Archive | November 18, 2007

The next step in reinventing S’pore

It must have a tool to attract foreign SMEs that are incipient MNCs before they are lured by Hong Kong or Shanghai   ATTRACTING regional offices here is not the only way for Singapore to achieve its ambition of being a regional hub by leveraging on the rapid rise of Asia. It’s timely to also […]

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Keppel Land to develop big housing project in Shanghai

It buys company with 26.4ha Nanhui site for $13.6m KEPPEL Land is embarking on a large-scale residential project in Shanghai. The Singapore-based developer announced yesterday that it has, through two subsidiaries, acquired full ownership of Shanghai Hongda Property Development for about $13.6 million. Shanghai Hongda owns a 26.4-hectare residential site in Xinchang Town, in Nanhui […]

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HORIZON TOWERS HEARING – Majority owners fault sales committee

It should have reverted to them before closing deal at just reserve price MORE displeasure was expressed at the Strata Titles Board (STB) hearing into the Horizon Towers sale yesterday – this time, not from the minority owners who opposed an en bloc sale but the majority owners who agreed to it. They found fault […]

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Home sales dive in upmarket core, pick up elsewhere

Bourse turmoil, sub-prime problems cited for foreign investors’ caution   (SINGAPORE) The private housing momentum is shifting decisively as sales and launches flag in the Core Central Region (where upmarket homes are located) but appear to be picking up in other areas. In the so-called Outside Central Region – which includes suburban mass-market housing locales […]

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Another CBD condo site draws weaker bids

Observers say developers hoping to pick up bargains and average down costs (SINGAPORE) Some developers yesterday took advantage of the current dip in sentiment caused by the stockmarket turmoil to go fishing for land on the cheap. A state tender for a 99-year condo site at Enggor Street behind Icon drew a top bid of […]

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China’s housing price inflation hits new high

(BEIJING) Housing price inflation in China hit a new monthly high of 9.5 per cent in October despite government efforts to cool the boom, a state news agency reported yesterday. The October rate was up 0.6 percentage point from September’s housing price inflation, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the government’s National Bureau of Statistics. […]

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3 Chinese property firms plan to tap US$4b in HK floats

Investor interest high despite moves to cool market   (HONG KONG) Three big Chinese property firms plan to hit the Hong Kong market next year to raise a combined US$4 billion, tapping heavy investor demand despite government tightening measures aimed at cooling a scorching property sector.   Hengda Real Estate Group aims to raise US$1 […]

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World Bank sees robust East Asia growth next year

But if oil prices hit new highs, region’s resilience will be tested, it cautions   IN TOKYO THE East Asian economies will continue to see robust growth next year despite a likely US slowdown, but new highs for oil prices will test the region’s resilience, says the World Bank.   The bank has, in its […]

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Horizon Towers hearing over, Strata Titles Board yet to rule

PUBLIC hearings on the hotly-disputed $500 million collective sale of Horizon Towers drew to a close at the Strata Titles Board (STB) yesterday. But it is still unclear if the STB will hand down a result by Dec 11: the sale completion deadline for the 99- year leasehold property. Both sides – those for and […]

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Lower bids for Enggor St condo site could signal cooling market

Top offer a far cry from that for neighbouring parcel sold two weeks ago A CONDOMINIUM site in Tanjong Pagar raised eyebrows yesterday when it drew lower bids than a neighbouring plot, which was sold just two weeks ago.   In a market that has been booming, this is the latest in a series of […]

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Housing prices in China shoot up

BEIJING – CHINA‘S housing prices rose at their fastest rate yet last month despite government efforts to cool the boom and ensure adequate supplies of homes for the poor, according to data reported yesterday.   The sharp gains of 9.5 per cent have inflated assets of Chinese who already own property, helping to produce dozens […]

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Rosy figures but forex losses, write-downs cloud horizon

Overall profits rise a third to $7.2b despite hiccups at some companies THE profit numbers certainly look good but confidence has been shaken with investors left with more questions than answers.  As of last night, the profits of 258 Singapore-listed companies with third quarters ending on Sept 30 totalled $7.21 billion. This is 32 per […]

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9 Hougang blocks to be torn down for estate makeover

Move aimed at better land use, says HDB; part of area will be used for private homes NINE blocks of rental flats, shops and workshops, and a hawker centre in the opposition ward of Hougang are being cleared by the Housing Board.   The board said yesterday that the move was ‘part of ongoing plans […]

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Credit crisis ‘unlikely to faze East Asia’

World Bank expects region to shrug off sub-prime woes, high oil prices to log in solid growth THE sub-prime crisis in the United States is not posing a significant risk to East Asia‘s rapid growth, according to the latest World Bank forecasts.   The region is expected to expand by a solid 8.2 per cent […]

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Frustrated Taiwanese rage against rising prices

Consumers heckle govt leaders over economic hardship as elections loom   TAIPEI – THE stout man in a blue apron was busy handing out discounted fried dough stuffed with minced green scallions to Taiwanese office workers in a back alley lined with low-priced eateries.   ‘Prices of everything from soybean oil to flour to scallions […]

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China’s prosperity a boon for S’pore: MM Lee

Minister Mentor lauds efforts at greening Beijing before Olympics A GROWING and prosperous China is good for Singapore, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said yesterday.   Mr Lee, who is in Beijing to meet China‘s top leaders, made the remarks when he held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Trade and investment between the […]

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China economy may be 40% smaller than estimated

About 300m Chinese living below poverty line, three times larger than current estimates   WASHINGTON – CHINA‘S economy is actually 40 per cent smaller than most recent estimates, a United States economist has said, citing a new way of measuring growth based on purchasing power.  Dr Albert Keidel, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment […]

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US consumer prices, jobless claims increase

Market expectation of another interest rate cut next month rises to 90% WASHINGTON – CONSUMER prices in the United States rose a brisk 0.3 per cent last month, driven by the sharpest rise in energy costs in five months, a government report showed yesterday. Another report, meanwhile, showed that jobless claims were higher than anticipated. […]

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Credit crisis, inflation threaten world growth, says Fukui

GLOBAL economic growth is under increasing threat from two fronts – the United States sub-prime crisis and soaring commodities prices that may push up inflation. The warning came from Bank of Japan governor Toshihiko Fukui at a function in Singapore last night. He said the sub-prime turmoil could severely disrupt financial markets, which could then […]

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US$ still the anchor of Chinese reserves

Central bank official affirms policy after calls for a switch to stronger currencies   WASHINGTON – THE US dollar will remain the anchor currency of China‘s massive foreign reserves, despite suggestions that they were too heavily skewed towards the weakening greenback, said a senior Chinese central bank official. Mr Yi Gang, the People’s Bank of […]

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Soilbuild buys site for condo project

(SINGAPORE) Listed developer Soilbuild Group Holdings yesterday said that it bought a landed site off Meyer Road which it plans to amalgamate with Margate Mansion for a small luxury condominium project. The group’s latest purchase is 10 Margate Road. It paid $30.8 million for the 16,967 sq ft freehold site. Together with Margate Mansion, total […]

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S’pore home price gains set to slow

Buyers holding back purchases on US sub-prime fears, says Frasers CEO (SINGAPORE) Singapore’s home prices will probably increase at a slower pace as buyers hold back their purchases amid the US subprime crisis, said Lim Ee Seng, chief executive officer of Frasers Centrepoint Group. Losses related to US housing mortgages have sapped consumer confidence, Mr […]

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Staging adrenalin-pumping shows

CLARISSA TAN highlights some of the high-profile sporting events in the Marina Bay area, including next year’s Singapore Grand Prix SLEEK machines zoom under flyovers and streak past the towers of Suntec City, the Padang, the Old Supreme Court and the Esplanade theatres before screeching down the pit straight, where spectators emit a thunderous roar. […]

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HORIZON TOWERS HEARING – ‘Penthouses cost $20m, $30m…where am I to go?’

Apportionment method is unfair, argue some penthouse owners (SINGAPORE) The minority owners of Horizon Towers who are objecting to the en bloc sale of the development took the stand for the first time yesterday, putting forth their reasons as to why the collective sale should not go through. Arguments on how the penthouse owners would […]

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HSBC writes off US$3.4b on mortgages in Q3

But it says those losses were more than offset by revenue growth in the group (LONDON) HSBC Holdings is taking a US$3.4 billion charge against third-quarter profits because of accelerating losses in its HSBC Finance Corp mortgage business in the United States. However, in a trading update the company said that those losses were ‘more […]

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HPL earnings jump to $15.2m

NET profit for Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL) jumped to $15.2 million for the third quarter ended September, from $10.8 million for the corresponding period last year. Q3 revenues increased 45 per cent from $76.3 million to $110.4 million. ‘The increase was mainly attributable to the group’s hotels and resorts in Maldives, Bali and Singapore,’ said […]

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CDL Q3 earnings jump 32.1% to $169.5m

Nine-month profit soars 128.5% to $490m; record full-year profit seen CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) looks headed for record profits for full-year 2007 after achieving net earnings of $169.5 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, and $490 million for the first nine months. Third-quarter earnings were up 32.1 per cent and nine-month earnings 128.5 […]

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High oil price demands good policies

IT would be a fallacy to imagine that the prospect of a US$100 price tag for a barrel of oil will lead to a push for renewable fuels any time soon. Simply put, there is nothing definitive yet on the horizon offering a reliable, continuous and cheap alternative in the face of mounting energy demand. […]

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China house prices rise fastest in two years

Prices in 70 major cities surge 9.5% in Oct; property buys up as inflation soars (HONG KONG) China’s house prices rose in October at the fastest pace since 2005 as inflation outpaced returns on bank deposits, encouraging households to invest in property. Prices in 70 major cities jumped 9.5 per cent from a year earlier […]

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China developer plans 3.9b yuan rights issue

(SHANGHAI) Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Development Company said yesterday that it plans to raise 3.9 billion yuan (S$760 million) through a rights offer. The developer of Shanghai’s major high-tech industrial park will use the proceeds from the rights issue to buy assets from its parent, develop property projects and supplement its working capital, the company […]

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Obayashi plans to invest 200b yen in real estate

It seeks to gain from rising property value, reduce dependence on building business (TOKYO) Obayashi Corp, Japan’s second-largest construction company by market value, plans to invest 200 billion yen (S$2.6 billion) in property to take advantage of rising values and reduce its dependence on the building business. The company’s construction operations have suffered from soaring […]

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Japanese banks hit by fresh sub-prime woes

More sub-prime losses ahead for Japan’s banks, say analysts (TOKYO) Japanese financial firms were hit by fresh sub-prime woes yesterday as several banks posted profit slumps and two securities firms delayed a planned merger due to recent market turmoil. Japanese banks are also finding conditions increasingly tough at home as hopes of the central bank […]

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NZ housing market slowing: central bank

Remarks seen as signal that bank won’t raise rates, now at record high (WELLINGTON) New Zealand’s housing market is slowing in response to record-high interest rates, Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard said, adding to signs the central bank won’t raise borrowing costs again. ‘We’re now seeing monetary policy having its impact on the housing sector […]

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UK’s Land Securities plans 3-way split

(LONDON) Land Securities, Britain’s largest real estate firm, is to consult shareholders on plans to demerge its retail, London office and property outsourcing businesses into three separate quoted companies, it announced yesterday. The company said that the plan – which would be executed only in favourable market conditions – was in shareholders’ best interests, enabling […]

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Casinos unfazed by ongoing mortgage crisis

Credit downturn not as bad as previous cycles: analyst (LAS VEGAS) Casinos have little to fear from the credit crunch sparked this summer by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, according to finance professionals who addressed the issue at the Global Gaming Expo on Tuesday. Steve Croxton, co-head of gaming and leisure investment banking and managing director […]

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Sub-prime crisis could cost insurers more than US$2b

Big losses likely to be incurred on D&O policies (LONDON) The cost to insurers of claims brought against directors of companies caught up in the US sub-prime mortgage crisis could exceed US$2 billion, according to Guy Carpenter, the reinsurance broker. Guy Carpenter, part of Marsh & McLennan, estimates that this level of insured losses could […]

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