The Week in Numbers: Singapore in Focus

Homeowners of potential en bloc sites in Singapore are attempting to cash in on the current optimism surrounding the local property market. For instance, owners of Mandarin Gardens, a 99-year lease condominium that sits on a whopping one million square feet piece of land, have set up a committee to try to push the sale of its property to developers. Experts believe that if it goes through, the deal could potentially be worth more than a billion dollars.

Elsewhere, owners of the 1.1 million square foot Braddel View estate voted to form its collective sales committee. Cashew Heights, a 999-year leasehold estate that sits on 953,000 square feet of land is also trying to sell en bloc. So far, the biggest successful collective sale to date is Farrer Court, which was sold for $1.34 billion. The total land area of that property measured at 838,488 square feet. Last year, more than 30 collective sales were made for a total sale price of almost $8.7 billion.

Changi Airport handled a record number of passengers, flights, and cargo last year. Total passenger traffic grew by 6% on a yearly basis to 62.2 million. Aircraft movements rose by 3.5% to 373,200 landings and take-offs. That equates to around 1,022 each day and about 7,200 flights a week. Air cargo also grew by 8% to 2.13 million tonnes. Kuala Lumpur was Changi’s top city link. Among the top 10 country links, India and China reported the largest growth of 16% and 12% respectively.

Air travel in the Asia Pacific is expected to triple in the next 20 years. Changi is, therefore, growing its capacity to cater to this growth. Terminal 1 is being upgraded, together with the development of Jewel Changi Airport. This will increase Changi’s handling capacity to 85 million passengers a year. A new terminal, Terminal 5, is pencilled in for completion in 2030. Once completed, it can handle an additional 70 million passengers yearly.

South Korea has been ranked first in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index for the fifth consecutive year. Singapore is also ranked highly at 3rd place, just behind Sweden in second. The United States fell to 11th spot, the first time it has ranked outside the top 10 for six years.

Meanwhile, top executives around the world are more optimistic about the global economy than ever before. A survey of 1,300 CEOs conducted by the World Economic Forum found that 57% believe the global growth will accelerate in the next year. That is an increase from the 29% in last year’s poll, and also represents the biggest yearly rise. Optimism in the United States rose from 24% to 59%. However, there has been a drop in confidence in Britain from 41% to 34%, possibly due to the complicated negotiations of Brexit.

However, not all is rainbows and butterflies. 28% of CEOs are worried about the lack of workers with digital skills. 24% of CEOs in the financial services sector are planning staff cuts, mostly are due to technology and automation. 40% of those polled are also concerned about geopolitical uncertainty, cyber threats, terrorism, availability of critical skills and populism.

And lastly, the roadmap for Singapore’s professional services sector has been unveiled. The sector’s Industry Transformation Map (ITM) aims to provide workers with skills in high-growth areas like data science, analytics and artificial intelligence. The target is for the industry to grow by 4.6% each year for the next five years. That equates to $31 billion in value added by 2020. Through the value it adds, it hopes to generate around 5,500 new jobs in this sector each year. Firms in the professional services industry, which include consulting, accounting, legal, advertising, architectural and engineering services, employed 230,000 people in 2016, contributing $25 billion, or around 6.5% of Singapore’s GDP.

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