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Collaboration key to winning the Rat race

SINGAPORE (Jan 23): The traditional print media industry faces ongoing structural challenges, but The Edge Singapore and EdgeProp Singapore are constantly adapting so that readers are better served and business partners can enjoy better ROI.

Beauty with a side of tea

SINGAPORE (Jan 17): Announcing a trip to Seoul is a silent invitation for the most distant of acquaintances to impose on you to purchase products on their behalf. These luggage extras occasionally comprise snacks or K-pop merchandise, but it is the South Korean obsession with beauty that frequently makes the checklists.

But if you plan it right, picking up face masks and too-many emulsions does not have to be a chore.

Facing up to new norms and staying the course

SINGAPORE (Dec 27): As this issue of The Edge Singapore goes to print, US President Donald Trump faces an impeachment trial by his political enemies. The internal divide in the US has never been so pronounced and politics so divisive.

Even as Trump defends himself at home, he is busy picking fights outside the US, including with his allies in Europe. By starting the trade war with China, he has won the adulation of certain segments of the American populace. He has also caused the disruption of business and trade worldwide.

Expect shareholder returns to rise in next decade despite slowdown in short-term growth

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): In the past 10 years, the local banks have given investors decent returns. DBS Group Holdings’ total shareholder returns stand at 157%, or a compound annual growth rate of 9.9%. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) has returned 84.6% in the past decade, for a CAGR of 6.3%; and United Overseas Bank would have returned 99% in 10 years, or a CAGR of 7%. All three outperformed the Straits Times Index’s CAGR of 4.7% in the same period.

Real estate investment trusts remain bankers' best friends amid record fundraising

SINGAPORE (Dec 23): Real estate investment trusts raised $6.4 billion this year, excluding two REIT mergers that were completed and two acquisitions by Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) and BHG Retail REIT that need unitholder approval. Dasin Retail Trust and Ascendas India Trust, which are property trusts structured as business trusts, raised a further $220 million. As business trusts, Dasin Retail Trust and A-iTrust can also develop property. REITs can take on development only under certain conditions.

Local developer heads for global ranks, more deals in store for sector

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): The local property market — which was subjected to cooling measures and experienced oversupply in the past decade — may be small, but in the 2020s, a home-grown developer will rank among global real estate companies such as Brookfield Asset Management, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (a merger formed with the former Westfield Corp) and Lendlease Group.

ST Engineering achieves record-high order book; SIA Group improves revenue and efficiency

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): It has been a good year for engineering group ST Engineering, which has seen all-round growth from its various business units. It received orders from both defence and commercial customers and earnings increased from its existing businesses as well as newly acquired ones.

For example, the company’s newly acquired business, Middle River Aerostructure Systems, helped lift revenue for 3QFY2019 by 53% y-o-y to more than $1 billion. MRA Systems manufactures thrust reversers, engine nacelle components and specialised aerostructures.

Telcos expected to face 5G cost challenges and new competitors in 2020

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): The telco sector has seen quite a shake-up this year as new entrant TPG Telecom starts to spin up its 4G network, while incumbent M1 was successfully taken private.

While the award of the fourth telco licence to TPG by the Infocomm Media Development Agency of Singapore (IMDA) was expected, the decision by Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings to privatise M1 stunned many. The offer was formally made in December last year under a jointly owned vehicle, Konnectivity.

Fare hikes and overseas expansion to give transport operators a lift

SINGAPORE (Dec 20): Transport operators in Singapore have been battered by low public-transport fares as well as the entry of another ride hailing startup, Gojek.

However, after Dec 28, public transport fares for adult commuters using travel cards will go up by 7%, or about nine cents, per journey. This group makes up about 65% of all public transport trips. Those using cash on buses or single-trip tickets for train rides will see an increase of 20 cents per trip.

What are the lessons from the Hyflux haircut?

(Dec 20): In the 1970s, long-haired visitors to Singapore were required to cut their hair on arrival as unkempt locks were linked to hippie culture.

Investors in Singapore are now pondering a haircut of a different kind. Hyflux, once a marquee water treatment company, struggled to pay its debts after entering the power supply business. It has since been desperately seeking a white knight. A total of 34,000 retail investors in Hyflux’s preferred debt were left in the lurch. The situation even prompted a public protest.

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