COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Genting Singapore could be largest casualty of scrapped HSR project; Talent crunch stifles fintech boom

And here’s what should know about Manulife US REIT’s Q1 earnings results.

From iCompareloan:

Will Genting Singapore be the major victim of the the Malaysian Government’s decision to scrap the high-speed rail project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur? Genting Singapore had the first-phase opening in April 2015, more than 2 years before the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the HSR project. When the hotel first opened, several commentators questioned the decision to build the 557-room hotel so far from its resort in Sentosa and to bring those guests in by bus. Their questions were answered when Singapore and Malaysia inked the bilateral agreement for the HSR project on 13 December 2016. 

It is hard to imagine how Genting Hotel Jurong and Genting Singapore will not suffer from the pullout of the HSR considering that it is but a stone-throw away from the canned project (perhaps built with the sole idea of benefiting from the project) and the lack of human traffic without the project.

International Property Advisor’s chief executive officer, Mr Ku Swee Yong, noted that “Those who bought property in the Jurong area with the purpose of investment would be disappointed as their investments might only bear them good gains many years later,” and that “Developers will be a lot more careful and less aggressive with their bid price going forward.”

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From Bloomberg:

Technology startups in many countries are fighting to attract skilled workers like software engineers. Yet in the tiny city-state of Singapore, with a population of 5.6 million, the dearth of talent is particularly acute. The nation’s universities and polytechnic schools churn out what the government estimates are 400 graduates a year with the right qualifications, well short of plans to add 1,000 financial tech jobs annually, according to the Singapore Fintech Association.

A gradual tightening of immigration rules is putting pressure on a labour market that’s already feeling the crunch as the number of employment passes -- which are granted to foreign professionals in jobs that pay at least S$3,600 ($2,679) a month -- declined last year for the first time in at least five years.

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From The Motley Fool:

Manulife US Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:BTOU) is a pure-play U.S. office REIT listed in Singapore. It is a fairly new REIT and only went public in 2016 at a price of US$0.83. As of 31 March 2018, the REIT had a portfolio of five office properties located in Los Angelas, Irvine, Atlanta, Seacaucus and Jersey City.

Gross revenue for the quarter surged 57.1% year-on-year to US$31.1 million from US$19.8 million. Likewise, net property income grew 54% to US$19.7 million from US$12.8 million the same period last year. However, more importantly, distribution per unit still fell 8.5% to 1.5 US cents from 1.65 US cents.

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