Daily Briefing: Mortgage slowdown may hasten home price decline; Australia's ANZ shuts down Singapore gold vault

And ST Telemedia buys majority stake in cloud computing firm.

From Bloomberg:

Home-loan growth dipped to 1.9% in the first 11 months of 2018 which is less than half of the 4.2% growth in 2017, figures from the Monetary Authority of Singapore show. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Diksha Gera thinks that Singapore’s mortgage growth will stay stuck below 2% in 2019.

The credit slowdown threatens to further accelerate the decline in residential prices, which fell for the first time in six quarters in the final three months of last year. Housing values may drop as much as 3% this year, and new home sales might plunge 20%, according to Derek Tan, a real estate analyst at DBS Group Holdings.

“I expect the overall property market outlook to be weaker in 2019,” independent property analyst Royston Foo said. “Insecurity and bearish sentiment will result in potential buyers holding back purchases and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

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From Reuters:

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) revealed that it will close its precious metals vault in Singapore following their move in 2018 to sell their stake in an exchange-traded fund backed by physical gold.

“ANZ has suspended its physical precious metals custody service as it does not align to our business strategy at this time,” a spokesman for the bank told Reuters. “This is a very small change in our precious metals and commodities business, which remains more broadly an important part of the ANZ Markets business.”

Industry sources say precious metals account for the bulk of revenues at ANZ’s commodities division estimated at $68.02-108.83m (US$50-80m) a year.

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From Deal Street Asia:

ST Telemedia acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Indonesia and Malaysia-focused cloud computing firm Cloud Comrade to enhance STT’s multi-cloud, managed service capabilities in Asia.

“Asian governments and companies are embracing digital innovation and the cloud, driving demand for advanced AI and cloud implementation services that are customized for their needs. STT’s acquisition of Cloud Comrade underscores our confidence in the potential of Asia’s digital transformation market,” said Ronald Totton, STT’s executive vice president of corporate development.

In the last few years, STT has made significant investments in data centres and AI-driven, cloud-centric businesses focused on cybersecurity, big data, IT operations, customer digital experience, and managed cloud services.

Read more here.

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