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Thread: S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

  1. #1
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    Default S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

    I know this article has been posted before in other threads, but I will post this here for everyone's easy reference. Thanks

    S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister
    - Apr 10, 2007
    AsiaOne

    Singapore is now the centre of attention among regional and global investment industries as it hosts its first Cityscape Asia 2007 - an international convention and exhibition in the property, investment and development sectors.

    This global networking event, which opened at Suntec City this morning, is similar to last year's Cityscape Dubai, which drew thousands of participants.

    Cityscape Asia, opened by Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, will highlight regional investment opportunities, iconic architecture and best practices in development to an international investment industry. The event will end on April 12.

    In his welcoming speech this morning, Mr Mah listed major Singapore achievements to show why this is "a global city of opportunities."

    He also said the event is an excellent opportunity for major investors, developers and governmental authorities involved in major property developments to share their plans and network with other key movers and shakers.

    It was timely to have the event in Asia as this region has been thriving, led by strong and sustained growth in China and India and the much-anticipated revival in Japan, Mr Mah added.

    "General sentiments are positive and upbeat, and these have in turn led to positive spin-offs in other sectors of the regional economies, including the real estate sector," he added.

    On Singapore as a strategic link and important gateway for global investors, he said: "With our central location, political stability and cosmopolitan character, we are well positioned to provide social and economic links between the East and the West.

    "Financial institutions based in Singapore trade around the clock, with Asia-Pacific centres, European and American markets, thus making Singapore a significant hub for 24-hour trading in foreign exchange and securities."

    Participants also heard Mr Mah list Singapore's new areas for growth.

    Said Mr Mah: "We have restructured our economy to ride the wave of globalisation. In the manufacturing sector, we are focusing on developing key industries such as petrochemicals and wafer fabrication. We are also investing heavily in R&D, especially in the areas of biomedical, water technology, and interactive and digital media.

    "We have built up a strong base in biotechnology and biomedicine, with a healthy international reputation and a good concentration of scientists based here. Going forward, more investment will be put into clinical research.

    "Singapore is already one of the leading global players in water technology. Two of the largest water companies in the world, General Electric Water and Siemens Water Technologies, have established R&D centres here. Led by home grown firms like Keppel, Sembawang and Hyflux, Singapore will remain focused on exporting our water technology to countries that have increasing demand for water, such as those in the Middle East and China.

    "In interactive and digital media, our technological university has already tied up with a Japanese company to produce Japanese anime, and going forward, there will be many other areas in this industry that we can develop.

    "Being a major global air hub, Singapore will also focus on growing the aerospace industry. We have plans for a big aerospace park to be built in Seletar.

    "With the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) in place, we aim to attract even more financial institutions and business services, to further strengthen our position as an international financial centre.

    "As the range of financial products and services grows, Singapore will leverage on its sound economic and financial fundamentals, conducive regulatory and business environment, as well as skilled and educated workforce to play an even larger role in global finance and business. Many multinational companies have already chosen to base their regional headquarters in Singapore, and today we are Asia's leading hub for finance, bioscience, aviation, transport and logistics.

    "Tourism is another priority sector for growth. We have embarked on a number of high impact tourism projects such as the two Integrated Resorts - one at Marina Bay, another at Sentosa; the Singapore Flyer - a 165m giant observation wheel at Marina Bay; and the Gardens by the Bay - three waterfront gardens with a combined area of 100Ha right in the heart of the city. Our target is to double annual visitor numbers to 17 million and triple tourism receipt to $30 billion by 2015."

    Mr Mah added that another key strategy to boost economic growth in Singapore is to strengthen economic ties with key trading partners to achieve greater market access for exports.

    "For example, in March 2006, we established the Korea-Singapore FTA (KSFTA), which is a milestone in Singapore's free trade efforts as it is the first comprehensive economic pact between Korea and an Asian partner. We also started negotiations for the China-Singapore FTA in October last year. We have previously concluded major bilateral trade agreements with other key economies throughout the world, including the US, Japan, India, New Zealand and Chile.

    "Singapore's extensive network of Free Trade Agreements, Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements and Investment Guarantee Agreements, as well as its comprehensive air, sea and IT infrastructures, provides for the seamless flow of goods and services to markets around the world."

    He said the continued expansion of the Singapore economy will underpin and drive the growth of the property market. Our property market has been performing well over the last two to three years over a broad front across all sectors. Demand for all property sectors have been rising. Annual increase in demand for office space rose to a six year high of 290,000 sq m in 2006. Demand for shop space also grew strongly by 127,000 sq m in 2006, the highest annual increase since 1993.

    "The hotel Average Room Rate (ARR) for 2006 was estimated to reach $164, an increase of 19.6 per cent over 2005. The Average Occupancy Rate (AOR) for hotels in 2006 was estimated at 85 per cent, registering a growth of 1.4 percentage point over that in 2005.

    "Private housing also saw good take-up, with a total of 10,360 uncompleted private residential units sold by developers in 2006, a historical high annual take-up that surpassed the previous record of 9,860 units in 1994. Of these, 24.5 per cent were bought by foreigners, including permanent residents."

    Mr Mah said consultants have estimated that the total transaction value of investment by foreign companies in Singapore's real estate amounted to some S$5.4 billion in 2006, as compared to S$900 million in 2004.

    "The investors in our real estate include companies based in the many countries, namely, the US, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Japan, Middle East and Indonesia," he added.

    "Driven by positive sentiments the attractiveness of the Singapore Government's plans for key development areas, both local and foreign developers have been buying up development sites sold under the Government's sale of site programme over the past few years."

    For example, development of the Marina Bay area has accelerated with the sale of sites for the Marina Bay Integrated Resort, the Marina Bay Financial Centre and the Collyer Quay lifestyle hotel and commercial development.

    The announcement of the Government's plans to remake Orchard Road one of the world's premium shopping streets, has attracted investors to take up three prime sites in Orchard Road over the last two years.

    "These developments will add vibrancy to the Orchard area and enhance its position as a premier shopping destination," he added.

    REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is another growth area. Since the first REIT was launched in Singapore in 2002, it now has the largest REIT market outside Japan. Over the past four years, 15 REITs were listed on the Singapore stock exchange.

    "Singapore has several key advantages for the continued development of REITs. Our pro-investor tax environment aside, Singapore's REITs are also well-diversified, offering investors exposure to income streams from the office, retail, industrial, hotel and logistics sectors. Several of the REITs listed in Singapore have also diversified offshore to Hong Kong, Australia and other Asia- Pacific countries. With these factors in place, Singapore has the potential to be the hub for REIT listings in the region."

    Mr Mah also said that Singapore's pro-business environment is supported by a well-respected government with transparent and consistent policies that protect companies' physical and IP investments.

    "These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Singapore, said Merrill Lynch in a recent report dated 30 Mar 2007, is 'becoming the Zurich and Monaco - not just of Southeast Asia - but of all Asia' as it develops into a premier private banking centre and a tourist destination with its casino resorts.

    "More than just a good place to do business, Singapore is also a great city to live in. We welcome people from different cultures and offer a good quality living environment. We are ranked the best city to live in Asia by Mercer HR Consultants."

    He pledged that Singapore will continue to step up its efforts to enhance the city as a great place to live, work and play.

    "Our vision is to make Singapore a vibrant, global economy - a City in a Garden, with exciting developments, distinctive architecture, and enhanced greenery and waterfront access. Singapore will be an important destination, not only for business and travel, but also for international events and celebrations. With the development of many strategic areas, we believe that there are many opportunities for developers to invest in Singapore.

    "This is also a good time to invest in Singapore. Our economy is structurally and fundamentally strong, which in turn supports a healthy recovery in all sectors of the property market. With prime and strategic sites being made available now and in the near future, we look forward to increased participation from local and foreign investors," he added.

  2. #2
    Sara Webb
    Guest

    Default Singapore's Rich Splash Out With A Vengeance

    Sara Webb
    Reuters Singapore
    25 April 2007

    Celebrity-chef dinners, huge pay hikes, and hot properties with a garage for the Ferrari and a berth for the yacht...some people in Singapore are living it up.

    The world's top banks have set up in the city-state, bringing plenty of rich clients in their wake. Now, thanks to a strong economy, a private banking boom, and the prospect of two glitzy casinos opening soon, the big spenders are out in force.

    "The good times are back," said Roman Scott, a financial consultant. "There's been a sudden turnaround in confidence. Suddenly, people notice that the economy is growing, they find they can't hire a secretary, and housing prices are going up."

    Singapore's immaculately groomed private bankers are having a field day, thanks to the government's policy of creating a one-stop banking centre-cum-playground for the affluent.

    The focus on the rich has even spawned a new caste system -- of "high net worth individuals", or those with a mere million in financial assets, and the highly desirable "ultra-high net worth" who have millions or billions of dollars to their name.

    Take Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand's richest man, according to Forbes, who listed his whisky and beer firm Thai Beverage in Singapore last year.

    He snapped up not just one, but 47 out of 48 flats in a new development for S$205 million, and four entire floors in another project for S$135 million, Business Times reported this month.

    Singapore has more millionaire households as a percentage of total households than any other Asian economy, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

    Now thanks to all the wealthy Chinese, Indonesians, Indians and Thais who turn to Singapore -- not to mention the Europeans who prefer to park their funds offshore -- there aren't enough private bankers to handle all this money.

    Whole teams of "wealth managers" are hopping from one bank to another, lured by promises of ever-higher salaries and payouts.

    "There's a shortage of really high quality bankers, so there's poaching and that pushes salaries up," said Chris Claridge, who runs a head-hunting firm.

    "Most players are getting 20-30% more. One guy, an investment banker, ended up with 75% more because two banks were bidding for him. It was like ebay."

    Celebrity Chefs And Butler Services

    Bankers aren't the only ones getting a big pay rise.

    Singapore's ministers, already among the world's highest-paid, just got a 60% pay hike, lifting their salaries from S$1.2 million to S$1.9 million ($1.26 million) on average.

    The Prime Minister's pay jumped to S$3.5 million ($2.3 million) -- more than five times the U.S. president's $400,000 salary -- while his deputies will each get S$2.45 million. Two former prime ministers who retain cabinet posts will be paid more than S$3 million.

    A few weeks earlier, the government said it would address a widening income gap with benefits for the poor. The bottom 10% of households had an average annual income of S$3,600 per member in 2006, up 6.6% from the previous year.

    Ministers and civil servants are benchmarked against the best-paid individuals in professions such as banking, an area the government is encouraging as part of an economic overhaul.

    Given the wealth in the financial sector, it's no surprise people are splashing out on expensive meals, cars, and homes.

    Indonesian tycoon Oei Hong Leong hosted a S$50,000 charity banquet, flying in celebrity chefs Tetsuya Wakuda and Justin Quek for a 16-course meal that included poached foie gras and steamed tofu, as well as rare vintage wines, the Business Times reported.

    Local media this month profiled a local businessman whose fleet of 20 cars includes Bentleys, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Jaguar, and said that one Singaporean had paid S$3 million for a new Pagani Zonda F, a record for a sports car in the country.

    Even Singapore's long-stagnant property market is getting a welcome shot in the arm, at least at the top end.

    Such gains could start to erode Singapore's competitive advantage for international firms when compared with centres such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Tokyo, some analysts warn, while adding to the city-state's inflationary pressures.

    Prices for new apartments in prime districts surged 25% in 2006, the strongest recovery in years, while landlords are demanding rent increases of 50-60%.

    "The rental market has gone through the roof," said property agent BeeBee Tan, with a central flat that rented for S$3,600 now commanding S$6,000 a month, an increase of 67%.

    As for the millionaires, they can take their pick of projects offering butler services or a doorstep berth for that gin palace.

    "It's Monaco in the tropics," said consultant Scott.

  3. #3
    Property Cashier
    Guest

    Default RE: Singapore Can Exceed 3-5% Growth In Next 5-8 Years

    Quote Originally Posted by Geet De Clercq
    Minister is bullish about growth potential but says land and labour costs must stay competitive
    Geert De Clercq + Mia Shanley
    Reuters
    Singapore
    4 May 2007

    Singapore can exceed its 3 to 5% growth potential over the next five to eight years, .................... that the government is not worried about inflation despite a planned two percentage point increase in the goods and services tax, a tight labour market, and a red-hot property market.

    He said .................... said that rising property prices and higher salaries were a logical consequence of such policies, but added Singapore would remain competitive with other financial centres.

    "We are quite confident that we will remain a lower-cost city among the high-value cities of the world. Amongst the financial centres of the world, we will remain lower cost for quite some time to come," he said, adding that office space costs were still about a third of those in London, 40% of those in Hong Kong and about 60% of those in Tokyo.

    He said that the planned new financial centre at the city's waterfront Marina Bay would ease price pressure on office space. He also said that the government would not be shy to intervene in the property market to curb excessive price inflation but said "we are not anywhere near that yet."

    "We are quite comfortable with the present stage of the cycle because the mass market is not involved in the frenzy," he said.

    Hello forumers!

    1. The government is not worried about the red-hot property market.

    2. Rising property prices are a logical consequence of good economy policies.

    3. We are still a lower-cost city among the global financial centres. We are about a 1/3 of London, 40% of HongKong and about 60% of Tokyo.

    4. We are not anywhere near the point of excessive price inflation in property market.

    5. The government is comfortable as the mass market is not involved in the frenzy.

    So, what is there to argue about?

  4. #4
    Think with your brains
    Guest

    Post Re: S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

    1. The government is not worried about the red-hot property market.

    2. Rising property prices are a logical consequence of good economy policies.

    3. We are still a lower-cost city among the global financial centres. We are about a 1/3 of London, 40% of HongKong and about 60% of Tokyo.

    4. We are not anywhere near the point of excessive price inflation in property market.

    5. The government is comfortable as the mass market is not involved in the frenzy.

    So, what are you waiting for?[/quote]
    Because
    1. The government is making too much money in this red-hot market. URA selling pockets of land at record smashing prices, GLCs eg:- capitaland, keppel land and ..... cashing in tremendous amounts.
    2. Rising property prices in singapore are a logical consequence of Good hype, buzz and marketing(artificially proped up).
    3. Our pay is 1/3 london, 2/5 hongkong and 3/5 tokyo. So?
    Ministers pay 300% london, 150% hongkong, 200% tokyo.
    Country size 1/100 london, 1/2 hongkong, 1/40 tokyo.
    4. Yes, we are not. Just that only the rich can get richer.
    5. Government is definately comfortable as the 95% of singaporeans have no part of this money making sector, best part is that they still get pay rise.


    Think with your brains

  5. #5
    Beng
    Guest

    Default Re: S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

    Quote Originally Posted by Think with your brains
    Because
    1. The government is making too much money in this red-hot market. URA selling pockets of land at record smashing prices, GLCs eg:- capitaland, keppel land and ..... cashing in tremendous amounts.
    2. Rising property prices in singapore are a logical consequence of Good hype, buzz and marketing(artificially proped up).
    3. Our pay is 1/3 london, 2/5 hongkong and 3/5 tokyo. So?
    Ministers pay 300% london, 150% hongkong, 200% tokyo.
    Country size 1/100 london, 1/2 hongkong, 1/40 tokyo.
    4. Yes, we are not. Just that only the rich can get richer.
    5. Government is definately comfortable as the 95% of singaporeans have no part of this money making sector, best part is that they still get pay rise.


    Think with your brains

    Wah liao! Swee liao!

    Gahmen make. We make money. Everybody make money.
    Smash records. Smash records. Including my house music records.
    Prices up, up, up, up, up and up ah!
    Rich, rich and rich. $$$$$$$$$$

    Cheong ah!

  6. #6
    humble man
    Guest

    Default Re: S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

    Quote Originally Posted by Beng
    Including my house music records.

    ah beng listen to house music one meh? can appreciate ah? i tot ah beng only like to listen TECHNO

  7. #7
    Beng
    Guest

    Default Re: S'pore is the place to invest in: Minister

    Quote Originally Posted by humble man
    ah beng listen to house music one meh? can appreciate ah? i tot ah beng only like to listen TECHNO

    Wah liao!
    My England no good lah. But can make money it's OK.

    I mean music records in my house ..... my house's music records ..... not house-music records.

    Techno, I dunno.
    But make $$$ I know.

    Cheong ah!

  8. #8
    Neighbour
    Guest

    Default Re: Singapore Can Exceed 3-5% Growth In Next 5-8 Years

    Quote Originally Posted by Property Cashier
    Hello forumers!

    1. The government is not worried about the red-hot property market.

    2. Rising property prices are a logical consequence of good economy policies.

    3. We are still a lower-cost city among the global financial centres. We are about a 1/3 of London, 40% of HongKong and about 60% of Tokyo.

    4. We are not anywhere near the point of excessive price inflation in property market.

    5. The government is comfortable as the mass market is not involved in the frenzy.

    So, what is there to argue about?


    I have never seen this kind of supports before.
    We are goning to be wealthier.
    Cool!

  9. #9
    Student
    Guest

    Default Plenty Of Potential In Residential

    Quote Originally Posted by Business Times
    CityDev chairman plans to keep some units in new residentialprojects
    Kalpana Rashiwala
    Business Times
    10 May 2007

    Kwek Leng Beng is so confident about the ongoing property bull market that he's considering retaining a portion in some new residential developments for rental income and capital appreciation.

    'We'll do this selectively and it will help us even out earnings fluctuations from our core property development/ trading business,' says Mr Kwek, who is executive chairman of Hong Leong Group and its listed property unit City Developments.

    This new business model is no different from keeping office buildings for rental income, he explains in a recent interview with BT.

    'Residential also has a lot of potential. Let's say, I had two towers in a residential project. I could sell one, and keep the other - and maybe sell later when prices are higher, keep for rental income, or even go for an en bloc sale one day, when I will be entitled to a windfall,' he said.

    The issue in today's hot property market is that 'the selling price of your current project becomes the break-even cost for your next project' because of the ever-increasing cost of buying replacement land. 'You might as well not sell your residential development, ' Mr Kwek argues.

    He says that retaining a portion of units in residential developments makes sense also because residential rentals are set to appreciate further on the back of leasing demand created by the influx of foreign talent into Singapore.

    ....................

    Another compelling reason to include real estate as part of one's investment portfolio: 'If you look at Forbes' list of the world's richest persons, many of them have their wealth backed by real estate.'

    Wow! Mr Kwek is also ......
    This is a new Singapore man!

  10. #10
    LB Kwek
    Guest

    Default Smaller Supply, Bigger Demand.

    "The number of new homes built on sites sold through collective sales may be smaller than the existing stock that is being pulled down because of the trend of building bigger homes."

    - 10 May 2007

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