Author Archives | Admin

US household wealth falls for first time in five years

WASHINGTON – HOUSEHOLD wealth in the United States fell in the fourth quarter for the first time in five years, while borrowing slowed as home values plunged and lenders restricted credit, Federal Reserve figures have shown. Net worth for households decreased by US$532.9 billion (S$739.5 billion) from the previous three months, the first decline since […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US reports surprise loss of 63,000 jobs

Biggest drop in five years another sign that economy is on the decline WASHINGTON – THE United States unexpectedly lost jobs last month for the second consecutive month, adding to evidence that the economy is in a recession. Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Casinos, other large projects push up cost of loans: OCBC

Casinos, other large projects push up cost of loans: OCBC SINGAPORE’S two casinos and other large projects will add S$30 billion to loan demand this year, pushing up the cost of corporate loans in the city-state, said Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp on Wednesday. Las Vegas Sands and Genting International have each borrowed about S$5 billion to […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Citigroup to sell, close some US branches: WSJ

(NEW YORK) Citigroup has agreed to sell its network of retail banking branches in Amarillo, Texas, and plans to shutter other branches in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Wednesday.Citibank, its retail banking unit, has agreed to sell branches in Amarillo to local lender Happy State Bank for an […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Existing home sales stay at just short of record low

Home foreclosures and rate of homes entering the process at record highs in Q4 (WASHINGTON) Industry data released yesterday show January pending US home sales were below analysts’ expectations and remained at the second-lowest reading on record. The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes held at […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Growth slows in 8 of 12 regions in US: survey

Beige Book cites weak retail sales, slow manufacturing and housing woes (NEW YORK) The Federal Reserve says economic growth has slowed in eight of 12 US regions since the start of the year, hurt by faltering retail sales, manufacturing and a continued decline in housing. ‘Two-thirds of the districts cited softening or weakening in the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Speculators holding out for higher prices

Subsale activity slows but transacted prices remain resilient (SINGAPORE) Property prices have been bolstered by speculators in the last year. But now that speculation is on the decline, could prices follow suit? An analysis by Savills Singapore of properties subsold last year after being bought from developers in the same year has revealed that while […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Aussie Q4 growth at lowest pace in a year

(SYDNEY) Australia’s economy grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the fourth quarter as construction declined and bottlenecks at ports cut exports. Gross domestic product rose 0.6 per cent from the third quarter, when it increased a revised 1.1 per cent, the Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. The gain matched the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Fed and Bush moving closer to mortgage rescue

Bernanke calls for more action by banks and the govt to help millions of home owners (WASHINGTON) However much they might oppose it on ideological grounds, the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve are inching closer towards a government rescue of distressed home owners and mortgage lenders. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke told a group of […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Mixed landed housing site for sale

CHESTNUT VILLE (I and II), a mixed landed site at Dairy Farm Crescent, has been put up for collective sale and the indicative price for the combined plot is $90 million. This represents a land price of $741 psf over the land area, inclusive of an estimated $1 million development charge. The development currently comprises […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Property valuations in focus amid Spanish angst

(LONDON) Spanish property developers, having enjoyed what once seemed an unstoppable boom, could face a severe mauling unless they bow to more realistic pricing as the economy slows and banks rein in lending. The true value of real estate is a growing bone of contention as more debt-doped property firms get into trouble, leaving creditors […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Punj Lloyd Singapore unit sees orders triple

(SINGAPORE) Sembawang Engineers & Constructors, a unit of India’s Punj Lloyd, said yesterday its orderbook has tripled from a year ago on a construction boom in Singapore. The strong demand helped Singapore’s largest construction firm by sales raise its orderbook to $2.1 billion and boosted gross profit margins to 7-8 per cent from 1-1.5 per […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Scams and schemes compound woes of US housing crisis

(CHICAGO) As the US housing meltdown forces hundreds of thousands of Americans from their homes, the extent to which fraud was a factor in the crisis is just coming to light.Products such as stated-income loans – known as ‘liar loans’ because no proof of income was needed – led to widespread misrepresentation by borrowers about […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

A growth engine for the economy

Spore’s aviation players have been riding the wave of growth in the sector, but there are challenges, and opportunities too OVER the years, aviation has become the lifeblood for Singapore’s economic growth. This is despite the fact that the sector’s direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is rather small – at around 5 per […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

S’pore ranked top Reit market in Asia-Pacific

Survey cites support from regulators to the industry as advantageous SINGAPORE has been rated as the best location in Asia-Pacific for overall real estate investment trust (Reit) potential – for a second year. According to the second annual Asia-Pacific Reit Survey – undertaken for financial services provider Trust Company and law firm Allens Arthur Robinson […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

The slow unwinding of the US housing crisis

IT is becoming increasingly evident that the US housing crisis – the root cause of the US economic slowdown and the turmoil in the financial markets – is getting worse by the day. Any hopes for an economic recovery and a restoration of market stability will turn on how this crisis unfolds, and how it […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

UK housebuilders face hard times

Fewer houses built as higher interest rates, credit crunch drive away buyers (LONDON) Britain’s housebuilders are building fewer homes in the face of tighter mortgage lending and an uncertain price outlook, but slashing volumes and costs may not be enough to lure back investors to the battered sector. Britain’s major builders completed fewer homes last […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

UK lenders lost £700m to mortgage fraud

(LONDON) UK mortgage lenders probably lost £700 million (S$1.9 billion) last year to organised fraud that inflated real estate prices, according Britain’s Association of Chief Police Officers. Mortgage fraud for profit ranges from overvaluation of newly constructed homes to deliberate ramping of commercial real estate prices, often involving mortgage brokers, appraisers and attorneys, the association […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

UOL betting big on hospitality business

(SINGAPORE) The UOL Group has earmarked some $500 million – or a third of its available funds – to expand its hospitality business in Asia-Pacific over the next three years, the group’s president and chief executive Gwee Lian Kheng told BT in an interview. The property company plans to add some 15-20 hotels and service […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US commercial property seen falling by 20%

But office properties should fare relatively well over the near term, say JPMorgan analysts (NEW YORK) The US commercial real estate market could decline by as much as 20 per cent over the next five to eight years as tighter credit squeezes business property but with less ferocity than it choked the housing market. ‘We […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US housing woes: It’s the affordability, stupid!

GLOOM. Doom. Calamity. Home prices are tumbling. We’re bombarded by sombre reports. But wait. This is actually good news, because lower home prices are the only real solution to the housing collapse. The sooner prices fall, the better. The longer the adjustment takes, the longer the housing slump (weak sales, low construction, high numbers of […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US regulators eye next trouble spots

(WASHINGTON) US regulators are watching credit cards and commercial construction loans for signs they may be the next trouble spots as strained financial markets constrain credit. The housing downturn, with its epicentre in the sub-prime mortgage market, remained atop the list of concerns. But banking regulators and Federal Reserve officials expressed concerns on Tuesday that […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Big US banks poised to fall further, says investment guru

Fed ‘making same errors’ Japan made trying to bail out everyone in 1990s FINANCIAL guru Jim Rogers painted a doom-and-gloom picture of the United States economy yesterday and predicted that Singapore’s two investment companies would lose money on their recent investments in beleaguered banking giants. Singapore-based Mr Rogers said investing billions of dollars in banks […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

UOL unit unveils luxury serviced suites in Somerset

IT HAS been 28 years since Singapore’s listed UOL Group launched its last serviced apartment property, the Parkroyal Residences at Beach Road. Now, it is entering the luxury extended-stay business with the launch of its new property, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, at 96 Somerset Road. The new property is similar to serviced apartments but has […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US regulators look for signs of credit crisis spreading

They are keeping a keen eye on credit card, home equity and building loans WASHINGTON – UNITED States regulators are watching credit card and commercial construction loans for signs that they may be the next trouble spots as strained financial markets constrain credit. The housing downturn, with its epicentre in the sub- prime mortgage market, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Analysts paint bleak earnings outlook

Earnings per share growth of S’pore listed companies may not even make 6% this year (SINGAPORE) Faced with a small domestic market and a very open economy, Singapore companies are highly susceptible to any global slowdown and are therefore expected to chalk up one of the slowest corporate earnings growths in Asia in 2008. This […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Banks hit by sub-prime may need more cash

Dubai fund chief says much more is needed to rescue Citigroup, others (DUBAI) Banks and securities firms led by Citigroup may need more money from Arab states as losses stemming from the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market increase, the head of Dubai International Capital said. Citigroup, the biggest US bank by assets, received […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Buy-and-hold strategy looks as good as it ever will

WHAT a difference a year makes. Each year, Jim Reid and his colleagues at Deutsche Bank AG publish an influential analysis of credit markets that puts current yields and fundamentals in historical perspective. If you buy a bond from a company that might go bankrupt, then you expect to receive a higher interest rate. In […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

China losing competitive edge in some industries: survey

(SHANGHAI) China is fast losing its manufacturing competitiveness in some industries, and companies need to upgrade their operations there to stay profitable, according to a survey released yesterday. The study comes amid reports that thousands of manufacturers, both Chinese and foreign, are shifting operations away from coastal regions, where labour and other costs are eroding […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Bernanke urges more action to fix housing slump

Vigorous response needed to reduce rising foreclosures, says Fed chief (WASHINGTON) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke called yesterday for additional action to prevent more distressed US homeowners from falling into foreclosure. ‘This situation calls for a vigorous response,’ Mr Bernanke said in a speech to a banking group in Florida. Even with some relief efforts […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

For sale: 18th floor of Peninsula Plaza at $17.5m

NOVELTY Department Store Pte Ltd, part of the Novelty Group, has put the entire 18th floor of Peninsula Plaza up for sale, with a price tag of about $17.5 million or about $2,050 per square foot (psf) of strata area. Peninsula Plaza is a 999-year leasehold building near Raffles City. DTZ is marketing the property. […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

KepLand to launch US$206m Vietnam project in Q4

AFTER announcing eight new development projects in Vietnam last year, Keppel Land plans to launch one of these in the fourth quarter of this year. In a statement released yesterday, Keppel Land said that it has been awarded the investment certificate by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for its new waterfront residential development […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Key S’pore economic indicator takes another dip

PMI now just above threshold between expansion and contraction (SINGAPORE) The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slid for a third straight month in February, with declines in export orders and output. But the electronics index edged up, even though orders were also weak. With its latest 0.2-point drop, the PMI – a barometer of the manufacturing […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Time to plan for the recovery that’s lying around the corner

(NEW YORK) Say the economy has fallen into recession, as so many people on and off Wall Street think. Is it time to bail out of stocks? Selling may be the reflexive response by shareholders who have watched the value of their assets decline in step with economic indicators, but investment advisers contend that they […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Singapore tops among Asian expats: survey

The Republic is the best place for them to live worldwide; Baghdad ranks last (SINGAPORE) The Republic ranks as the best place for Asian expatriates to live worldwide, according to the latest survey by human resources consultancy firm ECA International. Singapore surpasses cosmopolitan cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Copenhagen in Asian expatriates’ view, the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US economy already in recession: Buffett

He sees slowdown across the board; withdraws offer to guarantee bonds NEW YORK – BILLIONAIRE investor Warren Buffett said the United States economy is in a recession and that stocks are ‘not cheap’ despite recent declines. He also said he is no longer offering to guarantee US$800 billion (S$1.12 trillion) of municipal bonds backed by […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Bernanke urges banks to forgive part of mortgages

ORLANDO – FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, battling the worst United States housing recession in a quarter century, has urged lenders to forgive portions of mortgages for more borrowers whose home values have declined. ‘Efforts by both government and private sector entities to reduce unnecessary foreclosures are helping, but more can, and should, be done,’ […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

‘Magic dollars’ scam lets HDB flat sellers pocket cash

They declare a lower price, thus keeping the difference instead of returning funds to CPF A NEW scam involving HDB flats has surfaced, this time allowing flat sellers to pocket extra cash by craftily getting around the rules. The so-called ‘magic dollars’ scam involves reporting a falsely low sale price to the HDB – an […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Buffett retracts US$800b bond guarantee offer

Separately, he says US economy is in recession, stocks are not cheap (NEW YORK) Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said yesterday that the US economy is in recession and that stocks are not cheap, despite recent declines. Speaking on CNBC television, Mr Buffett also said that he is no longer offering to guarantee US$800 billion of […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

China property shares cut to ‘underweight’

BNP slashes 2008 earnings growth for industry to 31% (HONG KONG) Investors should cut their holdings in Chinese property because of a slowdown in housing starts and home prices that will crimp earnings growth, BNP Paribas said. The bank downgraded China real estate shares to ‘underweight’ from ‘overweight’, and slashed the 2008 earnings growth forecast […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Far East’s Leong Horn Kee calling it a day after 15 yrs

PROPERTY giant Far East Organization announced yesterday that executive director Leong Horn Kee would be leaving the company on June 30 after more than 15 years of service.Mr Leong, who served as Member of Parliament for 32 years until he retired in 2006, said that he was venturing out to work on his own ‘projects’. […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

SHK results may not reflect HK property frenzy

Company holding back most project launches, analysts say (HONG KONG) An upswing in Hong Kong home sales and prices is boosting big developers but will hardly register in earnings to be reported by Sun Hung Kai Properties this week, as the firm held back on project launches. With rising wages and falling interest rates sparking […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Hong Leong Bank eyes 10% home loans growth

It is confident of hitting target for cash-back product (KUALA LUMPUR) Hong Leong Bank is aiming for 10 per cent growth this year in its housing loans segment, which currently has about 130,000 clients. As part of its efforts, the bank yesterday introduced a cash-back home loan product which it said enables customers to save […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Sub-prime, debt still top US economic threat: poll

Inflation jitters a distant 3rd; terrorism fears down the list (WASHINGTON) The combined punch of sub-prime mortgage defaults and heavy debt remains the biggest risk to the health of the US economy, a panel of business economists said yesterday. ‘NABE members are increasingly concerned over the short-term risks associated with sub-prime mortgages and other forms […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

UBS drops on writedowns warning

(LONDON) UBS AG, Europe’s biggest bank by assets, declined to the lowest level in almost five years in Swiss trading after Credit Suisse Group said the company faces further writedowns from ‘troubled’ assets. ‘Further writedowns appear likely and could be large,’ analyst Daniel Davies said yesterday in a research note. ‘Taking more pessimistic assumptions in […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US housing crisis deters first-time buyers

US housing crisis deters first-time buyers Greater security seen in renting as home prices fall and foreclosures surge (BOSTON) For decades, buying a home was a key step on the path to financial security for the American middle class. Home owners could count on a fixed mortgage payment rather than rising rent, take advantage of […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

JTC will still provide affordable industrial space: Hng Kiang

THE JTC Corp is not deviating from its role to provide affordable factory space, said Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang yesterday in response to a question on whether JTC is shifting its focus with its recent plans to divest its industrial properties into a real estate investment trust (Reit). This concern was […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

If the US goes into a recession…

How will a US slowdown or recession affect your organisation and industry, and the Singapore economy in general? What can businesses do in the event of a slowdown? THE US recession had already started since December 2007. I predict that the federal funds rate will drop to one per cent by September 2008. After that, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

ECB expected to lower growth forecasts, not rates

It faces dilemma as a rate cut could aggravate euro zone’s high inflation FRANKFURT – THE European Central Bank (ECB) will make a cut of sorts this week – but with euro zone inflation stubbornly high, the cut will be in its growth estimates, not interest rates, said economists. ‘The ECB council will cut on […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Bernanke doesn’t utter R-word but he means it

His replies confirm economy is in recession: analysts (NEW YORK) US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t utter the word, but analysts reading between the lines of his testimony to the US Congress this week say that he came as close as a central bank chief can to acknowledging the chances of recession. Since the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

More landed housing sites up for auction

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched the second phase of Sembawang Greenvale after auctioning all parcels in Phase One last October. In the first phase, 12 sub-divided landed housing plots near Sembawang Beach were auctioned for a total of $37.09 million, which works out to about $285 per square foot (psf) of land on […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

DC rate hike lower than expected

Average industrial rates up 16.8%, muted increases for most other uses THE government yesterday announced modest, lower-than-expected increases in development charge (DC) rates for most use groups, except industrial. ‘Limited transactions in the past six months, amidst cautionary sentiment set about the US sub-prime debacle, were probably an important factor for the moderate gains this […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

DC rate hike lower than expected

Average industrial rates up 16.8%, muted increases for most other uses THE government yesterday announced modest, lower-than-expected increases in development charge (DC) rates for most use groups, except industrial. ‘Limited transactions in the past six months, amidst cautionary sentiment set about the US sub-prime debacle, were probably an important factor for the moderate gains this […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Property development charges barely budge

Small revision of fees points to dwindling deals, slow price growth IT’S official: the property market has gone deathly quiet. The Government barely tweaked development charges in its semi-annual revision of fees yesterday, reflecting the property sector’s subdued state over the last six months. Development charges, which can run in the millions of dollars, are […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Bernanke’s signal for rate cut stokes fears of inflation

Investors worry that stagflation could hit the US but Fed chief rejects the notion WASHINGTON – UNITED States Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s readiness to cut interest rates to avert a recession is stoking concerns that prices will get out of hand. ‘Mr Bernanke has really overweighted the economic risks relative to inflation,’ said Mr […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CDL able to weather uncertainty for next 3 yrs

It posts full-year profit of $725m; bottom line would be $2.8b if fair value gains included THE top brass at City Developments Ltd (CDL) yesterday said the property group has ‘the financial muscle to weather the current period of uncertainty even for the next three years’, after announcing a record full-year net profit of $725 […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CDL boss punctures popular wisdom

Mid-market may not shine and high-end is unlikely to collapse, he says (SINGAPORE) City Developments Ltd (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng yesterday turned a popular market view of the Singapore residential sector on its head. Many have whispered that the high-end residential segment is in danger of being hardest hit by the sub-prime crisis […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

HDB will cater to buyers with different income levels: Mah

THE Housing & Development Board (HDB) will continue to provide a range of housing options to cater to buyers of differing income levels and aspirations, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan told Parliament yesterday. He was responding to concerns that the price gain in the HDB market is putting flats out of the reach […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Marina Bay to provide 1.1m sq m of office space

It will become a seamless extension of Raffles Place, says Mah THE upcoming financial district at Marina Bay will be twice the size of London’s Canary Wharf and will provide as much Grade A office space as Hong Kong’s Central. Revealing more plans for Singapore’s new financial hub, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan told […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Newton area growing as a hub for hybrid offices

NEWTON is shaping up as a centre for hybrid offices, with another company, The Ascott Group, moving to the neighbourhood. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also said yesterday that it would release not one, but two, transitional office sites between Scotts Road and Anthony Road for sale. Ascott, which is officed at the former Temasek […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Property players sweat over lending squeeze

Banks batten down hatches amid global turmoil and as big deals suck liquidity (SINGAPORE) The squeeze is on. Banks have tightened financing for property investment deals, which include big transactions like sales of office blocks and development sites. This, in turn, may keep some buyers from participating in the market, industry players have told BT. […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Greenback sinks further, nears new low against euro

LOS ANGELES – IN THE Federal Reserve’s battle to keep the United States economy from a severe downturn, the beleaguered US dollar is getting walloped anew. That is going to worsen the sticker shock for Americans headed overseas or buying some of their favourite imported goods. But it also will underpin the current boom in […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CDL boss prepared to delay launches in subdued market

Some projects can be held off till 2009, he says, as full-year gain swells to $725m THE property market may have stalled for now, but City Developments (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng is not too worried. He said that if necessary, he can hold off launches of new developments until next year. ‘Rather than […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

HDB unveils ‘income for life’ scheme for the elderly

It will buy back tail-end of flat lease at market rate, with money going to CPF Life FOR 68-year-old retiree Teng Kiat Hwa, who owns a three-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh, his home is his only asset. Since he fell ill and stopped driving a taxi, he has had no income and his CPF […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

URA launches 2 more temp office sites in Newton

Analysts see good demand just like for a nearby plot launched earlier TWO more transitional office sites have been launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in a move to help ease some of the pressure on space. The adjacent sites – parcel A is 8,682.8 sq m in size and parcel B is 9,037.9 […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

HK Reits get a new lease of life

Major acquisition, hotel trust listing may help revive investor interest (HONG KONG) Hong Kong’s neglected real estate investment trust (Reit) market is stirring to life and may finally do what it’s supposed to – give investors stability, a decent yield and, possibly, clear prospects for growth. A high-profile acquisition by office landlord Champion Reit, and […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Keppel Land unveils Viet project plans

KEPPEL Land, one of the largest property developers in Vietnam, on Tuesday presented the concept plans for its Saigon Centre in Ho Chi Minh City to a group of delegates led by Singapore President SR Nathan and Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai. Located in the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Malaysian economy grows 6.3% in 2007

Strong domestic demand boosted fourth-quarter growth to 7.3% THE Malaysian economy expanded 6.3 per cent in 2007, with strong domestic demand propelling fourth-quarter growth to 7.3 per cent. According to figures released by the central bank yesterday, growth was broad-based in all economic sectors. The services sector continued to be a key driver, expanding 9.1 […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Orders for big-ticket US-made goods plunge 5.3% in Jan

(WASHINGTON) Signs of sluggish growth continue to beset the US economy with orders to US factories for big-ticket manufactured goods plunging in January by the largest amount in five months, even as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke sent a fresh signal that the central bank will again lower interest rates. The Commerce Department reported yesterday […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Room for growth in M’sian market: govt

(KUALA LUMPUR) Prospects remain good for the country’s property market with room for further growth, the directorgeneral of the Finance Ministry’s Valuation and Property Services Department, Abdullah Thalith Md Thani, said yesterday. The market is, however, currently in a cautious mode in view of rising crude oil prices and the slowing down of the US […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Two more hotel sites put up for tender

TWO more hotel sites have been put on the market – a 99-year leasehold plot in Race Course Road, offered by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and a freehold plot in Bencoolen Street now occupied by Peony Mansion. Peony Mansion’s owners want $50 million, which works out to about $850 per square foot of potential gross […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Govt uses ‘realistic’ assumptions instead of ‘optimistic’ ones

GST introduced while revenue position was still strong: Tharman IN explaining the background to the way the government has turned out to have gathered far more money than was predicted in last year’s Budget, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told Parliament yesterday that the basic approach is to use the best information available at the time, […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Ho Bee Q4 net falls 24%

HO Bee Investment, the biggest developer on Sentosa Cove, has posted a 24.2 per cent year-on-year drop in net earnings. For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31 it made $38.8 million, a reduction attributed to lower property development revenue and profit. The comparable period Q4 2006 saw the group’s top and bottom lines helped by […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CapitaLand plans US$300m Vietnam fund

It has also formed a partnership with a Vietnamese investment company CAPITALAND, South-east Asia’s largest property developer, plans to set up a US$300 million property fund in Vietnam. The company also said yesterday it has forged a partnership with Vietnamese firm Nam Thang Long Investment Joint-Stock Company to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam. With the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

SC Global posts 67% rise in FY07 profit to $28.3m

SC GLOBAL has reported a profit after tax and minority interests of $28.3 million for FY2007 – an increase of 67 per cent from 2006. In a statement yesterday, it attributed its performance to sales of residential units at The Ladyhill, The Lincoln Modern, The Boulevard Residences and The Tomlinson. Higher contribution from its Australian […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Foreclosure rate of US homes up by 57%

Situation worsens despite efforts to help borrowers manage payments LOS ANGELES – THE number of United States homes facing foreclosure jumped 57 per cent last month compared to a year ago, with lenders increasingly forced to take possession of homes they could not unload at auctions, a mortgage research company said. Across the US, 233,001 […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

HDB launches 494-unit Punggol project

Four-room flats in BTO project meant to meet high demand; 278 applications so far THE Housing Board has released another new build-to-order (BTO) project in Punggol to meet surging demand from house hunters. It is offering 494 flats, all four-room units, at Punggol Spring – the first batch of 4,500 BTO flats planned for the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

6.6% – Housing, transport, food prices fuel Jan inflation

INFLATION accelerated last month to a 26-year high of 6.6 per cent with housing, food and transport costs registering steep increases over the past year. The January figure picks up pace from December’s 4.4 per cent jump – itself the biggest rise since April 1982 – as external and local factors added further upward momentum […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Stimulus will leave US even more vulnerable, experts warn

Stimulus will leave US even more vulnerable, experts warn WASHINGTON – EVEN if Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, United States President George W. Bush and the US Congress win the battle to avert a recession in the US this year, they risk losing the war to strengthen the economy for the long term. US economic […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US existing home sales fall to lowest in a decade

US existing home sales fall to lowest in a decade Weakness in housing market continues as median prices drop 4.6% year-on-year WASHINGTON – SALES of existing United States homes fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade last month, while the median price for a home dropped for the fifth straight month. The National […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

SWF CONCERNS: Americans fear impact of foreign funds on economy

Voters do not want them to buy stakes in high-tech firms, key sectors: poll (BOSTON) The majority of Americans fear that the US economy and national security could be hurt if sovereign wealth funds, the investment arms of foreign governments, put more money into US companies, new data show. US voters do not want these […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Banking regulator sees more US mortgage defaults

WASHINGTON – Defaults are increasing among US homeowners with good, but not perfect, credit histories who obtained a non-traditional mortgage, a top US banking regulator said on Friday. More pain can be expected as both borrowers with poor credit, who hold sub-prime mortgages, and borrowers with good credit, who hold Alt-A mortgages, see their interest […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Banks caught in sub-prime limbo

AFTER the excitement of the previous week during which the Straits Times Index (STI) enjoyed a 156-point bounce, this week was much more sombre as US recession fears reared its head while oil crossed US$100 per barrel. For the most part, trading exhibited the same two-tier pattern evident in previous weeks with large-cap blue chips […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CapitaLand full-year profit soars 172.5%

CAPITALAND achieved a record performance in 2007, with full-year net profit soaring 172.5 per cent to $2.76 billion, from $1.01 billion the year before. Revenue increased 20.5 per cent to $3.79 billion, from $3.15 billion in 2006. The stellar performance was attributed to strong sales of development projects in China and Australia, and the consolidation […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

China’s economy leads world: poll

(WASHINGTON) More Americans believe China, not the United States, is the world’s top economic power, according to an opinion poll.The Gallup World Affairs survey found that four in ten Americans say China’s economy leads the world; only 33 per cent picked the United States.In 2000, the United States was top in the poll, with the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

China no more the source of cheapest goods

Rising costs hit its competitive edge, forcing some firms to relocate overseas (SHANGHAI) The teddy bears selling for US$1.40 each in Shanghai’s Ikea store may be just about the cheapest in town, but they’re not made in China – they’re stitched and stuffed in Indonesia. The fluffy brown toys reflect a new challenge for China: […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

GuocoLand to re-look Oval’s prices by June

Average RM1,500 psf price lower than some nearby properties, says CEO IN KUALA LUMPUR MOST new developments in the Kuala Lumpur city centre area trumpet their proximity to the prestigious Petronas Twin Towers as a selling point. The Oval – GuocoLand Malaysia’s ‘twin-elliptical residential towers’ – claim to be that, and more. The developer says […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Wheelock may not launch Orchard View this year

WHEELOCK Properties (Singapore) is likely to hold off launching Orchard View at Angullia Park for sale until next year, when the project is slated for completion. The company had earlier indicated that the development would be launched some time this year. The group, which yesterday posted a six-fold jump in group net profit for the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

When that ‘bargain’ may be an illusion

IN THE thick of the Asian financial crisis, some listed companies were actually trading below their net cash value; in other words, the leftover cash in their bank accounts after paying off all their liabilities was higher than market capitalisation. So theoretically, someone who had the money could have gone into the market and bought […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

CapitaLand profit leaps to $2.76b on gains in key markets

Firm says volume for home sales could ease in the short term, but should pick up again by year-end PROPERTY giant CapitaLand tips that home prices will increase by 5 per cent to 10 per cent this year, despite the cautious mood that has taken hold in recent months as many buyers stick to the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

COST SPIRAL: Rising prices, bigger handouts

Rising costs for individuals and businesses, a growing ‘gimme’ mentality and the dangers of the ‘green-eyed’ syndrome in society were among the concerns raised at a Straits Times roundtable, chaired by deputy editor Warren Fernandez, ahead of next week’s debate on this year’s Budget THEIR big looming worry is how fast costs for both individuals […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

GST hike, Budget surplus and rising costs

LAST year’s huge Budget surplus of $6.45 billion is causing some economists and MPs to question the timing of last July’s hike in the goods and services tax (GST). The issue came up for debate when a taxi driver, two MPs, two economists and a businessman met at The Straits Times on Thursday for a […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

ECONOMIC REVIEW: Japan downgrades growth assessment

ECONOMIC REVIEW Japan downgrades growth assessment TOKYO – JAPAN’S government yesterday downgraded its assessment of Asia’s largest economy for the first time in 15 months, saying the recovery was losing steam due to slowing United States growth. A monthly report from the Cabinet Office acknowledged that exports and industrial output are cooling, while consumer spending […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Lack of green perks disappoints industry players

Lack of green perks disappoints industry players Budget surplus gives scope for perks such as tax credits, say industry players IT HAD been widely anticipated, but in the end, the ‘green Budget’ that many people had been waiting for did not materialise. The lack of incentives such as tax credits to encourage environmentally sustainable business […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Rising costs squeeze Chinese factories

SHANGHAI – THE teddy bears selling for US$1.40 (S$1.97) in Shanghai’s Ikea store may be just about the cheapest in town, but they are not made in China: They are stitched and stuffed in Indonesia.The fluffy brown toys reflect a new challenge for China. Its huge economy, which has long offered some of the world’s […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Rising inflation across Asia mauls S’pore Reits

Trusts may still get big lift from higher rents, higher hotel rates, say analysts SOARING inflation across Asia has sucked the life out of real estate investment trusts (Reits), whose high-yielding dividends have made them wildly popular among investors in recent years. Reits, in general, have fallen about 32.5 per cent in value from their […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

US recession may be as deep as in the 1990s

Fed likely to remain aggressive about cutting rates as a result, says Merrill NEW YORK – THE United States is in a recession that could be much worse than what it faced in 2001, and closer to the sharper economic slump of the 1990s, investment bank Merrill Lynch has said. The bank also said the […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Property sector braces for tougher times in 2008

Players feel squeeze from more credit woes and soaring construction costs THE property market in Singapore is set to face a challenging year ahead as it continues to take hits from the sub-prime crisis in the United States and rising construction costs, industry body Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) said. ‘Unfortunately, the sub-prime […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Parkway justifies record land bid with vision for a ‘hospital of the future’

Focus will be on cardiology, oncology and orthopaedics (SINGAPORE) Parkway Holdings will be building on its newly-acquired Novena site what it calls a ‘hospital of the future’, that will incorporate a hub of top medical professionals, with the latest technology, organised along a high level of thoughtfulness for the patient. Speaking to the press and […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Office rents in Singapore on upward climb: property firms

THE occupancy cost for office space in Singapore is now higher than in Hong Kong, according to a new report. Data from property firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) show that total occupancy cost here hit US$10.42 per square foot per month (psf pm) at the end of 2007. By comparison, total occupancy cost for Hong […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →