Daily Briefing: Cabinet shakeup could boost Singapore stocks; Luxury property sales crashed 42% in Q3

And EDBI joins US$90m funding round for voice security startup Pindrop.

From Bloomberg:

Singapore’s equity valuations may benefit from a handover of the country’s reins to younger leaders, according to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) head of research Carmen Lee.

A younger team with technology- and media-savvy members would put more focus on making the city-state a “smarter” nation and may even cut corporate and personal taxes. That, in turn, could increase stock valuations, she said at a media briefing in Singapore.

Her comments came as speculation increased a cabinet reshuffle is in the cards for next year, after a report said Singapore will announce changes following a budget debate in March.

Whilst a “smarter” nation would not translate into earnings immediately, technology would penetrate across industries in the long run, with telecom and banking shares benefiting the most, in addition to the few tech companies listed in Singapore, she said.

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From iCompare Loan:

Luxury property sales dropped 42% QoQ in Q3 amidst property cooling measures, according to report by List Sotheby's International Realty.

The report said the local luxury property segment as a whole took a hit after the property cooling measures with 13 Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) being sold along with 1 bungalow in Sentosa Cove and 61 luxury apartments.

List Sotheby’s said these figures show that the cooling measures have a greater impact on the luxury property segment of Sentosa Cove and luxury apartment segments than on the GCB segment.

The reduced sales in the first 2 luxury property segments could be attributed to a drop in foreign and permanent resident (PR) buyers who are hit by the higher ABSD rates, said the niche real estate services company. It added that as GCBs are restricted properties which only locals can buy, the segment was relatively more resilient.

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From Deal Street Asia:

The Economic Development Board’s investment arm ADBI has joined the $90m funding round for voice security and authentication startup Pindrop.

The financing in Atlanta-based startup was led by London’s Vitruvian Partners, with participation from new strategic investors including Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, and Goldman Sachs.

“Our broad range of investors collectively view Pindrop as the established industry leader for securing the future of voice as it moves beyond the voice channel and towards voice-enabled devices,” Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder of Pindrop, said.

“This investment enables us to quickly boost our advancements in consumer IoT and voice technology while also continuing to strengthen our market-leading solutions for anti-fraud and authentication solutions for the global enterprise.”

Read more here.

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