ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Queenstown HDB flat sold for record $1.1m; Are REITs killing small businesses?

And a new hire in Julius Baer highlights Singapore banks' battle for talent.

From iCompareLoan via Yahoo! Finance:

Temasek Holdings chief Ho Ching said they worked hard to build up REITs and democratise investing in various assets for house investors, but economic commentator Ryan Ong suggested that REITs may be killing Singapore's businesses.

"In writing for our publication, he said: 'REITS and high business cost are intricately linked, this is real. Just ask the many retail shop operators or food court stalls owners who suffer under one of the few major REITs operator, they will tell you. REITs are pushing the cost of shopper experience to the shop operators and mandating renovation to their specifications at the shop operator’s cost. REITs not only charge rentals, they also charge a percentage of sales on the revenue.

REITS leads to high cost of living, as your food court stalls are now charging $6, $8 and perhaps even $10 compared to $4, $5 and $6 in the past. They have no choice.'

Read more here.

From Property Guru:

An HDB resale flat in Queenstown was sold for a whopping $1.1m in June, setting a new record for the most expensive 5-room unit sold outside the iconic Pinnacle @ Duxton housing project.

"The record also excludes executive flats which are bigger, and Design, Build and Sell Scheme flats developed and sold by private developers.

Data from the Housing Board website shows that the 1,259 sq ft flat is located in Block 18C between the 37th and 39th floors. It has a remaining lease of 93 years."

Read more here.

From eFinancialCareers:

Julius Baer has taken on senior non-resident Indian (NRI) banker from Standard Chartered in Singapore, which is considered the most aggressive NRI recruiter in Singapore.

"Sundeep Dua joined Julius Baer last month as a director in its ISC (Indian Subcontinent) NRI team, according to his public profile. He previously spent more than five years within the global South Asian client team at Stan Chart.

Julius Baer isn’t only adding NRI bankers in Asia; it has been building across its front-office. Between 2015 and 2017, its headcount of Asia-based relationship managers shot up by 130 to reach 400, according to Asian Private Banker. That’s the largest total increase of any private bank not involved in an acquisition during that period, and means the Swiss firm now has the fifth largest RM workforce in the region."

Read more here.

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