Daily Briefing: HDB to launch new sales scheme; SPH diversifies outside media after profit plunge

Airbnb-like company Roomorama halts processing bookings.

From via Yahoo!: Starting next month, the Housing Board will also introduce a new sales mode for remaining unsold unit called the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF). This will help those with urgent housing needs and those less particular about the attributes and location of their units, as this sales exercise will offer unsold homes pooled together from previous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises.

From Shares Investment via Yahoo!: SPH has also finished the sale of 701Search at the end of June, and is now expecting to report a $150 million profit from divestment in the next quarter, though UOB KayHian Research has predicted that special dividends from the divestment is unlikely. However, analysts at UOB have warned that such diversification efforts are “not expected to arrest the earnings decline in the near term” since the earnings from the new investments in Orange Valley Healthcare and Bidadari are still relatively small. The decline in media earnings is also likely to continue to outpace the increase in revenue from these new businesses.

From Tech in Asia: In 2012, it secured US$2.1 million in seed funding and merged with US and Europe-focused competitor Lofty, significantly expanding its market reach. The following year, it partnered with travel price comparison site Wego, adding another potentially lucrative channel for sourcing bookings. However, it would appear that the pressure was piling on Roomorama. It was operating in a highly competitive market dominated by US player Airbnb, which set up a Singapore office in 2012. Moreover, the company had to deal with regulatory issues surrounding its business model in many of the territories it operated in, including Singapore.

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