Top News this Week (10 Dec)


Rounding up top investing articles from around the web, including articles shared on Twitter.

Country clubs in Singapore seek to refresh offerings as youths lose interest in prestige factor (CNA)

Once perceived as prestigious status symbols, such clubs have fallen out of favour with younger Singaporeans, many of whom reject the 5Cs – cash, car, credit card, condominium, and country club membership – that used to form the basis of many people’s aspirations and goals.

Land lease expiry is also a problem that country clubs and social clubs have to grapple with.

Singapore’s ‘Long Island’ reclamation project: 5 other names that raised eyebrows (CNA)

Singapore announced on Tuesday (Nov 28) potential plans for a project on its eastern coast which would see about 800ha of land reclaimed in the form of a “Long Island”.

While the announcement sparked conversations about property, the project’s impact on the environment and the future of sea sports at East Coast Park, what caught the attention of some social media users was the island’s very literal name.

Some called for a better and more original name, noting that there is already a particularly famous Long Island in New York. Others made references to a strong cocktail that bears the name – the Long Island Iced Tea.

The name “Long Island”, however, is by no means set in stone.

Finance, carbon credits key to early coal phase-out in Asia: MAS chief (Straits Times)

“Coal is a problem. One out of every six tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the world comes from a coal plant in Asia. You want to move the needle, you’ve got to address this,” Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon told a panel discussion at the Singapore Pavilion on the sidelines of the COP28 United Nations climate conference in Dubai.

Innovative types of financing are needed to help compensate plant owners and help poorer nations shift to renewable energy, Mr Menon said.

The MAS has been working with the finance sector and other partners to develop the concept of transition credits, which sets out the conditions under which coal plant owners can use carbon credits to reduce the economic gap of early coal plant retirements.

Two GLS sites launched in Zion Road, Upper Thomson Road to pilot long-stay serviced apartments (Straits Times)

wo leasehold sites in Upper Thomson Road and Zion Road have been launched to pilot a new class of long-stay serviced apartments with a three-month minimum stay period, in a bid to meet rising private housing rental demand.

Zion Road Parcel A and Upper Thomson Road Parcel A, which can yield a combined 535 long-stay serviced apartments, are among three sites launched for sale under the second-half 2023 Government Land Sales (GLS) confirmed list on Dec 4.

Together with Upper Thomson Road Parcel B, the three confirmed list sites can yield a total of 2,750 units including long-stay serviced apartments, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

S’pore salary increments likely to hold steady while inflation abates in 2024: Talent firms (Straits Times)

Workers here can expect salary increments to come in around 4 per cent in 2024, according to recent forecasts from talent firms.

Some companies are optimistic that real wage growth is within reach compared with the decline seen in 2023, given that inflation is expected to ease.

Singapore a growing draw for wealthy Chinese seeking diversification, say industry players (Straits Times)

For the wealthy Chinese, Singapore is part of their global diversification strategy that also includes Dubai, a growing financial hub in the Middle East, but there is still a home bias, particularly towards Hong Kong.

Many of them, scarred by China’s strict zero-Covid policies during the pandemic and the unpredictable rules, have turned to Singapore as a safe haven to park some of their funds or as a backup immigration plan.

Spotify to lay off 17% of employees — read the full memo CEO Daniel Ek sent to staff (CNBC)

  • Music streaming service Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek announced that the company is laying off 17% of its workforce.
  • In a note to employees, Ek said Spotify invested too much in 2020 and 2021 and had to “rightsize” its costs for a new economic reality.
  • Spotify reported a 65 million euros ($70.7 million) profit in the third quarter, citing lower spend on marketing and personnel.

Virgin Galactic shares plunge in premarket after Branson rules out further investment (CNBC)

  • In an interview with the Financial Times published Sunday, Branson said his business empire no longer has “the deepest pockets” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Virgin Investments remains the second-largest shareholder in Virgin Galactic, according to LSEG data, with a 7.69% holding, behind State Street Global Advisors with 8.43%.

COP28 president sparks outcry after claims there’s ‘no science’ behind fossil fuel phase out (CNBC)

  • COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber is facing a backlash over his claim that there is “no science” behind calls for a phase out of fossil fuels.
  • Many believe the success of the U.N. climate conference hinges on a collective agreement to bring an end to the fossil fuel era.
  • Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Al-Jaber said his team “very much believe and respect the science.”

Gold soars past $2,100 to new record — and analysts don’t expect it to stop there (CNBC)

  • Spot gold prices rose to a new record high of $2,110.8 per ounce Monday before giving up some gains.
  • Prices of the yellow metal have risen for two consecutive months with the Israel-Palestinian conflict boosting demand for the safe-haven asset.
  • Gold prices are expected to remain above $2,000 levels next year.

This Singaporean invented a rollerball device to relieve eczema itch without hurting the skin. Here’s how to get it (CNA)

Koh suffers from atopic dermatitis (its common name is eczema) and as part of her final-year thesis at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Division of Industrial Design (DIC), she created a rollerball itch relief device that works as a gentle alternative to scratching.

She submitted her design as an entry to the James Dyson Award, an international design innovation competition which highlights design engineers at the start of their careers. Her rollerball device became the Singapore runner-up.

AVS proposes to allow HDB households to own up to 2 cats per flat, reversing 34-year ban (CNA)

  • The Government is proposing to allow Housing and Development Board (HDB) households to own up to two cats per flat from next year
  • The proposal is available for further feedback from the public for two months, and the intention is to implement it in the later part of 2024
  • The mooted cat management framework, if implemented, will reverse a 34-year ban on cat ownership in public flats
  • Beyond this, the framework also recommended the mandatory microchipping and licensing of pet cats
  • When the framework is launched, a two-year transition period would be introduced to allow pet owners “ample time” to meet the licensing conditions

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