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Real Estate Daily News

6th, 7th and 8th January 2018 (Sat, Sun and Mon)

Singapore Economy

Electricity market to sizzle in 2018 with new elements
A Fully liberalised electricity market, an upcoming carbon tax and new electricity products are set to drive a new wave of energy consciousness among consumers and businesses in the years ahead.  As generation companies and independent retailers gear up for battle in 2018, some of the options being bandied include bundling electricity contracts with telcos and credit cards, and even peer-to-peer electricity trading.

Green electricity catches on in S'pore
Green is the new gold. Nudged by a looming carbon tax, power generation companies are muscling their way into the solar sector, and electricity retailers are serving up new types of green electricity plans.  Power generation companies took a firm step into Singapore's solar sector last year through acquisitions and power purchase agreements, as the carbon tax threatens to make the electricity they generate more expensive than solar energy. Some 95 per cent of Singapore's electricity is currently generated from natural gas

S'pore to cut or remove toll charges at Woodlands Checkpoint from Feb 1
Toll charges for all vehicles except motorcycles entering Singapore via the Woodlands Checkpoint will be removed from Feb 1, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement yesterday.  In addition, toll charges for all vehicles except motorcycles leaving Singapore through Woodlands will be reduced.

Staggering GST hike will not help
The proposal by Deloitte and EY to stagger any goods and services tax (GST) increases to "hopefully lessen the financial impact on the lower-income group in Singapore" sounds helpful in theory but will worsen the situation in real life.  Personal anecdotes on the impact of price/tax increases in the past indicate that businesses actually look forward to such situations.

Singapore Real Estate

Value of deals in GCB areas rises to five-year high
The number and value of transactions in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) areas in 2017 rose to their highest levels in five years, based on a preliminary analysis of caveats data as of Jan 5.  CBRE's analysis showed there were 40 transactions last year, up from 37 in 2016, with the total value of deals up 8.4 per cent to S$855.14 million from S$788.53 million in 2016.

Nordic Group to buy Tuas property
Precision engineering and systems integration solutions provider Nordic Group has signed an option to purchase an industrial property in Tuas for S$6.2 million from Microdyn-Nadir Singapore Pte Ltd.  The property occupies an area of 5,677.90 sq m, and comprises all buildings and plant and equipment on the plot of land in Tuas Avenue, Nordic Group said on Friday.

Companies' Brief

CapitaLand rejigs China focus with mall disposals
CapitaLand is divesting its stake in 20 China retail malls for 8.37 billion yuan (S$1.71 billion), in what analysts see as a timely move as the group reconstitutes its portfolio and rejigs its China focus.  The buyers of the assets are China Vanke, Vanke's subsidiary SCPG, and fund affiliate Triwater.

Local banks to gain in 2018 from rising rates, loans growth
Rising interest rates and healthy loan growth should boost local bank profits this year, even as concerns linger about their exposure to the troubled oil and gas sector, analysts said.  In a report on Friday, RHB Securities Research analyst Leng Seng Choon said the recent spike in the three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) should widen net interest margins (NIMs) this year, while loans across the three local lenders - DBS Group, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank - are expected to rise steadily.

SPH Reit's Q1 DPU unchanged at 1.34 cents
SPH Reit posted distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.34 Singapore cents for the fiscal first quarter ended Nov 30, unchanged from a year ago, due to an enlarged unit base.  Its gross revenue for the first quarter grew 1.7 per cent to S$53.5 million on the back of higher rental income.  Net property income rose 1.9 per cent to S$42.2 million.

Summit Power awards US$150m contract to PSA subsidiary
A subsidiary of Summit Power International, which plans to list on the Singapore Exchange early this year, has awarded a 15-year contract for support vessels at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Bangladesh. The value of the contract given by the subsidiary, Summit LNG Terminal, was not disclosed, but The Business Times understands from a source that it was worth about US$150 million.

Proptech is all the buzz, just not yet in Asia
Are Venture capital funds and commercial real estate companies jumping onto the property technology (proptech) bandwagon without real conviction about its benefits?  A recent survey by consultancy Altus Group reveals an incongruity between bullish proptech projections and commercial property companies' actual attitudes towards the potential of proptech to disrupt in the industry.

Pushing the frontiers of markets and industry
Where others see operational and regulatory risks in setting up businesses in Myanmar, tycoon Serge Pun sees opportunities - openings that he says wouldn't fall into his lap in highly regulated and mature markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.  In an interview with The Business Times last week, the chairman of the Serge Pun & Associates Group, a multinational real estate firm, said: "In a mature market, your opportunities are very limited... Everybody knows every single clause of the laws and regulations; in a country like Myanmar, where the latitude (for interpretation of the law) is very wide - I think that's where the attraction of any emerging or frontier market is."

Steel prefab firm BRC Asia looking to raise S$47m in placement
Steel prefabrication firm BRC Asia is looking to raise S$46.99 million to build up its war chest to finance opportunities for investments, acquisitions, alliances, joint ventures and expansion of businesses opportunistically.  On Sunday, it announced that it has entered into a placement agreement with 15 investors who have agreed to subscribe for 37 million new company shares at S$1.27 each.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Looking back to Raffles to move ahead
The Government's decision to observe the bicentennial of Stamford Raffles' arrival in Singapore in 1819 will no doubt occasion historical soul-searcing among Singaporeans. This is as it should be. If history is to be the present's engagement with the past, today's citizens must ask whether and how far the British adventurer should be linked to the happy existence of Singapore today. What should help to place the bicentennial in perspective is that the Age of Raffles was neither the beginning of Singapore, nor did its passing presage the end of the eponymous story.

Disrupting social circles to boost cohesion
Disruption is the word of our times. Upgrading skills and braving the discomforts of change present new challenges. Some may feel uncomfortable, yet are compelled or enticed, all at the same time, by the prospect of a better future.  Disruption can bring about much good and a stronger society. Much less discussed but of vital importance is a different kind of disruption - that of our social circles, especially those that separate us from one another.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Global economy expected to keep on humming in 2018

Guard against real-world inflation

Trump administration delays enforcing Obama-era law on fair-housing

December job growth slows amid slide in retail jobs

London house market worst in UK with price drop last year

London luxury home at 'unbelievable' discount

Bond market players sanguine amid warning signs

No slowdown seen for stock markets yet

UK social housing deal with private equity giant sparks fears for tenants

Mortgage rates stumble heading into the new year

Govt agency questions Smithsonian over removal of garden, lack of details in changes

Toronto, Vancouver home sales fall in 2017 as prices jump

Billabong agrees to $206m buyout

China foreign exchange reserves rise US$20.2b in Dec to US$3.14t

Japan to make all-out bid for KL-S'pore High Speed Rail project

Hong Kong home prices unreasonable, unsustainable: SC Capital

Li Ka-shing predicts strong demand

TEE International, TEE Land flag loss for Q2, half-year

Noble Group puts final amount from sale of US gas and power unit at US$168

HNA 'weighing sale of two Canary Wharf offices'

Malaysia's November exports grow 14.4% year on year

Many areas of collaboration for India and Asean

Additional Articles of Interest - Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate - Full Article

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