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Taxes, transformation and tooling up for the future
The challenge of keeping Singapore in good fiscal health will be a key focus of this year's Budget.  With infrastructure investment and social spending set to continue climbing, market watchers widely expect Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat to raise taxes in Budget 2018.

Singapore Economy

Investor residency scheme created 6,000 jobs from 2011-2016
Investments brought in under the Global Investor Programme generated S$1.8 billion in total business expenditure from 2011 to 2016.  These investments created over 6,000 job opportunities here, in industries such as infocomm media, engineering and financial services, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry

Fund flows into local market boost Singdollar
The Singapore dollar is staying strong as global investors pile into the local market.  The currency hit its highest level against the greenback in nearly three years last Friday, reaching about $1.3256.

Challenges new and old confronting SMEs
By all accounts the economy had a stellar year in 2017 but many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) missed out on the gains, so hopes are high that the benefits might finally start trickling down.  But even if 2018 is a better year, smaller companies still face a considerable number of challenges.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore tops Asean for 2018 property market growth forecasts
Singapore's property market came in as the most promising one among Morgan Stanley Research's rankings of Asean markets which include the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.So bullish is the research house on the Singapore market that it actually expects home prices to rise 8 per cent this year and again in 2019, as rising buyer demand outweighs a tight supply of unsold inventory.

SRX resale condo price index up for 5th consecutive month
Resale prices for condominium units and private apartments posted their fifth consecutive month-on-month gain in December, based on the latest flash estimates from property portal SRX Property.  Its overall resale price index for non-landed private homes went up 0.4 per cent in December over November, the same pace as November's revised rate, said SRX Property.

Surbana tapped for Philippine city project
Singapore consulting firm Surbana Jurong is helping the Philippine government prepare detailed design standards and guidelines for a 9,450ha "smart, green city" being developed north of Manila.  Surbana Jurong will refine the New Clark City's design, review agreements for providing water and power, and devise a framework for its long-term operation.

Condo resale prices rise 0.4% in Dec, 6.2% for 2017
Resale prices of private homes stayed on an upward trend last month to underscore the market's gradual turnaround.  Values rose 0.4 per cent from November to December, the same pace as November's revised rate, according to flash estimates from SRX Property yesterday.  The data showed that prices continued to rise across the island.

New funeral parlour to replace Mount Vernon Columbarium
A new funeral parlour will replace the Mount Vernon Columbarium Complex, as the latter makes way for new homes in the upcoming Bidadari estate.  Construction work will start in the second half of 2021, and the redeveloped complex is expected to be operational in 2024.

Companies' Brief

Possible routes for Sembcorp after strategic review
To sell, or not to sell? The question of what Sembcorp Industries will do with its marine business has kept the market waiting with bated breath.  The answer will soon be known, with the group set to release the conclusions of its strategic review early this year.

Cryptocurrency player Ripple keen to set off blockchain waves in Singapore
Fresh from setting up an office in Singapore in September, Ripple - the blockchain firm behind what is now the world's second-most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin - is keen to engage the key financial centre in ways to develop the use of blockchain technology, said its top executive.

GIC invests in US multi-family properties through JV\
GIC has formed a joint venture with US property investment firm Cortland Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to acquire and renovate 8,000 to 10,000 property units in the US known as Class B multi-family units.

Hiap Tong unit awarded five-year extension to lifting services contract with ExxonMobil
Crane specialist Hiap Tong Corporation on Tuesday said that its wholly owned subsidiary, Hiap Tong Crane & Transport, was awarded a five-year extension lifting services contract by oil and gas company, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific.

Views, Reviews & Forum

How technology will power a modern Singapore construction industry
The Singapore government's Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for the construction sector is more than a vision for the sector's future. It is a survival plan. It is a timely and necessary response to the technological changes taking place in Singapore and around the world.

Industry transformation maps 'disconnected from needs of businesses'
Not all businesses have benefited from the industry transformation maps (ITMs) that have been widely touted as the government's strategy to propel the economy into the future, said panellists at a pre-Budget roundtable on Tuesday.  ITMs were described as disconnected from the needs of industry and SMEs, as well as lacking horizontal links to other industries, they added.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

London beats New York among foreign investors in real estate

Australia's home building boom gets new burst of energy

Hong Kong housing market is starting to cool, Credit Suisse says

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