be looking very closely at THIS has been a special year for the property market. Not since the early 1990s has there been such euphoria about the property market – long queues at property launches, stories of someone we know making fast money […]

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Time to redraw your retirement plan

Longer life expectancy and erosion of traditional pension schemes signal that retirees may outlive their assets, says KURT REIMAN RETIREMENTS are becoming ever longer and more costly. Pensioners need to save enough to fund a comfortable life and to ensure they can leave assets to the next generation. Retirement, in its current form, will soon […]

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Tactical asset allocation models cut risks

ARJUNA MAHENDRAN examines the use of total return strategies as a way of riding out turbulent stock markets THE stock market boom that started back in 2003 is expected to continue in the medium term. However, an analysis of longer-term market cycles shows that equity investors must brace themselves for more volatility in the short term. […]

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Putting Asian markets in perspective

While valuations are no longer cheap, it is not difficult to find stable growth companies with good cash flows and yields, says TAN LYNN DAH THIS has been a bountiful year for Asian equity markets, with Asian bourses scaling new peaks and regional economies enjoying prodigious growth. As one of the fastest growing regions in […]

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MONEY MATTERS – Never react to market chatter

Investors tempted to flee the US stock market, given the bad news coming out of America, might do well to reconsider THERE has been no dearth of sensational headlines relating to the financial world in the media over the past few weeks. Oil prices are fast approaching US$100 per barrel. Financial institutions are taking accounting […]

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JLL sees Asia as safe haven amid sub-prime debris

Region could benefit as investors reallocate funds from US, Europe (LONDON) Asia provides a ‘safe haven’ for property investors as returns decline on US and European assets because of sub-prime mortgage losses, said commercial real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle. ‘The region could be a beneficiary of the fallout as investors reallocate funds from the […]

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Inflation back to 6.5% in Oct as food prices rise

More monetary tightening, further rate hikes seen to rein in inflation (BEIJING) China’s consumer prices rose sharply in October, tying a decade- high monthly inflation rate of 6.5 per cent, the government reported yesterday, adding to pressure for measures to cool a politically sensitive surge in food prices. Food prices jumped 17.6 per cent in […]

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Credit squeeze won’t hit emerging markets

ALLAN CONWAY and NICHOLAS FIELD explain why emerging markets would be able to withstand any global contagion from the US housing market collapse THERE are now growing fears of global contagion from the US housing market collapse. Will emerging markets be able to withstand this threat? We think they can, and here’s why. First, a […]

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Still positive on Asian equities

Region will continue to expand at a respectable pace even if below-potential US growth extends into 2008. DESPITE a credit crisis emanating from the US and fresh highs in oil prices, global stock markets have broken records again this year. In Asia, especially since the August turmoil, investors have experienced impressive returns. Most regional equity […]

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MGM Mirage to open first casino in Macau in Dec

(LAS VEGAS) Casino developer MGM Mirage Inc said on Monday it would open its debut property in the Chinese gambling destination of Macau on Dec 18. The US$1.25 billion project is a joint venture with Pansy Ho, daughter of Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho, a gambling industry veteran. The resort will feature 600 rooms, suites […]

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Surprisingly low bids for Marina View site

Top offer of $952m a sign that property investors could be turning cautious BARELY two months after a site at Marina View fetched a record $2.02 billion, a similar plot next door has managed only half that price. The unexpectedly low bids for the plot, which was seen as highly attractive, came on top of […]

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HORIZON TOWERS HEARING – DTZ: $500m was best en bloc price possible

Site unattractive; but ex-sales committee member says higher offers were received $500 million – the amount it eventually attracted – was realistically the best price Horizon Towers could have fetched in an en bloc sale, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director Tang Wei Leng told the Strata Titles Board (STB) yesterday. She was one of several […]

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Lippo launches retail Reit IPO, aims to treble size by end-09

Trust comprises 7 Indonesian malls and 7 retail spaces in other malls THE Lippo Group aims to triple the portfolio size of its latest real estate investment trust (Reit) to $3 billion by end-2009, the Reit’s manager said yesterday. The Lippo-Mapletree Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIR Trust), which will be the first Singapore-listed Reit to offer […]

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IRAS to raise annual values of HDB flats

Market rental values have increased significantly, it says THE Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is raising annual values (AVs) for all Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat types for the first time in about four years, to reflect the ‘significant increase in their market rental values’. From Jan 1, 2008, the average AVs will […]

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No plans for more measures to cool property market: Mah Bow Tan

(SINGAPORE) No further measures are planned to cool Singapore’s booming property market, the government said yesterday, following the end of the deferred payment scheme (DPS) for buying uncompleted private properties. ‘There is no need and there is no intention for us to take any further action,’ National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said in Parliament […]

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3 Bukit Timah properties up for joint collective sale

THREE adjoining freehold properties at Robin Drive, off Bukit Timah Road, have been put up for joint collective sale. Credo Real Estate, the marketing agent representing the majority owners of Robin Court and Robin Star and the sole owner of No 1 Robin Drive, has indicated a price range of $128-138 million for the combined […]

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Inflation may hit 5% in Q1 ’08 as oil, food prices head north

But Singapore’s competitiveness still intact: Hng Kiang (SINGAPORE) Singapore’s inflation rate could hit 5 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 on the back of record oil prices and higher food and transportation costs, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang told Parliament yesterday. ‘We expect (inflation in) the first quarter of next year […]

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Fears of bigger sub-prime losses spook markets

Asian stocks take a beating, with Singapore’s STI sliding a hefty 2.5% (SINGAPORE) Stock markets around the region were again mauled yesterday in a widely expected retreat after share indices in the United States ended sharply lower on Friday. The sell-offs on Wall Street last week and those around Asia yesterday were triggered by fears […]

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Sub-prime woes continue to hold sway

ST Index hits two-month low after 2.5 per cent fall, in line with Hang Seng Index AS EXPECTED, the local stock market was unhinged yesterday by Wall Street’s continuing fears over the impact the sub- prime crisis might have on its earnings and the US economy, fears which have now rendered the two interest rate […]

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Soilbuild bags industrial site for $12.2m

JTC Corporation has awarded a 21,871 square metre (235,417 sq ft) industrial site at L7 Pioneer Road/Tuas Avenue 11 to property-based Soilbuild Group Holdings for $12.2 million. Based on the maximum plot ratio of 1.4, the cost for the site works out to be $398 per sq metre/gross plot ratio. The industrial site is on […]

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Bakrieland plans 1t rupiah bond issue

(JAKARTA) Indonesian property developer PT Bakrieland Development Tbk plans to issue 1 trillion rupiah (S$157.8 million) worth of bonds early next year, to finance the development of its property projects, a local newspaper reported yesterday. Bisnis Indonesia said the bonds will have a maturity of 5-10 years and the funds will be used to develop […]

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NZ house sales down 23%

(WELLINGTON) New Zealand house sales fell 23 per cent in October from a year earlier, adding to signs the property market is slowing after interest rates rose to a record. House sales dropped to 6,854 homes, from 8,857 a year earlier, according to a report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc. Sales […]

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JLL to take control of Japanese Reit eAsset

The Tokyo Stock Exchange Reit index has declined 11% this year (TOKYO) Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL), the world’s second-largest commercial real estate broker, will gain control of eAsset in the first takeover in Japan’s 4.9 trillion yen (S$63 billion) Reit market. LaSalle Investment Management Inc will buy Asset Realty Managers Co, the asset manager […]

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ART buys rental apartments in Tokyo

ASCOTT Residence Trust (ART) is acquiring more than 500 rental apartments in 18 blocks in Tokyo for 12.2 billion yen (S$158.6 million). The properties, the subject of a conditional sales and purchase agreement, are being acquired from a private equity firm. There are a total of 509 units in eight wards in Tokyo – Shinjuku, […]

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UK home prices may decline in ’08: Citigroup

(LONDON) UK house prices may fall next year as a ‘toxic mix’ of higher interest rates, overvaluation and record debt deters property investors, Citigroup Inc said. ‘We suspect that the number of buy-to-let home purchases will fall outright in 2008, hence contributing to a sharp drop in overall housing turnover’ and a price decline of between […]

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Rising oil prices may mean US recession

US growth expected to slow to less than 2% in the fourth quarter (NEW YORK) Rising fuel prices that businesses and consumers took in stride earlier this year may now be near the point of pushing the weakened US economy into recession. ‘We are in a danger zone,’ says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global […]

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NY mayor’s housing plan faces risks: report

More progress made in preserving existing homes than creating new units (NEW YORK) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 10-year plan to create 165,000 new and renovated units of below-market ‘affordable’ housing by 2013 may encounter difficulty reaching its goal, the city’s Independent Budget Office said. In a study released on Friday, the agency created to […]

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Mortgage market losses may hit US$400b

(NEW YORK) Losses from the falling value of sub-prime mortgage assets may reach US$300 billion to US$400 billion worldwide, Deutsche Bank AG analysts said. Wall Street’s largest banks and brokers will be forced to write down as much as US$130 billion because of the slump in subprime-related debt, according to a report yesterday by Mike […]

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Foreign cash could provide relief for US housing market

Some mortgage brokers are already seeing a boost in inquiries about buying property from overseas (NEW YORK) The weakening dollar has caused many problems for consumers, but it may also be providing the fuel for one unintended – and very welcome – benefit: a rally in the struggling US housing market driven by foreign investors. […]

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Property market: No further plans to cool it

Govt assurance dampens speculation on capital gains tax   THE Government is not planning any fresh measures to cool the property market for now, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said yesterday. His statement effectively hosed down speculation that a capital gains tax might be reintroduced to stop people flipping units for quick gains. The […]

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Annual values of HDB flats to rise

GET ready to pay more property tax next year. Along with the rise in home prices, the taxman is revising the value of most properties upwards. However, rebates given to offset the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) hike this year will soften the move’s impact. The annual values of all types of […]

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Inflation could hit 5% early next year, then taper off

AS CONSUMER prices continue to rise, inflation in Singapore will likely surge to 4 or 5 per cent in the first quarter of next year. But it should taper off by the second half of the year to ‘more normal conditions’, said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang yesterday. The average rate for next […]

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Lippo may launch new Reits worth $5.8b

INDONESIAN conglomerate Lippo Group plans to list two or three real estate investment trusts (Reits) worth about US$4 billion (S$5.8 billion) in Singapore within the next two to three years, its president Stephen Riady said yesterday. He spoke after the launch of Lippo’s Lippo-Mapletree Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIR Trust), the second the group has sponsored […]

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S’pore won’t fight inflation with price controls: PM Lee

Rising cost of living for lower-income, elderly to be met in other ways (SINGAPORE) The government is unlikely to impose controls on food or utility prices in response to rising inflation, but will continue to use other ways to help Singaporeans cope with the cost of living, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday. Although […]

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S’pore still top HQ choice but China closing in: report

Republic scores on economic policies, infrastructure and political stability MULTINATIONAL companies (MNCs) in the Asia-Pacific still see Singapore as the best place to base their regional headquarters but China is catching up fast, according to a survey. The findings by Spire Research & Consulting show that manufacturing companies based in Asia-Pacific still consider Singapore the […]

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Lippo, Mapletree price Reit listing at 80cents a unit

INDONESIA’S Lippo Group and Singapore’s Mapletree Investments have priced a US$358 million (S$516.2million) initial public offering (IPO) for their joint property trust at 80 cents per unit, at the lower end of an indicative range. The IPO for the Lippo-Mapletree Indonesia Retail Trust will sell 645.469 million units, according to a prospectus submitted late last […]

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WARRANT WATCH – Turbulent market puts spotlight on STI contracts

THE choppy market conditions and the recent correction in the Singapore bourse have drawn investors’ attention to warrants of the Straits Times Index (STI). The STI has been plagued by soaring crude oil prices, a weaker US dollar and lingering fears about the American sub-prime problem. These factors combined to lower the STI by 73.34 […]

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TAKING STOCK – S’pore bourse may face fresh selldown

Regional banks set to be hit hardest by fear of US fallout spreading to Asia WALL Street’s late selldown last Friday bodes ill for Asian markets as they open for trading today. What may un-nerve traders is the contagion that seems to be spreading across Wall Street, as more United States banks unveiled write-downs on […]

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RESERVE RATIO AT 20-YEAR HIGH – Regional fallout expected as China curbs lending again

BEIJING – ASIA’S financial markets are bracing themselves for the fallout after China ordered banks to put aside more reserves for the ninth time this year to cool a red-hot economy, stock and property markets. The 0.5 percentage point rise in banks’ reserve ratio will take effect on Nov 26 and bring the ratio for […]

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HIGH OIL PRICES – A bubble that’s hard to prick

OIL prices are testing US$100 (S$144) a barrel, a key psychological threshold. Once over that hump, how much higher will the price go? Of course, given oil’s limited supply and the world’s expanding appetite, lowpriced oil will never come again. That, however, is different from another consideration: Whether current high prices are truly reflective of supply […]

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