The Week In Numbers: Glitches and Gremlins

A property expert reckons that rents in Orchard Road could fall by up to 5% this year. Colliers International attributed several reasons for the drop. These included competition from new suburban malls and pressures from higher labour costs. Another concern could come from lower visitor numbers, which has resulted in a 5% decline in tourist arrivals in the first three months of the year.

Singapore investment company, Temasek Holdings, said its portfolio has benefit from the generally favourable global environment for equities last year. Its Total Shareholder Return last year of 19.2% was better than Singapore’s Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), which returned 8%.

A survey by Friends Provident International revealed that well-off investors in Singapore would like to retire on nest egg of S$1.38m. The auspicious number was drawn from responses of more than 1,000 affluent and aspiring-affluent Singapore investors. Four out of five respondents said they want to do more outside of their current Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings. Two-thirds said they still had a long way to go with regards to retirement savings.

A raft of measures has been unveiled by Chinese authorities to stem the stock market rout. It halted the crash on Thursday, which some commentators have said is no more than a dead-cat bounce. From near-term peak to recent trough, the Shanghai market has fallen by almost 30%, wiping out more than US$3 trillion, or RMB18 trillion, from the value of Chinese shares.

For months, Chinese media have been hailing the unstoppable rise of Chinese shares. But following the crash, more than a thousand Chinese companies have asked for their shares to be suspended, which effectively locks in existing shareholders and locks out potential buyers.

It was a week of technical glitches this week. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was halted for more than three hours when a faulty router was believed to be the cause. In the media world, the Wall Street Journal website was unavailable on its desktop version, shortly after the NYSE was shut down.

Meanwhile, in the travel sphere, gremlins were at play at United Continental. The world’s No.2 airline suspended its flights worldwide for about two hours because a faulty router prevented passengers from checking in. And closer to home, SMRT (SGX: S53) services on the North-South and East-West lines were disrupted for 3-1/2 hours.

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