The Week in Numbers: Singapore’s Second Best City For Tech Firms
Tesla shares dipped as word got around that the US Justice Department officials were looking into possible criminal aspects of Tesla chief executive’s tweet on taking the company private. A lawsuit was filed earlier this month accusing Musk of spreading untrue rumours on taking Tesla private at US$420 per share and securing funding. His tweet had caused the share price to pop overnight. It has since come down to US$299 per share. Musk has also been criticised recently for smoking marijuana while on a podcast.
Singapore has been ranked the second best city for technology companies looking to expand in Asia, according to a report released this week. The report ranked 16 Asian countries, with Bangalore coming out on top. Bangalore had a score of 68% and will be the fastest growing city in Asia in the next five to 10 years. Singapore had a score of 63% and scored highly due to its strong talent pool, low personal tax rates, safety and living quality.
Tencent was dubbed the most disappointing stock in the world by Bloomberg. Of the 10 companies worth more than US$100 billion that analysts rate as “buy”, Tencent has been the worst performer by a distance. The China tech giant has lost 22% of its market cap or US$108 billion in value. Analysts, however, continue to be bullish on the stock, with the average target price set at HK$451.10, 42% higher than its current price.
For the second year in a row, Changi has been ranked Asia’s most connected airport, and 8th most connected in the world. It dropped two places internationally from last year. London’s Heathrow came in first, with five other Asian airports coming in within the top 20 this year. Changi Airport currently has a maximum capacity of 82 million passengers a year and could see its capacity grow to 130 million when Terminal 5 is ready around 2030.
China’s home prices rose at its fastest pace in two years in August. Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 1.4% from a month earlier, higher than July’s 1.1%. That makes it the fastest gain since September 2016 and the 40th straight month of price increases. All but three of China’s 70 major cities reported a monthly price rise in August. Year-on-year, home prices have climbed 7%, accelerating from July’s 5.8% rise year-on-year. China’s policymakers have implemented measures to support growth this year, including reducing the sum of cash that banks must hold as reserves to boost lending to small businesses. This is also likely part of the reason for the recent home price increase.
Contrastingly, Singapore home sales declined 64% sequentially last month. Only 616 private homes were sold in August, compared to 1,724 in July and 1,246 units sold in August last year. Analysts have attributed it to the Hungry Ghost Festival and effects of the latest additional property cooling measures imposed in July. Analysts are keeping watch on demand and prices in the coming months, to see the full impact of the new property cooling measures on the home market.
On 24 September, the US imposed its third round of tariffs on China, slapping a 10% tax on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports. This could rise to 25% unless the two countries can negotiate a deal. Trump said that if China retaliates, he would impose fresh tariffs on another US$267 billion worth of Chinese imports, which will cover practically all other goods imported from China.
However, some Southeast Asian companies are looking to capitalise on the trade war as US firms move new orders and production away from China. About one-third of more than 430 American companies in China have or are considering moving production sites abroad, with South East Asia their top destination. Southeast Asian Nations are a natural substitute due to their low production cost, established manufacturing plants, and geographical proximity to China.