British home appliance manufacturer Dyson, famous for its “head shield” hairdryers and bagless vacuum cleaners, will move its head office to Singapore from the United Kingdom. Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan denied that the move had anything to do with Brexit, saying that the decision was to put the company in the best position to secure opportunities and keep an eye on its investments.
The firm already employs 1,100 people here and plans to double the size of its research and operations. Its global research and development team stood at 5,853 engineers and scientists last year. Dyson announced that its profits grew 33% in 2018 and exceeded €1 billion for the first time last year.
Meanwhile, manufacturing solutions and services provider, Grand Venture Technology Limited, made its debut on the local stock exchange on Tuesday. The homegrown company was the first company to undergo an initial public offering (IPO) in Singapore this year. In total, the company raised gross proceeds of S$13.2 million, and net proceeds of S$10.9 million. The public tranche of 12.5 million shares was oversubscribed by 1.3 times. Grand Venture’s market cap after its IPO is around S$64.4 million.
China’s economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 6.4%, dragging 2018 total growth to 6.6%, the slowest rate of growth in nearly three decades.
Faltering domestic demand, coupled with United States tariffs, has put pressure on Beijing to roll out additional stimulus in 2019. Policymakers have pledged to support growth but ruled out a “flood of stimulus” which Beijing had relied on in the past, but resulted in massive debt. Finance Minister Liu Kun said that China will further lower taxes and fees this year and is also looking into cutting social security fees to reduce the burden on small companies.
Over in the United States, President Trump signed the bill to reopen the government after a 35-day shutdown. Trump had demanded US$5.7 billion to fund the border wall between the US and Mexico. The shutdown had resulted in more than 800,000 Federal workers missing their paycheck last month. When the legislation becomes law, the Federal workers will receive a back-pay in a few days.
Traders have suggested that a “fat finger error” was the reason behind the 83% drop in the price of Singapore conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited’s (SGX: J36) share price on Thursday morning. Its stock sank from Wednesday’s close of S$66.47 to S$10.99 in pre-market trading on Thursday, losing about S$55 billion in market value. The stock price has since corrected.
Finally, hedge fund billionaire, Ken Griffin, has gone on a real estate shopping spree. Just days after spending €95 million for a 200-year old home in London, the Citadel founder set a US record by splashing out US$238 million on a penthouse at 220 Central Park South in New York.
The price for the penthouse is more than double the record for a residential sale in Manhattan, which was US$100.5 million for a penthouse at One57. However, based on the size of his new purchase, Griffin paid about US$10,000 a square foot, which is still shy of the US$13,000 a square foot paid for a penthouse at Park West in 2012.
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