Shaw House, Shaw Centre may undergo major revamp next year

Shaw House, Shaw Centre may undergo major revamp next year


SINGAPORE : Another landmark near Orchard Road may soon get a facelift. Channel NewsAsia understands that Shaw Organisation is considering a major redevelopment of Shaw House and its neighbouring Shaw Centre.


According to some sources, an official announcement is expected by August. The news comes even as some tenants have moved out in recent months following a spike in rentals.


Shaw House has been a major landmark near Orchard Road for years – but it may soon take on a different look.


According to sources, plans are in the pipeline to expand Shaw Organisation’s Lido Cineplex, and to add more retail space.


Channel NewsAsia understands that Shaw Organisation is currently in talks with various architects on its redevelopment plans. However, it has not decided if this would include its office and retail spaces in Shaw Centre.


The tenants have not been informed officially, although they have heard word on the grapevine. They declined to be interviewed.


The present Shaw House opened in 1993, and includes anchor tenant Isetan. It adjoins Shaw Centre, which has retail, F&B and office space, as well as a bank.


Retail rentals there have jumped from S$6 a square foot to as much as S$16 a square foot in recent months, and a number of tenants have moved out.


Market watchers said that it is likely the new site may even include new residential spaces.


Nicholas Mak, Director, Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank, said: “I think that if any residential development were to be redeveloped on that site, and if it is priced reasonably, demand would be quite strong.”


But they do not expect the re-development to have a major impact on retail space and shop rentals along Orchard Road.


Mr Mak said, “In about 12 months or so, we’re going to see some new developments coming up on Orchard Road. So, if a major retail mall were to temporarily be taken offline, I think that vacuum could be filled by some of these new malls.”


Channel NewsAsia understands that re-development is likely to start in the second half of next year. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel News Asia

Asia Food & Properties posts Q1 net profit of S$45m

Asia Food & Properties posts Q1 net profit of S$45m


SINGAPORE : Asia Food & Properties has returned to the black in its fiscal first quarter.


The firm reported a profit of S$45 million, overturning a loss of S$2.7 million in the year-ago period.


Revenue rose 9.5 percent to S$195 million, mainly from its China property business and its food operations.


Asia Food & Properties said the outlook for the commercial and hotel sector of the China property business remains competitive, despite positive foreign investment interest and buoyant business activities.


Increasing corporate demand is expected to bolster the Grade A office market.


But it expects demand in the residential market to be affected by government policies on residential market in China.


As for its food business, the company said its priority is to focus on higher margin products and increasing its sales volume to stay competitive in China.


Meanwhile, its palm oil unit Golden Agri-Resources has posted sterling results for the first quarter.


Net profit doubled on-year in the first quarter to US$443 million, thanks to higher crude palm oil (CPO) production and a surge in CPO market prices of close to 100 percent.


Revenue was also a record US$747 million, up 172 percent on-year. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Wing Tai reports 49% fall in Q3 net profit to S$28m

Wing Tai reports 49% fall in Q3 net profit to S$28m


SINGAPORE : Property developer Wing Tai Holdings on Monday said its third-quarter net profit fell 49 percent to about S$28 million.


This comes as revenue fell 63 percent to S$110 million.


For the nine months, its net profit declined 4 percent to S$133 million.


The company said the drop was due to lower revenue and operating profit from its development properties division.


It noted that the US sub-prime crisis and global economic uncertainties have affected the property market in Singapore.


It also hinted that it will be holding back property launches, saying that new residential projects for sale will be launched at the opportune time. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Chip Eng Seng reports 40% rise in Q1 net profit to S$8m

Chip Eng Seng reports 40% rise in Q1 net profit to S$8m


SINGAPORE : Construction firm Chip Eng Seng has reported a 40 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to S$8 million.


Revenue rose 33 percent to about S$60 million, boosted mainly by its construction business. Chip Eng Seng’s revenue from construction projects jumped 74 percent to S$52.5 million in the first quarter.


But its other two divisions, property development and property investment, faired less well with revenues falling on-year in the first three months.


The group’s gearing ratio increased to 1.14 as at 31 March this year, compared to 0.53 as at 31 December last year.


This was due to additional bank borrowings taken to finance a property development project in Pasir Ris.


On its outlook, Chip Eng Seng said demand for private residential properties in Singapore had been affected by global uncertainties and credit crunch triggered by the US sub-prime crisis.


The company said it will continue to remain cautious with its investment in property development.


However, with continued increase in construction demand for the rest of 2008, the company expects its construction division to be busy with tenders and construction work.


Its outstanding order book for construction contracts as at 31 March stood at S$632 million, which will keep the the firm’s construction activities busy up to 2011.


Barring unforeseen circumstances, Chip Eng Seng said it remains positive about its prospects for 2008. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

AFP swings back into the black in Q1 08

AFP swings back into the black in Q1 08


Asia Food & Properties (AFP) on Monday reported a net profit of $45.44 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million a year ago.


Revenue rose 9.5 per cent to $195 million, of which $147.5 million (75.6 per cent) was from the property business and the remaining $47.5 million (24.4 per cent) was from the food business.


AFP said the group’s higher sales was mainly attributable to the food and property business in China.


Going forward, AFP warned that its performance would continue to be affected by such factors as economic growth, interest rates movement, government policies on the property sector, rising material costs, money supply and foreign exchange movement. — BT Newsroom


Source: Business Times

Wing Tai Q3 net profit slips 4 pct on lower sales

Wing Tai Q3 net profit slips 4 pct on lower sales


Wing Tai Holdings on Monday said net profit for the third quarter ended March 31, 2008 fell 4 per cent to $133.08 million (US$97.30 million) due to lower sales from development properties.


Revenue for the third quarter fell 56 per cent to $320.84 million.


For the nine months ended March 31, 2008, net profit sank 49 per cent to $27.73 million, while revenue fell 63 per cent to $109.99 million.


Net gearing ratio was at 0.5 times in end March, compared to 0.4 times end June 2007. — BT Newsroom


Source: Business Times

Orchard Parade Q108 net profit soars on hospitality

Orchard Parade Q108 net profit soars on hospitality


Orchard Parade Holdings Ltd on Monday reported net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008 rose to $16.65 million (US$12.17 million) from $5.12 million a year ago due to better hospitality operations.


Earnings per share rose to 4.75 cents, compared to 1.46 cents a year earlier.


Revenue, however, fell 44.5 per cent to $17.16 million as no revenue was recognised from development projects this period. — BT Newsroom


Source: Business Times

Chip Eng Seng Q1 net profit up 39%; strong order book

Chip Eng Seng Q1 net profit up 39%; strong order book


Chip Eng Seng on Monday said net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008 rose 39.4 per cent to $8.08 million, thanks to strong sales from construction projects.



Revenue rose 32.6 per cent to $59.95 million, due to a 73.8 per cent rise in sales from construction projects.


Earnings per share rose to 1.23 cents from 0.96 cents.


The group remains positive about its prospects for 2008.


‘With continued increase in construction demand for the rest of 2008, the group expects its construction division to be busy with tenders and construction work,’ it said.


The group’s outstanding order book for its construction contracts as at March 31, 2008 stood at $632 million which will keep the group construction activities busy up to 2011. — BT Newsroom


Source: Business Times

It’s a landlord’s market in Geylang

It’s a landlord’s market in Geylang


LANDLORDS in Geylang are smiling all the way to the bank.


By Hedy Khoo



12 May 2008


LANDLORDS in Geylang are smiling all the way to the bank.


Mr Khoo Mui Hoon, 65, the previous landlord of Tanjong Rhu Pau, is all for the buzz and high traffic in the area.


He was happy to get $30,000 a month for the place and said his new tenant will run a coffee shop there.


The renovation work includes hacking down a wall at the back of the unit to enlarge it to 2,300 sq ft.


Mr Khoo said the tenant runs two other coffee shops nearby.


He claimed there had been five offers of more than $30,000 to rent the unit, and one of $400,000 to buy it.


‘In choosing the tenants, it is not about the highest offer. I have to check their backgrounds, and make sure they are trustworthy, and will pay the rent on time,’ he said.


Mr Khoo had purchased a corner unit coffee shop on Lorong 14 in 2006 for about $300,000, and sold it for about $400,000 a few months ago.


‘I am always on the lookout for properties, and I set my eye on Geylang two years ago when I noticed many coffee shops were enjoying good business,’ he said.


Commercial property agent Celia Chan, 45, said rentals were rising mainly for commercial properties.




‘For residential properties, the demand is still weak because Geylang is a red-light district,’ she said.


She said that in the stretch from Lorong 3 to 20, rents for commercial units are $10 to $15 per sq ft.


On average, a 2,000-sq-ft unit here can fetch a monthly rent of between $20,000 and $25,000.


In the stretch between Lorongs 20 and 30, rents are $6 to $10 per sq ft.


Further out, in the stretch between Lorongs 30 and 40, the rent is only $4 to $6 per sq ft.


‘Units along the side lanes which see a smaller volume of traffic are valued at 30 to 50 per cent less than those along the main road,’ she said.


Along the hottest stretch of Geylang, corner units are more in demand because they can be used for coffee shops, the key business in the area.


While Miss Chan felt several factors are contributing to the boom in commercial property prices in Geylang, she acknowledged that the presence of the women from China has played a role in pushing up the prices.


She said: ‘They create a buzz of activity and this in turn generates business for the coffee shops.


‘That the presence of prostitutes can help drive up property prices is a phenomenon unique to Geylang.’


Source: The New Paper




FORGET the red-light district.


By Hedy Khoo



12 May 2008


FORGET the red-light district.


The way rents are going, Geylang is now the red-hot district.


The demand for properties between Lorong 1 and 25 is so hot that rents have shot up, and some long-time businesses are being forced to move out.


One such casualty is the famous Tanjong Rhu Pau.


It had to give up its lease for its Lorong 21 corner unit because the landlord more than tripled the monthly rent, from $9,000 to $30,000.


Said the boss of Tanjong Rhu Pau, Mr Yap Peng Wah, 62: ‘We had to move. We had no choice.’


The increase meant an additional monthly expenditure of $21,000 on the 1,600 sq ft unit.


‘We would not be able to sustain our business with such high overheads,’ said Mr Yap.


He explained that his manpower costs are high as he has to employ more than 10 employees to make the buns and pastries by hand.


‘Even with a rent between $10,000 and $20,000, the business would not be profitable,’ he added.


So Mr Yap moved to another 1,600-sq-ft unit, at the corner of Guillemard Road and Lorong 34.


His rent there? Just $4,500.


‘The rent here is half of what I paid previously, but business has dipped by about 30 per cent,’ he said.


‘Some of our old customers happen to drive by here and spot us. Most say they were wondering where we had moved to.


‘The only good thing is this part of Geylang is less complicated. ‘




His partner, Mr Lee Kwang Hua, 52, said: ‘At our previous location, we lost some female customers, because they complained that some men mistook them for prostitutes when they come to our shop.’


Still, Mr Yap had hoped to relocate within the same part of Geylang initially.


‘It was impossible to find a unit in the same area because the prices kept climbing,’ he said.


‘It’s a landlord’s market there because many businessmen want to open coffeeshops in the stretch between Lorongs 6 and 25.’


Mr Yap attributes the property boom along this stretch partly to the active night life.


‘The general property boom did push up the property prices, but here in Geylang it is also because of the presence of the women,’ he said.


‘A lot of businesses want to open coffeeshops here because there is so much human traffic. The retirees come from all over Singapore to look at the girls and hang out at the coffeeshops.


‘Without them, the coffee-shop businesses would collapse,’ he commented.


He cited the example of a coffee shop on Lorong 23.


‘Between 1997 and 1999, the coffee shop changed ownership because the business was poor,’ he said.


‘But once the China girls appeared in the area around 2000, all the men came, and now the business there is booming.’


Yong He Eating House, a favourite haunt among foodies, also had to move out because of the sky-rocketing rent.


The eatery, which has been selling its Taiwanese soya beancurd and youtiao in Geylang for the last decade, moved to a Lorong 27A corner unit in January.


$20,000 TO $40,000


Mr Dong Rong, 50, the boss of the eatery, said his landlord at the original location near Lorong 9 had wanted to double the rent from $20,000 to $40,000. The lease for the 2,200 sq ft unit expired last December.


He now pays $28,000 a month for a 3,600 sq ft unit.


‘The property market boom is the main reason, but the China girls also played a part in driving up business in the area,’ he said in Mandarin.


‘There was a scramble to open coffee shops to catch the business from the men who come to Geylang to look at the girls and chat them up.


‘It doesn’t cost much to drink a coffee or have a beer and they can sit there all day to look at the girls and make friends with them.’


But while the coffee shops thrived on the constant flow of business from male customers who flock to Geylang to gawk at the prostitutes, it did little to boost his business.


He said: ‘Our customer base is different, we attract locals and tourists who come here for our Taiwanese snacks.’




Indeed, he felt the volume of traffic in this part of Geylang was not too good for his business.


‘Too many cars, and there is always a traffic jam. Many of our customers complained that they could not find parking in the area, so they would stay away,’ he said.


He finds his new location better, as parking is less of a problem for customers.


The bigger space also suits his plan to expand his eatery into a Taiwanese food court.


‘The increased rent was a blessing in disguise for us,’ said Mr Dong.


‘But other tenants who are still located in that stretch may have to move when their current leases expire.’


On the other side of Geylang, business tenants have not been spared the rising rents hitting the popular stretch of Geylang Road.


Near Lorong 21, along Sims Avenue, durian seller You Chee, 37, said his boss, who renewed the lease in January, is now paying $10,000 a month for the corner ground-floor shophouse.


That is almost double the previous rate of $6,000 a month.


Mr You said his boss is looking for another location, possibly out of Geylang.


‘We have no choice but to move. The rent is too high. We have seen many of the other businesses move out because of the increased rent,’ he said in Mandarin.


‘We have been here for four years, and built up the business from scratch. I feel sad to leave this place.’


Source: The New Paper