Category Archives: Others

Millions of OKH Global shares force-sold

Millions of OKH Global shares force-sold

The stock of property developer OKH Global plunged yesterday after millions of shares that its chief executive had pledged to financial companies were force-sold.

OKH Global stock had been suspended from trading last Wednesday after the Singapore Exchange (SGX) queried a 33 per cent fall in the stock that day.

When trading resumed yesterday, the stock came under immediate pressure, eventually shedding 79.7 per cent or 27.9 cents to close at 7.1 cents, with a whopping 247.4 million shares changing hands.

The firm said in an SGX filing last night that the stock price dived yesterday due to force-selling of shares that were pledged by chief executive and executive chairman Bon Ween Foong to financial institutions.

“(He) has pledged part of his share holdings to various financial institutions… some of these financial institutions have force-sold some of the pledged shares, resulting in the drop in share price of the company,” it stated.


The statement added that Mr Bon is “deemed to be interested” in about 22 million shares pledged to UBS AG Singapore, 3.2 million shares pledged to Bank Julius Baer and 30 million shares pledged to Credit Agricole (Suisse). All the shares are registered under his name.

The firm had announced last Friday that it was in discussions with Zana Investor, the holders of redeemable convertible preference shares, on a “potential disposal of certain assets which is expected to be a disclosable transaction”, and also to vary the terms of the preference shares. No details were provided.

NRA Capital research director Liu Jinshu told The Straits Times that the preference shares likely matured early this month, “with payment due around now”.

“But the company announced last week about discussions with investor(s) to change the terms. Hence, the risk of heftier redemption terms or even a potential default is higher,” Mr Liu noted.

OKH Global reported a net loss of $2.1 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, compared with a net profit of 34.8 million a year before, while revenue fell 98.6 per cent to $3.3 million.

It attributed the sharp fall in turnover to “an absence of any income from property development and a reduction in third party construction contracts”.

OKH Global posted a net loss of $7.8 million for the first six months of the year on revenue of $5.9 million.

In January, OKH Global said Mr Bon had an Interpol “red notice” issued against him.

This stated he was wanted by Indonesian authorities in connection with a charge of “providing false statement for official document”.

The company stated then that Mr Bon told OKH Global that the notice relates to a commercial dispute that started in 2012 between himself in a personal capacity and a former business partner in Indonesia in connection with a company known as PT Alliancz Asia Pacific.

The Singapore-based developer said it has no interest in PT Alliancz Asia Pacific and is not involved in that dispute.

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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Others


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Principal Garden – 663-unit condo to come up on city’s fringe

Principal Garden – 663-unit condo to come up on city’s fringe

The Principal Garden condominium on the city fringe in the Alexandra area will be launched at the end of the month with average prices of around $1,600 per square foot.

The 663-unit project in Prince Charles Crescent has four 24- storey blocks and is next to the Alexandra Park Connector that extends 4km towards the Central Business District. It is also within a 10-minute walk from the Redhill MRT Station.

It comprises 182 one-bedroom, 304 two-bedroom and 69 three- bedroom units, as well as 66 three- to five-bedroom apartments with private lifts.

The smaller units in the 99-year leasehold project are seen as being particularly appealing to investors, according to the joint developers, UOL Group and Kheng Leong Company.

“Being near the city, the investment angle is strong and some parents (living nearby) may want to get a unit for their children,” UOL deputy group chief executive Liam Wee Sin said at a showflat viewing yesterday.

The one-bedders range from 484 to 506 sq ft, the two-bedroom units are 764 to 807 sq ft while three-bedders are between 1,076 and 1,195 sq ft. Units with private lifts range from 1,238 to 2,347 sq ft.

Prices are around $1,600 per sq ft, making one-bedders cost around $770,000, two-bedders around $1.18 million, and three-bedders around $1.7 million.

The showflats for Principal Garden will be open for public viewing from next Saturday, for about two weeks.

Mr Liam said the units will be launched in phases, with around 250 being made available initially.

“We secured the Prince Charles Crescent site last year at a reasonable bid price (at $821 psf per plot ratio), by which we are now able to pass on value and savings to buyers,” he said.

“We believe buyers can see the strong upside potential.”

Analysts noted that the development has attributes that could sit well with investors – competitive pricing, a good location as well as a large number of smaller units, especially the popular two-bedders.

“At $1,600 psf, it’s cheaper than its next-door neighbour The Crest, which has a median price of $1,688 psf based on the reported transaction prices from January to October this year,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International.

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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in Others


Jump in property buyers from China, Malaysia in Q2 2015

Jump in property buyers from China, Malaysia in Q2 2015

Political and economic uncertainty back home is the likely reason behind the increase in the number of Malaysians and mainland Chinese who bought Singapore property in the second quarter of this year.

Malaysians snapped up 248 private units, 53 per cent more than in the first three months of the year, while 234 homes were bought by buyers from China, up 37 per cent, said real estate services firm DTZ.

“This increased activity coincided with heightened economic uncertainty in China and political concerns in Malaysia,” DTZ noted, adding that these buyers were aiming to preserve their wealth.

Buyers from Malaysia and China accounted for almost half of the 1,017 purchases made by non-Singaporeans in the April-June period.

This total was 60 per cent more than in the first quarter but below the 1,298 units sold to foreigners in the second quarter of last year.

150819_Private home sales

Mr Lee Nai Jia, regional head of research at DTZ, told The Straits Times that the firm had expected to see a drop in the number of Malaysian buyers given the falling ringgit.

“I think all the political issues in Malaysia have hindered some of the structural reforms that were supposed to take place. That has become a concern among Malaysian buyers, moving them towards Singapore,” he said. “They want to make sure that their money and their wealth is intact and doesn’t depreciate further.”

Mr Lee added that Chinese buyers were probably motivated more by China’s stock-market plunge, which has raised doubts about the country’s financial stability and security while, in turn, making Singapore appear as a safe haven.

DTZ expects that the yuan’s devaluation last week will drive more of China’s high-net-worth individuals to buy property here as a way of protecting their riches but those whose wealth has been hit by the stock-market rout are likely to stay away.

DTZ’s report showed that Singaporeans accounted for about 77 per cent of private home purchases in the second quarter, unchanged from the same quarter of 2013 before tougher mortgage curbs were implemented.

There were 3,867 units sold in the second quarter (2,141 in the first). Of these, 2,855 were bought by Singaporeans, compared with 1,564 in the previous three months.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Others


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Bumper profits for early BTO flats

Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Sengkang and Punggol may have been unpopular when they were first launched, with complaints over the location and the lack of amenities.

But home buyers who signed up for the flats some 10 years ago are now having the last laugh, with the value of their homes nearly tripling.

The Straits Times looked at data provided by SRX Property of flats launched in and after 2002 when the BTO system began.


Of these, the highest number of transactions were of Sengkang four-roomers with the leases starting in 2009. They cost up to $205,000 when they were first launched around 2005.

Their average resale price over the past three years was $566,880 – about 2.8 times the highest price home owners paid to HDB.

Over the past year, even though the market has cooled, such Sengkang four-roomers still regularly fetch above $500,000 on the resale market. Even the lowest recorded sale was $410,000, twice the highest original launch price.

The second-most-common transactions were of Punggol four-roomers with leases beginning in 2007.

Their average resale price was $484,577 overall, though this dipped to $449,208 since last year.

But this is still more than 21/2 times the highest launch price in 2003, when HDB offered these for $138,000 to $178,000.


It typically takes up to four years for a flat to be built and its lease to begin. Owners have to occupy the flats for five years after receiving their keys, before they can put them on the resale market.

Analysts noted that the overall market over the past 10 years has improved, with the resale price index rising by about 90 per cent.

But BTO units have rightly beat the market, said R’ST Research director Mr Ong Kah Seng: “These are subsidised flats so it is a given that the prices will appreciate significantly between occupation and when they can be resold.”

Another factor is that those once under-developed towns have blossomed, he added. “Accessibility has been widely improved… and there are more amenities, so the owners who resold them really reap very major profits.”

Even less popular flats did well. Only 17 Sengkang three-roomers with leases beginning in 2007 have been resold. These fetched $388,224 on average, with the cheapest going for $315,000.

When launched in 2004, they cost just $89,000 to $110,000.

The BTO flats also did better than resale flats in mature estates. From 2003 till last year, average resale prices rose 93 per cent for four-roomers in Toa Payoh and 76 per cent for those in Tampines.

Marketing manager Frieda Chan and her husband sold their four-room Sengkang flat, which they bought for $193,000, for more than $500,000 last month.

“We didn’t expect to sell it so quickly,” said Ms Chan, 34, who found a buyer within a week.

The couple, who have two daughters, bought a jumbo resale flat in Ang Mo Kio.

They paid about $800,000 for it, and Ms Chan’s in-laws will be moving in with them.

“I think it’s worth it,” said Ms Chan. “We wanted a bigger space and it will be closer to my older daughter’s primary school and our work places.”

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Others


More applying for flats under schemes to help families live close

ALMOST a quarter of applicants for new Housing Board flats applied under schemes that help families live closer together, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed yesterday.


These measures aim “to help extended families live together or close by for mutual care and support”, he wrote in a blog post.

Since 2011, 24 per cent of Build-To-Order (BTO) applicants have applied under such schemes and enjoyed higher success rates than applicants who did not.

The proportion is even higher – up to 36 per cent – for mature estates such as Tampines and Bedok.

The Married Child Priority Scheme is the most popular, accounting for about 90 per cent of such applicants last year.

It used to give more ballot chances to married children applying to live near their parents or vice versa.

Now, certain percentages of flats are set aside for them instead. The new version of the scheme, which started in last November’s BTO, has seen applications from 6,200 families so far.

Interest has also risen for other schemes that help extended families live nearby.

Of all applicants for such schemes last year, 10 per cent applied under the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) or for Three-Generation (3Gen) flats, up from 5 per cent in 2013.

The MGPS is for married children and their parents applying for units in the same BTO project.

Since September 2013, 284 pairs of families have applied.

More than 600 families will also be moving into 3Gen flats, said Mr Khaw. These are around 115 sq m in size and are meant for multi-generation families.

Interior designer Fahrur Razi Mohd Ali, 35, successfully applied for a 3Gen flat in Tampines last November.

He now lives in a four-room flat with his parents, wife, their one-month-old son and domestic helper. All of them will move to the 3Gen flat when it is ready.

“Compared with a four-room or five-room flat, I thought the additional space of the 3Gen flat was quite good,” he said.

As an only child, he considers it only natural to live with his parents, he said. “They’ve taken care of me since I was young, now I think I should repay that.”

Noting that more people want to buy flats with or close to extended families in mature estates, Mr Khaw said: “We have tried to meet these needs by launching more flats in mature estates.”

The first project in Tampines North was launched last year, and the first project in Bidadari will be offered in the August BTO.

“We expect application rates in Bidadari to be high,” said Mr Khaw. “To help families live closer together, we will give priority to those whose parents live in Toa Payoh, Potong Pasir or within the 2km radius.”

Resale buyers also get help, with the $40,000 Higher-Tier CPF Housing Grant for first-timers buying a resale flat near their parents or married children, $10,000 more than the usual.

“We will also study whether we can further help those who wish to buy a resale flat to live near their parents,” he said.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said besides increasing the grant amount, one way to help such families would be to relax the distance criteria.

The grant is currently for those buying a resale flat either in the same town, or within 2km of their parents or married children, but Mr Lim suggested this could be increased to 3km or 4km.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in Others


Signs of HDB resale market downturn nearing its end

MR CALVIN Koh has been watching the resale Housing Board market for about six months, eyeing the right time to buy a five-room resale flat.

Prices have been falling but the 36-year-old engineer has held back until now.

“I’ve been eyeing a five-roomer in a few places such as Clementi and Ghim Moh. Prices have been falling but the decline has been slower over the past month,” he said.

“I’ll probably make an offer next week. Fingers crossed.”

Latest data on the resale HDB market seem to back Mr Koh’s observation that the sharp resale HDB market downturn could be nearing its end.


SRX Property data released yesterday showed that resale prices were unchanged last month compared with April, when prices rose 0.2 per cent over March.

Volumes declined slightly by about 2.2 per cent, with 1,575 flats exchanging hands last month compared with the 1,610 sold in April.

But compared with May last year, the number of flats sold was nearly 20 per cent higher – a firm sign buyers are back on the hunt.

Overall, resale prices are about 5 per cent lower compared with May last year.

The market has generally been on a downward slide but experts have been expecting the market to stabilise and even bottom out soon. They point to the combination of slowing declines in prices as well as steadily rising volumes as reasons for believing that the worst is over for a slowdown orchestrated by policy measures.

ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim said resale prices have flattened out.

“This may be an indication that market prices have begun to stabilise,” he said. “As the market continues to stabilise, buyers will have more confidence and we may see the increase in resale transaction volume become sustainable.”

But SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak believes there is still downward pressure on prices.

“We could see a bottom emerge towards the end of the year and this is largely because the government-induced cooldown will take a while to work its way through the system,” he said.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had previously said that he expects the market to fall further this year, although at a slower pace than last year.

Resale prices have fallen by about 11 per cent since their peak in 2013, said SRX.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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Posted by on June 20, 2015 in Others


S’pore’s first farm resort up for sale

Singapore’s first agri-tainment centre is up for sale. D’Kranji – a 5ha resort featuring 36 villas, a spa, agriculture kiosks and other amenities – has been valued at about $14 million.

Its owner, HLH Group, is selling the complex in Kranji so that it can focus on its core business of property development, group general manager Ryan Ong told The Straits Times on Thursday.

“As a listed company, we want to make money for our shareholders,” he said.

dKranji farm resort

“We’re expanding our business in Cambodia and internationally, and property development, on top of agriculture and farming, is our forte.”

Mr Ong, a director of D’Kranji Farm Resort since January last year, said the facility is an attractive proposition for investors and operators.

The resort was opened in September 2008.

Mr Ong noted that its room occupancy rate was 40 per cent to 50 per cent before, but improved to 60 per cent since he took over operations. It hit 70 per cent in March and April this year.

Monthly revenue is about $140,000 to $150,000. Overall revenue has risen by at least threefold, compared with levels two years ago, he added.

Including room sales, the resort rakes in a “healthy profit” every month, he said.

Turnover comes partly from the space it leases to operators. These spaces are for some of the site’s attractions, which include ponds for prawning, food and beverage outlets, and a museum that showcases swiftlets, the species that produces the bird’s-nest delicacy.

In addition, Mr Ong has held events such as farm fairs and weekend markets at the resort, in collaboration with external vendors and neighbouring farms.

Agriculture kiosk operators with unusual concepts were brought in as well, including a cherry tomato farm with technology from Japan and high-tech farming projects for harvesting leafy vegetables. A honey farm with sting-less bees is set to open soon.

The sale includes the land, name, facilities and contracts with various tenants.

“The purpose of my coming in was to turn the business around and enhance the asset value, so as to maximise and achieve sustainable value for our shareholders,” said Mr Ong.

“(D’Kranji Farm Resort) now has a fixed rental income monthly, reputable villas, exciting and attractive activities, and trained employees.”

Even though the resort is generating decent cash for the company, it could fare much better with a professional party running the show, he noted.

Interest has been positive, with around 16 inquiries from companies, including hospitality firms, he said. The site was launched for tender sale on May 20.

About 12 parties have already viewed the site.

The tender closes at 3pm on June 19. The marketing agency is ERA Realty Network.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Others


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