Archive | February 21, 2008

Mass-market safe, high-end may take a hit

Property players sketch the best and worst-case scenarios for private homes in 2008 (SINGAPORE) Luxury-home prices could fall by up to 20 per cent in 2008, assuming sub-prime woes don’t end this year. But the mass market may hold its own or ease 5-10 per cent at most. This was the worst-case scenario according to […]

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Plan to defer public works will have little impact: report

Delaying $3b worth of projects won’t help relieve building demand, says RLB CONSTRUCTION industry experts are seeking to play down the significance of the government’s moves to ease the pressure on the industry’s costs. The government is intending to defer an additional $1 billion worth of public-sector projects to help the industry – a move […]

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Recent crises serve as wake-up calls

Focus on corporate governance; S’pore updating Companies Act: Lim Hwee Hua (SINGAPORE) Think of the huge fraudulent trading losses at Societe Generale. Or think of the sub-prime mortgage fallout. The recent crises that have rocked the financial sector have also brought corporate governance under the spotlight, Minister of State for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee […]

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$200m note issue from HDB

THE Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched a $200 million, two year fixed-rate note issue yesterday under its $7 billion medium-term note programme. The issue will have a coupon of 1.64 per cent per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears, HDB said. The notes will be issued in denominations of $250,000 and will be offered to […]

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India’s Primary Real Estate plans US$500m fund

(HONG KONG) Indian fund manager Primary Real Estate Advisors is planning to launch a fund worth as much as US$500 million, probably in the second half of this year, but said it will tread carefully as the country’s property boom stutters. Foreign investors have taken advantage of such funds to rush into property development in […]

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Budget 2008: Businesses highlight what’s ‘wanting’

Panelists cite lack of measures to cut business costs, tackle manpower crunch IT’S not just relief from rising costs that businesses find wanting in the 2008 Budget. They could also do with help to tackle a growing manpower crunch, a Budget seminar heard yesterday. Panelists at PricewaterhouseCooper’s seminar on the Singapore Budget cited the lack […]

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Budget 2008: Businesses highlight what’s ‘wanting’

Panelists cite lack of measures to cut business costs, tackle manpower crunch IT’S not just relief from rising costs that businesses find wanting in the 2008 Budget. They could also do with help to tackle a growing manpower crunch, a Budget seminar heard yesterday. Panelists at PricewaterhouseCooper’s seminar on the Singapore Budget cited the lack […]

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US commercial property prices slip 1.5% in Dec

(LOS ANGELES) Commercial real estate prices in the United States dropped 1.5 per cent in December, the second consecutive monthly decline, indicating that the market is at the start of a slump, Moody’s Investors Service Inc said. The 1.5 per cent fall measured by the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices is worse than the 0.2 […]

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LATEST US DATA: US inflation gathering steam

Core readings above market forecasts; more grim news on the property front (NEW YORK) US inflation accelerated in January in a worrying sign for the Federal Reserve’s campaign to bolster the flagging economy, while a separate report yesterday showed more troubling signs for the beleaguered housing market. Annual consumer price inflation increased to an unexpectedly […]

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Weak US$ lures foreign buyers to US property

Florida is the most popular state, accounting for 26% of all transactions (MIAMI) Canadian retiree Sheldon Kovensky felt the lure that attracts so many foreign buyers to sunny Florida these days – falling prices for luxurious oceanfront condos that can be bought with weak US dollars. Mr Kovensky has been scouring south Florida from Miami […]

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STRONG FULL-YEAR GAINS: UOL still bullish on office rentals

OFFICE rents have been skyrocketing over the past 12 months but property group UOL Group reckons there will still be further rises to come. The firm reported stellar full-year results yesterday. It said rents for retail space should benefit from high levels of employment, as well as strong tourist arrivals, although the pace of increase […]

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CapitaLand, HPL sue eight owners of Gillman Heights

Developers claim contract breach as owners seek ruling over validity of sale A GROUP of home owners in Gillman Heights Condominium are being sued by the estate’s buyers for alleged breach of contract. They face legal action by CapitaLand and Hotel Properties (HPL), which have agreed to buy the sprawling 607-unit estate in Alexandra Road. […]

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US homes market weakens while consumer prices rise

WASHINGTON – PERMITS to break new ground on US homes last month dipped 3 per cent to the lowest rate in more than 16 years while housing starts rose 0.8 per cent, showing signs of more struggles ahead for the homes market. Consumer prices in the United States also rose for a second straight month […]

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TAKING STOCK: Inflation worries hammer STI and regional bourses

NO SOONER does the market show some spark than another bout of bad news clobbers it back down again. Yesterday, it was inflation concerns after oil rose above the US$100 a barrel mark. Red ink flowed from the word go. The Straits Times Index (STI) opened lower and kept spiralling downwards, losing more than 78 […]

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MAS fears Asia will hurt if US engine seizes

A negative spiral can take hold, affecting even the real economy (SINGAPORE) A sharp and deep recession in the United States will hit Asian economies, warned Heng Swee Kiat, managing director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), yesterday. And in his first public comment on the global financial turmoil, Mr Heng said the credit crisis has […]

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Only one way to go for yuan – up, say analysts

Rapid economic growth, soaring inflation leave China with no choice (BEIJING) China has no choice other than to let the yuan appreciate against the dollar, analysts say. The combination of the world’s fastest economic growth, the highest inflation rate in 11 years and the rising cost of intervention will force gains in the yuan to […]

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Inflation in China hits 11-year high, set to rise further

(BEIJING) China’s inflation rose to its highest level in more than 11 years in January after devastating snowstorms worsened food shortages, according to data reported yesterday, and analysts warned there might be sharper increases to come. Consumer prices in January climbed 7.1 per cent from the same month last year, driven by an 18.2 per […]

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Rising costs, strapped consumers squeeze top US foodmakers

(CHICAGO) For more than a year, food makers and other consumer products companies have passed on much of the burden of rising commodity costs to consumers. In fact, companies like H J Heinz and Hormel Foods proved again with earnings forecasts and announcements on Friday that this was still the case early this year, fuelling […]

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Jurong Lake area: Big changes planned

URA in talks with stakeholders about plans for tourism, retail and entertainment centre A WAVE of changes has been planned for Jurong Lake. Government officials and industry captains have met and discussed the area’s potential as a commercial, retail and entertainment centre. Preliminary discussions centred on developing office space, a commercial centre with retail shops, […]

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Falling stock volumes reflect bearish market

Many investors stay on sidelines despite STI’s rebound from last month’s drop THE stock market’s recovery after the nasty pre-Chinese New Year selldown was nothing short of spectacular, but the headline numbers tell only half the story. While the Straits Times Index (STI) has shot up 5.7 per cent, or 166 points, in the last […]

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Parkway dives 8.3% on record bid for site

Winning bid of $1,600 psf ppr for Novena hospital site is over twice the second highest offer   SHARES of Parkway Holdings took a beating yesterday as concerns emerged that the healthcare provider might have overpaid for a hospital site at Novena. Parkway’s stock slipped as much as 9.7 per cent yesterday following Friday’s news […]

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Modest weekend sales at Waterfront Waves

IN A bellwether post-Budget property launch, Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization sold 20 units at the weekend at their Waterfront Waves condo fronting Bedok Reservoir. The project was officially launched at the weekend with the start of an advertising campaign. The sales brought the total sold so far at the 99-year leasehold project to […]

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Merchant Square and Waldorf Mansions up for sale

MERCHANT Square, a four-storey office building off Merchant Road, is up for sale with a guide price of $73 million. With a total net lettable area (NLA) of about 50,262 square feet, the unit price works out to $1,450 psf of NLA. The property, which was developed by carpet manufacturer Jackson Carpet and completed in […]

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Maybank’s home loan rate cut sets cat among pigeons

Analysts divided on whether this will signal undercutting among the banks (SINGAPORE) Maybank has fired a salvo that could shake up the home loan market here by slashing its rates. This has led to speculation that banks might start to undercut each other to drum up business. Meanwhile, the banks themselves are adopting a cautious […]

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278 HDB flats swamped by 9,900 applications

Unsuccessful buyers urged to consider build-to-order flats THE Housing and Development Board received 9,900 applications for 278 flats offered in its February bi-monthly sale. Most of the units offered are four-room flats, plus 64 five-room units and 20 executive flats in 13 estates. There are 119 units in Toa Payoh and 39 in Tampines. HDB […]

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CPF to keep OA interest rate at 2.5% for Apr-June

THE Central Provident Board said yesterday that it will continue to pay 2.5 per cent interest a year for members’ CPF savings in their Ordinary Account (OA) from April 1 to June 30. The concessionary interest rate for HDB mortgage loan, which is pegged at 0.1 percentage point above the CPF interest rate for the […]

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Amex signs up for Marina Bay Financial Centre

It is said to be taking 50,000 sq ft in Tower 2, in the project’s 1st phase AMERICAN Express International is the latest new tenant at Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC), which means that slightly more than half of the total 2.9 million square feet of offices in the entire development has been taken up. […]

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Invesco eyeing real estate in China, Japan

Global fund firm poised to make first direct investments in Asia property (HONG KONG) Global fund firm Invesco hopes to make its first direct investments in Asian property this year,  with Chinese housing and Japanese offices at the top of its wish list as global economic uncertainty throws up new buying opportunities. Cheng-Soon Lau, who […]

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Chinese developer bond risk rises to a record

(HONG KONG) The risk of Chinese real estate developers defaulting on their debt soared to a record on concern they will seek to sell securities after Country Garden Holdings Co completed its first convertible bond sale. Three-year credit-default swaps on Country Garden traded at 1,100 basis points at 4:27pm in Hong Kong, according to BNP […]

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Two more govt agencies to vacate downtown offices

IDA, SLA making room for private businesses to ease office shortage MORE help is on the way to ease Singapore’s office shortage, which has led to soaring rents. At least two government agencies will give up their downtown offices to make room for private businesses that need more space. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will […]

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Merchant Square on sale for $73m

A MODEST office development with well-known cosmetics company Estee Lauder as its anchor tenant is up for sale at an indicative price of $73 million. The price for the 99-year leasehold Merchant Square – located in Merchant Road, opposite Riverside Point – works out to $1,450 per sq ft (psf) of net lettable area. The […]

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Day of reckoning for banks hit by US mortgage crisis

WASHINGTON – IT IS D-Day for the world’s big banks as they finalise last year’s results and try to account for the full scale of the credit upheaval spawned by the United States sub-prime crisis that threatens to stall the global economy. Over the next two weeks, most major US banks will file annual reports […]

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CPF floating rate to be announced next month

THE interest rate for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Special, Medisave and Retirement accounts (SMRA) for April to June this year will be announced next month, after the average yield of the 10-year Singapore Government Security (SGS) is computed, said the CPF Board yesterday. The SMRA is based on the average yield of the 10-year […]

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Capital will keep flowing into Asia, says fund manager

CAPITAL will keep flowing into Asia despite the turbulence across global stock markets, according to a senior executive of an international fund manager. Fidelity International’s global head of institutional investment, Mr Michael Gordon, said long-term investors remain positive on Asia’s prospects, as the region is not plagued by debt problems being witnessed elsewhere in the […]

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