Saturday, October 6, 2007

F&N CEO Quits Over Differences With Board

Source : The Business Times, October 6, 2007

Chairman to oversee management till successor is found

When Lee Hsien Yang takes over as chairman and non-executive director of Fraser & Neave on Oct 15, he will find himself playing a more hands-on role than he may earlier have anticipated.

Dr Han: Is leaving his post with immediate effect, following several days of rumour and speculation

That is because the blue chip company's chief executive Han Cheng Fong is leaving his post with immediate effect, following disagreements with the board.

No successor has been named but F&N said that pending the appointment of a new chief executive, the board's chairman 'will oversee management of the group'. As things stand, current chairman Michael Fam himself is stepping down just over a week from now to make way for Mr Lee, the former SingTel CEO.

The latest developments unfolded after several days of rumour and speculation over Dr Han's position. He had joined the group seven years ago but was appointed its chief executive only in February last year.

Of late, there had been talk of his disagreements with some members of the board - a point tacitly acknowledged in the statement made by the company to the Singapore Exchange.

'The resignation of Dr Han as a director and the amicable cessation of Dr Han's employment arises from differences of opinion with the board which are unconnected with the financial position or performance of the company or its subsidiaries,' said the statement.

Word in corporate circles is that serious differences have arisen over the past two or three months between the board led by Dr Fam, 79, and the 65-year-old Dr Han who was chief executive of DBS Land until it was taken over by what is now CapitaLand. Before that, Dr Han was permanent secretary to the Ministry of Labour.

The disagreements were so bitter that there was even talk that the two might end up in court. But whatever the differences, both sides stressed that they had little to do with the performance of the company.

In fact, Dr Han painted a rosy picture of the company's future. In a statement of his own, he said: 'As the third-quarter results indicate, we are going to end this year with sterling quality performance. From projects secured to-date in China, Singapore, Australia and the UK, good performances from the beer and soft drinks and beverage businesses, I am confident the next five years promise strong double-digit growth and F&N is likely to achieve a doubling of this year's bottom line performance by the end of the fifth year.'

The booming property market helped to boost F&N's third-quarter net profit by 28 per cent to $97.1 million while net earnings for the first nine months - till end-June - rose 36 per cent to $280.7 million.

For FY2006, the group reported record net earnings before exceptional items of $295.4 million.

Observers pointed out that Dr Fam and Dr Han were full of praise for each other in the 2006 annual report.

In it, Dr Fam said: 'I would like to commend the management and staff, under the strong leadership of Dr Han Cheng Fong, for delivering another set of record profits.'

In turn, Dr Han had said: 'When Dr Fam was appointed as chairman in 1983, F&N's profit was $30 million. By the time I succeeded him as the group CEO in FY05, profits had grown almost tenfold to $271 million. The quantum leap in F&N's profitability was the product of (the) strategies which he pursued.'

Yesterday, the farewell was less effusive. Dr Han indicated in his statement that he had been thinking of moving on for some time.

'Yes, I have been in discussion with several organisations in the last few months and it is likely I will make up my mind on what my future will be after a break in Europe,' he said.

Trading in F&N shares, which were suspended 30 cents up at $5.95 at 11.45 am yesterday pending the announcement, will resume on Monday.

Apart from receiving what could be a sizeable severance package, Dr Han has options for 4.18 million F&N shares and 3.24 million Frasers Property (China) shares which closed at $1.52 yesterday.

Public urged to give feedback for design of National Art Gallery

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 05 October 2007

You don’t have to be a professional architect or a designer to have your say on the look of Singapore’s National Art Gallery.

A public exhibition at the City Hall Chambers was launched on Friday with all 111 entries received for the architectural design competition put on display. The entries from 29 countries concluded in late August with three chosen winning designs.

See if you agree with the seven-member international jury who narrowed down the list and add your suggestions on what you would like to see in the building’s design.

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr Balaji Sadasivan, who graced the launch of the exhibition, pointed out that many small things may not be in the design.

"So, feedback from the public is important particularly with regard to the small details. Very often, Singaporeans travel abroad and visit museums and they pick up small things that can make a difference," said Dr Balaji.

Related Video Link -
Public urged to give feedback for design of National Art Gallery

He also stressed that the National Art Gallery is a project for the people and that is why a public exhibition of this scale has been launched so that Singaporeans can be part of the final design process.

In his speech at the launch of the exhibition, Dr Balaji said the final design scheme for the National Art Gallery will be settled by early next year when the commissioned architect is announced by MICA.

The National Art Gallery, which Dr Balaji described as an important part of Singapore’s art landscape that will serve as a reflection of the nation’s own identity and character, will reside at the City Hall, the scene of many landmark events in Singapore’s history.

It was at City Hall that Britain’s Lord Louis Mountbatten received the Japanese surrender in 1945 that ended the Occupation of Southeast Asia and in more recent history, it saw Singapore’s declaration of independence by then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Viewed in this light, there are some like 24-year-old Media Planner Sarah Moey who would like to see the colonial essence of the City Hall area retained, by incorporating the concept of the new and old in the building’s construction. "My concern is that the colonial aspect of the structure should not be lost with too much of modernization in the design."

Others like Radio Deejay Jensen Ho are championing the new era of promise for culture and the arts that the gallery will herald.

One area of interest for Ho is graffiti art, and he thinks a section of the art gallery’s walls should be dedicated to this. "Graffiti was often regarded by others as unsightly damage or unwanted vandalism, but when it is done with passion and meticulous detail, I strongly believe it would draw crowds.

"Besides, most view art galleries as a vicinity for only the well-heeled. So, I think if graffiti art, which represents the ‘new’ is included, more people will be interested to see how new forms of art have been juxtaposed with the historical aspect of the building. Inevitably, this would also attract the youngsters to art galleries," said Ho.

If you have other ideas for the National Art Gallery, you can make them known in four ways.

You can log on to the National Art Gallery’s website at and fill up the online survey or contribute through the feedback unit, REACH.

Overseas Singaporeans are welcome to give their views on the Overseas Singaporean Portal.

If you make the time to visit the exhibition, there will be on-site interviewers stationed at the exit of the City Hall chambers to gather feedback from the public after they have viewed the projects.

The design that has so far won the most praises is that by Studio Milou Architecture and Singapore architects CPG Consultants, as judges were impressed by the design’s clever use of space and light.

Ranked second by the panel was Ho+Hou Studio Architects, a Taiwan-based architectural firm that’s collaborating with AEDAS Pte Ltd in Singapore, whose design was inspired by the form and colours of the home of fishermen or ‘kelong'.

ChanSauYanAssociates, a Singapore-based architectural firm, in collaboration with Lekker Design Pte Ltd’s design is third, with its focus on the main entry portal that connects the two majestic monuments.

But it’s the jury’s comments along with the public feedback and the design’s feasibility that will finally clinch the S$320 million project for one team that will be commissioned to design and build the National Art Gallery.

When completed in 2012, the gallery will house Southeast Asian and Singapore art.

So play a part in creating this national icon. Hop on down to the exhibition, which is on now until 17 October. - CNA/vm

Photo Gallery: National Art Gallery

ChanSauYan Cross Section 1

ChanSauYan Cross Section 2

ChanSauYan Exterior

ChanSauYan Perspective Courtyard

Ho_Hou Restaurant 1

Ho_Hou Restaurant 2

Ho+Hou Exterior

Ho+Hou Terrace Hall

Studio Milou Lower Public Gallery bathed in overhead Natural Light

Studio Milou Night Time Perspective

Studio Milou Roof Top exhibition spaces

Studio Milou Sectional View of the City Hall exhibition spaces

Sub-Prime Soul-Searching

Source : Weekend TODAY, October 6, 2007

We can look back and point fingers, but there are lessons to be learnt here


SOMETHING went badly wrong in the sub-prime mortgage market. In fact, several things did.

And now quite a few homeowners, investors and financial institutions are feeling the pain. So far, harried policymakers have understandably focused on crisis management, on getting out of this mess. But soon the nation will turn to recrimination — to good old-fashioned finger-pointing.

Finger-pointing is often decried both as mean-spirited and as a distraction from the more important task of finding remedies. I beg to differ. Until we diagnose what went wrong with sub-prime, we cannot even begin to devise policy changes that might protect us from a repeat performance. So here goes. Because so much went wrong, the fingers on one hand will not be enough.

The first finger points at households who borrowed recklessly to buy homes, often saddling themselves with mortgages that were all too likely to default. They should have known better. But what can we do to guard against it happening again?

Not much, I’m afraid. Gullible consumers have been around since Adam consumed that apple. Greater financial literacy might help, but I’m doubtful about our ability to deliver it effectively.

The Federal Reserve is working on clearer mortgage disclosures to help borrowers understand what they are getting themselves into. (“Warning! This mortgage can be dangerous to your family’s financial health.”)

While I applaud the effort, I’m sceptical that it will work. If you have ever closed on a home, you know that the disclosure forms you receive are copious and dense. Should we add even more?

Fewer words, and in plainer English, might help, especially if they highlighted the truly important risks. (“In two years, your mortgage payments could double.”)

But the truth is that there is much to disclose, that complicated mortgage products are, well, complicated, and that people don’t read those documents anyway.

It seems more promising to point a finger directly at lenders. Some lenders sold mortgage products that were plainly inappropriate for customers and that they did not understand. There were numerous cases of unsophisticated borrowers being led into risky mortgages.

Here, something can be done. For starters, we need to think about devising “suitability standard” for everyone who sells mortgage products. Under current law, a stockbroker who persuades Granny to use her last US$5,000 ($7,400) to buy a speculative stock on margin is in legal peril because the investment is “unsuitable” for her (though perfectly suitable for Warren Buffett).

Knowing that, the broker usually doesn’t do it.

But who will create and enforce such a standard for mortgages? Roughly half of recent
sub-prime mortgages originated in mortgage companies that were not part of any bank, and thus stood outside the federal regulatory system. That was trouble waiting for a time and a place to happen. We should place all mortgage lenders under federal regulation.

That said, bank regulators deserve the next finger of blame for not doing a better job of protecting consumers and ensuring that banks followed sound lending practices. Fortunately, the regulators know they underperformed and repair work is already under way.

Regulators also need to start thinking about how to deal with a serious incentive problem. In old-fashioned finance, a bank that originated a mortgage also held it for years (think of Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life), giving it a clear incentive to lend carefully.

But in newfangled finance, banks and mortgage brokers originate loans and sell them quickly to a big financial firm that “securitises” them. It pools thousands of mortgages and issues marketable securities representing shares in the pool. These “mortgage-backed securities” are then sold to investors worldwide, to people with no idea who the original borrowers are.

Securitisation is a marvellous thing. It has lubricated the market and made mortgages more affordable. We certainly don’t want to end it. But securitisation sharply reduces the originator’s incentive to scrutinise the creditworthiness of borrowers.

After all, if the loan goes sour, someone else will be holding the bag. We need to find ways to restore that incentive, perhaps by requiring loan originators to retain a share of each mortgage.

But wait. Don’t the ultimate investors have every incentive to scrutinise the credits? If they buy riskier mortgage-backed securities in search of higher yields, isn’t that their business?

The answer is yes — which leads me to point a fourth finger of blame. By now, it is clear that many investors, swept up in the euphoria of the moment, failed to pay close attention to what they were buying.

Why did they behave so foolishly? Part of the answer is that the securities, specially the nownotorious collateralised debt obligations, were probably too complex — which points a fifth finger, this one at the investment bankers who dreamed them up and marketed them aggressively.

Another part of the answer merits a sixth finger of blame. Investors placed too much faith in the rating agencies — which, to put it mildly, failed to get it right. It is tempting to take the rating agencies out for a public whipping. But it is more constructive to ask how the rating system might be improved.

Under the current system, the rating agencies are hired and paid by the issuers of the very securities they rate — which creates a potential conflict of interest.

If I proposed that students pay me directly for grading their work, my dean would be outraged. Yet, that’s exactly how securities are rated. This needs to change, but it’s not precisely clear how.

So that’s my list of men (and a few women) behaving badly. But as we point all these fingers, let’s remember the sagely advice of the late and dearly missed Ned Gramlich, the former Fed governor who saw the emerging sub-prime problems sooner and clearer than anyone.

Yes, the sub-prime market failed us. But before it blew up, it placed a few million families of modest means in homes they otherwise could not have financed. That accomplishment is worth something. In fact, quite a lot. We don’t have to destroy the sub-prime market in order to save it. — NEW YORK TIMES

The writer is professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Be Part Of A Designing Public

Source : Weekend TODAY, October 6, 2007

Until Oct 17, you can have a say in how the new National Gallery should look

In the remaking of Singapore as a global city, the shape of this project will depend not just on the Government, but on the average Singaporean, too.

City Hall and the former Supreme Court building will be transformed into the new National Art Gallery and the proposals for the design may have already been shortlisted. Still, there is time between now and early next year before the architect is commissioned.

And the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts hopes people will weigh in with their views on the type of building they think would be worthy to take its place in front of the Padang.

Such feedback will be considered before the decision on the final design of the Gallery is made. To that end, a public exhibition of the three contending design ideas, as well as the rest of the 111 design entries from 29 countries for the design competition, was launched on Friday.

"The National Art Gallery is a project for the people. This is why we are having a public exhibition of this scale, so that the people of Singapore can be part of the final design process," said Senior Minister of State Balaji Sadasivan, who was at the launch of "When reflections become form: Imagining our National Art Gallery".

"I think these are the two most important designs in Singapore. They are historic buildings — many people have an emotional attachment to these buildings … They can give us their suggestions so when we finalise the designs, architects can take into consideration the public's views and put some of these elements of the public feedback into the design."

The top three designs are by France's Studio Milou Architecture, Taiwan's Ho + Hou Architect and Singapore's Chan Sau Yan Associates in collaboration with Lekker Design.

But the one that will be chosen is unlikely to incorporate ideas from the other designs.

"The top three designs are distinct. Each has a certain wonderful feature about it — they are unique. I don't think you can take the three and mix it together. It's like taking char kuay teow, laksa and fish head curry and mixing (them) up and hoping you get a better dish," said Dr Balaji.

The free public exhibition runs until Oct 17 and the public can log on to to give feedback. — 938LIVE

Xtra Longevity - It's A Blessing, Let's Rejoice

Source : Weekend TODAY, October 6, 2007

Message to the Government: Cut out the cruel approach and work on the good news

Tan Sai Siong

CPF Changes should be a celebration of long life not an antidote to the ills of longveity

I THINK the Government's use of longevity insurance as a shield against the prospect of more Singaporeans living longer isn't packaged to attract the sort of buy-in which the substance of the wise move deserves.

After all, insurance is against bad things that might happen, such as catastrophic illnesses, accidents, untimely deaths, and so on.

But longevity is a blessing and a much-valued extension of time on earth, to be embraced with relief and gratitude.

Immortality, or at least longevity, has been sought by sages through the ages, from China to Greece and Egypt, using philosopher stones, lingzhi (the mushroom of immortality) and every trick or treat available to human imagination.

So, Singapore should be jumping for joy to know that those aged 60 now stand a 1-in-2 chance of living to 85 and beyond. Obviously, the chances for those not yet 60 may be even better. But why isn't our Government treating this as a feat to be celebrated, perhaps even designating Jan 1 to be Longevity Day, with fireworks and a Longevity Parade?

Instead, the official line is now making longevity tantamount to a calamity that needs alleviation through a contentious compulsory insurance scheme. Maybe it's true that the good die young but there's no need to make it a bad scene for those slated to die old. I am 63 and find the longevity news most welcome.

So, please cut the cruel approach for now and concentrate on the good news. What does an extra 20/25 years mean, especially if you are in my age group?

It's not just about possibilities. The probabilities are very good too that a new life begun at 60 can be very fruitful, when there's a future measuring two-and-a-half decades to support it.

Think of the family with whom we always say we don't spend enough time. Now, these extra years give us what we've always wanted, more time to be with our loved ones.

Think of the new friendships and relationships that can be initiated and enjoyed, with all that time for them to blossom. With the new life span, we have the luxury to also salvage faded ties from those worth salvaging.

"Too late" are words to be outlawed from our vocabulary. Think of the new careers, jobs, colleagues, perhaps even a new venture: All have become more accessible and feasible; the extra time to stand, stare and experiment with no need to worry about "time's winged chariot hurrying near".

There is so much world and we've the extra time to explore the space and the places.

With the pace of change accelerating, the extra 20/25 years could in effect mean 40/50 more years, as measured by the pace known to our parents and grandparents. Longevity means an effective extension of life by two generations!

Isn't that worth rejoicing about, especially when our home is Singapore and there is so much ahead, as we read almost daily in the newspapers, hear on the radio, see on TV and, even as we go about our daily lives, witnessing big changes afoot: New landmarks created, old ones enhanced.

Longevity gives us this unsurpassable opportunity to savour an increasingly gentler but more vibrant Singapore. Or, if Singapore gets on your nerves, there is time enough to explore alternatives.

Never mind that we didn't have the guts when we were 30, 40 or 50. At 60, with another quarter of our life still ahead, there's time aplenty to mistake a mirage for an oasis and yet make it back again to the safety of this our home before sunset.

The nation at large should rejoice at this longevity too. Qualified, experienced manpower can contribute for longer. Less-qualified manpower and those who have never been qualified at all become worthwhile to train or retrain, because there're vast streams of payback time for them in this age of longevity.

So, I say to our Government: By all means throw in the extra 1 per cent for all CPF members but as a celebration of long life, not as an antidote to ward off the ills of longevity. And for those like me who have already used our minimum sum to buy an annuity, let us have that 1 per cent to top up our annuity, rather than make us buy an extra one.

Better still, let us fritter it away anyway we want, as a reward to early adopters of annuities and to incentivise those who haven't committed their minimum sum to annuities to do so.

The message from the Government should be the benefits of annuities for long-lifers, not the ills of growing old, sick and penniless.

Tan Sai Siong is an ex-journalist and was the first editor of The Business Times. of The Business Times.

Many Keen To Put More Money In CPF, Says Dr Ng

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 6, 2007

Singaporeans are asking how to make top-ups, a development the minister views as positive feedback

ACROSS Singapore, many people want to put more money into their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts to get the higher interest rates to be given from January.
They have been asking the CPF Board how they or their family members can make such top-ups, said Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen in an interview with The Straits Times.

Dr Ng sees their query as positive feedback from the ground on last month's announcement in Parliament of changes to the CPF system.

'They would not ask this, if they could get better interest elsewhere,' he said.

The CPF Board will follow up on their query and give them customised advice and help, added the minister.

A major change in the CPF system is the one percentage point rise in interest rate for the first $60,000 in all accounts.

But only $20,000, at most, can be from the Ordinary Account, which now pays 2.5 per cent in interest a year.

For the Special, Medisave and Retirement accounts, the current interest is a fixed 4 per cent. This too will change.

It will be replaced with the return on 10-year Singapore Government Securities plus one percentage point.

However, for the next two years, the Government has assured CPF members that these accounts will get at least 4 per cent.

The other changes are: CPF members will, over time, get the monthly Minimum Sum payouts only at age 65, not the current 62; and they must buy a longevity insurance that will give them a monthly sum at age 85 until they die.

The changes are to bolster Singaporeans' retirement savings and ensure they have enough for their old age.

But the last two measures - the delay in the Minimum Sum payout and the compulsory longevity insurance - have caused concern.

Dr Ng acknowledged that most people are not sure if they would live that long.

They also worry about the cost of the longevity insurance or annuity, despite Government assurance it will be a small part of their Retirement Account.

To allay their fears, he has asked the committee looking at how best to introduce annuities to 'seriously consider' giving people the option to decide whether to get their insurance payout earlier or later.

It is almost three weeks since Dr Ng announced the CPF changes on Sept 19.

While he feels there is 'general acceptance' of them among Singaporeans - whom he says are 'very sensible people' - there is one thing he would have done differently.

He would put in 'bold print' the link between the extra one percentage point interest and annuities, and that the extra CPF people get will be more than enough to pay for the longevity insurance.

This approach would have satisfied nine out of 10 Singaporeans, who 'trust the Government to take care of them, and prefer more reassurance than explanation'.

This message was in Dr Ng's speech, but it came after he had painstakingly laid out the rationale, details and consequences of the changes.

Said Dr Ng: 'We were trying to be pure and we were trying to explain to them that we were changing the interest rate system and how it was being done.'

This explanatory approach is preferred by the other 10 per cent who want to be 'involved in the process'.

Both approaches are necessary, he said, adding that the exercise was a learning experience. 'Government must be patient and take the time and effort to explain to different groups with varying needs and circumstances.'


This freehold condominium is located in the prestigious District 10 and is within walking distance to Dover MRT Station. Nestled on a hillock amidst the lush tropical greenery of Mt Sinai, this single block of 24-storey apartment commands a panoramic view of the surroundings.

The building is designed with pure clean lines. Glass and muted palette are used to create a contemporary feel and are juxtaposed with the use of natural materials such as stones at the ground level.

This 115-units development comprises two-, three-, four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. All the units are oriented north-south to enjoy the views of the Bukit Timah and Pandan Valley.

Address : 63 Mount Sinai Drive
District : 10
Development : A Single Tower of 24 Storeys
No. of Units : 115
Tenure : Freehold
Developer : Ho Bee Group
Estimated Physical Completion Date: 30 June 2008

Horizon Towers - Those Missing Pages

Source : Weekend TODAY, Saturday, October 6, 2007

ACERBIC high-powered lawyers, squabbling neighbours pitted against a big-money consortium, and conspiracy theories floating both within, and without, the walls of the courtroom.

Throw in some celebrity power — pop singer Ho Yeow Sun and pastor husband Kong Hee own and occupy an apartment in the condo — and the three-day Horizon Towers trial at the High Court this week could well pass as a Singaporean version of Eye for an Eye, the popular American courtroom reality TV show.

Amid all the courtroom theatrics and legal jargon, one could be forgiven for missing out on the main bone of contention in the lawsuit — the three missing pages in the sale order application, which set off a chain of events that now threaten to bankrupt many of the condo owners.

In August, the Strata Titles Board (STB) threw out the proposed $500-million en bloc sale of Horizon Towers, citing technical irregularities.

With Damocles’ sword hanging over the majority owners’ heads — they managed to stave off, for now, the $1-billion lawsuit Horizon Partners Pte Ltd (HPPL) brought against them for loss of profits — they are now asking the High Court to overturn the STB’s decision.

As part of its grounds for the decision, the STB described the three missing execution pages — in which each owner gives his explicit consent to the en bloc sale — as an “incurable defect”. The sale committee had earlier signed a statutory declaration that the collective sale agreement (CSA) filed with the Board contained all required documents.

For the minority owners, the missing pages were tantamount to a false statutory declaration and could be investigated by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, with its perpetrators possibly jailed and/or fined. After all, they maintain, the majority owners had the responsibility to make sure their documents were in order before carrying out a forced eviction.

But the majority owners are trying to play down the significance of what their lawyer Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah described as “clerical errors”. They were purely an oversight, Mr Rajah told the High Court, and after they were brought to the STB’s attention, the majority owners managed to submit the missing pages to the Board.

One of the pages was to contain the signature of Mr Tan Chor Hoon, who bought his apartment after its former owners had signed the Collective Sale Agreement.

The STB application contained only the execution page of the former owners but not Mr Tan’s. Likewise, the execution page of another owner, Mr Lee Pang Hoe Michael, was also “inadvertently left out”.

The third missing page was to contain the signature of unit owner Daniel Gurnawan. While it was actually included in the application, the STB had deemed the “photocopy of a faxed copy” inadmissible — although the Board accepts a photocopy of the original execution page.

Mr Chelva Rajah stressed that, ultimately, the STB had all the necessary documents before it. Thus, the application was “not invalid” and, even if an amendment was needed, it ought to be granted by inserting the missing copies into the annexure to the application.

But the lawyers for the minority owners, Senior Counsel Michael Hwang, Senior Counsel K S Rajah and Mr Ramesh Kannan, begged to differ. The lawyers argued that the STB had no power to amend a defective application — a position taken by the STB itself since “any incurable defect puts into question the very existence of the Board”.

The STB works on the basis of convening a tribunal to hear an application. As such, the powers invested in it exist only in relation to a proper application.

The High Court hearing was further complicated by the presence of HPPL and a splinter group of majority owners — most of whom sat on the original sale committee, including Ms Ho and Mr Kong — who had successfully applied to intervene in the legal proceedings.

In what industry players and lawyers describe as a rare move, buyers HPPL — represented by Senior Counsel K Shanmugam — are getting themselves heard in an appeal against an STB decision.

Justice Choo Han Teck had ruled that it would “not be unjust or inconvenient to hear two more voices” and said that he would “mute” them if they were distracting.

Seizing the initiative, Mr Shanmugam tried to lay bare what he claimed was the game plan of the majority owners — who had replaced their original sale committee and its lawyers Drew and Napier in June — two months after the law firm had submitted the sale order application to the STB.

The change was made because the majority owners were apparently unhappy with the fact that neighbouring properties were being sold at much higher prices.

The “real intention” of the majority owners in filing the High Court appeal, according to Mr Shanmugam, was to have the case sent back to the STB in the hope that the minority objectors would raise new arguments — including the claim that the contract was invalid since it had lapsed upon the original sale order deadline of Aug 11 and that the latest sale committee had no power to effect an extension.

Two weeks ago, the owners did agree to extend the deadline by four months. But Mr Shanmugam revealed that up to two days before the resolution, circulars were sent out by some majority owners stating they would only consider the extension if the High Court appeal is granted.

It was only after HPPL’s meeting with some of the owners at Hilton Hotel — in which the consortium made it clear it would seek to intervene in the appeal and expose their game plan — that they apparently changed their minds, said Mr Shanmugam.

He added that the STB’s decision to abort the sale was “understandable”, as it relies heavily on submissions from counsel. And Mr Shanmugam wanted to make sure that the court listened to the perspective of the buyers, whose financial and legal interests would otherwise be undermined.

The STB had said that during its hearing, the majority owners “did not offer an opinion” to the minority owners’ argument that the STB could not allow an amendment.

Not only does HPPL want the court to remit the case back to the STB, it also wants to be allowed to take part in the hearing, a request rejected by the STB during its earlier hearing.

Justice Choo is expected to give his ruling next week. Should the judge dismiss the appeal and allow the STB’s decision to stand, the deal could be thrown into jeopardy and given its dogged intention to see the deal through, HPPL is unlikely to sit by and allow that to happen.

Should the judge allow the appeal, STB is likely to hear the case again and consider it on its merits. And it remains to be seen if minority objectors would try to sink the deal by raising new arguments — as predicted by Mr Shanmugam.

Either way, the end to the long drawn saga — the collective sale process was initiated in May last year — is hardly in sight yet, with more twists and turns along the way.

Why Stamp Duty On Property May Be Raised

Source : The Straits Times, Saturday, October 6, 2007

I REFER to Mr Ng Zhong Ren’s letter, ‘Why did Iras up property valuation one year later?’ (ST, Sept 29).

Mr Ng asked why Iras’ letter of June 18 was received by his lawyer only on July 17. Iras had, since October last year, been corresponding with the law firm that acted for him in the property transaction. Our letter of June 18 was thus sent to this same law firm. Iras was subsequently informed by another law firm that it had taken over the case and that it had received the said letter on July 17. We have since contacted Mr Ng and have followed up with him separately on this matter.

Property buyers are required to pay stamp duty based on the transacted price of the property or its market value, whichever is higher. Where Iras has assessed that the property value declared for stamping purposes is below the market value, it will determine the stamp duty based on market value at the date of the property transaction and recover the additional stamp duty from the buyer. The market value of the property is determined based on sales evidence of similar properties.

A property transaction may be selected for stamp-duty audit within six years from the date of transaction. The property buyer or his appointed lawyer will be required to submit relevant documents, such as the sales agreement, for verification and stamp-duty assessment. Mr Ng’s case was picked for adjudication as the property value declared for stamping was below the market.

Any objection by the property buyer on the valuation determined by Iras must be substantiated with supporting documents. Notwithstanding the objection, stamp duty has to be paid promptly in order to avoid any late-payment penalties.

Chin Li Fen (Ms)
Assistant Commissioner
Corporate Services Division
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

KeyPoint On Beach Road Sold For $370m

Source : The Straits Times, Saturday, October 6, 2007

A 29-YEAR-OLD commercial building on Beach Road is changing hands at $370 million.

The buyer is Allco Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust, which is acquiring the 99-year leasehold KeyPoint from a group of investors led by real estate veteran Han Chee Juan.

Mr Han and his business associates bought KeyPoint, then known as Jalan Sultan Centre, for about $125 million in 1996. The seller then was Pidemco Land, which later merged with DBS Land to become CapitaLand.

KeyPoint had extensive upgrading work done by 2000. Today, it is an integrated 25-storey building with a total net lettable area of 311,892 sq ft. The development comprises a three-storey podium and a 22-storey office tower. It also has a four-storey carpark that can accommodate 227 cars.

Allco says the acquisition is expected to add value to the property trust’s yield and give it exposure to an investment grade quality commercial asset in a fringe region of the central business district.

KeyPoint is 95.9 per cent occupied. While passing gross rents are significantly below the current market rate, many of the tenants’ leases will be up for renewal in the next two years, with over 50 per cent of the net lettable space expiring in the coming year.

This will give the new owner the opportunity to raise rentals going forward.

Department Stores Must ‘Reinvent To Stay Relevant’

Source : The Straits Times, Saturday, October 6, 2007

Speciality shops more popular, pay better: chief of CapitaLand Retail.

DEPARTMENT stores like Robinson’s and Isetan may have been the retail giants of yesteryear but they need to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant to consumers and mall owners.

If their sales figures cannot keep up with rising rents, then they must find some way to become more productive, said CapitaLand Retail chief executive Pua Seck Guan yesterday.

He said department stores pay far less in rentals than speciality stores, which have shot up in number and popularity in recent years.

Department stores generally pay less rent on a per sq ft (psf) basis as they take up large spaces.

They are charged about $5 psf to $7 psf per month, Mr Pua said. Yet smaller fashion boutiques can pay over $20 psf on average.

Mr Pua, who was speaking on the sidelines of the CapitaLand International Advisory Forum, was responding to comments from Robinson chief executive John Cheston earlier this week.

Mr Cheston had told The Straits Times that department stores are now facing more challenges as new malls shun them in favour of smaller speciality stores paying higher rents.

He said department stores are being squeezed by landlords for higher rents even though they cannot afford to pay them.

CapitaLand gave its side of the story yesterday. The company - one of Singapore’s biggest mall landlords, with Plaza Singapura and Tampines Mall under its belt - had said it will not put a department store in its newest mall, Ion Orchard.

Mr Pua said this was because mall owners have their own problems, as land and property prices soar.

CapitaLand was ‘prepared to pay above $1 billion for the Ion Orchard site’, he said. But he added that at that level, ‘we cannot afford to have a department store pay us $5 psf to $7 psf’ monthly. This ‘cannot match the land value’.

‘Even supermarkets and food courts today are getting more productive and paying more in rents,’ he said. They easily rack up sales of $100 psf - double that of department stores - and pay double the rent, too, Mr Pua added.

Department stores have become less relevant especially in suburban malls like Tampines Mall and Junction 8, he said.

‘I would argue that even if I shut down the anchor tenants, I would still have the same level of traffic’ in those malls - up to two million customers a month.

But he was quick to praise department stores like Robinson’s for adapting quickly by bagging new brands and opening stores.

Indeed, Macquarie Meag Prime Reit, which owns Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City, said the department stores in its malls have been an important pillar.

The lasting popularity of Isetan and Takashimaya is a testament to their solid branding and constant reinvention of their extensive product offerings, it said.

Local Architectural Firm Wins Prestigious Award-! Moulmein Rise

Source : The Straits Times, Sept 4, 2007

Architects Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell have reason to shout Woha.
Their homegrown firm, Woha Architects, received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur for its residential project 1 Moulmein Rise.

Wong Mun Summ (right) and Richard Hassell's firm, Woha Architects, received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture. -- SIEW YAW HOONG

This is the first winning project from Singapore.

The award was established by the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, in 1977.

Attention is given to buildings that use local resources and technology in an innovative way and to projects likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere.

The 28-storey 1 Moulmein Rise for property firm UOL Development, which was completed in 2003, boasts solutions to deal with high-rise living in the tropics.

One example is the use of monsoon windows, which are special horizontal windows in each apartment to let in the breeze but keep out the rain.

Other tropic-friendly features include designing the condominium to have a north-south facing (to avoid direct sunlight) and overhangs to provide shade.

Of the win which is the 13-year-old Woha's top international award to date, Mr Wong says it is meaningful because 'it looks at what the building does for the end-user, rather than just on how the building looks'.

UOL's chief operating officer Liam Wee Sin says the award is international recognition for the company's commitment to design excellence in the homes that it builds.

The award has a triennial prize fund of US$500,000, making it the largest architectural prize. The prize money is split among the nine winners this year.

1 Moulmein Rise

Address: 1 Moulmein Rise
Tenure: Freehold
District: 11
No. of Units: 50
Year of Completion: 2003
Developer: UOL Development Pte Ltd

The 28-Storey Moulmein Rise Residential Tower in Singapore, which uses innovative techniques for tropical design in high-rise living. It incorporates the traditional monsoon window, a horizontal opening that lets in breezes but not rain.

Awarded the Arcasia Awards for Architecture in 2006, a biennial award that recognizes exemplary architecture in Asia

1 Moulmein Rise is one of the few new blocks along Moulmein Rise. This is a modern condominium with designer interior finishes. All the apartments has a private life lobby. 1 Moulmein Rise has a long lap pool, wading pool, Jacuzzi and a small gym.

-Lap pool
-BBQ Area
-Basement Car Park
-24 Hours Security

1 Moulmein Rise is strategically located to the Novena MRT Station and Novena Square and United Square shopping malls. Amenities like shops, food centres, banks, clinics, super-markets can be found are a stone's throw away.

1 Moulmein Rise is accessible via the nearby Central Expressway (CTE) and the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). Public transport like buses, taxis or the sub-way (MRT) are easily accessible from this condominium.

Map Source -


Novena MRT Station (NS20)
250, Thomson Road Singapore 307642
How Far? 0.38 km

Farrer Park MRT Station (NE8)
250, Race Course Road Singapore 218703
How Far? 1.08 km


Goldhill Shopping Centre
193, Thomson Road Singapore 307633
How Far? 0.36 km

Novena Square
238, Thomson Road Singapore 307683
How Far? 0.36 km

Balestier Plaza
400, Balestier Road Singapore 329802
How Far? 0.81 km

Balestier Hill Shopping Centre
1, Thomson Road Singapore 300001
How Far? 0.84 km


Saint Michael's Primary School
3, Essex Road Singapore 309331
How Far? 0.20 km

Balestier Hill Secondary School
11, Novena Rise Singapore 307516
How Far?0.71 km

San Yu High School
299, Thomson Road Singapore 307652
How Far? 0.73 km

Balestier Hill Primary School
565, Balestier Road Singapore 329927
How Far? 0.76 km

Singapore Economy Is Showing Signs Of Overheating: HSBC

Source : The Business Times, October 6, 2007

SINGAPORE'S economy risks overheating as home prices reach the highest in a decade, companies hire workers at an unprecedented pace and the stock market soars to record levels, economists say.

Inflation at a 12-year high and an economy expanding 'a little too rapidly' mean signs of overheating are 'a few too many for comfort', Robert Prior- Wandesforde, an economist at HSBC Holdings plc in Singapore, said in an Oct 3 report.

'Consumer prices are by no means the only thing running relatively hot in the economy at present,' he said. 'A buoyant labour market was accompanied by strong wage growth. The Straits Times Index has also risen nearly 50 per cent over the last year.' Singapore's economy grew an annualised 14.4 per cent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in two years, fuelled by construction and financial services. Employers added a record number of workers in the same period, pushing the jobless rate to a six-year low as service companies increased hiring.

'The overheating problem in India and China has now spilled over to Singapore,' Deyi Tan, an economist at Morgan Stanley in Singapore, wrote in an Oct 3 report. 'Not only has persistently strong growth resulted in an office space crunch, labour supply needs have also led to a jump in the foreign population. Residential property is booming and expat schools are oversubscribed.' Office rents in the central business district are at record highs as financial institutions, lured to the city-state by corporate tax cuts, expand their businesses.

Singapore's private residential prices rose 8 per cent to a 10-year high in the third quarter, the government said on Oct 1. Home prices have increased every quarter in the past three-and-a-half years, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Singapore's consumer price index increased 2.9 per cent in August from a year earlier, in part after an increase in the Goods and Services Tax the month before.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore expects inflation in 2007 to be between one per cent and 2 per cent, it said on Aug 27, up from a previous range of 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent. Consumer prices may rise as much as 2 per cent next year. The island's longest economic expansion since 1991 and the prospect of higher salaries are prompting more Singaporeans to enter the labour force. Average monthly wages climbed 8.5 per cent in the second quarter, the fastest since 2000.

Income gains are fuelling consumer spending at restaurants and department stores, and may help the economy achieve the government's forecast of as much as 8 per cent growth this year.

Singapore's US$134 billion economy may expand 8.5 per cent this year, and grow 7.3 per cent in 2008, HSBC predicted. 'If forecasts are right and the country can look forward to another 12 months of above-trend expansion, then there will be less and less spare capacity in the economy and hence more and more signs of overheating,' Mr Prior-Wandesforde said. -- Bloomberg

Global Economy Seen Weathering Shocks

Source : The Business Times, October 6, 2007

Asia except Japan will enjoy biggest growth: top banker

THE global economy faces six to nine months of turbulence but will weather it without a crash, says Kenneth Courtis, former managing director and vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia.

Prof Courtis was speaking at CapitaLand's 10th international advisory panel meeting yesterday.

In the past, every time there has been a financial crisis the economic community has found a way to deal with the situation, he said. 'My sense is that we will find it again.'

Central banks will work to prevent a crisis by increasing the amount of liquidity in the market, Prof Courtis said. 'Central banks everywhere have been putting money on the table.'

In the United States, he expects interest rates to come down eventually to 3.5 per cent, which will help the economy weather the tough times.

Other central banks will take similar measures to help their economies, he said.

Asian economies except Japan will enjoy the biggest growth after the period of uncertainty, he believes. The US economy is not going to be 'exciting' going forward, while Europe has 'peaked'.

And Japan, according to Prof Courtis, will grow at a rate of just 1-1.5 per cent over the next few years. The rest of Asia is the 'big story', he said.

Similarly upbeat about Asia is Grant Kelley, chief executive of Colony Capital Asia, who also spoke at the event. He expects the region to draw more private equity money.

Right now, private equity deals as a percentage of GDP in Asia are just 0.5 per cent, he said. By comparison, in North America their value is 4.1 per cent of GDP.

The figure for Asia could grow eight-fold, said Mr Kelley, who reckons the global unrest could provide reputable companies and private equity firms with good opportunities over the next 18 months.

Fashion, Sports Tenants Pay Highest Base Rents

Source : The Business Times, October 6, 2007

FASHION, sports and fitness and gift and specialty retailers pay the highest base rents at CapitaLand's malls, the developer said yesterday.

In comparison, department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, leisure and entertainment and educational tenants pay the lowest base rents.

The rents do not take into account turnover rent. Most retailers in major malls pay a base rate as well as a proportion of their takings as rent.

Figures provided by CapitaLand showed the average base rent across its malls - including those in its listed real estate investment trust CapitaMall Trust (CMT) - is $9.66 per sq ft per month (psf pm).

But fashion retailers paid more than $20 psf pm on average, while sports and fitness and gift and specialty tenants paid more than $15 psf pm.

On the other hand, department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, leisure and entertainment providers and educational tenants pay less than $7 psf pm on average.

Only warehouse and office space went for less, CapitaLand's figures reveal.

Pua Seck Guan, chief executive of CapitaLand's retail arm, said many malls are doing away with anchor tenants because these tenants - typically department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets and leisure and entertainment providers - pay lower rents.

And the pressure is on shopping centre managers to get high rents to deliver good returns to stakeholders.

'If you want to get decent returns you need to look at the rentals,' Mr Pua said. 'It's all because of market forces.'

For example, land for shopping malls is now being tendered for as much as $1,500-$2,500 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), he said.

This means the breakeven cost for a mall owner could be as high as $4,000 psf ppr, meaning the owner has to look for tenants who can pay the best rents.

Also, unlike in the past, not all malls require a large anchor tenant to attract shoppers, Mr Pua said.

One Done Deal, Two Around The Corner As Office Blocks Change Hands

Source : The Business Times, October 6, 2007

KeyPoint sold for $370m; talks on for 78 Shenton Way and Hitachi Tower

Office blocks continue to change hands as the market sizzles. Allco Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust has just bought KeyPoint in the Jalan Sultan/Beach Road area for $370 million or $1,186 per square foot (psf) of net lettable area (NLA). The deal includes income support of up to $10.5 million for two years to be provided by the seller.

Likely buyer: Industry observers suggest that a natural contender for Hitachi Tower now could be the Goldman Sachs group. In August, a Goldman Sachs-linked fund bought the next-door Chevron House

A deal for 78 Shenton Way is believed to be at an advanced stage of negotiation, with the price pegged slightly below $700 million. The buyer is said to be a property fund linked to Germany's Commerz Grundbesitz Investmentgesellschaft (CGI). CGI is the capital investment company for the open-ended fund Haus-Invest, and a deal for 78 Shenton Way, when it materialises, will mark CGI's first major property acquisition in Singapore, sources say.

All eyes in the market are also on Hitachi Tower at Collyer Quay, to see if a fresh benchmark will be set soon. The latest price being bandied about for the 999-year leasehold property is said to be around $3,000 psf of NLA, lower than the $3,200 psf and $3,300 psf discussed a few months earlier. The parties that had made offers at those pricing levels have since walked away from the negotiating table.

Industry observers suggest that a natural contender for Hitachi Tower now could be the Goldman Sachs group. In August, a Goldman Sachs-linked fund bought the next-door Chevron House (formerly known as Caltex House) for $2,780 psf, a record for an office block here. 'A higher price can be justified for Hitachi Tower because it has a superior tenure (999-year leasehold) and orientation,' a market watcher notes.

'Another important difference between these two buildings is that for Chevron House, there are rental caps in (major tenant) Chevron's lease agreement, which limits the near-term rental upside that the building's owner can achieve,' he added.

Hitachi Tower is 50:50 owned by CapitaLand and National University of Singapore. The 37-storey property has an NLA of around 280,000 square feet. Chevron House is on a site with a remaining lease of about 81 years.

Some industry observers think that it makes sense for Goldman to own two adjoining office blocks as it can then take advantage of synergies in managing them, as well as tap the possibility of redeveloping the properties in the longer term - or at least pitch that angle to potential buyers of the two properties when it wants to divest them in future.

A Goldman Sachs real estate fund also bought DBS Towers 1 and 2 on Shenton Way in November 2005 for $690 million or around $800 psf of NLA.

As for 78 Shenton Way, which CGI is in negotiations to buy, the acquisition will be based on a total NLA of 365,000 sq ft, which includes some 65,000 sq ft that the seller, a joint venture between Credit Suisse and CLSA funds, has undertaken to build for the asset. The site has a remaining lease of about 75 years.

KeyPoint at Beach Road stands on a site with a remaining lease of 68 years. It is being sold by Sable Resources, whose key shareholder is Han Chee Juan, who teamed up with a group of investors to buy the 25-storey property, formerly known as Jalan Sultan Centre, in 1996 from the former Pidemco Land.

Their acquisition price was $125 million and the group completed a $35 million refurbishment of the asset in early 2000.

Buyer Allco Reit said the assumed initial net property income yield for the first 12 months is 4.65 per cent, inclusive of the $10.5 million income support. The acquisition will be fully debt-funded with a cost of debt of about 3.6 per cent. The trust's leverage will increase from 33.2 per cent to about 46.5 per cent after the completion of the acquisition, Allco said. DTZ Debenham Tie Leung brokered KeyPoint's sale.

KeyPoint currently has an NLA of 311,892 sq ft, of which about 89.4 per cent is offices and the remaining 10.6 per cent retail space. KeyPoint also has 227 car-park lots.

Property Derivatives May Debut In S'pore Next Year: Goldman Sachs

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 06 October 2007

Investors here in Singapore may soon be able to invest in property derivatives, which are based on a property index of real estate assets.

According to investment bank Goldman Sachs, a residential index is being compiled – paving the way for the first property derivatives to be launched in Singapore.

Singapore has a fast-growing property market and those investing in the sector currently do so through buying properties.

Property derivatives are a new form of financial instruments, which makes it easier to invest in real estate.

Goldman Sachs said having a derivatives function for the market can help facilitate faster entry, as well as an exit strategy for short-term investors.

And the investment bank said the timing is right to introduce property derivatives here.

Carsten N. Kengeter, Co-Head of Securities & Structuring, Asia-Pac Goldman Sachs Asia, said: "It took REITS quite a few years to move over from the United States to the rest of the world. And this particular asset class property derivatives originated in Europe.

"I think the boom in real estate as an asset class and the fashionable status it has right now, will provide for a speedier process, in terms of adaptation of property derivatives, into one's normal toolkit and universe of playing a role in the property market."

Currently, the property derivatives market in Europe is estimated to be worth US$40 billion.

Goldman Sachs recognised that it would take time for investors to warm up to property derivatives as well as to build up trading volumes.

Mr Kengeter said: "I would say Asia will initially be a fraction of that because the European market, especially the UK market, has been around for much longer and there are large capital aggregation users in that market."

According to Goldman Sachs, experts at the National University of Singapore are currently working on formulating a residential index, on which a property derivative contract can be based.

Property derivatives are an alternative to REITS, giving investors opportunities to hedge or rebalance their portfolio exposures.

Analysts said they would need more information before they can assess how property derivatives would work here.

They said there is a need for investor education just like when REITS were first introduced in Singapore. - CNA/so

Pavilion II @ Novena

Situated in the heart of Prime District 11. Pavillion II redefines the way we live. An architectural landmark of two 33-storey towers, this 180-unit freehold development affords pavillion living with magnificient 270 degree south-facing views of the city.

Come home to Pavillion II, where city living and serenity are in perfect harmony.

District : 11
Tenure : Freehold
Development : Two 33-Sstoreys Towers
Total Units : 180
Developer : UOL Development (Novena) Pte Ltd
Expected TOP : 1 Jun 2010
Expected Legal Completion : 1 Jun 2013

Blk 25 #12-abv, 3 Bedrm 1485sqft Asking:$1.9m ($1280/psf)

Comprising spacious 2 & 3 Bedrm units and Penthouses, this architectural icon is specially designed to enhance living from indoor to outdoor. Every unit at Pavillion II has its own private lift lobby providing utmost exclusivity. Its North-South orientation offers breezy cross-ventilation as well as spectacular views of Orchard Road, Raffles Place, lush greenery of MacRitchie Reservoir & Bukit Timah Hill

At Pavillion II, a wide array of conveniences are yours to enjoy. Located at District 11, it iw within close proximity to Novena MRT station, 2 MRT stops away from Orchard Road. In the surrounding area are shopping malls like Novena Square and United Square, renowned institutions like St. Joseph's Institution Junior, Ango-Chinese School and Singapore Chinese Girl's School.

Indulge in a world of relaxation and rejuvenation, Pavillion II pampers you with facilities like a 50m lap swimming pool, water jets, Jacuzzi, fitness gym and floating pavillions of different themes. Other facilities include BBQ deck, foot reflexology, children's playground and children's pool.

Park Infinia @ Wee Nam

Space has an amazing effect on us.
Give us somewhere open and uncrowded and a curious thing happens.
We find room to relax. And so do our minds.
And then we tend to think big ambitious thoughts.
Which is why Park Infinia is designed to give you the ultimate luxury.

It's interesting how one word can mean so many things to so many people. But whatever it means to you, this is the space to create a home exactly as you see it. Begin with a choice of 486 luxury apartments featuring one, two, three or four bedrooms or indulge in a spacious penthouse. Muted hues and clean, simple lines form the canvas, illuminated naturally by floor to ceiling windows.

Add floors of cool stone or warm oak for emphasis. And premium fittings, such as the refreshing Raindance shower from Hansgrohe, complete the picture. Truly something to come home to, don't you think?

Developer : Keppel Land Realty Pte Ltd
Tenure : Freehold
Expected TOP : 1Q 2008
Expected Legal Completion : 30 June 2012
Address : 28 at Wee Nam Rd/Lincoln Rd/Keng Lee Rd/Suffolk Rd

Subsale : 3 Bedrm Blk21, #25-Abv with Pte Lift. 1421sqft. Asking $2,415,700 (1700/psf)

Right at the city's edge, you're surrounded by some of Singapore's finest schools, shopping and entertainment. Food, that eternal temptation, is just a stone's throw away. For everything else, hop in the car for a drive down the Central Expressway, or take a brisk walk to an MRT station. When the day is finally done, it's time to leave the city with all its hustle and bustle...

Step out and you'll discover we've used space in some interesting ways. For instance, a gym that's not really a gym because it's underwater. Then there's a lawn large enough for even the most hyperactive of kids; the more adventurous of whom might be drawn to the miniature "volcano" by the children's pool. And of course, there's every facility from recreation rooms to tennis courts.

Now for those who prefer activities of a more tranquil variety, a lush tropical spa and a pond inspired by Mother Nature herself may be just the thing. Meanwhile, the airy spaces of the Clubhouse, which open out to wide wooden decks, will undoubtedly make entertaining a pure joy.