Air quality in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta worst in the world

(Sept 18): The air quality level in Singapore turned unhealthy ahead of the Formula 1 race this weekend, while Kuala Lumpur was ranked among the world’s most polluted cities, as wind from neighbouring Indonesia continued to sweep in ash and smoke from illegal burning of forests and farm land.

Singapore ranked 'below average' as investor-friendly fund market; fees and expenses the weak spot

SINGAPORE (Sept 18): Singapore is seen as a place where a wide-ranging array of investment products ranging from shares and bonds to gold and property are widely available and easily accessible.

However, the republic is not as investor-friendly it comes to fees and expenses incurred when buying funds, according to a recent study by Morningstar Inc, the provider of independent investment research.

Singapore woos banks in battle of Asia's biggest forex hubs

(Sept 17); Singapore saw its lead over Hong Kong shrink to just a whisker in the battle to be Asia’s biggest foreign-exchange currency hub. To keep its advantage, the island state wants to attract more companies to set up electronic trading platforms.

Average daily trading in Singapore jumped 22% to a record US$633 billion ($872 billion) in April from the same period in 2016, according to the latest survey by the Bank for International Settlements. That’s just ahead of Hong Kong’s US$632 billion, as the Chinese city saw a 45% surge in daily transactions.

Singapore apartment sales dip 4.8% in August

(Sept 16): Private home sales in Singapore slipped 4.8% in August even as developers launched more units than the previous month.

Developers in the city-state sold 1,122 apartments last month versus 1,179 in July, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released Monday. July’s level was the highest since November as a broader economic slowdown spurred investors to park their money in a property market known as a safe haven.

Hong Kong firms look to Singapore to escape protests

SINGAPORE (Sept 13): Almost a quarter of businesses in a new survey are thinking of leaving Hong Kong to escape ongoing protests, with most looking to Singapore as their favored location.

Some 23% of surveyed companies with an office in Hong Kong are considering moving business functions from the city, while 1% already have plans to relocate, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore poll. Of those firms, nine in 10 see Singapore as the best option -- beating any other destination in Southeast Asia or elsewhere.

In ageing Singapore, 65-year-olds are learning how to code

(Sept 13): Most 65-year-olds would be looking to wind down their careers as they hit retirement.

But in Singapore, which has one of the highest life expectancies in the world at nearly 85 years and where the government soon plans to raise the retirement age, workers are being pushed to learn new skills to stay productive.

Singapore ranked 14th globally in terms of 'idea intensity': PwC survey

SINGAPORE (Sept 12): Singapore is the 14th most “idea intensive” country, according to PwC’s Global Economy Watch.

South Korea, which topped the idea intensity index, saw 2,554 patents granted per million of population while the republic saw 543 patents granted per million population.

The findings were based on PwC analysis of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) datasets regarding patents granted in 2017, with adjustments for population size.

These survey also found that the top 20 were dominated by East Asian and Northern European countries.

Singapore unveils changes to make public housing more affordable

(Sept 10): Singapore may increase its supply of public housing next year as the city-state introduced measures Tuesday aimed at making such homes more affordable.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said the measures would help more Singaporeans from lower to upper-middle income households buy their first homes. The Housing & Development Board, which is the body responsible for public housing, would probably have to increase supply in 2020 to meet the additional demand expected to stem from the changes, according to a joint statement from MND and HDB.

Singapore a clear fintech leader in Southeast Asia: Fitch Solutions

SINGAPORE (Sept 9): Singapore has the most developed financial technology ecosystem in Southeast Asia, according to a report by Fitch Solutions.

Fintech segments such as e-payments, peer-to-peer crowdfunding and cryptocurrency are mature in Singapore, with established players providing services.

The city state also acts a springboard for many foreign companies to enter Asia markets.

In a report on Sept 6, Fitch highlighted the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s responsive and supportive regulations.

Haze threat looms over Singapore as Indonesia forest fires rage

(Sept 9): Air quality in Singapore and parts of Malaysia may worsen in the coming days with Indonesian authorities warning of more forest fires in the region already in the grip of an unusually long dry weather spell.

More than 2,500 hotspots scattered throughout Southeast Asia were detected in the past week, Indonesia’s weather agency said on Sunday, citing satellite data. The number of forest fires was volatile with an increasing trend, according to Mulyono R. Prabowo, deputy of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

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