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Cyberattack reaches Asia, new targets hit by ransomware

A new ransomware attack similar to WannaCry has reached Asia after spreading from Europe to the US overnight, hitting businesses, port operators and government systems. A terminal operated by AP Moller-Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, a facility near Mumbai which is India’s biggest container port, was unable to load or unload because of the attack, Neeta Prasad, a spokeswoman for the nation’s shipping ministry said by phone. The facility, called Gateway Terminal India, could not identify which shipment belonged to whom, Ms Prasad said. The attack is beingRead More


S’pore drops out of top 20 list of world’s most expensive cities for expats

  The weakening Singapore dollar has made the city-state less expensive for expatriates. Singapore has fallen out of the top 20 list of the most expensive cities in the world, moving six notches down from 18th place last year to 24th in this year’s cost of living survey by ECA International, reported Channel NewsAsia. Topping the list is Angola’s Luanda followed by Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Nonetheless, Singapore remained the 10th most expensive city within the Asia Pacific region, with Hong Kong taking the lead, followed by Tokyo, Seoul,Read More


Asia continues battle as Vietnam declares free of bird flu

Vietnam’s agriculture ministry announced in late May that the country was free of the H5N1 virus after weeks of no new cases. It’s not yet seven in the morning, but the slaughterhouses at the back of Terban market in Yogyakarta city are in full swing. Wholesalers, housewives and businessmen arrive on motorcycles, weaving their way through blood and feathers to pick up freshly killed chickens. Officers from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services, sporting masks, gloves and aprons with hair tucked under plastic caps, are on theirRead More


Singapore property prices to double by 2030: Morgan Stanley

    The protracted downtrend in Singapore’s property market is poised to end next year, with home prices set to double by 2030, Morgan Stanley said in a Wednesday note. “Property market bears expect slower population growth, an ageing population, and a structural growth slowdown to weigh on the long-term property market outlook,” the note said. “We disagree and believe home prices will double by 2030.” That implies a 5 to 6 per cent increase per annum and would mark a reversal from a long downtrend in home prices. InRead More


Pasir Ris to get 2,000 new HDB flats

  Pasir Ris Town Centre will be transformed into a vibrant hub with an integrated bus interchange, a new Heritage Garden and partly-sheltered Town Plaza. Under the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, residents of Pasir Ris can look forward to about 2,000 new HDB flats and a new mixed-use project at the town centre, revealed the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Saturday (29 April). Situated next to Pasir Ris Park, the public housing developments are expected to be launched in the next three to five years and will comeRead More


Upcoming District 9 condos to stir buying interest

  Two prime condominium projects are slated to hit the market in the second half of the year amid a significant pick-up in new private homes sales recently. Analysts say the District 9 projects – GuocoLand Group’s Martin Modern and New Futura by City Developments (CDL) – are likely to interest local and foreign buyers if developers can price the units “correctly”. Cushman and Wakefield research director Christine Li believes Martin Modern will be well-received, “as the high-end residential market seems to be bottoming”. Non-landed private home prices in theRead More


Unwinding property curbs gives Singapore developers new headache

  Singapore’s recent unwinding of some property curbs, which initially appeared to boost prospects for developers, may instead be creating new problems. After regulators closed a tax loophole that allowed developers to offload apartments in bulk to institutional investors and wealthy Singaporeans, many of the city’s builders now face an unpalatable choice: discount unsold luxury homes or pay stiff penalties for missing government-mandated sales deadlines. Opting for discounts could push home prices even lower, prolonging a three-year slide in property values. The alternative could be even more costly. About 2,098Read More


Two freehold sites in Balmoral Road area for sale

  View of the freehold residential sites at Balmoral Road and Ewe Boon Road. Two adjoining freehold residential redevelopment sites within the Balmoral Road area have been put up for sale by public tender, revealed marketing agent Edmund Tie & Co. Launched in a concurrent but separate tender, the two sites at Balmoral Road and Ewe Boon Road are zoned residential, with a gross plot ratio of 1.6 and a building height control of up to 12 storeys under the 2014 Master Plan. The sites have a combined area ofRead More


Government Eases up On Seller Stamp Duty, Relaxes TDSR Rule For Retirees Needing Cash Loans

    Certain residential property measures related to the sellers’ stamp duty (SSD) as well as the total debt servicing ratio framework (TDSR) has been relaxed. However, there would still be no change to the additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD) charge, as well as the loan-to-valuation (LTV) limits. The SSD is currently payable by those who sell a residential property within 4 years of purchase, at rates of between 4% and 16% of the property’s value. The changes will see the SSD holding period cut to 3 years instead of 4Read More


Boomtime property buyers now big losers

More than 800 condo units were resold at a loss this year as economy slows   An ultra-luxury apartment with a sea view at Sentosa Cove has made the largest loss in the property market so far this year. Originally bought for $11 million in 2011, the condominium unit at Seascape was sold for $6.35 million in October at a loss of $4.65 million. A high-end property at The Ritz Carlton Residences in Cairnhill Road made the second-largest loss-making deal of $3.7 million in March. Another Sentosa Cove unit atRead More


BUILT TO ORDER

BUILT TO ORDER   Could it be a sign that the Housing Board’s first Build-to-order (BTO) launch this year was on Valentine’s Day and that this launch is also the first time families can apply under the Fresh Start Housing Scheme? Perhaps the parallels are pushing it, but the 4,065 new flats in Clementi, Tampines and Punggol will no doubt provide a good start for couples hoping to start a family. Out of the 4000 plus units, 1,603 will be in Clementi, 638 in Tampines and 1,815 in Punggol. ThisRead More


Resale condominium market in gradual recovery

  Could a slice of sunshine be sliding its way back into the local private property market? Resale condominium prices have risen 1.1% in January and it’s a bigger increase than the 0.5% in the last 2 months of 2016. And as expected, non-landed private residential properties located in prime districts lead the way, with a 1.9% month-on-month increase. Central region properties also gained 1.5% in terms of prices while that of suburban properties rose by 0.4%. In a year-on-year comparison, resale prices were 0.3% higher than in the sameRead More


Rise in new private home sales volume

Rise in new private home sales volume The number of new private homes sold last year have risen on the back of declining prices in the primary private home sales market. Fighting against predictions of a languishing private residential sector, new private home sales have held up in 2016 with 8,136 new units sold, 9.4 per cent higher than 2015’s 7,440. Buyers have been picking up units directly from developers, aided by a couple of pushes from low interest rates an and lower selling prices. Though 2016 was a slowRead More


Office rents tipped to recover in 2018

  After a tough patch, prime office rents could find respite in 2018, likely boosted by tighter supply of new buildings and still-healthy leasing demand, said consultancy Cushman & Wakefield yesterday. It is forecasting a 3 per cent overall rental growth for Grade A office space in the Central Business District by the end of next year. Rents of such office space has declined by about 20 per cent since a peak in the first quarter of 2015. “We do expect a lot of the leasing to happen. So thereRead More


Over 12,000 new homes may rise in East Coast

Over 12,000 new homes may rise in East Coast January 19, 2017 Around 6,000 HDB flats could be built in the East Coast in future, offering sea views.   The authorities are considering building a new Bayshore district, with more than 12,000 new homes along the East Coast, reported the Straits Times. The article cited tender documents published by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), that invited consultancy firms to craft a master plan for the area sited on reclaimed land, which is currently mostly occupied by private homes. “The number ofRead More


Hong Kong arrests 29 in corruption probe linked to four banks

Hong Kong arrested 29 current and former staff of five financial institutions, including four banks, for alleged bribery connected with obtaining confidential customer information to market personal loans, the city’s anti-graft agency said. Operation “Mirabilis” began last Tuesday and led to the arrests of three managers and 18 serving and former direct sales representatives of a bank, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said in a statement on Monday. A manager and five current and former employees of three other banks, and two employees of a finance company were also detained,Read More


Asia Market Slump Signals Trump Presidency

U.S. elections are hardly just about Americans. The U.S. economy, particularly its masses of moneyed consumers, touches scores of other countries and although it’s an old cliche, America is seen as a world police officer. Donald Trump is U.S. president  and will  probably bring economic shakeup and some policing to Asia. It’s impossible to know for sure what Trump, a New York real estate billionaire, will do in Asia, since he lacks a record on national politics. But a wrap of his campaign statements points to a strong pullback in free trade, including theRead More


Best hotel in Asia 20126 Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, North Malé Atoll, Maldives voted best by Trip advisor. The Gili Lankanfushi Maldives resort is in a remote setting on a private island in the North Malé Atoll in the Maldives. With 45 overwater villas and private residences that are only accessible by boat and offer up-close looks of the vibrant marine life, the hotel is a favorite with honeymooners and couples. The property is also renowned for its customer service, as each guest receives a personal assistant who welcomes them with fresh fruit. The hotel took the No.Read More


How to consume rice with other foods

Tips on how to consume rice with other foods and beverages to reduce its sugar impact. SINGAPORE – Eating white rice on its own is bad, as it can push up blood sugar or glucose significantly. But how much of it is eaten, what it is eaten with, and even how it is eaten can make a big difference, said Professor Jeyakumar Henry, head of the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre. Reducing the sugar in the blood that comes from eating starchy and sugary foods puts less stress on the pancreasRead More


Inventive email scam rises in Asia

Criminals target firms fool staff by pretending to be a senior executive seeking the urgent transfer of funds, report says The Asia-Pacific has seen a significant increase of scam emails in the past two years, with criminals pretending to be senior executives and requesting finance staff to wire funds for urgent business, EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) said in a report. Criminals apparently spent months researching potential targets through online resources, company reports and social media channels. Then, in fraudulent emails, they would purport to be the company’sRead More