The Week Ahead: Singapore Property In Focus
A band of property-related companies will step into the spotlight week, with CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U) leading the field.
The office REIT posted a sharp rise in both gross revenues and net property income for the first quarter. It also hiked its distribution per unit by 9.6%. At that time, CCT said its occupancy rate was 97.8%, which was higher than estimates for Singapore’s Central Business District.
Ascott Residence Trust (SGX: A68U), which also comes under the CapitaLand (SGX: C31) umbrella, said revenues rose 5% in the first three months of its financial year. However, distributions per unit fell 14%. The hospitality REIT said the global economic recovery is likely to remain “slow-paced”.
Yet another CapitaLand company is set to report next week. CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) maintained its distribution per unit in the first quarter, despite a fall in gross revenue and net property income. The REIT is currently redeveloping Funan mall, which closed in July 2016.
Hutchison Port Holdings (SGX: NS8U) would probably want to forget all about its first-quarter results. The port operator posted a near 70% drop in earnings for the first three months of its financial year. The decline in earnings would have been less severe if not for one-off rent and rates refunds.
On the economic front, China will report its latest economic growth number. In the first quarter, it said the economy grew 6.9%. According the IMF, the world’s second-largest economy could grow 6.7% this year. China will also report retail sales for June, which is expected to be robust.
The European Central Bank will deliver its latest interest-rate decision. In June it left the benchmark refinancing rate at 0% for the eleventh consecutive meeting. There are signs that the Euro Area has recovered sufficiently to allow the central bank to consider taking it foot off the gas.
Over the UK, which is still part of Europe for now, inflation is high on the agenda. In June, the rate of inflation jumped to 2.7%, which is the highest since June 2013. Relatively high inflation coupled with uncertainty over Brexit could put the Bank of England in a difficult position, when it next meets in August.
And finally, if the Bank of England is in a quandary, the Bank of Japan has a headache. Despite its best efforts to stoke inflation, the rise in the cost of living in Japan is till anaemic. As such the BoJ is likely to leave interest rates unchanged next week.