Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Riverine By The Park

Waterfront Living at Kallang Basin

The Riverine by the Park, with its vantage point from Kallang Basin, will command an exhilarating view of the changing cityscape. An irresistible picture perfect vista of glistening waters bounded by palm trees with the city skyscrapers towering in the distance that changes as we move closer to the future. The interplay of lights and sounds will also paint a new canvas each time the sun sets.

The Greater Marina Bay represents a new waterfront city teeming with vibrant activities, exciting events and opportunities. A thriving waterfront lifestyle destination for the privileged few. The new Sports Hub is as close to home as the Kallang MRT station that will take you to the Central Business District and the Republic's second Botanic Gardens, The Gardens by the Bay within minutes. Just further south captures a breathtaking view of the Singapore Flyer, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, and The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay – a veritable smorgasbord of iconic landmarks on which the city skyscraper are framed against.

Location : 398 Kallang Road (District 12)























Map Source : http://www.streetdirectory.com

Tenure : Freehold
Site Area : 35,323sqft
Expected TOP : Dec 2010
Total Units : 96 in One 30-Storeys Residential Tower

Unit Types:
2BR ~ 980sqft
3BR ~ 1206 & 1302sqft
4BR ~ 1776sqftPenthouse ~ 2260 -2939sqft

Facilities:
-Tiered Water Feature
-Landscaped Archway
-Linear Water Feature with Jets
-Gymnasium
-Sky Terraces
-BBQ Area
-Kid’s Play Area
-Kid’s Splash Pool
-Sun Deck
-Submerged Pool Deck
-Lap Pool
-Jacuzzi
-Multi-Purpose Room
-Changing Room with Steam Room
-Sauna

By the Park…..By the River…..By the City

The Riverine by the Park extends the best of what these three worlds can offer at your doorstep - a lush haven, a premium waterfront lifestyle, a gateway to the new City downtown. And with only 96 apartments of varying sizes, an opportunity so rare it may never come your way again.

Private indulgences amidst beautiful surrounding…..

The Riverine by the Park optimizes its spectacular surroundings by ensuring its facilities offer the best view of nearby Kallang River – the lap pool is aligned parallel such that its infinity edge extends one's view to the horizon, while a landscape deck on the second storey is created to house an elevated garden that overlooks the foliage. Other complementary facilities like the well equipped gym, a Jaccuzi, sauna and steam room, the BBQ deck, and sunbathing deck to name a few; are reminiscent of a waterfront resort and ensures plenty of private indulgences with either the family or on you own.

Masterpiece of unprecedented style with dedicated panoramic views…..

A modern statement of living well endowed with a generous expanse of bay windows offering extensive views of the Greater Marina Bay. A keen eye for detail will appreciate how the slim tower's strong architectural form is meticulously conceptualised to carve out individual spaces marked by quality finishes and imported fittings. Natural lighting and light breezes infiltrate easily within each apartment's sheer openness and volume.

Cairnhill Residences


















Cairnhill Residences is a haven after your own heart. All that you desire of a modern lifestyle are but a heartbeat away.

The epicurean will give the multitude of culinary establishments in nearby Orchard Road (Singapore’s prime shopping belt) the thumbs-up while the entertainment diva will be spoilt for choice by its range of recreational outfits. Retail therapy? The razzmatazz at sprawling shopping malls and boutiques always beckon.

Just as doors open for you at certain stations in life, we’re pleased to present to you a window of luxurious living at Carinhill Residences. Designed to surround you in an oasis of a privileged lifestyle, Carinhill Residences is a reflection of your refined taste of every turn in its exclusive apartments.

Location : Cairnhill Circle (District 9)























Map Source : http://www.streetdirectory.com

Tenure : Freehold
Expected TOP : 30 Apr 2010
Total units : 97 in Two 20-Storeys Towers

Unit Types:
2+1, 904 sqft (18 units)
3BR, 1162 to 1431 sqft (74 units)
2BR PH with study, roof terrace & pool, 1420 sqft (1 unit)
3BR PH with roof terrace & pool, 2131 to 2443 sqft (4 units)

Facilities:
-Multi-Function Area
-Gymnasium
-BBQ Area
-Lounge Deck
-Pool Deck
-Jacuzzi Seat
-Lap Pool
-Kid's Pool
-Block Fountain
-Pavilion
-Garden Trellis
-Kid’s Play Area
-Fitness Area
-Arrival Court & Drop Off Point

Be ushered into the sublime world of serenity that could soothe jaded senses. The trickle from water features prompts you to relinquish the cares of the corporate jungle to the mundane world. Of course, it’s entirely your prerogative to plunge into the cool of the lap pool or melt the stress away by the Jacuzzi.

Whichever way you look at it, Carinhill Residences paves the way for the leisurely delights of life every step of the way.

Come home to ultimate luxury.

Sub-Prime Woes Push STI To 4-Month Low

Source : The Business Times, August 16, 2007

Banks lead decline in index's 6th triple-digit loss this year; other regional bourses hit too

(SINGAPORE) Regional stocks were yesterday swept under by US sub-prime mortgage and other related worries for the third time this month, resulting in the Straits Times Index (STI) suffering its sixth triple-digit loss of 2007, taking it to a four-month low. With Wall Street firmly in the grip of the sellers and the S&P 500 Index on Tuesday falling to within a hair's breadth of dropping into negative territory for 2007, yesterday's selling was relentless - Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dived 632 points or 2.9 per cent and the Jakarta Composite crashed 140 points or 6.4 per cent to 2,029.

In addition, the futures market for benchmark US indices traded in the red during Asian trading hours, suggesting more turmoil ahead for Wall Street.

Not surprisingly, the ST Index stood little chance, eventually plunging 113.34 or 3.4 per cent to 3,273.25, the lowest since early April.

Its previous five triple-digit losses came on Feb 27 (128 points), March 14 (105), April 19 (109), Aug 1 (116) and Aug 6 (127). Of these, three were US sub-prime-related while the other two were China-induced.

Banks led the decline yesterday, despite disclosures by all three local banks last week of insignificant exposure to the US sub-prime market via collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

US wire reports said Tuesday's plunge on Wall Street came after weak results reported by retailers Home Depot and Wal-Mart, and after fund managers Sentinel Investment fuelled the sub-prime worry by telling clients it wants to stop investors from withdrawing their cash to avoid forced liquidation.

As a result, European markets plunged on Tuesday in tandem with the US and opened weaker yesterday.

'All markets are very nervous and on heightened alert for the next negative sub-prime development,' said a dealer.

Local broker CIMB said in an Aug 14 report that although the worst is not yet over, Asia is unlikely to suffer a sub-prime contagion effect because, among other reasons, the banking system is strong and well capitalised.

In addition, it said Asian economies have become more resilient to external shocks and central banks have improved their regulation of high-leveraged activities.

Global markets have been sliding for the past three weeks on concern that increasing mortgage delinquency in a collapsing US property market might derail the financial sector. Specifically, concerns centre on the sub-prime mortgage segment, or loans made to borrowers of lower credit quality.

Beaufort On Nassim















Beaufort on Nassim - The most sought after address for the aristocrats around the globe

Beaufort on Nassim is located at Nassim Road, the most well known embassy belt in Singapore, just a few minutes walk to Orchard Road and Singapore Botanic Gardens. If you are dreaming of having a luxury lifestyle, going shopping all day long at Orchard Road or living a healthy lifestyle by jogging or even having picnics in the Botanic Gardens, then you should come and see what Beaufort On Nassim has to offer.

Only 30 units are available for those wishing to enjoy the privilege of living the Nassim dream. With unrivalled security and a private lift lobby to each home (not first floor), Beaufort on Nassim guarantees exclusivity for those who treasure low density living and yet desire high quality facilities at their doorstep.

Location : 12 Nassim Road (District 10)























Map Source : http://www.streetdirectory.com

Tenure : Freehold
Expected TOP Date : 2009
Total Units : 30
Building : Low-density premium residences

Unit Types:
Vista House (2 to 3 Bedrooms) ~ 1,367 to 2,174 sqft
Garden House (Ground Level + Basement, 4 Bedroom) ~ 2,657 to 3,692 sqft
Penthouse (3 to 4 Bedrooms) ~ 2,164 to 3,681 sqft

Pampering Takes & A New High

A host of impeccable and highly acclaimed services await the proud residents of Beaufort on Nassim. Provided by the renowned 5-star Beaufort Hotel Group, you would not need to look far for help within your dream home.

As a resident of Beaufort on Nassim, you are eligible for membership to an exclusive club where you can indulge in renowned spa and resort facilities under the Beaufort Group, a name that is second to none in the region.

Only the top brands are used in Beaufort on Nassim: Bulthaup Kitchen Cabinet System, Gaggenau Kitchen Appliances, Hansgrohe (Axor Massaud) & Villeroy and Boch Sanitary Fittings, Wardrobes imported from Italy.

Floating Hotels May Ride F1 Visitor Wave

Source : The Business Times, August 16, 2007

STB exploring novel accommodation ideas for expected 50,000 foreign guests

SINGAPORE) When 50,000 foreign guests descend upon Singapore to watch the Formula One race in September next year, some could literally find themselves out at sea.

Rooms with a sea view: A 'botel' could be moored off the coast either at Labrador Park (above) or at Changi, says a source

Floating hotels may be commissioned to alleviate the room crunch that is expected during the race.

The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix will be held on Sept 28, 2008, and with a shortage of hotel rooms looming, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is said to be looking at this form of alternative accommodation.

The concept of a floating hotel is not new and has been applied in other parts of the world. In the Netherlands, for example, such a 'botel' can be found in the heart of Amsterdam in the dock area.

But instead of building a deckhouse aboard a flat-top barge and outfitting it with rooms and toilets, along with facilities like restaurants, sewage systems and diesel generators, the board is understood to be eyeing a couple of existing cruise ships from a charter company. Each vessel will then be retrofitted with hotel-like requirements at a cost of about '$2 million per ship', says a source.

'Each ship will have 500 to 1,000 rooms after the renovation work,' he says. 'The cost is high because they will have to be manned by cruise ship crew, not Shatec students. You need properly trained people who can work in a confined space.'

He adds that the plan is for the ships to be moored off Changi or Labrador Park.

Like the F1 race, STB aims to bring together potential investors and cruise operators for the floating hotel project so that the initiative is driven by the private sector. And just like F1, the board will do its part by dealing with any red tape and helping with all the necessary licensing required.

The 50,000 foreign guests expected at next year's GP event are likely to exacerbate the existing shortage of hotel rooms in Singapore.

The supply crunch appears to be dire. According to a recent report by investment bank Merrill Lynch, the 'demand for hotel rooms will increase at an average of 4,050 rooms per year between 2007 and 2015, while the supply of rooms is forecast to increase at 3,300 rooms per year - resulting in a 19 per cent shortfall per year'.

Merrill Lynch also forecasted that, by 2015, the demand for hotel rooms will reach 62,100 rooms per day, whereas supply will only be 59,220 rooms.

So if the floating hotel does become a reality, it will be useful not only for next year's F1 race but also for surging tourist arrivals in general. It can bridge the gap until 2010, when the two integrated resorts (IRs) open with their more than 4,000 rooms between them.

But one industry source dismissed the need for such buoyant accommodation. He says there should not be a problem housing the 50,000 visitors to the debut race.

'Singapore has an estimated 35,000 hotel rooms now and in a year's time, the number will be about 37,000. If there is a shortage of rooms during the race week, the overseas visitors can easily turn to other accommodation like serviced apartments,' he said.

There are an estimated 3,500 such units in Singapore, he added.

Healthy Correction Or Start Of Bear Market?

Source : The Business Times, August 11, 2007

Amid the fallout from the US sub-prime crisis and the ensuing tightening of liquidity around the world, investor sentiment is expected to remain fragile


THE remarkable thing about the bull market of the past four years is that despite stock prices having run up by 160-plus per cent, the valuation of the Straits Times Index is still not excessive. The reason, of course, is that corporate earnings have kept pace with the share price increases.














Followers of this column will be familiar with the concept of equity risk premium (ERP), which I've written about on several occasions.

ERP is the compensation above the risk-free rate that investors require to hold equities. It is a measure of investors' exuberance or risk aversion. In a bull market, when all investors are chasing stocks, ERP falls. A low ERP implies that investors are willing to accept low returns to hold equities.

In a depressed market, when nobody wants to buy stocks for fear of further losses, ERP will be high. A high ERP suggests high expected returns from exposure to equities.

I estimate ERP by taking the difference between the earnings yield of the Straits Times Index or STI - the inverse of its price-earnings ratio - and one-year interbank offer rates.





















Tightening liquidity

So in essence, ERP captures the market's valuation in a single number. It takes into consideration the current market price, relative to earnings, and the risk-free rate.

Between 1990 and now, based on market earnings multiples as calculated by Thomson Financial Datastream, the Singapore market's ERP ranged from a high of 7.94 per cent in the last quarter of 2005 to a low of -1.63 per cent in February 1998.

As mentioned, a low ERP means low expected returns and high ERP means high expected returns. From February 1998, when ERP was in negative territory (which implies that investors are willing to lose money holding on to equities), the STI plunged 44 per cent in the following seven months.

From November 2005 when ERP was a high 7.94 per cent, the STI has climbed 55 per cent since.

But despite price levels having climbed that much in under two years, the current ERP is still a relatively high 5 per cent.

This is helped by two factors. One, corporate earnings have accelerated. And two, risk-free rates - as measured by one-year Singapore interbank rates - have remained benign.

The ERP level now is lower than the 7.29 per cent registered in February 2003 or the 7.94 per cent in November 2005.

Still, a total return of 7.5 per cent a year for holding equity - ERP of 5 per cent plus risk-free rate of 2.5 per cent - is nothing to sniff at.

Of course, the number will hold true only if the conditions existing today remain so going forward.

Amid the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, and the ensuing tightening of liquidity around the world, will conditions remain benign going forward?

I've decided to do a sensitivity analysis for the STI under various assumptions.

The STI's current level of 3,359 points is in an environment where the interbank rate is about 2.5 per cent and investors' risk aversion relatively high, with ERP at 5 per cent. The assumption is also that there will be no earnings growth. So the questions that have to be asked are:

One: Will investors continue to be spooked by the uncertainty in the market? If so, ERP will remain high and may climb further. This will mean further declines in share prices.

Two: Will the liquidity crunch remain and eventually drive up risk-free rates? If yes, that's bad news for stocks and shares.

And three: Will a higher interest rate environment and eroding consumer confident lead to a slowdown in the economy and corporate earnings? If yes, there will be more downside to stock prices.

Here are the numbers. Assuming that investors: 1) remain at the current level of risk aversion, that is, ERP at 5 per cent, 2) the drying up of liquidity leads to interbank rates climbing to 4 per cent from the current 2.8 per cent, and 3) corporate earnings decline 10 per cent next year, then fair value for the STI would be around 2,580.

These are rather drastic assumptions, and based on what we are seeing today, a quite unlikely scenario.

On the other hand, if investors' jitters are assuaged as the picture emerges that the US sub-prime woes will be relatively contained, and 1) ERP falls to 4 per cent; 2) liquidity becomes tighter and interbank rates rise to 3.5 per cent; and 3) earnings are mixed and flat overall, then fair value for the STI would be around 3,435 points.

Buying opportunities

My sense is investor sentiment will remain fragile, so ERP will remain at a relatively high level for some months to come. Many will be monitoring the performance of the world's underlying economy. And it would appear that growth momentum in the likes of China and India will not be too stunted by the current financial turbulence.

This is the view still held by many analysts. Morgan Stanley's Australian analyst Gerard Minack wrote this week: 'For now, growth momentum seems high, outside the US. My view remains that there will be one more rally in equities, and that, while difficult to pick the trough in the current turmoil, there will be a buying opportunity.'

Share Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist of AMP Capital Investors, wrote: 'While the ride is likely to be rough over the next few months and further declines are possible, the recent slump in share markets should not be seen as the start of a bear market.

'The low inflation global economic expansion is likely to remain intact. While growth has shifted away from the US to the rest of the world, the global interest rate backdrop remains benign, the corporate sector is in good shape and share markets are not over-valued.

'The historical record indicates that corrections up to 20 per cent are not unusual in the context of cyclical bull markets and so investors should not get too alarmed by the recent turbulence. Corrections are healthy in the sense they ensure share markets don't get too exuberant.'

The writer is a CFA charterholder.

Reasons For A Credit Crunch

Source : The Business Times, August 16, 2007

A slump in financial markets can be healthy as it tests the system and
leaves it in better shape


STOCK markets have tumbled, lending has been frozen, and central banks have injected emergency funds into the banking system. It has been impossible to miss the atmosphere of panic in financial markets for the last 10 days.

The credit crunch should tell us whether the globalisation of markets has genuinely made them better at absorbing shocks - or whether changes are needed. That way, we should be more prepared next time something nasty comes along.

But hold on. So long as it doesn't turn into a rout, it's healthy to blow the froth off the top of a four-year bull market.

Once you get rid of the excess, you can see the substance underneath. Here are five useful things that might come out of the credit crunch of August 2007.

One, say hello to the Trichet Put.

Now that Alan Greenspan is no longer Federal Reserve chairman, traders could be forgiven for thinking there are no more central bankers willing to bail them out of a crisis. They certainly wouldn't have been looking to the stern monetarists at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt.

As it happened, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet stepped up with a massive injection of cash: On Aug 9, the ECB loaned an unprecedented 94.8 billion euros (S$195.77 billion) at a fixed rate of 4 per cent, the same level as its benchmark refinancing rate, to calm the markets. It followed with smaller amounts of emergency money-market financing on the next three trading days.

Maybe that signals the start of a Trichet Put in the credit markets. It certainly shows that, contrary to its reputation, the ECB is willing to drop dogma in favour of pragmatism and flexibility in the face of a potential crisis.

Two, dodgy hedge funds are exposed. Just to prove the inexhaustible entrepreneurship of the Internet, check out www.hf-implode.com for its Implode-O- Meter. It lovingly lists the hedge funds that have gone pop since the crunch started, including two run by Bear Stearns Cos and Sowood Capital Management LP. Even the value of some funds run by large investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc dropped.

Bad news? If you rent out office space in London's Mayfair district, or sell Ferraris for a living, probably so. But not for anyone else. Overall, hedge funds have sharpened up the financial system, expanding the range of assets that investors can own, and providing liquidity in obscure markets.

That said, too many funds were launched, and too many of them relied on flaky, unproven trading systems to beat the markets. If the crunch sorts out the real innovators from the bandwagon-hoppers, then so much the better.

Three, the leveraged-buyout firms will have to get back to managing their assets. Easy credit markets have made running an LBO fund too easy. With money cheaply available, it was simple for the buyout funds to raise a pile of cash, pick off a big company, then sell it back to the stock market a couple of years later at a profit.

Quality buyout funds should still make money, even if it is costing them 6 per cent or more to borrow. But they will have to work harder, improving the performance of the businesses they own, and shutting the units that don't have a future. As financial engineering becomes harder, they will have to go back to real engineering - and that can only be a good thing.

Four, sanity returns to the housing market. Cheap credit has fuelled crazy housing booms from New York to Sydney, and from London to Madrid. Huge banker bonuses have made property unaffordable in some places. In London, house prices rose almost 18 per cent in June compared with a year earlier, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government. The average cost of a home in London was £332,009 (S$1 million), up almost £10,000 from the previous month alone.

The average person didn't earn £pounds;10,000 more in the same period, though.

If tighter credit markets can bring some sanity back to the property market, it would be an improvement.

Five, we will find out where all the debt is held.

Where's the pain felt from overheated US property prices? It turns out to be in Germany, which has the dullest real-estate market in the developed world: The German government was forced to bail out IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG because of its sub-prime losses. There are few better examples of how the globalisation of financial markets has spread risk around the world.

Theorists would say that makes markets more efficient: It is parcelled out so no single institution or country is saddled with catastrophic losses. It's a pretty good theory. But as they say in the science labs, you don't really know if it is true until you try an experiment.

The credit crunch should tell us whether the globalisation of markets has genuinely made them better at absorbing shocks - or whether changes are needed. That way, we should be more prepared next time something nasty comes along.

So long as it isn't disastrous, an occasional slump in financial markets can be healthy: It tests the system and leaves it in better shape to face the next crisis.

The writer is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own

Central Banks Should Not Lose Their Nerve

Source : The Business Times, August 16, 2007

THE debacle in world financial markets can be put down essentially to three things: over-borrowing, over-sophistication and over-optimism - to which can be added a lack of sufficient oversight on the part of financial regulators. It is necessary to view things through this simplifying prism in order to make sense of what appears to be a highly complex chain of events in the world of high finance.

The world has appeared remarkably free of major financial problems since the failure of Long Term Capital Management in 1998, and even the collapse of the IT bubble a couple of years later sent little more than a ripple through the markets. All this lulled investors, fund managers and investment bankers into believing that regulators and central bankers were truly in control of the situation.

Recent events have made it clear that this is not so and that the regulatory lords of finance have been asleep at the wheel or that they put too much faith in the ability of markets to regulate themselves. Or, perhaps they realised that their own indulgence in bailing out the victims of past crises by providing excess liquidity had created a situation beyond their control and simply prayed that things would not go wrong again.

Central banks are supposed to create just enough liquidity to keep the wheels of global commerce oiled, with a bit extra thrown in to accommodate inflation. Problems arise when these same banks decide to throw a lot more money into the pool in order to soften the impact of a crisis (as they did in 1998 and again in 2001).

Bankers are thereby encouraged to take risks, lending to hedge funds, structured finance vehicles (which profit from arbitrage between borrowing cost and yields on exotic products) and so on, safe in the knowledge that the central banks will lend more still if things start looking shaky.

House buyers (or speculators) are encouraged by banks to take out mortgages beyond their means - safe again in the knowledge that they can easily 'refinance' by borrowing from other institutions if their own banks start getting difficult.

Mortgage loans are securitised in order to spread risk among a broader community of investors and ever more credit is created.

Instead of spreading risk, all this encourages greater risk-taking. Those investing in securitised products have no knowledge of the creditworthiness of ultimate borrowers - be they house buyers or corporate entities.

Good credits are mixed up with bad ones in one package and it takes only one shock (such as the predictable failure in the sub-prime mortgage market) to topple the whole house of cards.

At some point, excess liquidity has to be withdrawn from the system without central banks running away from the consequences of their own actions at the slightest whiff of panic.

Otherwise asset prices will get totally out of line with the capacity of the real economy to support them.

Property Transactions With Contract Date Between 23rd-28th July 2007

CityDev, Partner To Invest Up To US$300m In Korea

Source : The Business Times, August 16, 2007

SINGAPORE - Singapore's property firm City Developments said on Thursday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with DC Chemical Co to invest up to US$300 million in residential and commercial projects in South Korea.

Related link: http://tinyurl.com/2ggsxo
City Developments' press release


It said in a statement that the integrated commercial centre is expected to consist of a 50-storey tower, comprising a top-class hotel, a serviced residence, and an office building. -- REUTERS

Amaryllis Ville

A PRESTIGIOUS RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS

Amaryllis Ville is a prominent twin tower development located in the exclusive Newton (District 11) area. With its modernistic and open architectural concept, Amaryllis Ville will add a dash of fresh look to the much sought-after address boasting a location with a tranquil environment.


CITY LIVING AT ITS BEST

Comprising two 30-storey residential towers, this 311-unit development comes with full facilities like tennis courts, swimming pool, steam rooms, gym, clubhouse, theatre lounge, fitness and children's play areas, and landscaped gardens. Amaryllis Ville caters to the needs of a wide range of buyer segments, especially owner-occupiers ranging from singles and couples to young families.

Address : 20 - 22 Newton Road (District 11)
Type of Development : High Rise Condominium
Tenure : 99 years Leasehold w.e.f 24 Oct 1997
Site area : 134,242 sq ft
No. of units : 311 in Two 30-Storeys Residential Tower
Year of Completion : 2004
Developer : Wingrove Investment Pte Ltd (Wingtai Holdings)

Unit sizes:
Studio : 657 - 936 sq ft
2 bedrooms : 980 - 1,378 sq ft
3 bedrooms : 1,238 - 1,604 sq ft
4 bedrooms : 1,700 sq ft








EASY ACCESS TO SINGAPORE'S MAIN SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT BELT

Only a few minutes' drive from the major shopping and entertainment belt in Orchard Road and Scotts Road, Amaryllis Ville provides excellent accessibility to other parts of the island, linked by the Central Expressway (CTE), the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Bukit Timah Road, Newton Road and Scotts Road. In addition, the Newton Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Station is within walking distance, with the heart of Orchard Road just one MRT station away. Residents may also choose to take a pleasant stroll down to Novena Square for some fringe shopping, while supermarkets are ample and conveniently located nearby in view of the high number of expatriates living in the vicinity.

See the Big Picture in Life

For those with the insight to see beyond the mundane, Amaryllis Ville beckons like a rare jewel on the horizon. With its central location, unmatched facilities, and dramatic sense of well-being, you will enjoy a top of the world feeling at Amaryllis Ville. Come to Amaryllis Ville and see all the good things in life together for you.

Savour the Fruits of Your Endeavour

Amaryllis Ville is uniquely positioned as an attractive investment. It sits strategically in the premium Newton district. This together with its proximity to Orchard Road and the city will make it highly appealing to any astute investor. So you can live it up at Amaryllis Ville and enjoy many happy returns.

Make the Right Connection

Getting on in life is all about connections. And at Amaryllis Ville, you are definitely well connected - to all the right spots (Short Stroll to food centre/food court/supermarkets and convenience stores)

NEAREST MRT STATIONS

Newton MRT station (NS 21)
49 Scotts Road Singapore 228234
How Far? 0.43 km

Novena MRT station ( NS 20)
250 Thomson Road Singapore 307642
How Far? 0.43 km

NEAREST SHOPPING CENTRES / MALLS

United Square
101 Thomson Road Singapore 307591
How Far? 0.43 km

Novena Square
238 Thomson Road Singapore 307683
How Far? 0.78 km

Goldhill Plaza
1 Goldhill Plaza Singapore 308899
How Far? 0.47 km

Others Nearby : Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria, Palais Renaissance, Tangs Dept Store, Centrepoint Shopping Centre

NEAREST SCHOOLS
ASPN (TANGLIN SPECIAL SCHOOL)
22 Delta Avenue Singapore 169833
How Far? 0.77 km

Chatsworth International School
37 Emerald Hill Road Singapore 229313
How Far? 2.03 km

Overseas Family School
25F Paterson Road Singapore 238515
How Far? 2.07 km

Singapore International School (ISS)
25 Paterson Road Singapore 238510
How Far? 2.07 km

Others Nearby: Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Anglo-Chinese School, St. Joseph's Institution, St. Michael's Primary School, Raffles Girls' School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, CHIJ Primary/Secondary School

RECOMMEND FOOD

Ichiban Boshi (Cuisine: Japanese)
238 Thomson Road #02-13/14
Phone: 6255 7767

Lao Beijing Dining Hall (Tung Lok Group)
(Cuisine: Northern Chinese Dian Sin)
238 Thomson Road #02-11
Phone: 6358 4466

CLUBS NEARBY

-American club
-Tanglin club
-The Pines
-Raffles Town Club
-Singapore Island Country Club






















Exercise your Purchasing Power

Amaryllis Ville is designed to meet the high expectations of those who are focused on seeking the best in life. Whether you choose to relax indoor and enjoy the spectacular views or step out to challenge yourself in our sizeable lap pool, you can expect nothing less than the biggest and the best at Amaryllis Ville.

The Best Things in Life

The good life is never complete without the right facilities at your door step. So no effort has been spared to bring you the most comprehensive condo facilities in the Newton district:

-Entry Feature Wall with Reflective Pool
-Interactive Pool with Feature Spout
-Lap Pool
-Jacuzzi
-Pool Slide
-Swimming Pool with Jacuzzi and Bubble Pool
-Children's Playground
-Tennis Courts
-Reflective Pool with Feature Spout
-BBQ Court with Pond
-Fitness Station
-Water Feature
-Outdoor Terrace

Other Facilities

-Games Room
-Audio-Visual Room
-Steam Rooms/Changing Rooms, Sauna
-Gymnasium
-Multi-Purpose Room

A Passion for Living

Each of the 311 apartments in Amaryllis Ville has been passionately designed with meticulous care to create a well-appointed sanctuary that you would love coming home to every time:

-Exquisite Marble Flooring to Complement the Contemporary Styling
-A smart wardrobe in the master bedroom
-A Choice of Apartments with Full Height Glass in the Living Room and Master Bedroom
-Large and Spacious Private Lift Lobby to 4-bedroom apartments
-Fully-Equipped Kitchen Cabinets
-Audio-Visual Intercom linking Common Lobby and Apartment
-Ample Basement Carpark
-24 Hours Security

Helios Residences


















Helios Residences, boast a one-of-its-kind luxurious living comprising 140 freehold apartments. Cradled amongst lush vines in the development, complimenting the greenery in the prime and established Cairnhill enclave, you’ll find a sanctuary of bliss relaxing in the very 1st and unique Tree Top Recreation Deck that soars 4 levels above ground, hosting a series of amenities in the Entertainment Wing, Wellness Wing, Family Wing and Children’s Wing. And more……, you may stroll down towards the Garden Wing to explore the undulating ground of activities that keep your guests and family sure footedly occupied. Such a brilliant extension to your spaces at home!

Location: Cairnhill Circle (District 9, Former Phoenix Mansion Site)
















Tenure: Freehold
Site area: 79,679sqft
Expected TOP: Dec 2011
Total units: 140 (2 towers of 20 storey apartments)

Unit types:
2/2+study ~ 1,281-1,313sqft
3BR ~ 1,668-1,916sqft
4BR ~ 2,002sqft
Penthouse ~ 3,918-4,564sqft

Facilities:
-Elevated Lap Pool
-Jacuzzi Pools
-Sun Deck
-Recreation Deck Lift
-Changing and Shower Rooms
-Steam Room
-Sauna Room
-Gymnasium
-Relaxation Foyer / Waiting bay
-Private Dining cum Games Lounge
-Alfesco Theatre Cum Leisure Lounge
-Children’s Interactive Lounge
-Indoor Fun Pool With Trellis Rain Curtain Feature
-Indoor Playground Area
-Party Pad
-Tennis Court
-BBQ Area
-Multi-Purpose Room
-Therapeutic Garden
-Water Walls & Reflective pools
-Bubble Ponds
-Sculpture Court

The Ultimate Urban Living Experience
With close proximity to Singapore’s prime retail and entertainment hub, Helios Residences is also just a mere stroll to Orchard Road. With its’ revamp and several new shopping malls on the way, you

Hilltops @ Cairnhill Circle

As its name describes, the 20-storey Hilltops is situated on the highest point of Cairnhill, standing at 131 metres above sea level. From this commanding vantage point, the development overlooks the surrounding Orchard Road and Cairnhill areas – literally just “down the hill.” Spread over some 1.1 hectares (117,000 sq ft) of prime freehold land, Hilltops occupies almost the entire land area of Cairnhill Circle, an exclusive and quiet residential enclave nestled at the top of Cairnhill and tucked away from surrounding roads.

Natural elements of sculptured rock, textured glass and bronze amidst cascading waterfalls and lush gardens provide a serene and unique contemporary respite for urban living. Augmenting the spacious and landscaped grounds below are three sky terraces, up to 72 metres long, which together add an extra 25,000 sq ft of breathing space, or equivalent to over 5 basketball courts. With such an extensive landscaped estate residents will be spoilt for choice in picking their favourite corner.

Hilltops will comprise 240 elegant units in two 20-storey blocks and an exclusive adjacent 14-storey block. With a total of three penthouses and one super penthouse, the four ultra luxurious penthouses occupy the top floor of the two tallest blocks, each with a private pool on the roof terrace. Most units at Hilltops will have three or four bedrooms, with an average size of 1,600 to 3,000 sq ft of pure living space, although two and five bedroom units will also be available.

Location: Cairnhill Circle (District 9)























Map Source :http://www.streetdirectory.com

Tenure : Freehold
Expected TOP Date : 2011
Total Units : 240 in Two 20-Storey Towers and One 14-storey Tower
Unit Types : 2/3/4/5-Bedrooms & Penthouses

The resort-style ambience will be extended to the interiors. Built to pamper, Hilltops will exude an unprecedented sense of understated luxury that sets it apart from other luxury apartments in Singapore.

Hilltops will be the first luxury development in Singapore to have a resort-style steam spa room in every apartment. The spa experience has become a regular part of the lifestyle of high-end buyers. Hilltops offers this luxurious indulgence as a standard feature to complement the overall resort atmosphere and provide the complete luxury experience for the residents. Other unique and lavish design touches include ultra-spacious wardrobes and stylish island kitchens with steam ovens.

Setting a new standard in penthouse living, an elegant and ultra-spacious, six-bedroom Super-Penthouse epitomizes a new benchmark for luxury. With an expansive area of some 11,000 sq ft, the internal living area is luxuriously spread on just one single floor. To further add to the exclusivity and luxury of the Super-Penthouse, a dedicated private lift from the ground floor directly to the Super-Penthouse will be provided solely for the Super-Penthouse owner - a rare feature, even in the most well-designed of Super-Penthouses in the world.

With its luxuriant open space and location on the highest point of Cairnhill, Hilltops is expected to set another benchmark in luxury living in the high-end luxury residential market. To be able to enjoy serenity and ambience of a luxurious resort within walking distance from the heart of Orchard Road – this is something few developments are able to offer

Asian Central Banks Patrol As Credit Fears Rise

Source : The Straits Times, Aug 16, 2007

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE - ASIA Pacific central banks and financial chiefs kept a tight watch on money markets and attempted to reassure investors on Thursday as fears of a worsening global credit storm gripped the region.

'There's a degree of panic over the uncertainty induced by the subprime sector in the United States,' said P.K. Basu, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Daiwa.

'The economic fundamentals in Asia are very sound. However, the final residing place of these CDOs (collateralised debt obligations) and the derivatives issued on the subprime mortgages is difficult to predict.'

The problems started when banks repackaged and resold risky subprime loans in the form of CDOs and other instruments to banks and funds around the world.

As demand for the securities dried up, these banks and funds were unable to sell and had to mark down the value of their holdings.

That in turn spooked investors and caused credit markets worldwide to tighten. Central banks reacted by pouring cash into money markets to smooth out trading.

South Korean Vice Finance Minister Kim Seok Dong said the government would collaborate with the central bank to inject funds into money markets through repurchase agreements on any signs of a squeeze.

The comments came after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole said that financial market turmoil had not undermined the US economy and there was no need for the central bank to ride to the rescue with an emergency rate cut.

Markets were anything but reassured. The region's stocks extended their decline, with Japan's Nikkei reaching 8-1/2-month lows. Heightened risk aversion propelled the yen to a near five-month high against the dollar and euro as investors unwound carry trades.

The low-interest-rate Japanese currency has been widely used by speculators as a cheap source of funds to buy higher-yielding and often riskier assets in other currencies.

Other Asian currencies extended recent losses and central banks in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were reported to have stepped into the market to support their currencies.

Countrywide woes sow fear

In the latest scare for already jittery investors, a Merrill Lynch analyst flagged the possibility that Countrywide Financial, the largest US mortgage lender, could face bankruptcy if liquidity conditions worsened.

Last week Asia Pacific central banks joined a global campaign by monetary authorities to calm panicky credit markets by pouring liquidity into banking systems. The situation appeared calmer on Wednesday, as central banks in Europe and Japan mopped up cash.

But North America's monetary authorities reopened the taps.

The US Federal Reserve added US$7 billion in temporary reserves as losses in the US subprime mortgage market sent Wall Street stocks slumping again.

US Treasuries, perceived as a safe haven in times of financial stress, were in high demand.

Investors are increasingly betting that central banks will have to do more than supply overnight markets with cash.

Futures markets are pricing in a higher possibility of an interest rate cut from the Fed.

'I think the central banks are actually very well positioned to do a fair bit, given that real interest rates are quite high around the world because central banks were tightening in anticipation of stronger growth ahead,' said Mr Basu.

'So there is actually room for the G3 central banks to provide further additional liquidity, as they have done in recent days, especially given that inflation is very well contained.'

Asia’s Reserves May Help Ease US Sub-Prime Crisis

Source : TODAY, Thursday, August 16, 2007

ASIA may withstand any fallout from the United States housing-loan crisis because of the US$2.3-trillion ($3.5-trillion) foreign-exchange reserves that emerging nations in the region have accumulated, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said.

Central banks in Asia’s developing economies, which did not follow counterparts in Europe, the US and Japan in pumping cash into money markets, have enough funds to mitigate the effects of the sub-prime problems, Mr Stiglitz said in an interview in Jakarta.

Central banks injected US$290 billion into money markets last week as concern that US sub-prime mortgage losses will curtail lending drove up short-term borrowing costs.

The Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve have since resumed regular refinancing operations. European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said financial markets are “going back to normal”.

“Since emerging markets are generally viewed as riskier and as risk spreads are unusually low, they will increase,” said Mr Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia University.

Still “the magnitude of the effects will be mitigated by the fact that reserves in most of the countries are very large.”

The region’s markets attracted US$269 billion in capital inflows last year, according to the Asian Development Bank. — BLOOMBERG

Genting Seeks $3.3b

Source : TODAY, Thursday, August 16, 2007

GENTING International, developer of Singapore’s second integrated resort, will raise US$2.2 billion ($3.3 billion) in a rights offer.

Genting International set the offer price at 60 cents a share, a 23 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of 77.5 cents. The company will offer shareholders three new shares for every five held.

About half of the proceeds from the sale will be spent on the integrated resort on Sentosa. About $516 million will help repay a loan used to buy UK betting chain Stanley Leisure. The rest may be used to make further acquisitions. — BLOOMBERG

5 Reasons To Welcome A Credit Crunch

Source : TODAY, Thursday, August 16, 2007

STOCK markets have tumbled, lending has been frozen and central banks have injected emergency funds into the banking system. It has been impossible to miss the atmosphere of panic in financial markets for the last 10 days.

But hold on. So long as it doesn't turn into a rout, it's healthy to blow the froth off the top of a four-year bull market. Once you get rid of the excess, you can see the substance underneath. Here are five useful things that might come out of the current credit crunch.

say hello to the Trichet Put

Now that Alan Greenspan is no longer Federal Reserve chairman, traders could be forgiven for thinking there are no more central bankers willing to bail them out of a crisis. They certainly wouldn't have been looking to the stern monetarists at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

As it happened, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet stepped up with a massive injection of cash: On Aug 9, the ECB loaned an unprecedented 94.8 billion euros ($195.6 billion) at a fixed rate of 4 per cent, the same level as its benchmark refinancing rate, to calm the markets. It followed with smaller amounts of emergency money-market financing on the next three trading days.

Maybe that signals the start of a Trichet Put in the credit markets. It certainly shows that, contrary to its reputation, the ECB is willing to drop dogma in favour of pragmatism and flexibility in the face of a potential crisis.

Dodgy hedge funds exposed

Just to prove the inexhaustible entrepreneurship of the Internet, check out www.hf-implode.com for its Implode-O-Meter. It lovingly lists the hedge funds that have gone pop since the crunch started, including two run by Bear Stearns and Sowood Capital Management. Even the value of some funds run by large investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group dropped.

Bad news? If you rent out office space in London's Mayfair district, or sell Ferraris for a living, probably so. But not for anyone else.

Overall, hedge funds have sharpened up the financial system, expanding the range of assets that investors can own, and providing liquidity in obscure markets. That said, too many funds were launched, and too many of them relied on flaky, unproven trading systems to beat the markets. If the crunch sorts out the real innovators from the bandwagon-hoppers, then so much the better.

managing assets

Easy credit markets have made running an LBO fund too easy. With money cheaply available, it was simple for the buyout funds to raise a pile of cash, pick off a big company, then sell it back to the stock market a couple of years later at a profit.

Quality buyout funds should still make money, even if it is costing them 6 per cent or more to borrow. But they will have to work harder, improving the performance of the businesses they own, and shutting the units that don't have a future. As financial engineering becomes harder, they will have to go back to real engineering — and that can only be a good thing.

Sanity returns

Cheap credit has fuelled crazy housing booms from New York to Sydney and from London to Madrid. Huge banker bonuses have made property unaffordable in some places. In London, house prices rose almost 18 per cent in June compared with a year earlier, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government. The average cost of a home in London was £332,009 ($1 million), up almost £10,000 from the previous month alone. The average person didn't earn £10,000 more in the same period, though.

If tighter credit markets can bring some sanity back to the property market, it would be an improvement.

What we will find out

Where's the pain felt from overheated US property prices? It turns out to be in Germany, which has the dullest real-estate market in the developed world: The German government was forced to bail out IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG because of its subprime losses.

There are few better examples of how the globalisation of financial markets has spread risk around the world.

Theorists would say that makes markets more efficient: It is parcelled out so no single institution or country is saddled with catastrophic losses.

It's a pretty good theory.

But as they say in the science labs, you don't really know if it is true until you try an experiment.

The credit crunch should tell us whether the globalisation of markets has genuinely made them better at absorbing shocks — or whether changes are needed. That way, we should be more prepared next time something nasty comes along.

So long as it isn't disastrous, an occasional slump in financial markets can be healthy: It tests the system and leaves it in better shape to face the next crisis.

Matthew Lynn is a Bloomberg News columnist.

Bourses Bleed Again

Source : TODAY, Thursday, August 16, 2007

Investors shun 'risky' Asian assets; STI hits 4-month low

THE bears were out in full force yesterday.

Share prices tumbled across the region, as wave after wave of bad news hit markets, signalling that the worst is far from over.

And it was not just the markets, the wider economy too may be feeling the pain of the credit woes in the United States, say some.

The theme underlying yesterday's selldown mirrored that of the past week. Defaults in the US subprime home loans sector — which carry a high-risk because they are given to people with poor credit histories — are still weighing on banks that own parts of the mortgages via complex investment funds.

The difference is that the growing uncertainty has silenced experts who had been talking about fishing for stocks on the cheap.

"Due to the heightened nervousness surrounding world equities markets led by Wall Street, the bulls may continue to retreat for a while," said local brokerage AmFraser Securities.

Yesterday, the Straits Times Index (STI) plunged a sharp 3.3 per cent or 113 points to close at 3,273 points, erasing the gains made in the past four months.

Some 798 stocks lost ground — led by banking and property counters — compared to 148 gainers. Still, for the year to date, the STI is up 9.6 per cent.

Like the small Singapore market, the rest of Asia took its cue from US bourses, which also hit a four-month low the night before.

Indonesia took the worst beating, nosediving 6.4 per cent, the worst drop in a year. Second was the Philippines, which shed 4.1 per cent, followed by Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average which dropped 2.2 per cent to see its lowest close so far this year.

Even China stocks, which have continued to climb despite the liquidity fears, succumbed to a mild slip of 0.06 per cent.

"The bearish camp that looks at this as a trigger for a real economic downturn seems to be growing," Mr Thue Isen, a fund manager at Bankinvest Group, told Bloomberg.

Adding to the dismay was data suggesting that Americans — who buy much of the world's goods — are spending less. Pointing to lower-than-expected sales, the boss of discount retail giant Wal-Mart said Americans face "difficult pressure economically".

Other US retail chains including Home Depot have also suffered falling revenues.

If the US economy slows, so will the rest of the world, especially countries such as Singapore which are reliant on external trade.

Foreign exchange markets also caught the blues, as investors dumped Asian currencies.

The Singapore dollar sank to a six-week low against the greenback, as the US dollar strengthened to S$1.5304. In Indonesia, the central bank stepped in to defend the rupiah, which slumped to its lowest since June 2006.

Dealers told AFP that although Asia's exposure to the US mortgage problems appeared to be limited, the fear was that foreign funds would be forced to sell Asian stocks to cover losses on subprime loans to risky borrowers.

"The word of the day is to reduce exposure to emerging markets,'' said Manila-based Roland Avante, treasurer at Chinatrust (Philippines) Commercial Bank.

"There is growing demand for dollars as people move to U.S. Treasuries."

Fears of a global credit contagion were heightened yesterday when analysts downgraded the stocks of two giant lenders: Deutsche Bank and UBS.

"Financial system stresses are significant'' and there is "further possible bad news out of the broader German banking market," Merrill Lynch wrote in a note.

More fund managers also reported losses linked to the subprime problem.

Sydney-based Basis Capital Fund Management said losses at one of its hedge funds may exceed 80 per cent as the U.S. subprime mortgage rout is prompting creditors to force the Australia firm to sell assets.

On the same day, Sentinel Management Group, the Illinois-based cash-management firm that oversees US$1.6 billion, asked regulators for permission to freeze client withdrawals.

Said Vontobel Asset Management's chief strategist Thomas Steinemann: "There's a lot of uncertainty about what's going on and who has lost money from the credit-market debacle."

Asian stocks buckle on US mortgage fears

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 15 August 2007

(Picture of A Board Display of Hang Seng Index)

TOKYO - Asian stock markets suffered another mauling Wednesday as investors braced for more bad news on US mortgages, dashing hopes that the worst of the recent turmoil might be over.

The latest wave of selling came despite recent efforts by the world's major central banks to restore calm to global markets by pumping billions of dollars of emergency funds into the banking system.

Dealers said that although Asia's exposure to the US mortgage problems appeared to be limited, the fear is that foreign funds will be forced to sell Asian stocks to cover losses on sub-prime loans to risky borrowers.

"Things are still very shaky in the States and that's really driving a lot of the concerns at the moment," said Lorraine Tan, vice president of Asia equity research at Standard & Poor's in Singapore.

"The markets haven't stabilised yet. Unless there's some sign of things stabilising it's still going to be very volatile," she said.

The Tokyo market buckled after two days of relative calm that had raised hopes that markets might have finally hit a bottom after recent plunges. The Nikkei-225 index slumped 2.19 percent to an eight-month low.

A stronger yen hit exporters after the Japanese currency spiked up to four-month highs against the euro and the dollar on an unwinding of risky carry trade bets that play on differences in global interest rates.

Recent market turbulence has prompted investors to seek shelter in safe-haven investments such as US government bonds, dealers said.

"It appears that foreign players have moved aggressively to cash in equities holdings in order to restructure their portfolios in favour of bonds," said Yukihiro Takahashi, a market analyst at Ichiyoshi Securities in Tokyo.

US and European stock markets sustained heavy losses Tuesday as concerns lingered about a potential credit crunch, setting Asian bourses up for another nail-biting day as jittery investors fretted more bad news might come out.

Adding to jitters, reports said a US investment firm, Sentinel Management Group, had frozen a 1.5 billion dollar fund because it has been overwhelmed by investors trying to withdraw their money.

And Japanese megabank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) said it had suffered about 43 million dollars in losses on US sub-prime loans, sending its shares sharply lower.

The heavy losses overseas came despite another big injection of funds by the European Central Bank into the banking sector Tuesday, even as ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet said conditions in money markets were returning to normal.

Amid continued signs of ample liquidity in the Japanese banking system, the Bank of Japan further drained down excess funds on Wednesday, announcing it would withdraw an additional 2.0 trillion yen (17.0 billion dollars).

Investors, however, remained extremely jittery.

Jakarta was punished most with a 6.4 percent tumble, Hong Kong was down 2.87 percent, Singapore lost 3.35 percent, while Manila ended down 4.1 percent and Taipei slumped 3.57 percent.

Wellington closed 1.53 percent lower while Sydney lost 3.0 percent. Kuala Lumpur shed 2.8 percent and Bangkok was down 2.51 percent.

Shanghai's Composite Index was down 0.06 percent, cushioned somewhat by a positive response to news that regulators had eased rules on bond issues by listed firms. Seoul and Mumbai were closed for public holidays.

Analysts, however, remained optimistic that the impact on the Asian economies of the US mortgage problems would be limited.

Asian firms appeared to have limited exposure to the US sub-prime woes, said Tan at S and P.

"At this stage we still believe that the global economic picture is pretty much intact. Even if the US does slow a little bit it shouldn't have a significant impact on growth drivers" in Asia, she added. - AFP/ir

Global Shares Sell-Off Continues Apace

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 15 August 2007

(Picture Of Frankfurt Stock Exchange)

LONDON: Stock markets tumbled again in Asia and Europe on Wednesday after heavy overnight losses in the United States, as traders remained on red alert for fallout from US housing market woes, analysts said.

Markets faced another fierce sell-off as investors were gripped by renewed concerns over a potential global credit crunch sparked by the troubled US home loan sector.

Shares in Frankfurt, London and Paris fell further on Wednesday, with key casualties among financial companies, after Hong Kong and Tokyo markets had earlier plunged by more than 2.0 percent in value.

Later Wednesday, all eyes will be on Wall Street following a hammering the previous day. US markets open at 1330 GMT.

Traders remain highly sensitive to evidence that the faltering US sub-prime sector -- which supplies home loans to people with poor credit histories -- may have impacted on banks or investment funds around the world.

"Investors are still having a real battle trying to understand who's got the (sub-prime) exposure and what their liabilities are," said Barclays Capital analyst Henk Potts.

"Until we get a better picture on how the problems we've been seeing in the credits markets will affect long-term business, there's going to be this uncertainty."

Experts say that the biggest fear is that US mortgage defaults by sub-prime homeowners will spark tighter global borrowing conditions, thereby weakening consumer spending, corporate activity and world economic growth.

The latest wave of selling, meanwhile, came despite recent efforts by the world's major central banks to restore calm to global markets by pumping billions of dollars of emergency funds into the banking system.

Analysts added that investors were also seeking a safe-haven for their cash amid the apparent meltdown on stock market trading floors.

"Turmoil in the financial markets has returned with renewed volatile price action indicating that market participants continue to shift out of riskier assets reflecting fears over the fallout in global credit markets," said Derek Halpenny, economist at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in London.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares was 0.83 percent lower at 6,092.50 points near the half-way stage on Wednesday.

The FTSE has seen stormy trading in recent days. Last week it shed 2.99 percent in value -- but rebounded by the same percentage on Monday.

However, losses on Tuesday and Wednesday have almost erased those gains amid worries that the current equities downturn could dampen global economic growth.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.65 percent to 7,376.59 points and the Paris CAC 40 slumped 1.28 percent to 5,408.71.

Adding to jitters, reports said a US investment firm, Sentinel Management Group, had frozen a 1.5 billion dollar fund because it has been overwhelmed by investors trying to withdraw their money.

And Japanese megabank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group said it had suffered about 43 million dollars in losses on US sub-prime loans, sending its shares sharply lower.

The Tokyo market buckled earlier Wednesday after two days of relative calm that had raised hopes that markets might have finally hit a bottom after recent plunges.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei-225 index slumped 2.19 percent to an eight-month low of 16,475.61 points. Hong Kong's key Hang Seng Index closed down 2.87 percent at 21,375.72.

Dealers said that although Asia's exposure to the US mortgage problems appeared to be limited, the fear is that foreign funds will be forced to sell Asian stocks to cover losses on subprime loans to risky borrowers.

"Things are still very shaky in the States and that's really driving a lot of the concerns at the moment," said Lorraine Tan, vice president of Asia equity research at Standard and Poor's in Singapore.

"The markets haven't stabilised yet. Unless there's some sign of things stabilising it's still going to be very volatile," she said. - AFP/ir

EU To Probe Credit Agencies In Sub-Prime Crisis: Report

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 16 August 2007

Picture (Left) : President of the Europeaan Commission , Jose Manuel Barroso in a talks to Businessman

LONDON: The European Commission will investigate the role played by credit rating agencies in the recent crisis over sub-prime US home loans, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

"If the rating agencies believe this is going to be business as usual, they are very wrong," an unnamed Commission official told the business daily.

"The securitised sub-prime mortgage market would not have grown to the extent that it did without the favourable ratings given by some agencies."

According to the FT, banks first warned about a potential crisis in sub-prime home loans – high-risk loans to people with poor credit histories – last year, but credit agencies Standard and Poor's and Moody's only downgraded ratings on relevant securities earlier this year.

Traders remain highly sensitive to evidence that losses from US sub-prime home loans are affecting banks or investment funds around the world.

The FT said that EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy met with senior S&P executives last month and expressed his concern over the sub-prime mortgage market.

He has reportedly invited securities regulators from across Europe to a meeting next month to discuss rating agencies and the recent problems. - AFP/so

US Federal Reserve Pumps US$7b Into Markets

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 16 August 2007

WASHINGTON : The US Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it has injected US$7 billion into the jittery financial system to meet increased liquidity demands.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which handles the operations of the short-term federal funds market, made the cash infusion, a spokesman for the New York Fed said.

The amount was much smaller than the Fed's injections late last week to ease credit crunched by problems in the high-risk sub-prime mortgage sector.

The Fed pumped a total of US$38 billion into the financial system on Thursday and US$24 billion on Friday. The central bank added US$2 billion on Monday but did not intervene on Tuesday.

Under normal circumstances, these almost-daily operations add about US$5 billion to US$10 billion a day to the markets.

Before markets opened on Wall Street on Wednesday, the New York Fed said that market conditions suggest that an injection will be needed in the federal funds market "to accommodate heightened reserve needs."

The bank said it "stands ready to conduct further operations later in the day if needed." - AFP/de

BoJ To Inject 400 Billion Yen Into Banking System

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 16 August 2007

TOKYO: The Bank of Japan (Picture:Left) announced on Thursday it will inject 400 billion yen (3.4 billion dollars) into the banking system amid renewed turmoil in global financial markets.

It was the first time in three days that the BoJ had pumped emergency funds into the financial system as part of a concerted action by global central banks to try to avert a credit squeeze caused by problems in US mortgages.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the BoJ had drained a total of 3.6 trillion yen from the domestic banking system – more than the amount it had pumped in over the past two working days – as fears of a domestic credit squeeze faded.

The Japanese central bank's latest injection came after the Tokyo stock markets tumbled for a second straight day in early deals after another rout overnight on Wall Street.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares fell 339.30 points or 2.06 percent to 16,136.31 in early trading, a day after sinking 2.19 percent to an eight-month low.

Wall Street suffered another heavy sell-off on Wednesday as another big injection of funds by the US Federal Reserve into the financial system failed to calm jitters.

A persistent housing slump and rising property foreclosures in the United States have sparked a financial storm that has prompted investors to shun mortgage-backed securities and other risky investments. - AFP/so

Asian Stocks Plunge As Confidence Evaporates

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 16 August 2007

TOKYO: Asian stock markets buckled on Thursday as jittery investors rushed to dump shares after another rout overnight on Wall Street, with no sign of an end to the tremors emanating from the US mortgage sector.

From Tokyo to Sydney, Hong Kong to Singapore, weary dealers' screens were awash with red again as fears over the fallout from problems in US credit markets continued to buffet stock markets around the world.

Seoul reeled from its biggest ever one-day points plunge, down more than six percent in morning trade.

Market watchers said that confidence had drained out of the markets, so even though many stocks look cheap there is no obvious trigger on the horizon for a rebound in global stock markets.

"Investors have moved from being super-optimistic to super-pessimistic in a very short space of time. Really, there is no sign of this ending," said CommSec equities economist Craig James in Sydney.

Oil prices fell as traders fretted that the current market turmoil could put the brakes on the global economy, hitting energy demand.

The yen gained sharply on the euro and dollar, lifted by growing risk aversion.

All eyes remained on Wall Street where credit market anxiety gripped investors again on Wednesday as the fear of the unknown prompted a flight to safe haven assets such as government bonds.

Tokyo set the tone for the region, with the benchmark Nikkei index down 3.7 percent in the early afternoon, slipping below the key 16,000-point level for the first time since November.

A fresh 400-billion-yen (3.4 billion dollars) injection of funds into the banking system by the Bank of Japan failed to calm frayed nerves.

Japanese banking shares in particularly took another pounding despite their recent insistence that they have only limited exposure to the problems in US sub-prime mortgages to high-risk borrowers.

"The market is in full flight," said Jeremy Hall, a Japanese equity fund manager at Henderson Global Investors in Singapore.

He said Japanese banks on a fundamental basis were "looking extremely cheap" but the Tokyo market was being driven lower by bad news from overseas.

It was a similar story across the region. Hong Kong tumbled 2.5 percent in opening trade, Sydney was down 2.8 percent, Taipei tumbled nearly 5.0 percent, Manila slumped 3.4 percent and Singapore lost 3.46 percent.

"There are fears of a possible domino effect on international credit markets, as well as equity markets," said Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust Co Ltd fund manager Bruce Yu in Taipei.

Seoul, which was closed on Wednesday, plunged by 6.35 percent in the steepest point slide on record as frantic investors scrambled to catch up with the heavy overseas sell-off a day earlier.

Indian share prices plunged 4.34 percent within minutes of opening on global credit market anxiety.

Analysts believe that Asian companies have relatively little direct exposure to the problems in risky US securities backed by sub-prime mortgages.

But foreign funds, reeling from heavy losses in this high-stakes form of investment, have been unloading shares to raise badly needed funds.

"Hedge funds are getting out of this region," said Pong Tang Siew, head of research at Malaysian lender MIMB Investment Bank.

"The market has hit a point where all traders have decided that they want to get out."

KKR Financial, a specialty finance company linked to leading private equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, said Wednesday it was facing potential losses of up to 290 million dollars on mortgage-backed securities.

Elsewhere around the region, Jakarta lost 5.6 percent, Kuala Lumpur was down 3.2 percent, Bangkok dropped 2.66 percent and Shanghai gave up 1.34 percent.

The turmoil spilled over into the currency market, where the yen hit a five-month high against the dollar and a four-month peak against the euro as players unwound risky carry trade bets funded by selling the Japanese currency.

New York's benchmark light sweet crude oil for September delivery dropped 53 cents to 72.80 US dollars in early Asian trade from 73.33 dollars in late US deals on Wednesday as investors reduced their exposure to commodities. - AFP/so

More Foreigners Taking Up Singapore Citizenship

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 15 August 2007

SINGAPORE: The number of babies born in Singapore in the first half of this year rose marginally to 18,488 from 18,294 in the same period last year.

But thanks to foreigners, Singapore's population has grown more than marginally.

Figures released by the National Population Secretariat showed that last year, over 13,209 foreigners were granted Singapore citizenship - 309 more than in 2005.

The number of permanent residents also jumped, from 52,300 in 2005 to 57,300 last year.

Picture (Left): Larry Medina with daughter Erika

And to drive home the message that all Singaporeans share a common identity, a National Citizenship ceremony will be held this Saturday to swear in new citizens like Larry Medina.

The 41-year-old accountant relocated his family from the US to Singapore seven years ago.

Related Video Link - http://tinyurl.com/2enpou
More foreigners taking up Singapore citizenship [Channel NewsAsia Video News]


And it didn't take long for Larry and his Indonesian wife to decide that their future in Singapore will be brighter than in the US.

Larry said: "Certainly very complex decisions and the things that convinced us were: we expect the economies to continue to boom in Asia and Singapore is the best location to take advantage of that; my wife's family is close by as well, and all the usual things that people say about Singapore - that it's an easy place to live in, from the infrastructure perspective, and good schools for the kids, etc."

But choosing Singapore over US means that Larry has to relinquish his US citizenship, which he did recently and with few regrets.

Larry's wife, who is a Permanent Resident, has also applied for Singapore citizenship and hopes to be granted her pink Identity Card within months.

Their children get to keep their US citizenship till they turn 18 when they have to choose which country to call home.

Erika Medina, 7, is enrolled at a public primary school - Balestier Hill Primary - and lists Chinese lessons as one of her favourite subjects.

Her father is planning to send her 4-year-old brother to a public school too.

Singapore hopes to add about 40,000 citizens and 200,000 permanent residents to its fold over the next five years.

But attracting new migrants is only half the story.

With more immigrants from different cultures and backgrounds, integration of these new citizens becomes all the more vital.

Getting them involved in grassroots activities is one way to help new citizens like Maung Naig Win Kyaw bond with the community.

Maung came to Singapore from Myanmar 16 years ago.

The project engineer had not intended to settle down in Singapore.

But all that changed after he met his wife, who is a Singaporean.

Now, the 44-year-old is so involved in grassroots activities that he has become a close friend to many in his neighbourhood.

He said: "I enjoy helping the elderly people around this area. I feel that when I join the RC, Residents' Committee, I can contribute more for the elderly people....(like) helping them prevent dengue fever. Sometimes they call me to join them for tea, and I enjoy all these. I don't feel any difference between new citizens and local Singaporeans."

Maung and his six-year-old son received their Singapore citizenship last year.

And Maung will be adding another member to the Singapore family - his second child will be born next month. - CNA/ir

Asian Shares Sink As Credit Fears Rise

Source : The Straits Times, Aug 16, 2007

Asian shares continued to trade in negative territory on Thursday after Wall Street tumbled on renewed investor concerns over global credit markets.

SINGAPORE
Singapore share prices dived 4.6 per cent at the midday break on Thursday on panic selling from concerns over the troubled US subprime mortgage market, dealers said.

The main Straits Times Index plunged 150.38 points to 3,122.87 from Wednesday's close of 3273.25.

'The downtrend is still there,' said DBS Vickers Securities retail market strategist Yeo Kee Yan.

TOKYO
Japanese stocks plunged by 3.7 per cent in early afternoon trade on Thursday, tumbling below the key 16,000 points level for the first time since Nov as a wave of selling hit Asian markets, dealers said.

As of 11.32 am Singapore time, the Nikkei share average lost 552.67 points, or 3.35 per cent to 15,922.94, while the Topix declined 3.66 per cent to 1,535.74.

HONG KONG
Hong Kong share prices closed the Thursday morning session 3.7 per cent lower amid investor fears over the extent of the fallout from the US credit market crisis, dealers said.

The Hang Seng Index closed the morning session down 790.6 points at 20,585.14.

CHINA
China's main stock index tumbled more than 2 per cent on Thursday, as institutions took profits in large-caps and some fund managers said the market could be starting a short-term pull-back.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 2.16 per cent before ending the morning down 2.04 per cent at 4,770.440 points, with losing Shanghai stocks outnumbering gainers by 524 to 353.

Turnover in Shanghai A shares shrank to a modest 66.4 billion yuan (S$13.4 billion) from Wednesday morning's 70.8 billion yuan.

SEOUL
South Korea's stock market plunged 6.35 per cent in morning trade on Thursday on panic selling sparked by steep overnight losses on Wall Street, dealers said.

The KOSPI index had plummeted 115.52 points to 1,702.37 by midday.

KUALA LUMPUR
At 12.30 pm, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was down by 46.24 points to 1,205.58. -- REUTERS, AFP

The Sub-Prime Meltdown

Source : The Business Times, Wed, Aug 15, 2007

THE meltdown in financial markets may seem scary or mysterious, but it's part of a time- honoured story. In Chapter One, a new financial instrument makes capital available to a new class of borrower, and the result is profits for the innovator along with gains for consumers.

In Chapter Two, a group of not-so-smart investors misunderstands the novel instrument and bids its price up too enthusiastically; when the inevitable bust follows, the innovation is denounced as inherently dangerous.

Then, in Chapter Three, the complaints blow over. The not-so-smart investors learn their lesson and the new instrument stabilises. Financial innovation turns out to be beneficial without being scary, but by that time another newfangled instrument has emerged to frighten people, and finance is hauled before the court of public opinion - again.

This is likely to be the story with the current sub-prime mortgage meltdown, just as it was with sub-prime's close cousin, the junk bond.

Junk bonds, you will recall, are a way of getting loans to companies that stand a big chance of defaulting, much as sub-prime mortgages enable people with questionable credit to buy homes.

During the 1980s, the value of junk bonds in circulation went from nothing to around US$200 billion, enabling dozens of fringe companies to innovate and experiment.

Then, in the early 1990s, about one in 10 junk borrowers lived up to their names and defaulted, and junk bonds were widely denounced. But the fuss was over quickly. By 2000, the value of the junk bond market had soared to US$600 billion.

Nobody doubted that fringe companies should have access to finance, provided that they compensated investors for the risk that they might fail. The sub-prime story began in the late 1990s, around the time that junk bonds had become boringly respectable. Lenders figured out that there was no reason to deny mortgages to households with a history of poverty or unreliability; they should be welcome to borrow provided that they paid a premium to reflect their high risk of default.

By 2006, sub-prime mortgages accounted for a fifth of all home loans, and the social consequences were marvellous. The homeownership rate, which had been stuck around 65 per cent between the mid-1950s and the mid-1990s, hit 69 per cent. Some 12 million new homeowners emerged, roughly half of them members of racial minorities.

The American dream had been extended as never before.

But there was a mysterious feature to this story: Some sub-prime mortgages did not so much relax normal lending standards as abolish them wholesale.

It's one thing to inspect a borrower's track record and forgive periods of unemployment or late credit card payments; it's another to suspend inspections - which was effectively what the notorious 'no-doc' loans were all about. The mystery was not that mortgage companies were happy to be reckless, since they resold the mortgages to investment banks that packaged them into securities: They were not going to be holding the baby if the homeowner went bust.

The mystery concerned those not-so-smart investors who bought the investment banks' securities. Were they blind, or what? Every boom-and-bust cycle has its expert enablers. The tech bubble was fuelled by Wall Street analysts who talked up stocks they knew to be worthless; the Enron-WorldCom-Adelphia bubble was inflated by auditors who signed financial statements that were full of lies.

In the case of the sub-prime delusion, the enablers were the ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's and Moody's, which assigned ratings to no-doc loans that failed to advertise the risks involved. When the tech bubble imploded, the chief victim was the day trader. In the mortgage market, we are discovering, the rating agencies' victims included unsuspecting European banks.

There's more pain to come in this shakeout. Now that financial markets are panicking, bystanders who never touched a sub-prime mortgage may get trampled. The European Central Bank led an international effort to pump money into the banking system last week, because private lenders were yanking back their money for fear that banks might be harbouring unannounced sub-prime losses.

Nobody knows where sub-prime trouble may be lurking, so every financial player has a hard time borrowing. All sorts of operations that depend on easy credit - from private- equity buyouts to the leveraged trading strategies of hedge funds - threaten to unravel.

But whatever the immediate turmoil, the eventual conclusion to the sub-prime story seems reasonably clear. When the dust settles, investors will have learned not to put blind trust in rating agencies, which are paid by bond issuers, and so have an incentive to exaggerate how safe bonds are.

And the market for sub-prime mortgages will revive and thrive in dull obscurity. With financial innovation, it was ever so. -- LAT-WP

ST Index Plunges To Lowest In Four Months

Source : The Straits Times, Thu, Aug 16, 2007

CONCERNS over the credit crisis in the United States and fears that it may trigger a recession there sent Singapore shares plunging 3.3 per cent yesterday.
The Straits Times Index (STI) plummeted 113.34 points to close at 3,273.25 - its third-largest one-day plunge so far this year and its lowest point in more than four months.

Volume totalled only 2.43 billion shares worth $2.61 billion, a relatively moderate amount and one that signals the intention of investors to stay on the sidelines.

Losers unsurprisingly led gainers 798 to 148.

The market headed south from the start, diving nearly 70 points in opening trade, following the 207.61-point overnight fall on Wall Street that was prompted in part by a lower profit forecast from Wal-Mart Stores.

As was the case with the other regional bourses, retail investors and fund managers in Singapore scampered for cover, fearing that the US housing slump was spreading beyond credit markets and dampening consumer spending.

The three Singapore banks were the worst-hit. They shaved almost 40 points off the STI between them while DBS Group Holdings ended as the day's top loser.

DBS' stock shed $1 or 4.7 per cent to $20.20, United Overseas Bank's share price dipped 60 cents to $20.90, while OCBC Bank's shares dropped 35 cents to $8.35.

Property plays also fell on speculation that the sub-prime mortgage woes will raise borrowing costs and affect sales.

Private equity firms have made fewer inquiries on investment properties, said City Developments (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng in an interview on Tuesday.

Yesterday, CDL's share price nose-dived 50 cents to $14.10 despite the developer reporting a day earlier that its second-quarter net profit swelled from $44.9 million to $194.4 million.

CapitaLand's shares fell 35 cents to $6.90, while Keppel Land's stock slid 20 cents to $7.90.

Penny stocks mirrored the STI's fall with the UOB Sesdaq Index falling 3.1 per cent, or 7.37 points, to 227.38.

The stock of Sunmart Holdings, which makes spray pumps, made its debut and was the most heavily traded with 85 million shares changing hands. It closed at 26 cents - a one-cent premium over its offer price.

'With such a situation going on, a lot of investors are adopting a short-term view of the market,' Fraser Securities research head Najeeb Jarhom told Agence France-Presse early yesterday

He expects the STI to fall another 5 per cent before it stabilises.

Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific chief strategist Arjuna Mahendran told The Straits Times: 'Expect more adverse news from the US in the next few weeks. The STI should correct to about 3,200, then it'll start to stabilise.'

Asian Stocks Hit By More Selling As Funds Pull Out

Source : The Straits Times, Thu, Aug 16, 2007

ASIAN equities markets were rocked by more selling yesterday after two days of relative calm as fears grow that the credit squeeze may tip the US economy into recession.
Dealers said the sharp falls across the region were largely caused by foreign fund managers selling huge holdings to raise cash to meet obligations back home.

'Short-selling' by hedge funds - selling shares they do not yet own in anticipation of making a profit when the stock is bought back later - also fuelled the selldown.

'Asia is one of the few areas where funds are still sitting on fat profits. Despite the recent volatilities, the Straits Times Index (STI) and Hang Seng are still up around 10 per cent on the year. By contrast, all the gains on (Wall Street's) S&P 500 had been wiped out,' said a dealer.

The souring appetite for risk among investors hit emerging markets hard. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index was down 6.44 per cent, while the Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 4.08 per cent.

The damage was more contained here although STI still recorded its third biggest one-day drop this year, falling 113.34 points, or 3.35 per cent, to 3,273.25. About $73 billion has been wiped off the value of local shares in three weeks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 2.87 per cent, while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 2.19 per cent.

Regional financial stocks were among the worst hit. Singapore's DBS Group Holdings fell 4.72 per cent while Australia's giant merchant bank, Macquarie, was down 5.05 per cent. In Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell by about 5 per cent each after disclosing losses on securities with US mortgage exposure.

The concerns over a possible credit squeeze also hit currency markets where the Indonesian rupiah slipped 0.5 per cent to 9,400 to the US dollar - its lowest level in a year.

Global markets were already jittery but the spark for yesterday's selldown was a profit-earning report from US retail giant Wal-Mart. It blamed the US housing slump and high fuel prices for its disappointing second-quarter results and raised the spectre that US consumer spending might slow, which helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Averages tumbling 207 points overnight.

The pain continued last night with European markets all down sharply.

Citigroup's chief Asia strategist, Mr Markus Rosgen, expects regional stock markets to stay volatile as hedge funds may be forced to sell off their positions early if share prices continue to fall.

'Unlike a typical investor who is unlikely to be a forced seller...there are now 8,800 hedge funds, which...can't afford to take big losses on their stock holdings.'

And there is also a growing sense that the worst is yet to come.

Mr Marshall Gittler, chief Asian strategist of Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, said: 'We expect that the bad news is far from over and believe it is too early to start bottom-fishing.'